We received an email from our good friends Len and Sharon from Red Beach the other day to say that as a kid, Len spent a considerable amount of his time at Evans Head. While it has probably changed considerably since then Len, it is still a brilliant spot. Worth a visit if you feel nostalgia creeping in.
If anything spoiled the visit it was the hundreds of dead and dying Wedge-tailed Shearwater sea birds along the beach. Apparently there have been quite vicious storms out at sea over the past weeks and the birds die from exhaustion. We picked up the live ones we saw in the surf and put them well back on the beach only to be told that no amount of care when they get to shore ensures their survival. We still felt we had done out best. No pictures are required – you can imagine what the beach looked like.
On leaving Evans Head on Wednesday we drove back onto the Pacific Highway and followed the Clarence River south to Grafton. We decided to visit Grafton as it is ‘Jacaranda Festival time’. A number of years ago ‘someone’ discovered that Jacaranda grows very well in the region and residents went mad planting Jacaranda trees throughout the town. The tree flowers about this time every year thus the Festival. We have to admit the town and surrounding area looks stunning.
From Grafton we drove toward the coast in search of an overnight stop. It was recommended that we visit a place called Minnie Water, a small coastal village right on the beach and surrounded by Yuraygir National Park. Minnie Water has one general store and excellent camping opportunities in the National Park. We joined about six other vanners in the Park and chose the flattest piece of grass we could find.
Another good night in Australia’s finest.
Here is something for the fishers amongst you. Before leaving Minnie Water this morning we got talking to a very friendly government fishing person. He arrived on the beach in a 4WD and trailer behind with two huge buoys on the trailer. After a bit of chit chat about the absence of fish in the area, he explained to me that about this time of the year, NSW Government Fisheries place a number of these buoys up and down the coast, 6 to 8km off shore and in about 50 metres of water. The purpose of the buoys (and their chain) is to provide a physical ‘structure’ to attract fish. Apparently there is no structure on this area of the NSW coast that attract fish and fishers get a little grumpy about having to pay a licence fee to catch ‘no’ fish. Yep – you need a licence here to fish either off the beach or from a boat. We live in a fishing paradise at home.
We left Minnie Water this morning with the goal of reaching Coffs Harbour by the end of the day. We nearly made it – we are currently parked up at Moonee Beach about 15 km north of Coffs. Again we are parked right on the beach so have decided to stay here until Saturday.
We will update the blog again in a couple of days with shots of our Moonee Beach stay.