The Juscy Van Roadtrip across Australia
Strawberry fields forever. ( day 5)
There’s just no better way to jump start your day then with a soak in an artesian thermal spa. We have only bathed twice in the mineral pools and I can already feel the difference in my skin. I think I’m now a fan and will jump at the next chance to visit another. As for now, we are leaving Moree this morning and leaving behind the serene rolling hills and small farming towns that max out there population at only a few hundred. I’m glad we decided to drive inland and see a bit of the country side. I would never have pictures Australia to look this way. The landscape was a mix between England’s hilly green pastures and mid western America’s vast plains; true cowboy land. Now we’re setting east, back to the coast and heading to our next destination, Coffs Harbour.
Along the way we discovered this brilliant roadside strawberry shop. I believe it was called Strawberries and cream. Mouths watering as we drove past, we only got a few meters away and turned right around. Who can resist a fresh strawberry shake? The strawberries were absolutely gorgeous, far better than any grocery will have. A rich dark chocolate fudge dipping sauce and a strawberry shake to share completed our order. What a lovely stop. The shop also sells homemade Jams (unfortunately we already picked some up from another local farmer) fresh olives, lavender, all kinds of dipping and topping sauce, there’s a cafe, and a gift shop with some really cute home decor (lots and lots of cow decor) A must stop shop if ever along this route. The strawberries went great with our lunch along waterfall highway. We pulled off on Hillgrove road heading to Blakes Falls hoping for a nice view to have our picnic. We got more than we bargained for! There was superb viewing of the falls and the mountain side.
The drive in total took about 9 hrs from Moree to Coffs harbour. Most of it was again, breathtaking countryside, but towards the coast we had to pass over the Chaeulundi Mountains, which made for dramatically winding roads up and down the mountain sides. Also, the climate has now changed to sub tropical, meaning the forests that spread over this mountain range is a sub tropical rainforest. What an instant change in scenery, and although I’m going to miss the cattle pastures and small backwards towns, I welcome the sight of palm trees and sandy beaches with open arms.
For the next two days we’re staying at the lorikeet caravan park. When we pulled in, I was a bit surprised to see an en suite at our campsite. Rob cheated! Lol. But there are no complaints here. Our own shower and bathroom is an earned comfort after living out of a van for nearly a week. We still have to sleep in the van though, well, unless Rob misbehaves, then he sleeps in the toilet.
The Big Banana. (day 6)
We were up at half 6 this morning in hopes we would catch the sun rise on the beach. It’s still chilly here in the morning so jumping out of a nice warm bed wasn’t easy. But we knew we didn’t have much time being the beach is a few minutes’ walk. Luckily we made it just in time. We noticed a pile of coral at our feet and felt it was as if we found a treasure; picking each one up and examining it. To our surprise the beach was full of coral washed up from the tide. It was wonderful. We had a lovely walk down the beach, combing for more keepsakes the entire way. I now have a nice little assortment to take home with me. For once we weren’t rushing to go anywhere and could take our time with breakfast and getting ready. I made some yummy egg and cheese sandwiches! (I get excited when I get to cook because Rob does most of it) after a few cups of coffee and tea we decided to head into town to see and decide then what to do. The sun was poking its head out and feeling nice and warm. We wanted to check out this pet porpoise pool we kept hearing about so that was our first stop. We had just missed the show so we enquired about swimming with the dolphins instead. 200 bucks gets you in the pool for 45 minutes with the dolphins where you get to touch them swim beside them, play ball with them, AND get hugs and kisses! I’m beyond excited!! It’s been a life’s dream of mine to swim with the dolphins... Unfortunately, we couldn’t do it then so we booked in for tomorrow.
So we decided to spend the day at the beach. We were told to check out Mutton Bird Island, so that’s where we headed off to. As we were walking up the big hill they call an island, we saw a humpback whale swimming alongside the shore. No binoculars necessary, it was that close. We sat for a bit watching it swim along, then decided we better try and find a spot to lie out and get some colour on our pasty skin. It was like goldy locks and the three bears trying to do so. The first beach was too windy, the second beach was full of rocks, and the third beach’s sand was too hard. We eventually settled on the grassy hill by Emerald Beach where we both took a snooze under the warm sun.
Feeling a bit heavy after a lunch of fish and chips, we headed back to camp for some tennis. At least tennis is what we attempted. It was a good laugh anyhow, and chasing the balls around constantly gave a good cardio workout. A magpie tried to steal my bracelets I set by my water bottle. I had to chase it away with my rackets. We also had a few cheerleaders along the sidelines. A few kangaroos were just outside the court, not bothered at all by all the racket we were making. Then Rob said” I can see the joeys tail!” referring to the baby in the pouch. I ran over to get a look and realized it was a male kangaroo. What Rob was seeing was the kangaroos willy! Hahaha. Very odd shaped if I must say so myself, and their festivals are in front of that section. Bizarre, but we now know the anatomy of the male kangaroo. Nice one.