Porpoise Spit Road Trip
Trip Start Mar 29, 2004
55Trip End Jul 26, 2005
Map your own trip!
Show trip route
Sarah was feeling much the same and so we decide I would tell Dominoes I needed to have a couple of weeks off, leaving it open, and head north. One of the things on mt 'to do' list whilst in OZ was to visit Coollangatta in Queensland, or as some of you might know it 'Porpoise Spit' home of Muriel Heslop and her Father Bill!
I didn't really know what I expected to find but it was as good an excuse as any to head out and see some of the country we have yet to explore
On Saturday the 29th jan we got up early and headed North along the pacific Highway, we had, or so we had calculated 10 days before Dan and Angela flew into town and we intended to make the most of it.
There are a ton of National Parks along the North NSW coast and so the plan was to hop between them keeping camping costs down and the beautiful scenery and isolated beaches count up.
With this in mind we headed to 'Bouddi Bouddi' national park, only 50 k's north but was a start, beautiful beaches but a bit of a trek to get to and no camping so after getting tossed about by the sea for a couple of hours we walked the 2 k's back to the car and heahded off, was afantastic fun though, ther rip tides so strong you have to be really careful, I was in tears after one wave took both of us down and sarah stumbled to her feet minus her Bikini top and having half lost her bottoms too. Fortunately for her modesty there was only another couple on the whole kilometre of beach!
The National Park plan goes straight out of the window the first night as we end up at 'The Oasis Caravan park' little more than a retirement home, as if proof were needed of the age of the inhabitenets we are kept awake and then awoken again by the volume of the TV in the caravan Next door!
can't wait to move on which we do fairly early for a Sunday and soon arrive at Munmorah NP and the stunning camp ground at Fraser Beach. Unfortunately we weren't the only ones there but you can't have everything can you?
I spent the afternoon being tossed around by the Surf, we hear on the Radio just to emphasise the danger that a 33 yr old English man had drowned down the coast trying to save two young girls.
It's not just the sea that's dangerous though, as we sat on the beach I heard what sounded like Thunder. 'I couldn't care less'came Sarahs response when I speculated on the noise so I left her promising to 'Investigate' turned out one of the gas BBQ's had exploded burning this guy up his side. On my return Sarah suddenly seemed interested but when I told her the fruits of the 'investigation' her response was a rather cutting 'Scooby Doo would be proud!' The cheek
Both got burnt (by the sun not the cooking equipment) despite it being cloudy if warm all afternoon, a lesson we still seem incapable of learning, we ate pasta and read books wondering where our neighbour had got too as all his stuff seemed to be getting very wet.
We had to wait until about 9:30 when we were just getting into bed for an answer, at a pub somewhere. He was steaming and proceeded to open all the doors on his car and blast Anastasia across the camp site. Initially We decided to let him be but after no one complained he seemed to turn it up. I decided to take the bull by the horns and so waltzed overr and asked him if he could turn it down just a little, showing him what I meant by a little using my thumb and index finger. the result? An incoherent grunt giving me the impression he would and then getting in the car and driving off into the night.
We were planning to stay here a couple of nights but after it became apparent the following morning that he was too we packed all our stuff and went for breakfast on the cliffs at snapper point. We had to carry the stuff out there but it was worth it as we were afforded beautiful views of the coast and back across the camp site where the Anastasia Nut seemed unable to start his car!
We headed for newcastle, a favourite of jens and after a coffee by the sea in what seemed very British sea side shelters we head to catch the ferry across the bay. Problem, both Sarah and I had assumed it was a car ferry for some reason and were suprised to find that unless we could orchistrate a way for Mags to rear up on her back wheels and walk on we would have to head inland and across the bridge
North of newcastle was Myall Lakes National park, one of the largest dune systems in NSW don't ya know! Quite unique as you have fresh water lakes on one side of you and the sea on the other, a great contrast. On the way in we whizz passt a huge fibreglass replica of Ayres Rock, this country loves big stuff!
We set up camp by the lake and sat and ate dinner as the sun set over the hills in the distance, another stunning end to another brilliant day!!
because of the location and the fact that it appears to be free we decide to stay another night, after breakfast where we were hassled by magpies and quizicly observed by a huge Goanna we hit the beach. this time Sarah doesn't last long fearing loss of Bikini again and so I am left to frolic in the surf, I love it and for the first time since I bought it 7 months ago I get the Boogie board out and try my luck. I didn't have much as it was more of a hinderance than a help there are some photo's but I don't think they quite capture the occasion.
We spend the afternoon by the lake reading and have an early night, lots more people seemed to have arrived in the afternoon and it looks like there could be alot of noise as they have errected a huge marque but silence sits across the camp site as we drift off to sleep.
The following day was just alot of travel and waiting at road works really, we see a huge bannana and a fake Taj Mahal!
We were up and out early again we have a tight schedule to keep to and so no dallying and the sooner we get to new places the more time we have to enjoy them. We head up to Coffs harbour where we eat lunch at a restraunt with a huge prawn on the roof, we are also surrounded by a huge gang of bikers, the Vietnam Vets Bicycle club, some of these guys were defiantely not in 'Nam! Managed to avoid getting into a fight with chains to the death and ate fish and chips before we hit the road in the opposite direction to the bikers to Yuraygir NP. Not however before we had filled the gas and discovered we had two more days than we had originally thought!
It was stunning if a little crowded, shady sites with huge Goannas again and open fires for cooking. Right on the beach two where Sarah and I lolled in the surf before retiring to camp for grilled steaks jacket potatoes and salad, beautiful, even dug out the Paraffin lamp to add to the illusion of bush camping
We were however getting charged here by a guy who looked like George Best, despite this we had to stay for another night it was so beautiful and spent another lazy day reading and playing with the road Warrior on the beach, it's a good substitute for Mags, whom I vowed never to take on the sand again after being stared at by that nude guy back in Broome, remeber him?!
Few beers gourtesy of the local petrol station and we fall into bed, we saw a couple of Dingos in the woods but they were off as soon as we trained the torch on them. I've still not seen one properly which is a shame.
Up and off again, Sarah stopped to call Zoe Rudder on her birthday unsure if it was the fourth or the 6th. Nice try Sarah but it was the 5th, Zoe wasn't too worried though I don't think, just good to speak to each other, after an early morning ice cream as it was baking at 9 am we headed for the tourist and marajuana mecca that is Byron Bay, home to the nudist Rita from Kalbari, funny how this entry contains much nudity eh?
Byron was stunning, again we spent the afternoon on the beach and then headed into town
Free indeed but first we had to do the remaining 70 kilometres north to Coolangatta just inside the Queensland border Sarah was behind the wheel and I just watched the world go by. Beautiful country, here the great dividing range clips the ocean and we passed the impressive mount jerusalem.
I didn't knoww hat to expect from Coolagatta really, Sarah said she remebered nothing of it from the film and I only had flleting glimpses as any reference. Plus the fact it is probably a good 12-15 years since it was filmed and I think the amount of development on the whole coast has changed things drasticly since then. It certainly wasn't the sleepy dead end town Murial was desperate to escape.
Probably one of the best things for Sarah in particular was from the beach you could see the skyscrapers of Brisbane where she started her trip. For me it was a very strange feeling indee to see it in the distance and turn back. It was the first time since my hundred and odd passes through Bangkok that I had turned around and headed back in the direction from whence I came. This dissapointed feeling was consoled by the beautiful beach, company and the prospect of seeing Dan and Angela for the first time in nearly ayear back in Sydney
We spent that evening at Bungalung National Park in the company of a couple of Queenslanders Dave and Karina, they were great fun but we were knackered and so retired early promising to join them for morning tea which we did, answering all Dave's questions about the UK where he will be visiting after a stint in Brazil this year, usual stuff, beer prices, 'Is it true there's a pub on every street?' yeah Dave and they're all paved with gold too!
they packed up camp and were off in a flash, we were a little more lethargic however and didn't hit the road until nearly 11 putting us under a bit of preassure to hit Crowdy bay National Park and the beauty on Kylies Beach before Dark.
We did it though but after lunch and a bit of Game Boy on my part we were afgain sending up the Z's, a little unnerverved by the noise outside, presumably possums and the odd Kangaroo. The camp ground wasn't great and to be honest we should have paid and didn't so felt a little tight. For this reason we were back on the road at the crack of dawn heading to the bright lights of Sydney and Lane Cove National Park!!
Another fantastic trip in MAgs and we knew probably our last, it becomes apparent that even though you think you have seen alot of what Australia has to offer you haven't even scratched the surface, we missed out so much on the way up and back, did get the photo's of the fake Ayers Rock though, fior this trip to Australia that might have to do me...