Jan 27 We make a mad dash from Iluka back to the (so called) Sunshine Coast, making our way slowly through the remnants of Tropical Cyclone Oswald (what a stupid name for a cyclone). We arrive at the caravan park in Caloundra to find that everyone else had left !! However, we do have a couple of days to relax before Siobhan leaves for Ireland to escort her mother back to Australia.
Jan 19 We decide to head east towards the coast as our direct route north is potentially blocked by bush fires. Also, there is a cyclone developing in NE Queensland and we have to be back on the Sunshine Coast for Siobhan to catch a flight to Ireland to collect her mother for her visit.
So we make our way to Katoomba and the Blue Mountains where there is some of the most spectacular scenery in Australia … except the weather is against us with fog and mist spoiling the views. We do enjoy, however, a display of old cars in the town centre.
Jan 18 It is not very often when you get to drive around an actual race track in a large 4 wheel drive. At Bathurst you can and we did. The bad news – the 60 kph speed limit !! The famous Mount Panorama track is amazing – the TV screen just does not really show how hilly the actual place is.
Jan 17 Parkes is best known for its large radio telescope which had an historic part to play in transmitting the pictures from the first Appollo 11 moon landing. Parkes has had an important role in the scientific community. In addition to local research conducted at the radio telescope, Parkes scientists have assisted NASA for several missions as a relay and communications station. (The movie The Dish was based somewhat loosely on the role the telescope played during the 1969 Apollo 11 moon landing.)
Jan 16 This is what the local tourist information says about this area, which is in central NSW – Lake Cargelligo is an unexpected oasis in central NSW and its beauty and tranquility has remained unspoilt and relatively undiscovered by the travelling public. How right they are. It is a lovely place to stay and relax a while.
Jan 8 to 15 We revisit Port Hughes where we stopped on the way down to Port Lincoln but, unfortunately, the weather was against us as it was blowing a gale and impossible to fish. A brief stop in Adelaide is followed by free camping in Renmark, Lake Benanee and 2 nights in the wilderness at Hay camping next to the Murrumbidgee River, a lovely spot.
The weather is again warm and we have to keep an eye on the bush fire reports as we travel north through a very dry NSW.
Jan 4 to 7 We begin the long track back to the Sunshine Coast where we plan to arrive towards the end of January. First stop is Port Germein (after a brief stay at Arno Bay where it was too hot and windy to do any fishing). Port Germein’s jetty, opened in 1881, is the longest wooden jetty in the southern hemisphere. It is a great place to find blue swimmer crabs when they are in season – which is NOW !!
We collected large amounts of beautiful fresh blue swimmer crabs and we stock up for our long journey north. Strange people these South Australians – they use crab pots which are completely open at the top so you have to keep hauling them to see if there are crabs caught. Queenslanders have a much better idea with their mudcrab pots which are completely enclosed – once caught thats it.
The caravan park had 2 converted washing machines for cooking the crabs which we used regularly.