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The Hunter and North....

all seasons in one day
View Australia 2018 on pjburke's travel map.

02 May 2018

The Hunter

Time to head towards wine country.... Aka the Hunter Valley. With a recommendation from the tourist office at Echo Point we take "the back way" and stop by Mt Tomah Botanical Gardens (aka the Blue Mountains Botancl Gardens). This lovely setting is about 30 minutes from Blackheath ...and it's free. We took our time and wandered the landscaped paths. With 28 hectares (69 acres) to view, some the areas are gardens and other treed pathways. It's the end of the season right now and very nice but in season it must be spectacular.

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The three hour drive to the Hunter flew by and we arrived at the Wine Country Tourist Park in time to set up, walk up a side road for about an hour (sitting gets old after a while) and make Happy Hour at the Pub across the street. This caravan park is the type of place, that when you arrive, you're not sure about it .. but after a day or two , you don't really want to leave.

Heading to the Pub across the street we meet another couple attempting (as we were) to cross the highway. Barry and Gale (Aussies)ended up being our our caravan park neighbors. As conversations happen, ours also continued and we joined them for a beer flight - each had our own paddles.

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03 May 2018

Two Fat Blokes

Reservations in place the prior week, we were up and ready to go at 0900 - today was a wine tasting day...a lot of wine. We booked with Two Fat Blokes and were picked up by the lovely Jules..Our choice of tours was the Hunter Gatherer Tour which was an all day tour with wine /cheese pairing, wine/chocolate pairing, lunch and wine...lots of wine...and our fair share of roo sightings. It was really a great day!!! Among the group was a fellow travel blogger - Jessica and her husband Ryan from Texas - www.theimpatienttraveler.co and our 1st IASW ( It's a small world) of the trip. Ryan is headed to Toronto soon for bach weekend with a good friend from.....Rochester.

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04 May 2018

A little slow going today after all the wine - a good day to get laundry done , do some grocery shopping ..oh and fit in a winery (Hanging Tree and Verdin) or two.

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05 May 2018

Great night sleep but cold (about 45) which we weren't expecting...thankful again for the heater.

Today we're off to see Bob and Gail Bale in Lake Munmorah (about 1 1/2 hours north of Sydney). We met them on our last trip to OZ in Uluru (Ayers Rock). When I knew we were coming , I contacted Gail. So glad that we were able to make this visit happen. We had a wonderful visit and got to meet their son Peter. As we all know - there are some people who we meet and immediately click - Bob and Gail are one of those couples. Our visit ended too quickly. We left with hopes that we would see them again - the hard part of meeting people when you travel.

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Off again and the road took us north and landed us in Tuncurry for just the one night.

06 May 2018

It's still a long way to Queensland and there will be a few one night stops along the way. But being Sunday, we lucked out and there was a Sunday Market at Black Beach (a short side trip). We wandered, bought a jar one of our new guilty pleasures - Lemon Butter and also some Lime Butter. I think it will be really good on grilled fish back in AZ.

Our evening stop was the Bellinger River Tourist Park. Nice little park and our site is right on the river. Good camp kitchen and this park gets extra points for great bathrooms with blow dryers...a first. It rained overnight which usually makes it easy for me to sleep but not so much when your sleeping in a tin can.

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07 May 2019

We weren't sure if it was going to rain or not but decided to take a chance and head up over the mountain, stopping at Dorrigo National Park along the way. A nice 3.5 mile hike to break up the drive to Byron Bay.

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Drove our last hour into Byron in the dark, pouring rain. Did not like that at all. We've found that Australia is a bit like Saddlebrooke in the street lighting department - meaning they are non-existent.

08 May 2018

I do have to give a big shout out and "Thank you" to an unknown person at the Byron Tourist Park. Grabbing a quick shower before we headed out, I accidently left my Fitbit in shower room. As soon as I realized I didn't have it, I ran back. Not there and I really thought it was gone. While I continued to pack up the van, Jim checked at the office - someone turned it in. Huge Thanks to whoever that was!!! Restores my faith...

Since the weather really hadn't improved much and the forecast only showed rain, instead of staying for two days in Byron (actually Suffolk) we decided to keep heading north to Hervey Bay. Initially we were going to stay in Maryborough but Hervey Bay sounded nice- SOOO glad we did.

Next up.....Hervey (said Ha vee) Bay!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by pjburke 14:52 Archived in Australia

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Comments

Great pix and finally seeing Patty's smiling face.
good report in Phil yesterday! L,N

by Nan

Great traveling stories Patty and beautiful pictures.
I feel like I just took a trip!!! Also good pictures of you and Jim and the friends you meet.

by Arlene Guillette

Love reading about your trip.

by Cherrill

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