To say we were excited by the prospect of hiring a campervan has to be one of the most underrated statements in the history of Tamlyns on tour!
We were lucky to secure a relocation deal (if you haven’t heard about these before, get researching – they’re brilliant! Campervan companies need to move vans from location to location from time to time, and instead of paying a driver you can relocate for them!). So it was that we paid $1/day for the first couple of days, then a reduced rate to extend our trip to 6 days. Win:win!
Campervan at the ready, we were off!
With our first night stop in Paynesville (although we arrived late so can’t tell you too much about it, except that there are super smart boats and houses right on the water!), we hoped to hop over to Raymond Island to spot more koalas, but decided to hit the road early after being (delightedly) woken by the bright green lorikeets singing to us from the trees!
With so many gorgeously sounding places to visit along the route, but only 5 more nights to explore them, we had to pick our sleep and lunch stopovers carefully.
Driving via Eden, known to be one of Australia’s best whale-watching locations (when in season, which it wasn’t!), we enjoyed the peace of the sleepy town en route to Merimbula. It lies on a long golden beach and a lovely inlet. Our campsite was on the cliff edge, and we were so happy to find our pitch looked out to the ocean!
Tash discovered Bar Beach (a hidden cove with a cute cafe) when out running, whilst Lola and Albie made new friends in the water park.
This Big4 campsite was one of the best we stayed in: relatively small, beautifully landscaped, clean amenities and fab facilities for kids. As ever, one night wasn’t enough, but the rest of the coast beckoned! En route, we found Bermagui Blue Pool – wow!
And beautiful views…
Next stop, Narooma with the hope we’d spot seals on Montague Island. However, discovering the cost of a boat trip was prohibitive to our budget, we decided we were happy to simply explore the walkways that lead north and south of the town.
Whilst down at the harbour, we spotted the largest sting rays we have ever seen – wildlife result number 1!
Heading north, we noticed movement on the rocks at the other side of the inlet: seals – wildlife result number 2!! Hurriedly, we paced it back into town and out on the path hugging the southern cliffs. On the rocks below, lay 5 basking seals – wow, what a sight and so close!! Thank goodness we hadn’t shelled out hundreds of dollars for a boat tour! We observed the seals twitching in their slumber, noticed how their flippers looked like large rubber washing up gloves and couldn’t help but smile at their cute little noses smelling the salty waves as they crashed against them. Four very happy Tamlyns!
Love this photo of Lola and Albie IN Australia!
Albie made friends with a guy called Mark, who spends a lot of time in Narooma fishing. He also recommended snorkelling in the bay and lent us a set of snorkelling gear. Despite being a little worried by the rays around, Jake decided to brave the waters with Lola keeping watch. Undeterred to start with, his bravery turned to fear as Lola screamed from the sidelines that a giant ray was approaching him. Scrambling back to the shore, he gashed his leg – ouch! Our first (and, hopefully last, first aid at sea incident!). But, he swam with rays, pretty cool huh?
That same day, Albie waded out to sea with Mark to learn how to fish. Such a sweet moment to observe.
Narooma is stunning, especially with the sun shining on the waters: the turquoise colours of the sea are spectacular – you could watch them for hours! We were so happy we’d decided to stop here, and for 2 nights. Any less and we wouldn’t have had the time to experience so much.
Our final stop was Jervis Bay. Hyams Beach has to one of the whitest sands we’ve seen and the first squeaky beach we’ve encountered!
We stayed in Huskisson and our favourite moment has to be when we were swimming in the sea pool and dolphins frocklicked in the sea beside us!
Back at the campsite, Albie came face to face with his first possum! He was putting some rubbish in one of the large bins at dusk, when – in his words – “gnome-like fingers” appeared at the edge of the bin followed by “googly eyes” staring at him! Then, it climbed up into the rafters overhead.
This coast line is blanketed by stunning stretches of beach and gorgeous vistas out to sea. An outdoor paradise!
Next stop, Sydney!