Sunday 27 August 2017
27 of us were up early to catch the coach to Macksville for our 7 day trip. The coach was waiting for us outside the library in Oxley Av and we were underway just after 7am. Morning tea stop at Tugun followed by another stop at Woodburn then onto Ferry Park Maclean for lunch. Quick stop at Woolgoolga and then onto our motel for the next 6 nights, arriving in Macksville just after 3PM. We had good travelling.
Enjoyed pre-dinner drinks before having a lovely 3 course dinner.
After a nice cooked breakfast we are on the bus at 9am heading off back up the highway to take Waterfall Way up to Bellingen and Dorrigo. Arrive at Dorrigo Rainforest Centre for morning tea. Following morning tea we all check out the Skywalk overlooking the valley and the gift shop.
Back on the coach into Dorrigo to check out Dangar Falls and some wildlife as well as drove past Dorrigo Steam Railway museum which was unfortunately not open but saw lots of old steam engines and old carriages. Shame they cannot get grants to get it up and running. Back to the RSL for a nice lunch of sandwiches and little cakes. After lunch we headed back down the range with beautiful views down the valley to Bellingen. Here we spend some time walking around the town checking out the shops and history of the town. Bellingen is where Adam Gilchrist the Australian cricketer was born.
Back on the bus for our trip back to our motel. Enjoyed a great meal again and then was entertained by 90 year old magician who was great.
Headed off at 8:30 this morning to get down to Port Macquarie to catch the ferry to do a river cruise up the Hastings River. On the cruise we were able to see the surf rolling in the mouth of the river, past some lovely canal homes as well as some older homes and the longest running wooden boat repair dock in Australia.
Following our cruise we checked out the township before heading out to Vickers Fudge factory to try some samples before purchasing some fudge. We had lunch here before heading off to Cassegrain Wines for some wine tasting. Here they had 5 Tesla electric car recharging stations. Arrived back around 4:30pm in time for a rest before pre-dinner drinks and dinner. Entertained by a man singing and playing the guitar for the evening.
Once again enjoyed a lovely cooked breakfast before heading off to see a bit of the local area. Had a tour of Nambucca Heads before heading west out to Bowraville. Here we had morning tea and spent some time checking out the Bowraville Folk Museum, which was very interesting with a lot of old stuff from machinery, cars, dolls and anything you could name.
Back to Macksville for a nice 2 course lunch at the RSL. After lunch we checked out the local Macadamia nut factory for some sampling as well as purchasing some of the different varieties of nuts. From here we headed to Eungai Creek Buffalo Farm to taste some of their milk and cheese. We checked out Stuarts Point and Scotts Head before heading back to Macksville. Tonight we all got dressed up in our best Hawaiian outfits for Hawaiian night which included entertainment from Tony (love the floral suit) and his brother, couple lovely ladies???? and George the Greek. What a great night.
Today we headed north again to check out the city of Coffs Harbour and some of its history and had morning tea beside the harbour. Then went up to have a look over Coffs Harbour from The Forest Sky Pier at Sealy Lookout. Great views down over Coffs and surrounding area.
From here we had a bit of a drive through the country side checking out some of the blueberry farms and then back down to the Carobana factory where we had a nice BBQ lunch cooked by our driver Tony. Before lunch we found out about the Cabot tree and how the seeds become like chocolate coating on different things. After lunch we had a short drive to the National Marine Science Centre where one of the researchers gave a very interesting talk demonstration about the marine life in the area. We even got to touch some of the sea creatures. We also heard about the warming waters, changes in the PH levels in the water and the amount of plastics that get thrown away and ending up in our seas. On our way back to the motel we called in and checked out the Clog Barn and the miniature Dutch village.
That night we had another great meal and entertained by another gentlemen singing and playing the guitar.
Had a group photo taken in front of the coach before heading off south again on our last day trip. Down the highway turning off onto the old highway now called the Macleay Valley Way to Kempsey where we had morning tea in one of the parks. We then drove out past Jerseyville to Trial Bay Gaol on the headland. The gaol was built to house prison labourers there to build a breakwater to make Trail Bay a safe harbour between Sydney and Brisbane. The gaol was open in 1886 after 13 years of construction. We then drove a short distant to Little Bay picnic area for a nice lunch of cold meats and salads. After lunch headed to South West Rocks where we were able to get a coffee check out the town, museums and beautiful coast line. Back on the coach heading up the highway turning off to go to Taylors Arm to visit The Pub with No Beer where we were able to enjoy a cold beer. This is the place where Slim Dusty first sang the song ‘ A Pub with no beer’ and there is a lot of old Slim Dusty memorbelia in the pub.
We then headed back to our motel for our last 3 course dinner.
Today we head home. After our last cooked breakfast we board the coach one last time for our trip home, leaving Macksville at 8am after saying our farewells to the great people at Mid Coast Motor Inn Macksville. We stop at Ulmarra, just north of Grafton, for morning tea at a park on the side of the Clarence River. Then onto the Caltex service centre at Chinderah for a 45 minute break for lunch. We arrive back in Redcliffe just after 3pm after another good days travelling.
A great time was had by all and a big thanks to all the staff at the motel. From Tony our coach driver for the week who was very good and loved to share his jokes and knowledge of the area with us all week. To the other Tony (aka George the Greek) owner of the motel for his entertainment, Renee in the office, to our wait staff, Tammy in the mornings and Evelyn in the evenings and making sure that both the coffee and pancake machine were working all the time.