Murrurundi then Tamworth to catch up with my good friend Heather

We arrived in Murrurundi mid afternoon after stopping off at a country pub for lunch, we had the biggest chicken schnitzel i have ever seen with veggies chips gravy and a free coffee, all for $9 each, we also picked up a few bits and pieces from the local store then headed to the camp site. It was bloody cold and windy, not a bad little place but would not want to stay more than a night. They had a nice little kitchen area and a fire out side but too cold for me to be out there. We to set up for the night but i was not feeling well i had bad headache,my shoulder was hurting i felt sore all over, i crawled into bed around 8.30pm had a good cry and then stayed awake most off the night, the big coal trains were going past, and the trucks so not much sleep. We got up and had breakfast down at the outdoor area, the wind had dropped but still very chilly. We packed up and headed for Tamworth

Sunliner parked at Murrurundi

We headed off to Paradise Park in Tamworth we did not have far to go to the campsite, it was very nice, we got set up then went into Tamworth to see my friend Heather, we have been friends for over 20 years so always good to catch up, she works in her sons shop in the Atrium , ” Sportspower Tamworth”  i snuck up behind her and scared her half to death lol      lovely shop i even bought a pair of trainers, very comfortable i might add.
Heather & Dawn

We caught up that night and went to the Diggers Club in Tamworth and had a lovely meal and catch up, soooo good to see her, i slept so much better that night she always makes me laugh i felt so much better.

Heather picked us up the next morning, we went and watch the little ones play soccer, Brian loved it love to see the kids out playing sport, we then went to watch the men play with the oval ball !!! Then off to the pub across the road were they auctioned off all the shirts for charity, they made over $10,000 not a bad effort great country spirit.
On Sunday morning Brian and i went to the Country Music Hall of Fame, 

it was next to our campsite, very interesting we spent well over an hour in there we had a bit of lunch before Heather picked us up and took us out for a drive to Nundle lovely little place it has the only functioning woolmill left in Australia unfortunately it was just closing as we arrived so will have to call in on our way back down. We had to stop a couple of times to let the locals cross the road, cows, kangaroos etc

We stopped at Chaffey Dam on the way home, it was very full which is always good to see lots of water for lots of cups of tea Heather said lol she likes her cuppa 
It was just on dusk as we headed back to Tamworth so lots of opportunities to take photos
We had a quick bite to eat then headed off to the Entertainment Centre to see the tribute to Queen Concert it was great we were very impressed with the seats we only booked the night before and got seats 10 rows back not that we sat down much we were up dancing and clapping most of the night, we all had a great night, even got to meet the cast after the show
Well sadly we had to say goodbye to Heather on Monday morning but boy we packed in some more good times which will become great memories. Love you Wifey see you again soon xxx
Next stop Bonny Hills Wauchope were the weather should be a little warmer see you there

Family & And Friends catch up

Another fun week back at Leonay to stay with our son Chris, had a couple of doctors appointments one for my foot that I had operated on in December last year, and an injection in my neck for my shoulder injury. With those appointments out of the way time to do a bit of catch up again, my friend Cathie organised a dinner at our favourite Thai Restaurant in Penrith which was amazing as usual. Thanks Cathie you are an amazing friend. I also managed a catch up with Annie at the Coffee Club, see you again soon Annie !!!We had a great day out last Sunday with Chris, Ayshea & Phil and of course Isabel. Also Phil’s mum & dad Malcom & Laura, our new family, what a great day to catch up have fun and make some new memories at Taronga Zoo we all had a fabulous day. We will definitely be having more of these catch ups it’s great – love it
I then had a night in Sydney with my daughter Ayshea, she booked us in to the Langham Hotel on Kent Street     WOW was I impressed, sure is good to have some one who gets perks with her job lol   Champagne on ice on arrival    yes please !! We went out to a Turkish Restaurant at Barangaroo had a lovely dinner and cocktail and a great catch up, thanks darling love you.

Ayshea and I had a lovely breakfast then she had to go off to work.

I have wanted to go see the show Kinky Boots in Sydney for ages so I decided I would go on my own while I was in Sydney, I went in the afternoon to the 1pm session I got a great seat very pleased I went thoroughly enjoyed it. I had a very nice lunch with my son Chris before I went into the show as he works opposite the theatre, we then met after the show and traveled home together. It’s great to see my kids love them to the moon and back


Till I see you both again in a month take care stay safe xxxxxx

Chris & Ayshea

Brian and I set off again this morning (Thursday the 20th) in the Sunliner, we arrived at Murrurundi around 3pm and are traveling to Tamworth tomorrow to catch up with my friend Heather we will be saying till Monday morning as we have a lot of catching up to do lol
We will then make our way up to Byron Bay over the next couple of weeks, will keep you posted of our stops on the way, hopefully the weather will be kind to us, very chilly and windy here at Murrurundi Brrrrr

Speak soon

Dawn & Brian

TW3 – That Was The Week That Was…

We headed from Jimmy’s Beach to the North Coast Holiday Parks Seal Rocks Caravan Park (North Coast Holiday Parks – Seal Rocks) which is right across the street from the beach. It is another lovely clean and spacious park with spotless amenities and the best part was it was only a 50 minute drive from Jimmy’s Beach. Winter had again forgotten to flex it’s muscles and it was another lovely clear day when we arrived. After we were set up, Dawn and I went walking on the beach just over the road and we were amazed to find the water temperature was still 20 degrees and pleasant to walk in the surf.

Ship

Going to Newcastle to load more coal

The next day we headed up to Sugarloaf Point Lighthouse – a steep climb but well worth the effort. When we got there, it was familiar surroundings and we realised we had visited several years earlier. When we had visited before it was not in whale watching season but we were very excited anticipating spotting the magnificent creatures from the shore. Being elevated at the lighthouse means that the viewing radius is much greater than when on the beach and we spotted our first whale spouts in less than 5 minutes.

DSC_0296

This mother and calf were easily visible from our vantage point at Sugarloaf Point

It’s not just whales that we are excited to see – there are dolphins playing in the surf too and White Bellied Sea Eagles hovering overhead – beautiful, (unless you are a fish close to the surface….)

DSC_0314

White Bellied Sea Eagle

This picture serves to give an impression of how steep the approach to Sugarloaf Point Lighthouse really is

DSC_0306

DSC_0357

This breaching whale is visible from the beach

We could see splash after splash from our vantage point – all of them either whales breaching or tail slapping.

DSC_0373

Nice Lighthouse Dawn

DSC_0372

The power of the Pacific

Dawn and I climbed to the lighthouse 2 days in a row and marvelled at how many whales were passing by. Locally it is called the “Whale Highway” and indeed there was a steady stream of the behemoths heading North for warmer climes…

We needed to return to Sydney for an appointment and so reluctantly we had to leave Seal Rocks. We were thinking of going a little further North to Forster but instead decided to go to Port Stephens proper and set up camp this time at Fingal Bay. Again we were at a site just across the street from the beach and Fingal Bay is a spectacular vista – highly recommended – Fingal Bay Holiday Park. However we did have an ulterior motive as there is an abundance of whale watch cruises set off from Nelson Bay. We chose Moonshadow Cruises for our opportunity to get up close and personal with the migrating whales and we were not disappointed. Whilst we were sailing across the harbour we were treated to a pod of dolphins playing in the bow wave – never get tired of seeing wild dolphins at play….

DSC_0384

Once we nosed outside the heads and into the ocean proper the captain soon spotted our first whale spout. We moved as close as we are allowed (there is an exclusion zone around whales so that they are not harassed) and as this was a mother and calf then the exclusion zone is actually doubled…

DSC_0413

It is an iconic picture – whale tail as she dives…

We could scarcely believe how many whales we were seeing – and their different natural behaviours – here is some pectoral slapping…

DSC_0429

 

A bit of tail slapping…

DSC_0431

When they are this close the sound of the exhalation of the air is deafening… especially when there are two together

DSC_0440

I’d never seen a whale breach before and especially not at close quarters. Suddenly, wherever we looked there was either a whale (or sometimes two) out of the water, or just falling back in, or a tell-tale huge splash as the aftermath – it was AMAZING!!!!

DSC_0473

The value we got out of that Moonshadow cruise was beyond our wildest dreams – this is the time of year to be in that area and witness this incredible migration…

DSC_0475

This guy almost landed on top of his mate…

DSC_0507

We got wet from the splash after this guy breached

It never gets boring to see these magnificent creatures – awe inspiring…

DSC_0521

This fellow is giving us the eye!!!

On the way back into Nelson Bay we cut across to Cabbage Tree Island where there is a small colony of fur seals. Here this seal pup is taking his first dive into the deep blue sea. He was going to dive, then stopped, then got to the edge of the shelf again all ready to go and then stopped again. When he eventually did take the plunge, everyone on the boat gave an almighty cheer – well done little one. Pity there was a Great White Shark waiting for his appetiser!!!

DSC_0544

And then it was night time and Mr Moon came a-calling!! What a great day we had. I’ve never seen so many whales….

DSC_0548

 

And so that is the end of TW3. We have returned to Sydney for a couple of days and I got to see some of my ex-workmates in The City on Thursday (the 13th). We are off to the Sydney Taronga Zoo on Sunday the 16th and then will head off who-knows-where on Wednesday July 19.

Stay tuned for another TW3

 

 

 

 

Whale of a Day

What an amazing day Whale Watching we arrived at Fingel Bay on Friday around lunch time then went straight down and boarded a Whale watching tour, boy we were in for such a treat, the three hours turned into a Whale watching carnival, breaching and playing in front of us we did not know which way to look just amazing.  Brian took this photo love it !!!We saw a mum with her calf, males showing off in front of females, also dolphins and seals what a day 

Today Saturday we walked across from Fingal Bay to Fingal Island, it can only be accessed when the tide is out. We walked up to the lighthouse and it was well worth it. When we reached the top we could again see heaps of whales passing by so blessed 


It sure is a beautiful part of the world, we have been so lucky with the weather, it is a bit chilly in the morning but we soon warm up when we start to walk, today we have walked 16,000 steps, quite hard going sometimes on the sand for me.

Tomorrow we hope to get on our bikes and have a look around, there looks like there is a bike track next to the side of the road near our camp site so that hopefully will be another fabulous day before we have to head back to Sydney for a week or so

Talk soon 

Seal Rocks, Dolphin & Whale Watching 

We have spent the last couple of days at Seal Rocks, what an amazing little place, every morning we have watched the dolphins straight across from our camp site, they are very fast and very playful in the surf. The weather has been amazing can’t believe Brian and I have been in shorts and Tee Shirts, but not complaining 


The last two days we have walked up to Sugarloaf Point Lighthouse and watched the whales go past on there way north, I have never seen so many at one time, loved it. I didn’t get any close up pictures but I think Brian got a few .

It was about a 2km walk up too the lighthouse but absolutely worth it, we then had a walk down to the beach at that side, not as sheltered and a lot more rouged lots off Rocks to climb 

We sure are getting in a lot off walking, but i must confess I did have an ice cream on the way down but i think i deserved it.

We will be moving tomorrow to Fingel Bay for three days before we have to go back to Sydney for a couple off appointments. We hope to get out on a whale watching tour as the weather has been so good the sea just so calm so fingers crossed.

We are sure enjoying the coast each place we have stayed has its own charm, no complaints about any of the sites all very well maintainedThe Sunliner has behaved its self and we are getting better at setting up and packing up to go on to the next place, we are stocking up on food about every three to four days, so lots of fresh fruit and veggies eating very well and mainly healthy !! Brian and i are both enjoying our traveling so far so good next stop Fingel Bay

See you all soon in Fingel Bay Dawn & Brian

Great to catch up with the Locals

We had a great couple of days at Hawksnest & Tea Gardens we had close encounter with kookaburras it just sat and posed for me love it. They have been our alarm clock each morning plus a dingo howling but we have not been lucky enough to see him. We have had a walk on the beach every morning then a bike ride in the afternoon so keeping nice and fit. I also had a close encounter with a Pelican I came up to me looking for food !!! I gave him a bit of fish then told him to go catch his own

We have seen Dolphins ever time we have been down to the beach feeling so very lucky they make my day. Ok I know the picture is not that good but they are hard to photograph lolBrian & I have enjoyed our first week in the Sunliner, we are getting into a little routine and learning stuff everyday.  We are moving to Seal Rocks tomorrow for three night, it’s frustrating that we can’t go far as I have an appointment in Penrith on the 12th & 19th of July that I have too attend but that’s ok, we are having a good time and as I said learning heaps about each other the Sunliner, and enjoying every experience. 

I am loving getting out on my bike, and managing not to fall off in the last two days is a big plus lol

Yesterday unfortunately Brian got a puncture hence the sad face but we pushed the bikes back to our camp and Brian had it fixed in no time. A lot easier to fix than the van was thank goodness and back out on it today 
I am sure we will be back to Jimmy Camp site really is a very nice place, talk to you from Seal Rocks
Happy Travels Everyone 


Dawn & Brian

TW3 – That Was The Week That Was (addendum)

 

We had 3 nights in Dubbo and then on Thursday the 29th we headed off to the lovely coastal town of Hawks Nest. NSW school holidays started on the 30th and we were wondering how busy our chosen Tourist Park would be – we needn’t have been concerned. The North Coast Holiday Parks site at Jimmy’s Beach in Hawks Nest is beautiful, immaculately clean and tidy and located in a fantastic position Jimmy’s Beach. Hawks Nest sits on a narrow neck with the Pacific Ocean at one side and the delightful Port Stephens on the more sheltered side.

The photographs speak for themselves  – every day we have seen pods of dolphins. The ocean is always in motion and it has been a mixture of windy/heavy swell to flat and mill pond – or as flat as The Pacific Ocean can be…

DSC_0190

Dawn on the white sand

DSC_0189

Pelicans are everywhere in this lovely place

DSC_0196

This is the Port Stephens side – lovely sheltered waterways

DSC_0217

Hello Love

DSC_0242

Seaweed in the swell

DSC_0208

3 metre swell

DSC_0200

Goodbye July 2

DSC_0211

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DSC_0212

Beautiful sunset

TW3 – That Was The Week That Was…

At last – we got back on the road on Monday June 26 and headed over the Blue Mountains and on to Dubbo. I have always wanted to visit The Western Plains Zoo being of the belief that with the extra space, the animal exhibits would have lots of space to roam.

But before we arrived in Dubbo we called first of all at Wellington to see The Wellington Caves and Phosphor Mine. We joined a tour and went underground in the limestone caves. Whilst they are not the most spectacular caves we have seen – they don’t hold a candle to Jenolan Caves for instance – they are pretty good. We learned that the Phosphor Mine was in fact an investment scam!!! in 1917…

We were booked into the Big4 Tourist Park (https://www.discoveryholidayparks.com.au/nsw/orana/dubbo?gclid=CNrB6rG-7NQCFd0HKgodk8wBiQ ) just down the road from the zoo and so, on Tuesday the 27th we headed to the Zoo. It was quite cold and grey – only 12 degrees or so and we decided that we would go around the Gardens on our bicycles. It was just a couple of kilometres to the zoo and 6kms around and we took our time in touring around the exhibits. Here are a few of the images

DSC_0028

The Southern Rhino is endangered and part of a global breeding program

DSC_0034

The Meerkat Lookout!!

DSC_0056

The Hippo has his teeth cleaned….

It was getting colder as we did the rounds – and then it began to rain. But there was still so much to see

DSC_0087

Hello Cats… That’s no way to treat your Mother…

DSC_0090

Mamma is always vigilant…

DSC_0124

Cats everywhere

DSC_0127

This is my DAD!!!!

We didn’t have enough time to see all the exhibits on Tuesday so went back again on Wednesday. Wednesday was even more cold – and even more rainy…

DSC_0160

DSC_0166

 

DSC_0176

Did I tell you there would be CATS….

From Dubbo To Hawksnest

We drove across from Dubbo too Hawknest on Thursday, arrived at our campsite and very pleasantly surprised, every thing you need very clean, friendly staff, spacious place to park the Sunliner, all good. Even had a couple of good BBQ’s

Brian and i have had a good couple of days, still getting used to the Sunliner but no major issues so pleased about that.  We have done a couple of walks on the beach which is on the doorstep. One side is very calm the other side very rough, the waves have been bashing in as it has been very windy, that did not stop us though we got rugged up and off we went to take some pictures.

I did get a bit carried away and the waves came crashing around my feet and yes i fell over and got very wet !! I know i am making a habit of falling over, no I didn’t hurt my self but was pleased with some of the pictures I captured 
I feel so at home when i am on the beach and near the sea, it could be because i am a Pisces !!!!  We even got to see Dolphins yesterday as we were walking along the beach, they didn’t hang around for long but they made my day.
There are two different ways down to the beach, one side is sheltered one not so the pictures i took were very different 

I was like a child today collecting shells, and i found these i think they are shark eggs
Brian and i are going to get the bikes out tomorrow if the wind drops, we will cycle round to Tea Gardens (i will try not to fall off)  and we will check this place out hopefully there will be some markets on, looking forward to another good day tomorrow 

That’s all for now Brian & Dawn

Back On The Road

Well we have finally got back on the road, had a short drive to Wellington caves on Monday, then on to Dubbo to look around the Zoo Yesterday and today. Yesterday was so cold and today very wet but we still enjoyed our time, we cycled around yesterday which was great, apart from me falling off my bike into the mud nearly destroying my camera, but Chris managed to clean it up and saved the day. (No I didn’t hurt my self ). Today we went down in Chris’s car as too wet to cycle.We got to the Zoo quite early so not many people around, we had the baby elephants too ourselves I could watch it all day soooo cute. He was throwing dust around and rolling in the mud having a ball in the rain just gorgeous 

It was our first time at the Zoo and at Wellington Cave both well worth a visit. The accomodation is nice at Wellington Cave not as busy as the Big 4 Park in Dubbo but both nice and clean and well kept. 


One of the Caves and the old Mine we went into on Monday
We said goodbye to Chris today, cant thank him enough for all he has done in the last month will miss him heaps 

Our next stop will be Hawkes Nest looking forward to seeing the sea