So what is all about? Well... hopefully, by the time we are done, it will be a comprehensive journal about a family of 5 who have travelled around Australia to see the sights and also do some volunteer work around the country! In Mid 2010 we started thinking about what it would take to fulfil a life-long dream... We wanted to bundle up our 3 kids, pack-up the house, jump in the car and hit the road - probably for about 12 months. It sounds so simple ... At the start of January 2013, after almost 15 months on the road; we finally completed Our Big Aussie Road Trip. We hope that you enjoyed following our adventures, trials and tribulations as much as we enjoyed having them!

07 December, 2012

Coffs Harbour to Kiama

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
Then it was back to the caravan park to hook up the van and drive south.  We had to pick up a parcel from Andrew and Elisha in Newcastle, so we went to the closest caravan park to their house, and for the first time on our entire trip, we were told that there were no powered (or unpowered) sites left!  So we had to drive another 5Km down the road to the next caravan park where they had plenty of room!  That evening, Mike dropped around to Andrew and Elisha’s house to say hi and pickup the parcel.

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!
Therefore, on Wednesday the 21st November, we drove from Belmont, right through Sydney, and down to Kiama.  Driving through Sydney is such a pain (especially when towing a van!)  The huge amounts of traffic and the amount of time it takes to get from one side to the other is quite ridiculous.  Nonetheless, we made it through Sydney and headed toward Wollongong.
Passing through Sydney on our way to Kiama
We stopped for a late lunch near an amazing lookout at the top of Bulli Pass (the big hill heading down to Wollongong).  After lunch, we kept heading south to Kiama.
A great lookout at the top of Bulli Pass
We booked into the Big4 in Kiama for 2 nights.  After we’d setup, we still had a little bit of daylight left, so we drove to ‘little blowhole’ for a look.  The swell and wind were perfect for Little Blowhole and it gave a great spray with a loud noise every minute or so.
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!
In the morning of Thursday the 22nd November, we did our schoolwork and the kids had a ride around the caravan park for a while.  That afternoon, we headed up to Saddleback Mountain lookout which gives absolutely spectacular views of the area.  The day was quite cold and at the top of the mountain it was even colder, however we were amazed that there wasn’t even a breath of wind at the top when we were there – it was so still.  We also saw a lyrebird run off into the bush at the top.  Kiama is a great little town, we really liked the area and the size of Kiama – pity it wasn’t just a bit warmer!
The outlook from the top of Saddleback Mountain, near Kiama

No comments: