Home and Away

Palm beach view
Palm Beach at dawn: one of our favourite local beaches – especially before the crowds arrive

With Christmas Holidays upon us we were starting to notice an alarming number of other caravans on the road.    We have become quite spoiled with having places to ourselves and not having to deal with crowds.   Of course we were expecting this, so we have made our way back to our yurt on the Sydney northern beaches where we plan to relax and take some time out from travelling while doing our tiny bit to reduce traffic and leave some extra campsite space for the unfortunate who are all forced to take holidays at the same time.  (The google map below already show’s an accident on the pacific highway just north of Sydney and we experienced delays of about 1 hour on our way down yesterday due to what appeared to be 2 minor breakdowns that upset the flow of traffic and caused a “stau” on the freeway of about 10km)

Tamworth to Avalon Beach

While it feels odd to be back in familiar surroundings, it’s great to have a bit more space, a toilet that does not need to be emptied, plenty of water and a large washing machine (not to mention a nice relaxing daybed to write a blog post).

Blogging from daybed

On our way back, we stopped at Werris Creek, which is about 50km south of Tamworth.  Werris Creek is at a junction of 4 long distance rail lines. In its heyday in the 1950’s it was a major railway town with over 2000 people, most of whom worked in the rail industry.    However, like most railway towns, it is in decline with just 1300 people today and some volunteers have set up an interesting railway museum there to preserve the town’s heritage and help with tourism.    Of particular interest was the model train installation in the photos below showing parts of the old town.    Although still a work in progress, it had some amazing detail.   S

The museum is housed in the elaborate old railway station building which is in itself a testament to the grand days of rail travel. The buildings are remarkable considering Werris Creek is in the middle of nowhere and came into existence by virtue of the rail track from Sydney splitting 3 different directions.

Although Tamworth is normally and easy day drive from Sydney we broke the journey and parked our caravan on another lovely farm just west of the Hunter Valley wine areas near a little town called Millfield.  Once again, we got to enjoy the benefit’s of youcamp by being able to book a beautiful secluded spot in the bush on a private farm.

This time we were camped on a 100 acre property nestled in a valley with a couple of horses to keep us company.   Of course there were plenty of birds and the calls of the bell birds (bell miners) were particularly pleasing and I managed to get a couple of good photo’s of these frequently heard, but rather hard to see little birds.     I also managed to get a pic of an olive backed oriole posing next to a kookaburra.  S

After a brief stop to visit Maddy’s mother and sister on the Central Coast, we got back to where we left 50 days ago.  For the next 2 to 3 weeks we won’t be travelling (or blogging) much while we enjoy our bit of paradise in Avalon Beach before heading off again in a southerly direction to explore the Victorian high country.

While we have worked hard, saved and invested over our working lives to be able to afford this, we are nonetheless incredibly fortunate and privileged to be in a position to take a year off and travel, but still have a base waiting for us.    When I think of the living conditions and working hours that most of the 7 billion people on earth struggle through, it really makes me realise how fortunate we are to be in our position and to be living in this wonderful prosperous country.  S

4 thoughts on “Home and Away

  1. A little late but back in Jhb and now have a computer. Happy happy New Year. I am sure 2019 will be just as exciting as the last 2 months have been. Loving your blog and learning so much. Love to you both. Glenda


  2. Hi Maddy and Steve, Catching up with your blogs again. They are amazing–the detail, the photos, the infectious enthusiasm that comes through. It is amazing. You are both spending so much time sharing your gap year with us. Thank you very much.
    No doubt you are continuing to enjoy being back at the Yurt.
    Bye for now,


    1. HI Robyn! Nice to hear form you. It was a nice break at Avalon but we are enjoying being back on the road. Well not quite back on the road as we are staying with friends at Wollongong at the moment. B is a twitcher so Steve and B and out there together going off about birds! M


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