Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Wagga Wagga

Four days to Wagga Wagga.

Wagga Wagga, such a nice place they named it twice, or so the locals will tell you.

First stop Yelgun rest stop. Heading south via the Princes Hwy this is a good one, just 250km, far enough for me after a late start. Yelgun is off the Hwy and quiet. Noted no trucks tonight and not many on the road either. The ones that are appear to be carrying supermarket stock.

Night two Kendall SG just a few kms from the highway but not many, if any, know about it. A very cheerful lady takes just $8.50 for a powered site, nice.

Night three after various breaks along the way, Pheasant Nest, south side of Sydney in the back of the servo. Surprisingly acceptable with ear plugs. Stopped in Goulburn next morning for some shopping and provisioning. You may have guessed by now I travel first class. Always fresh fruit and veg on board. No tinned crap here, well not often.

Night four somewhere near Wagga. Wanted to visit a caravan parts supplier but he had closed, big time, its now a vacant lot. The highway will be my home tonight.

Observations: The M1 Hwy into Sydney is spectacular via Ku-ring-gai NP if you take the opportunity to look or is it just sitting up high in the MH affords a better view? And then driving the Hume Hwy over the rolling hills of southern NSW, absolutely beautiful. Australia we've got it all.

Again no photos. It turns out I did pack a camera or two but highways shots... boring.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Departure -.Cotton Tree

The best laid plans of mice and men...

Organized, No Way! Last minute change in the schedule has me in total disarray.  But by 3pm and focused attention to detail, blah blah blah. It was a chaotic departure. I'm driving down the road thinking if I thought to load this and that. I really need two sets of my life! Packing and unpacking is BS!

Thought for today: Being on the road is the life but a full fridge and pantry and tanks that should be full, and are, and tanks that should be empty, and are, is true happiness. That's freedom to travel and stop wherever.

Ballina and Woolies will resolve most of these problems. Sorry no photo. Hmm, did I pack a camera?

Friday, December 26, 2014

Cotton Tree - getting ready

The MH is now at the Maroochy Primary School where there are about 20 other MHs atm and at its peak will be ~60 next week. Its a good location to load my stuff and provision up from the shopping centre next door.

As I've said before, time has been slowly passing and taking pelican photos is starting to loose its appeal. An unavoidable delay of one day will see my departure on the 28th now. Estimating a 5 day trip down the Pacific, the Hume then the Sturt Hwys. Anticipation is running high.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Cotton Tree - waiting.

Thought for today: Time slows whilst waiting.

So more than a week has ticked by. Got some stuff done, some must do stuff. Now working on the not so important list and playing with the gunna list as well. Wow! Impressive, for me anyway.

Making plans, departure date, destination, stopovers, generates pleasurable anticipation that should not be underestimated or discounted. And making new lists, I'm in heaven!  Being on the road would be better but this will have do for now.

Pelican Sunrise - Cotton Tree Qld.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Cotton Tree - Dawn

Well all things even out over time. Pottsville to Cotton Tree about 250km, lifted my daily average.

Don't know what I was thinking leaving Pottsville at first light to be just in time to catch the peak into Brisbane. Stopped at Beerwah SG dump point as Dora needed to go. Then on to Cotton Tree. Unloaded what needed to be unloaded and off to Diddillibah and a 10km bike ride back again.

Plenty of photographic opportunities here. Out walking early this morning and snapped this with my Samsung Note 4. As well as everything else you get an amazing camera, nice. Tempted MGB?
click the image to enlarge
Maroochydore surf beach on a quiet early morning.
No surf today. Good day to get a tradie in?

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Northward - Ballina and Burringbar.

Now heading north, back to Qld, things to do. Things backing up. Commitments *spit*
Along the way I could not resist the opportunity and stopped some more nights in Ballina. The town is up there with the best when it comes to walking and riding paths of any in Oz. As far as commerce, all the big chain and franchised stores are represented as well.

This time I chose to stay at Shaws Bay, East Ballina, just across the bridge and still on the Richmond River. Quiet and a little bit farther from the CBD. But that's what legs are for. Right?

More north driving and checked out Burringbar. Considered free camping for the night but there was no breeze and it was hot and sticky. Now I'm complaining about no wind, I hear you say? Burringbar its a nice camp spot. Right in the middle of town but also off the road and quiet. Ticked it as a favourite but drove on to Pottsville for the night.

Damn very windy here, but cooler.

Early morning Richmond river Ballina.

Bike paths Ballina.

Burringbar free camp.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Brooms Head

Barely got into the rhythm of driving and here we are. Just 24km. 

Brooms Head on a sunny windless day would be a nice beach destination. Its easy to envisage the place packed out over summer holidays. A really large two section CP right on the beach. A bowling club, general store, lots and lots of holiday rental properties, but not much more.

Windy one day, not so bad the next. But the old girl is covered in salt and it will take some serious cleaning unless we get heavy rain sometime soon.

According to wikipedia Northern Rivers NSW ends about here, tapering away from the coast toward Grafton. Timely as I'm finished with this windy coast. Tick another box or should that be turn the page on Northern Rivers NSW.

Looking south from the headland.

The headland.

Brooms Head beach in front of the CP.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Iluka to Maclean

Iluka certainly turned on a spectacular sunset the night before departure.

Next morning did a last walk around town along the foreshore path to the marina and then via the Iluka National Reserve to the beach lookout.

Packed the Escape Module and headed out of town to Maclean another big drive 36km.

Decided to stop for the night at the show grounds in Maclean. Right on the river with a view of the old bridge. Cane trucks again! Bouncing across the bridge through the night this time.

It's a shame that the bridge doesn't still work, originality built to lift and open, for cane carrying barges to pass upstream to the mill.

Walked into town, interesting, unusual building, unusual layout, nice.

Before heading out of town next day I did my morning walk to The Lookout.

Fairly steep walk on paved roads but it
was good exercise and the view was
worth the effort.
Iluka Beach lookout.

Maclean Lookout early morning.
The view walking down Clarence St.
Maclean part of the main street.

Sunday, November 16, 2014


Thought for today: You have 2 lives. Your first life ends when you realize you only have one life.

Iluka on the Clarence River could be a good place to drop out for the rest of your life and go fishing, if fishing means that much to you. But for the rest of us its a great place to stop for a few days.

A caravan park and pub right on the river. An IGA (open 7 days) and non essential businesses within a short distance. And walking paths along the river, bike tracks to the surf beach and National Park nearby.

click on an image to enlarge
You may be over the panoramic shots but I'm not! 

Sedgers Reef Hotel Iluka.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Evans Head

Some things never last, good weather being one of them. The last two days have been overcast and threatening to rain and then the strong wind comes in, as usual, in the afternoon.

But I have managed to fit in some good walks and rides. Evans Head has good shared paths around town that take in the best and most picturesque areas on offer. I've become attached to the area and after 5 mornings am on nodding terms with the 6am walkers around the river.  I wonder if they will wonder where I am after tomorrow morning? Not likely. Paddling in the river is good as well. But checking the tide tables is well advised unless ever changing scenery is non issue for you, when you paddle.

It appears my goods are ready for pick up in Ballina. So some back tracking and a chance to do a major provision before looping further south.

click on an image to enlarge
A nice ~5km walk each morning.

Have you ever wondered how then filled those bags. 

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Evans Head and F111c

Awoken by a jet ski on the river before sun up. Yes, barely able to see your toes and some arse is hooning up and down. Needless to say won't stop another night here. And btw the trucks went all night to.

Off to Evans Head and the CP there. Another big day driving 23km. Walked around town to see what was what then rode out to the air museum at the airport. They have an F111c in perfect condition.

Then rode back to town and up to the lookout. I just can't help myself if there's a hill I've got to see over it. Had to get off and push for the last bit but smoked the brakes on the way down. Must have broken the land speed record for silly-old-blokes-on-a-bike, for that hill and that day anyway.

Evans Head is a nice little town with good facilities. Good for a couple of days whilst the weather has improved. Forecast is for sunny, high 20s and light winds for the next few, nice.

The driver's seat

18,000lts to fill the tank.

Half way up.

From the top of Evans Headland.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Broadwater - Richmond River.

As convenient as a caravan park can be its really nice to be freedom camping again. Its just not possible at or near any of the good beaches. But with the weather the way it is at the moment the beach is not the place to be. Windy and overcast.

Found a nice spot on the Richmond River about 25km upstream from Ballina at Broadwater West. The occasion cane truck breaks the P&Q but its reasonable to expect them to stop after dark?

Another big drive today 32km.

A nice camp spot.

Amazing how wide this river is upstream.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Cup Day Ballina

Thought for today:  Gambling is a tax on people who do not understand the laws of probability. Gooo Fawkner!

The managers of the caravan park here at Ballina are really nice people, generous with their time. When checking in, Rob spent a lot of time mapping out the bike paths around Ballina and then later Lee, his wife, gave me the goss on where the best of everything is in town.

Then this morning Rob comes around, site to site, inviting people to go into the Park Melbourne Cup day sweeps. They could just book people in and mow the grass like lots most of the others do.

My orchard bloom is in its final stages now. There have been over seventy flowers. Just eight, oops no seven, left and two buds that don't look like they will open?

The last of the bloom.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Lennox Head - Lake Ainsworth

Stopped at Lennox Head for a couple of days and enjoyed SUP paddling early each morning on Lake Ainsworth before the blustery wind hit us. Consistent if nothing else. Everyday from about 9am till after dark a strong north easterly. Then on the last day relief. No, same strength wind just a different direction. South east and cool. Temps down from low 30s to low 20s and overcast.

But managed to do some riding and walking through the day. Lennox Head is a popular beach resort that appears to do well in the off season. Nice beach, nice shopping precinct. Many restaurants, cafes and coffee places. Not overly trendy either with lots of local working class yobbos and surfer bums.

Packed up and headed down the coast to Ballina. All of 12km. Big day out! Will stay here a few days. Appears to be the Big Smoke compared with up the road.

Click on the image to enlarge
Lennox Headland looking down to the town.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Broken Head National Reserve and CP

A nice place close to Byron Bay but far enough away to have a reasonable amount of P&Q. As Deb says 'P&Q or PoQ!'

Stayed a couple of midweek nights and went swimming and surfing. No shops just the CP complete with a little kiosk and a lovely beach and a nice walking track. Oh and a nude beach around the headland.

The park is smallish and set up mostly for camper trailers, backpackers, wizz-bangers and surfers with lots of small un-powered sites and just a few sites suitable for large caravans or motorhomes. Not a spot to be at during summer holidays that's assuming you could even get a booking. Not sure about weekends either but probably the same. I will be gone before then.

The walk, in the National Reserve, over the headland to Kings Beach viewing platform is short but picturesque being just 1.6km, if you return the same way. Or click this link for an alternative looping walk to Kings Beach.

click on a photo to enlarge
The beach and headland at Broken Head NR.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Pottsville - NSW Northern Rivers

Harrisville to Pottsville, on the coast south of Tweed Heads, entailed a mountainous trip via Beaudesert, Canungra and Nerang. Then Coolangatta and along the coast to Pottsville South CP. Arguably the better located of the two CPs, being on the river and near the mouth.

Did some paddle boarding but it was more a workout than anything else as the tide and wind were working together to retard any progress and when the wind did moderate the tide was out and there was very little water to paddle on.

Nice enough place with good shops, cafes and IGA but imagine it would be bedlam in the season.

The view of Pottsville from across the river.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Harrisville Royal Hotel

Pomona, Toogoolawah and Harrisville.

Rode into Pomona and about town before leaving. Just needed to see if my legs would still function after the mountain workout.

Pomona is set up for tourists. They named the streets after what's in the street, like: Church, School, Mountain, Station, Pavilion, Exhibition and even Ambulance Street. Not showing a lot of creativity I hear you say? But hey you know, in advance, what you are going to get.

Interestingly I still managed to get lost on what should of been just a 2km bike ride to the mountain the other day. And yes the mountain is in Mountain Street but I didn't realize I needed to go to Church first!

Doing a big westward loop to avoid Brisbane and decided on Toogoolawah show grounds to overnight. Toogoolawah has three pubs so there's more to it than the map indicates. A busy metropolis? No, I don't think so but interesting all the same. The rail trail to Brisbane goes through here. Only the section here to Esk is open to the public at the moment. I assume the section onto Moore, Linville and Blackbutt will be connected at some future time?

Harrisville Royal Hotel on Saturday night to watch the four nations rugby. This pub is always a good place to stop, friendly people, good food, cold beer and a backyard with a view. Heating up out here next week expecting ~40 Monday and Tuesday. Good time to be heading to the coast.

Day break in the back yard of the Royal Hotel.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Mt Cooroora at Ponona

Well yesterday Mt Tinbeerwah and the days climbing Mt Coolum over the last two weeks were never as difficult as this. Somewhere on the Internet, Mt Cooroora in the Tuchekoi National Park was described as nothing like Mt Coolum, and in my opinion as well. Its steep in places and a tough going grovel over rocks in others. And without the chain it would be difficult if not dangerous coming down.

But the view at the top and the feeling of achievement makes it worth the effort. Isn't it always worth the effort?  For a fuller description click the link

Mt Cooroora.

The View.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Heading North to Tewantin and Pomona

Well I finally gave up on mail ordering on-line and cancelled my order. Two weeks waiting is BS.

Drove north from Maroochydore along the trendy beach road to Noosa. Passing through Marcoola, Coolum Beach, Peregian Beach, Marcus Beach, Castaway Beach, Sunrise and Sunshine Beaches and on to Noosa and Nossaville on the river where I had lunch.  Considered inflating the SUP for a paddle but didn't.

Instead after lunch and a short drive I visited Tewantin National Park and walked to the summit of Mt Tinbeerwah. An easy walk. Talked to some abseiling climbers and was directed to a hidden track around and below the climbing rock face. This track is pretty rough but interesting especially if there are climber on the rock face.

Then on to Pomona for a couple of nights in the show grounds. Pomona is a lovely little town and is good for bike riding and mountain climbing.

It's a map!

Noosa and Tewantin.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Mt Coolum

Trying to stay busy here whilst waiting for my mail delivery. I hate waiting. If its a no show by Tuesday I'm off.

Bike rides along the coastal bike tracks, paddling the SUP around the Maroochy river and in the surf are helping to keep me occupied.

A favourite outing is to climb Mt Coolum. Drive or ride there then a 200m climb and about 1300 steps to the summit in about 15 mins. The sign at the base says you should allocate 2 hours, I wonder who they are talking to and whether those people would be doing it anyway.

The view back to Maroochydore makes it worth the effort.

Mt Coolum from Maroochydore beach. ~10km away.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Cotton Tree Caravan Park

Decided to stop in the caravan park till my mail arrives. Its too much hassle parking and leaving the MH on the street. A one hour parking limit, in built up areas, applies for vehicles over 4.5t and mine being about 8t has a tendency to attract attention. I have exceeded that many times in various places without issue but here I will be out and about for most of the day riding, walking or whatever. Its better not having the worry. 

Here's something else I seem to do a lot of: Waiting for the mail to arrive. I remember waiting seven days for a overnight delivery from Sydney to Warialda. On that occasion it would of been quicker for me to take the Greyhound to Sydney buy my bits and return. And they wonder why Apost is not profitable? Must be a sheltered workshop!

But Cotton Tree is not a bad place to be stuck, much prefer it to Warialda. The weather has been great most of the time.

Most afternoons the breeze picks up.

Not me! I'm sailing the yacht, I wish.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Kilcoy - Cruice Park

After 5 nights in Linville its time to move on. Short day driving just 58km. Kilcoy for lunch, water, dump and then Cruice Park rest area for the night.

I've booked the motor home in for a safety inspection in Maroochydore for first thing tomorrow. For the last few years I've had the annual inspection done by the same small one-man workshop in Maroochydore. He's familiar with the vehicle and is easy to get along with.

I've also got mail backing up that needs attention. And of course there are those on-line purchases I've been making and now can no longer remember what I've ordered. That's exciting, presents.

Can be a busy rest stop this one so it was a good idea to get here early. Probably the best FC west of and close to Maroochydore. Estimate time to appointment from here about an hour. Then the dilemma again where to after that? Might FC in the streets around Cotton Tree for a bit, till all is sorted.

Monday arvo and the tourists have gone, nice.

Back to normal in Linville. Lots of P&Q.

Walking around Kilcoy.

Desperate for a fourth shot for the blog?

Monday, October 6, 2014

Linville - NRL GF - Magpies?

Public Holiday. Now it makes sense. All these cars, camper trailers and caravans in my quiet little town. The pub jumpin' Sunday night with the NRL grand final and celebrations till 3am. In Linville? Mind you I was home in bed after the game. Hope everyone is heading home today. I'll give them a day to clear the roads before I must head to the coast myself. With mixed emotions.

Thought for the day: Is it only city or urban Magpies that swoop during nesting season? Having ridden about 60km in the last few days, mostly on the rail trail in the countryside, I have not been swooped once. Saw plenty of Magpies. Then when riding in down town Moore, near the main street and highway, was swooped by three different birds. Go figure? Maybe they get angry like their urban dwelling human neighbours?

Been reviewing my Camps Aust Wide maps. It might be time to turn the page on South East Queensland.                                                                 click an image to enlarge
Linville Bar - Note the TV. Stepping back in time?

Orange dots are memorable camp spots. 

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Linville - Brisbane Valley Rail Trail - take two

Back to Linville for a couple of days and a second go at riding the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail from Linville to Blackbutt. Last month I was rained off and only managed ~6km up the trail before threatening weather made me turn around. Now I'm back to do it this time.

The Ride is up hill all the way to Blackbutt but a cruise coming back.

The next day I re-rode the trail to Moore.

A steady climb

Good place to rest.

Track surface is mostly good.
The view!

Thursday, October 2, 2014


Stopped at Boonah, at the bottom of the range, for lunch and a walk about then considering where to next? It would seem I do a lot of this.

Here's how it works:
Consult the Camps Aust Wide book, WikiCamps on my smartphone, the Internet, Google, word of mouth and sometimes CaravanCaravan website before destinations start to materializes.
Then mentally turn on Avoidances:
Major hwys, extended sections of dirt roads, major cities and towns, school holidaying areas and crappy weather, if possible.
Then consider Preferences:
Distance less than 100km, minor sealed roads, somewhere new, one pub towns, quiet out of the way camps sites, rivers and creeks and camp spots with a view.

This time the answer comes up Harrisville (Hooterville to some of the locals) and the back yard of the Royal Hotel. A short drive on minor farming roads via some scenic terrain and only 30km from here. Turns out to be a great choice. The yard backs on to the Wirrill Creek, a tributary of the Bremer River, and the pub specializes in fine food, cold beer and free camping for patrons. Stayed two nights, had a few laughs in the bar with the locals, a great pub meal and did some paddle boarding in the creek.

I also enjoyed the company of other campers and traded life philosophies.
Don't wish it, do it.
Its better to be alone than wishing you were.
Its better to burn out than rust out.
Harrisville Royal Hotel

The back yard

At the bottom of the yard the creek
The creek