A Travellerspoint blog

Shoal Bay 30/4/2010 - 7/5/2010


View 2010 Road Trip on mudie's travel map.

Friday morning we awake to an overcast day in Sydney. By the time we pack up and head off, the showers are very heavy. Greg braves the rain to strap the surfboard, kayak and bikes back onto the trailer. After a quick farewell to Kate and Frankie we set off for Shoal Bay.

The holiday place that Greg pre-booked is great. A three bedroom, two storey house with a balcony overlooking the Bay. Shoal Bay is a very sleepy little fishing village but has great beaches and is surrounded by National Parks for walks etc. The whole region is made up of inlets, beaches, coves and islands with some rainforest-type foliage thrown in... a very pretty and scenic place to visit and explore.

Sunset from our Shoal Bay balcony

Sunset from our Shoal Bay balcony

The view from our balcony

The view from our balcony

Our Shoal Bay beachhouse

Our Shoal Bay beachhouse

Over the week we have some regular showers of rain but also some gorgeous Autumn weather – perfect for exploring and taking it easy.

We have a pretty chilled out time but some of the highlights of our week include:

Ian, Greg’s dad comes to visit for 4 nights after flying into Sydney and catching the train to Newcastle, where Greg picks him up. It is great to have another pair of hands on board to help out with the kids.

Greg turns 39!! His birthday present is a trip out to the sand dunes for some sandboarding. Initially we are not sure whether we will all be able to get out to the dunes, but the tour operator lets us take the pram so we can accommodate Isaac. We all pile onto the 4wd bus and after a bumpy 10 minute ride we arrive at the top of a 40 metre sand dune. We have the dune to ourselves for the first hour or so, because we get there early in the morning before the pre-booked tour buses. Everyone except Isaac has a turn. The ride down is thrilling but the walk back up the dunes is exhausting – poor Greg has to carry Nadia up as well!

Happy Birthday Daddy!

Happy Birthday Daddy!

Greg and Nadia prepare to take off down the sand dune

Greg and Nadia prepare to take off down the sand dune

Nadia on the sanddune

Nadia on the sanddune

Jane rides the sandboard

Jane rides the sandboard

Ian/Dibbs making sand angels for Nadia

Ian/Dibbs making sand angels for Nadia

Hiking back up to the top of the dune

Hiking back up to the top of the dune

Greg and Nadia halfway down...

Greg and Nadia halfway down...

Greg ready for action

Greg ready for action

We do a number of scenic walks including a walk over the Fingal Spit and one to the top of the main lookout across the region. This walk is straight up and very good for the butt muscles – made even more challenging when we push the prams. We end up having to attempt it twice as half way up the path ends and turns into stairs, so we do it seperately without the kids.

Jane overlooking Fingal Spit

Jane overlooking Fingal Spit

Looking back at Shoal Bay from the lookout

Looking back at Shoal Bay from the lookout

Ian kindly babysits the kids one night so Greg and Jane get to go out for dinner on their own. Unfortunately Wednesday night at Nelson Bay during the off-season isn’t pumping so it is over all too quickly. But its still a lovely break for us both.

Nadia at the beach

Nadia at the beach

Nadia collecting water for sandcastles

Nadia collecting water for sandcastles

Isaac taking it easy at the beach

Isaac taking it easy at the beach

Feeding birds on our balcony

Feeding birds on our balcony

Posted by mudie 15:33 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Sydney 27/4/2010 - 30/4/2010


View 2010 Road Trip on mudie's travel map.

On Tuesday morning we set off looking forward to a short hour and a bit drive to Sydney. Greg is keen to see the Sea Cliff Bridge which is quite speccy and an amazing piece of Engineering. Greg and Nadia walk the 650 metre bridge which hugs the coast, suspended over the ocean.

Nadia walks the Sea Cliff Bridge

Nadia walks the Sea Cliff Bridge

We eventually make it to Sydney 4 hours after we leave Kiama and head directly to Jane's sister Kate to visit her and her new baby Frankie. Frankie is tiny and at 8 weeks is the same size as Isaac was at birth. Nadia has a great time meeting her new cousin and gets reacquainted with Harry the Dog.

Nadia reuniting with Harry Hyatt

Nadia reuniting with Harry Hyatt

Greg heads off to find some accommodaiton for us for the next few nights. Sydney is not the ideal place to have a trailer with surfboards, kayaks and bikes with baby seats. Eventually he settles on the Coogee View Apartments and after a struggle parking the trailer in the tiny undercroft carpark (offloading the aforementioned items at Kate and Jess' garage first) we move into a spacious 3 bedroom apartment overlooking Coogee Beach.

Greg and Nadia out the front of the Coogee View Apartments

Greg and Nadia out the front of the Coogee View Apartments

Sunrise over Coogee Beach

Sunrise over Coogee Beach

Coogee Beach at night from our balcony

Coogee Beach at night from our balcony

Nadia and Jane meet Kate, Frankie and Harry at the local playground and Nadia has a great time running from one activity to the next in one of the best playgrounds in the city.

We head to the Coogee Bay Hotel for dinner, meeting new dad Jess when he gets home from work.

On Wednesday morning Greg and Nadia explore Coogee Beach and swim in the ocean pool while Kate and Jane walk with the babies. We all enjoy lunch on the grass on the Coogee foreshore - once again we are blessed as the weather is gorgeous.

Swimming in the Coogee beach pool

Swimming in the Coogee beach pool

Greg and Nadia dry off after their beach pool swim at Coogee Beach

Greg and Nadia dry off after their beach pool swim at Coogee Beach

Greg heads back out to the surf for an afternoon swim, after Jane gets back from a shopping expedition with Kate - it's someone's birthday very soon...

Alex, Alison, Noah and Isobel come over to our apartment and we enjoy thai takeaway. It is great to catch up with them all as its been a year since we saw them last. Isobel is now walking and starting to talk.

On Thursday morning we all head out for another walk and visit the playground again. Greg and Nadia enjoy another swim in the pool. Greg heads off for lunch with the Sydney Screencheck staff in Darling Harbour.

Jane and the kids head over to Kate's and have an inpromptu photographic session in the garden.

The three cousins - Nadia, Isaac and Frankie

The three cousins - Nadia, Isaac and Frankie

Frankie, 8 weeks

Frankie, 8 weeks

Big smiles from Isaac

Big smiles from Isaac

Kate cooks a great chilli and brings it over to the apartment.

Kate, Jess and baby Frankie

Kate, Jess and baby Frankie

Posted by mudie 20:05 Archived in Australia Tagged family_travel Comments (0)

Kiama 24/4/2010 - 27/4/2010


View 2010 Road Trip on mudie's travel map.

The shorter 340km trip to Kiama is much easier, especially with the knowledge that we have completed the 3 longest legs (740km, 580km and 340km) of the trip and there is nothing further than 300km until July.

The drive is just too much!

The drive is just too much!

A roadside stop at Ulladulla

A roadside stop at Ulladulla

The accommodation, Easts Beach Holiday Park, is ideal for our requirements. Sitting virtually on the sand, the 2 bedroom cabin has picturesque views of Easts Beach and the surrounding headlands. The quiet road out the front is an ideal bikepath for Nadia and her pink trike. Everyday of our visit she rides up and down waving to the other occupants of our neighbouring cabins.

Easts Beach Holiday Park - Cabin accommodation at Kiama

Easts Beach Holiday Park - Cabin accommodation at Kiama

The view back to our cabin from the Kiama Headland

The view back to our cabin from the Kiama Headland

Looking out over Easts Beach from our cabin in Kiama

Looking out over Easts Beach from our cabin in Kiama

On Sunday, after a lazy morning, we take a scenic drive to Jamberoo and head to the Illawarra Fly Treetop Walk. While we have every intention of doing the Walk, the estimated hour it would take with Nadia in a stroller and Isaac in the baby bjorn is a little too daunting. Arriving at noon, right at nap time, is recipe for disaster - even before we think about starting Nadia wants to walk. We decide instead to have lunch at the cafe and head back to the Holiday Park. Our decision seems fortuitous as the rain starts to pour as we head back down the Mountain.

After a few hours rest, we decide we'd better visit the infamous Kiama Blowhole.

Monday morning the weather has cleared and we walk from our cabin and head up to the Kiama clifftop. The walk is not much more than a goat's track but Nadia does a great job and only cracks up as we near the end. Poor Greg's back is less agreeable after carrying Isaac in the baby bjorn for the hour long trek. Isaac is oblivious to his father's pain and he grins and squeals in delight for much of the walk.

Walking the Kiama Headland

Walking the Kiama Headland

We then head to the Kiama Foreshore and spend some time at the playground and walking around the Harbour. Nadia and Jane explore the rockpools and harass some local marine life - Nadia loves pulling the mollusc shells from their comfy homes in the pools.

Nadia playing in the rockpools at Kiama

Nadia playing in the rockpools at Kiama

By Monday afternoon we virtually have the Holiday Park to ourselves as most of the other guests have headed back to their homes after the Anzac Day Long Weekend.

One of the biggest memories of Kiama is unfortunately of Isaac and his regular night waking. Everynight he wakes 3 - 4 times and won't resettle easily. What are we to do with the Boy!!

Posted by mudie 19:50 Archived in Australia Tagged family_travel Comments (0)

Merimbula 20/4/2010 - 24/4/2010


View 2010 Road Trip on mudie's travel map.

On Tuesday the 7 hour, 580km trip to Merimbula is good until the last hour when Isaac understandably decides that he has endured too many hours strapped into the car seat.

For future reference, Bairnsdale and Lakes Entrance were the pick of the towns along the way and are worth visiting in the future.

Finally arrive at 6pm to find that Merimbula Beach Holiday Park is precisely what we wanted and exceeds all expectations. Our "Poolside Condo" ($130 per night) is fantastic with 2 nice bedrooms, outdoor kitchen/bbq and the park has all the facilities for kids. Caravan Parks have definitely gone up in the world - memories of family holidays in tiny outdated accommodation are definitely a thing of the past!

Wednesday Greg takes a quick morning walk around Short Point Beach with Nadia. The Beach is really clean and uncrowded, the surf is absent so the long board remains strapped to the roof racks.

We spend most of the day in the 2 Swimming Pools at the Holiday Park as the weather is ideal.

BBQ dinner on the deck overlooking the pool.

On Thursday we decide to take advantage of the free kids's activites and Nadia and Jane visit the kids club where Nadia painted and had her arm face-painted - she wasn't sure about actually having paint on her face!

Most of the rest of the day is spent in the swimming pools as per yesterday, although Greg did squeeze in a bike ride with Nadia, Merimbula is a fantastic place for everything - road biking, mountain biking, kayaking, surfing, swimming and even fishing and golfing if you are that way inclined.

Friday we venture out of the caravan park and Greg takes the Kayak for a paddle down the river to the mouth where he is stalked by a Sting Ray the size of .................... Tasmania. Lives to tell about the story.

The final day in Merimbula is fairly relaxed with a trip around the boardwalk watching all of the marine life.

Merimbula Beach Holiday Park - Pool from our Deck

Merimbula Beach Holiday Park - Pool from our Deck

Merimbula - Short Point

Merimbula - Short Point

Nadia cooking the BBQ

Nadia cooking the BBQ

Greg and Nadia Bike Ride

Greg and Nadia Bike Ride

A final swim at Merimbula

A final swim at Merimbula

Posted by mudie 04:37 Archived in Australia Tagged family_travel Comments (1)

Melbourne 15/4/2010 - 20/4/2010


View 2010 Road Trip on mudie's travel map.

Finally arrived in Melbourne at 8:30pm on Thursday Night (10 hours in the car) where we arrived at the St Kilda "boarding house" of Hannah, Matt and Kaya. Hannah was very nice to have cooked a pasta meal for our arrival.

Kaya offered to share her bed with Nadia, but Nadia decided she'd prefer to sleep in her portacot in the bathroom!! Fairly comfortable for Nadia, but a little inconvenient for the rest of us if we needed the loo...

Decided to have a cruisy day on Friday, after too many hours in the car the day before. We took Nadia and Isaac to the beachfront playground at St Kilda so they could stretch their legs. Enjoyed a BBQ Dinner with Hannah, Matt and Kaya at home.

On Saturday morning we had an early start, meeting Vin, Dave & Erin for brunch at Bebida in Collingwood. Great to see Erin for first time in 8 months. She is now 16 months old and has huge amounts of long curly hair and big smiles.

We attempted a 'dinner out' at the Dick (Dick Whittington Hotel) with Hannah and Matt. We knew we'd made the right choice for a family meal when we were taken to our table and there was a paper tablecloth with crayons. Nadia ended up making friends with the neighbouring table of 4 little Japanese girls. By the end of the night, she'd joined their family, sitting on the lap of the mother drawing pictures and surprise surprise for Nadia - sticking stickers everwhere.

Sunday morning is bike-riding day - even on holidays! Greg woke at 6:30am to quickly eat breakfast and frantically tried to find a public toilet (as Nadia was asleep in her bathroom/bedroom). Met with Nicholas Ficinus and his Father Gary at Cafe Racer at 7am to do the Beach Road (Hell) ride. Rode with various packs of up to 50 cyclists at average of maybe 33km/h to get to Frankston where we climbed Olivers Hill. Then completed the 90km by returning to St Kilda and Port Melbourne to have a coffee.

Following a stressful drive for Hannah, with two screaming kids in the back of our car, we met Jonelle at the Botanic Gardens where we had a lovely alfresco lunch. Melbourne has put on some amazing weather for us! Who would have thought we'd be able to lie on the grass without getting wet.

After a quick Nanna nap we set off for Parkville for Dinner with Vin, Dave & Erin. Had a fight with the GPS (a bit of notice regarding a right turn, when we were told to stay left, would have been nice!) and after a scenic route via the Zoo, we made it only about half and hour late. Great to see Shaye for the first time since they had left Adelaide in August 09. She certainly remembered us and it didn't take her long to have Greg wrapped around her little paws again! Thanks for our roast Vin - likely to be our last for awhile...

On Monday, we booked 4 nights accommodation in Merimbula (20th - 23rd) and re-packed the Car & Trailer in preparation for the 580km trip.

Greg enjoyed his first visit to Chadstone Shopping Centre (Jane and Hannah are seasoned pros) to buy some sexy i-phone covers and other boring stuff.

Nadia's sleeping arrangement

Nadia's sleeping arrangement

Hannah and Matt relaxing at home

Hannah and Matt relaxing at home

The Griswalds at St Kilda

The Griswalds at St Kilda

Isaac stressing out as usual

Isaac stressing out as usual

Jane and Baby Isaac

Jane and Baby Isaac

Nadia riding the Melbourne Cup Winner

Nadia riding the Melbourne Cup Winner

Greg and Baby Isaac

Greg and Baby Isaac

Nadia and Erin

Nadia and Erin

Nadia Strangling/Hugging Erin

Nadia Strangling/Hugging Erin

Posted by mudie 04:18 Archived in Australia Tagged family_travel Comments (0)

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