Coffs Harbour to Ballina

It's just over 200km from Coffs Harbour to Ballina - do-able in about 3 hours. Slightly longer when you are towing your abode. But we took most of the day to do it because we stopped frequently at places which looked interesting...

We left Coffs Harbour after farewells to several other caravanners who we'd got to know well over the past few weeks. Some were permanents, some were on a break for a few weeks and one couple were travelling round Australia, but in the reverse direction to ourselves.

Kaya was hoping to leave a reminder of her visit to Coffs Harbour too

but (shhh, don't tell her) it ended up in the bin.

We waved goodbye to Moonie Beach that we'd visited several weeks earlier

and whizzed past Grafton and onto a place called Ulmarra; a small village just off the highway where we stopped for a quick slurp from the flask and crisps ("chips" to the Australians reading this).

It turned out to be a fascinating place where the entire village is classified by the National Trust. There was an info board full of the history of the place, photos of unsmiling workers from the Victorian era, maps and ferry crossing times. There were slogans, quotes and sayings dotted around the park...


for example.

Not only did the toilets have a soap dispenser which was full of soap, but there was a soap dispenser outside the toilets ! Sheesh.

We were quite a distance from the sea, but we'd been following the Clarence river northwards and it was this that the ferry crossed. The ferry can clearly (?) be seen in the photo below, just to the right of the midpoint of the photo. (Or is it a whale???) (Do you recall the whale photo of a few weeks ago - there were several responses about that, thanks!)

We passed Maclean, full of Scottish folk

and New Italy for a stroll and a flask and butty stop. And hey, they had a free museum, so we called in.

When we lived in Traralgon, we often visited a delightful old township called Walhalla, which had a population of several thousand at it's peak of the Gold Rush in the late 19th century. But now had a population of about 20 permanents and tourists. One Sunday, we were in a museum that was full of antiques from this bygone era. There was just us 5 and the curator in the museum. He approached us at 5pm (closing time) and told us that he had to leave so "could you lock the door on your way out?" !!

So I parked the car outside, emptied the entire contents of the museum into the car and drove off after locking the door on our way out.

(Well okay, part of the above may not be true.)

Back to recent events...

and so we eventually arrived at the caravan site, at South Ballina. It's about 3km from Ballina as the crow flies. If you aint a crow though, it's about 40km! There's a massive estuary separating us from Ballina.

So we got unhitched...

and decided not to go into Ballina to buy supplies. So it was a BBQ for tea of some bits and pieces that we could find.

So the following day, we caught the ferry into Ballina - it only takes a few minutes and runs for about 18 hours a day.

On arriving at Ballina, one of the first sights we passed was the BIG PRAWN.

We also passed it on our way back to the ferry. After a day baking in the sun, we were sure it was pinker than when it was in the morn.