Lighthouse 2 Skillion (L2S) is a 27.5km coastal walk between two iconic Central Coast landmarks, Norah Head and The Skillion (Terrigal) that traverses beaches, rock platforms and a National Park headland with good whale watching lookouts. We signed up thinking how hard can a flat beach walk be? Quite hard, when there is 17km of soft sand walking and a steep headland climb to the finish line.
Given the amount of sand walking, what would I wear on my feet? The distance was too far to walk in bare feet, and too far to trudge with sand in your shoes. Four wheel drivers let down their tyres to create a big surface area to “float” across the sand, so a nice wide soled shoe seemed a good idea. My trusted trail walkers had a good base, but they are mesh, so I went looking for some gaiters to try to keep out as much sand as possible.
Trailgaiters make colourful gaiters which sell online at a great price. The gaiters also cover a good deal of the shoe mesh, with the exception of the toe area. We ordered some gaiters to test on the L2S.
Trailgaiters did a fine job of keeping my shoes as sand free as possible, over many kilometres of deep soft sand. The flash of bright orange provided some cheer on the challenging Wamberal beach stretch towards the Skillion. Wamberal, like many of the other beaches, was badly eroded by the massive June storm, resulting in a sloped beach that required one leg longer than the other. The rising tide meant frequent short interval sprints on tired legs up the beach in soft sand to avoid wet shoes.
The Lighthouse to Skillion Walk
You burn significantly more calories walking on beach sand. The L2S Walk is all about the beaches: starting from the small and rocky Norah Head beach, then Soldiers Beach, Pelican Beach, and a very long beach ending in North Entrance. The L2S Walk raised funds for Central Coast Surf Lifesaving, the Westpac Rescue Helicopter and Coast Shelter. At each lifesaving club that we passed, smiling nippers held out their tins for collecting $2 coins from the passing walkers.
Over the bridge and the beaches rolled on: The Entrance beach, Blue Bay with its million dollar homes and pristine Toowoon Bay where our friends Jo and Michael treated us to a lovely champagne lunch. Then onward to Shelly Beach and the beautiful bushland fringed Bateau Bay beach. From Bateau Bay, we climbed up onto the headland, where the firmer single track through the bushland gave our feet and leg muscles some temporary relief.
We descended from Crackneck lookout in the Wyarrbalong National Park, admiring Forresters Beach and the surfers enjoying the break from high above.
Soon we were back on the beach at Spoon Bay. There was much gratitude when the tiring soft sands of Wamberal Beach ended with the Esplanade at Terrigal. From there it was a short climb up the Skillion to receive our finishing medals.
We all slept well after our long beach walk, dreaming of the next Central Coast challenge. Perhaps Box Head to Terrigal? Or Norah Head to Swansea? Seems the mad organisers behind the successful Lighthouse 2 Skillion were thinking along the same lines – look out for Blacksmiths 2 Breakwall.