New South Wales

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  • Day111

    Dolphins and then .... going south

    January 30 in Australia ⋅ ☀️ 28 °C

    We decided to go on a dolphin watching tour that included, for the stupid, a boom netting experience. My take on boom netting is being water boarded while being given an enema, not my (nor Bun’s) idea of fun.

    We set off with about 30 people in a boat designed for 150 and headed north. The captain did the safety announcements and then said that spotting dolphins was a group activity and don’t simply rely upon the crew. After about 20 minutes we saw a pod of maybe 10 dolphins about 200m away between us and a rocky headland. The boat slowed and we drifted along watching them surface and dive. With the dolphins moving and the boat pitching, it wasn’t easy to take photos or videos. Not the most entertaining experience but the boat isn’t allowed to get close to the dolphins and they were more interested in doing whatever dolphins do. None decide to come and surf our bow wave or leap out of the water in front of us. Never mind.

    The boom netting experience took place for the dozen people who did it. They appeared to enjoy it apart from one older gentleman who looked to be drowning.

    The 90+ minutes were very enjoyable. We returned to the port, had a coffee and then went back to Bertha via a couple of shops.

    We drove to Hyams Beach, the beach in Jervis Bay that has “the whitest sand in all Australia”. Sorry, we were told that Whitehaven Beach on the Whitsunday Islands, oh and also Lake McKenzie on Fraser Island have the whitest sand!

    When we arrived at Hyams Beach we were told that there was no swimming because of Blue Bottle jellyfish in the water. We went down and looked at the “whitest sand” and found it to be a lot less white than either Whitehaven or L. McKenzie, but that could be because of the ash and pieces of burnt wood mixed in with it. The jellyfish lay all along the edge of the water, we didn’t even paddle.. Time to leave Jervis Bay and head south.

    We weren’t sure where to drive on to. We reached Milton and decided to carry on to Kiola. Just outside Kiola we stopped to visit the information centre that tuned out to be a notice board outside a newsagents. While the board wasn’t helpful, the locals in the newsagents were full of information “it’s all burnt down here”. They suggested a campsite on Merry Beach so we drove down to it, checked in to find that there is no phone signal at all so we can’t plan for tomorrow - never mind, all part of the adventure. There are, however, a huge number of wallabies and kangaroos on the site, plus loads of ducks and rabbits. Bun is fretting that a joey has lost his mother, but I think they are just having some time apart and the joey is learning that trying to jump into the pouch of every wallaby you come across, male or female, will only get you a quick biff around the ears. I’m sure mum will find him when she’s had enough time on her own.
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  • Day113

    A bit stranded

    February 1 in Australia ⋅ ☀️ 32 °C

    We awoke to a very strong smell of smoke in the air and a very strange light. The sun couldn’t penetrate the smoke and gave the sky a colour that we’d only seen once before and that was during a solar eclipse. The firies had all left at around 7am and a couple of the mobile homes had already left.

    We sought advice from the camp manager. It has never been our intention to become part of the problem .... but not sure if nature will help us to achieve that.

    The Rural Fire Service released a map overnight showing the fires and the burnt areas, just as I have on my app, however, they added their prediction for fires if the temperature reached the expected 40C and the wind became westerly. The map put us in the middle of a fire hazard. This was purely a prediction but the advice was that we shouldn’t stray too far, Narooma is a safe place.

    We decided to go to Mystery Bay, apparently it hadn’t been evacuated yesterday, somewhere else had been. We set off the few miles down the A1, arrived at the Mystery Bay Road to find it closed. Back to Narooma for b’fast.

    We found a lovely cafe with views across the bay and treated ourselves to b’fast and work out what to do today. The reasons for coming to the area are to visit Mystery Bay and to see if we can get a trip to Montague Island to snorkel and dive with the seals. The boats were not going to the island because most of their bookings had cancelled coming to the area.

    We planned a couple of maintenance chores for Bertha and then drove down to see if the seals were about. The one we had seen the day before was still sleeping in front of the fish gutting table on the quayside. We then drove around to the harbour entrance where a number of seals were sleeping on the rocks on the inside of the breakwater. The sea was looking quite ferocious with waves breaking over the breakwater.

    Time for a dip. The temperature wasn’t 40C and there was little sun, but there wasn’t much wind either. There were a number of places to choose from, the beach in the estuary near the bridge, the beach with the shark net or the beach without the shark net. Knowing we weren’t going to be in the sea long enough to attract sharks, we elected for the final option..

    I’m sure the sea today was no colder than yesterday, but without the sun, it felt a lot cooler. A quick swim and out, back to Bertha for a cuppa. Back to the campsite to get a pitch, do some laundry and then go out to the cinema to watch Jo Jo Rabbit, a bit weird but quite entertaining.

    We walked over the road to the pub for a beer and watch the sun go down and the bats fly into nearby trees to eat the fruit and then we went back to camp. The new moon is bright red as the sun was when it went down. Smoke has been in the air all day, but the horizon showed a blue line between the sea and the smoke, so we guess the smoke was quite high.

    As I finish this, the wind has picked up and is shaking Bertha, the weather f’cast says winds of 46-59km/h, I wonder what that will do to the fires and what tomorrow will bring?
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  • Day272

    Frohes neues Jahr!

    January 1 in Australia ⋅ ⛅ 20 °C

    Happy New Year from Sydney. We had an amazing evening standing in first row between the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House. The fireworks were awesome, it was great to be part of that show!

    Frohes neues Jahr aus Sydney. Wir haben uns einen Platz in der ersten Reihe zwischen Opernhaus und Harbour Bridge erkämpft und konnten das spektakuläre Feuerwerk genießen. Es war genial!
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  • Day95

    Uranga boardwalk and lizard rescue

    January 14 in Australia ⋅ ☁️ 23 °C

    So we had thought of getting up early to watch the sun rise .... nah, let’s not. However, we did want to go and see the boardwalk at high tide.

    On our way, we came across a blue tongued lizard swimming in the sea. It looked very bloated. While quite buoyant, it swam towards shore, then out to sea, then along a bit then towards shore ... not sure it knows where he was going.

    Obviously Bun wanted to rescue it. I’d like to say that she stripped off, dived in and rescued the poor thing while being applauded by the people watching on, but no. We did secure the help of some young lads, but didn’t actually need them as the lizard swam close to a pontoon that Bun was on. By flapping her arms in the sea, Bun managed to get the lizard close enough to pick up. Bun took it to an area of trees where she hopes it will be very happy. Did we save a life or interfere with nature?
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  • Day25

    The start of our walkabouts adventure

    November 5, 2019 in Australia ⋅ ⛅ 26 °C

    While our presence in Australia appears to have solved the drought problem ( the last two days have been frustrating. We had hoped to have been on our way several days ago. We’d hoped to have Big Bertha on Friday but it didn’t happen.

    On Sunday we made a trip to an enormous DIY type warehouse that sold everything, literally everything. We made a list of things we would need for Bertha, a couple of camping chairs, a camping table .... repairing stuff, kitchen stuff, emergency stuff, eating and cleaning stuff .... quite a list.

    On Monday we hung around awaiting the call to pick up Bertha but received a call to say that the part still hadn’t arrived. While the engineers had cut a hole for the new part, so that it will be fitted as soon as it arrives, the work still needs to be approved by the gas inspector.

    Today we were told that the part had arrived and was being fitted, but we still had to hope that the inspector would have a chance to inspect it and approve it. Today is Melbourne Cup day so we just hope that no one involved is a horse racing fan.

    So that we didn’t spend our time kicking our heals we decided to head for the Gold Coast and look around or lay on the beach. On the way we would drop into IKEA to buy Bun an orthopaedic pillow for her neck. On our way we received a call that the van was finished and approved, no beach today

    When we arrived to collect Bertha she was wired up to the mains with the a/c working and was beautifully cold inside. When she had been sold to the dealer, she contained “everything needed” and this was in a pile in a garage. We were told that we could take anything we wanted. Cutlery, cleaning materials, fuses, spare fan belts, picnic chairs,and table, toaster, kettle ... and so forth. We loaded it all on board.

    Bertha comes with about 3kg of keys! I don’t know how many sets there are. There are a number of storage spaces each accessible from outside and each with their own door that has a lock or two. Why each lock isn’t suited the same, I don’t know. Tomorrow we will sort them all.

    We were shown how to sort the toilet, the gas, the fridge, the cooker .... information overload. Then we moved Bertha and were shown the awning. Time to go home.

    We travelled 20yds to the fuel station and filled Bertha up I was using my hone for satnav and it sat happily on the dashboard until about 400yds down the road and I’d turned onto the motorway. The remaining 50 miles (plus detours from missed turnings etc) was miserable with respect to directions, but Bertha behaved well.

    She’s parked up, locked up and will be sorted out tomorrow. Will we leave Brisbane tomorrow or Thursday? No plan yet.
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  • Day118

    Holbrook and Macedon

    February 6 in Australia ⋅ ⛅ 25 °C

    We spent the night in Albury Showground. The Showground sites are usually pretty good value because they cater for people travelling around rather than family holidays. Other than toilets and showers plus electric and water hook-up, that may be the only facilities they have. No swimming pools, playgrounds, camp kitchens etc. Due to the amount of area available, it’s also quite easy to keep away from everyone else. Often the site is not staffed and money is left in envelopes and pushed under a door or put in a box.

    Albury Showground was pretty rubbish. Located at the end of the runway, next to a rail line, near a main road. The electrics were literally “to die for”. It took a lot of courage to connect to one electric box only to find it wasn’t working. I then had to pluck up the courage to open another box and stick my plug into that; fortunately it worked. No water supply nearby, no BBQ etc.

    For the first time since we have been on the road, we broke open our single ring gas BBQ to cook some Baramundi (fish) for dinner. Other than the slight drizzle, it all worked well. Why didn’t we cook in Bertha on the posh cooker? We didn’t fancy sleeping with the smell of fried fish!

    Next morning we set off for Macedon but not before visiting Albury town and wandering around the botanic gardens and art gallery (MAMA - Murray Art Museum Albury). The botanic gardens offered two walks, one a rainforest and the other a heritage walk, we did the heritage walk.

    I wanted to visit Holbrook, that is just off the motorway, because it has a submarine in the town centre. I thought this was peculiar for a town a few hundred miles from the sea.

    As we drove further south and west the weather became cooler and the landscape changed. By th time we arrived at Macedon we could have been in an English village with rose gardens and mown lawns
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  • Day226

    Östlichster Punkt Australiens

    November 16, 2019 in Australia ⋅ ⛅ 23 °C

    Just a few kilometers south of the Gold Coast we stopped in Byron Bay. The Cape Byron is the most easterly point of Australia. It is a really nice scenery all around the cape, even though the view is not really good in the moment due to the bush fires all around the area.
    By the way we have left Queensland now and now we are in New South Wales.

    Nur ein paar Kilometer südlich der Gold Coast liegt Byron Bay. Hier am Kap Byron befindet sich der ostlichste Punkt Australiens. Landschaftlich ist die Region hier richtig cool auch wenn die Sicht wegen der vielen Buschfeuer nicht wirklich gut war.
    Übrigens sind wir nun auch nicht mehr in Queensland sondern in New South Wales.
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  • Day276

    25. Travelläum

    January 5 in Australia ⋅ 🌬 22 °C

    In the last month we traveled from Adelaide all the way back to Sydney. We visited some wine regions, the city's of Melbourne, Canberra and Sydney. The highlight were the fireworks in the Sydney Harbour on NYE.

    I'm letzten Monat ging es für uns von Adelaide zurück nach Sydney. Auf dem Weg ging es durch Weinregionen, mitten durchs Outback und in die Städte Melbourne, Canberra und Sydney. Das Highlight war aber sicherlich das Sylvester Feuerwerk im Hafen von Sydney.
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  • Day96

    Creek swim and Koala Hospital

    January 15 in Australia ⋅ ☁️ 25 °C

    While making our morning cuppa, I looked through the fly-screen on the door to see a large male ‘roo lying nonchalantly outside Bertha. He wasn’t impressed with the ‘roo food we had left from a visit to somewhere we could feed them, so he made-do with some biscuits. He was very gentle but did get very close. They have claw as on their front and back legs that look as if they could easily disembowl someone they didn’t like.

    Set off to Hat Heads, another estuary. The Karoogoo Creek that flows into the sea was crystal clear and shallow. Many people we simply sat on inflatables drifting down with the river. Too good an opportunity for a swim to miss. We also joined in with the kids jumping off the bridge.

    After the swim we made a cuppa - easy enough to do with our whole home in Bertha, then set off to Port Macquarie.

    The Koala Hospital homes approx 60 koalas 🐨. Some are permanent residents, but most are recovering and will be sent back to the area they came from. Apparently, the name system is firstly the place it was found and then secondly a given name by the person who found it.

    A few weeks ago, most of their koalas were suffering from burns having come out of the bush fires, now there are some burns, some orphans but also a number with chlamydia. Chlamydia affects male and female koalas, and even the little ones called joeys - who pick it up suckling from their mothers in the pouch. It causes blindness and infertility in koalas - and can be fatal. Visible signs of infection include conjunctivitis, and a condition dubbed "dirty tail", caused by urinary tract infections and incontinence.

    One outcome of the recent fires is that money is pouring into places like the koala hospital who now have money to pass on to other related charities and also bring forward their koala natural breeding programme by approx five years.
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  • Day288

    Wieder zu dritt unterwegs!

    January 17 in Australia ⋅ 🌧 21 °C

    For the next three weeks Janine's mom is here for a visit :) We started with a walk around the city even though it was raining almost the whole day.

    Für die nächsten drei Wochen ist Janines Mama zu Besuch bei uns und so sind wir nun wieder zu dritt unterwegs :) Los ging es heute mit einer Stadtbesichtigung von Sydney auch wenn es fast den ganzen Tag geregnet hat.Read more

You might also know this place by the following names:

State of New South Wales, New South Wales, NSW, Nouvelle-Galles du Sud, Nova Gales do Sul, Новый Южный Уэльс

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