25th November – Canberra

After one night at Batemans Bay (there really is nothing there unless you like fishing or boating) drove up the Kings Highway to Canberra via Braidwood and Queanbeyan to spend a couple of nights with my daughter and her husband. Arrived Friday afternoon

On the Saturday made a brief trip into the centre of Canberra to visit the National Portrait Gallery which I had not seen before – the paintings used to be housed in Old Parliament House. Finding a parking space in the Parliamentary triangle was hell but eventually managed to find one right next to Lake Burley Griffin.

After visiting the gallery walked beside the lake and then visited Magna Carta Place next to the old Parliament House Gardens.

171125 017 Canberra National Portrait Gallery171125 007 Canberra171125 009 Canberra171125 020 Canberra171125 030 Canberra171125 022 Canberra High Court171125 025 Canberra High Court171125 033 Canberra171125 038 Canberra171125 043 Canberra171125 049 Canberra171125 053 Canberra Magna Carta Place171125 054 Canberra Magna Carta Place171125 056 Canberra Magna Carta Place171125 066 Canberra Old Parliament House Garden171125 070 Canberra Old Parliament House Garden

As you can see the day was a beautiful sunny day however in the evening  the heavens opened and hail and rain poured down. We were going to Belconnen on the other (northern) side of Canberra. Until the Woden turnoff the rain and hail continued when, just as suddenly as it started, it ceased and the roads were suddenly dry.

23rd November – Eden to Batemans Bay

Distance: 212Km
Fuel: 34L

Only about 200km to Batemans Bay so didn’t leave the Eden camp until nearly 10am. Really leisurely drive northwards, had intended to stop on the way but the few rest areas seemed rather desolate with little shade.

Found a caravan park off Caseys Beach near Batehaven just south of Batemans Bay proper and set up the camper. Poor TV reception here, they are in a slight depression, so I didn’t bother to get out the aerial especially as we are only staying one night.

171123 026 Pleasurelea Tourist Park

It was 1.30pm by the time we unhitched the car and we were pretty hungry so drove down the road to the shopping centre at Batehaven and bought the inevitable seaside fish and chips (and gravy) which we ate on the waterfront.

To be honest we saw a Thai restaurant on the way past but after turning round could not find it again, Sad smile or at least not until after we had bought the fish and chips.

171123 014 Batemans Bay171123 015 Batemans Bay171123 017 Batemans Bay171123 019 Batemans Bay

By the time we finished eating the sky had darkened and thunder could be heard in the distance, back at the park just made a cup of tea before the rain started. There was thunder and small hail  for about 20 minutes then light rain for another half an hour.

By 6pm the sky had lightened and we were able to make tea, a toasted sandwich and spend time outside before it got dark.

6th Nov–Goondiwindi to Coonabarabran

Distance: 355Km

Last night was wild and windy with squally showers occurring intermittently – or at least that is what I was told, I actually slept soundly and missed most of it. In the morning the ground was wet with puddles here and there but I don’t think the actual rain amounted to more than 5 mm. The temperature certainly took a tumble from the low/mid 30s of the past few days to a fairly cool (but not cold) morning.

There was a band of thunderstorms predicted today to sweep across northern NSW forecast to reach Coonabarabran at about 2pm so we didn’t want to leave too early as it was only about 300km to travel. In the event this was probably a mistake.

Spent the morning packing up in slow motion doing each job with a break for tea or coffee or allowing plenty of time for things like the mats to dry in the sun. Watched most of the other vans pack up and head out and by the time we left at almost exactly 10am the park was just about empty.

Set off in bright sunshine heading south – within minutes it was 11am as we crossed the state border into NSW.

The first couple of hours were uneventful and we stopped  in a rest area at about 1pm to make coffee using the gas stove, again trying to delay our arrival in Coonabarabran.

About a 100km from our destination the skies from the west started to look ominous and while we waited at road works thunder crashed about us and the heavens opened – a mixture of hail and belting rain. The hail made a hell of a noise on the car but I don’t think it dented the body work and it didn’t smash the skylight on the camper (as happened to a bloke we met on Saturday). The heavy rain continued on for about 10 minutes or so then the skies lightened, I made a quick stop at a rest area to check for damage before arriving at a very dry Coonabarabran.171106 003 Coonabarabran Post Office

Checked into the caravan park  about 4.30pm when the lady told us all they had was a few spots of rain! certainly the grass was dry when we found a nice spot (told to pick which ever site we liked) but because of the gusty wind decided not to put up the gazebo even though staying for two nights. Didn’t need it as there was plenty of shade over the site.

171106 002 Coonabarabran John Oxley Caravan Park

After a cup of tea and a biscuit I drove the short distance into the town centre to get milk and some groceries from the local Woollies. Noticed a little hamburger place advertising Fish and Chips so that solved the evening meal.