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Jesse’s Travel Diary

Wednesday, 09 Aug 2006

Location: Australia

MapIt has been just over two weeks since departure and there have been so many things happening that this is the first real chance to put some of it in writing.

We didn't leave the Central Coast until about 2pm on Monday the 24th July (Day 1) so we stayed at my (Jesse's) uncle's place at Taree (so much for camping), but it was raining cats and dogs so it was better to be under a solid roof!

Days 2 and 3 and half of day 4 were spent at Big Hill (just South of Crescent Head). It pretty much rained the whole time we were here, clearing up in time to dry the gear in preparation for our pack up on the morning of day 4. Entertainment was pretty much limited to fishing and card playing. The fishing tally was 1 to 1 (qualifications are a keepable sized, edible species of fish) and the tally in the "chokky challenge" (card game) is in Taylor's favor 17 to 14.

The second half of day 4 was spent traveling to Moonee Beach (just Nth of Coffs Harbour) to catch up with Simone and Tim and do a little fishing at Coffs seawall on the morning of the 5th day (sounds like lord of the rings huh?).

The afternoon of day 5 was spent getting to “the Gorge”. The Gorge is a beautiful private property on the upper Clarence River about 80km or so North West of Grafton. We spent all of day 6 and half of day 7 here. There were many Bass seen in the river, none of which wished to get on any of our fishing lines. The country was great and the wildlife was plentiful. Simone and Tim came up from Moonee Beach and we spent the night around the camp fire with a few cans of new and a few stainless steel mugs of quality cask port!?

The afternoon of day 7 took us to Wooli, a beautiful little coastal town about half an hour south east of Grafton. We went straight to the estuary mouth and fished the rock wall and were successful in catching the right species (bream, flatties etc.) but not of a size sufficient to worry the fishing tally. Diggers camp in Yuraygir National Park was our accommodation for nights 7 and 8, right on the ocean where apparently one of only 7 breeding pairs of the Beach Stone Curlew calls home.

The food has been pretty good so far, plenty of veggies and salad and the fridge has been working well keeping it all cold. It has also been good going past all the roadside stalls and grabbing bargain on veggies and fruit etc. There has been far less fish on the menu than we would have liked – but hey, I’m sure that will change.

Day 9 saw us leave Diggers Camp and head to Mat’s cousin’s place for dinner and the night – bloody freezing just north of Grafton. Day 10 was a trip up the Summerland Way through Kyogle and onto Murwillumbah. We stayed with a family friend in M’Bah and left early on day 11 to conquer Mt Warning (Wollumbin) which was a great rainforest walk with plenty of bush turkeys. There were 360 degree views of the crater (of which Mt Warning is the core) and saw the Goldy and Byron Bay from the top too.

On the afternoon of day 11 we left for Lamington National Park and ventured into Qld for the first time. We went to an area of the park called O’Reillys where there was a rainforest canopy walk. After a tentless night at 930m day 12 saw us do the canopy walk and then another rainforest walk where we saw plenty of massive Brush Box (said to be up to 1500 years old).

Days 13 to 18 were spent with very hospitable hosts – Aaron and Erica on the Gold Coast where there was plenty of things done including golf, dinners and walks to Tambourine Mountain in the Gold Coast hinterland.