Travel Days – Sydney -> Gold Coast (883km, via Port MacQuarie)

I had to go reasonably quickly from Sydney to Brisbane, as I had a standing date for some house/dog sitting for one of my besties’ parents on the Gold Coast.  Thus – I did not meet my only stated Sydney-goal of checking out my parents’ old haunts on the Northern Beaches.

I didn’t have the same experience of being familiar with all of the place names as I headed north out of Sydney, the way that I had been familiar with so many places heading East out of South Australia. Apparently we did an awful lot of bush-ballads at my primary school and not so much work on beach-culture. It wasn’t until I got up towards Ballina/Byron Bay area that I actually had any pop-cultural knowledge to inform the names I drove by.

Around the channel side of Swansea. Beachside photos just look like old photos of the surface of the moon, the albedo was so high.

Around the channel side of Swansea. Beachside photos just look like old photos of the surface of the moon, the albedo was so high.

Regardless, I continued to be amazed by how green and dense the forest is on the stretch north of Sydney. And by how humid and revolting it was getting.  First stop was Swansea, where I actually went and bought some hippy/beach clothes – by which I mean clothes that let any breeze and all water through and have enough floaty material that they touch you almost nowhere.  So I took the opportunity to wear a floaty dress and did my very best tampon-ad beach frolicking and it was even more awkward and ridiculous than you are probably imagining right now.  Floaty dresses have enough material to very thoroughly entangle the unwary. And innocent passers-by.

A long drive later saw me coming into Port MacQuarie via the tourist drive through Laurieton along the coast. Rainforest on one side and the beach on the other and an endless parade of laden camper-trailers and caravans struggling around little picturesque bends and stopping abruptly in the middle of the road as they miss their turn-offs.

Yes, I really needed a drink. Or 3. To recover from the shock of the price for a campsite.

Yes, I really needed a drink. Or 3. To recover from the shock of the price for a campsite.

By the time I made it  to Port MacQuarie, I rather fancied some hostel-style company and wandered over to the Beachside Backpackers – unfortunately they were full to the gills and also skewed substantially younger and drinkier than me.  So I went to the beachside caravan park and paid through the nose for a spot.   Though, according to my mother, showers are worth $39 and that’s completely reasonable.

This one's lifeless, painted eyes follow you as you walk away. Related to the general steampunk theme, I also read Cherie Priest's Clockwork Century novels during this trip. If these ever get turned into film, I will learn to act so I can play Maria Isabella Boyd *hearteyes*

This one’s lifeless, painted eyes follow you as you walk away. Related to the general steampunk theme, I also read Cherie Priest’s Clockwork Century novels during this trip. If these ever get turned into film, I will learn to act so I can play Maria Isabella Boyd *hearteyes*

Port MacQuarie itself looks pretty cool. I went for a decent wander in the morning and thoroughly enjoyed the koala trail and the painted rocks along the sea-wall. And I had a good coffee as well.  Then it was straight down the Pacific Highway to the Gold Coast and the familiar surrounds of Mermaid Waters.

I made my traditional stop at Burleigh to dip my feet in the water and people-watch, then drove around the corner to B&Rs.  Dax had been dognapped by the grand-kids, so in the end I had the house to myself for a couple of days.  After that though, B&R hit a kangaroo on their way back from Lightning Ridge and the next day the house flooded (about two hours after I praised houses for so efficiently keeping water outside and the dry inside). I think they might be glad to see the back of me!

Yeah. My car is 4km that way. And I have no cash and I've run out of coffee and I didn't plan this very well, did I? (Burleigh Beach)

Yeah. My car is 4km that way. And I have no cash and I’ve run out of coffee and I didn’t plan this very well, did I? (Burleigh Beach)

Apart from the wonders of baseball, I spent the rest of my time on the Gold Coast being miserably hot, walking way too far along the perfectly manicured beaches and applying for jobs in Sydney.  Wish me all good luck!

Surfer's Paradise from Broadbeach - city of gold.

Surfer’s Paradise from Broadbeach – city of gold.

It's all surfboards, all the time on the gold coast.

It’s all surfboards, all the time on the gold coast.

Queensland election advertising. Maybe Queensland remembers Joh Bjelke-Petersen and the Fitzgerals Inquiry differently to the rest of the country? I wouldn't have thought it would be a name to conjure with.

Queensland election advertising. I mis-read it to begin with and had a horrible thought that zombie Sir Joh was back to rule us all.

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