Week 5 Campervan – Part 2 – Nambucca Heads, Port Macquarie and Myall Lakes
Coffs Harbour and Nambucca Heads (Gumma Reserve)
After the miserable weather of the past few days, it made a nice change to see a bit of sunshine. We got on the road and made our way to a place called Coffs Harbour – we stopped at a little shopping centre first and had a little wander round before making our way to the beach. We parked up in a car park and proceeded to make ourselves some lunch (it was probably a bean and wrap combo, I would imagine) – at the same time Scott found there was a plug in the men’s public loos so he charged up his laptop in there. However, this meant he had to follow every man into the loo who went in there to ensure they didnt pinch the laptop – unlikely anyone would though, they probably just thought it odd there was a laptop sat in the public loos anyway. I also had a good old chat with my friend Sam (who lives in Sydney) to make arrangements for our arrival there and keep her posted on our whereabouts. It had been almost 6 months since I’d actually heard her voice but it felt like just yesterday…talking about the same old stuff we always do.
Once I’d finished speaking to Sambo and Scott’s laptop was fully charged we made our way to the beach to spend a bit of time there – we then braced ourselves for a cold shower by the beach (with shower gel and pouff of course). As always we got a few funny looks, but we battled through and it was worth it, just so we were clean as we were due to be staying in several freebie campsites in the days to come so weren’t sure when our next shower would be.
Once we were smelling clean, with fresh garments on we got back on the road and made our way to a National Park called Gumma Reserve. It was a bit off the beaten track but definitely worth it once we got there; really green and with a beautiful lake that we could camp up next to. Supposedly a ranger came round for the camp fees, but we saw no sign of him/her that evening.
Not only were we in a wonderful location that evening but we also cooked a chilli for the first time in ages, which was amaaaaazing. Scott got a chatting to a couple called Bruce and Lorraine who were from Sydney near a place called Kangaroo Valley, who gave us lots of tips on nice camps to stay at as we made our way closer to Sydney (as well as a few others on our way to Melbourne).
Port Macquarie and CooperNook State Forest
Fearful that the ranger was going to rock up and demand our camp fees, we woke quite early at Gumma Reserve with the intention of setting off early before we had to cough up. However by 10am we were still there…god knows why, not like there was even a shower for us to have. We eventually got on the road and made our way towards the town of Port Macquarie – we had a quick pit stop in Coles to pick up some lunch and then made our way to the waterfront where there was a really nice picnic area with BBQs, so we cooked ourselves up some sausages and had them in a wrap. The sausages took aaaaaages to cook on the freebie electric BBQ- no idea why, but I swear they were on there for like an hour (Scott claims it is because the electric BBQs are not very good).
Once we finished eating our wraps and had a wander along the coast front we got back in the car and onto Pacific Highway on the lookout for our camp that night (another recommendation from Bruce). It was a beautiful spot right in amongst the trees and the sun was still out so we could make the most of it, hopefully the pictures we taken will do it justice. Most people set up camp fires as the night went on but we hadn’t had much luck with them in the past so decided not to.
We woke up and got on the road earlyish the next day once we had our basin washes – something which is quite tricky in a camper :). With another freebie planned the next night tonight we knew the solar shower would be coming out.
Myall lakes (nr Port Stephens)
We rocked up to Myall lakes around lunch time and were surprised to see a town on the road leading to the reserve. As we approached Myall lakes we saw that there were actually got a few camps in this national park. You are usually required to pay a day rate to stay at the park in addition to camp fee’s, however upon our arrival at the Mungo Brush camp ground and picnic area we saw that the machine to buy day passes was broken so Shell and I hoped that there would be no ranger to collect fee’s to give us another free nights camping.
It was a nice site and we mostly just laid out by the lake and relaxed except for when I went climbing a tree to put our solar shower high up. Unfortunately for me I actually put the shower fittings (piece of rope) too high up and had to get up in the trees again to move it sometime later.
It was such a lovely relaxing place until………..a bus load of school children turned up for an “apple break”. They seemed harmless enough however you could see by the faces of the older inhabitants of Mungo Brush that they were not necessarily welcome additions. It didn’t bother us too much as they were gone within an hour or so.
I had a solar shower later that evening although it was getting dark and a bit cold so Michelle opted out. As the sun started to set the lake was inundated with people with torches and fishing gear. There were about 4 or 5 different groups from what we could make out all in the lake with big nets for a good few hours. We could not decipher whether they were there legally or illegally but it seemed to be quite the in thing to do.
The next morning we wanted to be up and away early so by about 8am I was climbing a tree trying to get the solar shower down. Unfortunately the bag was still quite heavy and I lost my grip of it…..as it hit the floor I looked down to see water was seeping out of a small rip in the bag. I was upset that 7 dollars had gone to waste but was happy that my solar shower travelled quite a few miles down the east coast of Australia. We then started the next stage of our journey to Sydney to catch up with Shells’ friend Sam.