Day 2: Port Macquaire to Miami. Approx 473km/294 miles. About 7 hours travel time.
Those who know me well will be a bit surprised to hear that I woke up at 8am this morning. Normally anything before 11am is too early but I’m on holidays and they don’t have 12 noon checkout unless you pay extra or reception is feeling generous.
I got some video and photos of the view from my front door. The day started cloudy and a bit cold but once the sun was up and about properly when I was leaving, I’d already had another spa, checked in online and got ready to take off.
Above – View outside Erk’s hotel room, just after 8am
Above – The same view at about 9.30am.
Above 2 photos – Nearly ready for departure from Port Mac
Above – From outside the motel towards the ocean.
Above – the trusty Erk Mobile, a Subaru Forester.
Above – playing with shadows before departure.
Above 3 photos – A photo stop at Kempsey after fuel.
Above – There is an expression on interweb forums “Pics or Ban” meaning (jokingly) that if you don’t put a pic of something, you will get banned. So this pic is called “Pic or Ban”
First stop was Kempsey for fuel. I took a break at Coffs Harbour and got some video and photos at the Big Banana there. I was surprised to know that there was some non Banana entertainment like tobogganing and ski sloping but I wasn’t in the mood for that. I went inside the Banana and went for a walk on the Skywalk. Tick one item off the “Big Item” list. On the approach to Coffs (that I will have a better look at on the way home), I also saw “The Big Windmill”. That’s not it’s real name but it should be. Turns out that this place is a restaurant attached to a Motel.
Above – What should be “The Big Windmill”, Coffs Harbour
Above – Looking out to sea from the Skywalk at The Big Banana, Coffs Harbour.
Above – Now that’s a banana (and there’s Erk, too)!
Above – The Big Banana, Coffs Harbour.
Above – Here’s one we prepared earlier ………. not quite ready for the fruit market JUST yet!
Next stop was going to Grafton but I saw South Grafton and then must have missed the “Town Centre” sign because the next thing I knew, I was 12km away from Grafton in the opposite direction! Stopped off at Ferry Park near Maclean for a Driver Survivor stop and then stopped to get some sign photos outside of Ballina and to do a roadside wee, getting honked by a passing car in the process!
Above – The Clarance River near Maclean
Above – A roadworks delay enabled this shot at Woodburn of a shop with lots of Australian flags on the top
Above – Me after wee stop at Ballina
Above – looking inland near Byron Bay
Then I thought I would overnight in Byron Bay but then thought that I could make the Gold Coast on or close to sunset so apart from a quick “pull over snap”, I skirted around Byron Bay (to do on the way home). Having never done this trip by road I had no idea what to expect but the freeway near Brunswick Heads (that was not thankfully did not have anything about World Catholic Youth Month on the overhead message board) was sweet and I snuck into Queensland and the Gold Coast via the Pacific Motorway, taking the Southport exit. I then got to the Gold Coast Highway and am now staying in a hotel in Miami.
I re-connected to the online world and then went to get something to eat. I was quite happy to see the Queensland petrol prices as they are heaps cheaper than NSW because of their lower taxes and then I went to a local fish and chip shop. I had to work out the interstate differences in what NSW people call seafood and what Queensland people call their seafood. It’s always good for a laugh and a flirt with the local lady behind the counter.
I ordered (NSW version in brackets):
- Medium chips (medium chips are medium chips at home)
- A Pluto Pup (Battered Sav). I thought that a Seafood Stick was a battered sav but that’s different.
- 3 Fish Bites (I thought they were like what I’d normally call a fish cocktail but they are more like small fish pieces).
- Pepsi (thankfully still Pepsi) from the Convenience Store next door.
So I’m here for a couple of nights hoping to meet up with a couple of mates and to go to Dreamworld before hitting Bris Vegas.
Above 2 photos – Petrol prices at Kempsey today
Above – Petrol prices at Miami tonight.