Lunch at Taree

A lovely catch-up over lunch with Arthur and Margaret Lunan.

When Jonathan’s father David was putting together the Lunan side of his family tree, he discovered his second cousin, James Lunan, had emigrated to Australia in 1912.  He looked up Lunan in the Australian phone book online and the first ‘A. Lunan’ he rang was Arthur who is James’ son.   They met up when David came over to Australia in 2010 and we’ve stayed in touch ever since.

Arthur is 93 and looking good.

Christmas Day at Moonee Beach

You’ll be pleased to hear that Santa found us even though we weren’t at home.  Winston was pleased with a squeaky rhino to add to his safari collection.  He did us proud with a bottle of salted caramel Baileys for Mum and a bottle of Bourbon for Dad.   Thank you to Mum, Joan and Derek for the yummy Christmas hamper.

It was a lovely sunny morning and we had a prawn starter and some bubbles down on the beach before heading back to the van for a seafood lunch.

Unfortunately the afternoon turned stormy with a threat of hail.  We tucked the little Fiat under the awning to the amusement of our campsite neighbours and headed inside for a port and cheese afternoon.

It was lovely to catch up with family in the UK on Skype when it was their Christmas morning.

Happy Christmas everyone.


Back in Pottsville

After 300 nights away and 33000km driven we’re back in Pottsville and our trip around Australia is officially complete 

On the up-side, Ann has been reunited with her car and we’re having a month’s holiday on the magnificent beaches of the NSW North Coast before facing the music in the New Year.

Bellingen – our 300th night on the road

Almost back on our old stomping ground now.  We spent the evening with Dayv and Debbie who are on their way South and introduced them to the camping raclette.  Dayv and Jonathan worked together at the Department of Housing and Public Works in Brisbane and I think they had missed their ‘putting the world to rights’ conversations.  Dayv has been one of our most dedicated blog readers so I think it’s fitting that he makes an appearance at the end of our travels.

Lovely to meet you both, safe travels and a Happy Christmas.

National Museum of Australia, Canberra

National Museum of Australia, Canberra

The ‘Landmarks’ exhibition is a tour of Australia which explores the characteristics of different towns and areas and how these places have been shaped by generations.  It had much more meaning for us, having just completed our own tour and visited most of the places.

Some collection highlights

Evonne Goolagong’s trophies
Germaine Greer’s ‘Life’ magazine coat
Memorabilia from Joan Richmond racing driver
Phar Lap’s heart
Enormous fleece of Chris the unhappy sheep
Paul McClarin’s glass eyes



A Heatwave

Unfortunately there was a heatwave predicted on the route across to the coast from Canberra for the next few days.  It was too far to get to the coast in one drive and we stopped halfway at Richmond.  The heat was tremendous and nearby Penrith reached 42 degrees.  We collapsed in the van with the airconditioning on full blast.

By 9am the next morning, it was already unbearably hot again.  Even driving in the van with the aircon on wasn’t keeping us cool.  Winston was pleased to have a dip in the river at Bulahdelah en route and even more pleased to discover at the end of the day that we were at the beach at North Haven.

Jonathan’s eyes lit up when he saw the oyster beds but disastrously for him and the oyster farmers, there had been a sewage leak into the river and the farms wouldn’t be able to reopen until after Christmas.

Bingo! Full house

New South Wales,
Jervis Bay Territory, 
South Australia,
Northern Territory,
Western Australia,
Hutt River Province (disputed),
Tasmania and finally
Australian Capital Territory.

We’ve now visited the lot in 2017.

After a few drives round Parliament House, Jonathan decided to pull up in a no stopping zone and take this photo.  I was convinced we were going to get arrested for suspicious behaviour.

Been a bit crook

If blog watchers are wondering why there’s been a bit of a gap since the last post, I’ve been recovering from a nasty bout of gastro and haven’t been able to do much.   All those months travelling through the Outback and then I catch it not far from Melbourne.  We found a scenic and relaxing spot by the river in Tumut to camp up (with nearby amenities) while I rested.

Jonathan thinks he didn’t catch it too because he sticks to wine for his fluids.

Back in Victoria

Our first visit to Geelong.  The rain eventually stopped and we went for a walk along the Eastern Beach Reserve and through the Botanic Gardens where there are several bollards which have been turned into sculptures of people.

I don’t think the Cockatoos at Lorne could read.  The two lads left soon afterwards to finish their fish and chips somewhere else.

Just to say that we did drive all of the Great Ocean Road, we did the Eastern Section from Torquay to Apollo Bay.



Farewell to Tassie

Well I think we saw as much of Tassie as we possibly could have done in a month.  From the spectacular scenery at the edge of the world in the west to the white sands of the Eastern beaches.  From the North coast and its Little Penguins to the capital Hobart and the bays of the South.  I will probably remember the Englishness of the towns and villages, the convict stories and the wildlife.  Jonathan will probably remember the many happy hours he spent fly fishing in the lakes and rivers of the Central Highlands and seeing the Southern Lights.  The Tasmanian locals were all very friendly and there seemed to be a lot of Queenslanders there.

Winston coped very well with the 9 hour crossing again although we couldn’t help worrying about him.  We watched the movie ‘Kingsman The Golden Circle’ in the onboard cinema which was very entertaining, especially the Elton John scenes.

Victoria was being hit by a deluge but luckily Melbourne had escaped the worst of it.  Even so it was an unpleasant drive in the rain from the Port to Geelong.  We were soon warm again and settled down to watch the Rugby League World Cup.