14/02/2018. It was Valentines Day (no different to any other and never has been), and we were up early for the drive back to the family in Iluka. We took the tourist route to McLean, but made a slight mistake and ended up going over the wobbly bridge at Grafton again, then had to get the ferry back over at Ulmarra (same river but different ferry location than previously).
We were the only vehicle travelling over that way at that time, very honoured. We stopped in McLean as we wanted to visit the camping shop again; also stopped in the local butchers for some meat to BBQ in the evening. We had decided for our last few nights we would use the cooking facilities in the campsite. On the way to Iluka we stopped at a view point and viewed Twelve mile beach. 4×4 vehicles can drive onto the beach at low tide, but we didn’t risk it.
Back at Iluka campsite and whilst driving into our pitch, the van drove over a waste pipe, which we hadn’t realised was there. The owner of the van opposite came and told us never to drive over these; we duly apologised and offered to pay for any damages, but he was adamant it was ok. To be fair to us I don’t know why he positioned it so far away from his pitch as there was one nearer him on the other side. Anyway we felt quite bad about it for the rest of the day. In the afternoon the kiddies had to go to the local doctors clinic for vaccinations (they are compulsory in Australia), so I went along for moral support, and supplied the large ice creams after. We had a BBQ in the evening and sat outside till it got dark.
15/02/2018. It had been a very humid and sticky night, so not much sleep was had. I went to the Butchers and Bakers in Iluka early to get more supplies for the evening BBQ, and as it was grand-daughters birthday after we leave , we decided to have early celebrations, so I ordered a birthday cake to collect on the Saturday. Very hot and humid; the children were having a day off school to spend with us, so while grandad watched films, I took them to the campsite to swim in the pool. After lunch the same then BBQ in the evening.
16/02/2018. We are now prepping for our departure on the 18th, by cleaning the van inside and out. We could have paid $150 for the privelege of the hire company to do it, but we decided to do it ourselves. Kiddies off school again so more swimming in the morning; though we did have to vacate to the small jacussi pool as aqua aerobics was happening that morning. Films in the afternoon and barbie again in the evening; then it rained!
17/02/2018. More van washing. Off into town to collect the birthday cake (quite expensive for what it was but didn’t have tin to bake our own, and after all I was on holiday). We had the early birthday with present opening and cake
even managing to eat the pie and mash I had made on arrival as the cooker had been mended. Must say though it was rather hot to eat such a dish. In the afternoon whilst grandad watched more TV, I went with the family for a walk through the rainforest to the lookout point at Iluka Bluff.
18/02/2018. Our holiday comes to an end, and our home journey starts. Final bit of van cleaning, and it is now cleaner than when we first had it. After a short walk we then left the family in Iuka at around 11am to get back to Brisbane and return the van before 4pm. It was approximately a 3hour journey, but all on the highway; a short delay along the way because of traffic volume, and we arrived at 2pm. Duly the van was checked in and checked over and all well. Taxi to the airport and we arrived at 14.30 for the 20.45 flight. A bit early, but we had a leisurely lunch.
We had a lovely time. The scenery was fantastic. We had driven 2138km (1347 miles) in the time we were there (not alot by Australian standards though). We took over 600 pictures and have many wonderful memories. Who knows we may even go back, as now the family have moved to Lismore for better jobs, and there is more exploring to do.