It was Monday the 19th November when we drove out of Eltham. We had been in contact with some of our good friends (Ali and Simon) who now live in Armidale, and we wanted to go and spend a couple of nights with them. We had planned to go to Armidale, and then drive to Newcastle to stay with Liz’s brother, Andrew, for a couple of nights before heading past Sydney toward Melbourne. So our plan was all formulated and we were pretty excited as we drove from Lismore to Casino on our way to catch up with Ali and Simon and their kids. However, as we were driving toward Casino, we had a phone call from Mike’s cousin Steve to say that his daughter had been diagnosed with Scarlett fever! Our kids had seen his daughter twice in the last few days and so it was possible that our kids were infected too. We really didn’t want to have to cancel seeing our friends in Armidale and Newcastle, but we also really didn’t want to bring sickness into their houses (because both of them have young babies). So it was with much disappointment that we implemented a self-imposed quarantine (which was to last 7 days) and we cancelled our catchup with Ali & Simon, and Andrew & Elisha!! The kids were also very disappointed, but we promised that we would try and make it back to Armidale and Newcastle in January.
After some lunch in Casino, we changed our direction and headed back for the east coast where we drove to Coffs Harbour. We checked into a caravan park and went for a walk along the beach on a cold, windy day.
The next day we headed for Newcastle, but before we left Coffs Harbour, we drove to the Big Banana to have a very quick look and take a photo.
|The kids at the Big Banana|
Throughout our entire journey around Australia, we have kept a large map of Australia stuck up on the wall inside the caravan, and whenever we continue our journey, we draw our ‘black line’ to show where we’ve been. Our line was now very close to being a complete loop around the country! However, we had decided some time ago, that we would not stop in Sydney as we drove past toward Melbourne (where we would catch a boat to Tasmania) because we didn’t want to feel like our trip was ending – just because the main loop around the country was complete.
|Our 'black line' around the country just before completing the large loop!|
|Passing through Sydney on our way to Kiama|
|A great lookout at the top of Bulli Pass|
|Mike and the kids enjoying 'little blowhole'|
|Kiama's Little Blowhole|
After little blowhole, we drove around to the Main Blowhole in Kiama, but the swell direction wasn’t right and so it wasn’t blowing very much at all (Little Blowhole was much better on that day) but it’s easy to see why the Kiama Blowhole get’s its reputation. If the swell was heading in the perfect direction, this blowhole would be absolutely huge!
|Waiting to see if the main Kiama Blowhole would perform!|
|The outlook from the top of Saddleback Mountain, near Kiama|