Category: Trips with others

Bateau Bay (Gosford)

Neil & Sharon recommended we stay at Blue Lagoon Beach Resort in Bateau Bay (near Gosford) and it did not disappoint. We were extremely lucky to get in as it was right in the middle of school holidays and the park was chokkers. The drive down from Tamworth was full of traffic snarls as people tried to get somewhere else on the motorway (maplink).

Would definitely stay here again.

Nundle Chinese Gold Festival

We were really fortunate to be in Tamworth on the same week-end that the Nundle Chinese Gold Festival was being held. It celebrates the village’s rich gold mining history and the many Chinese who were drawn there to seek their fortune.

There were Chinese dancers, magnificent dragons and many street and food stalls. It was perfect weather and a great day was spent immersing ourselves in some of the local history. Held every Easter, it is really a great thing to do if you are in the area.

Nundle is about 60km south of Tamworth (maplink).

Here are some videos we took of these amazing performers…

Tamworth NSW

Tamworth was not all that enthralling. We arrived following our trip from Tenterfield (maplink) and checked into the Big4 Paradise Tourist Park. The first thing we noticed was some of the local kids starting a series of fires in scrub-land next to the park; apparently an ongoing thing with fire brigades etc involved.

We went down the local visitor centre and the person we spoke to said that there was really nothing on except the “Nundle Dragon Festival” otherwise Tamworth is a pretty boring place (that’s what they said!)

Looks like the only time to visit Tamworth is for the Country Music Festival held each January.

Tenterfield NSW

Today we left the Gold Coast behind us and headed inland to Tenterfield. It was a big drive as we had to travel up the infamous Cunninghams Gap; a pass over the Great Dividing Range between the Darling Downs and the Fassifern Valley in Queensland. We were glad that we were taking the uphill route and not downhill as the toll on your brakes would have been significant (maplink).

Arriving in the lovely town of Tenterfield we checked into Tenterfield Lodge and Caravan Park for a one night stay. We asked the park owner about any interesting drives and he suggested taking the scenic drive out to Mount Mackenzie.

The drive was mostly gravel (along Kildaire Rd), using the map the caravan park gave us, but the scenery is incredible with huge granite boulders and heaps of wildlife. Totally recommend this little tour. We ended at the Mt Mackenzie lookout which has panoramic views over the valley taking in the Tenterfield township.

A day in Springbrook National Park

A solo trip by Neil to check out the Springbrook National Park visiting several locations with spectacular views of waterfalls valleys all the way down to the coast.

Springbrook is a mountain and plateau area, in Springbrook National Park, Queensland, Australia. Bush trails lead to Springbrook Mountain. The park is part of the Gondwana Rainforest, home to wildlife including koalas and rare birds. Make the trip if you get the chance; just try to pick a nice clear day (I was in the clouds for a lot of the time & it rained).

A day on the Broadwater

Our great mate Laird lives in Main Beach on the Gold Coast and we always drop in for a visit when in town.

Laird took us on a cruise up the Broadwater in his beautiful boat for a picnic on the western side of Wave Break Island (maplink). We were joined by his daughter Steph and her boyfriend, Brayden, along with their 2 dogs Ommie & Mr Bikk. A great spot well frequented by heaps of people.

Wave Break Island was created in 1985 as part of the Gold Coast Seaway construction. It was established to protect the western foreshore of the Broadwater from waves that might penetrate the new, permanently stabilised “seaway” entrance between the Nerang River and the ocean.

Gold Coast Big4 Caravan Park

We finally reached our destination at the Big4 Gold Coast Holiday Park and settled in for 5 days. What a fantastic park with great amenities (even has a fish tank in the toilet block); only drawback was the location right next to the M1 Motorway which was very noisy. We started on one site then moved to a much better one (out of the mud).

Our friends Louis & Cheryl drove down for dinner, which was great to catch-up on how life has been going since we last met.

We also celebrated Neil’s birthday with our travelling buddies Neil & Sharon while on the “Goldie”.

Road trip to Gold Coast

The trip from Coffs Harbour was rather arduous with the M1 Motorway under construction from Woolgoolga to Ballina; made even more difficult by torrential rain for most of the way.

The new Harwood Bridge over the Clarence River (near Yamba – maplink) is an engineering marvel. The bridge was still under construction when we crossed over the river on the old bridge, which puts into perspective how massive the new bridge is. Check out some photos below (from the web)…

Coffs Harbour

We absolutely love Coffs Harbour and have stayed here quite a few times. This time it was at the Big4 Park Beach Holiday Park near to the harbour. A nice park in a great location with fantastic amenities. We travelled here from Port Stephens via Port Macquarie (maplink).

Caught up with friends Dave & Julie from Sandy Beach and did some day tripping around the area…

  • Woolgoolga – lunch at the Blue Bottle Cafe in “Woopie”. We always come here for the corn fritters – yum.
    • Woolgoolga is also famous for the Sikh Temple and has the largest Sikh population in Australia.
  • The Big Banana – a photo op not to be missed
  • The Forest Sky Pier situated at Sealy Lookout up in the hinterland above Coffs with stunning views over the town and coastline
  • Red Rock Headland and the Corindi River estuary. A truly beautiful spot and a future stopping point on our travels for certain.

Stop off at Port Macquarie

We dropped into Port Macquarie on our way to Coffs Harbour to check out the sea wall next to the caravan park. This is where we panted our wombat graffiti on one of the sea wall rocks; which is a bit of tradition for visitors to the area. To our amazement it was still there, 7 years later.

In 2017 Hastings Council (Port Macquarie) passed a by-law banning any future rock-art along the section where our rock is, so it looks like it’s there for some time yet – woohoo! It’s opposite 17th Avenue in the Port Macquarie Breakwall Holiday Park, if you’re ever in the area.

Port Stephens – Inner Light Tea Rooms

The Inner Light Tea Rooms are an absolute must when you are in Port Stephens/Nelson Bay, especially on a sun-filled day like we had. The views are spectacular and the lunch is fantastic.

It is a short walk up the hill from the caravan park (maplink); you can drive but parking is a bit of a premium.

The tea rooms are part of the Coast Guard & Marine Rescue facility, which is operated by trained and qualified volunteers, 24 hrs a day; 7 days a week; 365 days a year, monitoring 27MHz, VHF and HF marine frequencies, emergency and calling channels.

Port Stephens – Birubi Beach

Birubi Beach was such a lovely beach to visit – thanks to Neil & Sharon for recommending it. There are so many things going on here like, 4WD tours, Camel Rides, Surfing or just a great lunch spot at the Crest Cafe.

Port Stephens – Halifax Park CP

We headed out of North Narrabeen toward our next stop at Halifax Holiday Park in Nelson Bay (Port Stephens) stopping off for a seniors coffee at Macca’s in Gosford (maplink). Here for 4 nights.

Halifax Holiday Park is located in the ideal spot; walk to town, go for a swim or walk up the hill to the tea rooms above the park.

We stayed in this park back in 2015 and it was smashed by a category 2 super storm which literally tore the town apart. We were fortunate to get out unscathed but others, like our neighbours, were devastated when a tree fell on their car (total write-off). Glad to see it back to normal.

Around Sydney

We’ve been to Sydney sooo many times but you will still always find something new and interesting in this wonderful city.

As mentioned in the previous post; we really struck it lucky with Narrabeen Lakeside Caravan Park. The views from the park were fantastic and you could just walk over the road to the beach.

We caught up with friends on Neil & Sharon’s at The Collaroy in Pittwater Road (maplink) for a great lunch overlooking the beach. For those with a 70’s clothing styles, the restaurant is owned by the “Merivale Group” from the House of Merivale & Mr John days. (check out TripAdvisor for reviews)

Off to Summer Bay to check out the home of “Home & Away” (maplink)

Then another lunch at The Newport (maplink) which is a group of eateries overlooking the Pittwater harbour. A spectacular place to sit, eat, drink a few beers and take in the view. A definite new favourite for our future visits . (check out TripAdvisor for reviews)

Finished our day trips around Sydney with an afternoon tea at the Bella Vista Cafe on Sydney’s North Head (maplink) with glorious views over Sydney Heads and back to the city.

Narrabeen Lakeside Caravan Park

Traveled up to Narrabeen Lakeside Caravan Park via Sydney from Gundagai which was one of those forgetful “car GPS goes haywire” types of trips; going up one way streets and then over the Sydney Harbour Bridge when we should have gone through the tunnels. As they say – “we took the scenic route” and arrived 20 minutes behind our travelling buddies.

Once settled into this beautiful caravan park (maplink) we really started to enjoy the view of the lake and the serenity of the place. Caught up with some friends as well while we were there. We even had some nosy ducks coming around each day and we finally weakened and gave them a bit of a feed – naughty I know but they were really funny; check out video below

Junee Licorice & Chocolate Factory

This morning we said our farewells to our extended Bailey family and now the tour group is down to 2 caravans with Neil & Sharon and Neil & Merrisa.

We headed off to Junee (maplink) to check out the Junee Licorice Factory. What a hidden gem this place is, located in the old flour mill of Junee. We enjoyed a beautiful lunch in their cafe. They also have a fantastic array of goodies to be purchased.

After lunch we took a stroll thru the motor museum, which is a bit tired but still worth a look.

Here is a video about the Junee Licorice & Chocolate Factory…