Monday, July 30, 2012

Destination, Sunshine Coast of Queensland

I haven't posted for a couple of weeks now and we have moved along a considerable distance in that time. We have made stops at Yamba, Coraki, Mallanganee and Bonshaw before reaching our current stop-over at Sippy Downs.

Our three day stay in Yamba, at The Blue Dolphin CP, consisted of two sunny days and one dull, cool day. The first sunny day we walked from the CP along the Clarence River Estuary to the ocean beach and return, nearly 6 km. The second fine day we walked into Yamba township where Judy found some clothing and shoe bargains.

On leaving Yamba we steered the car westwards towards our eventual destination, Bonshaw. Our first stop-over was a CP in the small and very friendly town of Coraki. Here the CP is on the banks of the Richmond River. The tariff at the CP is $74 per week including power. From Coraki you have close access to the larger towns of Casino, Lismore, Ballina, Evans Head and Yamba. If you are looking for a cheap and central place to make camp and still be adjacent to the NSW North Coast Region, then Coraki is the place.

Next stop-over was Mallanganee, on The Bruxner Highway. Here we setup at a free camp behind the Rural Fire Brigade shed on the Recreation Reserve. Mallanganee is an extremely small country village with only one road to walk along. There wasn't much to do here, so we did what many of the locals do, called into the Pub for a few schooners and learned much about the history of the area, including tales of Thunderbolt the notorious bushranger.

The following day saw us wind and climb our way over the Great Dividing Range and pass through the picturesque town of Tenterfield. The temperature had been -7 deg C that morning in town and the air was still crisp around the ears at Noon. By mid afternoon we had reached Sue and Frank at Bonshaw.

It is lambing season at Gumcamp Agricultural. The Damara ewes have about 80 lambs to date with still more to come. After four days here we had to leave for the Sunny Coast of Queensland. As we will be house/dog minding for six weeks. We left our caravan at the farm.

Until we have completed our stay at Sippy Downs and are back on the road in our caravan once again the postings to the blog maybe considerably spaced out. We will be back!!!

Richmond River frontage at the Coraki Caravan Park.

The Main Street of Coraki.

This is the scene with most of the lambs in the flock, a recently born and contented lamb with it's mother.

Unfortunately not all ewes make good mothers, this is one of five lambs abandoned by mother ewes and that need hand rearing for about thirteen weeks.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Nambucca Heads

On leaving Roger, Belinda and Glen at Goolawah Community we drove off not really knowing where we would be staying that night. We did have thoughts of visiting Bellingen and camping in the Showgrounds. Once we laid eyes on the shade enveloped showgrounds that was enough to quickly propel us out of the town and follow the road to Nambucca Heads, where we stayed in the Foreshore CP. Day two arrived and I was down and out for the count with a bout of the flu, stayed in bed most of the day. Jude went for a walk around the town, mostly to stay away from me. Day three saw a huge improvement in my enthusiasm, enabling us to walk to the mouth of the Nambucca River and around the town only to return to camp and discover that a camp neighbour had backed his F350 truck into the right front guard of our car. Now we have an appointment with a Crash Repairer in Maroochydore on 27th July. This event encouraged us to move out of Nambucca Heads next morning and head onto our next stop, "who knows where?" Grafton Showgrounds was where we found a place to settle in at $95 per week. I was on a downer again from the flu, only recovering several days later. Hope it has finally cleared my system now. The turn over of caravans and motor homes in the showgrounds has been astounding, we have met so many interesting people here.

An Echidna in the wood pile at Goolawah Community. This fellow was a regular fossicker in the community area.

The extensive rock wall on the Nambucca River is covered with graffiti, mostly names of families visiting the area, many return each year.

The Nambucca River just before it reaches the sea.

At Grafton now, this is the bridge over The Clarence River. This bridge is unique in that it has two sharp turns along the span. These turns make it interesting when towing a caravan across, one has to nudge the centre line with the tow vehicle to make sure the caravan clears the kerb on the inside.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Goolawah Community

The winter weather came in on us earlier than we anticipated, this forced us to abandon our planned journey up stream along the Murray River at Robinvale. We  will return to the 'Murray' at a later time when the season is more comfortable for travel. The decision was made to seek better weather on the eastern coast. With this in mind we planned a 5 day journey across NSW ending at the residence of our dear friends, Roger, Belinda and Glen, at Goolawah Community, arriving there on the 20th June.

We made one night stop-overs at Goolgowi Rest Area, Tommingley South Rest Area, Terramungamine Reserve and Bendemeer Rodeo Grounds. The last stop-over will be etched into our minds for some time as we woke to -4 deg C temperature. Had the gas heater going and stayed inside until about 9 AM. Then we had to get on with our travel.

Roger, Belinda and Glen allowed us to stay with them for 16 days. During this period we were able to experience life in the Community and also be of some limited help with the daily chores on the 'block'. In the final days of our stay at Goolawah Community many of the residents got together on a Wednesday night to watch Match 3 of National Rugby League "State of Origin" on a live TV broadcast. Queensland (The Maroons) played this series decider match against NSW (The Blues). Glen, Judy and I were the only Maroons supporters in a den of Blues supporters. Fortunately the Maroons won the match and the Series, for the seventh year in succession. We couldn't gloat to the Goolawah Blues supporters as they vacated the TV room at match end.