Zo-Mobil Zooms Across Oz

It’s time for the Zohar seniors to zoom our way around Oz again. We prefer to take the road less travelled and don’t plan too much. This trip will see us head north and outback; two 50 somethings and our delightfully spoilt senior spoodle, Cadbury.
Living in: Melbourne, Australia
  • Day116

    Time to Head Home!

    December 13, 2018 in Australia ⋅ 🌧 16 °C

    We got up this morning half expecting it to be pouring but the skies were clear. By the time we moved it was 10am. We kept checking the weather, in particular the radar close to Melbourne and the storm warnings. But we drove mostly in clear conditions.

    We were worried about the DSC fault in the car but other than a warning each time you start the car, and disabling the cruise control, which was annoying for Gadi driving on the freeway, it seemed ok.

    We didn’t stop until Sale, figuring it best to just keep going while the weather was good. We picked up some lunch and ate it in the caravan before continuing our journey. The skies began to darken once we reached Morwell and it finally began to rain.

    By this stage we just wanted to make it home today. We didn’t want to stop another night. We pushed on and the kilometers seemed to melt away as we inched our way home. It felt kind of poignant that we left Melbourne back on August 20 in the pouring rain and that we were returning to Melbourne in similar conditions in the middle of December.

    Our kids know we are on our way home, as does my Mum. We hope to surprise my sister and her family and everyone else in the next few days.

    Getting off the freeway into the Melbourne suburbs felt strange, in particular having to deal with traffic and people everywhere.

    As we neared home Cadbury definitely seemed on alert, whinging softly and watching everything pass by through the window. We know he will find it weird being home after travelling with us for four months. Two years ago he wanted to get straight back in the car as soon as we got home.

    We arrived home and our son was there to greet us. Of course Cadbury went nuts, which was cute to see. He did the same a couple of hours later when he saw our daughter. He was jumping and wriggling and seemed very happy. It was a lovely reunion for all of us.

    It’s always a great but strange feeling to arrive home after being away for a long time. I think we both felt the same. It’s great to see our kids and it will be great to see the rest of the family. But it feels strange to be back in a house and not to be travelling in our little home on wheels.

    Now on to all the unpacking, cleaning up and emptying the car and caravan. Once again we have had an incredible journey, seen some fantastic places, met some lovely people and made some amazing memories.

    It felt like we experienced many holidays all rolled into one journey. The great artesian way (and all the artesian baths we visited), the character-filled outback towns in NSW and Qld, reaching all the way to Karumba on the Gulf, the dry and hot Savannah Way, the magic of the green and lush Atherton Tablelands, sightseeing in Cairns (with Mum and our boy), then many mini beach holidays down the stunning East Coast mixed with some meandering into the spectacular mountains and the lovely Waterfall Way.

    We did a lot, yet still had time to relax with a glass of wine to watch the sunset. We saw so much, yet know there is still so much to explore. We experienced many firsts, but know there will be many more to come.

    Time soon to start thinking about the next journey, whether it’s just a short trip or a lengthier one. Dreaming and planning is always part of the fun!

    After 14.110 km I can finally say good night from my own bed in Melbourne!
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  • Day115

    A Stop in Eden & on to Cann River

    December 12, 2018 in Australia ⋅ ☁️ 21 °C

    Time to leave the south coast of NSW this morning. We headed off about 10.30am, with a moody grey sky above. We drove through the gorgeous south coast farmland, with its green rolling hills dotted with grazing cows. We passed through cheese country in Bodalla, as well as the stunning green waters surrounding Narooma and the historic village of Central Tilba (my favourite little historic village).

    We know this area so well, having travelled here many times over the years, and my family used to holiday around here often when I was growing up.

    We stopped several times along the way as Cadbury seemed to have a tummy ache. We ate lunch near a river where there were oyster farms and an oyster processing plant. So I bought a dozen freshly shucked oysters to eat later.

    We stopped in Eden at ARV Caravans, as they are dealers for our Concept Caravan and we were looking to replace a part. We also stopped at the lookout over Twofold Bay and the lighthouse. We’ve been here many times, but it’s always lovely to see.

    We headed off mid afternoon, wary of the bad weather we could see was waiting for us in Victoria. This would dictate how far we go today, where we stop tonight and also whether we need to stay put (if the severity of the storms is as bad as it looks like being) for a couple of nights.

    We crossed the border into Victoria between towns. This border crossing is not particularly amazing - just a small sign welcoming you to Victoria. We checked out the free (donation) camp at Genoa (we’ve stayed here before) but decided to keep pushing on as the weather was fine and it was still early.

    We drove as far as Cann River, where the old caravan park has been turned into a free camp. We carefully worked out were to park in anticipation that the weather could turn nasty. We made sure we weren’t under any large trees, not in a muddy or dusty area that could become flooded and settled down in a grassy area towards the back of the park. There were quite a few people camping - a mix of caravanners, back packers in vans, station wagons or 4X4 with roof top tents.

    Immediately we arrived we found some problems with both the car and caravan. Earlier Gadi had accidentally turned too tight a circle, meaning the caravan actually slightly hit the draw bar. We think this may have caused the car to report a DSC Fault, which may have caused some other issues including disabling cruise control and the second battery charging our waeco fridge in the back of the car. Also, weirdly, there was no power to the caravan.

    Gadi spent some time trying to work out what the issues were and tried to fix them. Meanwhile, I sat outside in the weak sunshine and enjoyed my oysters with a squeeze of lemon and a cold cider.

    Not sure if much was fixed, but eventually we got around to cooking dinner - pan fried crispy salmon, asparagus and boiled new potatoes and sat outside to enjoy a camper’s dinner...this could be our last for a while!

    Night night from the east coast of Victoria. We are really close to home now xx
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  • Day114

    Sleep In, Walk Around Mogo in Afternoon

    December 11, 2018 in Australia ⋅ ⛅ 19 °C

    Gadi slept in this morning. He slept and slept and slept. I figured he must have had a bad night so let him. He finally woke up at 11.30!

    We decided to just drive to the heritage village of Mogo, about 20 minutes north, in the afternoon. We strolled around, checking out the shops (lolly, wood, leather among others).

    Back to our little home on wheels for our last evening in Moruya. We cooked chicken and veg on the Weber and brought our chairs and table close to the water’s edge for our last dinner here, savouring the twilight and the shiny water.

    We packed up what we could from the outside of the van (making it easier for tomorrow) and headed inside to watch TV with a hot coffee.

    Night night from the south coast xx
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  • Day113

    Sun, Cloud, Kayak, Relax

    December 10, 2018 in Australia ⋅ 🌧 22 °C

    We had a sunny morning today but Gadi didn’t feel like going anywhere - l think he was keen on watching a series he’s hooked on.

    By lunchtime we had swapped the blue sky for a grey one, a well as some rain. I made a trout salad for lunch, using the whole trout we bought at the trout hatchery a while back.

    In the afternoon Gadi went out on his kayak. He tried to encourage Cadbury, who had no intention of going. I sat outside for quite a while, enjoying the serenity and beauty of the river.

    Another lovely evening, cooked dinner and relaxed inside.

    Good night from Moruya xx
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  • Day112

    Gorgeous Tuross Head & Lunch by the Lake

    December 9, 2018 in Australia ⋅ ⛅ 22 °C

    Beautiful blue skies this morning. We decided to go for a drive, first to nearby Congo to check out the camp ground, where the river meets the ocean and then further south to Tuross Heads.

    The views at Tuross Heads, at the surf beach and at the river mouth were spectacular, with that magical formula of aqua-coloured water, white sand and rocky outcrops. We sat watching the surf for a while before driving to the lookout, where we were blown away by how beautiful the sweep of river mouth and ocean was.

    We enjoyed a late lunch of grilled fish and chips sitting on the deck of the Boatshed overlooking the lake, listening to some very average live music.

    We headed back to our little home on wheels ready for a nanna nap (all three of us!) and given our late lunch, we ate a late dinner of toasted sandwiches while watching Sunday night TV.

    Night night from the lovely riverside town of Moruya xx
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  • Day111

    Aldi at Bateman's Bay & Chill Out Day

    December 8, 2018 in Australia ⋅ ⛅ 30 °C

    The day was forecast to be a bit gloomy so the plan was to jut stay put and chill out enjoying our campsite directly on the river front.

    I decided to get up early (for me) and head half an hour north to Bateman’s Bay, where the nearest Aldi store was, as I wanted one of the special items coming out today - the soda stream. I’ve thought about getting one for a long time, and I think it could be useful on the road as well as at home.

    I spent a long time shopping, at Aldi and Coles, to get a few things on my list not at Aldi, and was pleased to find Gadi’s favourite fodmap-friendly bread at Baker’s Delight, as the last few stores had run out.

    I also got a large coffee and enjoyed drinking it slowly, savouring time out on my own in this pretty riverside town. Unfortunately, the coffee did not agree with my guts, and let me tell you it’s not fun holding on when you are driving half an hour til the next town!

    The rest of the day passed uneventfully, as we relaxed outside by the river and had a swim and spa mid afternoon, followed by more chilling outside watching life on the river.

    We gave the soda stream a whirl, trying out some plain soda and some flavored soda.

    Gadi heated up a quiche and some veggies for dinner and we sat outside enjoying watching the colours around us deepen and intensify. It’s simple moments like this that you hold on to when life gets hectic and unpredictable.

    Time to head inside, shower and see what’s on Telly.

    Night night from Moruya xx
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  • Day110

    Settling in to Moruya

    December 7, 2018 in Australia ⋅ ☀️ 23 °C

    We packed up and left our forest free camp and drove to the beach at Durras South for a look at the waves and stretch of white sand. Then we continued to Moruya where we will stay for the next five nights. We set up the caravan (directly on the riverbank) in the heat and switched on the aircon to cool down.

    We ate lunch and had a rest before deciding to go for a short drive to nearby beaches, including Broulee and Mossy Point. The wind was too strong to stay long at the beach but Cadbury enjoyed playing with sticks and having a swim anyway.

    Last stop of the afternoon was at Tomakin, where we found a great view over the bay and white, sandy beach. We drove back to Moruya and enjoyed the evening sitting by the river, watching the changing colours of the sky setting through the trees. We only went inside when it was quite dark, although we have a bridge nearby, which is lit at night with yellow lighting along the water, so the water remains visible.

    Time to cook dinner - steak and veg on the weber tonight with a cold glass of sangria. Looks like it will be a warm night overnight and hopefully, judging by the clear, twinkly stars above, we will have a lovely sunny day tomorrow.

    Night night from the south coast of NSW xx
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  • Day110

    Sun at Last, Heading South

    December 7, 2018 in Australia ⋅ ☀️ 24 °C

    Our caravan park kindly sent us a message asking if we’d like a late check out of 2pm, so this morning despite the skies still being grey we both had a swim in the resort-style pool before finishing our packing up and continuing our journey south.

    We debated all last night and this morning where we should head to, given we have two nights until we need to be at our next caravan park about two hours drive. We decided to free camp tonight and see if we could move our booking a day earlier - as the weather is finally warming up for the next couple of days before rain is forecast.

    We spent the afternoon checking out the lovely beaches at Mollymook and Ulladulla, eating a picnic lunch with a great view of the foaming waves.

    We also checked out a couple of great viewpoints over nearby headlands and discovered a sea pool that looked very inviting. Next we stopped at a lighthouse also with a spectacular view, and locals told us that breaching whales with calves were seen as recently as last week!

    Our last stop before finding our free camp was at Burrell Lakes where Cadbury enjoyed chasing sticks into the shallow river (the tide was out) and running around Iike a puppy across the sand. We sat for a while on a wooden deck over the water, wrapping Cadbury up in a towel to keep him warm and still.

    Then we drove to the nearby free camp where there was only one other camper. We chilled and eventually cooked a simple dinner before setting down with the TV for a while. When we finally stepped out in the total darkness we were rewarded with a million stars shining up above in the most amazing night sky.

    Good night from under a million stars xx
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  • Day108

    White Sand, Another Grey Day

    December 5, 2018 in Australia ⋅ ⛅ 19 °C

    Today dawned grey and drizzling again, which isn’t great as today we want to visit the Jervis Bay area - beaches and coves and national parks - well we can’t actually go into the national parks because of the dog.

    We decided to head off anyway and just hope the rain holds off. We drove inland first along the Princes Highway to Nowra and it’s twin town of Bomaderry and then headed to Huskisson, one of the towns in Jervis Bay. We checked out the beaches there, which looked really pretty, but no wow factor without the sunshine.

    We continued driving to Vincentia, a larger town and checked out some of the more isolated beaches. In the bay we could see a large navy ship, probably from the nearby naval base at HMAS Creswell. We ate lunch at a picnic ground nearby and then drove to Hyams Beach, supposedly the jewel in the crown at Jervis Bay. Legend has it that the local general store used to have a sign up saying “Australia’s whitest sand” and the slogan got picked up by media outlets and it became known as the whitest beach in Australia with the softest sand. These days Whitehaven in Queensland is often cited as the whitest sand, but it doesn’t really matter as we are spoiled for choice with beautiful beaches in Australia. Personally I think you’d be hard pressed finding better beaches than those in Esperance, south east WA.

    We walked out to the busy Hyams Beach and the sand certainly was white and soft. A small creek ran out close to the ocean on one side and beyond that the water was a gorgeous turquoise colour. The only thing missing was the sun shining making the beach sparkle.

    Never mind. After our time on the beach we decided to head back to our caravan, stopping in Vincentia first to shop at Aldi before returning.

    Back in Shoalhaven Heads we visited the small but cute botanical gardens before heading home. Time to chill and sit outside (and finish off the last of my oysters) and drink some Pinot Grigio while looking through the maps planning out the next couple of days, until it was almost dark. We are enjoying having daylight savings again after being deprived in Queensland.

    Cooking satay chicken using the homemade sauce I bought at The Treat Factory yesterday - hope it’s good!

    Night night xx
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  • Day107

    Birthday Spoils

    December 4, 2018 in Australia ⋅ ☁️ 17 °C

    So today was my birthday and the day began with a delicious brekky cooked by Gadi. Unfortunately, the weather was miserable, drizzling with grey skies.

    We relaxed this morning indoors watching old home videos that are stored on our hard drive.

    Late morning we decided to drive back to Berry, and check out some of the cute little shops. First stop was The Treat Factory, where we wandered around tasting a variety of food and eventually bought some dark chocolate covered licorice, some sweet orange marmalade and a homemade Thai satay sauce.

    We walked around the shops, and ate the best pies we’ve had all trip before heading to Berry’s famous donut van for obligatory freshly cooked cinnamon donuts and coffee.

    We went back to our caravan to chill for a while before i headed to the river with a glass of Pinot Grigio and half a dozen of those lovely oysters with freshly squeezed lemon.

    Time to head out for my birthday dinner at our local hotel overlooking the river. We sat in the beer garden with Cadbury, the light drizzle slowly dissipated, making it very pleasant to sit outside and enjoy ourselves with good food and good wine.

    I’ve had lots of phone calls and messages wishing me happy birthday, and despite the weather not being great, its been a lovely day. It has left me just a little homesick, so it’s lucky we are nearing home!

    Night night xx
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