Australia

Views From Our Campervan: South West Rocks


Today is the 25th anniversary of the day that we met.

We were introduced by friends, Dan and Lisle, at a bar late on a Sunday afternoon. Who knew that all these years later we’d still be talking to each other, happily ensconced in South West Rocks and after 47 days on the road, following summer?

The view from the front door of South West Rocks is spectacular and the sound of the waves breaking on the shore is incredible. A lovely sea breeze blows through the campervan, saving us from turning the AC on. We are just on the periphery of one of the most interesting national parks we’ve come across—Hat Head National Park.

The Camper Van Life

Having spent a week in a camper van has brought back lots of memories for me. When I was younger, my family traveled across Canada, from the Atlantic via Hudson Bay to the Pacific, over 4 summers. For a couple of those years we traveled in a trailer hitched to the family station wagon. As I look around the campervan, and see the modern technology (electric pump, hot water heater, microwave oven, separate grey and black water systems, toilet cassette that you easily carry to the toilets for the black water), I think back to the trailer, and wonder how my mom and dad did it with 5 kids and a dog – only a hand pump to get water, boiling water on the stove to make hot water, hooking up the sewage with hoses every day. We have not had any kind of meltdown driving down the coast, but I wonder whether the same could be said if we’d been doing the primitive camping of 35 years ago. My parents must have been saints! (Or crazy – and if not before, then surely after 4 weeks of driving 5 kids and a dog across the country.)

A Long Walk

We wake late, and despite the forecasts, the weather is spectacularly gorgeous – yet another perfect day in paradise! We go for a long walk – probably about 6 or 7 kilometres in all. We walk across a bridge over the estuary, and pass a number of people fly fishing. This reminds me of being on Vancouver Island with my family, trailer-ing, all those years ago, and my brother and sister trying their hand at fly fishing. My sister, on her first try, hooked my mother, and we had to rush her to the emergency ward to have the hook removed. After crossing the estuary, we get to Back Beach, the beautiful beach we look at from our front door. We walk the entire length, to the mouth of the river, and then back again. It takes us about 2 ½ hours, start to finish.

Kylie on the Radio

Driving 2400 kilometres so far (400 to go to get to Sydney tomorrow), we have listened to a great deal of Aussie radio – it is just like being at home. There are lots of FM radio stations playing North American music – lots of Evanescence, Kylie, No Doubt, Outkast, Dido, Shania, Celine, Beyoncé, Brittany, Christina, Enrique, etc. Although the radio stations all announce that they proudly play Australian music, the only obviously Australian music they do play is the ubiquitous Kylie, and it is only obviously Australian because we know where Kylie comes from. Kylie appears to be a national hero – 2nd only to any number of cricket players, but ahead of anyone else. The alternative, which we listen to when we are not driving (the silent passages can’t be heard over the wind whistling through the cracks around the windows) is ABC, which is not what you think – it is the Australian Broadcasting Commission. And they have a wonderful classical network that makes us feel like we are listening to CBC Radio 2. We have been pulling up to our sites, hooking up electrical and water and turning on the radio to settle in, listening to David Daniels (quite regularly – there seems to be a fixation on countertenors right now in Australia) or Madama Butterfly.

After a wonderful nap, we hit the beach, and spend a couple of hours body surfing. The water is noticeably cooler than it was up at Coolum Beach, but the day is hot enough that the coolness of the water is refreshing. And although the waves don’t compare to Coolum, they are better for body surfing – we get some spectacularly long rides before becoming waterlogged.

We shower and shave, then sit outside and watch the sunset over Back Beach and the mountains behind it.

What a gorgeous way to spend a day in South West Rocks.

 Skyscanner can help you plan your trip to New South Wales. Have a look!

And DK Travel offers an excellent guide to Australia (we never travel anywhere without them!):

 


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