NOW: NSW NORTH COAST – Yuraygir National Park and Point Plomer
After spending Christmas with our family and shedding all the things we didn’t need or use last year (all 260kg of nice to have, non-essential things) we’ve hit the road for our second year on the road. Both the car and Tvan are lighter and we even have rear vision when unhitched! A waterfront site at Illaroo Campground in Yuraygir National Park is a great way to start our second year.
We’ve had lots of wildlife visit – brush turkeys, goannas, kookaburras, plovers – but my least favourite was the tree snake in the bush that almost touched our tent. Brush turkeys and goannas wander around but snakes are really sneaky and hard to keep track of so rule number one, keep the doors zipped shut!
The weather was warm and the evenings still enough for some good campfire dinners. The sultana damper and baked lamb rack go well in the campoven, as well as our corned beef and vegies simmered in 2 bottles of dry ginger ale with dried mixed herbs. After several great beach days the sky turned dark with smoke and ash started floating on the water. The Candole Forest and adjacent national park were both alight. Water bombing planes and helicopters were used to try to contain the fire but high winds made conditions impossible. While the fire was not close to us the ash was falling and we were directed to evacuate. At breakfast time the threat had eased but by 11.30am the wind had changed and we had to pack up and leave.
Our destination was Crescent Head, a few hundred kilometers south and away from the smoke. We spent two days in town floating with the tide up and down the creek on our pool noodles and watching the longboarders surf the point break. We also did the washing before heading out to Point Plomer where the only fresh water comes from a bore and has a brownish tint.
The ocean was cold one day and warm the next as winds and currents kept changing directions. We spent several days in the small surf and under the beach umbrella resting in the shade. It was best to swim in the morning as the northerly wind drove the blue bottles onto the beach in the afternoons.
A full moon meant big tides and some interesting attempts to launch and retrieve boats. One local just left his boat on the beach for his next trip out on the high tide. The tide and moon were right for jew fishing but we never saw any caught. Maybe it was too windy. One night we had to use the car as a windbreak and the surf made huge rolling waves that came right into the bay.
After resting on the coast and having 2 blowouts (my thongs and David’s chair both gave out on us) we’re heading to the Hunter Valley to hear Casey Chambers, Bernard Fanning and James Taylor. We could have a late night so we need to be well rested!
NEXT: ALONG THE MIGHTY MURRAY RIVER
See you on the Emu Track
Cheryl and David