5 May – Plainlands to petrie
While it’s nice to get home, being on the road is our dream and what we enjoy most. We now look forward to our next adventure in late August 2013.
4 May – Bluff Rock to Plainlands
We took the scenic route through Alora & down the range. Probably a bit slower but a hell of a lot more interesting. We were invited to stay at Martin & Amanda’s new place for the night some time ago but this is the first opportunity we’ve had. It’s located in a new acreage estate just west of Laidley and their house & extra large shed was very nice. We had some good food & a few drinks for our last night of this wonderful holiday.
3 May – Bingara to Bluff Rock Rest Area south of Tenterfield NSW
Sadly it was once again time to leave this wonderful place as we packed up and headed for home. We stopped in to Copeton Dam to check out the camping options for future trips. The NSW government has spent an enormous amount of money building new facilities and tidying this place up. It was $20 per van a night at the time of our visit and it appears to be quite a set up with 2 dump points, various camping areas at the waters edge, camp fires, walking trails & hire boats and new ammenaties. Probably worth a visit next time for a week or so. We pulled into the Bluff Rock Rest area around 3pm which is a roadside stop but quite scenic & the passing traffic was not a problem. It got down to about 6 degrees overnight, so winter is on the way and it can go well below zero around here.
28 April – 2 May – Bingara on the Gwydir River NSW
We left the lake and headed off via Tamworth where we stopped for lunch at the Tavern behind the big guitar. The meals here are massive and of good quality. Martin & Amanda joined us for lunch as they were having some work done on the Silverado. We veered off the highway and went via Upper Bingara to pick up some fire wood, a bit dusty but a nice drive. We entered the usual camp about 4 klms from town and found the river was down a fair way and didn’t look very inviting at all. So we headed back to one near the water treatment plant which is very picturesque.
The next day we went for a long paddle up stream crossing several sand bars and enjoyed the serenity of this beautiful river with it’s abundant bird life. Martin & Amanda joined us that afternoon. We must mention the fantastic weather we have had since leaving home, we couln’t ask for better with blue skies, cool nights around the camp fire and warm days in the kayaks.
On Wednesday May 1st Martin & Amanda dropped Craig & Wendy, Debbie & I about 12 klms upstream from camp with our kayaks for a paddle back downstream. Unfortunately the water was quite low and there were more than a dozen places where we had to hop out & drag the kayaks over rocks & sand bars. It was quite difficult in places & hard on the ankles & feet, but what a great time we had. At on point Deb & I tried to go between two rocks in a rapid and ended up tipped on our side between them. I fell into the freezing water and screamed like a girl, but man was it cold! We had a combined dinner this night of roast lamb on the pig, spuds with sour cream followed by apple crumble & cream. All prepared by our expert on site chefs. We hate roughing it 🙂
Craig & Wendy departed on Thursday morning, so the rest of us declared it a day of relaxation. Debbie was mostly over her dose of the flu, but I was in the midst of it. Yuk! Tonight is pizza night cooked by the local baker & they are to die for.
26-27 April – Lake Saint Claire NSW
We said our goodbyes to Geoff & Joy and wished them well in their transition to becoming Queenslanders in the near future. We travelled through some beautiful country to Clarencetown. The bridge in town was only just wide enough for the vans, which seems to be a thing in NSW as many bridges challenge to your ability to go through narrow spaces. The caravan park here has a nice section beside the river but as it was still school holidays, it was packed. But one to keep in mind for future travels.
We continued on to Lake Saint Claire near Singleton. It was quite busy here also, but we managed to find a reasonable spot about 50 metres back from the water. Skiing, sailing, fishing & kayaking were the order of the day. We paddled around a ridge and found the peace and quiet of a large bay area where the water was smooth as glass and a small creek wandering off to the base of the mountains. I had a bit of a fish without success, but I don’t think anybody else was having much luck either.
24-25 April – Mungo Brush to Tea Gardens NSW
Headed down to Geoff and Joy’s place and to pick our baby up again. Sammy had had a ball playing with other dogs, a trip to the beach where the dog sitter caught some fish and then cooked them up with some pasta for the dogs dinner. Talk about spoilt. We set up camp on a vacant block beside Geoff’s place which backs onto the water. It was great to catch up with them again but unfortunately Joy had a cold and didn’t feel too well. Geoff cooked up a piece of marinated lamb on the BBQ which was enjoyed by all.
The next day Craig and I went out fishing in the kayaks in hope of catching lunch. We paddled about a kilometre against a pretty strong current to some wrecks but the couldn’t stay there as the tide was too strong. We fished about for a couple of hours with me missing a nice flathead and Craig lost one and almost caught another. Just as I was heading back in Craig scored a few whiting, enough for a break snack. That night we cooked up marinated beef & lamb ribs with vegies and washed it all down with a few ales.
22-23 April – Coopernook SF to Mungo Brush in Myall Lakes NP NSW
Being a NP we had to drop Sammy off at a dog sitter in Tea Gardens. A very sad moment. It was fairly busy at Mungo Brush as it was still school holidays in NSW but the gremlins (children) weren’t too bad. We paddled about 2 klms to a little beach on the the lake and back on the first day. Very nice and a bit of exercise at last. Day 2 went for a drive to explore other camp areas and look for a fishing spot. I went down a sand track to check out the beach and ended up having to let the tyres down to 12 lb to turn around. It was absolutely beautiful on the beach so we stayed for a couple of hours and had a go at fishing. Craig caught a dart and I scored a slightly undersized bream. After lunch we went for a rainforest walk out of camp and ended up tromping through scrub to try and find a way around the flooded tracks. We eventually returned via the road. A few drinks watching the sun go down over the lake is pretty special here.
21 April – Tyndale to Coopernook State Forest NSW
Well, no hangover at least. It was a pretty good run as the Pacific Highway upgrades are mostly complete in this section. This free camp spot is a large flat area in the forest & the dirt road in is in good condition. There’s only one basic drop toilet & fires are allowed. It cooled off pretty early so we sat around a really nice fire and had a few drinks & ports.
18-21 April – Petrie to Tyndale NSW
Left Petrie approximately 10am Thursday 18 April – on the road again – Yah!!! You can see that Sammy is just thrilled to be back in the car travelling – NOT. Hoping that the car sick tablets will help convince him it’s a good thing:). Heard a rattle from under the car & found the shockie that ARB replaced had not been tightened properly. We called in to ARB at Hendra & Matthew came out & fixed it for us. The car sick tablets worked a treat & Sammy slept most of the way. We stopped for lunch along the way & pulled into Tyndale around 3pm. After setting up camp behind the roadhouse in the van park, we joined Bev & Trev for a few ales & a drop of port before bed.
Woke to a foggy Friday morning, had bacon & eggs, then took Sammy for a walk. Beautiful weather at long last. Later we went for a drive to Minnie Water & a short stroll on the beach. Basically a fishing village with not much else there. A nice drive just the same. Trevor cooked t-bones & a chilli con carne with quite a bit of fire in it, YUM!! Debbie made a veggie bake that was to die for. For some reason we both seem to be sleeping like babies.
Saturday, Trevor’s 60th birthday, another beaut morning, sunny skies & a cool breeze. Party tonight!