Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Nearly 3,000 km's later and here we are in Ayr

Another fantastic couple of weeks in the land of Oz.  This photos was taken late afternoon at Malacoota camp (where Dave had been fishing) on the North Eastern Coast of Victoria and somewhere we hope to return to.  It is a truly beautiful coastal town with great fishing and attractions.

Since leaving we have certainly been travelling the high road.  Over 10 days we travelled from South East Victoria, into the South Western Coast of New South Wales, then inland NSW and then into Queensland and finally arriving in Ayr in Northern Queensland - 70k's south of Townsville.
We drove along the New South Wales South Eastern Coast and then began the climb inland towards Canberra.  The Coast was spectacular and will be a definite return to spot.  Some of the hills we climbed were a challenge - hair pin bends with a caravan - not for the faint hearted.  This photo was taken at Warri free camp on the roadside - just South of Canberra.  No snakes seen or other unwanted creatures!  There are so many lovely free camps and most seem busy with people staying over night.  We left here for Yass - just North of Canberra.
We ran into a small problem with the caravan brakes so had to delay our trip until we could get it fixed.  A slight delay but we spent a lovely couple of days in Yass - a small farming town just North of Canberra.  We therefore had some time to spend in Canberra and what a beautiful city - from the little we saw of it we thoroughly enjoyed it.  We spent some time at the War Memorial which was very interesting.  They have some wonderful displays and stories from the various wars.  For me a highlight was seeing  the handcrafted quilts made by the woman held hostage in  at Changi

We then travelled to Dubbo - famous for the Taronga Western Plains Zoo and a number of other local attractions.  Sadly we didn't have time to stay but met Hilary who was an inspiration - after her husband died suddenly while they were travelling, she has continued to fulfil their dream and is still driving around Australia with her caravan - we had lots of laughs with her and will continue to keep in touch! 

Still in inland New South Wales we continued our drive  to Moree where we had to have further work done on the caravan brakes - we stayed at a camp where they have natural thermal pools.  This town has a natural artesian basin and the water is mineral rich providing soothing powers!  Good when you have been on the road so much.  We spent two days there and then drove further North into Queensland and stayed in Miles - less said the better about this - it was a small mining town and so far the only place we have not enjoyed (although to be fair we arrived late and left early the next morning).

From there we drove to a little town called Dululu - well it had a free camp and a pub.  We met some local old blokes - one who looked liked a living leprechaun - tiny thin man with this long white beard and hair (set back off his face) - he had lived there for over 90 years (Noel was his name) - and I didn't like to ask his age.  His neighbour was Irish and had lived there since immigrating after WWII.  Did they have some stories to tell.

By this stage we were well into Queensland and heading to McKay, sadly we had to miss seeing our good friends Maus and Steve in Brisbane, Tania on the Gold Coast and lovely Helen, Justin, Ebony and Bianca in Mooloolaba - hopefully we will see them sometime soon.  But we did catch up with Dean and Sam, Lochy & Josh.  Lochy thought Larry was a bit of a hoot.

McKay was very busy but a good spot to stock up.  We stayed right on the beach front and was absolutely beautiful warm weather for us Kiwi's.

Ducks at Bucasia Bay Camp - of course it was Duck opening weekend in NZ - I think Dave was a bit sad not to be on the pond! Olive and Marcel - don't forget to tell Colin to keep his seat warm! 

In addition to the ducks there were wee possum that campers (including Dave) hand feed at night -I don't think we would do that in NZ.
We were nearly at the end of the big drive North and leaving McKay made it easily to Ayr where we will be based for the next 4 to 5 months.    We have been here now for a week, Dave started his job on Monday and it enjoying it - although a bit tired and sore since he hasn't worked for a while.
The farm where he is working cut 1.1million heads of corn on Monday - this is delivered to the local market and to NZ.  Dave can bring home as many as he likes so I imagine we will grow a little tired of it.  Last night he delivered corn cobs around the camp and our close long term resident neighbours and gardeners Ian and Peter then delivered, beans, rocket, avocado and pak choy.  The local produce is abundant with beans, capsicums, melons, tomato and a number of others, we are still growing our lettuce, cherry tomato and herbs - and I think snow peas are next on my list - this warm weather grows everything so well and quickly.
While Dave was at work yesterday the local top dressing plane hit their power lines (but survived) - lucky for him the tail of the plane was damaged and he managed to land safely.  Dave said he was a very white faced pilot. 
Sadly there are no vegetable packing sheds here in Ayr - so I get a reprieve from work for now - although I'm hopeful of finding something and if not I will do some volunteer work.
We are loving the warm weather - average 29 deg - although some days are a bit hot.  I'm finding lots to keep me busy and don't really know where the time goes.  
Well - that's good bye from us - keep up those emails and texts.
Celia, Dave and Leprechaun Larry. 


  1. Hi Guys

    Great reading your adventures. We are all well here but definitely the winter weather has arrived. Hope you are enjoying the work Dave and that you are coming home to a wonderful cook meal every night using all that lovely fresh produce. Celia hope you are doing your usual amazing things in the kitchen.

    Love Helen & Goldie

  2. Hi to you both, I have emailed a couple of times but as of yet had no reply.....if you ever go back to mckay let me know (which means emailing back) as we have friends there that you would enjoy