You always know when the holidays have arrived, especially where I live-
Children are a dead give away, but so too the number of cars which has definitely seen an increase this year, many loaded up to the hilts with luggage and other travelling paraphernalia. My job as a merchandiser requires a great deal of commuting between stores so am up and down the Central Coast in and out of traffic, both on the road and inside the various shopping centres.
As I finished visiting one particular store last week I decided to take the scenic route home and headed back towards Wilfred Barrett Drive.
I find this trip a nice change from the chaos and bedlem of the freeways, especially if the sun is out as it was on this particular day. Wilfred Barrett drive starts just across the bridge at The Entrance, then winds for 13km’s along the coast before arriving at Toukley, my home town.
It was just as I approached the north side of the bridge that I spotted plenty of tourists; families and their boats,kids with their fishing rods, surfers and swimmers, all out and about each one making the most of their summer holiday by the ocean. Some had pitched tents along the river banks while others were towing their caravans into the parks. It was a real reminder of days gone by when as a child my family and I were the tourists of the area, often making our way down to the surf, or strolling along the shoreline as I collected shells…some of the structures may have changed over the years but everything else remains.
The Entrance Bridge joins the suburbs of The Entrance and The Entrance North on the Central Coast of New South Wales, Australia, passing over The Entrance Channel. The road forms part of Wilfred Barret Drive.
The Entrance Bridge was originally a wooden single lane bridge with bypass bays at intervalas that allowed traffic travelling in the opposite direction to pass. It was opened in 1934. The original bridge was adequate until 1965 as it only served traffic travelling as far as The Entrance North.
Around 1955, the Number 11 bus operated by Red Bus Services crashed through a wooden retaining wall and landed in The Entrance Channel after its brakes failed while turning onto The Entrance Bridge. The driver and three passengers were uninjured, although the boat that the bus landed on was heavily damaged.
In 1965, Wilfred Barret Drive was opened by the Deputy Premier of New South Wales, the Hon. Pat Hills. The road was named after Counciller Wilfred Barret who was a member of the first Wyong Shire Council. The road continues to be an important link between The Entrance and Toukley, passing through Wyrrabalong National Park.
By the end of 1965 the bridge was dangerous and too costly to maintain. The traffic flow over the old bridge at The Entrance increased to such an extent the structure was under constant repair. Work began on the current two lane, concrete structure on 17th of July 1967 after a successful tender by Transbridge Pty Ltd. The bridge was opened to traffic on 20 December 1968 and officially opened by the Premier, the Hon. Robert Askin on 18 April 1969.
Wyrrabalong National Park is located on the Central Coast of New South Wales, Australia. It was added in 1991. The park consists of two main sections. The northern section consists of approximately 480 hectares and covers a substantial area of the peninsula between The Entrance and Norah Head as well as Terilbah and Pelican Islands within Tuggerah Lake. The southern section consists of about 120 hectares of the coast, from Shelly Beach south to Forresters Beach. The park is also noted for containing the last significant coastal (littoral) rainforest on the Central Coast. Most of the park lies in the Tuggerah Important Bird Area, identified as such by BirdLife International because of its importance for a variety of water and woodland birds.
The land now occupied by Wyrrabalong National Park was first inhabited by the Darkinjung people and the Awabakal people, the Indigenous Australians. The Darkinjung occupied the southern section and The Awabakal occupied the northern section. It is believed Europeans first discovered the Tuggerah Lakes in 1796. It was found by Governor of Tasmania, Colonel David Collins, who had arrived on the First Fleet, during the search for an escaped convict, Mary Morgan, who was said to be living with the Aborigines to the North of the Hawkesbury River.
The national slogan for Wyrrabalong National Park: “Wyrrabalong, it’s where you belong.”