Its finally time for a Gap Year! After 33 years of working we have decided to bite the bullet, hitch up the van and do the Big Lap of Australia.
Joined October 2016Living in: Cairns

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  • WOW!!! What a beautiful free camp! We were recommended Bendeela by a couple we met at Morisset, and they were spot on. Just a 30 minute drive down the steep range from Moss Vale opens up to a huge free camping ground just before the village of Kangaroo Valley. Toilets, dump point and drinking water with regular security patrols all provided free of charge...apparently there were three thousand people here over Christmas, but not many at the moment. Stayed 3 days.

    We managed to get the best spot in the place high above and overlooking the Kangaroo River. There are wombats everywhere in the afternoons and at night...just wandering through the camps feeding as they go. They get under the cars and vans and scratch their backs, which can be a little disconcerting at 3 o'clock in the morning!

    Drove in and checked out the quaint little town of Kangaroo Valley and had one of the best pies and sausage rolls so far on the trip.

    Beautiful weather with temperatures around 14-27°
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  • Stayed 3 nights at Moss Vale Showground. 42° when we arrived due to the NSW heatwave, but returned to normal Southern Highland temperatures of 11-24° for the next couple of days.

    Very upmarket "New England" village style towns and home to some of Sydneys richest. John Laws, Nicole Kidman and Jimmy Barnes all own multi- million dollar properties in the area. I have never seen so many BMW's or Merc's in one place!

    I spent 4 hours at the Don Bradman museum while Marg chilled for the day. Absolutely loved it...could've stayed longer!
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  • With the van parked up at Gosford Greyhound Track, we caught the train in to Sydney twice to see the sights. We did the Hop on Hop off ferry including Taronga Zoo pass one day, then the hop on hop off bus tour another day.

    We visited Manly, Watsons Bay, Fort Denison, Shark Island, Garden Island, Opera House, Harbour Bridge, Botanic Gardens, Mrs Macquarie's Chair, Bondi Beach and many more. Georgia loved Taronga Zoo...especially the Chimpanzees and Spider Monkeys. The location of Taronga Zoo is amazing, offering spectacular views of Sydney harbour.Read more

  • Stayed a week at the Gosford Greyhound Track. Georgia flew in to visit us for the week and she got to see the sights around Newcastle, Terrigal, The Entrance, Pearl Beach, Patonga, Avoca, Lake Macquaurie, as well as a couple of trips on the train in to Sydney.

    We spent a fair bit of time at Erina Shopping Centre - the biggest single storey shopping centre in the southern hemisphere, where Georgia stocked up on clothes shopping.

    It was very hot again...the NSW summer is breaking temperature records all over the place.

    The Greyhound Track was an interesting place to stay...we had trackside seats to the races on Tuesday night, as well as a couple of trial nights. We even had go-cart racing on the weekend. We had the aircon humming most nights which helped mask the noise from the track, as well as the passing trains. The train station was a 15 min walk.
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  • Spent a day at Newcastle after setting up the van at Morisset Showground. Newcastle has changed dramatically since we were last there (before children). A lot of apartment blocks, restaurants, coffee shops and new developments everywhere. We visited Nobby Beach, Newcastle Beach, The Memorial Walk and Marg had a swim in Bogey Hole - a heritage listed sea bath built by convicts in 1820.

    We travelled through all the towns around Lake Macquarie and particularly liked Toronto and Catherine Hill Bay.

    NSW is copping a massive heat wave at present - 41°
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  • 10 days at the Tamworth Country Music Festival! An extra 55000 people in town for the event which is in the World Top 10 music festivals. Stayed at Ranjen Horse Stud 17kms outside Tamworth. Only about 6 vans here and very quiet and peaceful. Spent some big days at various venues around Tamworth...all that planning really paid off as we saw all the artists we wanted and a lot more. We were pleasantly surprised that the festival wasn't as "country"...more "country rock." We saw some big name artists like Troy Cassar-Daley, Beccy Cole, Guy Sebastian, The Sunny Cowgirls, The McClymonts, Felicity Urquhart, Lee Kernaghan, Casey Chambers, Bernard Fanning etc and also a lot of lesser known artists some of whom were fantastic. Ashleigh Dallas, Luke Dickens, Luke Austin, Anthony Taylor, Dan Thompson to name a few.
    The weather was hot but not as hot as it could have been. We spent most of the days out and about at airconditioned venues where possible. We used the aircon in the van only a couple of times as usually it cooled down at night.

    The free concerts at Toyota Park were great, especially the Starmaker Grand Final and Stars under the Stars.

    Spent a day at Nundle (about an hour's drive). After sightseeing the town and lunch at the pub, we went to a show (Richo's Roundup) at The Dag Sheepstation. It's a songwriters retreat and set up with a stage, bar, function room etc. We were entertained by 6 performers including Felicity Urquhart with cheese platters included for $20...great day!

    Too many highlights to mention, but the Golden Guitar Awards, and Stars Under The Stars were fantastic as we got to see all the stars perform. The girls tweeted us at Stars Under The Stars which made it up on the big screen. The McClymonts and Troy Cassar-Daley were amongst our favourites.
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  • Bloody hot! 44° when we arrived and 40° today. Stayed at the beautiful free camp on the Gwydir river. Found a spot under a shady tree and sat in the icy cold river to try and cool down. The breeze feels like it's coming from a furnace! The next week's forecast is more of the same so we are moving on. We're going back to Guyra and then on to Armidale where the temperature forecasts are in the range 14-30°.Read more

  • Had to get the caravan fridge looked at in Inverell so stayed 18kms out of town at Copeton Dam. Very hot in the middle of the day as there was no shade, but otherwise beautiful spot right on the water. There were a couple of waterskiers and fisherman around but very quiet considering it was school holidays. Happy hour was spent floating in the lake in our pool hammocks...bliss. Copeton Dam is nearly 3 times the capacity of Sydney harbour. Temperature 21 - 34°Read more

  • 3 nights at the Showground. Great place. We really enjoyed Armidale with its heritage buildings, churches, colleges and of course universities. Went on a 2.5 hour heritage bus tour run by the Visitor Centre which was fantastic. The Teachers College and University of New England were highlights. Very much cooler than the coast...11-25° Armidale is the highest city in Australia.

  • Just stayed the one night at the showground. $10 unpowered with toilets and $1 showers.
    Great drive up the mountain from Coffs past Bellingen etc. Checked out the Rainforest Centre and did a couple of the walks. Drizzled overnight and a lot colder...14° overnight.