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The Home Straight...

Still on a high from Airlie Beach our pace seems to be picking up as we head south towards NSW. So many beautiful places that we could have spent more time exploring - Rockhampton and Gin Gin were overnight stops - Carmila was a highlight for both of us between Mackay and Harvey Bay, camping on the waters edge.

It's amazing what kids will do to create their own fun - This scene took Brad well down memory lane...

North of Brisbane we spent most of our time in and around Caloundra, Maleny and the Glasshouse Mountains - all magic areas we will revisit from our soon to be base camp, Mullumbimby.

As timing would have it Brads ex boss and friend Shaun 'Touchie' Feely and family were on Bribie Island visiting their parents. This was their final stop before heading on an overseas sabbatical for several months. We had a lovely time catching up and getting to know the rest of the Touchie clan over two days...
...and seeing son teaching dad the finer points.

We made tracks towards Brisbane to spend time with friends and family. Great to catch up with Jens sister Ali, hubby Mark and their gorgeous little ones...

Towards Cleveland good friends Mick and Sue showed us another way to travel - in their boat around Morton Bay. Stunning weather and a delectable picnic lunch made for an amazing day on the water.

Spring is definitely in the air and such a beautiful time of year around the north NSW coast. Bellingen and Glennifer were memorable places to visit, made even more special by rejoining with traveling friends Tony, Saskia and their lovely boys, who were happy to show us their neck of the woods...
... As was Norm who we met a short distance away in Patanga, an intentional community near Thora. Our knowledgable tour guide took us through Dorrigo NP where he showed us pockets of pristine rainforest, never logged, rare along the east coast.

From here we were excited to make our way to Taree to see Jens mum Lesley and partner Lindsay. Lots to catch up on... Including our washing (thanks mum)!

Heading into Sydney we are looking forward to reuniting with more family and friends who we haven't seen since hitting the road 27,000kms, over 100 major stops and almost 8 months ago. Now that we've decided to head back north to see out the year, it doesn't feel like the end of our travels - just the end of our 'Coasting Around'. Mullumbimby will be home for the next three months, Brad will be working with TARPI, a not-for-profit organisation working with young people and their parents. While Jen will be getting to know the area and become involved within the community. Very exciting that our travels have brought us here.

So as we close this chapter, thanks for your support and for tuning in to our adventures. There is only so much you can capture in a blog so we look forward to sharing more stories and catching up on how you've all been face to face!

Signing off... for now, love Brad and Jen xxoo

Posted by Jenandbrad 18:35 Archived in Australia Tagged nsw qld Comments (0)


Before hitting the Whitsundays we found a beachside camp named Funny Dunny (no toilet humor here). You could still see reminders of Cyclone Yasi at Wunjuna, the nearby fishing village alongside the inlet. 

Airlie Beach has been one of the few places we have booked ahead - to see Xavier Rudd with backstage passes!...
... Well, almost. Magnums Hotel has its stage surrounded, so we found a very unique vantage point. Heres a taste of the sort of music we've come to love on our trip. 

A day trip north of Airlie turned out to be one of our most memorable. We found Hideaway Bay, recommended for its secluded and protected beaches.
On arrival however, it was obvious that a party was brewing onshore...
...luckily we had planned for a picnic so were able to load the kayaks and escape to the nearest island...
... Perfect spot for a proposal!
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Back shoreside the crowd had grown and a yacht club party was in full swing.  It didn't take long to find out their club was named after Shag Island, unbeknownst to us, the place place of our engagement! They took great delight in this and we instantly became part of the crew, now known as Shaggers! 
We thanked all the shaggers for their well wishes and headed back to Airlie for dinner, in time to see the sunset, and make a few calls... A beautiful day.
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Posted by Jenandbrad 01:17 Archived in Australia Tagged qld Comments (4)

Cassowary Coast

Our flat battery generated plenty of interest from Palm Cove onlookers, the satisfaction of helping a toyota (trust us, it's a big thing!) was at least given to a fellow Prado owner. We were on our way to Kurrimine in no time. 

Brads uncle John & Bev were on hand to meet us there - the council caravan park which they call home three months of the year can be best described as a fishing village. After setting up it wasn't long before the usual 4 o'clock happy hour. This was our only commitment during our time here and was a chance to meet with the rest of the fishing gang and talk tales... Not a bad outlook over the shoreline. 
Conditions were perfect the next morning to take out the fishing boat. The Trevally that we'd normally keep for eating was caught and used by John as live bait! We landed what we were going for, a few mackerel, apparently small fry to usual standards - you be the judge... 
... Plenty to feed us and a few hungry locals that had flown in. 
Surrounded by islands and a few breaching whales & turtles we headed back to camp via Stephens Island, a beautiful place you can camp overnight. One for next time. 

We took a day trip to the popular Mission beach to check out the Sunday market and soak up the atmosphere. Plenty happening on and above the water!

Thanks for looking after us John and Bev, lovely to see family on the road and share quality time together. We can see why you've been coming up here for the past ten years, an idyllic fishing spot & great friends to share it with. What more could you want. 

On the road early we headed to the mountains, back towards Tully River in the hope of some whitewater action. All that was missing was a helmet. Well, we found one...
.... Yes it's a pink stackhat circa 1980. More fortunate for Brad's safety was finding three rafting guides on their day off who were happy to take him down the river! 
What a rush hitting grade 3&4 rapids on a technical river - Jen did a great job getting some footage.

I love some of the names of these rapids - Alarm Clock, Theatre, Staircase, Wet n Moisty;

...and more placids sections.
We could see why some of these guys have been down over 1,000 times, thanks fellas!

Leaving Tully National Park we kept our eyes peeled, still on the lookout for Cassowaries. They live mostly on purple coloured berries and we heard a lovely story that the locals would put out buckets of fruit after Cyclone Yasi, ensuring their survival. 

Next major stop is Airlie Beach to coincide with Xavier Rudd's tour! 

Posted by Jenandbrad 15:19 Archived in Australia Tagged qld Comments (2)

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