Road Trip: North Coast

Australia, RTW: 2007-2008 — By on May 1, 2008 4:43 AM


After four days driving north on Highway 1, Spencer and I have visited three beautiful beach towns along the north coast of Australia. We have been utilizing a book Spencer brought called Drive Around Australia,” stopping whenever we see something of interest.

NELSON BAY/PORT STEPHENS

We only spent one day in Nelson Bay; however, I would love to go back and spend more time there. The area has been called “the dolphin capital of Australia” and there are all kinds of adventure activities and beautiful beaches. We did a short hike to the top of Tomaree Lookout where I learned about Spencer’s fear of heights! It was hard to take pictures when we were up high as Spencer did not like standing too close to the edge.

On the way out of town we stopped at the Stockton Sand Dunes – the largest coastal moving sand mass in the Southern Hemisphere.

I know it’s often said that you really get to know someone when you travel with them. We recently learned that we have the same contact lens prescription. One morning I went to put my contacts on and they were missing, as Spencer had mistakenly put mine in his eyes! I had a mini freak out when I thought that I had left all of my extra contacts in Sydney; however, the crisis was averted when I eventually found my extra lenses! Before traveling with me, Spencer had heard about my unusual sleeping habits including sleep walking, talking, and hallucinations. He has now witnessed first hand, two panic attacks in the night, and has calmed me down when I was convinced I saw and enormous spider hanging above my head!

PORT MACQUARIE

Port Macquarie is a former penal settlement founded in 1821. It was the third town to be established on the Australian mainland and its age is visible in the 19th-century buildings. Offshore fishing is one of the area’s specialties and there were many places to buy very fresh seafood. We saw many “Pelicans on steroids” as I called them, as they were the largest pelicans we have ever seen!

COFFS HARBOR

Coffs Harbor is the biggest town between Newcastle and the Gold Coast. We spent two nights here as there was much to do and the city was close to several small towns we wanted to visit. We stayed at a hotel near the beach and a short walk to the restaurants and the Jetty. Banana growing is still a big business in Coffs Harbor and we saw the trees everywhere.

Bellingen, located 30 minutes inland from Coffs Harbor, is the region’s “art and craft capital.” We had lunch in town and checked out many cute shops and art galleries in the “Old Butter Factory.”

We also visited Dorrigo, a pretty, subtropical rainforest town with great views. We did an easy 2-hour hike in Dorrigo National Park. We hiked through the rainforest seeing several big waterfalls, wild turkeys (that Spencer chased), and even a large python (that Spencer ran screaming from!)



Today we will drive to Byron Bay where our friend Stacy is living. We will be hanging in Byron with Stacy over the weekend. We are both really excited to hang with Stacy again as we haven’t seen her in months. There are several festivals going on in Byron this weekend, it should be a really good time!

To see more pics of our trip up the North Coast CLICK HERE.

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2 Comments

  1. Didier says:

    Spencer, be strong: don’t let these wild turkeys scare you !! Enjoy your trip man…

    -Didier

  2. Ash :-) says:

    You guys are having so much fun — I’m so jealous! Thanks for sharing all the fun and pics 🙂

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