80 % of Australians live within 50kms of the coast and much of the population density is between Sydney and Brisbane, with that in mind we were wondering if we would find any quiet places to stay on the beach. However, Steve our master planner, thought he could find a few potentially quiet beautiful places from the map.
The first spot for lunch was just north of Newcastle, It didn’t look to promising to start with as we drove past the large city’s coal port. It didn’t look too dissimilar to its namesake city in England with its heavy machinery and piles of coal, it was just a lot, lot sunnier. However just a few kilometres away was the expansive golden sand dunes of Worimi Conservation lands.
Further north we pulled into a sweet camp tucked behind the dunes in Myall Lakes National Park where we spent a couple of nights. We had the beach to ourselves as we jumped in the waves and played in the sand. I am not an early morning person, so it was with reluctance that I dragged myself out of bed for sunrise but I was rewarded by a pod of dolphins frolicking in the surf. Sheltering in the heat of the day gave us extra time for science experiments in school and sewing projects. To leave the park we had to take a tiny chain ferry across the river.
3 hours north Steve had picked another beauty, Racecourse Headland in Goolawah National Park. Because of the weekend the small campsite had a few people in it but as it was on a massive beach people soon spread out. With its golden flat sands and gentle waves in the shallow waters, it was great for the girls.
As we’ve been heading north we’ve noticed that it has been getting more tropical with palms and other trees. Skipping inland we made our way into a section of rainforest left from the Gondwana times. This little pocket of forest is in a hilly area known as the Waterfall Way. The whole area is full of creeks, rivers and falls, it was a lovely area to spend a couple of days exploring. Steve got a bit more excitement than he bargained for on a relaxing stroll when he almost stood on a 2m long red-bellied black snake. It didn’t move away and we knew it was poisonous. As we pulled into the show grounds for the night in the farming town of Dorringo, was saw there was some sort of cow herding/gymkhana competition in its final rounds. We have no idea what was going on but the girls and I enjoyed watching the dusty riders at work.
It even stayed around to get its photo taken before it slid of at lightening speed.
We were a bit worried that Byron Bay might be a bit crowded and busy for us. It’s known as a bit of a hippy, surf town popular with backpackers. We knew our only camping options was a caravan park, not ever our favourite option. However we were completely charmed by its beautiful beach, relaxed population and it was quite nice to have a little town on our doorstep for a change. Walking up to the lighthouse we were surprised to see how much thick forest there was just outside town. We also came to the most easterly point we will be on this trip at the lighthouse, from now on we will be pointing north-west until we hit “home”, in about 18 months or so.