Bats Roos and didgeridoos

Trip Start Jan 23, 2013
Trip End Apr 24, 2013

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Flag of Australia  , New South Wales,
Wednesday, April 17, 2013

We might not be returning to the Big 4 at Yamba in a hurry but we certainly would to the town itself. A sign proclaiming 'The Best Town in Australia' greeted us on the way into Yamba which surprised us as according to our map, all we expected to find was a small village.

Wrong it's actually a reasonably sized town complete with its out of town shopping mall and large boat yard. With a huge estuary and four or five beaches the place was pretty busy and very neat and tidy.

We parked the bus overlooking Pippi Beach to watch a number of surfers who seemed to be entertaining a school of dolphins who were swimming and jumping around them. A nice stroll along the beautiful beach brought us to another group of surfers who were using the swell created by protruding rocks.

A visit into the shopping centre to purchase lunch then a short drive to Angourie Surfing Reserve for our picnic. We thought the first surfers were good but here it would appear the premier league were out playing in the surf. It was quite enthralling to watch the way they used the surf and hardly ever fell in. It was even more interesting to note the average age was rather mature which gives us hope when we return!

Leaving Yamba the journey continued south along Highway 1 with Mullaway our destination for the evening. No caravan park for us this evening we were parking on the side of the road for a free pitch outside the house of our hosts for the evening, the Jupp family.

Pitching up for dinner at someone's house who we had neither met nor spoken to isn't something we would normally countenance but this was a special assignment. Wally had been asked by his good pal Galf, to pass on his personal best wishes to the host of Abandos ( the cartoon characters) website, Graham Jupp. The arrangements had been in place for at least a year and Graham and his lovely wife Fiona had plenty of opportunity to think of an excuse to find something better to do than put us up for the night we were passing by the end of his road. We were most grateful they didn't as we had a fab time along with their neighbours Mick and Debs. Excellent food, wine and banter and before we knew it the evening had flown by and it was time to retire to the bus parked outside.

The red wine worked very well as our hosts were most surprised we hadn't been woken by the Kookaburras performing above the bus at dawn. We didn't hear a thing until the bin lorry came by.Graham and his 3 year old daughter Daisy took us for a tour of the village.

Mullaway is off the tourist track and what a hidden gem with its two fine bathing beaches and coastal boardwalk. A simply stunning quiet place to live yet close enough to a major town for essential living.

There were a few more surprises in store when we left the house in the bus and followed Graham in his car first to the local golf club where Jan could see hordes of kangaroos keeping off the fairway in the shade of the trees and then to Woolgoolga to meet some of Jans distant relatives.

There were thousands of them. High in the trees were a colony of huge fruit bats and what a racket they made. They weren't as nocturnal as Wally had imagined and were flying from tree to tree before stretching out and then folding in their huge wings. Apparently in the evening it is an awesome sight to see them leave en mass however if you were a farmer you wouldn't want this crowd arriving in your field and we have it on good authority that bat poo doesn't do your car paint any favours either!

Next stop on our local tour was a ship wreck on the beach. Considering it had been there for 120 years the timbers were in surprising good condition. The 40m Canadian built ship, Buster, was only a couple of years old when it broke away from its moorings in a storm and was wrecked and covered in sand only to reemerge following a storm many years later which shifted the sand exposing the hull.

We wonder if AbandOs had anything to do with it!

We bade farewell to Graham high on the headland overlooking Woolgoolga and its magnificent beaches.

Wally enquired about a couple of huge houses in the distance. They were owned by members of the local Sikh community. Leaving town we came across the Temple and stopped to take a couple of pics when a number of Sikhs arrived. Wally was quite chuffed when he showed them pictures of the Temple we had been involved with and they knew it was the Gravesend Temple.

Supplies were picked up at a brand new Coles on the way into Coffs Harbour and the picnic table established on the look out at Sawtell overlooking yet more magnificent beaches and Bongil Bongil National ParkJust a short drive to our overnight stay in South West Rocks and another Big 4 site. We had been advised to stay in the National Park on the beach there but being the school holidays in NSW it looked a bit too busy for us.

Dinner in the bus tonight before we head off for our last night on the road in the Hunter Valley.
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Galf on

Great stuff!
It's a boost that me good mates are now good mates.
Keep it up.

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