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Published: July 16th 2010
where the river runs to the sea
We have travelled quite quickly up the NSW coast, the plan being to get to the warmer weather and spend more time in the southern areas coming back home when it's spring. Though it was windy, the southerly pushed us along in record time and we were warm as the sun shone into the cabin as we headed north. There has been so much work on the Pacific Highway, it's a good fast road and now bypasses quite a few towns. Next to be bypassed will be Buladelah and Kempsey .. work has begun already.
We had our first night camped at Barbara and Jim's at Macksville - they are presently in South Australia but the offer is always there for us to stay there so we plugged into their elecricity and water and were comfortable in our own little home. Next morning we spent some time at Nambucca Heads and then had lunch at the Fishermen's Club which had great views overlooking Coffs Harbour and the back beach. We've been talking about having a meal there for quite awhile. Afterwards we walked along the Coffs jetty - it underwent a makeover for the bicentenary, but it's half the 1640
ft. length it was when we were growing up and when Doug spent time repairing the cranes on it when he was an apprentice at Coffs. There were a few hardy souls diving off the jetty into the cold water - it took me back to when there was the jetty at Woolgoolga and fishing with Uncle Alf. This trip Woolgoolga was just given a cursory look .. another place to spend time on the way back.
It always feels like we are on holidays once we're driving beside the big rivers and the sugar canefields. We stopped for the night at a caravan park we hadn't tried before on the river at Yamba. Being NSW school holidays there are quite a few children around the caravan parks and there's was a good pool there as well as go karts for the kids to ride. This morning we had a good look around Yamba and saw the Island Trader, back from it's supply trip to Lord Howe, coming across the bar and down the river to port.
Once at Ballina we made for the headland there and joined several people looking for whales - in fact we could
see quite a few spouts in the water. As we drove towards Lennox Head we stopped as we saw two whales breaching, that was a thrill. Poor Lennox Head still has evidence of the tornado they suffered last month and though the main section of town seems ok, towards Lake Ainsworth there are still houses with tarpaulins for roofs and some looking like they are beyond repair.
We parked at Bangalow and walked around the nice shops there - it's a favourite stop nowadays - and then drove through beautiful Byron Bay. It was crowded so we couldn't park .. hippies, backpackers, school holiday makers. Instead we kept driving to the Queensland border and the Gold Coast and tonight we're camped at Palm Beach. We hope to go to the Eumundi Makets tomorrow and then we'll have a couple of days around Noosa. The sun continues to shine but there's still a coolish breeze.
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