Debbie & Geoff's

Australian Safari


Travel Blog     -     December 2018

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Tuesday 2nd – Thursday 6th December 2018

South bound and taking our time as usual we headed to a free camp on the river at Urunga. This is one of our favourite camps and we base ourselves on the banks of the river with not far to walk to the loos and a wonderful and peaceful view. Geoff got some great bird shots of Buff-banded Rails with chicks, they ignored him and just kept walking around close to where he was sitting on the grass. Great experience and sometimes the camera would lose focus as the birds were a bit too close for the size of the lens.

 Buff-banded Rail    Buff-banded Rail chick      Buff-banded Rail chick
Buff-banded Rail               Dad wait for me                     Buff-banded Rail chick

 Buff-banded Rail    Urunga camp      Urunga camp
Buff-banded Rail               Urunga Camp                     Uranga camp

Driving just past Forster is our next destination on the Myall Lakes to a lovely camp in a national park called Violet Hill. With only one other couple camping here it was very quiet and private with lovely green grass sites right on the lakes edge. It was called Violet Hill due to the Casuarina trees seem to give a violet hue when in flower.

With only one night left till we checked into Sydney we decided to head back to Toukley for a night stay with my sister. Though only a short visit it was nice to see her and we will be back for Christmas so parting wasn’t too hard this time.

Friday 7th – Friday 21st December 2018

We checked back into Lane Cove National Park for a few weeks because Geoff was working and doing his final audits for the year. This gave me time to play and catch up with all my girlfriends whom I still miss. From lunching in town to movies and shopping, I certainly enjoyed my time back in the big smoke. I also managed to do my 58th whole blood donation just getting it in before Christmas. When Geoff wasn’t working or going to Birds Australia we enjoyed walking in the national park and we called in to our old home at Mariners Cove to catch up with friends and Geoff picked up some timber that he had still stored there.

"A walk in Lane Cove National Park"

 Tawney Frogmouth    Powerful Owl      Water Dragon
Tawney Frogmouth               Powerful Owl                     Water Dragon

 Flower     Flower      Flowers

Saturday 22nd – Wednesday 26th December 2018

It’s starting to look a lot like Christmas and we head to Toukley to spend Christmas with my family. It was lovely to catch up with all of them and we saw Jarrod and Kim’s new house and also visited our friends Bill and Helen down at St Huberts Island for lunch one of the days.
Christmas day itself was lots of fun as we celebrated with a family dinner with roast pork and all the trimmings. The boys Jarrod and Daniel had fun with a treasure hunt to collect their presents and we had fun just watching them. As the evening came to a close and dishes done, kitchen clean and we went to bed knowing it was again a wonderful family Christmas. Wonder where we shall be for the next one?

Thursday 27th – Monday 31st December 2018

Time for our next adventure and we head north to stay on a farm at Wauchope .This is just 20 klm west of Port Macquarie which we found was way over priced and too populated during school holidays. One thing we have learned in our travels is to try and keep away from the coastal resort towns when school is on leave.

 Breckenridge Farm Stay    Breckenridge Farm Stay      Breckenridge Farm Stay
Breckenridge Farm Stay

 Grey Goshawk    Regent Bowerbird      Bottlebutt Tree
Grey Goshawk               Regent Bowerbird                     Bottlebutt Tree

The Breckenridge Farm Stay was a great find. The farm is owned and run by an elderly couple Barry and Shirley. Now Shirley has a very dry personality, a typical Aussie sense of humour and we enjoyed our chin wag sessions so much with all their stories that we invited them to join us for our New Year’s Eve celebration. Another big plus is that our good friends from South Australia, Rina and Des were joining us for the stay at the farm with its wonderful grassy field was perfect for the two vans to be tucked away together. We had all the luxury of water and power and with the hot days it was very nice to have the air conditioning cranked up.

 Deb's cousins house               Deb's cousins house
Deb's cousins house

Never having been in this area before we had fun with our explorations every day. I got to catch up with two of my cousins and their families, who live up that way, and also had a social visit with a few old work mates from years gone past. Wauchope is known as Tall Timber country and we could certainly appreciate the beautiful forest that we drove through.
Our first day was a visit to a winery atHerons Creek to the Bago Vineyardswhere we sat on the veranda and shared a nice bottle of Verdelho and a meat platter after we had explored Port Macquarie’s visitor centre to get the scope on things to do in the area.

 Rina, Des & Deb    Goanna      Bottlebutt Tree
Rina, Des & Deb @ Port Macquarie               Goanna near Bottlebutt Tree                     Bottlebutt Tree

We were lucky to also have the pleasure of Rina’s grandson Joel (also known as JP) to join us for a day. Our destination was Timbertown Heritage Village which is a village dedicated to the pioneers of that area, woodcutters and miners. Though the place needed a rather large injection of money to tidy things up a bit we all had a wonderful day, especially JP who thought it was all very “cool” as he laughed in the paddle boats with Rina, enjoyed the blacksmith jokes that included him and the final steam train ride that we finished off our day with.

 Debbie @ Timbertown    Debbie cracking the wip      Steam train driver
Debbie @ Timbertown               Debbie cracking the wip                     Steam train driver

 Timbertown    Timbertown      Timbertown

Another of our favourite trips was to Burrawan State Forest where we enjoyed a stroll through the forest to the massive Bottlebutt Tree This tree is Bloodwood and so big I couldn’t take a picture of the whole tree in one shot with my iphone. Lucky Geoff had his camera with him so you can see the splendour of this beauty. We also spotted a massive goanna clinging to the side of a tree during our walk and we could appreciate the intricate patterns on its back helping it be camouflaged in the forest.

Before we realised it NYE had arrived and the four of us plus the farm owners Barry and Shirley enjoyed a wonderful night as we dined under the stars with our BBQ and salad and a few beers and wine to wash it all down. Though Barry and Shirley left about 11pm we all managed to struggle and stay awake to see the New Year in. I think we all went to bed about 10 minutes after the hour.
Happy New Year everyone, 2019 will be another exciting adventure for us and I hope for all of you.