We had embarked upon a long journey, driving from Melbourne to Cairns – with many a detour along the way. Because of the nature of our trip, we occasionally found ourselves in places that simply didn’t do it for us, but are all part of the adventure.
One of these aforementioned places is Port Macquarie, located just a few hours north of Sydney. Take note fellow Brits, it’s pronounced “ma-quarry” not “mackery” – an innocent mistake that we shall not make again!
This particular pit stop was rather unremarkable, although granted the weather wasn’t in our favour. It seemed like a nice enough place don’t get me wrong, but it was rather a rip-off. The port was surrounded by large, expensive looking houses and boats; the kind of place where you would assume that people have money. We drove around a few different campsites looking for a place to set up our little home for a night, and were shocked that the going rate was $50 for a site (a very basic site might I add)! Money aside the town had everything you needed, but little of excitement. From an outsiders perspective it appears to consist solely of shops and places to eat.
I imagine that if you lived there you would probably love it, but as a recommended ‘must-see’ for tourists, we were pretty underwhelmed! So we moved on to Coffs Harbour. Spoiler alert: things did not improve!
The journey up to Coffs Harbour took longer than anticipated, though perhaps we just left late. Regardless, we ended up arriving close to 6pm which is risky when campground receptions generally close at that time. For this reason we ended up pulling into the first campground that we could find; The Clog Barn. As kooky as it sounds? Absolutely.
As a fashion enthusiast, clogs aren’t really my thing. The reception area was quite literally a Clog Barn, where they make and sell thousands of clogs (well maybe they don’t sell thousands but they certainly make them). The owner was really friendly, and the actual camping spots were fine. However, most of our neighbours lived there permanently, you could tell from their pigeonholes next to the toilets… It was all a bit odd.
Despite the gale force winds and intermittent rain storms, we forced ourselves to actually go to the harbour. We made our way along the harbour and up the hills to a viewing point where you are presented with a bird-watching opportunity. We didn’t manage the bird-watching walk for various reasons (mostly due to how exposed to the wind we were up there), but I think it could have been lovely in the sun. As it was, we ambled back down the hill and went for a drink instead. We settled down in the Yacht club and unwillingly overheard a group of “Real Housewives of Coffs Harbour” type ladies who were having a raucous afternoon session! Needless to say – it was an interesting couple of days!
Sadly, due to the weather and my lack of enthusiasm at the time, I have no pictures to share – sorry! I promise my next post will be full of them!
If you have better memories of Port Macquarie or Coffs Harbour, I’d love to hear about them! Feel free to comment with your own stories :).