Monthly Archives: February 2014

Bungonia Conservation Reserve

imageThe weather was rather unkind to us after our arrival at Coledale Beach after arriving in sunshine and going for a stroll on the beach and a paddle. Having booked two nights we stuck it out all day Thursday in the vague hope that the skies would clear and the rain would desist. Sadly none of the above came to fruition and as we got damper, the rain got heavier and the temperature dropped below 20C so we decided to head inland.
There were a couple of sites we liked the look of but we decided to rule one out due to the river crossings that, given the rain we’d had, might be a bit deeper than we wanted to negotiate. The safe option was to head to Bungonia , a drive of about 4 hours after being forced to take a detour after our planned crossing over the Maquarie Pass was blocked by an accident. The detour was quite long but very picturesque as we cut through on the Kangaroo Valley Road instead.
imageOn arriving at the site it seemed we were the only people there and compared to Coledale the peace and quiet, lack of wind and, most importantly, no rain made it seem positively idyllic ! Just in case things take a turn for the worst, we’ve set up in all weather mode with the annex being used for the first time this trip. The main tent is still wet through but starting to dry out at last.
We expect to stay here for two nights now and travel again on Sunday, by Monday the temperatures are forecast to get back up into the mid to high 20s and the skies should be clearing so we can decide where our next leg will take us.

Leaving the city

imageWe spent the first couple of days in Sydney getting acclimatised, checking the Land Rover over and shopping for the essentials that we couldn’t import with the Land Rover. One (maybe the only) drawback of having a roof top tent in Sydney is that it’s full of multi-story car parks with 2.1 metre height restrictions !
Eventually we found the stores we needed and now have food, phone sims and a new gas stove and bottle. The Cadac stove we brought with us wasn’t compatible with the Australian gas bottles/regulators/pipes so we ended up buying the Coleman stove we’d originally wanted but couldn’t get in the UK. That meant dumping the Cadac stove which goes against the grain for an adopted Yorkshire man but we don’t have the space to carry two stoves.
This morning we took a ride over to Narabeen to meet up with an old friend and came away with a good list of places and tracks for our journey to Coledale BeachMelbourne.

We then headed south and out of Sydney to Coledale Beach to spend a couple of nights by the sea before moving on. This is another spot we’d wanted to visit on the recommendation of Celia and Eugene.

We took the scenic route where we could, cutting through the Royal National Park and then following the coast road down to Coledale. With the views, vegetation and scenery it has started to feel more like the Australia we fell in love with on our previous visits. Lane Cove was a bit of a haven in the city but you knew you were in the city still.
I’m sat now looking out over the sea and the beach with an iPad in one hand and a cold one in the other, what more could you ask for 🙂

We’ve landed

20140224-152957.jpgI’m glad to say that our first day more or less went as planned. After setting off on Saturday afternoon from Leeds Bradford Airport we eventually landed in Sydney at about 7am local time on Monday morning.
The start of the trip seems a bit like a shopping list of things that need to be ticked off one by one. The first of those being getting to Sydney with all our luggage !
We picked up a PAYG Sim for Pam’s phone at the airport so we could have a working sat nav in the form of Apple Maps and got a taxi to the shipping agent in Botany Bay.
Another tick on the list was that the 90 had passed quarantine and customs without a hitch so all we had to do was load up the roof tent and drive to the camp site via a couple of stops to get fuel, provisions and a toll road tag. On the latter one, we spent nearly an hour at the licensing office and they eventually decided that it wasn’t possible for us to get a tag so we shouldn’t worry about it.
So by around 1pm we had checked in at the camp site and set up camp for the first night. I suspect an early night is in order as we’ve not had much sleep in the last 24 hours or so.
Right now the reality of what we are doing is starting to hit home and it seems a daunting prospect ! One day at a time though…


Looking at the tracker the container ship is just off Melbourne now, due into Sydney on the 18th February.

Next stop Sydney !

The ship is currently docked in Fremantle (Perth) and is scheduled to leave today on the final leg for our container – the trip to Sydney. Just 2 weeks now before we’re due to meet up with our Land Rover again in Sydney and for the real adventure to begin, that’s scary !

Fremantle next stop

The container has now been transhipped and the ship is currently making it’s way into the Java Sea where it will start heading South to weave it’s way through the southern Islands. It’s due in Fremantle on 8th February before embarking on the final leg to Sydney to arrive on the 16th February.
There’s a YouTube clip of the “new” ship – the OOCL Houston from this time last year…