We made it, yes that’s right we ventured further than NSW and are now in “where else but Queensland”. It only took us a year but, we got here.
After leaving Canberra, once again, we headed to Nowra to visit long time friends of the Conroy family Darren and Sandra. Darren was great mates with Cams dad and the girls were super excited to meet him and hear all the funny stories about their poppy with a beard. Darren can be a practical joker and had a few up his sleeve for Ilueka and Marcee by showing them his pet spiders, we went and had a look but stood well clear of them, not a big lover of the little critters, especially when they can’t be found in their web.
After staying a couple of nights, Sprout had made himself at home and with Sandra’s offer of leaving Sprout behind and instead taking Darren with us, we thought long and hard about it but, our budget wouldn’t allow for a man of his stature, plus he wouldn’t fit in the bunk. We again decided to keep Sprout and soldier on as he seemed to be a changed, dog…… we hoped.🤞🏻
After a couple of horn toots and a birdie flipped at us we were off traveling again.
We left Nowra to make our way to another one of our favourite towns Port Stephens, stopping a night at Norah Head, a beautiful little spot. The girls had a swim in the pool at the park and Cam a surf, at the local surf spot. We only stayed a night here but were pleased we did.
Port Stephens, we highly recommend this place. The beaches are great and you can take your 4wd onto Stockton Beach, or take a camel ride through the dunes if that’s what takes your fancy.
We stayed with friends Clarky and Rexelle, who were very hospitable and didn’t seem to mind our furry little friend, who again made himself at home in their bedroom. Sprout seems to be making a good impression every where we go! We know, we can’t believe it either! Clarky gave us some Japanese cooking lessons and Cam went for a trail ride in Bulahdelah, 35 degrees and almost died, he was quite happy to spend the next day at the beach with us!
Next stop was with an old friend of mine that I worked with in my younger days at Rockmans, Christine and Joe Griffiths. They live in a little town called Harrington. Not a town we would normally have called into but pleased we did. A little fishing village on the coast I’d say half way between Sydney and Brisbane, so a great location and not over run by tourists. Again we were greeted with great hospitality and generosity, the girls left sporting new beanies made by Christine, Marcee sleeps with hers on. She’s one of a kind that one, a bit like the dog….🤔.
Crescent Head was another stop over. Another surf for Cam and a chill out for the girls and I. We caught up on some school work why we had the chance. We found some interesting holes in the ground and when the ranger came around, he informed us that no, they weren’t spider holes, a sigh of relief was breathed, they were crab homes. A little bit of poking at them and the crabs came out, a very crabby crab!
Back on the road after a nights stay and we were off to South West Rocks for quick visit. The water was still warm, about 24° and we ALL went for a swim, yep even me. It was beautiful, jumping and surfing the waves in.
We kept travelling towards Scotts Head for a night. Watching the budget a little we decided to find a cheap or free camp for the night. We came across Gamma Reserve, $20 a night and on the river, it was a great spot . There was a clean toilet block, but no showers, nothing that a quick dip in the ocean couldn’t fix anyway. We stayed a couple of nights here and checked out the area a little more. Apart from the mozzies it was pretty good.
Driving up the coast going through Nambucca heads, also an old favourite and then through Coffs Harbour, eventually arriving at Iluka, with a very excited daughter in tow! We had to come here of course and what was supposed to be a 2 night stay ended 4 nights. We loved it as much as Ilueka (if not a little more 🤣🤣). The surf was great and the fish and chips were yummy and cheap, this is where we met some local sugar cane farmers who invited us to come on a tour of their farm. A great educational experience for all of us. We learnt a little about the process of growing and harvesting the cane and tasted it fresh from the crop. We chewed on the husk to get the flavour of the sugar, it wasn’t like the commercial where it drips out though. We took a cane to chew on and collected some fresh macadamias to nibble on aswell. They were a friendly and inviting couple.
Iluka the town itself was beautiful and the surrounding National Park was pretty, Cam got some amazing surf while we were there and we could’ve easily spent more time there discovering and also at the coolest pub we’ve ever seen, Sledgers reef hotel, but we needed to get back on the road again. So far though on our travels, this little lost in time town is by far our favourite place.
Byron Bay was next on the list for a few nights. More swimming and surfing and a trip to a macadamia farm inland of Byron bay, they were having an open day and we got to do tour of the entire farm, it was fantastic, they employ a lot of disabled people as well. Then back for some more time in Byron, but no sign of Chris Hemsworth, I left disappointed, next time Chris, next time.😍
Much to Cam’s delight, it was one time when my bad eyesight was actually amazing. I did have my prescription sunnies on but I know a good looking man when I see one, just take a look at my husband hey…….😳🤔🤣 “That looks like Kelly Slater, omg it is” I said, We quickly pulled into the car park and doubled park for a photo opportunity with this legend, but someone needed to stay in the car incase, no guessing who 😩. I can’t believe what I did, I’m such a good wife.
We got to watch some of the best surfers in the world at the WSL surf comp. Sprout was even aloud on the beach, at times he had more spectators than than the surfers with his over enthusiastic hole digging antics! More surfing was done and swimming aswell, the water had been beautiful.
We got to Brisbane just before Easter as planned and the girls received a beautiful surprise from their uncle Matt and cousin Seb, turning up after a late flight from Tassie, when the girls were fast asleep, then sneaking into their room in the morning to seeing their faces going from shocked, to smiles, to tears of joy, a well pulled off plan.
We did the tourist thing and went to Movie world, without Cam as he was doing a few days work in Brisbane, but my brother Matt, his son Seb and my good friends Roz and Sharon joined us with their children.
Straight after Easter it was time for Cam to head off to the Torres Strait Islands to do a 6 week stint plumbing. Exciting but nervous at the same time he set off on the Tuesday after Easter and flew to Cairns and then to Horn Island, where he then took a helicopter ride to Duaun Island for two weeks, then a boat ride to Saibai island where he spent another 2 weeks then a small plane to Boigu Island for the last two weeks. He said there were lots of tough moments and boredom at times, but overall he seemed to really enjoy the experience and made some great friends in the process.
We kept busy while he was away with the girls doing Eschool. It is a great program as I’ve said before, but boy it can be hard work. Saying that, I’d like to thank the past teachers who have taught one of my little angels (Marcee), omg, is all I can say.😩
I caught up with some old friends while we were there, Roz, Lorinda who gave me a much needed makeover and can’t thank enough for it, and Helen in Redcliffe, someone I hadn’t seen in over 28 years, it was great to see her.
I also enjoyed spending time with my sister Kelly, we can’t thank you and Russ enough for having us for all that time. I hadn’t spent that amount of time with her since she was living at home, and no arguments. It was also great for the girls to spend sometime with their cousin’s Karla who also help out heaps by looking after them at times. Thank you Russ, Kelly and Karla.
A highlight for Cam was catching up with a close mate from primary school Shannon King, who moved away midway through high school and they hadn’t seen each other since. He’s gone on to become a Muay Thai kick boxing world champion, multiple Australian boxing champion and owner of one the most successful chains of gyms in Australia. He invited us to his place and we all got on fabulously with the girls disappearing inside with his girls while he and Cam relived many old stories and memories over a few beers.
So here we are back on the road heading further north making our way to the top of Australia. It’s getting exciting, but there’s a lot kilometres and car singing to be done yet.