With the suspension and hubs on the caravan serviced it was now time to head south as we only have a little over two weeks before we are due to catch the Spirit of Tasmania home. It has been great catching up with family and friends on the Gold Coast and Brisbane but all good things must come to an end (apparently) so Saturday morning we hitched up the caravan and left Craig and Pauline’s.
As usual the traffic was thick as we headed down to the NSW border. Every year we see huge changes in the roads, more bypasses and divided roads, however the traffic just seems to get worse. No particular destination in mind, just a free camp somewhere down the road. Now the Pacific Highway is not renowned for camping areas and it is a boring drive. Just a method of getting from A to B, everyone in a hurry with lots of fast and aggressive driving.
Eight kilometres south of Grafton we made camp in a grassed paddock alongside a 24 hour Shell roadhouse. Not a bad camp which we shared with five other travellers and numerous kangaroo’s. Some light rain during the night. In the early hours of the morning we had to upack the doona and use it on the bed. A first in six months. Not good, probably a portend of things to come!
Left our camp Sunday morning continuing south. We thought we might overnight on the beach front at Trial Bay Campground in the Arakoon State Recreation Area however a phone call elicited the information that not only was the campground full for the duration of the school holidays but they charged $52 per day per site!
We had forgotten that in NSW camping fees for National Parks and State Recreation Areas usually exceeds caravan park fees. So after looking at Camps6 (our free and low cost camps guide) and not finding much we headed, in heavy rain, for the Taree Showgrounds. If it had not been for the very heavy rain we would have camped in the Coopernock Forest Park.
Heavy rain continues as we settle in for the night at the Taree Showgrounds. Only one other traveller here. I suspect this is because, like most towns now, Taree is on a bypass and you have to leave the Pacific Highway to reach it. Will overnight here and then move on. We still have a number of friends and relatives to catch up with before boarding the boat.
Taree Showgrounds – Sunday 15 January 2012