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?
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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.

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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.

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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.