Sydney To Cairns By Camper – days 4-6

day 4

The start of day four found us by a river in a field on an island near somewhere called Hawk’s Nest. This is not my first random camper trip, so I didn’t have high exectations for our campsite, but since the only ‘amenities’ were a big water tank and some skanky port-a-loos that would put the ones at Glastonbury to shame, I was once again struck by the thought that some ‘campsites’ really are just money for old rope.

I’d like to say we got out of there pretty sharpish, but some sand and a bit of wheel-spinning later and we were stuck. Thankfully a nice lady from the camper next door came and helped me push, and pretty soon we were on the open road again (and getting lost again too, lol).

After a few days heading back and forth on the same level we decided to try and cover a bit of distance north. After all we’d only gone 221km up the coast, we still had several thousand kilometres to go, and just ten days to do it in (at the time). So we hit the road and headed for Port MacQuarie, for no other reason as it was a large town a decent way towards our final destination.

When we got there we parked up at a Big 4, a large chain campsite, just so we’d have decent showers, toilets and even a bit of wifi. Thanks to the school holidays it was $40 a night (compared to $15 for the night before’s ‘field’) but worth it I reckon. We also got power, which we needed, and sea views just a short stroll up the sea wall.

macquarrie skies

Plus, it was so nice to just be able to walk up the street and go for some chips, or a pizza, or whatever else you fancy. You don’t realise how good that is until you’re in the woods trying to cook pasta and sauce separately, in the dark, on one gas ring balanced on a plastic fold away table.

day 5

The next day we decided to stay for another night. All the driving, researching, trying to figure out where you are and where you’re going, can get a little full on, so we thought we’d benefit from staying put for a day or two to get our bearings. It also meant a chance to shop for some bits and bobs, a bit of quality internet time, and the chance to eat out again. πŸ™‚

Unfortunately it rained, so for at least part of the day this was us.

wet outside, warm inside

rainy days

Memories of summer holidays in caravans in muddy fields on the British coastline came flooding back, lol.

But it did give us time to think. We needed to make some serious progress if we were going to hit our deadline, so we decided that the following day we’d make the run up to Byron Bay (5 hours and 400 km away).

day 6

Day three, and after getting up well early to do a last bit of internetty stuff, we hit the road.

our co-pilots

It was a long drive, but thanks to our two co-pilots, Hazel and Otto, we hardly got lost at all. πŸ˜‰ With just a couple of stops for lunch and afternoon tea (both by the river-side, oddly enough) we made it to Byron while the sun was still up (just) which made a refreshing change.

We found a council run campsite right by the beach, got set up,

setting up

then headed straight out to check out the surf (naturally). Down by the seafront some kind of setting sun drum circle was in progress.

byron bay sunset

It had a very familiar feel to me, like being at some hippy music festival. In fact the whole town felt like that – relaxed, open, inviting – which I found quite comforting in a way.

In the end we just had enough time to cook some pasta, then go for a romantic stroll along the beach (which had cold sand but warm water, weirdly enough) before it was time to hit the hay.

We were knackered, which isn’t surprising as today was the day we cracked 1000+ kilometres! Not bad considering we were only 772km from our starting point, lol. Well, as the Wise Man say, “To go forward, you must go backward.” or something like that. πŸ˜›

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