05 April 2010

Easter Weekend in South Ballina

Usually Scott & I try to avoid going away over the popular school holiday periods like Xmas and Easter.  But the thought of hanging out in Brissie over the Easter long weekend wasn't very appealing so we decided to bite the bullet and join the masses...  We recently sold off a whole lot of our camping gear on e-Bay and had just bought our new compact tent which we were keen to try out.  I found us a neat spot down the coast in NSW called South Ballina Beach Holiday Park.  

 230km from Moggill in Queensland to South Ballina in New South Wales

We both arranged our work day so we could leave early and managed to hit the road by lunchtime.  230km down the road and we came to the South Ballina ferry.  A bit more modern than the Moggill ferry and a longer trip too, it took us across the Richmond River to South Ballina.  

 South Ballina

South Ballina feels like an island.  It's not, but it's very isolated.  On one side you have 25km of beach only accessible in 2 places - not a single beachfront property - completely unspoilt.  On the other side you have the Richmond River with the closest bridge being 16km away at Wardell.  With miles and miles of sugarcane in between.  There are no shops or restaurants except for the little kiosk at the holiday park.  Fabulously isolated!!!  

I LOVE our new tent!!!!  It's a Wanderer Latitude 4V. It's SO easy to put up.  I could quite easily do it on my own, it's that easy!  On our way through, we forgot to buy beer, so after we had the tent up, Scott went back over the ferry and tracked down a bottle-o.  While he was away, I got the rest of the campsite set up so we'd be ready to crack that beer when he arrived!  

Now I really must apologise before I go any further...  We had THE most relaxing 4 days.  No internet, not iPods, no mobile phones, no PCs.  The lack of technology was sheer bliss!  So much so, that we actually forgot to take the camera out most of the time.  So only a few pics of the campsite and some of the beach.  

You'll just have to believe me when I tell you that we cycled - even tried a stint along the beach!  We bought to little kiddie fishing rods and some bait at the kiosk and spent the better part of a most enjoyable day catching plenty of sun but not many fish.  We swam in the river mouth.  We fished some more on the breakwater.  We walked, we talked, we read.  We drank ice cold beer.  We watched a fire twirling show.  We listened to some live music on the deck at the kiosk  cafe while enjoying a chilled bottle of white wine....  All without the camera.  So I'm sorry about that and will try not to relax quite that much again... not!  :-)  

Hope you enjoy the pics we did manage to take...

Camp all set up - this was early Good Friday morning

Simple, but wanting for nothing

Did I mention how much I love our new tent?

Morning coffee

On our way for a walk along the beach

The 4x4 track leading to beach

The sea!  Actually, as you get to the end of this track and onto the beach, there is a stark reminder of why the Aussies are so insistent that you "Swim Between The Flags" on surf lifesaver patrolled beaches.  On 19 January 2010, 3 children watched as their parents drowned at this beach - a very sad memorial has been erected at the end of this path at the entrance to the beach.

I think Scott was trying to pick a fight with me...  maybe over who gets the camera?

Looking South down the beach towards Evan's Head.  If you have a 4x4, this is one of the few spots where you can head down the beach without a permit.  Unfortunately the CRV just isn't up for the task with a clearance even lower than my Astra (not a word of a lie!).  There's definitely something wrong with that suspension!  So we had some fun watching everyone else have fun in the sand...

Looking North where you're not supposed to take any vehicles...  there's always gotta be one idiot!  This is a breeding/nesting ground for the endangered oyster catchers

Looking north again

Scott getting the hammocks set up

Taking a breakfast break

One done!

Yip, this feels about right...

Hrmm.......  yup!  No problems with this one.  Seems sturdy enough..  Zzzzzzzz......

Getting something cold from the giant yellow esky

Making lunch

Great shot, Scott!

One of the noisy miners took a real liking to the hammocks

We loved this campsite so much that we've booked and paid for our Xmas holidays here.  Even when this place is busy, it doesn't feel crowded.  The sites are beautiful and the amenities are always clean.  The owners are lovely and all the staff are so helpful and friendly.   We're really looking forward to our next visit! 

Bye for now...


mupersan-1 said...

Hmmmm about that camera. And that little Suzuki, and the jeep in Byron are still being looked at with very hungry eyes. Can you imagine a nice long drive down the beach in December!

Anonymous said...

I can't believe all the camping gear you guys have, you have EVERYTHING you could possibly need - fantastic !!
Gus xx

The Mupersans said...

And we've seriously scaled down! We had so much extra stuff we didn't need. It made camping so much of a mission - I'd have to plan a trip for weeks. So now we keep it as simple as possible. We have the basics & that's all we need to relax. The hammocks are a real bonus if there are trees in the campsite. :-)