Well we’ve missed a few weeks on the blog, is being busy an excuse? Hard life without a job!
Picking up from where we left off – we did a day trip through the Candole State Forest, where we met a couple doing the same thing as us, only 10 months in. Had lunch and a chat, great people!
We then made it to Illaroo camp ground, good spot but then the rain found us again. Another wet pack up in the morning and we were on our way.
We came across 2 river crossings both about 80 cm over the road, and flowing. Anyway, there was a car full of SES members there who said, “If we get stuck you’ll pull us out right?” Yeah too easy mate! Short story is that we had to get him out, poor fella, hydraulic locked the engine, pulled the spark plugs out and yeah, no good (was a toyota).
From there, we got to Coffs and picked up some Joolca hot water system parts (great warranty service). Then, we headed to Nambucca Heads and stayed close by that night at a little spot called Gumma Reserve. Once again, it rained all night and we woke up to a flooded river with water up to the rim of our tyres, and rising! So, we quickly packed up and left.
From there, we did a day trip to Trial Bay Gaol and Smoky Cape Lighthouse, a lot of good history there! That night, we stayed at Hat Head National Park, which was nice, we thought we’d get to dry everything out, but the rain kept coming!
From there, we went to Forster-Tuncurry and stayed on the Myall Lake, then in Forster itself as we needed water and to charge everything again before we headed to Barrington Tops. We thought it’d also be a chance for a nice afternoon of champagne and delicious food (sorry budget!)
We left for Barrington Tops, travelling through Gloucester. It was a steep and slippery trek up, with misty fog all around. We checked out a campsite but decided it was too creepy – the fog was too thick to see a metre in front of you! I imagine it as being a great place for murderers to hunt their prey….
We ended up finding a spot that was much better. The air was super fresh, we were about 1500m above sea level. This campsite was magical. Our only neighbours were a herd of five wild horses, who kept us company for two nights.
We spent a day doing just about nothing! Although beautiful, it was quite miserable with heavy fog coming through all day. Blaine desperately tried to make a fire and keep it going, and gave up after about 3 hours. We were not at all prepared for the freezing temperatures that hit us at Barrington. We still hadn’t replaced our quilt after the egg incident (see Week One blog post), and experienced our first few below-10 degree temps in the camper.
We spent another night in Barrington Tops but moved the camper trailer to a new campsite. We went exploring and learnt about how much we hate leeches (ick! Give me spiders any day). The scenery in the area was just breathtaking though, with bright green plants everywhere.
We left Barrington Tops and travelled down the Southern side. Wow! The views were unbelievable!
We couldn’t go past Scone and not stop in for scones. What a pretty little town, somewhere we would definitely go back. On this night, we stayed at a place called Glenbawn Dam. It was a nice spot next to the dam where we watched the sunset and Blaine fixed the car brakes. Somehow, throughout the night, we were ATTACKED by mosquitos. We covered our bodies with blankets and Blaine cleverly covered his face with a sheet. I however, got smashed with 52 mozzie bites, about 50% on my face. I spent the next week looking like a meth addict with sores all over my face. The joys of camping!
Now, we were ready to hit the Hunter Valley. We spent our first night at a winery, where we went to do some wine tasting and were invited to stay out the back of the winery. We packed up the next day and went wine tasting. Along with beer, cheese, honey, chocolate, fudge and lolly tasting. Needless to say we did not need dinner that night!
After a few nights in the Hunter Valley area we went onto Newcastle. Here, we went to a cool little brewery and participated in trivia. And we didn’t come last! Yeah, good thanks.
The next day, we waited around for a spare tyre and rim which we had ordered. It was pouring rain by the time we got on the road. We drove a few hours and got to a rest stop around 8pm. We both agreed that we couldn’t be bothered setting up the camper in the rain and get soaked so we spent the night sleeping in the camper, without winding up the roof. This was a nice cosy sleep with Blaine sleeping on the couch (with about 20cm above his head) and I slept on the floor. Most people would think we’re crazy, but it was lovely to just crawl out and drive away.
From here, we drove the tourist route through coastal areas and arrived in Kiama. What a beautiful little spot! We went to the Leagues Club for the Friday night raffles and won a meat tray and got some free tickets to the races the following day.
Saturday was spent at the Kembla Grange Racecourse, with a buffet lunch and free drinks.
We spent the next 3 nights at a free camp spot near Jervis Bay. We adventures out each day but also spent a day in bed watching movies (the rain caught up with us again). One night, we were sitting around the fire and heard tyre screeching and a horrible bang, so we jumped in the ute and found a 20 year old girl who had crashed into a tree. Blaine tried to get her from the car as I called the ambulance, we got her out of there without a scratch, just a little shaken up! Was awful!
With no sign of the rain on the third day, we decided to head down to Batemans Bay. Another nice little spot at a National Park.
Unfortunately there was a death in Blaine’s family, so we had to get to Rochester, VIC. We spent the next 2 days driving, we went via Canberra, would love to have spent more time there! That night we stayed at Tarcutta, just off the Hume highway. The next day we made to Rochy, where we’ve had about a week catching up with Blaine’s family.
From here, we plan to head into the high country and south east Victoria.
Blaine and Shenaid 😊