A month in a motor home around eastern Australia has been a lot of fun, we have done and seen so many amazing things in this beautiful country. All from the comfort of our Aussie Nest caravan/motor home. If you didn’t see last week’s post, you can check it our here Caravan Travel Australia – The Aussie Nest Part One. In last week’s post I covered the first 14 days, covering about 900 miles. Today we continue the journey with The Aussie Nest – Part Two – the second two weeks.
Australia is big. Nearly the same size as the USA but with vast areas of emptiness and limited infrastructure. I’ve been asked why we chose the region we did and also why we didn’t visit Sydney? So take a look at these two maps. One shows how big Australia is in comparison to the USA….even in the Aussie Nest for a month you can’t even begin to cover it. The second one shows, circled in red, the area we did cover over the past month. Seems small doesn’t it? But we were enchanted at every turn. The areas circled in blue, including Sydney, are what we visited, primarily via airplanes and car rentals on our first visit to Australia six years ago. So we had to make choices. These are the choices we made.
Leaving Booderee National Park
We really enjoyed our three days in beautiful Booderee National Park, but three days is all you can book there for camping. So at the end of our first two weeks it was time to move on and start our second half of The Aussie Nest – Part Two. We continued south on a long day of driving to the tiny seaside historic village of Eden.
We didn’t know a lot about Eden other than the fact it looked beautiful from the pictures. I was very interested in exploring some of the Sapphire Coast along Australia’s southern-most east coast. So we somewhat randomly chose Eden. With lots of time still to spare we thought this would be a good place to hunker down for a week in our little Aussie Nest.
We booked seven nights at Reflections Holiday Park Eden. Snuggled between the beautiful and windy Asling Beach and calm and placid Lake Curalo we really found it to be a beautiful spot. We paid only $26 USD for a lake view spot with all hook ups. Arriving mid-week, there were only a handful of other campers. But many more arrived for the weekend, and then left again on Sunday. Meanwhile we found the location, although occasionally windy, a real bargain.
Each morning I did my run along a beautiful boardwalk and trail around Lake Curalo. We also did a hike around Lake Curalo, and walked the 2 km into the small town. The historic town of Eden was founded in the mid 1800’s and for generations was a whaling town. One of the best things here is the fascinating Killer Whale Museum. It’s very interesting, particularly the excellent video presentation about the history, geology and people of Eden. Whale tours are available from May – November.
On a couple of days we unhooked the Aussie Nest and made our way to enjoy the Whale Trail, an interpretive driving tour about historic sites related to the whaling days. We also visited the historic Boyd’s Tower and Seahorse Inn, the Green Cape Lighthouse and Beowa National Park.
Beowa National Park
Broken up into two coastal sections around historic Eden, we made a point to visit as much of Beowa national park as possible. We hiked many trails and followed the interpretive walks. Here we spotted many more fabulous birds, as well as wallaby. The park offers trails for both novice and advanced hikers as well as picnic areas and viewpoints. Very enjoyable.
Taking advantage of being in a pedestrian friendly town, we had a delicious dinner at the Pikes Italian Bistro located inside the historic Australasian Hotel. We also had another night out in the neighboring town of Pambula where we visited Longstocking Brewery and ate fish and chips at Wheeler’s Seafood.
Time to Head North
After 21 days and 1200 miles it was time to turn the Aussie Nest – Part Two around and begin our drive north, with 1200 miles between us and Brisbane. With seven days remaining we mapped out our final week which would include staying two nights in three different spots and one final night back just outside of Brisbane.
The Capital City of Australia often gets a bad rap as a destination. But we wanted to see it and it was easily along the way. We spent two nights at a very nice campsite Canberra Park close to the city, $36 per night. Canberra is a new city, designed and built specifically to be Australia’s capital. Australia’s states did not come together as a federation until 1901. The site for the capital city was not chosen until 1913. It would take another fifty years before the city of Canberra was complete and the filling of man-made Lake Burley Griffin was complete.
Before we arrived at our campsite we spent two hours at the incredible Jerrabomberra Wetlands Reserve and another hour plus at the Australia National Botanic Gardens. Both a must especially if you enjoy the wildlife and flora of the region.
The next day was jam packed. We took a boat tour of the lake, walked all over and enjoyed the garden city…which feels so much more like a park than a city, toured the very mid-century modern Parliament House and visited the National Gallery and Sculpture Garden. All of this in one day. We finished our very full day with a movie and a delicious dinner at the Capitol Bar and Grill.
I’ll say it is no Washington DC so if that is what you are expecting you will be disappointed. However, I am so glad we took time to see it for a brief couple of days.
We had been told to stop in Mudgee if it was on our route, as it was a historic town surrounded by wineries. So why not? We booked two nights at the Riverside Tourist Park for $25 per night, just a couple blocks from town. Before arriving at the campground we enjoyed a lovely wine tasting at Logan Wines and picked up a couple of bottles. Delicious and affordable. We had a quiet night at the campground after a long day of driving.
And then it rained. And rained. And rained. AND RAINED. I went for a morning run along the fabulous paved pathways near the Codgegong River but nearly drowned in the deluge. Back at the Aussie Nest we debated about what to do…but we only had the one full day so we dug out our rain coats and sloshed around the town. We had a lovely breakfast at Outside the Square Cafe, took a look at the beautiful historic buildings still lovingly cared for in this town founded late 1800’s and popped into the vast and eclectic museum. We had a nice dinner at Cade Kitchen & Bar.
Another long drive as we made our way north. There wasn’t anything really special about Moree, other than the fact it was a five hour drive from Mudgee. Five hours is about our limit for each day. So we booked two nights at Moree Tourist Park campround for $25 per night.
Moree is a tiny little agricultural town (wheat) that seems to be past its glory days although farming still rules. Parts of town are boarded up but the tiny downtown is still cute and thriving somewhat. It’s one claim to fame is the local Artesian hot springs. Our campground had a hot spring pool so we soaked in the pools and had a very relaxing day. Coincidentally that was our wedding anniversary too – 41 years! Not many restaurants in Moree, but we have been celebrating already through the week so we went out for nice Indian meal at Moree Indian Restaurant. By the way – Australia is FULL of wonderful Indian Restaurants due the immigrants. Indian immigrants make up 3% of the population.
After 28 days it was hard to believe this was our final day in the Aussie Nest. The Aussie Nest Part Two really flew by. Our final night was spent in Toowoomba, at Jolly Swagman Caravan Park about two hours outside of Brisbane. About $30 for one night. We spent the day packing up for our flight to Melbourne. Packing was much harder than the unpacking a month before, given our space restrictions. But we got it done. On our last night, with the cupboards bare, we went to dinner at an amazing Turkish Reataurant called Sofra in the lively and thriving downtown of Toowoomba. Despite some rain we walked around and enjoyed the murals. Next morning before departing we visited the incredible Cobb & Co. Museum. I enjoyed this final stop and wished for one more day.
Grateful for The Aussie Nest – Part Two
But finally it was time to say farewell to the Aussie Nest. We are grateful to how well it took care of us over the past month. Our journey covered 2400 miles, we stayed in 11 parks, visited 15 towns and two time zones. We saw hundreds of new birds, dozens of interesting animals and fantastic flora and trees. Ample breathtaking views, beautiful beaches, darling villages, spectacular wine, interesting history and wonderful, patriotic and welcoming local people. As you travel around in a caravan in Australia there is a surprise around every corner. You can never see it all. But you can try, and that is what we have done. Wild and wonderful. Australia is all that and more…and what a great way to enjoy it, in our little Aussie Nest. Thank you for joining us for the Aussie Nest – Part Two adventure.
More Australia to Come
But wait! We aren’t done with you yet Australia! Next we spend five days in Melbourne before heading to Tasmania for an entire month. The Australian Adventure continues and we invite you to continue to follow along. Life is good in Australia.
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