So we left the tranquil surrounds of Narrabeen Lakeside Caravan Park, and spent Tuesday evening bunking in with Dave, Kate and the kids – 10 of us in their house, all ready for an early getaway on Thursday morning.
At 5am the trusty Prado had the Trackabout in tow, and Dave and Kate’s Pajero had their GIC following close behind. We were all excited about the beginning of our adventure.
The kids travelled really well, and the first stop was a little over 3 hours up the road at the Taree service centre, some “Old Macdonalds” (as Ella would say) for breakfast, we were already about half way there.
The rain increased on the road for the whole trip – perhaps this was a sign of things to come! We arrived at Darlington Beach, which is just north of Woolgoolga, not long after our lunch stop at Coffs Harbour. Darlington Beach is a gorgeous spot – great for a family holiday over summer. Good facilities, and very tranquil surrounds so close to the beach. We upgraded to a power site as the rain fell steadily, and their non power sites, although beautiful amongst the bush, weren’t really what we needed for a quick overnight stopover.
Dave and I set up the campers in the rain, while Rach and Kate entertained the kids in the games / entertainment room. Only a simple set up tonight, with no awnings erected meant it didn’t take us long at all. The power was plugged into the fridges (had to make use of the power we paid for!) and we were set up for the evening.
Over dinner we discussed our options for tomorrow. The ideal would be to press on, and make it to Rainbow Beach one day early. It would be a pretty big day if we could do it – but the benefit would be that we would have one extra day to make final preparations for Fraser. We decided to give it a go, but to see how well the kids were traveling, and take it as it comes.
The skies cleared long enough for us to have breakfast and pack up the campers in the dry (yahoo!) before heading north once more.
The extra hour gained as we crossed the border (yes, the Queenslanders are still afraid of daylight savings fading their curtains) put us on schedule to reach Rainbow Beach mid afternoon – with plenty of time to set up and enjoy a relaxing evening. The kids continued to travel well, and that is exactly what we did.
Friday was a stunning day – gorgeous weather! We all enjoyed the warmth, and did some last minute grocery shopping for supplies and checked out Inskip point. The excitement was really building now – before too long we would be on Fraser!
We all had a fairly early night – determined to be ready for a big day on Saturday.
Our collective enthusiasm was dampened somewhat – sometime on Friday night, when the pitter patter of raindrops started falling on the canvas. And didn’t stop. All night it rained. Then, when morning came, along with time to pack up, it got heavier. The big yellow raincoat came out, and the dreaded “wet pack away” commenced. Rach and Kate again took the kids up to the games room, while Dave and I did the best we could in the conditions.
It wasn’t fun. It was even hard to mutter “sure beats working”… as I’m sure we both would have preferred the comfortable confines of an office chair right about then. Fortunately it did clear, and the final stage of the pack up was done under a clearing sky.
Finally, at about 11:30, we were all ready – campers in tow and off we went. First to have the ‘pre Fraser’ under body wash (that’s for the cars and campers…) and then we dropped tyre pressures, headed onto the sand and then onto the barge. Fraser was only 10 minutes away!
These last 3 nights bring us to a total of 50 nights in our camper!