By Richard Owen
The weathers cooled down and your heading north singing “On the Road again” in perfect harmony.
You’re left the stress and worry of the city behind. If you’re hardcore you’re just starting out on the first leg of the Big Lap of this great Big Island.
You know this grey nomadic lifestyle is the right one for you. You’re on the Pacific Route, nodding happily to fellow cruisers as they pass by in their modified campervans.
You remember what a wise man once told you at the top of a mountain on one of your many journeys. “Take in all that’s ahead but slowly, take small steps to reach your final destination. Don’t rush you will miss out on much”. It sinks in.
You turn off at the Hawkesbury River to catch a fish and shuck a few oysters as the sun sets. Keep it slow while you’re on the go.
After cooking your freshly caught snapper by the side of the river, you notice a guy with a smaller van uploading a boat onto his roof seemingly effortlessly. You ask what is the device and he, answers boat hoist, “and it can turn into a boat trailer too”.
Departing the scenic Hawkesbury you head to beautiful Myall Lakes through Bulahdelah, where if you weren’t in the van you would stay at the Buladehlah Myall Motel
The famous motel with the friendliest management where you’ve stayed before to centre yourself in this amazing area. You remember the weekend spent on the luxury houseboat on Myall Lakes that time.
Feeling like more fish for dinner you pull into Forster Beach Caravan Park and marina, and you can tell by the splashing sounds the fish are on tonight. Pleasantly full you sleep soundly by the water.
You welcome the new dawn with a little more fishing.” How many sunrises do you have left?” ask the man… Many more as good as this you hope, as you pack your fresh fish into the fridge. Another day another adventure as you hit the pacific route through the Macleay Valley Coast stopping at the Kempsey Heights Bowling Club for a little r and r before heading to the Arakoo State Conservation Area to check out the hiking tracks. You overnight at Hat Head the swell is up and the fish are biting. Ah the serenity!
One thing is certain you’ve got to love traveling to live on the road. This is a life!
You take to free camping through the Macleay Valley coast; there are plenty of spots to choose from. There is just too much wildlife to take in on the trails in this lush area but walking keeps you fit as you roam from place to place. It gets you hungry as well, so you head up the coast to Laurieton to pick up a dozen, and a half oysters at Armstrong’s, on the beautiful Camden Haven River. Could it get any better than this?
The road ahead winds through spectacular country along this pacific route you can turn off to the west to the ranges, or to the east and the beach. Lucky for you it’s Sunday market day at Coffs Harbor Jetty, so a little stocking up on grey nomad essentials and maybe a little sushi at the fish markets.
Tonight you feel like staying in a caravan park to hook up with some other traveling gypsies. A bit further up the coast near one of your secret point breaks, and a little whiting fishing in the river should see in the day.
The howls and whistles of un/town creatures seeps into your consciousness before you are off to sleep. Sweet dreams indeed.
You wake to the solar gods enticing you to swim in the greatest ocean of the earth. No better way to wake up than this.
Refreshed and ready to rumble you take the wheel of your adventure machine to see what the future has in store. By passing some heavily touristic regions you head for the laid back tweed coast. Winding through rich farmlands of red volcanic soil to sub tropical Cabarita, with its sheltered north facing beach you stop for some surfing off the point before heading on through the new laid back luxury resorts sprinkled in the sand hills to the very cool Kingscliff.
This is where you will lay for a few days camping at the Drifters Holiday Village, from here you can venture down to the beach or river for a little crabbing or fishing off the beach, you can walk the main street sampling the different cuisines of this hip restaurant and café strip. If you’re lucky you might catch the Beach Side Farmers Market on 2nd and 4th Saturday s to stock up on the freshest local organic produce you have ever tasted. Taking a deep breath you suddenly realize that this life, this freedom is the most undervalued underrated thing of all.