It was great to see so many people head away for the long weekend and enjoy some much-needed family time after the past few months.
While it restored some sense of normality and provided a welcome boost for tourism operators, I must admit that I may not have felt this way for about an hour when I sat in bumper-to-bumper traffic at Hexham on the way home from the office on Monday afternoon.
The NSW Government lifted COVID-19 travel restrictions at the start of June, with whale watching cruise companies in Port Stephens among those eager to see passengers return as humpback whales make their annual 10,000-kilometre journey from Antarctica to give birth in warmer waters.
One of our reporters, Rebecca Riddle, ventured out with professional photographer and Imagine Cruises crew member, Lisa Skelton, last Friday to take in the sights and sounds.
You’ll find that cover story on page 9.
We’ve also covered inside the Black Lives Matter rally in Newcastle, which saw about 5,000 protesters gather in the CBD on the weekend, as well as a heart-warming story on an eight-year-old who is collecting prescription glasses to support Lions Outback Vision’s bid to distribute them among those with vision impairment in remote communities.