Travelling around Australia in a motorhome. A story of our travels starting from NSW then through Queensland, across to Northern Territory and Western Australia, then to South Australia, Victoria and finally across the seas to Tasmania. We have enjoyed everywhere we have visited and look forward to setting off again in our motorhome.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Bellingen 29 September – 3 October 2011

Stopped at Maclean for lunch, where Peter showed us where the floods nearly topped the levee when he was last there in the SES. Got to Bellingen in good time and tried to find a spot to stay, but it is definitely not motorhome friendly and it was hard to find somewhere for the night. In the morning, we got up early to go into the Global, but we were directed to a spot where we got bogged in the mud and needed to be towed out! Finally settled in a drier spot, but unfortunately more cold rain meant the whole site became a quagmire with thick mud making it difficult to move around the site. As we were concerned with getting stuck again, we ended up moving out of the campground before the track became impassable. We bumped into old friends Lindsay and Sue from the Mountains. They have just got a 4WD camper and are looking forward to travelling in the outback. Also caught up with Dave and Tanya (from Wongawilli) who were playing at the festival. Amongst the musical highlights were John Cleary, Dirty Dozen Brass Band (from New Orleans), Frank Yamma (beautiful Aboriginal singer), Band of Brothers (with the Gorgonian brothers), Grace Barbe (from Mauritius), Sunas (a Celtic group), Suara Indonesian Dance Group (great interpretive dances) and Mama Kin (who had John Butler singing with her) . While we enjoyed the variety of musical acts, we were not impressed with the organisation of the festival and won’t make it back again.

A Bog Day's Night

Settled in at The Global

Ballina 28 September 2011

Moved down the coast, heading for Bellingen to go to the Global Music Festival. On the way, we stopped into Newrybar, as Laura enjoyed staying there with Nat. It was a hamlet rather than a village, with a fancy cafe and an expensive antique store – you could imagine people from Byron Bay flocking there on the weekend for a cosy meal and an overpriced ‘bargain’. Stayed outside Ballina for the night. Ballina has really grown since we were last there and is now like a crowded Shellharbour. It is interesting to see how the once small coastal towns are developing and they way they embrace (or reject) change.

In a Pensive Mood

A Kings Ransom!

Redcliffe 27 September 2011

After the interviews finished, we set off for Redcliffe and camped by a jetty. We meet a woman with another Longreach, who was still working out how to use it, so we were able to help her work out a few problems.

Maleny Sunrise

Maleny 23 - 26 September 2011

After not getting any feedback from her job applications, Laura now has 2 interviews next Tuesday, so we decided to stay at Maleny to give her a chance to prepare. On Friday night we went to the cafe to hear a jazz trio and have a meal. Peter got up early Saturday morning to go to a few garage sales but there wasn’t much around. On Sunday we went to the markets and then onto an open day at the local historical museum. There were lots of interesting things to see and one of the old houses reminded us of our old cottage. There was also an old car display and Peter saw a beautifully restored 1948 Vauxhall coupe, as well as an early Reilly. In the afternoon, we went back to Mapleton to listen to some folk music but didn’t stay long. Instead we decided to get some ingredients for a high tea and had a nice meal outside and watched the sun go down. On Monday, we helped Laura with her questions for her interviews for Tuesday. They seemed to go well, so now she just has to wait to see if she got the jobs.

Thursday, September 22, 2011


Crystal Waters

Mary River

Singing For Her Supper

Maleny 18 – 22 September 2011

After a very step and slow drive, we finally got up to Maleny, a pleasant little town we had visited 3 years ago and settled into the showground for a few days. Maleny is nestled into a lee of a ridge that runs along the hinterland of the Sunshine coast. It is a friendly town, with a thriving co-op that runs a general store and cafe. They had a blackboard concert in the cafe on Monday night and Laura sang a few of the songs she composed. We had an enjoyable time and heard some great music. On Tuesday we had a look around the town and went for a walk in a rainforest. There were some beautiful large trees still there and we thought it was amazing that this area was spared the clear felling that occurred in surrounding areas. On Wednesday went for a long drive around the district and visited a number of the surrounding villages. At Crystal Waters, we stopped to have morning tea at Mary River and had a look at an eco-village and then went onto Kenilworth for lunch. Laura is still looking for a job and checked out some likely positions on the internet – nothing exciting, but she is still applying.

Maleny Rainforest

Redcliffe Festival

Flying High

On the Beach

Friday, September 16, 2011

Redcliffe 13 - 17 September 2011

We have continued to enjoy Redcliffe and the surrounding area. Peter has been preoccupied working on a few problems with the Alpine, which unfortunately have not been resolved. Laura is still waiting for confirmation that she has a job in Darwin but came up from Hippy Land (ie Mullumbimby) and we went out to an interesting cafe on the water for lunch. She had been staying in a tree-house, so the motorhome was ‘luxury, lass, sheer luxury’. We showed Laura around the Redcliffe area and went for a few walks. On Sunday, they had a small festival and we went down to the waterfront and had a look at the markets. There was a speed-boat race on the bay that made lots of noise and sent spray shooting up into the air. One of the most amazing sights was a pair of helicopters who were filming the race and skimming just above the waves.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

The Mousetrap

Redcliffe 9 - 12 September 2011

Spent the time doing some jobs around Jimmy and having a look at Redcliffe. There are lots of interesting walks along the bays and rivers, as well as some yacht clubs and marinas at the harbour, where we had a delightful morning tea. Have visited a number of markets and Peter went to a few garage sales and picked up a few antiques. On Sunday we went to see the play ‘The Mousetrap’, which we last saw in 1976. Notwithstanding our previous visit, we couldn’t remember anything about it, so it was like seeing it for the first time. Peter (Mr Smarty Pants) guessed the right murderer and on the slim off-chance that you may see it, we have been sworn to secrecy to not reveal the ending (a hint – it wasn’t the butler)!

Peter at Redcliffe Harbour

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Heather and Nicky

Redcliffe 3 – 8 September 2011

Said goodbye to Kerry and Di and headed north to Redcliffe Showground. Redcliffe is an attractive seaside town that we have visited a number of times. Unfortunately, the showground was being used for a scouting competition, so we had to shuffle around to get a site; however we were in time for the Sunday market, which had lots of interesting goods for sale. Redcliffe was much the same, except for the foreshore, which they are digging up to ‘beautify’ so we should see the results next time we are here. Peter has been busy getting parts for the truck and sorting out a few problems – however we are very pleased with the Longreach and look forward to some longer trips in it. Nicky has been good so far – he sleeps all night and Peter takes him for a walk in the morning and he seems to have settled in very well. Have started to explore the area – there are many interesting walks along the river and coast and it has been lovely warm days so far.

Kerrie, Di and Heather

View from K & D Porch

Currumbin Waters 1 – 2 September 2011

After a noisy night we were up early and decided to get to Currumbin that day. North from Coffs Harbour, the road gets very messy, with lots of speed changes, from 40 to 110 kph and Peter found the going difficult. Stopped at Brunswick Heads and enjoyed a peaceful lunch parked next to the river. This little town seems to have been bypassed by progress and we enjoyed showing it to Laura. Arrived at Peter’s cousin house and got the motorhome registered. Kerry and Di live on one of the canal estates and have done a great job of renovating their house. They have boundless energy and are always looking for the next project, so we will see how long they stay there. We caught up with family gossip and Peter helped Laura prepare for a job interview for a position in Darwin. Laura has finished her Masters in International Relations and is now looking for a permanent job, but has found the first one is always the hardest to get. The phone interview went well and she should know by next Wednesday (fingers crossed). She then headed off to Byron Bay to catch up with some of her friends and hopefully we will catch up before she heads to Darwin.

A Muddle of Motorhomes

Some poor hitchhikers I Picked Up

Brunswick Heads

Laura and Nicky

Little Italy 31 August 2011

On the road early and headed north on the highway to make some miles. We stopped at Grafton for lunch and again encountered a low bridge (don’t you love your GPS)! Called it quits at a campsite called Little Italy, which was the location of an original Italian settlement, organised by Sir Henry Parkes. While we were looking forward to a magnificent Italian meal, the cafe doesn’t open at night, so Heather made an Italian dish in the Winnebago and we opened a bottle of red – the things we have to do!

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Low Bridge at Wauchope

Macksville Lunch

Wauchope 30 August 2011

As we were trying to get to Queensland to register the Winnebago Longreach, we headed up the highway and after stopping at Macksville for lunch, we set up camp at Wauchope for the night. We had planned to stay on the river for the night, but as we approached our site, we found a low-lying bridge that was 100mm too low for the motorhome. As we couldn’t reverse, we took it very slowly and with Heather on the roof guiding Peter, we just made it! A lesson (once more) in checking travel advice you get from locals!

Last of the Fibros

Sunset at Entrance

The Entrance 29 August 2011

We haven’t been travelling that much the past 2 years, but we had made up our mind that we would start now or finish up our musings. We are conscious of how quickly life seems to be charging along and we have seen some of our friends that have left it too late to do anything, so we stepped into the breach once more and planned a trip up north. This time we decided to take Nicky, so we will see how we go with a dog. Had an unexpected amount of work to do around the motorhome to get it ready and so we didn’t leave until Monday morning. Laura is home at the moment (between travels) and had gone up to Sydney for a reunion, so we organised to meet her at Tuggerah. As we were already off the highway, we decided to continue on and stop at The Entrance. Like most of the north coast, it is quickly morphing into a ‘resort destination’, with McMansions replacing the fibro shacks of our youth – progress I guess. We stopped at a camp right on the water and decided to go for a stroll along the lake, however we were accurately dive bombed by a pair of nesting plovers, so we retreated and walked along the river and then back along the beach. There was a 4 story deserted mansion positioned right on the sand dune and when we asked a local how it was allowed to be built; he gave a wink and said it was who you knew in council! Went back to Jimmy and had a wine while we watched the sunset over the lake.