Judy and I have packed the caravan and joined the happy throng of travellers on the highways of Australia. This time we are motoring to Geelong via The Coast Highway. It has been over 16 years since we have travelled the New South Wales coast south of Sydney. It is time for another look. Along the way we hope to catch up with many old friends and relatives that we have not seen for many months and even years.
Our home took on the appearance of a disaster area as we packed clothes, food and other "essentials". There were bags and boxes all over the floors ready to be loaded into the caravan when I collected it from the caravan storage on Monday morning. With not to many interruptions from the neighbours we were able to lock up the residence and leave Hervey Bay at precisely 12:08. Earlier than I had hoped.
There is a free camp behind The Matilda Roadhouse near Kybong Creek. Many of our friends have stayed over night there but we had not. This was the time to trial the venue. We arrived in less than two hours but already many travellers had set up camp, but there was still space for us. Rain had finally been falling around the South East corner of Queensland and the New South Wales Coast so the area of the camp was wet in areas but still accessible to us. Toilets and showers are available at the Roadhouse, only a short walk away. Even though we were less than two hours travel from Hervey Bay we noticed the over night temperature was considerably cooler. So much so that we pulled our warm blanket out of storage and remade the bed.
Tuesday morning we broke camp at a leisurely pace and joined the traffic at 9 AM. Travelling down the M1 through Brisbane and the Gold Coast we reached our destination of Stott's Island. This is located on the Old Pacific Highway just North of Murwillumbah. We had camped here previously and was looking forward to revisiting. Amazingly we parked in the very same location as our first visit. This time, however, the rain has been here also. Many wet areas reduced the available camping space but everyone squeezed in for the night.
Matilda Petroleum Roadhouse near Kybong Creek. As seem from the Bruce Highway.
Matilda Petroleum is named after this fibre glass kangaroo. Matilda, the kangaroo, was a feature of the Opening Ceromony of the 1982 Commonwealth Games in Brisbane. Matilda has now been refurbished and happily resides behind the Roadhouse. Matilda is quite clever, being able to flash her eyelids, flick her ears and rotate her head from side to side.
The view from the Picnic and Camp Area behind the Matilda Petroleum Roadhouse.
Tortoise reside in the pond system along with hundreds of water birds of many species.
The view of Stott's Island Reserve from the Old Pacific Highway.
We managed to secure the same parking position that we had on our previous visit. Some areas of the reserve were quite wet following the recent rains.