Sunday 27th April 2014, Clontarf.
We have now been here for two weeks and are falling in love with the place. Linda was heard to say, “It is a pity park regulations only allow a maximum of six weeks stay, as I would much prefer to stay here than Beachmere”. I think that actually sums up what I also think about this area, it has just about every benefit with the exception of just a couple of minor things. The amenities have a couple of minor problems with things like water temperature variation while showering and someone else turns on another tap, only one key is given for the amenities and I have this habit of walking off without returning the key to its holding position, annoys Linda no end. It is also a little dearer than Beachmere, but one could put up with that considering. Now if we don’t end up with permanency at Beachmere we will look at coming back here after staying our four months at Beachmere before heading back to Melbourne.
Tuesday 15th April 2014, Clontarf (Redcliffe area).
We are now at Clontarf, just North of Brisbane near Redcliffe, and have actually been here for a few days. We arrived on Saturday and I guess the reason for the late entry is that we have been rained in, a funny excuse, but with the worry of being in the grips of what was the tail end of the cyclone ‘ITA’. We hadn’t put up the full annexe, only the roof, and with the wind blowing like it was the rain was vertical and nothing under the roof was safe from the rain, so we didn’t have time to think of much else. It is now settling down so we can now start to analyse if this area is going to be as good as we are hoping, with all the walking tracks along the coastline, and the fact that it much closer to the museum. We plan on spending 3 weeks here and that will take us up to the booking date we have at Beachmere.
Friday 11th April 2014, Broadwater.
One more leg to go: We made our way to Broadwater today, about 30K south of Ballina. We had heard about this caravan park, and because of the cheap price we decided to check it out. Broadwater is only a very small town on the edge of the Richmond river and is probably only here for the sugar refinery. The park turns out to be quite a good one, and would have to be almost the cheapest park in Australia. We would have no reservations about stopping here more often as it is about our travel distance from the sunshine coast.
Wednesday 9th April 2014, Kempsey.
We are now convinced that we will not be returning to yesterday’s caravan park as another bad feature propped it’s ugly head up repeatedly during the entire time there. Ants and sand: There were heaps of ants, I tried to apply my usual tactics of deterring them but today upon arrival at Kempsey, yes that is where we are now, there were some climbing over the back of the van that must have climbed up the water hose. The ground in the area we were parked in was very sandy, mostly covered in grass, but every new moment revealed some insect or other was burying in the sand and leaving mounds all over the place, which we would inevitably continue to step in, and with the grass being wet most of the time, especially at night, the sand would stick to one’s shoes. Me being as slack as I am do not take off my shoes at the door like most people do, so consequently we ended up with sand all over the floor continuously, and there is nothing worse that gritty sand under feet all the time.
As said we are now at Kempsey, only two more legs to go. We have been having ulterior ideas about staying at this caravan park at Kempsey as we have been seeing some bad reports on web sites for that purpose, but we noticed that there was some confliction between what seemed to be a duplicate listing of the park, even my GPS had double listings for the same park. We decided that for the price, and equalling out travel distances we would have to stick to our original decision about staying there, but in this instance we would inspect the park before stopping. It turned out that this wasn’t necessary as the park does seem to be satisfactory. It seems the reason for double listings is that the park used to be comprised of two separate parks that have since merged and renamed, hence there still being two listings and now both in the same name because of the renaming, so it all turns out reasonably well.
Monday 7th April 2014, Heatherbrae.
Now at Heatherbrae, near Newcastle, we thought the caravan park was at Raymond Terrace but the actual address is Heatherbrae.
The caravan park here is something different: It doesn’t really cater for the traveller as such, probably not many stop here. There are quite a few caravans in the park but they all look as though they have been here for a while. The park looks like a reasonably good one but so far there has not been anything to do with the park that impresses us, and they are as follows.
· The office girl, when we arrived, gave us the impression that she just couldn’t have cared one way or the other. Our first thought of her attitude when she came out from the back was as if she was saying to herself “What the hell are you doing here, and what do you want”.
· We ended up on a site right down the back of the park, on our own, next to what could be an insect infested swamp area, we’ll find out tonight. It seems these sites may be the only tourist sites available.
· When we returned to the office to have a form signed we noticed the lack of a park map in our possession so we had to find our way back out, nearly getting lost. When we got there the office was shut with no explanation as to why, or when they would reopen, a sign said mail collection was at 4:00pm so we hope the office will be open again then.
· The amenities block is reasonably close by, but there is a fair climb up a hill. This doesn’t bother me much, but Linda is taking it as a bit of exercise.
I hope this will be all that we have to note. We are here for the two days anyway, as we have already paid, but we don’t think we will be back here again.