Thursday 17th June, (Port Macquarie).
An interesting day today with us finding some centerlink facts about rent assistance: after trying to do the right thing and simply let them know that we have moved so they could stop our payment, it now seems we will be putting in forms more often than we anticipated. We had the idea that it would be somewhat of a hassle to submit forms when we only stay in an area for a period of a couple of days, so we would not bother. As this would be the case for the next week or two we went in to the office today just to cease the payment, but their answer was “you must let us know whenever you move anyway, so you may as well put in a new claim each time”. As it turns out it seems the only possible way to let them know we moved is to submit a form anyway, so that is how it seems to be from now on.
After reading a brochure provided concerning rent assistance for people in our situation, travelling, it seems that we can possibly let them know that we have moved by phone, but we will eventually have to submit a form anyway. Either way it seems this will be a regular thing from now on.
I had the idea of walking around Port Macquarie today and take some pictures of the local buildings, as it seems that last time we were here this wasn’t one of my ideas and all I took were a heap of pics of the shore line. It turns out that this town is a lot different than other towns we have visited and I just didn’t know where to start, or more to the point there was nothing I thought was interesting enough to take. The streetscapes, I considered, would be a waste as all streets are heavily tree lined and all looked the same. This would have blocked most shots of building anyway as there are no tall buildings in the city area anyway. The only tall buildings around here are holiday unit blocks and they were summed up in my shots last visit. So in the end no photos were take of Port Macquarie.
Wednesday 16th June, (Port Macquarie).
As nice a place as Port Stephens is we have now moved on to Port Macquarie, about 250k further north, with the idea of getting as far as the Sunshine coast within two weeks or so. Linda has booked a flight back to Tassie from Brisbane so it would be convenient to be at the Sunshine coast at that time. I would then remain there until her return and then we will decide what to do and where to go from there.
We stayed at a different caravan park at Port Macquarie, Melaleuca Top Tourist, as the big4 we stayed at last time is typical of big4 parks and has priced itself out of our league, hence the change, and this park looks as though it may be our choice for future visits.
Monday 14th June, (Port Stephens).
We had a look around the area today and went on a walk up Tomaree Head, which is the headland of the peninsula, and what a view from there. I also experimented with the zoom capabilities of my new camera and was suitably impressed: see below.
This is a normal shot: take note of the two boats, one in the centre, and the other to the left.
This is a full optical zoom of the boat to the left, there is still a 2X digital zoom if required. Looking at this shot on the screen, full size, one can tell the person standing in the boat is a female.
This is the one in the centre. This is why I am suitably impressed.There were a couple of other examples, but I think this one demonstrates well enough.
We also went to Fingal Beach, another local township, to have a look at another caravan park, and decided that although this park is a little remote from everything, except local shops, it would be our choice along with Shoal Bay when we return in the future.
Sunday 13th June, (Port Stephens).
Linda has now rejoined me and it is nice to have her back, although it is only for a few weeks. I did drive to the airport to pick her up and the trip only reinforced my ideas about driving through Sydney, I don’t like it at all. We almost got lost exiting the airport because I thought the road signage was very inadequate, I may have been alright if I had thought to read the Sydways before leaving there, but one thought the signs would be ok as they were on the trip to the airport, and I had no trouble there at all.
Linda has now had a couple of days to rest and recuperate, and although it is a lot warmer here than in Tassie she, we, agree that it would be nicer to be a little further north. On Wednesday we will move and intend heading for the Sunshine Coast. We will take a couple of weeks to get there having about four trips to do it. We now have two days to have a little look around here before we head off, and this will give us an idea of what there is to do for when we return here one day, and I am sure that we will.
Monday 7th June, (Sydney, Port Stephens).
I am now at Soldiers Point, Port Stephens, 50k odd north of Newcastle, and it is a lot warmer. I have been here since Wednesday and although it has been rather cool some nights it is almost a temperature I could get accustomed to, but we will see what Linda thinks of it when she comes over on Thursday and make a decision as to how long we stay here. I do think we will be heading further north though.
I left Goulburn on Tuesday last week and was just happy to leave there, an overnight stay was had in Sydney on Tuesday and then on to here. I met up with Sue in Sydney for a few hours and talked, we had a good chat, I think she is now half accepting that the planned reunion at her place later this year may in fact not eventuate through a lack of interest, it all seemed like a good idea in the first place anyway.
I am a little surprised with Port Stephens area in the respect that there are not as many travellers here as I thought there would be. It seems that it is not quite warm enough here for those who venture north for winter and it seems the peak period here doesn’t start until about October.
While here I have had the chance to check out some of the other parks, or at least the council ones as they seem to be the better value, and are in better areas, and it seems I may have not made the best choice in selecting Soldiers Point. The Shoal Bay park seems to be a much more suitable park as the layout is better, with concrete slabs, and closer to varied things to do, eg bushwalks, but we may as well stay at this one this trip and remember the other for when we may return one day.
As I mentioned Linda is flying over on Thursday, and her original plans were to catch trains from Sydney to Newcastle, but now it seems a better idea for me to drive to Sydney and pick her up. With her original plans she wouldn’t get here until 9 or 10 PM even if she did have no trouble selecting the correct trains to catch, and according to the radio there are disruptions to rail travel with line upgrades, so this could also confuse her.