Pacific Highway

Trip Start Mar 03, 2007
Trip End Apr 2009

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Sunday, April 13, 2008

Managing to weave our way out of Sydney, we were soon back making steady progress up the Pacific Highway leaving behind some pretty good times as well as a few unpaid highway toll fines. The weather was teasing us with another dance of off again on again sunshine but it was nice to be back in the drivers seat. We had left leaving Sydney to a little later in the day and didn't intend on making a lot of progress, instead electing to ease ourselves back into the lifestyle.

We found a nice little campsite in a small town called Terrigal right by the water and spent the remainder of the day relaxing. Well that was the plan until I decided that I'd well and truly overindulged on the good life back in Sydney and that I must be punished with a grueling fifteen minute run - Gotta start somewhere right. That was to be my first and last run of this road trip. The sun setting over the water and hills on the horizon was very camera friendly and after snapping a few shots returned back to the campsite to feed the machine.

The next day after only about 80 kms we were heading into Newcastle. We parked up on Wharf Road on the eastern tip near to the local beaches. There was a car show of shorts on the wharf featuring a range of about 30 different Corvettes, all sparkling in the sun with their colorful candy paint jobs and guarded by their their lovesick post forty year old owners. During my mid life crisis I think I'll have a Corvette too.
From the Wharf we we headed up to Nobbys beach right on the point and had a wander around before returning to the car and heading to the more sheltered Newcastle Beach. We checked out the Ocean Baths on Shortland Esplenade and clambered along the rocks to check out the surfers riding the clean swells. We spent an hour or so on the beach before the weather decided to pack up and we followed suit.

Our next port of call was another 130 kms up the coast to a place called Seal Rocks on the northern end of the Myall Lakes National Park. I was quite surprised when we got there that there were so many holidayers about. It was quite crowded and pricey to stay in the campsites right on the beach in the village so we headed back to another Holiday Park about five minutes down the road. The threatening weather had now engulfed us so we made pretty good use of the campsites gaming room, especially the Ping Pong table that would lead to a series of epic games over the next couple of days. During breaks in the weather we would head down to the cove, with its laid back holiday vibe, which I really liked. It had a more family oriented beach with small swells before a gentle rocky outcrop lead you round to a more open beach where the local surfers were making the most of the swells. We also took the drive about 15 minutes away to the local lighthouse situated atop of a steep point at smokey cape. Back at the campsite we had a couple more really boozy nights playing cards in the BBQ area and also fielded a few questions from our campsite neighbours about the traveling disco ball, thinking that we might be a little camp ourselves.

We had intended on really taking out time on this last stretch of the trip but the weather was really conspiring against us. After saying farewell to Seal Rocks we quickly found ourselves in Port Macquarie. Our first impressions were "Boring" I think due mainly to the frustration with the weather. We almost just move straight on to our next stop but decided to hang about and find a campsite for the night. The campsite was a really green earthy sort of place, with a great common area in the middle for cooking and hanging out. Canada and I had been getting on each others nerves a bit over the last couple of days and ended up doing our own things for the day. I took the car for a drive around the beaches overlooking the South Pacific. Each beach had its own unique character and I was now glad that we had give the "Port" some more time. I ended up at the lighthouse about 10km down pacific drive. The wind here was pretty immense and most of the onlookers didn't bother to leave the comfort of their cars. I ventured out for a few moments for some really rugged views of the rocky coastline and wind swept ocean. From the lighthouse I headed back to the point overlooking Town Beach and watched the surfers riding the incoming waves as dusk set in. Canada and I run into each other again at the local bottle shop! having both purchased a box of wine - so it was business as usual that night with a few more card games and a few wines.
The next day before we left the Port we headed down to the Breakwall at the Harbor entrance, which has been transformed into a people galley. The rocks along the Breakwall have been colorfully painted with pictures, poems and odes from various people, creating and open air gallery of works ranging from crass to moving pieces of art.
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