“Tomorrow will be the first day of the rest of our lives.” This was Wayne’s statement yesterday as we were flat out trying to fit our last remaining possessions into the VW. At the time it was a statement if hope for the future – today it became reality. At 7am this morning we said goodbye to our family, hopped in the car and hit the highway heading to the Gold Coast – only this time we weren’t going for a visit or a long weekend or shopping trip. We drove straight through knowing we weren’t coming back for who knows how long … And it felt incredible!
First and only appointment for the day was Waeco-Dometic. After six years of putting their 60L portable fridge/freezer through all the harshest conditions we could manage, it was time for an upgrade to their latest model, a CFX50. While there we checked out their range of other new products – solar panels, portable batteries, caravan annex wall kits and camera systems. With our van currently being built these are all things we’ll have to look into in detail in the coming weeks. We’ll have a comparison post on the new features of the CFX50 shortly.
After leaving Waeco, we looked at each other and grinned as we again realised that we had nowhere to be, no schedule, no appointments… we were getting our first taste of true freedom and it was good!
A stop at the Lifesaving Club at Cabarita Beach for a mid-morning snack led to a leisurely stroll on a timber boardwalk out to a point where you can see all the way to the lighthouse at Byron Bay. With hardly any breeze and blue skies it was a beautiful day to be in the great outdoors.
Further south we headed to Pottsville, and were pleasantly surprised to find South Pottsville Caravan Park. Sitting right on the bank of the river, with the ocean just over a small rise, this park is an ideal spot for families or couples like us wanting a peaceful escape. Sandy banks and shallow water, great for kayaks! Sadly they had a two-night minimum, and with the weekend starting tomorrow (something we’d completely forgotten about already!) they were fully booked so we were unable to stay.
We decided then to move on to Ballina, in particular the Ballina Lakeside Holiday Park, where we had stayed once before. We thoroughly enjoyed our visit last time and without the caravan we thought a Waterfront Studio apartment would be ideal. With 10% off for Tourist Park members we decided to sign up to that too. The $30 cost for membership was covered straight away by the discount, so is something well worth looking into if you’re planning on travelling. After getting our key to the room, we were looking forward to relaxing with a cuppa – only to enter the room with total disappointment. It was small and old and at $125 a night, we’ve done better at hotels or other places on Wotif. We decided to upgrade to a Waterfront Villa, but the extra $40 a night was well worth it. From a shady cabin that truly didn’t see much of the water at all and was in desperate need of an upgrade to a genuine waterfront villa complete with balcony, extra bedroom and very modern interior, we will settle very nicely here for the next 3 days to relax and think about what else we want to do! We’re already one-fifth of the way to our destination of Merimbula, but have 4 more weeks to do it in. This really is the life!