One of the special things people find when they move to the Central Coast is how much of a community spirit exists here compared to the big city. There’s no one who better exemplifies that community spirit than 3 Villages* resident, the unstoppable 76-year-old Jennifer Hartich, aka the Energizer Bunny.
Jennifer is so well-liked and so widely known in her community, that every second car seems to toot a hello when they spot her out on her daily walk, or cycling, or painting a rainbow of colours around potholes to alert local road users to the perils that lie in wait. It’s gotten so frequent now that she just waves without time to shift her gaze from the road. (The rainbow potholes have more recently changed to sunflowers in support of Ukraine, with locals donating yellow paint.)
When several people expressed interest in kayaking, it was Jennifer who formed the Kayak-a-yakkers group through the local Facebook page, and a dozen kayakers turned up for the first outing. And it’s Jennifer who takes you paddling to where the pelicans and black swans hang out to breed and raise their chicks. Or knows the best spot to be overwhelmed by the noise of nesting pied cormorants and darters in the trees right above your head. Or the quiet beauty of Waterfall Bay near Woy Woy. Or to the magnificent sandstone cliffs around Patonga and the Hawkesbury. Then there are the hiking trails where the best ‘old lady’ angophoras are to be seen on Kincumba Mountain.
If there’s a community clean-up day, you know Jennifer will be there in force. Or if a nearby park needs weed control or bin painting – that’s where you’ll find her with her fellow local residents.
Her day starts when most of us are still curled up under the doona, and she will have posted her beautiful sunrise photo or the fog over the water seen from her kayak, or a low-flying osprey pair – before you’ve opened your eyes wide enough to so much as check the day’s weather outside. She’s a keen photographer but it’s also about posting a cheery photo to start everyone’s day.
And as if that wasn’t enough, this energised bunny is the carer for her husband with whom she does regular outings each day so he is not house-bound.
She’s a special person but she’s not alone in all these things she does, and that’s what helps make the Coast such a special place to live.
3 Villages is the collective name for Yattalunga-Saratoga-Davistown.
Some of Jennifer’s favourite local places
|Along the Hawkesbury from Patonga to the Hawkesbury bridge.
|A favourite lookout is Elephant Rock on the Patonga Drive & exploring the Bouddi National Park eg Bullimah Spur.
|Up Kincumba Mountain and exploring the trails.
|Best spot to take husband Steve for an afternoon drink & light meal
|That would have to be Gosford Sailing Club & The Boatshed as the venue has easy access for people with disabilities & the outlook over Brisbane Water is so relaxing.