Weekend watch: How things are shaping up

WEATHER WATCH

WHILE much of the country will find weather conditions sizzling over the next few days the Hastings will enjoy much milder temperatures.

In Alice Springs temperatures are set to exceed 46 degrees. Some 3000km away, mid-to-high 20s is the order for the week for Port Macquarie.

Today should record a minimum of 18 and a high of 27 degrees. Saturday 18-28 degrees is expected followed by 19-26 on Sunday.

Monday and Tuesday should be similar with temperatures between 18 and 28 degrees and Wednesday is expected to warm up a bit with a top of 30.

Although possible showers and partly cloudy conditions have been forecast from tomorrow until Wednesday, weather experts at the Bureau of Meteorology said, no significant drops will be felt. 

Just four days into the month and Port Macquarie has already exceeded the highest temperature for January 2012. 

A year ago the highest temperature for the month was 32.2 degrees. New Year’s Day this year recorded 33.2 degrees.

 Rural Fire Service spokesman, Carl Schmitzer, said the Hastings will still have high fire danger over the next week due to the dryness of the area.

WATER WATCH

PORT Macquarie’s resident and visiting boaters have been treated to pristine ocean going conditions these holidays.

NSW Port Macquarie Marine Rescue spokesman Geoff Shelton said although a slight change is expected over the weekend, ocean-goers will still be treated to great conditions.

He said in recent days as many as 70 vessels have logged in with the tower as being ocean bound.

“We really have had great conditions recently,” he said, “and although we’ve had so many boaters out on our waters we’ve had pretty much no incidents reported.”

Weather experts at the Bureau of Meteorology said the biggest predicted swell over the weekend is expected to be between 1.5 and two metres. 

Mr Shelton said it will have little impact on boaters.

“Seas will pick up a little more than they have been lately,” he said. “But conditions have just about been perfect so a small increase in swell won’t have too much affect.”

For all those chasing waves Port Macquarie Hastings Council senior lifeguard  Grant Hudson said the easterly swell meant decent waves could be found at most beaches in the area. However for swimmers he said the conditions may become tricky at times and reminded the public about the importance of swimming between the flags.

BEACH ALERTS: 

DESPITE the hot weather attracting thousands of tourists and residents to our beaches lifeguards have had only a handful of rescues.

Council’s head lifeguard Grant Hudson said the majority of beach-goers were enjoying the pristine conditions and have been well behaved.

He said since December 18, just eight rescues had taken place on Town Beach – the most popular beach in the area.

“Everyone has just been enjoying the perfect beach conditions we’ve had,” Mr Hudson said. “There’s been thousands of people but we’ve had very few incidents.”

He said North Haven Beach has so far averaged about two rescues a week and Bonny Hills has also been responsible for one or two a day.

“We’re just grateful for the great conditions we’ve had recently. This time last year we had really large swell and we were forced to close the beach for a few days.”

Mr Hudson said at this stage there was just one worry he had: “On New Year’s Day we cleaned up two bins full of glass bottles off the beach,” he said. “We would like to remind people glass is not allowed on the beach for everyone’s safety.”

LOOKING FOR SOMETHING TO DO

FOR a change of pace on your holiday head over to the Lorne Valley Macadamia Farm.

You can check out the farm  grounds, dine in at the cafe or purchase some of the fresh hand roasted and flavoured macadamia nuts. 

Also on offer are delicious jams, chutneys and chocolates from Jo and Ray.

* Or try a ride on the camels at Lighthouse Beach.

The Port Macquarie Camel Safari provides a fun filled experience on the town’s beautiful most southerly beach and you’ll be greeted by friendly operators.  It’s an experience the whole family can enjoy together. Phone 0437 672 080. 

* Then further afield the Hastings is home to one of the most spectacular, longest, single-drop waterfalls in the Southern Hemisphere. Ellenborough Falls is located on the Bulga Plateau at Elands about a 90 minute drive from Port Macquarie.

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