Yamba, Casino and Tenterfield

03/02/2018. We were back in Iluka for the weekend, so we all decided to visit Yamba on the ferry, as it was easier than driving round. The day started well, but it soon became breezy so a cardigan was needed.

Ferry to Yamba

Arriving at Yamba

We had a good look around the town, stopping for coffee along the way. There is a massive climb up a hill to get a view over the town, but we managed it (just). The weather now was turning into overcast and breezy.

view of Yamba town from the top

Beach at Yamba

Yamba is a pretty area similar to Iluka, with surfing beaches and cafe’s. We all had lunch in the local bowling club as it was now raining, so a good excuse to shelter. We headed back for the 13.45 ferry to Iluka.

ferry back to Iluka

Spent the rest of the day at the house with the family, and it rained all afternoon.

04/02/2018. Emily and Jamie’s friend Pete had arranged to take Charlie and Noel fishing in his little boat. The weather had calmed and was warm again so off they went with a packed lunch, suncream and hats.

getting ready to go fishing

out on the river

Iluka. Area where the boats are launched

Now whilst the men were fishing, Emily, Grand-daughter Charlie and myself headed for the Sunday market in Iluka. There were quite a few interesting stalls, and we bought a few items there. Weather remained sunny until the evening, then the rain started again. We had slow cooked lamb for dinner as the electrician still hadn’t come to fix the cooker.

05/02/2018. Monday morning and we left Iluka to go travelling again. Now we had bought a sat nav before we left the UK, that has Aussie maps, and this proved invaluable throughout our trIP. This day though Charlie took a wrong turn whilst we were heading for Ballina. Never mind we thought, there is the Macadamia Castle en route that we can visit first, housing a collection of animals, gardens etc., will be good for a visit.

Macadamia Castle

But when we arrived we found it was closed for refurbishment, so we had a coffee from the stall there and chatted a while with the barista.

Turned around and back to Ballina, there looked to be a few good spots to view the area.

weather was turning in along the way to Ballina

It started to rain along the way and didn’t stop. We were laughing to ourselves as at each viewpoint we could hardly see a thing! Typical British weather, and we didn’t even have our pacamacs. By the time we got to the third viewpoint I decided to brave it outside to take some photo’s.

Beach at Ballina

Lovely place despite the rain. Off again this time stopping at Lismore for diesel and shopping. We didn’t explore this town as the family will be moving here soon so we will keep the visit here for our next trip. Then on to Casino for the night.

The big Prawn!

Passing a rather large prawn, which now has become a permanent fixture apparently. The campsite at Casino was once again very quiet, but well equipped as have all the campsites been. This country is certainly geared for camping and caravanning.

a cheeky wagtail

our camping position in Casino

As it got dusk, Charlie went outside to be confronted with a most wondrous sight. Thousands of fruit bats heading back to their roost (wherever it was); now I mean thousands and they stretched right across the sky. I took a photo which doesn’t do it justice, but Charlie took a video (which friends can see if they want).

just a few of the many bats flying over

06/02/2018. Sunny morning so we walked around Casino town following the heritage trail. I’ll show a few pics of the buildings just to get the gist.

Casino buildings

and another

inside the art nouveau church

post office

Now by Aussie standards these buildings are old and history; not by British standards but nice to see that heritage is being preserved. Once the trail done we were back in the van and onto the Bruxner Highway

Manganee lookout point

stopping at the above lookout point with it’s spectacular views. We were now entering New England territory, and from the pics you can see why. Could be Wales or Scotland. We were up and down on the road like a rollercoaster; round tight bends and narrow passing places. Along the way there was a rest stop that had hand carved totem’s, that were put there as part of a peace process between the people involved.

one of 12 totems

and another showing the intricate work on them

They were beautifully carved but had been there for approx 20 years so showing signs of deterioration. We stopped for lunch at a very secluded spot in the forest called Crooked Creek; found a shady area to keep the van cool.

Crooked Creek picnic area

Our destination was Tenterfield and we eventually arrived around 14.30. Early to stop really, but driving is very tiring on the driver, so a rest was needed. We booked in for one night, and decided to look around the town in the morning. We did though venture out for a walk in the evening to the cemetery up the road. Interesting to see grave stones of no great age, but also the cemetery was laid out in religious denominations; something I’ve not seen before.

Tenterfield campsite

view over the hills

If you look carefully you will see Mole Valley (for my west country friends!)

this little chap lived in the laundry under a washing machine

a different bird for the bird table

07/02/2018. The campsite had been bought 2 years ago by the couple running it, that included the lodge in which they lived. On request you could look around the lodge, which we did. They have converted this lovely building into B&B rooms and offer Devonshire cream tea’s. Don’t know if it includes clotted cream as never seen any for sale. My official photographer let me down though, as he forgot to bring the camera so no pics! You just can’t get the staff. We left the campsite and headed for the Railway museum which was just up the road.


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