South West Rocks

Wednesday 29th September, (South West Rocks).

Quite a nice looking area around here, at the moment though it is school holidays and the place is overrun with families and their kids. There are several caravan parks in the area but there is no chance in getting into any of the ones close to the beaches, if one wanted to. There is one right in the centre of town and right on the coast, but this would not be our choice as it is windy enough where we are let alone there. It would be very nice though if the wind was not blowing.

There is an old gaol a little south at Arakoon (Trial Bay) that we must revisit with cameras, but this will be on a clear day as there are also some spectacular coastal scenic sites that would be a lot better on a clear day. There is also a parking area with a few powered sites close to the gaol on a state reserve, hence no info in our books, that looks like quite a nice area to camp for a while, but again it is full at the moment with holiday makers.

At least now we have had a recognisance tour we now know what to expect for later in depth visits.

We are now settled in the van waiting for the storms that are forecast, and they don’t look far away.

South West Rocks

Tuesday 28th September, (South West Rocks).

We have now moved to South West rocks, east of Kempsey about 100k south of Coffs Harbour. It was a rather big moving day today as we travelled further than we have lately, almost 300k, and we had things to do on the way. With the elections coming up we had to stop at Grafton to lodge a vote. We have never been to Grafton before, so towing the caravan around a strange place, and one that is extremely difficult to navigate, proved to be quite an ordeal. We also had some shopping to do while there, and we also had a stop to make at Coffs Harbour to check on a valuation on the van, so the day for travelling was extended into quite a lengthy one. As a result we are both fatigued right now so the other reports I would normally update will just have to wait until tomorrow.

We haven’t had a chance to look around here yet, arriving so late, but with the short excursion finding our way around gave us the impression that we could quite enjoy our stay here. The main thing I find against South West rocks though, is the fact that there are insects galore, mozzies and such, so the mozzie coils and zapper have been out of mothballs for the first time in ages.

Our stay at Brooms Head finally became a little along the hard to endure lines, as it got quite humid and with the wind blowing from the water the moisture, and salt, in the air became quite intolerable.

Brooms Head

Tuesday 21st September, (Brooms Head).

Another short run today of about 70k took us to Brooms Head, another small (very small) town on the coast, turning off at MacLean. This is another small place to relax, and we are getting quite used to it. Things should be a little more friendly here as we are parked closer to a few fellow travellers, unlike the last few parks, and it looks as though we could get close to a few of them, one couple being fellow Tasmanians.

There seems to be a few bush tracks around here, as we are surrounded by national parks, so we should get in some walking.

Linda is finding it a little different here with there only being one shop in town, it is a general store that provides all the essentials one would need, but it is not a shopping centre.

Thursday 23rd September, (Brooms Head).

A very humid day here today, and what made it worse was to find out that the heater fan in the car is malfunctioning, and the air-con wasn’t very efficient on our travels today.

We had to travel for a shopping day today as there is nowhere in Brooms Head to do our shopping. We went to Yamba that is about 40k away rather than to travel more than twice the distance to Grafton. There is adequate shopping at Yamba so Linda is now happy.

While travelling through MacLean we decided to stop for a while so Linda could have a walk around town for a look and I could take some pictures, as it is quite a picturesque little town. At least I have some pics of the town now even though we haven’t stayed there.

Evans Head

Saturday 18th September, (Evans Head).

Matthew and Royce are coming up to Brisbane next Sunday and Matt rang this morning to find out where we were going to be so they could visit on their way. They timed it very nicely as we had just been thinking of our travel plans for the next couple of weeks and had just finished making several phone calls to check caravan parks. It was all in vain because of the school holidays and expensive costs, so it turned out that to make things easier we reverted back to our original plans of Brooms Head Tuesday for a week then on to south west rocks.

We went up to the lookout today to do a spell of whale watching, but gave up after a short while due to the rough seas.

Evans Head

Friday 17th September, (Evans Head).

I keep telling myself that I must write down words every day while the memory is still sharp, but for some reason I keep forgetting: Just enjoying the experiences too much to think about it I suppose.

We went for a walk around the walking track yesterday, across the river and up the other side to a lookout. This would have to be one of the better lookouts we have seen for an area of this size, with a lot of work being put into the lookouts themselves, and the area around them. The sight also would be among the better even for a coastal region. Lunch was had while we were there and we sat for a while admiring the scenery and hoping to catch sight of a whale or two, but no luck so we are going to return, possibly tomorrow, and spend some more time there with that idea. We are even more inclined to do so now after actually spotting our first whale today when we visited another lookout a little north of here on our way to Ballina for a trip. They, or it, was at a fair distance away as the lookout was inland a fair way, so we are more hopeful of catching some tomorrow especially as it is apparently time for their migration south again.

As I mentioned we went for a trip to Ballina today to do some shopping and have a little look around while there. As I had stopped here while on my way south on my own last year I thought Linda would appreciate some of the scenery in the area that I had seen while here, like Lennox Heads. It turns out Linda had seen this area back in 2001 on our first trip up this way as we went along the coast road from Ballina to Byron Bay on that trip and stopped there then. We had doubts as to whether we had originally visited that area, as I don’t appear to have any photos of the area for that visit. We can’t work out whether I either didn’t take any or that may have been another occasion that I lost some photos as I have done in the past. Either way it is unusual for me not to have taken any shots in an area like that, but when we stopped there we decided that we had both been there before.

Linda was reading a magazine yesterday and found a catalogue enclosed that contained some unusual but possibly handy items, and cheap. One item that got our attention was a very small washing machine, electric with a 50W motor, but only a 1kg tub, for $100.00. We considered buying it because it may be handy while camping, as we could run it off the inverter. My idea was to also use it at most other times so as to save money by not using laundries, but Linda didn’t think it a good idea as she would spent a lot of time fiddling around doing the washing, so the decision was not to bother as it would be a waste of time carrying it around and not use it. We will keep the information though in case somebody we meet may be interested. It is from a web site www.rightlife.com.au item #10829, price $99.95.

Evans Head

Tuesday 14th September, (Evans Head).

So we headed off this morning without the mail, it is to be returned when it does arrive and we might get to see it some time.

We are now at Evans Heads, about 100k south of Brunswick Heads, and right on the coast. We have heard a few people make comments about Evans Heads of late and this is probably the only reason we decided to visit. Apart from what we have heard recently we didn’t even know about it, so we would have otherwise bypassed it. We were a little sceptical about visiting Evans Head, as it appeared to be just a small coastal town 10k or so off the highway, and possibly have no mobile or TV coverage. When we arrived here we were quite surprised to find that the town itself is quite a large one, with the best mobile and TV reception we have had for a long time. I was also surprised to find that Evans Head did not rate a mention in the UBD town and country map book that I have as the town is a lot larger that a lot of other towns that do rate a mention.

We have now been in Evans Head for about 5 hours and we both have the same idea about almost falling in love with the town. It has almost everything to offer, shopping wise, as we would want in any town with the exception that most is on a smaller scale. There are even two internet cafes. The beach is only a few meters away; CBD about 2 minutes away and there also seems to be plenty of bike riding tracks around town. I guess more will be revealed about the town the longer we stay here: We are already thinking of staying for a second week.

Brunswick Heads

Monday 13th September, (Brunswick Heads).

The mail didn’t turn up today, so on our way out tomorrow we will check if it has arrived, and if not, instructions given to the PO are to return it to sender when it does arrive. When they get it back home they can then resend it to somewhere else. We are moving tomorrow anyway, I can’t justify booking in for extra time day by day as we wait for it.

Brunswick Heads

Wednesday 8th September, (Brunswick Heads).

We have finally seen some rain, which has been rather scarce on our travels so far this year, and it is needed very badly. A relaxing day was had today as a result as it rained all day, and is expected again tomorrow.

We took the chance to have a look around town yesterday and I took a few pictures of this sleepy town. We have a couple of day trips around the area which will have to wait for Friday or Saturday, but definitely not Sunday as watching Sandown 500 will be the order of the day all that afternoon.

Sunday 12th September, (Brunswick Heads).

We had our couple of drives around the area over the last couple of days. On Friday we went touring the Tweed coast, not much to see in this area, except a few small towns, but this area will obviously become an extension of the Gold Coast in time to come, as there are construction areas under way at the moment, and a few new subdivisions.

Yesterday we went to the hinterland area and there are quite a few nice drives around some very picturesque areas. One we went to was the Nightcap National Park, which boasts the Minyon falls. The scenery here was quite spectacular, but there could have been an apparent reason why they are not called waterfalls as they were very dry and obviously quite often are.

We are once again having our usual problems with Aust. Post and mail, with a letter from Tassie having already taken 8 days and is still not here. Again it is noted that mail can take only 4 days from England, why a week or more from Tassie. We have booked in here for an extra day to wait for it, but I don’t know what we will do if it is not here tomorrow.

Brunswick Heads

Monday 6th September, (Brunswick Heads).

We only spent the 3 days on the Gold Coast as we only went there to visit Tony and Brenda, as we usually do on our way through.

We left the Gold Coast this morning with the intention of only going about 50k to a small town called Pottsville, on the coast south of Tweed Heads, but when we got there we did not like the looks of the park we had selected and the other one in town was booked out. We then decided to go on further to Brunswick Heads, where we are now, as this was our choice in this situation.

This town looks just what we are looking for on our trip south, a small sleepy town that will give the opportunity to relax, and there seems to be plenty to do in the area as far as sightseeing.

The caravan park we selected gave an option of water-view sites at an extra $3.00 per day, which we had decided to treat ourselves with one of them. When we arrived the staff gave us a list of sites available and to our, sort of, disgust the water-view sites had all views of the waterway blocked by trees. Because of this we took a normal site, and if the sites between the water and us do not fill up we have reasonably good water views anyway, what they are worth. There is another park in town with what could be better water views, but we chose the one we did because of affiliation with Top Tourist and offering discounts, all parks in town are owned by Byron council so are all of comparable quality.

Gold Coast

Chapter 26

Back south again.

Friday 3rd September 2004, (Gold Coast).

We are now on the move again, giving us a little more than two months to get to Melbourne. We intend just cruising down the east coast and stay at some small coastal towns that we missed on our trip up the coast when we started our travels.

We are at present on the Gold coast for a few days to once again catch up with the Cruses, especially as they have some mail for us that Narrelle sent there because we didn’t know where we would be.

We tried a different caravan park this visit, just for something different, and unfortunately because we didn’t book we ended up with not such a good site. It is as good a site as others, but it is the location within the park that is not the best. We are placed in the area that is mainly full of permanents, and it is not quite the same if we are not among fellow travellers.