New South Wales
Monday 3rd May 2004
We left the Gold Coast via Coolangatta and crossed the borders to Tweed Heads in New South Wales, we travelled south along the Pacific Highway (1), and stopped for lunch in Byron Bay. Cape Byron, easternmost point in Australia and that's where the sun first hits the sand. We toured the town and then the lighthouse and took lots of photos of this magic spot and then continued along the Pacific Highway to Ballina and checked in at the Ballina Lake Side Holiday Park. Ballina population 12,500 sits at the estuary of the Richmond River. We stayed for two nights here, then we moved on to Grafton and checked in at the Gateway Village Caravan Park. The Jacaranda City, Grafton population 18,500 and famous for its 7000 trees, graceful old buildings, beautiful parks and its mighty river, the Clarence.
|Byron's Lighthouse||Walking To The>>>>>||Most Easterly Point||Lunch On The Go-Byron|
|Ballina's Foreshore||The Big Prawn-Ballina|
Friday 7th May 2004
We left Grafton after staying for two nights and continued south to Coffs Harbour, we check in at the Park Beach Top Tourist Park. Coffs Harbour population 60,000 is Australia's major timber port. Coffs Promenade is a popular attraction, with specialty shops and restaurants, as well as the jetty and the Big Banana Theme Park. The weather was excellent, we spent an afternoon at the nearby township of Sawtell. we stayed in Coffs Harbour for a couple of nights and enjoyed it a lot. Sunday 9th May 2004: We continued our travel south to Port Macquarie, we stopped for lunch at Kempsey the birthplace of the late country singer Slim Dusty (my favourite singer, "I like to have a beer with Duncan"), and we toured around the beautiful beaches. We arrived Port Macquarie late in the afternoon and we checked in at the Sundowners Breakwall Tourist Park right on the waterfront. The park was extra clean, with a million dollar water front views and within a walking distance to the town centre. Port Macquarie population 39,000, located at the mouth of the Hastings River, it has two major shopping centres and 60 restaurants, from 5 Star to fish and chips, and has beautiful secluded beaches, no wonder we opted to stay for a whole week and we greatly enjoyed the stay.
|St Agnes Cathedral-Port Macq||Main Street-Port Macquarie||Breakwall Caravan Park||Kempsey on the Macleay River|
Sunday 16th May 2004
On the move again heading south along the Pacific Hight (1), our first stop was Taree for a breather and a gas fill. The next stop was Bulahdelah for lunch, then continued on, arriving the City of Newcastle late in the afternoon and checked in at the Stockton Beach Caravan Park in Stockton. The park was clean, of average standard and about 12 km by car from the city centre but five minutes via the ferry. Newcastle is the largest non-capital city in Australia, with a population of 500,000 is even larger than Canberra, Darwin and Wollongong but not as clean and is very industrial, although we enjoyed the walk down Hunter Mall where we saw some of the finest Victorian and Edwardian buildings, we also visited the Art gallery where Mel Gibson's film scripts of the Passion of Christ were on display. During our week stay, we visited the townships of Belmont and Swansea to the south, Raymond Terrace, Karuah, Port Stephen and Nelson Bay to the north.
|Maitland Stn Hotel-Newcastle||Christ the King Cathedral||Hunter Street-Newcastle||Old Town Hall-Newcastle|
|Entrance to the Gallery-Newcastle||Ferry Station-Newcastle||Lighthouse-Newcastle||New Council House-Newcastle|
Sunday 23rd May 2004
We left Newcastle and arrived at Gosford just in time for lunch, then we continued on. The traffic flow was pretty good so we arrived Sydney early in the afternoon and checked in at the Lane Cove Tourist Park, North Ryde. The caravan park is part of the Lane Cove National Park, set in an undisturbed natural setting, so natural that we have befriended a flock of parrots who used to join in our meals every day. Sydney is a very busy city, everyone seems to be rushing except us (maybe because we were not in a hurry to get to anywhere). Since public transport was excellent, we managed to tour many of the suburbs like: Chadstone, Black Town, Lakemba, Parramatta, Manly, Bondi where we had a delicious Indian Currie and rice, The Blue Mountains, Katoomba etc. as well as Circular Quay, the Darling Harbour and Olympic Park (where the Olympic Games took place), by using the trains, buses or ferries and very rare using our car.
|Sydney's Tower at Dusk||Sydney's Opera House||Darling Harbour||Circular Quay|
|Sydney's Luna Park at Night||Lighthouse Darling Harbour||Hand Feeding the Parrots||Parramatta City|
|Ferry Tour in Sydney Harbour||The Ferry We Took on the Tour||Captain Cook Guiding Us||Olympic Park-Sydney|
|Popular Bondi Beach||Fountain Central Kings Cross||Giraffe Taronga Zoo||Manly Foreshore|
Monday 7th June 2004
On the road again heading south to Kiama, after having lunch at Wollongong bakery, we continued on until we arrived at the Blowholes Holiday Park in Kiama. The park had a million dollar view, sitting on top the marina and backing onto the lighthouse and the blowholes. Kiama is a holiday town, and that's what the 10,000 locals mainly rely on. The name is thought to derive from the Aboriginal "Kiaram-a" (meaning 'where the sea makes noise', maybe because of noise from the blowholes. A row of restored timber cottages on Collins street are classified by the National Trust and they are beautiful. We visited the townships of Port Kembla, Shellharbour, Nowra, and one day we took advantage and travelled by the train which passes through the town, and went all the way to Sydney's Blue Mountains and Katoomba, we spent all day touring the area on board a tourist bus, and came back to Kiama late in the evening, and that was a wonderful experience which should not be missed.
|Our Camp-Kiama||Blowholes Caravan Pk-Kiama||Kiama Post Office||Kiama Town Centre|
|Wollongong City Centre||Wollongong's Lighthouse||Three Sisters-Blue Mountains||Blue Mountains Lookout|
Sunday 13th June 2004
From Kiama we followed the Princes Highway (1), travelling south, we stopped for a bite at Ulladulla, then we continued to Batemans Bay, and checked in at the Easts Holiday Park (Big 4). The Park was across the bay overlooking the town centre. Batemans Bay population 8,000 is situated on the banks of the Clyde River (known as "Bhundoo" to the local Aborigines), which boasts very pure water _ the local oysters are excellent, and you can take my word for it, as is the fishing. We toured the historic town of Mogo and Moruya.
|Town Centre Across the Bay||Waterfront Restaurant-Batemans||Historic Town of Mogo||Ulladulla Lighthouse|
Sunday 20th June 2004: From Batemans Bay and after enjoying the week stay, back on the road heading to Canberra the Capital of this beautiful country Australia, via the steep, windy, and sometimes dangerous, King Highway (if we knew about it, we would have taken an alternative route), but lucky for us everything went ok (thanks to the Land Cruiser and the Ford Falcon), we arrived Braidwood about midday, so we stopped for lunch and a tour of the town then we continued to Canberra where we checked in at the Cartel Caravan Park. The park was of average Standard but very close to the city centre.
|Canberra Australian Capital||View from Telstra Tower-Canberra||Carrington Gardens-Canberra|
|Bay View Hotel-Braidwood||Braidwood's Post Office||Queanbeyan Main Street|
In contrast to most Australian cities and towns, Canberra is a fully planned city, and lacks the chaotic charm of places we visited so far, that grew up from a random collection of tents clustered on the banks of a river or a goldfield. The nation's Capital is undeniably well ordered, with a fast network of well signposted roads and highway. Canberra is clean and thoroughly modern city, its suburbs following the sweeping lines of avenues and cul-de-sacs, but lacks nightlife compared with Sydney or Melbourne. It is more for visitors interested in architecture and monuments. The Telstra Tower on Black Mountain, stands 195 metres high and has viewing galleries from which you can get a 360 degrees of this magnificent city, other places of interest are: Parliament house, the High Court, the National Library, the War Memorial, the National Science and Technology Centre, the National Gallery, Lake Burley Griffin with its three landmarks: the Captain Cook Memorial, a 150 metres water jet known irreverently to Canberrans as the "Royal Flush", the Carillon: a three-column belltower that was a gift from the British Government, and the National Capital Exhibition on Regatta Point. We have enjoyed all of these places and we hope you do.
Sunday 27th June 2004
Off to Cooma to the Snowy Mountains, the weather was getting much cooler as we arrived and checked in at the Snowtell Holiday Park. Next morning we hired a set of chains and we started our first expedition heading 56 km west to Jindabyne the gateway to the Snowy Mountains. We stopped at this picturesque town for breakfast and shopping for warm clothings, then we continued on to Thredbo on Mount Kosciuszko, we had lunch at the restaurant, then we toured around: Smiggins Holes, Perisher, Charlotte Pass and Dead Horse Gap, we loved the place and we loved the snow as you can see in the photos below.
|Snowy Mountains-Thredbo||Snowy Mountains Jindabyne||Skitube Thredbo to Perisher||Thredbo Snow|
|Snowy Mountains||Thredbo Village||Thredbo Snowman||Thredbo Skiing|
Wednesday 30th June 2004
From Cooma we travelled south east along the Snowy Mountains Highway and heading to coastline town of Merimbula, we stopped for lunch at the small town of Bemboka, then we passed through the townships of Candelo and Wolumla, taking photos and buying souvenirs. We arrived the picturesque holiday town of Merimbula early afternoon and checked in at the Sapphire Valley Top Tourist Holiday Park few metres away from the town centre, and that was very handy. Merimbula population 4,000 is magnificent holiday destination on the Sapphire Coast, and that's what we did during the week's stay here, nothing but relaxing and walking around town and the wharf, enjoying a lazy life style. We also visited the towns of Eden and Bega where we toured the popular Bega cheese factory (Yummy).
|Bemboka Flowers||Candelo General Store||Eden Lighthouse & Museum||Tathra Memorial Gardens|
|Merimbula Waterfront||Merimbula from Lookout||Kangaroos at Pambula||Bega Cheese Factory|
Wednesday 7th July 2004: We said goodbye to Merimbula and to NSW and we headed to the Victorian Borders