Updated: Dec 15, 2020
So we are now one month into our trip and I’ve finally managed to post my first blog and write a 2nd one!
We have now been to Bathurst, Orange, Dubbo, Coonabarabran, Tamworth, Dorrigo, Byron, Ballina, Red Cliffs of Yuraygir National Park, Sherwood and now Sawtell. I feel like we haven’t even scratched the surface of NSW. There is so much to see here on our state doorstep, I can’t believe we haven’t explored more of it over the 20 years Tim and I have been together. There is such a vast array of fascinating history here, from the gold mine rush, to Dubbo Gaol, to the world’s largest sub-tropical ancient Gondwana rainforest.
Highlights for me have been visiting Hill End, star gazing in Coonabarabran, swimming at Dangar Falls in Dorrigo, having a sunset picnic on the beach at Byron Bay and Camping at Red Cliff.
My family has a bit of history at Hill End. Apparently, my Mum’s Grandfather lived in an old mudbrick shack at Hill End and was part of the crew who dug up the largest gold nugget. As payment, he received a slither of gold from the nugget, which he had melted and made into a wedding ring for my great grandmother. It was great to check out the gold museum in Hill End to see how bustling the town had once been during the gold rush.
Coonabarabran was quite spectacular for star gazing. The sky was amazingly clear. Donna the Astronomer was very informative, and it was great to see how engaged Harry was, even 2 hours past his bedtime!
I think we really lucked out with our stay at Dorrigo. We were initially going to stay at different Hipcamp and changed our plans last minute. I called to book at Dangar Falls lodge camping about 2 hours out. We had a beautiful spot just 200m to the only waterfall in Dorrigo that you can actually swim in! Winning! The waterfall was amazing. We swam in both the top and the bottom of the falls and loved every minute of it.
The days were definitely getting hotter since leaving Bathurst, so we were very happy to hit the coast and spend a chilled-out week in Byron. It would have made more sense for us to head south straight away and do the lap clockwise, but we had promised Ryan he could spend his birthday with his mate in Byron. It was the first time since they have known each other that they weren’t on opposites sides of the world for their birthdays. So we decided to do a little lap of NSW, then do the lap of Aus. Byron was awesome! We stayed at Suffolk Park, which was just around the corner from our friends. They were great tour guides and dragged us out for a sunset picnic on the beach as soon as we finished setting up camp. We spent the week, chilling at the beach, riding around Byron, checking out the hinterland towns, enjoying the delicious GF and vegan choices and also managed to have a girls night out and lads night out, fun!
I think my favourite camp site so far is Red Cliff North, in Yuraygir National Park. We scored a perfect spot right next to the beach, with ocean and beach views, and our own private access to the beach. To top it off we have experienced some amazing wildlife. We fed an octopus while snorkelling in a rock pool, (I have a video of it but it’s not great quality), had kangaroos come up to our campsite throughout the day and the boys found some hermit crabs.
It’s been so amazing to spend all this time exploring together. I’m excited for what the next month will hold!