Monday, February 13, 2012

Bon Voyage and the NSW South Coast

Well we’re off! After an extensive week long affair of good-bye’s at my sister’s and breakfast with friends in Williamstown, then on to Matt’s family at Inverloch, a BBQ with school friends in Drouin, seeing my family in Thorpdale including my sister returned home from her South American travels, the lovely Lou in Sale with her girls Sunny and Scout, a quick detour to Heyfield to test-ride a horse for a friend looking to buy her and then staying in Maffra at Matt’s Uncle Bob and Aunty Wilma’s. 

We finally hit the road (officially) on Friday 10th February – headed for Croajingalong National Park on the eastern most tip of Victoria, just south of Cann River. Not before stopping at Bairnsdale for some supplies at Woolies and figuring out how on earth to properly pack the camper with food. We’re learning as we go! Matt had camped at Croajingalong before and knew it was nice. We arrived and set up at Mueller River Inlet in the light rain. The area definitely has a raw and untamed beauty about it.- massive sand dunes and crashing waves in the distance that I swore were thunder they were so loud. I cooked a fabulous (if I do say so myself) chicken, mushroom and spinach risotto for dinner. A cosy first night in the camper listening to the rain on the canvas and thundering waves in the distance.

Croajingalong National Park
Matt at Croajingalong and 4WD track we did, a few pretty creek crossings
The next morning Matt wanted to do some 4WD tracks to cut across to Genoa rather than go back to Caan River, the track was very easy and so we decided to do another track south and possibly head down to Mallacoota. Well, two hours later of meandering through unmarked tracks, some locked gates or blocked by fallen trees, through a labyrinth of logging tracks, it became fairly evident our map was insufficient! We eventually made it back onto a track we thought was what we should’ve taken to begin with and made our way to Genoa where we had lunch on the river. We continued on, crossing the NSW border and leaving Victoria behind, into Eden, Merimbula then Tathra and headed further north to Mimosa Rocks National Park where Matt’s mum and dad had recently camped and recommended. We went to the Gillards Beach campsite, which was right on a big open beach, beautiful sites with lots of kangaroos, a far too friendly wallaby, native rat and what we think was a bilby? Again it started to rain, we watched it come across the ocean, but it didn’t stop Matty having a hot shower in the rain using our fandangled new gas hot water system we got for our wedding! Glamping indeed. I chose to have a hot shower in the morning, overlooking the beach. 

Our campsite - Mimosa Rocks National Park, just north of Tathra
Watching the weather come in across the ocean from our campsite at Mimosa Rocks National Park
We had our first cooked breakfast with Amy’s yummy eggs and milk, loads of mushrooms, bacon, zucchini, tomato and cheese, washed down with stovetop coffee and frothed milk thanks to my handy frother my sister got me for Christmas for total glamping luxury!

Me at Mimosa Rocks boardwalk
Beach at Mimosa Rocks
We headed north, checking out a few other campsites at Mimosa Rocks, including the one where Matt’s parents and cousin had stayed which included a short boardwalk. Again, lovely campsites and beaches. We pulled into Bermagui for lunch but the kitchen side of the camper wouldn’t open – panic ensued! We banged and pulled and banged some more and perhaps swore (sorry Mum’s) but it wouldn’t budge. Depressed about our predicament we ordered fish and chips to console ourselves. Low and behold the camper door opened with a tug from Matt – the slide-out table hadn’t been secured properly and had popped open, preventing the door mechanism from being able to work. Phew! We ate our fish and chips at Camel Rock just north of Bermagui (which did indeed look like a camel lying down, fancy that.) Kept trucking to Bateman’s Bay and headed north to Depot Beach. Were amazed that there seemed to be whole little towns in amongst the national parks??? Depot Beach was a bit crowded so tried Pebble Beach. Not the nicest campsite but was late by now (6.30) and starting to rain. As we were pulling in we were told the site was $10 each for the night as well as a $7 park fee, no hot showers and a soggy gravel site for $27 – outrageous! No matter, we set up the camper in the semi-heavy rain donned in our raincoats and ate our sausages and veggies for dinner.

Next morning we headed back to Batemans Bay, a quick stop at Aldi for minimal supplies and choofed off up through the hills. And what a hill! Climbed up and up and up in 2nd gear most of the way until we reached wide open plains at the top of the mountains. Scrappy country though, scoffed agronomy snob Farmer Matt. Eventually reached little town of Braidwood where we stopped to look at the historic buildings and get some cold and flu tablets for me. Beautiful Catholic church, old pubs, court house which is now the police station and old post office. Reached Goulburn where we searched for a canvas repairer for our rubbish bag (which usually is tied to our back tyre – Matt had tried to put too much firewood in it at Mimosa Rocks and split the seam), no luck as they were too busy. We had lunch atop the hill overlooking Goulburn with a World War 1 tower memorial. Matt insisted on visiting the big Merino again – something we have done before on another trip to Queensland but he wanted another photo with it. We plotted our course to Katoomba and set off up through open sheep grazing country to Taralga. More old homesteads and better looking farming country we ooh-ed and aah-ed over. We were headed for Janolan Caves but 25km north of Taralga we found a campsite just off the road, nobody there, quiet and on the Abercrombie River. Quiet a big campsite with scrub and grass sites, with promise of a hot shower (as nobody was around!) we decided to pull up stumps for the day and make an early start tomorrow for Katoomba and the Blue Mountains.

Wide open country between Batemans Bay and Goulburn
Looking over Goulburn from lunch at WW1 memorial tower
So! That’s where we are tonight (or at least where I write this in a Word document until I get to copy it over to a blog post when I have internet reception). Internet reception so far as been few and far between, I am hoping it improves as we head further inland and up through New England and more populated areas. But until then I will probably just blog like this and update as often as I can. I am, however, updating my Instagram as often as possible (a few times a day) so if you’d really like to keep up to date you can follow me  @threebagsfull. Oh yeah – I started another design/creative blog, Three Bags Full, just like I said I wouldn’t! We’ll see how that goes, given the internet reception so far…
Love to all our family and friends at home, The Happy Campers xxx     


  1. Sounds like an adventure already Emma, your first photo is so tranquil! Loving the sound of stovetop coffee and frothed milk while camping...heaven :)

  2. keep on truckin! lovely update. What an adventure for the newlyweds! xx