Tuesday, November 25, 2014

13th to 26th Christmas Cove van park - Laurieton

               Thursday 13th

Dot by the jetty a Christmas Cove Van park
at Queens Lake

      Moved camp today, all the way over the Camden haven river through Laurieton to Lakewood and the Christmas Cove Caravan park (all of about 10km), where we have negotiated a good price for a couple of weeks on the Queens lake. Very pretty and hopefully the fishing will be O.K. The jetty looks promising although the lake isn't very deep.

             Saturday 15th
     Finally got my bum into gear and went fishing today and managed to land an edible size flathead. Not much else having a go but had a great time. The weather is beautiful and all is good.
               Sunday 16th
     Luck or good management - I'm not sure-  but I pulled in another flathead today, enough for us both to have a feed of fresh caught fish tonight.
                                    Friday 21st
Lake Cathie

      Caught a bus into Port Macquarie today,(the bus so as I could be tourist) had a fine day looking around. Had all the seasons weather wise though, cloudy, hot and sunny, blowing a gale and a bit of moisture, not anything to stop me getting some photos though.
     This one of Lake Cathie (pronounced Cat-eye) I took out the window on the way over the bridge.

Art Critters in Port Macquarie
     I spent some time in one of the shopping centres then took a walk around the foreshore and out to town beach. These quirky little creatures are dotted here and there (even in Laurieton town centre)           
     They are works of art, this is only one of many that I photographed.

These photos are of the port and town beach.
     The walkway from the port area out to the beach is along the rock wall entrance to the port and most of the rocks are painted in some way or another, mostly with names and dates of when people where there.
Port Macquarie boat harbour

Port Macquarie boat harbour
and painted rock wall


Port Macquarie Town Beach
    The town beach is the local surfers paradise by the looks of it, Port Macquarie and the whole district is known for it's beaches and they are fantastic.

The Glasshouse - Information centre and conference-
entertainment building
      In the main street is the Information centre in this building called the glass house, it also houses  entertainment and conferences. An up market building in my eyes.

So, after a great day out I caught the bus back to Laurieton and camp.
           Saturday 22nd
Took a drive up North Brother mountain this morning to the look out to take these pictures. The
      view is fantastic. Laurieton actually nestles at the base of North Brother Mountain on the seaward side.
Myself, Dot and Yip at the look out on
North Brother Mountain
Camden Haven river, Laurieton and Queens lake
The bush up there is nice, some of the trees are huge. There is a walking track up the mountain from Laurieton but the road up is 5km so I will leave the walking to some-one else.
Natures wonders on North Brother mountain
Diamond Head and Watson Taylors Lake
from North Brother Mountain
On the other side of the look-out can be seen Dunbogan beach to Diamond head and Watson Taylors Lake.
A beautiful place to see the wonders of Laurieton and the Camden Haven river with the rock wall    and surrounding country side.
     It's been wonderful to catch up with friends of 20 years ago and check out the advances of a small sleepy fishing village that it was back then. Laurieton holds a special place in my memories and I have enjoyed being back for a while.
     Time to move on though and we will be heading north at the end of next week.  Will fill you in next month.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

6th to 12th Nov. Coopernook to Laurieton-Dunbogan

        Thursday 6th
    Short trip to Laurieton this morning. We spent some time here in 1994 - 20 years ago - will enjoy catching up with friends again here. Driving through Laurieton on our way to Dunbogan van park, the town has gone forward big time, can't stop progress I guess, but it's no longer the sleepy little fishing village it used to be (not surprising really). Made our way to the van park and booked in for a week at $180.00. Couldn't wait to try my luck at fishing at the Fisho's wharf in the afternoon while Jim had a beer at the local pub. No luck with the fishing, but I had a ball. Jim met a few folk that he knew, but reckoned the Pub is not the same(not surprising again).

Koala near Van park at Dunbogan
     Taking the dogs for a late evening walk they reckoned there was something in the tree, yes, a Koala, only a few metres from the park and on a busy street corner.
     Watched it for while but it didn't do much. A thrill for me though and the pup's looked for it each walk for the next few days. It stayed in this tree for a couple of days and made it's way somewhere else over night.

      Friday 7th to Wednesday 12th
      We are having a lovely time in Dunbogan, catching up with friends in Laurieton, I am doing the tourist bit, catching up with all there is to bee seen. A few photos of the Camden Haven area.
Camden Haven River + North Brother Mt.

Dunbogan beach to Diamond head +
North Brother Mt. (Laurieton sits beneath
the mountain)

Early morning at Dunbogan on
Camden Haven river
Entrance through the sea walls
into Camden haven river

Grants beach to grants head
north of the river entrance

One of the locals at Camden haven river
with out going tide from lake flats

Jim and Vannessa
all good fun at Dunbogan
         There is so much beautiful scenery to be seen, I had forgotten how lovely the area is, these are only a few of the sights we enjoyed.
     We are moving house tomorrow to another van park on the other side of the river, on Queens lake, a bit quieter I think and the weekly rate is only $120.00, the fishing should be as good.
     Catch you later.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

29th Oct to wed.5th Nov. Morisset & bulahdelah to Coopernook

              Wednesday 29th
     Taking the Sydney Newcastle freeway then on to the Pacific Highway we travelled to Morisset today. Did the necessary shopping and parked up at the Morisset showgrounds, at $20.00 per night we will be here for a couple days or so.
               Thursday 30th
     Went shopping (for fun) in town this morning and did the house work. Found a lovely pet shop while waiting for the washing at the Laundromat, they had birds of so many colours and varieties,  I have never imagined, and long haired rabbits, tropical fish, puppies and so much to look at, I had a pleasurable few minutes admiring the stock.
                             Friday 31st

Me at Bardens bay
Lake Macquarie

     Took the pup's in the Jimny for a drive out to lake Macquarie, its a huge inland salt water lake, connected to the sea. A kind local took this photo of me with the lake in the background.

              Saturday 1st November

Rainbow at Morisset
     A big market day here at the showground this morning, I had a look around and purchased a few things.  Spent some of the day preparing to travel tomorrow. The weather is not so good, with a  blustery wind and it turned into a bit of a thunderstorm this afternoon, lucky for us I had already put all the outside stuff away, including the awning before it blew too hard. Only lasted a little while and the sun came out again making a beautiful rainbow over Dilligaf

                            Sunday 2nd

         A couple of hours drive to Bulahdelah. When we arrived, there was a car show and markets on all weekend, some of the town is closed to traffic for the display.  We found the free camp at the bowling club where we stayed for the night. I walked up town to have a look at the cars on parade, man!! there were some fantastic vehicles. These 2 photos show only a few of them. I was taken with the old truck!

Car show at Bulahdelah
One of the oldies at car show Bulahdelah
     I visited the information centre while in town, got some handy maps and paid for 2 nights to park at the showground, powered sites are $17.00. We are set until Wednesday at this stage, will move the bus tomorrow morning.

              Monday 3rd & Tuesday 4th
     A bit cool on Monday morning, but should be a nice day even though it is cloudy. Tuesday much the same. A relaxing couple of days.

                                     Wednesday 5th

Tarbuck bay between Bulahdelah &

     We left Bulahdelah this morning heading for Coopernook, not too far up the scenic coast road. On the way we came across this lovely part of Wallis lake, called Tarbuck bay, the swans were an added bonus in the photo, there were 6 of them.

The sand bar entrance between
Forster and Tuncurry
     Arriving in Forster mid morning we stopped at the shopping centre to gather any larder items I needed, had some breakfast and continued. Over the bridge between Forster and Tuncurry, a magnificent sandbar and entrance to the lakes. Photo shows part of it. Forster/Tuncurry is much larger than expected, not a little seaside village at all.

About 20km out of Tuncurry we had a blow-out on the rear inside dual wheels. Bug - RRRR. Managed to find a road way to pull into and called a tyre repair company from Tuncurry to come out and fix it for us.
                                                            On to Coopernook. Found the pub, a great looking old building.
The Coopernook Hotel
     They allow fully self contained vehicles to park behind the hotel, just patronise the bar and or bistro, no problems there.

     The hotel is on the bank of the river, a pretty setting for a hotel. Not much else about here, a boat ramp, a few old cottages
 and the floating public pontoon. We are experiencing light rain with the odd lightning flash and thunder. Apparently Sydney and Newcastle are coping a fierce storm at present, hopefully it won't reach Coopernook.

     That's it for now, stayed tuned when we get to Laurieton.


Saturday, November 1, 2014

24th to 28th Oct. North through Sydney to Brooklyn

          Friday 24th

Crossing the Shoalhaven river
north/east of Berry
    On our way north. Visiting friends in south Sydney, then through the city traffic to the other side of Sydney.
The ocean! first glimpse
out from Gerroa
     Leaving Berry  early we crossed over the Shoalhaven river , very picturesque in the  morning light.  We drove through many towns and it was nice to see the ocean again. The tree tunnel along 7 mile beach(where the trees met over the road forming a tunnel) before Gerroa,  was something new.

The traffic increased as we went further north.

View of Gerringong and beyond
      The road traversed through many quaint country towns and villages, small and large, Kiama, Port Kembla, Towradgi and Thirroul to name a few, with some fairly steep climbs and descents, looking back out the bus window the view was ever changing. When I could get a photo opportunity  through the houses and buildings hanging to the cliff face of some towns, I managed this one looking back toward Gerringong early in the trip.

     We continued our way up hill and down dale until we found a place to pull over for a rest at Coledale, a small cliff-side/beach-side town about 45km from our destination of Miainbar.

Sharkeys beach at Coledale
     The beach side park we were at is called Sharkey's beach, a long stretch of white sand and the surf is up.    We spent the night here.
     The puppies had some fun on the beach, getting covered in sand and salt from the waves I managed to get Yip in to while playing with Dot. Washed them off in a small creek flowing onto the beach which was fresh water and they relaxed by the bus to dry themselves.

Surfs up at Sharkeys
beach - Coledale

      One end of the beach looked a 'beaut fishing spot for the keen rock fisherman, but I denied myself the pleasure, Too lazy, I guess to find the fishing gear needed.


Sunrise at Sharkey's beach Coledale
              Saturday 25th
      What a way to spend a morning, frolicking along the beach at sunrise. Had small breakfast and we were on our way again, but not before I took this sunrise picture through the sea mist. 


     Just north of Coledale is a piece of road construction which needed to be seen to be believed. Only opened a few short years ago apparently, (about 2005).
                                                    The Seacliff Bridge.
     We have been travelling along the Grand Pacific Drive, (about 71km of scenic roadway from Wollongong to Stanwell Tops) when we passed over the bridge. It is 665m long and 40mtrs above the sea, connecting a safe passage between Clifton and Coalcliff. (apparently it was pretty dangerous with falling rocks and the like before this was built)

looking back at the Seacliff Bridge
Seacliff Bridge
Clifton to Coalcliff

       A few pictures to show what it's like, it is quite a breath taking view!

Seacliff Bridge
looking back from Coalcliff
       Not too much further to go.  The drive through Stanwell Park area is lush ferns and forest, the temperature dropped while driving this part of the trip, cool in the shadow of green trees either side of the road.

Audley Weir
      Arrived in Miainbar early. Drove down a steep hill toward Port Hacking hoping to get close to the waters edge. Not so, narrow road with just enough room to turn around and go back up the hill and park on a bit of flat ground we found. This is where we will park for a couple of nights while we visit our friends here.

     We went to Audley weir for a couple of hours. Beautiful place to picnic, too busy for my liking. You can't do anything without a heavy wallet. Even wanted $11.00 for a day pass which allowed you to park your vehicle and use the grounds.
Art display on bus stop at Miainbar

         Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th we spent with our friends, catching up on 20 years. A thoroughly enjoyable way to spend the weekend. Thanks to our great friends Kate and Steve. Thanks guys!!
                                                   This mural in the bus stop was on the other side of the road where we were parked. It is like a virtual life story of Miainbar in 2002. Well done!

             Monday 27th
     Only travelled for half an hour or so this morning, to Janalli to catch up with more old friends of Sydney. Spent the day with them, lovely to catch up. Can do without the city life style though, been there - done that and so happy to be doing what we are.

            Tuesday 28th

Hawkesbury river and Brooklyn bridge
     We departed Janalli early this morning to try and beat the Sydney peak traffic. (Ha - Ha)Refuelled Dilligaf and off we went - and went - and went. !!!!!!!!!     Two hours later we had travelled an enormous 40km. City driving!! you can keep it.  Jim was coping really well and had slipped into the hustle and bustle of city driving after a short distance, unlike me - and I was only the passenger!!
     70km from our departure in Janalli we came to Brooklyn and the Hawkesbury river. Only took us 3 hours to get here. Oh well, that's life, but I don't care if we never have to drive in city traffic again.

      We decided to stop here for the night, it is a delightful rest area on Deerubbin reserve.
 Jim and the puppies enjoyed a relax on the lawn in front of Dilligaf. A tiring sort of day but glad to be on the northern side of Sydney.

relaxing at Deerubbin reserve at
Brooklyn on the Hawkesbury river
     I Tried my hand at fishing earlier in the day, but the only bait I could muster was dog meat, but never mind that, I had fun and Yip and Dot waited with bated breath for me bring something in. (which never happened) Enjoyed the evening watching the fairy lights of the highway traffic.



     Another chapter in our trip has come to an end as we look forward to heading north again, away from the busy city and on to the next faze of our journey. North and catch up with more of our friends of 20 years ago. It's going to be fun. Catch you then.