Coastal Victoria, The states New South Wales (NSW) and Queensland (QLD). Koalas, kangaroos & emus. Camping, beaches, swimming, waterfalls. Family & friends. Christmas and Woodford Folk Festival. So much fun! Oh, and a desert island!
Part 1: Driving home for Christmas: Melbourne to North Dorrigo
Road trip time! We left Melbourne later then planned, but the sun was shinning, so we drove of with much enthusiasm.
Our first overnight stop: Wilson’s Prom. Weather: AWFUL! The wind was blowing VERY hard, rain was coming in sideways. And not only that, but it was also Cold too! So, time for some camping the car instead of setting up our tent. Sleeping in the car was quite comfortable, particularly being out of the wind! In between the heavy rainstorms we made a nice meal on the camping BBQ en had a walk over the beach.
The next day however, the sun came out, so we went hiking. We saw a lot of animals on our drive down to the national park, incl. kangaroos and emu’s.
At the first hike it started raining again and got soaking wet. At the second hike we had to clime over some fallen tree’s, but saw some lovely forest. Suddenly a rock jumped up out of the path, grabbed David’s ankle and twisted it hard! Oh no! David stumbled to the car and we started heading to our next destination.
When we were having lunch at a little beach town an hour later or so, David’s ankle had developed a bump as big as a tennis ball. So, we drove to the nearest hospital, waited, got it x-rayed and had to stay in that small town overnight (more car camping, more heavy rain and some disgusting thick pizza’s), to wait for a diagnosis the next day. Not broken, just badly twisted. Ah well, less hiking then and more relaxation.
Driving time for Tamar. She had never driven on the left side of the road, nor had she often driven an automatic car. So, that was an interesting transition… We stopped at some nice spots for lunch and to stretch the legs.
Next destination, a campsite at the mouth of the Snowy River. Finally we got to set up our tent.
We had a lovely BBQ dinner as for our date night, in a secluded campground with a beautiful view over the river.
The following day we managed to drive a few kilometres up the coast and arrived at Eden (could have made a million lame jokes, we leave those to when we see you in person). We spent a couple of days at a luxurious (for our standards) campground in Eden, relaxing and doing a few chores on the internet. We wandered into the local museum, full of info about the old whaling days and how the Orcas used to help the whalers, in return for some parts of the whale. David thrust his body once into the ocean (despite the cold sea water and not very warm weather), which worked better than coffee. Hmmm, what else? Not much, we love being lazy, and since David was still using crutches, we were kinda limited in our options.
Off to Narooma, we spent the day driving down very slow, stopping at little beaches and checking out the sights along the way.
At a town called Bermagui we stopped and wandered around the rockpools, looking for seafood! And David found an abalone! So amazing, to find one just in a rockpool.
We found a lovely campsite in Narooma that was over viewing the beach from a hill. After also searching the rocks for seafood at that beach, we ended up having a lovely seafood dinner, prawns (from the supermarket), snails (found some large sea snails on the rocks as well), an abalone, seafood mix (again supermarket) and potatoes on the BBQ.
David woke up early to take some photo’s at sunrise and rolled back into bed with Tamar after being content with the pictures he took.
As David was still not very mobile we decided to stay another day at Narooma. We went and looked at some more beaches, then went to the Tilba historic village, saw ‘old’ Australian houses and checked out an Aboriginal art gallery. This was very interesting, and the woman was very interesting, she told us that she was from Alice Springs and that she was a member of the ‘Stolen Generation’. Heavy stuff, what do you say when someone tells you something like that? We listened respectfully, as there is nothing you can really say in response. And then had a nice talk about the origin of some beautiful art pieces in her shop.
Afterwards, we went seafood harvesting at Bermagui again, down on the sharp rocks, looking for more abalone, and sea snails. Mission accomplished, David just returning from getting the last snail when, SLIP! Thong (flip flop, you sick people!) broken, David fell on the rocks, luckily escaping any major injuries. Except a deep cut to his foot. His right foot. Great, now he had two sore feet… We cleaned it out as best as possible, but it was still pretty sore.
So, the next day, we stopped in a rural hospital, to get the cut checked out professionally. The doctor was awesome! He was super friendly, from Sri Lanka and we talked in great detail with him about our travels (whilst he dug around in David’s cut). Another x-ray was taken (didn’t get a copy, but David says an x-ray of each foot, in the space of a week is a record), to ensure that there wasn’t any shell left in the foot (there wasn’t, thankfully). Said our goodbyes to the friendliest doctor that either of us had ever met and went on our merry way! We stopped after an hour at a little town and had the best ice cream ever, Yum.
We decided to just go a short distance further, to Durras Beach and enjoy a swim in the ocean (as it was warm enough for the first time). We had again a great dinner. Camping with kangaroos everywhere around you, this was a very nice experience.
After some short driving days it was time for a long one. Our journey to Berowa (just north of Sydney) started of with sun, but along the way more and more clouds appeared. We stopped at few different nice beaches (one with a water hole) and towns on the way as usual.
We arrived at Berowra quite late in the day and by that time the sky was grey and the wind had started to come up too. We got the tent set up and dinner cooked just before the heavy wind and rain started. It really started to storm just after we finished dinner and at some time during the night the tent almost blew over.
In the morning, it was still raining heavily, assisted by thunder and lightning. We packed up tent in bits in between the heavy rainfalls, but unfortunately at the last stage of packing up the tent, the sky started unleashing swimming pools of water and we still got soaking wet. We drove in the rain to New Castle and had a delicious lunch there at a Burger place.
We arrived at Cassie, Greg and the kids in the afternoon. Cassie was one of Meaghan’s best friends, so we wanted to visit them as we were passing by their home town. We also stayed the night, and spend the rest of the day talking, wood-chopping, looking for oysters and sitting around the campfire. After a yummy Brekky with family, we went with them to the swimming pool. Were we had a lot of fun.
Around lunchtime we went on our way to Port Macquary. With a lunch stop at Sealrocks . Wow, you know that feeling when you find a hidden gem? You won’t find it in the average tourist guide, but it is a beautiful beach. We had a nice lunch and swim in the sea before we headed off again.
After arriving at our campsite in Port Macquary we walked through town, had dinner, and went for an early night of sleep.
In the morning we had a quick brekky, and started our last leg to Dorrigo. We had a stop top at the Cassegrain winery, a bee shop, and at our favourite town close to Dorrigo, Bellingen. We had dinner with David’s mom and dad who were happy to us have safe and sound back home again.
We then had three relaxing days in which we had to get everything in order for the next four weeks of travelling in Australia (Woodford, Rockhamptons, Heron Island). North Dorrigo. We loved sleeping in a normal bed again, we checked out the local Christmas lights, we had nice family dinners and lunches, Tamar made Dutch oliebollen and then it was time to hid the road again…..