TW3 – That Was The Week That Was…

Coffs Harbour was our next port of call – we arrived on Wednesday August 2 and stayed until Saturday at North Coast Holiday Park which is very central, located on the Pacific Highway close to the CBD. There is a little more noise than we are used to because of the trucks lumbering past but all in all it serves its purpose well. There is an amazing population of rabbits in this park and they are all colours and all shapes and sizes…

We were able to easily restock the van as the shops are all very close and we even went to the movies, not once but twice, and saw The War For the Planet of the Apes on the first night and Dunkirk on the second visit – seniors discount makes a lot of things possible!! Coffs is a bicycle friendly town and we were able to take full advantage of the bike tracks nicely segregated from the traffic. We cycled out to the Clog Factory – I think you need some inner soles Dawn….

 

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A little bit of sole…

Some things never change and are something of a constant – The Big Banana is one of those places. Coffs is famous for its many banana plantations – this is just one of them

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A unique tourist attraction on the run North out of Coffs

We headed a few kilometres further North to a small settlement called Red Rock – and stayed at another  North Coast Holiday Park.  Red Rock is a pretty place and again we were able to easily cycle anywhere we wanted to go. Over the last 4 weeks we have been truly blessed with the weather as I am sure you have seen the clear blue skies in just about every picture. We have to keep reminding ourselves that we are still in the grips of the Australian winter which could return at any time but over the next week or so the temperatures will steadily climb as we venture a little further North up the coast and eventually it has got to 30 degrees as a day time temperature – quite amazing.

Once again we have been rewarded for our patience with lots of (daily) sitings of whales as they migrate north to the breeding and calving grounds in the region of the Great Barrier Reef in Queensland. We get a thrill with every single one we see – and as you will discover shortly some sitings are somewhat more spectacular than others…

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Nice Perch

A clear day will usually present a spectacular sunset – we tend to get somewhat blasé about them (just like whale sitings I guess)…

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Goodbye Wednesday

We farewelled Red Rock and then moved 160Kms (100 miles) to Evans Head – another thriving coastal community which is doing very well for itself. Another North Coast Holiday Park provided the camping site and with the beach just less than 5 minutes away we were set for more relaxation.

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Lest we Forget

This beautiful, simple memorial to the fallen of every war has a special place in the middle of the town and serves as a reminder to us all…

We walked through the National Park that surrounds Evans Head and came across this grotto in the middle of nowhere. The locals have a sense of humour and it has been added to by visitors over the years.

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Welcome to my Grotto. Gnome sweet Gnome

Evans Head is a clean and special environment which we thoroughly enjoyed and on the way out of town we stopped at the very special F-111 Museum. Anyone who knows me will remember that I am passionate about cars and planes and so we made a detour out to the museum. Unfortunately it was closed – in winter time it only opens on weekends but there in the doorway was an official looking chap. “Can we just have a peek inside??”. Better than that, I’ll give you a personalised tour of the exhibits and answer all your questions!! No “Job’s Worth” here…

 

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Australia’s last but one F-111

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Stand clear of the After-Burners

Some of the other sites of Evan’s Head

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Hello Mrs Foster

And so we rolled into Ballina. The North Coast Parks were full and so we had a change of venue and stayed instead at The Discovery Park at Ballina which is a pretty spot in East Ballina but again waterside and close to the Ocean Beach. Our very special friends Gloria and Warwick Hardwick live in Ballina and we were always going to get to see them. We had a lovely dinner on Friday night with another couple of their friends (Toni and Graham). Lots of activities were planned but nothing prepared me for Saturday Morning. I had discovered at dinner that Graham had a “bit of a car collection” and of course being a car-nut we arranged to meet at Graham’s factory the next morning so I could see it. The door opened and I was both delighted and astonished at what I was seeing. It seemed as if the “bit of a car collection” went on for miles – I lost count of how many Mark 1 Lotus Cortinas there were – not just a Mark 1 with Lotus paint colours but the genuine McCoy with full provenance. As well as Cortinas there were Mark 1 and Mark II Escorts, a couple of Capris (one being an RS3100!!) a Reliant Scimitar GTE Shooting Brake (Princess Anne had one in the ’70’s) and a collection of single seater racing cars culminating in Al Unser Jnr’s Lola Indy Car from 1986. It completely took my breath away – Graham has now agreed to adopt me as his son (yabba dabba doo!!!)… I have so many more pictures – but these few will have to do…

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My Favorite

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Some of the Single Seaters

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A pair of Genuine Twin-Cam Escort Mark I

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A Lotus Cortina still wearing its original UK Number Plate from 1965

This (for me) was a hard act to follow. I spent more than 3 hours at the factory and had to keep pinching myself to make sure I wasn’t dreaming.

Ballina is one of the most Easterly points of Australia – it juts out into the Pacific ocean and therefore as the whale population migrates North it passes quite close to Ballina. However on Tuesday the 15th, a mother and calf came closer in shore than we ever seen before and cruised past the Ballina Breakwater less than 50 metres from the shore

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Almost close enough to touch her. Her exhalation of breath was quite deafening

As she cruised away into the distance another whale decided to turn on a bit of a show. He was a little further out, maybe 700 metres or so but you don’t get to see this every day so close to the shore

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The big splash catches your attention. You can see the whale breaching through the spray…

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The next was closer in…

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Usually only the males breach like this

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Almost touchdown…

It is very exhilarating to see these majestic creatures and we have become quite adept at spotting the whale plume in the distance and then track them across our field of vision – never ever do we get tired of seeing the whales and dolphins that we are privileged to be able to see…

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One of our many Ballina whale watching vantage points

It is now Wednesday August 16 – another winters day when the temperature has touched 30 degrees and now, at 11:15pm it is still 21deg!!!

We left the caravan park and we are now staying at Gloria and Warwick’s house (the Sunliner is parked outside) and will stay until Sunday the 20th when we will have to take off for Sydney, 767Kms to the South (about 485 miles) where we have to take care of some business. We’ll stick around for our son’s birthday on the 31st and Father’s Day on September 3. I am hoping that my new Dad who has just adopted me presents me with the keys to the RS3100 – what do you reckon the odds are for that happening.

Hope springs eternal!!

Until next time

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TW3 – That Was The Week That Was

It has been quite a full on couple of weeks since I last updated the Blog – so here goes.

We started off back in Sydney because of a couple of necessary Doctor’s Appointments and so we were delighted to have the opportunity of an Extended Family Get-Together at Sydney’s Taronga Zoo. You might remember that a couple of weeks ago we went to Western Plains Zoo in Dubbo so it was interesting to see more of the collection in the iconic Sydney location.

So it was that on Sunday July 16 we took off to Taronga to meet up with Ayshea, Phil and Isabel plus Phil’s Mum and Dad Laura and Malcolm plus our own Christopher too. Again the weather was kind to us with Blue Sky and pleasant temperatures.

 

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Cheeky Cocky in Chris’ garden has pinched the rabbits corn cob. Messy too…

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Phil and Ayshea looking so cool..

 

 

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Chris and Ayshea – so cool too…

 

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The Two Mums – Laura and Dawn

After Taronga we got on our way again on Thursday July 20 – we were going to go for a walk on the Moon but someone beat us to it 48 years earlier so instead we headed off to Tamworth to meet up with Dawn’s long-time friend Heather. It was cold and frosty through the night but beautiful weather during the day. For those readers not from Australia, Tamworth is known as the Country Music Capital of Australia being home to a massive Country Music Festival every January. There are Country Music buskers on the streets all year round – a really pleasant inland city.

On Saturday, we were invited to 2 functions – a double treat. Heather works in her son’s Sports Store and the Manager is a coach to a football team. I love watching kids play football and so around 12 o’clock I was on the side line watching the action. For the record the team won 4-1 and as 12 year olds it was good to see them exercising their football brains and not just hoofing the ball anywhere.

Every year in the nearby township of Kootingal there is a charity rugby league game and this year the game was against Walcha and we were invited to the match. This was very much a one-sided affair with Kootingal running out winners by a mammoth 72-4. What was even more staggering was the aftermath at the Kootingal pub where the commemorative jerseys worn by the team are auctioned off. A staggering $10,345 was raised which is a phenomenal effort for such a relatively small community… So impressed.

 

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Play us a song Mate!!

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Dawn, Heather and friend Rhonda during the Charity Auction

Tamworth wasn’t finished with us yet. On Sunday morning Dawn and I went to the Country Music Hall of Fame and spent a couple of hours working our way through the exhibits. In the picture below is an early mixing desk, the work of which could probably be done on a mobile phone app these days but in the 1960s this would be the ultimate technology…

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Technology that I can understand…

But there was a special event on Sunday evening that had captured our imagination. On July 9 1986, Dawn and I, together with my sister Janet and nephew Garry were fortunate to have tickets to go to St James’ Park in Newcastle Upon Tyne and be a part of the last but one (ever) Queen Concert – A Kinda Magic Tour. Being in the same vicinity as the iconic Freddie Mercury was awesome. When we first arrived in Tamworth, there on TV was an advert for a Queen Tribute Concert based on that very tour and what’s more it was going to be performed on that Sunday night at the Tamworth Entertainment Centre. It was simply too good to miss…

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Freddie!!!!

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When “Freddie” wears this get up then there is only one song being performed……..              

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I Want to Break Free

 

 

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We even got to meet the cast…

Wow – it was such a thrill and so good to see. We were on our feet just about the whole concert.

We were due to head off on Monday Morning July 24 so said a sad goodbye to Heather and set off for Bonny Hills on the coast just to the South of Port Macquarie. What a beautiful place and an absolutely magnificent Caravan Park – Bonny Hills – North Coast Holiday Park Bonny Hills). Our site was on the cliff top overlooking the ocean and once more we were treated to a steady stream of dolphins and whales close to the shore and easily visible to anyone patient enough to take the time and watch

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Sunrise at Bonny Hills

Australia is renowned for its wildlife, some of which you don’t really want to stumble across. In the unseasonably warm weather some of those creatures may well be waking up early. There was a plethora of warning signs….

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Here’s why there are signs around….

Every day we went onto the beach at Bonny Hills and looked in the rock pools as the tide dropped. I had said to Dawn that we should be careful as The Blue Ringed Octopus lives in such rock pools but they are very very dangerous. Lo and behold the next rock pool I came to was resplendent with a resident octopus – fortunately not the blue ringed type. These are fascinating creatures to watch going about their business and suddenly our 1 octopus disturbed a second under a rock ledge!! Wow, now it was on for young and old – Dawn took some video footage which she has posted on Facebook…

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This is Octopus #1

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#2 – in full camouflage mode

The next day we went to the beach again and this time in a very shallow rockpool I came across a Wobbegong (or Carpet Shark) which was struggling in the shallow water. I didn’t realise that these docile sharks were more than capable of looking after themselves and that my “encouragement” of moving him to deeper water could have led to my receiving a rather nasty bite. But all ended well….

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Dawn’s new chum…

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A Surfer’s Paradise

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Our selfie to say Goodbye to Bonny Hills

All too soon it was time to farewell Bonny Hills and move up to Nambucca Heads. They were different as chalk and cheese where the Bonny Hills site was sensational, Nambucca Heads was OK. The beaches are nice and we saw our requisite pod of dolphins whenever we went to the beach but all the same Bonny Hills is in a league of its own….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Good Morning Nambucca Heads

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A family grouping of dolphins, This is a breaking wave, that’s how close these guys come to the shoreline

 

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And so that is it for this fun filled 2 weeks. The weather has been record-breaking – awesome leaps to mind. Alas I have been a victim of influenza over the last 3 days which have really been a drag but we have now moved on from Nambucca and are resident at Mylestom North Beach

Then its on to Coffs Harbour  and Red Rock – stay tuned for the next instalment….

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.

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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.

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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….)

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White Bellied Sea Eagle

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

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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.

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Nice Lighthouse Dawn

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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….

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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…

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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…

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A bit of tail slapping…

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

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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!!!!

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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…

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This guy almost landed on top of his mate…

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We got wet from the splash after this guy breached

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

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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!!!

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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….

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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

 

 

 

 

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…

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Dawn on the white sand

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Pelicans are everywhere in this lovely place

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This is the Port Stephens side – lovely sheltered waterways

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Hello Love

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Seaweed in the swell

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3 metre swell

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Goodbye July 2

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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

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

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The Meerkat Lookout!!

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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

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

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Mamma is always vigilant…

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Cats everywhere

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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…

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Did I tell you there would be CATS….

TW3 – That Was The Week That Was

Still not a lot happening although I was speaking to the smash repairer and the Sunliner door is being painted – we hope to be reunited with her on the 20-21st with a bit of luck.

We’ve tried to make the best of our enforced dalliance in Sydney – I have brought all my documentation up to date so will be ready to file my tax returns as soon as the FY ends!!

Did I tell you that the Sunliner now sports NSW registration plates.

Still with our wings clipped in Sydney we headed off into the Blue Mountains (The Blue Mountains National Park starts just behind where we are staying so we didn’t have to go too far). We went up to Lawson and then walked the “Waterfall Circuit”, the first one we came to being Cataract Falls. It was at Cataract Gorge where the Sunliner was molested – but this was a different Cataract altogether… I had just bought a new camera and so it was an ideal location to try some of the more elaborate settings. We had our son Chris with us who is something of a photography guru and he showed me how to perfect one of the effects I have always wanted to achieve – but never knew how.

Here are some of my initial efforts with the new camera

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I always love it when Rainbow Lorikeets come into the garden. I used to have one as a pet…

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You would swear that the trees had been painted – but this is their natural winter look…

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Delicate Wild Flowers – even winter time has its beauty

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This is Cataract Falls

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You can see the effect I was trying to master – the milkiness of the water

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I am quite happy with my first attempt. All I have to do is remember the settings…

 

 

Clovelly to Bondi

On Monday the 12th it was a public holiday – Queen’s Birthday – and so we decided to go off to Clovelly and do the Coastal Walk to Bondi (and return).

It was a beautiful winter’s day, just touching 20 deg, and clear as any day could be. You never tire of the walk in the clean Pacific Air and the views are always spectacular. We were lucky enough to spot the plumes from 4 or 5 Humpback Whales about 2kms off shore as they migrated North – which is exactly what we should be doing in the next week or so once we get our Sunliner back again.

Stay tuned for another That Was The Week That Was…

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Dawn with the Beautiful view toward Bondi

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I Love it when the Ocean sparkles in the afternoon sun

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Where else but Bondi Beach

That Was The Week That Was

Another week or so has past for Dawn and I still in the limbo caused by having the Sunliner broken into. However the good news is that our insurer CIL has pulled out all the stops and the Assessor has put me in contact with a repairer in the Sydney suburb of Smithfield. The CIL instruction to the repairer is to get the job done as a priority.

Happily, I have taken the Sunliner to the workshop today (Saturday) and the Proprietor will start work on it on Monday. We have been told by Sunliner/Dometic/Uncle Tom Cobley and All that there are no replacement doors to be had that will fit my model Sunliner and therefore I contacted Roam Safe who custom build RV Doors. Hopefully between the efforts of ourselves, the repairer and possibly Roam Safe Dawn and I should be able to get back on the road sooner rather than later. I sincerely hope so.

In the meantime of course we have renewed our acquaintance with Sydney and Surrounds, even though it is only 5 weeks since we lived here!! We have managed to have all our bank cards, club cards, transport and Medicare cards replaced as well as taking in a few trips to Darling Harbour and The City for the Vivid Festival.

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Dawn loves her lobster lunch

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I always feel proud when the flag flies above Darling Harbour

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Projection onto one of the Martin Place Buildings – this was very clever…

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Never get tired of this view – photographed from The Cahill Expressway above Circular Quay

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Guess Who…

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Vivid really is spectacular and well worth a visit

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The Harbour Bridge and Opera House always play a starring role

I managed to get the Sunliner off the West Australian plates and she is now registered in her new “Home State” of New South Wales. The brown slip (pre-registration) exercise was reasonably painless but I could have done without the hefty Stamp Duty tax. It amazes me that I have to pay duty on the GST component of the purchase price as well which seems a bit like double-dipping but at least I don’t have to think about that again until May 2018.

So my friends not a lot has happened since my last posting but I hope to be able to tell a good success story of how well the repairer has done in the next TWTWTW….

TW3 – That Was The Week That Was #2

The week started with Mother’s Day and Dawn and I went to the small fishing town of Dover, one of the Southern-most parts of Tasmania. We went first of all to Roaring Beach – which is just a bit of an exaggeration as the waves were tiny, but the white sand stretched away. It was almost deserted but for the 2 of us and a couple of stragglers…

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The view across the D’Entrecasteaux Channel toward Garden Island Creek and South Bruny Island


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Across the Huon River Mouth


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Dawn’s Grand Entrance to Roaring Beach


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Happy Mother’s Day Love

We had lunch at the Dover RSL Club which was very nice. The staff were so attentive and friendly and the meal was delicious…

Our time in Tasmania was rapidly drawing to a close as we were due to set sail on The Spirit of Tasmania on the evening of Wednesday May 17. We were still in the Southern Region of Tasmania and so decided to head up the East Coast before going across to Devonport, where The Spirit will depart from. We drove through Hobart and out to Coles Bay, which is close to the World Heritage Wineglass Bay. Wineglass Bay is a Tasmanian icon destination and we were determined to see it for ourselves (Dawn had been before but more than 20 years ago…). We booked into the Big4 Iluka Caravan Park and then drove to the Walking Trek car park as close to Wineglass Bay as you can get in a motor vehicle – then it’s “Shank’s Pony” to the Wineglass Bay lookout. The Parks and Wildlife service have spent a lot of time making the pathways a little more manageable but it is still quite a trek – but oh so enjoyable…

 

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On the drive up we stopped at The Devil’s Corner Winery. Nice Views, Great Wines

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The Sunliner has her Daily Selfie – nestled safely at The Wineglass Bay Walking Track Park

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Dawn on the Lookout – half way up a mountain

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This is Wineglass Bay. The camera never captures the true Natural Beauty of a place…

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The Wineglass Bay Lookout

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Hmmm, I know these 2

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That’s a much better “selfie”

The next day we continued motoring up The East Coast, towards St Helens but decided that we should head directly to Launceston and then on to Devonport for our “date” with the Spirit of Tasmania. There was time to stop on one more wind-swept beach to stretch our legs…

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Dawn loves her “Blanket” on a cooler day

The crossing on The Spirit of Tasmania was like a mill pond and we arrived ahead of time in Melbourne. We were lucky to be just the 4th vehicle off the ferry and so we were well into our 860km drive to Sydney by the time the rest of the passengers were off-loaded. The drive up The Hume Highway is one of the necessary journeys that you have to do to traverse this huge country of ours and we arrived at Chris’s house 10 or so hours later…

Now it’s down to the hard work of finding a repairer for our damaged Sunliner. I went to the Sydney RV Centre Service Department who will take on the work. It won’t be easy to locate the parts we need but we are hoping that very soon we will be “Back on the Road Again”…

TWTWTW – That Was The Week That Was

This first review should really be That Was The Fortnight That Was…

2 weeks ago we were still racing in Targa Tasmania and stayed overnight in a delightful little coastal town called…. See if you can guess, here is a clue

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That’s right – we were staying in the little town of Penguin in North West Tasmania…

After Targa had finished Dawn and I went down into the Huon Valley to Dawn’s brother Charlie’s house where the Sunliner had been parked whilst I was racing.

We went back up to Launceston, stayed the night at Longford and then on the “fateful” Thursday we visited Cataract Gorge. The Sunliner was unfortunately broken into whilst we were enjoying the scenery but we’ll concentrate on the positive which was the visit to the Gorge. The River Esk flows through the Gorge and our English followers will know that the River Esk flows through the beautiful town of Whitby where Captain James Cook was from. This is the South Esk.

Dawn and I had a lovely walk in the Gorge and we both took heaps of photographs. Dawn has posted some and here are a few more from my camera…

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The next day was taken up by needing some repairs to the door of the Sunliner following the break-in. Lots of thanks go to Kings Caravans in Hobart  who made room for us in their busy schedule to try to repair the damage. Alas, they were only able to make a temporary repair as they don’t carry Sunliner spares. Regrettably the main motorhome door is gaping still and is an open invitation to the next set of thieves who fancy rummaging around in our van to see what they can steal…

 

We are just a couple of weeks away from the onset of winter in Tasmania and picking the right day to go out on the water, especially when the water is the cold Southern Ocean, is crucial. Dawn was spot on again when she booked for us to go to Bruny Island which is marketed as The Island off an Island. It is a truly spectacular place and is rightly a favourite of all tourists to this area. We booked a morning cruise with Robert Pennicott Wilderness Tours and we cannot recommend it highly enough. The day was spectacular – yes it was cold, very cold, but the interest, the sights, the sounds all distract you from thinking about how cold you are. The company provide wind/water proof coats, beanies and gloves to help keep the cold at bay. The popularity of the cruises can be measured as we were one of a flotilla of 3 boats participating on Wednesday May 10… There are a couple of images of the sister boats where you can gauge the size…

Bruny was complete exhilaration. The scenery is All Grandeur, the Wildlife diverse and so plentiful and the environment constantly changing.

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The narrow isthmus between North and South Bruny is less than 50 metres wide…

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The narrow channel through the Monument is taken at high speed as a thrill for the tourists. Deep breath in folks…

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The weather has now broken and it has been cold and wet since we were on Bruny. We are hoping to head up The East Coast on Monday the 15th after we have completed a couple of chores  – so join us again…

 

 

 

 

Launceston – repair day

Wednesday May 3, Dawn and I drove up to Launceston to Brad Sheriff’s workshop where his talented team helped solve a problem we were having with our Lithium Batteries/Inverter set up. I learned a lot about our new van today and hopefully it won’t need to test my new found knowledge

We are now camped out at Longford Riverside Caravan Park. We arrived after dark and so we haven’t taken any pictures yet

What a lovely surprise when we woke in the morning to see we were on the river, even if it was only 2degs and very misty.