Saturday 12 June 2021: Sydney to Myall Lakes N.P. 265km
Every Saturday the day starts with parkrun. This time on the northern outskirts of Sydney – a challenging but scenic 3-lap course within Fagan Park, Galston with 25m of elevation gain on each lap.
Then on for about 200km mainly on the M1 Motorway to Stewart & Lloyd Campsite, Myall Lakes NP.
Sunday 13 June 2021: Myall Lakes N.P. to Forster 120km
We travelled via the Great Lakes area and stopped at Forster to visit an old mate.
Monday 14 June 2021: Forster to Trial Bay Gaol 210km
Trial Bay Gaol
Trial Bay Gaol built between 1877-1886. The prisoners were there to construct a breakwater to make Trial Bay a safe harbour between Sydney and Brisbane. The scheme failed and in 1903 the Gaol was closed. During World War I it reopened as an internment camp for over 500 men of German descent. In 1922 the Gaol was decommissioned and its contents stripped but in the 1950s volunteers began its restoration.
Tuesday 15 June 2021: Trial Bay Gaol to Woolgoolga 165km
We saw a show on ABC Back Roads about Woolgoolga (Woopi to the locals), one of the early chapters of Indian migration to Australia. Although a few Sikh arrived in Woopi in the 1890s, during WW11 many more came to work on the banana plantations as the Australian men had gone to war. These farm labourers started becoming land owners and brought their families from India. First it was banana plantations, and when that ended, blueberry farming. Woolgoolga is home to Australia’s largest Sikh/Punjabi population and the current generation are still well connected to Punjab and Punjabi culture. We ate at Woopi Tandoori Nights Indian Restaurant, delicious authentic Indian food.
For 16 years, Curryfest has transformed the streets and beach reserve of Woolgoolga, into a carnival of colour, sights, sounds and taste and it’s on again this year, in September. We’ve booked accommodation already.
Wednesday 16 June 2021: Woolgoolga to Lennox Head 205km
Lennox Head is halfway between Woolgoolga and Brisbane so we spent the last night there going via the 19th century river port town of Ulmarra. There’s a new motorway that our GPS doesn’t know about and at one place a huge Roads & Traffic Authority sign telling you to IGNORE GPS and follow the road signs!
Ulmarra’s historic buildings, still in use, create an image reminiscent of the town’s past as a 19th-century river port on the Clarence River.
Thursday 17 June 2021: Lennox Head to Brisbane 210km
To break away from the repetitive motorway driving we diverted inland to follow the Tweed River.
En route from Murwillumbah to the Pacific Motorway, on the banks of the Tweed River is the tiny township of Tumbulgum established in the 1880s.
After five weeks, three states, three different campervans and over 7,000km we arrived back at home thankful to have avoided the Coronavirus restrictions of Victoria and New South Wales.