Travelling around Australia with 2 kids, our little family will be putting the country's camping spots, a Toyota Prado and Jayco Swan to the test. Our start and end point being the Far North Coast of NSW, we'll be traveling anti-clockwise North through the middle of Queensland to Darwin, around to Melbourne and up the East Coast, finishing in Byron Bay for Christmas 2014.
Saturday, 17 January 2015
We went from Churchill, a purpose built
mining town to a Lakes Entrance, a purpose built tourist town. I can’t say I
was particularly enthralled with it, but then the weather was poorly (are you
surprised?) and ho hum, I had home on my mind with only a few weeks to go
before arriving back in Byron Bay for Christmas.
The colours of Croajingalong coastal forest.
Busting to get over the border into the
of New South Wales, we
whizzed out of Lakes Entrance and up the Princes Highway. It was all starting to
feel like home already with the eucalpyts, salty air and coastal heath. In the
car I was researching our next stop around Merimbula in the Lonely Planet when
I happened upon CroajingalongNational Park, unparalled
on the East Coast of Australia in its beauty and general awesomeness. Apparently.
We were going past the turn off, I wanted to get over that border but this
place sounded awesome so we turned around. Sigh. I almost cried. It was
definitely starting to feel like home time.
Anyway, there are a few bush camps in the
National Park itself but the cold and wet weather was still around so we opted
for the caravan park in Mallacoota. This is one of those parks which commands the
best position in town, right on the headland overlooking the inlet and ocean.
It was beautiful, though we did our best to ignore this by fighting over where
to camp. On canvassing the area, I was opting for the sites near the playground
with lots of space around us, whilst Fiela wanted the sea view and let’s be
honest, to be within casting distance of the water. We did laps of the park, much to the amusement
of every grey nomad travelling around Australia who was now camped here, until
I threw a complete wobbly and told Fiela to go and sort it out himself with a
few withering ‘Whatevaaahs!!!’ thrown in for good measure.
Mallacoota. It's sunny!!!!
Set up with the sea views (hmmmph!) it was
an excellent vantage point to watch the rain and wind as it descended upon our
camper and my fragile mental state. I don’t think I’ve ever hated canvas walls
But Mallacoota and Croajingalong unfolded
itself to us over the next few days and it was beautiful in every way. We drove
into the National Park itself and marvelled at secluded rocky coves and
pristine beaches. We cleaned and ate big black mussels found by Fiela in the
waterways. Marguerite borrowed books and DVDs from the little library over the
road. The pelicans feasted on the leftovers of Fiela’s catch and it was good.
Deserted sandy beaches.
Until Marguerite’s bike took on a life of
its own, sped down the hill while I ran after it, Marguerite yelling
encouragement until it finally came to a stop in the back of a fellow camper’s
car. He was fairly gracious about it all, unlike the lookers’ on who were
rolling around on the grass laughing their heads off. It was time to go. New South Wales beckoned
and I was like a sailor, ears wide open to the Sirens’ Song.