Monday, February 9, 2009


We arrived in Melbourne early in the afternoon and headed to the Big 4 Caravan Park in Coburg. It was not bad for a big city park and best of all it had a great pool! After we had set up we had a swim which was very refreshing.
We caught up with our daughters, Katie and Nikki, and Nikki's boyfriend Shannon,in the evening, which was great!
On Saturday we caught up with some good friends of ours in the morning. It was very hot, and very windy. We left to meet up with Nikki and Shannon at a shopping centre - coolest place I could think of! Then we all had a long swim in the pool. The weather was amazing and quite scary. I was amazed how nature can cope with the heat - our air conditioning in the van drips water out side, and I noticed that ants had moved their eggs under the van near the water. The water is really cold, so they knew what they were doing! There were heaps of them scurrying backwards and forwards. I found it really fascinating. The eggs would have baked otherwise - I have never experienced such heat!! Sadly we ran over them as we drove the van out of our site. Randall and I listened to the radio to hear horror stories about the fires. We heard one man ring the radio station to say that all of King Lake was burning. I don't think people really realised how bad the situation was until then.
I was a bit concerned about what the crossing in the ferry was going to be like as it was so windy.
We got an 'upgrade' on the boat - the room looked much like any other - however, it had a really big porthole and was right in the middle at the front of the boat. I'm sure that's why I didn't feel the boat rock as much. Iactually slept quite well!
After all the fuss about gas bottles and petrol that we experienced on the way over to the mainland, we gritted our teeth to hand them over this time. Can you believe that we were never even asked about any of that - they were only worried about fruit and vegetables coming into the state!
We were very sorry to finish our holiday - had a wonderful time, and did not get 'cabin fever' the whole time. Luckily it didn't rain much and we lived outside most of the time.
Can't wait for the next time...................................

Cape Conran

Our last real stop before Melbourne was Cape Conran. We got up early and left Bateman's Bay to travel to a place Randall and I had thought about staying at on the way up the coast. It was fully booked then, but now that the school holidays have ended it was available. We had a few stops on the way, Eden being one of them. When we arrived at Cape Conran, we were very impressed with the camping area. There was no power, so our solar panels kept the fridge running. We had a shady spot, and it was only a short walk to the beach.

We decided to stay there two days and then head down to Melbourne on Friday for our departure on the ferry on Saturday night.
The thing that was so nice about the camp ground was that we could have a fire. There was plenty of wood left from previous campers, and Randall and I found lots of little sticks lying around to get the fire started. It was so nice sitting in front of the fire in the evening, and seeing other camp fires and smelling that nice smoke smell. It was the one and only time we did this, as it was far too hot at the other places we stayed.

This is our setup:

Randall has really set us up well in our caravan. We had great showers every day courtesy of our gas hot water heater and 12 volt shower. Here I am washing the salt off after a swim:

Here is our shower/toilet tent - very roomy!!

We had a great couple of days here and were very sad to leave as we knew that our holiday was over. Next stop Melbourne, with warnings of extreme weather the day we were to leave on the boat.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Bateman's Bay

It was very overcast while we were staying here, but managed to catch up on some washing. The swimming pool looked very nice, but not the weather to go in! Randall continued his green ways by collecting rainwater from the storm, and putting it in the water tank. Only trouble was, there was a problem with the plumbing, so the water was actually going into the bottom of the cupboard and onto the carpet - a total disaster!!! We had to sop up the water, empty the cupboards, and work out what had happened. Thank goodness Randall was not using a hose to fill up the tank - then it would have been a MAJOR disaster!!!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Bonnie Hills to Bateman's Bay

We had a very long day yesterday - getting up at 5am and leaving Bonnie Hills at 6.15am. We had a couple of stops, one for breakfast at about 9 am, and a coffee stop at a rest area just south of Sydney. We really enjoyed that one, as it was quite fast and furious on the motorways.

We couldn't get over how many hills had been carved into on the way through Sydney, and there were a lot of high wind warnings for cars towing caravans, as we went over high bridges. Luckily for us, it was not windy!

We had an idea of where we wanted to park ourselves next, and using our trusty GPS system, Tomtom, we went the shortest route, through Murramurang National Park. As we approached a gravel road, my face fell, and tried to get Randall to go the highway instead, but no, trust me he says, and so we go off road. We had one stop to take a photo to prove we have been offroad....

and then we had an enforced stop to get a huge lump of wood out from under us!

I was ever so glad when our trusty GPS lead us back to the Princess Highway - a very 'interesting' shortcut!

We have ended up at Bateman's Bay, and, as the car and van were so filthy, the first thing Randall did was wash them, ignoring any water restrictions!

When I opened the cupboards, I had to be very careful, as the poor little caravan had been very shaken up on our off road trip. We were both very tired after we set up, so we ate out at an Italian restaurant, watching the sky light up and listening to the thunder rumble.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Bonnie Hills

Morning mist at our campsite

Bonnie Hills is just one of many lovely spots we called into when we left Broken Head. It is on the beach, but we both noticed how cold the water was here, so we know we are heading south!! We much preferred the swimming pool here as it was warm!

Today we drove to a place called Diamond Head. It is in Crowdy Bay National Park and has some lovely walks etc as well as being near the beach.

We saw this exact same picture in a magazine, and both of us wanted to go there. It certainly is very beautiful. There is a camping ground nearby, so we have added it to the list of 'must go back to's'!!! We walked along another track nearby and came to the ocean again, with the beach going on and on in the distance.

Our campsite here feels like we are in the bush. Kookaburras are laughing all the time, and there are lots of trees for shade.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Heading South

Sadly, we are starting our treck south. Both Randall and I wish we could continue our holiday, neither of us are sick of this life!
We really enjoyed our stay at Broken Head. The water was lovely and there was a nice little track around the headland that we went on

Here is Randall's best view in bathers - new Speedos purchased at Pacific Fair in Surfers.

There were some interesting bush turkeys running around our campsite and I even saw another interesting visitor....

We met some nice people in the campsite next to ours. Their names were Cliff and Cathy, and we enjoyed an evening drink with them last night. Randall even got stuck into the Canadian Club and lemonade, as Cliff was drinking a ready made one.

We are now at a place called Bonny Hills, about 25 kms south of Port Macquarie. We left Broken Head quite early, but had lots of stops along the way.

We had to stop to wash the car as it was filthy from being under some trees at Broken Head. We couldn't see out the side windows to play 'Spotto', so we headed for a carwash on the way south. Randall was impressed with the sign at the carwash:

Surprisingly, Randall has turned a bit 'green', as we recycled rainwater into our water tank at Broken Head. The water at Tullebudgerra tasted awful, so we didn't refill the tank, and, as it poured at Broken Head a couple of times, we put buckets out to collect the rainwater. So we still have 'nice' tasting water in the tank. (Not as good as Tassie though).
We have discovered many lovely places on the way south this time. We stopped for coffee at a lovely place called Urunga, right on the river

We will spend two nights here at Bonnie Hills and then work out how we are going to get to Melbourne.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Broken Head

We have moved from Tallebudgerra, and we are now at a place called Broken Head, just a few kilometres south of Byron Bay. Randall discovered this place while I was back in Hobart for a week, and it really is a lovely find! It is at the end of a road, no shops nearby, and just the sound of the waves at night. The caravan site we are in is lovely and shady, so it was much easier setting up!

View from our campsite
The beach is a surf beach, but there is a deeper section just before the waves where you can float about, so that is very pleasant.

It has been raining on and off for the last couple of days, but the sky clears pretty quickly and when the sun comes out it is quite hot.

Our campsite at Broken Head.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Still at Tallebudgerra

We've been having a lovely stay here. We have moved campsite, and we are now on a much sought after site right near the water. It was great being here yesterday (Australia Day) as there was lots of action on the water and many families and groups set up their spots around the waterside.
We had sausages in bread for our lunch, cooked on our trusty Cobb.

I spent the afternoon reading a magazine and just watching the action in front of me. Randall had a much needed afternoon nap!

Australia Day riots seem to follow us! Last year we were at a place called Mulaloo just near Perth, and we left our apartment in the morning after watching heaps of people setting up their spots for a big day. There were huge riots and the place we were staying was attacked as well! We were so glad we left that morning.
Here at Burleigh Heads, just kilometres north of us, there has been rioting and a man was shot dead in a road rage incident during the early hours of the morning.

Look out wherever we are next year!!!

We never cease to be amazed at the different setups of caravans, camper trailers and tents. There is everything AND the kitchen sink! People in tents have powered sites so that they can have fridges and TVs. We wondered why there was a lone fridge left at a campsite - thought that the owners had left it behind by accident.....

only to see a van arrive a day or so later to collect it (even after it had been in the pouring rain).

They must do a roaring trade hiring out stuff. I'm sure people come and stay here for a month, so hiring a fridge or washing machine or tv makes good sense!

Saturday, January 24, 2009


Well, here we are in Tallebudgerra, after a week for Deb back in Hobart to be with Mum and Dad, due to Dad having an operation.

Tallebudgerra (another tricky word to spell!!) is just south of Burleigh heads on the Gold Coast and is very pretty. While I was in Hobart Randall was busy cruising around caravan shops and hardware shops and has purchased a few more things to make life easy for us 'grey nomads'.

We now have shade cloth that slots into the end of our awning to make an 'indoor outdoor' room. Not quite a full annex but great shade protection. It is really good. He also set us up with mains pressure water, and continuous flow hot water for the shower.

Check out new shade cloth

There are three places to swim here. There is Tallebudgerra Creek, the ocean beach and a quite nice swimming pool. It has been quite hot and humid, so I have already had several swims in the creek, and the pool and one swim in the ocean. There is a very pretty walk which takes you out to a little headland where you can look north to the high rises of the Gold Coast.

And you can look back up Tallebudgerra Creek

We walked along the water front to the Surf Life Saving Club to check out what the food was like there. We had to register to go in and I was most impressed when I said I couldn't see very well to fill in the form, as the fellow at the desk pulled out a pair of reading glasses so I could see!! He said lots of people come in without their glasses, so he is really providing exceptional service.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Fraser Island

Randall outside the bus on the barge.

Randall and I went on a 4wd bus tour of Fraser Island yesterday. It was an 'interesting' day, lots of the time being bumped around like in a washing machine over sandy tracks and past lots of bush, and then along the beach for kilometres and kilometres.
All of a sudden, seemingly out of nowhere, we could come across several tourist buses, and individual 4wd's all looking at the same tourist attraction.

We went for a rainforest walk along a boardwalk following a stream, which was rather nice, although Randall thinks that once you've seen one rainforest you've seen them all!! It was interesting in that the stream was quiet, as it ran over sand not rocks, and at times it looked just like a sandy track, and no water in it. Very pretty I thought.

The creek just looks like a sandy track.

We then had morning tea at one of the resorts on the island. On offer was a giant muffin, fairly dry, water cordial or coffee or tea. We then went on to a beautiful inland lake with a beach, called Lake McKenzie,where we had a refreshing swim. Our bus driver had a very ascerbic wit, that is, he was very sarcastic in his humour, and was also very quick to tell off people who held up the bus by not coming back at the prescribed time.

Lake McKenzie

We then went back to the resort, to have lunch. What a disappointment! It was what Randall would call slop, sloppy coleslaw, pasta salad, and tired old lettuce, and, when it came to the hot foods - they had run out by the time we got there! We were not far back in the line either. After we finished eating and it was time to go back to the bus, they had replenished the hot foods, so we were not impressed.

We headed off to look at a shipwreck, and the coloured sands that abound in this area, hence the name Rainbow Beach where we were staying.

Randall at the shipwreck.

Our last stop was to a very popular creek called Eli Creek. You walked upstream along a boardwalk, and then waded and swam down the creek to the beach. It was really pretty and a nice way to finish the tour


To get over and back to Fraser Island you went on a small barge. We were told we might see dolphins as we were heading over, but I was disappointed as we didn't see any.

Me, looking a bit windblown.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Rainbow Beach

We are now at Rainbow Beach. It is very nice here. We are just near Fraser Island so we will probably go there in the next day or so.
We left Peregian Beach about 9.30 this morning and headed for Gympie. On the way we turned off to look at the Amamoor State Forest where there is a camping ground. Sign posting here is not good, Randall likes to go and check out these places which take forever to get there cause it doesn't say how many kilometres!! The camping groound was quite nice, but nothing else there so we kept going.
We stopped and had lunch at Gympie, which is quite a large town. The main street goes down quite a steep hill, which we were not looking forward to going back up in the heat of the day!
We arrived at Rainbow beach at about 3pm and set up camp. It was quite hot and steamy, but we made a pact to be nice to each other :)
The facilities are nice and clean. Only trouble is you have a pin code to get into the showers. I had to wear my glasses to get in, and even then I had trouble reading the numbers and letters as they are worn out! Luckily someone was coming out as I went in!
The park is quite large, but we are in a good campsite, near the facilities which is good.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Last day at Peregian Beach

Busy Noosa Beach

We decided to check out Noosa today. What a busy little place!! The beach was absolutely packed, and didn't look much fun to me. Randall and I both did a bit of shopping, and had a wander around. It got to lunch time so we went to a tried and true place - Hog's Breath. It is always the same wherever we go, but we both enjoy it. Looked for a bakery to buy some fresh bread to make toasted sandwiches for tea, but, wouldn't you know it-all the white bread had sold out (much to Randall's disgust). Finally found some at a lovely little place called Sunshine Beach, just south of Noosa. Almost as good a place as Peregian Beach.

We got home and went for a swim which was lovely. The waves were a bit rough but it was very refreshing. We came back and sat in the sun and read and played poker (Randall). I managed to watch the last bit of the final of the Brisbane International on our little telly.

Randall on the practice chanter

We are heading off a bit north tomorrow - don't know exactly where yet, but that is part of the fun!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Still at Peregian Beach

Had a very relaxing afternoon, after driving aroung the Sunshine Coast in the morning checking out other caravan sites. They certainly like roundabouts and motorways with one lane each way here!!! (Can be a bit stressful at times!) We have decided that we will stay here another few days and then head further north. All the caravan parks are really big and packed to the rafters, whereas here at Peregian Beach it is very nice with lots of trees and a nice atmosphere. The amenities block is a little bit 'tired', but Randall has set up our shower/toilet tent so we are very comfortable.
We had tea at a Thai restaurant acroos the road - Randall only came for the company!
We are now settled back in our van ready to watch some telly, then bed!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Peregian Beach!!!!

We got up very early this morning and headed for Peregian Beach. We were on the road at 6.40am, which was pretty good.

We got organised last night so that it would be a quick getaway in the morning. I went and did the ironing in the ironing room and found an interesting visitor just as I was about to empty the last of the hot water in the iron.

Luckily there was another sink to empty the iron into. Isn't he cute?!!

Our one and only stop was Warwick, where we enjoyed a bacon and egg mcmuffin and a cappucinno for breakfast. We got the cheapest petrol for years I reckon! Get a look at the price in the photo:

We kept going then, until we arrived at Peregian Beach. We were here about 13 years ago with the girls, and we found it by accident then. It is still a little paradise, not nearly so touristy as Noosa. Our caravan park is just across from a nice little shopping area, and then across the road to the beach.
When we arrived we were both very tired and hot and sweaty. Randall was backing the van into the site and trying to line it up with a slab of concrete. He went back too far and bumped into a camper trailer behind us. He now reckons our $550 rear bumper bar is worth it's weight in gold!! No damage to the camper trailer, or our van, thank goodness. Camp relations got off to a cool start, but all is ok now :)

We will stay here for a few days and enjoy the good weather. Much better than inland Queensland - it is far too hot!!

Randall on the beach

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Day 4 of our journey

We left Warrumbungle National Park this morning, after an 'interesting' incident! We were having breakfast in the van, when Randall noticed a very animated man and about 3 children gesticulating at the various campsites around us and looking very aggressive. Randall thought he heard the work 'rifle' mentioned. A while later a young boy came over to us and asked us if we had found a Nintendo game that he left in the amenities block. Later, when we were filling up with petrol at Coonabarabran, the people who were camped next to us (and had young children), said they felt very threatened, as he said he would come back and aim a rifle at them if the Nintendo was not returned! Not long before we left, a police paddy wagon drove in and around the campsites, so we can assume someone rang them because of this nasty incident!

I might say that Randall also said that Warrumbungle wasn't a real national park, as it had far too many weeds, and there was a lot of man made land use - a pretend national park, not like the ones in Tassie :)

We left Coonabarabran at about 9.30 this morning, and drove through Narrabri and Mooree. Decided to keep going to the border at Goondawindi, and have parked here for the night at the Gundy Star Caravan Park. It is a bit open - not as much shade as we would like but it is ok.

Deb doing her 'blog' stuff. (Note the beer - it must be hot!)

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Warrambungle National Park

My word it is hot here!!! Randall is having his third shower of the day to cool down.

We left Forbes early this morning after a very enjoyable stay - some of the highlights being the community radio playing 24-7 in the amenities block, and the toilet paper folded to a point after the toilets were cleaned!!

We drove to Parkes and had a bit of a look around, then went on to Dubbo for a Macdonalds breakfast and coffee.

We went in search of a good country butcher at various little towns on our way to Coonabarrabran, but eventually found a nice looking butcher shop in Coonabarrabran.

We are now in Warrambungle National Park, about 30 km west of Coonabarrabran (I'm getting good at spelling that!)

We decided to go for the powered site to get the airconditioning under way as it is SO HOT! The camp site is quite nice, and there is a lot of interesting wildlife around. There are lots of kangaroos lying around in the shade of trees, and I even saw my first goanna in the wild!!
A visitor to the campsite opposite ours.

Monday, January 5, 2009


Well, here we are at Forbes, staying at Apex Riverside Tourist Park.
It is very pretty here, so we are staying 2 nights. Yesterday we travelled about 670 km and even though we had a long stop at Tocumwal, on the border, we were very tired by the time we got here.
Tocumwal was very beautiful, on the Murray river, and we wish we had stopped there for the night, but we hadn't travelled very far at that stage, so we kept going.

Randall having Brunch at Tocumwal

When we arrived at Forbes it was very hot and I couldn't wait to swap my jeans for a pair of shorts!! After we set up we had a thunderstorm, which was very refreshing.
Randall made a mistake, and used the ladies shower and toilet until some people pointed out his mistake! How he missed the Ladies logo I don't know!!

Rainbow after the storm,

Our campsite overlooks the river.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Day 1 of our travels

Well, we are finally on our way!! Am sitting in a comfy chair on the Spirit of Tasmania 2, relaxing with a glass of wine!!

We had a good trip up the midland highway, and arrived in Devonport at about 6.30 pm, for the 9 pm sailing.

The 'nazis' checking everyone made Randall tip out his petrol and forfeit his jerry can. He was not happy :(