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Thread: NSW Border then North to Coffs Harbour.

  1. #1
    Leading Hand Touring Rich's Avatar
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    NSW Border then North to Coffs Harbour.

    We had talked about heading to Coffs Harbour for some time and it finally happened. We had no plans at al on where we would camp and no plans on how far we would travel each day. One thing for sure was we would have a cracking time.

    DAY 1
    The roofrack was loaded with 3 swags 2 singles and a double, the back of the GU was carrying our cloth bags food and cooking equipment, a table and food. The water carrying duties taken out by the Kaymar rear bar.


    Our first stop wasn't far from home. A quick coffee stop at Bonnie Doon from there we kept tracking north.


    After crossing the border and a lunch stop on the side of the Hume fwy we rolled into Gundagai. Just for the standard photo at the Dog On the Tucker Box. Nothing ever seems to change here but we always stop there.


    Only a short trip further up the Hume we found a spot in the shade at Jugiong. A popular spot with the Grey Nomads. It's a free camp with a donation given to the upkeep of the toilets and campground.


    All set up for the night dinner done. Thoughts turned to where we would be heading to tomorrow. That decision wasn't made until the morning. All we knew was we would be making a pretty early start.

  2. #2
    Leading Hand Touring Rich's Avatar
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    Day 2

    Once loaded up we were on the road before 7:30am. We continued on and watched what the weather was doing and a phone call to Smokey who promised the rain would clear by lunchtime....mmm it was time to trust a local even though we were driving in rain and fog as we passed the Picton rd turn off. Still not convinced the decision was made to head into Bondi. It was a Thursday and the traffic wasn't to bad as we headed through the tunnel but roadworks quickly slowed us down. Not to worry we were on holidays!. After passing through Bronte we were greeted with a RBT. All good as we continued on towards Bondi and not making any wrong turns! I was wondering how parking would be around Bondi.


    We found a spot less than 500m from the beach. The rain had had cleared but it must have worked in our favour because I was expecting big crowds. The GU looked out of place loaded up in the streets of Bondi.


    After spending a few hours at the beach the skies cleared and we grabbed some lunch before heading back to GU. We didn't need to be saved form the water so your not going to see us on Bondi Rescue anytime soon!


    When we returned to GU we found someone else must have wanted my parking spot...As I drove forward there bonnet popped up....


    It had been some time since I had drivien through Sydney. But after choosing all the right lanes...tunnels...and roadworks....and the fact we were only following signs we crossed over the harbour bridge heading for the Pacific Hwy. Once we crossed the bridge we plodded along with everyone else...Gee it was busy I'd hate to drive there in peak times I think we got every red light.

    After stopping at the Hawkesbury River rest area outbound we CLIMBED up and up well that's what it felt like in the loaded GU. It was abit like a race track with cars not staying in the one lane for to long.

    It was time to start thinking a place to camp. The free camps guide was pulled out the door pocket. One thing I wanted to do was follow the old Pacific Hwy as much as possible and checkout he towns off the Hwy. So with that in mind we stopped in plenty of spots even if for a short time, this was the theme for the entire trip.


    We decided to camp at the Morisset Showgrounds. Hot clean showers and toilets for $30 a night for the 4 of us. As the sunset and the dishes washed a few drops of rain it was a good place to stop.

    The morning was a different story. As we were packing up for another early start the clouds rolled in quick and it began pouring down. The last swag was rolled up in the shelter of the pavilion. With wet swags it was time to keep on moving.

    Destination unknown.

    (More to come when I get a chance.)
    Last edited by Touring Rich; 02-02-17 at 10:37 PM.

  3. #3
    Leading Hand Touring Rich's Avatar
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    Day 3
    After heading off from Morriset we stayed off hwy 1 as the skies finally began to clear. We rolled into Newcastle under bright blue skies and very warm weather. We made our way to Bar Beach and enjoyed a bit of time there cooling off. (Sorry no pics).

    I saw plenty of signs of towns with names that are familiar with forum members from here. It was good putting these places to the names I have heard often about.
    Further north we went up and down back on the Pacific hwy. After seeing the traffic banked up coming into Newcastle I was glad we were heading in the opposite direction.

    Next stop was the small town of Bulahelah. Clouds were sitting on top of the surrounding hills as the skies opened up yet again. Supplies were topped up and still we didn't know where we would end up for the night or next few days for that matter.

    I was tempted to turn into Myall Lakes after seeing many trip reports about the area. but maybe on the way back.

    It was now after lunch and we saw a sign for Crowdy Bay Nat Park, We flicked on the right hand indicator and turned off the hwy. It was then I realised that's where Kylies Beach was another spot I had read so much about.


    After passing through farmland we reported to the Rangers office. Diamond Bay was packed to the brim with campers which what we weren't after. So we headed back to Kylies Beach where there was plenty of room.


    Day 3 to continue
    Last edited by Touring Rich; 02-02-17 at 05:57 PM.

  4. #4
    Forum Master Harps's Avatar
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    How good is the weather in Australia (and I am being serious btw)!

    You are a good man to set up all those swags and the campsite each night. Well done. I hope that you are appreciated.

    Enjoying the read and awesome photos as usual.
    The only thing better than fishing... is catching a fish...

  5. #5
    Senior Member Mick_C's Avatar
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    Great report so far Rich, I'm looking forward to reading more.

  6. #6
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    good read, we done a trip very simular a few years ago. swags basic camp items and no plans we were heading for noosa was a great six week trip.

  7. #7
    Leading Hand Touring Rich's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harps View Post
    How good is the weather in Australia (and I am being serious btw)!

    You are a good man to set up all those swags and the campsite each night. Well done. I hope that you are appreciated.

    Enjoying the read and awesome photos as usual.
    I'm pretty lucky mate, my oldest set up her swag. Mrs Touring Rich sets up the double while I lent a hand to my youngest.

    Cheers

  8. #8
    Leading Hand Touring Rich's Avatar
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    Day 3,4 and 5

    We were surprised how much room there was leaving us with the hard decision of where to set up! The campgrounds were clean with clean drop toilets and cold showers included in the Nat Park fees. There was plenty of shade too. After picking a spot we took the short 100m walk down to the beach.


    The sand on the beach was pretty soft and we did one Ford Ranger need to quickly drop there tyres as they were below the high tide line.


    Overnight rain again...yes it always rains when I go camping....by lunchtime the clouds slowly began to disperse. We thought why not stay another night so we did!

    A relaxing day around camp. We took a walk towards Diamond Head campground climbing up pass the blowholes with awesome views over the rugged coastline (sorry pics of this are still on my camera) I guess you will need to go and check it out in person. We watched a few fellow campers doing a bit of spearfishing at the bottom of the blowhole. I'm not sure how they went. I can see why this is a popular spot. The coast was awesome and the beaches clean. I'm glad we spent a couple of nights there. Even if it did rain a bit.

    Day 5
    After waking early having some breakfast and packing up had we to head around to the rangers office to pay for our second nights camp. While we were waiting for the office to open at Diamond Head we parked up and went for a walk down to the beach. Another gem of a spot. The wide open sand and the it run straight into rocky section of beach with the waves crashing into the coastline. The weather was perfect.


    I grabbed this quick photo before paying our fees and hitting the road.


    Time to head back to the Pacific hwy.

    A detour in the Port Macquarie Maccas for a coffee and a hash brown and we continued north. Again passing signs with town names I recognised.


    We rolled into Coffs harbour after a relaxing drive. The jetty sure was impressive. I had seen plenty of photos of Coffs and surrounds but it was nothing like I expected. I was expecting the mountains to run right into the ocean a bit like the Great Ocean Road.

    We set up in a CP and caught up on some washing and made our base for the next 4 nights. We had a look around town got the boogie boards off the roof and went back down to jetty to enjoy the sunshine.
    Last edited by Touring Rich; 02-02-17 at 10:43 PM.

  9. #9
    Leading Hand Touring Rich's Avatar
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    Day 6
    Time to get into tourist mode!


    First stop was to take in the views of the Coffs Coast. The drive took us out through the banana plantations. The plantations were on the steep slopes. Is there a reason for this? or is just because there is no flat land?


    I jumped up on the roofrack for this shot.


    I looked at the info board and we decided we would explore the forest.


    A dirt road...we had to see where it went! We crossed this causeway then not far away we saw a sign that said impassable when wet. So off we went.

    We were following Shelter rd. It wasn't hard at all 2wd with a few erosion mounds thrown in. We had no maps...and there was tracks heading off into the unknown. It was then from the back seat I heard "There is a sign that says the forest is closed" I then said "nah its not" and kept driving the sign was overgrown so I though it was an old one.


    We then reached this sign and checked Google Maps on the phone....we only had reception if we held the phone on the right angle. The road was overgrown in a few spots but looked well used so I kept going. The map showed we were doing a loop and would end up at the back at the main road eventually so we pushed on. We then reached a closed gate. I should have listened to the voice from the back seat.

    There was another track to the left of the gate so all was not lost. I didn't look as though it was used much but we had to see where it went.
    A few new scratches were added to the GU on top off all the ones I already have. We reached a bog hole I reached for low range and drive through hitting the towbar on the way in. Only a short distance later the track dived straight down and there was a turn around spot where people had made the decision to turn back....mmmm I had seen this scenario before.


    I walked down and found a dry creek bed...erosion gully with logs dropped into it. I don't think it had been driven for a long time and not much further on the track looked closed. So after a 5 point turn we headed back through the bog hole and retraced our steps.


    We pulled up for lunch back at the causeway.

    Once we finished lunch we rolled back into Coffs and spent the arvo at the Big Banana. The water park and toboggan rides, a choc coated banana and the standard photo out the front was taken.

    A top day spent in tourist mode was finished off with a late arvo swim down at the jetty.

    To be continued with Day 7
    Last edited by Touring Rich; 02-02-17 at 10:47 PM.

  10. #10
    The Boss Smokey2.8's Avatar
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    I told you Rich the sun was coming out, just needed to be patient lol
    Plus you missed most of the 40c days we had that month.
    As harps mentioned setting up 3 swags every night ! Well done


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Cheers
    Smokey

    Never underestimate the Mighty 2.8!!!

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