On the road again…well not quite! With Christmas and New Year on the horizon we decided to stay put around Newcastle and enjoy the celebrations with friends.
It was a lovely change to slow down and deviate from our normal routine of being on the road, I got to show Chocco the sites of my home for the last month and we got to fix up some things on Bluey…like the fishing rod holder that I snapped off when I ran into a tree.
Christmas was also different without the usual running around with family, Chocco and I spent the morning together, we still popped down to the beach for a Christmas swim despite the cold weather before heading to lunch with the Hosie’s where we definitely helped them put a dent in the amazing lunch spread and participated in the Finska Championships. Alliances were formed, relationships tested and many an abusive slur passed between teams all in the name of winning the game by throwing sticks at sticks to reach a score of 50. Ridiculously simple and one of the best games we’ve ever played.
We spent a few more days in Newcastle planning our trip up to the Mid North Coast (as the locals call it) before heading down to the Central Coast for New Years. With the East Coast weather still reeking havoc on the beaches we opted for a pit stop at Catherine Hill Bay and the awesome little country pub before heading down to spend a romantic New Years Eve at the Budgewoi Pub with warm chicken salad guru Sean NB: we were all the youngest there by about 30 years. A quiet night with a few senior citizens? It started with ACDC and all ended with polish vodka and me fertilising the neighbour’s plants with said warm chicken salad…sorry Sean!
Safe to say New Years Day was spent feeling sorry for myself, Chocco thought this a great time to watch the sunrise, I could have vomited all over him but to his credit it was a beautiful way to start the new year, even if we missed it…story of our lives. A failed attempt to surf and many a wave of nausea was cured by a day spent relaxing with friends, exploring Rock Pools beach and take away Thai.
Day two of 2018 and we hit the road bound for Port Macquarie and Crescent Head. A slight detour to Nobby’s Beach in Newcastle on the way up meant I was stuck wearing bright pink Coles thongs after I became victim YET AGAIN to a thong theif!
Onwards and upwards…with crappy weather looming we decided to stay in Port Macquarie the night. This town was a lovely surprise of awesome restaurants, bars and a winery so we spent two days waiting out the rain exploring (eating in my case). The worst part had to be when Chocco dragged me to his favourite place on the East Coast “The Pancake Place” as you can imagine I went kicking and screaming and hated every bit of my blueberry pancakes with maple syrup and ice cream.
The best part was our beautiful free camping spot at the lighthouse. It was bliss waking up to the view of the ocean each morning (and all for free) not much more an Asian and a Wog could ask for.
Finally with weather clearing we decided to hit the road, bound for Point Plomer in Crescent Head, armed with our new beach-driving permit we caught the ferry across to the North Shore right on a king high tide and had to take the inland road anyway, new year new us? NOPE!
Point Plomer is a beautiful bay about 2.5 hours north of Newcastle. It’s a spot for everyone with turquoise water, white sand, good surf and spearfishing it’s the first big stop along the stretch of coast between Port Macquarie and Crescent Head. Whoever invented school holidays clearly didn’t think about the two DINKS wanting a quite coastal camping holiday, fortunately for us this bit of coast is dotted with bay after bay with all of the above so we continued on towards Crescent Head. There are an abundance of Parks and Wildlife sites but we opted for the uber-cool Waves Surf Camp based purely on the yoga we never went too and the food trunk we never ate at.
Despite this we came, we saw, we conquered! We surfed every morning and Chocco speared every afternoon while I read my book…I’ve said it before, I’m a much better eater than I am forager.
Given my slight anxiety surrounding Chocco spearfishing we always make a time for him to come back by so I don’t raise the alarm unnecessarily (its happened before…thanks lovely couple in Shark Bay) one afternoon however Chocco slipped off before we arranged a time, I now know this was because he was on a mission for a fish. Hours later…after a few chapters, naps and snacks I began to worry. Events played out as follows:
- See spear float moving, Chocco must be alive.
- Can’t see float for 10 minutes, minor concerns.
- SEE CHOCCO ON HEADLAND??? Dragging float and carrying spear, definitely alive.
- See Chocco scaling down cliff face of headland.
- Can’t see him, immediately assume he’s fallen and broken his back.
- Start swimming out/consider asking random for their kayak.
- Chocco re-appears swimming towards shore…crisis averted.
- Chocco pulls HUGE FISH from water.
Turns out he climbed up the headland to avoid swimming back in case of sharks. Crazy wog does it again so its fish curry for dinner. We also landed some amazing camp neighbours Tiffany and Jamie from the Gold Coast so we had a big feast and shared our catch.
We spent the rest of our time at Crescent Head doing much of the same, surfing, fishing and relaxing until it was time to head up the coast to explore South West Rocks and all the bays in between.
The road from Crescent Head to South West Rocks is dotted with farms that sit between the coastline and the river. There are countless produce stalls with honesty boxes sitting out the front so we sat by the river, bought some homemade relish and marmalade, and made our lunch.
In South West Rocks we went down for a swim only to spend the whole time dodging blue bottle jellyfish. On our way back down the coast we…decided to check out Trial Bay Gaol before making our way back down to Smokey Cape and the amazing lighthouse that overlooks both sides of the bay.
The view from here was absolutely stunning with a gorgeous turquoise bay on the left and a huge stretch of white beach on the right side as far as the eye can see. It just meant a HUGE stair climb that put Jacobs Ladder to shame but it was worth it for the views at the top.
A big walk called for a big swim so we headed down to Smokey Cape beach for a last swim before making our way back to Port Macquarie for our last night at the lighthouse.
Thank god for Chocco’s persistence that we get up for sunrise one day (much to my disgust) because the view sitting at the lighthouse was like no other and our efforts were rewarded 10-fold with the largest pod of dolphins we have ever seen playing in the waves as they crashed on the headland.
Port Macquarie was such a hard place to leave but it was time to head back to Newcastle and drop Chocco at the airport for another 3 weeks of work before we definitely (hopefully) start heading south towards Victoria.