Another week of our trip has gone by and the camping adventure has started. After picking up our campervan last Friday our adventure started out with some problems. We are totally new to this camping thing, never did it as kids or later. So first thing we wanted to do was getting some supply and grocery shopping done, to be prepared for the next day. But we had not realized, our huge campervan would not fit it any car park – we tried 3 different ones, and decided then okay let’s just park somewhere in the street and walk to the supermarket. This was a bit annoying and unexpected, and we had these problems until we left the suburbs of Sydney.
After we had done all the shopping ( I also had to buy a mixer to make smoothie, just to find out some times later, that the plugs would only work when we are on powered campsites ) we drove up to the Manly area and found a nice parking space at the ocean where we decided to stay for the night. Since we wanted to have as much freedom as possible we decided to have a 2 nights “wild” camping and 1 night camping site rhythm, which worked out fine so far! So first night in the camper was a bit strange to be honest, the girls where happy in there bunk bed above the drivers seat and we settled for the bed in the back. It took me some time to fall a sleep since I was a bit scared…but I did fall asleep and waking up to the sound of the ocean was amazing!
So we had our first nice breakfast in the camper and then drove to Manly and since we didn’t find a parking spot inside of town, we parked a bit outside and walked to the center. It’s a nice beach town, with lots of surfers, some shops and nice little cafes. We just strolled around and then went back to drive further north. Our next stop was Terrigal, also a nice little beach town with beachfront restaurants and little shops. We woke up to a super busy spot on Sunday with lot of people jogging and sporting around us ;-), we had a nice breakfast there and also some great views from up the hill. The next night we wanted to spent on a camp site, to have some power and also to do some laundry. We choose Blacksmith holiday park and this was okay, we had an ensuite place – something I didn’t know existed, what a great thing. You have your own exclusive little bathroom and toilet next to your parking space – amazing ;-)! So we just went to the beach, to their little pool, did some laundry and the girls had some good time at the playground. Next morning I could finally use my ninja mixer and have some green smoothies for breakfast, that was nice!
For the following night we wanted to meet with my brother and his family who also did a two week camping trip from Sydney to Brisbane. We first got into Newcastle, visited Fort Scratchly, but since the weather was not so nice and we didn’t find Newcastle too exiting we drove to Tomaree National park and found a nice and deserted parking space at fishing box beach – we spent some time at the beach there, Daddy Frei did some fishing and later we had a nice bbq and a lot of wine – just perfect! After a nice breakfast we decided to stop at a Wildlife park which we had seen on our way to the beach the day before. It was called Oakvalle Farm and Fauna World and it was so much fun! We could pet Koalas – first time for all of us and they had lots of Kangaroos just hanging around and we could feed and pet them as well! We took so many pictures and had the best day, especially the kids! And the best thing, we were practically the only ones there.
The next night we spent at Booti Booti National Park, we found a nice spot at the beach just when the sun begun to set and had the most spectacular sunset view ever – the pictures are not filtered or anything, this was how it really looked. So another bbq and another nice and finally sunny again breakfast the next morning!
We drove to Port Macquarie then and spent some time at the beaches and explored the painted stones there. We liked the little town and the beaches and think it’s worth a stop, we also had some coffee and ice cream at a café called Milkbar.
We spent the night at another campground – Nambuca Head which was okay but nothing special. Next morning we went to Bellingen, a small charming town with little cafes and shops. We had some coffee and cake in the Hyde and just strolled around the streets and shops. Afterwards we also stopped in Coffs Harbour to walk down the pier and chased some seagulls at the beach, we haven’t seen much more of Coffs Harbour then that, but Jetty Beach and the pier is nice.
We spent the night in Bundjalung National Park – Iluka Bluff Beach, which was a nice surprise, we walked to the lookout when we arrived and discovered some wild kangaroos. It also has beaches on both sides and a nice parking lot, where we stayed.
The next day we drove to Byron Bay, went up to the lighthouse, which has an amazing few and is the most eastern point of Australia! I was absolutely stunned by the turquoise ocean! We then spent some time in Byron, exploring some shops and ended up in a super nice cafe Fresh Byron Bay, had some coffee and sweet potatoes fries. A bit outside of Byron Bay we discovered a place called The Farm, we liked it a lot, it’s a farm with playground, shops, bakery and a restaurant. We spent some time there, but since the dinner menu was a bit special and pricey we drove to Brunswick Head, which is the next smaller town and had some yummy pizza there. This was also our place for the night.
So one week of our camping adventure has already passed, we had to get adjusted with some things (dumping stations, filling up the tanks, get everything running, finding the right places for the nights – we don’t want to stay anywhere illegal of course) and we also had some accidents – I nearly set myself on fire by burning my scarf in the gas flame. I was really lucky, could pull it of and just lost some lashes and nothing else gut burned or hurt (I’m really glad I decided some time ago to where only cotton scarfs). We have to admit that we sometimes miss the cozyness, the amneties and the space of a hotel room, but we still think that this is a good way to explore everything and hey we are still up for the adventure!
Till next week…