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

Red Rock & Evans Head

Today we left Red Rock ( Blood Rock ). after a three day stay, it was a very special place, there was a massacre there where aboriginal people, Gumbaingirr People were driven off the headland into the sea over conflict about land, it was a place that made me feel very peaceful I went to the top of the cliff each day and watched whales and dolphins pass by, I lost track of time and just loved the place. ( I sat at the top of the cliff looking down on Red Rock)We had a couple of nice walks on the beach, we also took the bikes out but not a good place really to bike ride as no real tracks, we walked down on the other side where there was a big sandbank which on low tide was a great place to see pelicans, and fisherman but we didn’t see either of them catch much fish lol

There are heaps of these wild turkeys in most of the camps we have stayed out, very cheeky they come looking for a feed, watch out I have a packet of stuffing in the Sunliner!!!!!!! It is great to visit these amazing places, but to be honest I am struggling with the big changes, it would be great to hear from other people that are doing similar trips, 

It is different spending 24/7 with Each other and I’m sure Brian feels the same as it is not something either of us is used too !!! 

It’s dark at 5.30pm there is not a lot goes on in the camps at this time of year (wintertime) and it gets cold as soon as the sun goes down, we usually take a walk till it gets dark, and  I am sure it will be different as the nights get lighter and warm. We do get to say hello to a few people through the day but not much else. This is the hard bit for me as when I was at work I was surrounded by people all day long, it is a massive change and that’s the bit I am struggling with.

We are looking forward to catching up with our friends on Friday in Ballina Warwick and Gloria spend a couple of days catching up I am sure there will be lots of car talk lol.  Also lots of wine to be drunk 

We arrived at Evans Head today, another beautiful warm day, we had a walk along the river to the beach just in time to see another glorious sunsetThis Is a lovely place, lots of nice shops (bought a couple of tops) done a bit of walking had some lovely seafood working on the tan as the weather has been amazing, perfect !!!!

Next stop will be Ballina but on the way out of Evans Head Brian wanted to check out some planes made him happy !!

Time to get showers and ready to hit the town.  Take care Dawn & Brian

Mylestom & Coffs Harbour 

Hi there how are you all, Brian and I have been a little sick since my last Blog, Brian had the man flu, he was quite sick for a few days, dosed him up with hot lemon and antibiotics as it went to his chest, and plenty of Panadol, and I had a pain running all the way down the back of my left leg, could not sit or stand comfortably sciatica  I thing very painfully. I went to get a pedicure as I could not bend down to do my nails and she put the vibrating chair on my back while she did my feet and that helped immensely thank goodness.

We spent three days in Mylestom, not much to do there at all, nice beaches you can walk for miles if you feel like it, we saw a Whale breaching in the distance watched him for about an hour never get tired of seeing the whales. I think we both had a nanny naps on the beach as we had a few restless nights, but that’s ok !!!

We had some lovely sunsets, and the Sunliner looked great with the firery sky behind her, it was quite chilly in the evenings when the sun went down but lovely through the day. We had a kookaburra that sat in the tree next too our van beautiful bird although quite loud when he got wound up also lots or lorikeets and bush turkeys
I did not take many picture at Mylestom as didn’t feel great and really not much to see, we walked down to the river a couple of times, only about 10mins away and had a feed at the one and only shop/take a way. 
We moved to Coffs Harbour on Wednesday and Went straight to the shops to stock up on food as we had used most of our fresh fruit and veggies, we pulled in to the campsite in Coffs Harbour it was very big and very nice, great facility and it was in walking distance of every thing which is always a bonus. There are heaps of rabbits running around they are everywhere you have to watch out for them as they go under the van, not a smart move !!!
We have been out on our bikes for the last couple of days, there are a couple of good bike tracks that take you down to the Jetty, the weather is great although we did get a nice bit of rain last night, it is great to be in shorts and T shirts in the middle of winter no complaints from us even got a bit if a tan happening.

Brian and i walked up to the movies on Tuesday night and watched the new Planet of the Apes movie it was great, even Brian enjoyed it not his type of movie but we got a couple of laughs out of him all the same.
We also visited the place where they make the clogs it’s years since I have been there still the same hasn’t changed at allWe are moving tomorrow to Red Rock so speak soon 

Bonny Hills Wauchope

Love this campsite at Bonny Hills (North Coast Park) very clean lovely room to cook up your food with every thing you need, great washing machines and a big area to hang out the washing, they even have a dog wash, not that we have a dog but i found it quite amusing. We are overlooking the ocean, fantastic view from our Sunliner watching the whales go past.We even have a friendly koala though he does look a bit blue today !!!!

Brian is sat enjoying the view before we go off for our morning walk. What will we see today ???

We had a great encounter with octopus on Monday fantastic to watch They are so quick 

We went back down to the rock pool yesterday and they were still there so took video of them, didn’t get very far on our walk lol we also saw a little wobbegong he was struggling in the very shallow water so Brian encouraged him back into deeper water.
The weather is just fantastic 24degs today so better head off to the beach, it’s calling my name or maybe Brian’s. !!!

Today we saw so many dolphins surfing the waves with the surfers, and just playing in the surf having a ball so good to watchIt will be very hard to leave this place but leave we must, next stop Nambucca Heads but before I go time for a couple more photos lol.    think I want to be a photographer when I grow up !!!!    Don’t know when that will good night from Bonny Hills

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

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

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