Sunday 31st October 2010, Goulburn.
Have now moved on to Goulburn, (see map) and had originally thought of possibly staying several days depending on what is to do in the area, but once finding out the cost of the caravan park we will only be staying for the two days as planned. The park we are staying at is a Big4 park and typically it is way overpriced for what they provide, especially being an inland park.
We had a couple of quiet days in Sydney visiting Sue with her taking us for a drive around some of the area. We got a good tour of Homebush, the Olympic stadiums, as Sue did voluntary work there and knows the area quite well. We also went to see some of the northern beaches, but didn’t see much as, being a weekend, there were no places to park and get out for a look. We have now almost decided that we must have an extended stay at Sydney some time in the future and have a good look around and the caravan park at Lane Cove seems to be reasonably situated for that purpose.
Friday 29th October 2010, Sydney.
Yes we are back in Sydney, (see map) we don’t have a great interest in Sydney proper, its too hectic. My sister Sue lives here and we must stop over occasionally to visit her. She actually lives in a caravan park village so it is convenient for us to stop at the same park, which is also close to the M7 freeway and easy to get to. We generally go out for a meal with Sue, which we will do tonight, and she generally takes us somewhere for a little sightseeing the following day, so we do get to see a little of the area without having to do the driving.
Tuesday 26th October 2010, Lake Macquarie.
We have only been here a day and we are both a little disappointed with the area. When travelling in yesterday we travelled down a highway through the centre of the Newcastle district that travelled over the top of some rather large hills, so I assuming that there would be some good lookouts of the district, something that I do enjoy visiting and getting some photos. Last night I got my maps out, and GPS, and there quite a few lookouts listed, so I made a note of them and today we headed out to find them. We went to do some shopping at Charlestown on the way and ended up with the idea that this place is just too hectic to be an enjoyable place to stay for an extended time, unless one stayed in a quieter area like where we are camped at the moment at Swansea, or maybe Belmont. The first lookout, Braye Park Lookout, was a good one with 360 deg views of the whole area, but the rest that we selected either no longer existed, or one couldn’t see anything for trees. I was rather looking forward to the views of the area, so it was just as well we did get to at least one good one. I have no idea of what we did last time we were here, I can’t remember, but we don’t have many pics from that visit either. A look at past blog posts back in April 2001, when we were last here, indicates that we were only here for two days because it was around Easter and we were having trouble finding parks to stop at, and while we were here it rained most of the time, so it is no wonder we can’t remember much. We have found a couple of other things we would like to go and check out, some caves in the coastal cliffs visible at low tide, so that will be tomorrow.
Monday 25t October 2010, Lake Macquarie.
We have now moved to Lake Macquarie, Swansea, South of Newcastle, (See map) and I have decided to do something that I have realised for a fair while now, not believe a NSW weather forecast again. After the rain yesterday it was forecast for a possible shower today, with the forecast being better for Newcastle area, but would you believe it rained almost all night. When it was time to climb out of bed it had actually stopped so we decided to pack up and move anyway. All was good until we started the trip and then it started to rain again, and it rained all the way to Lake Macquarie, I hate travelling in the rain when the van is on the back of the car, but now we have arrived and set up the sun has made an appearance and I hope it is for a fair while this time. It is possibly a pity we have decided to only stop for four days here because there seems to be miles of walking/bike riding tracks that we could have gotten a lot of use out of, but we do have a few days to use them as much as possible, Linda has already started by doing her usual thing and has walked back into town to have a little retail therapy at different shops just for a change.
Sunday 24th October 2010, Bonny Hills.
We are still at Bonny Hills as we are once again rained in. We were due to move yesterday but the forecast was for rain today so we booked in for an extra day. I was wondering this morning whether it was warranted staying the extra day as we would have had time to pack up and move before the rain set in, but as it turns out, as I sit here having a look at the weather radar on the net, if we had moved we would be stuck in the rain at Lake Macquarie trying to set up in it, so it is just as well we did stay. This way I am getting to watch the car racing on the Gold Coast, and the F1 that is just about to start. If we ever come back to this area I don’t think we will stay at this park again, it is far from the best FPA park we have stayed at for the price they charge, and after looking around the other day Laurieton area seems to be a better area to stop at in future. These are the things one has to put up with though when going to a district one has not been to before.
Tuesday 19th October 2010, Bonny Hills.
A day with a difference today with us doing some touristy things and sight-seeing. It has been so long since we have been to an area like this and walking to lookouts in a National Park, that we have both almost forgotten how to use our cameras. We had also forgotten how scenic some coastline areas are, and when we got up a rather large hill called North Brother to a lookout it rather rapidly all came back to us., so the rest of the day was taken up looking for lookouts and enjoying the walks around the coastal bushland.
Monday 18th October 2010, Bonny Hills.
Considering it has been a fair while since we have stayed in this area, and we had some business to do in Port Macquarie we decided to do a bit of sight-seeing, so we went directly in and did our business with the idea of just cruising around the coastline on the way back. The first lookout we arrived at it became painfully apparent that I left my camera at home. It has been a long while since I have taken any photos and the batteries were flat, so yesterday I took the bag and all into the van to recharge them, and yes you guessed it I left it in the van when we left. It became a rather big disappointment a little later as at a lookout at Tacking Point Lighthouse, Southern end of Port Macquarie suburbs, we saw several whales breaking water very close to shore, and no camera to take shots. Linda had not thought to charge batteries in her cameras at all, and my phone has been dropped too many times so the camera in it won’t focus any more, so it was a case of just sit there and watch in awe. We also found some good scenic lookouts South of Bonny Heads as well so it will be a case of heading off again tomorrow, camera in hand, in fact I have made sure it is in the car now, and do it all again, and more.
Sunday 17th October 2010, Bonny Hills.
Bonny Hills you might ask, where is that. It is about 20K south of Port Macquarie, on the coast. (see map) We broke Linda’s golden rule today by travelling on a Sunday. I have had a look back and it is not very often at all that we have moved on a Sunday, the only few times were very early in the piece, so I reckon Linda decided after those few times, that Sunday was no longer going to be a travel, or pack up day. She has not complained too much about moving today so I guess she must realise that it is a once off situation.
I haven’t put any words down for a while because we got bogged down at Coffs Harbour with the wet weather, in fact that is why we travelled today instead of yesterday, because we had to stay an additional day due to it raining. We are hopeful of having some better weather while here so we might even get a chance to do some touristy things.
Saturday 9th October 2010, Coffs Harbour.
My shower coat got a little wet this morning for one of the very few times since we started travelling, but it was move this morning in the rain or possibly wait for another week or two till the weather fines up. Another reason to move was that the amenities block we were using is to be closed on Monday for a couple of weeks for repairs to hot water and piping, so if we had stayed it would have been a long walk to another amenities block. We are now at Coffs Harbour (see map) with the telly already tuned into the big race. I can’t remember how long ago I commenced religiously watching Bathurst, without since missing one, and I do not intend missing one now. Yes the weather is still nasty and at this stage it does look as though it is set in for quite a while, so we will just have to take things as they come. We could always sit it out somewhere for a few weeks, but that would mean either being late arriving in Melbourne or finally making several quick trips to get there, so we may have to put up with a little wet.
We have stopped at a different caravan park at Coffs this time as the one on the beach that we would prefer is, along with most coast parks, too expensive, hence we have chosen a cheaper one close to the city centre. Close enough for Linda to walk to the big shopping centre whenever she wants, so guess where she is now.
Wednesday 6th October 2010, Evans Head.
What is that big bright thing way up in the sky? Oh I think I remember it as being called the sun. It is a pleasure to see the sun shining once more, bear in mind it is only shining on the occasions that there are no clouds, and unfortunately the same is forecast for the next week or more. Someone was heard to say this morning that it is a waste of time thinking of going somewhere else to get away from it because it is exactly the same everywhere else reasonably close. We could tolerate what we are getting now, with the occasional shower, so long as we don’t get the downpour like we got the other day. I actually took my bike out for a ride today for the first time for quite a few days. Just to demonstrate how wet it has been recently, we were told that the caravan park was going to be completely booked out over the past weekend being school holidays, so if we wanted to make sure we kept our site we should pay early, and at the moment the park would only be about 1/3 full, and they are mostly people who are travelling like us and were trapped here prior to the rain. All the holiday makers in their tents must have cancelled due to the rain.