Well, we’re home, we’re relaxed and getting back to the day to day is taking a while. We had such a wonderful two week holiday with almost no tensions or troubles – which is quite a contrast to when we left, Miss Four had gone through a VERY naughty stage but we won’t go into that.
The first half of our trip was spent in the beautiful quiet town of Karuah in Port Stephens NSW. This is a part of the world I hadn’t visited before and it was such a delight to discover. Karuah is probably the least touristy town in the area, it’s on the river rather than on the beach and it was the perfect place to reconnect and recharge the batteries. We stayed in a cabin in a very quiet caravan park – not being school holidays in any state we pretty much had the place to ourselves, including a fabulous pool/water play area. The wildlife was up close and personal with a family of kookaburras in the tree outside our front door, the rabbits were everywhere and the mozzies, oh were there mozzies (lots of repellent required!)
The trip to Karuah took us two days of driving. I was nervous about this aspect, young children can get impossibly annoying and distracting when they’re over being in the car, but the girls were perfect! We took the country roads from Ballarat to Violet Town and then the Hume to Goulburne (with a side trip to see the dog on the tucker box at Gundagai), where we stayed the first night. The next day it was Goulburne to Sydney, Newcastle and then Karuah.
The highlights of this part of the trip were the gorgeous country towns we drove through – I worked on my photography from the passenger seat of a moving car skills, the results were inconsistent! – sampling the local produce (macadamias, avocados, cherries, strawberries, seafood and local beer and wine) and enjoying the coast and beaches.
I love the wide streets and rustic shop fronts of really small country towns – and we went through LOTS of these.
The vastness of the Australian landscape draws me in and for our whole trip the sky had that quintessential Australian blueness.
Some stops along the way, a park in Violet Town (with a community wood fired pizza oven, how divine), a bloody big submarine in Holbrook, the Dog on the Tucker Box at Gundagai, and some road side cherries.
My favourite drive-by photograph. I saw this beautiful old shed and had just enough time to snatch up my camera and snap. Not bad. I wonder what it was used for and who used it?
Australia does love it’s BIG things, this one is the Big Merino in Goulburn. It’s the only photo of Goulburn that I took which is a pity because it was full of interesting buildings and streetscapes.
Newcastle, a city with two personalities, stunning parks and harbourside then mountains of coal and massive ship-loading machinery.
The view from our cabin through the mangroves to the mouth of the river.
The wooden jetty just a minute from our front door.
Macadamia tree forest, enjoying the beach in Nelson Bay and of course some very fast-melting ice cream, yum! But oh so messy.
The beaches and marinas of Port Stepens.
Part two will be coming up later in the week. In the meantime I hope you’re getting organised for Christmas and not getting too stressed by it all.