Jun 17, 2021

WOOLGOOLGAOFFROAD

Gidday all, 

I started Woolgoolga offroad back in the early nineties, after moving north of Coffs Harbour. Not only do I love bloody hard Offroad days, l also love getting out and exploring our wonderful north coast with it's array of rainforest, long stretching beachs and our awesome views. Several times a year we venture afar for camping trips, and depending on our work schedules it determines on how far we go.

The best feature we have, here at Coffs Harbour, is that it is the closest spot on the east coast where the great dividing range meets the pacific ocean. So this means, we lock our hubs in when we turn off the highway, cant get better than that !

Over the last few years i have been lucky enough to have competed in various competitons, with various degrees of success. Travelled extensively in and around the north coast, west to the Olgas, The Flinders, Ayres Rock, Kings Canyon around the simpson desert and to the centre of Austraila.We have traversed through and around several deserts that include- The Simpson, Strezlecki, The Stony just to name a few. And of course I can't forget the people I have met, crossed paths with and the ones that have stayed lifelong friends - because without them it would not be the same. 😊

I always hear people from our generation saying "Ahh, living the dream" when they are doing something out of the ordinary - for example: sipping cocktails in a spa at a fancy resort or perhaps they post "living the dream" as the caption beneath a photo of them moving into their new $500,000+ mansion-esque home they have just mortgaged their life away for. At first I was confused by how simple my ambitions were. All I wanted was to live in a caravan and be able to spend as much time enjoying the outdoors.

So for me, this became my simple dream. I find myself having those "Ahh living the dream" moments when I am sitting in a natural hot spring, kicking back in the bush exploring tracks, looking at the desert sky all drinking a beer, or maybe ten feet away from a crocodile inhabited river. Now all I need to do is to work out which way I shall turn at the roundabout at the end of the street.

πŸ”»πŸ”»πŸ”»
😎😎  FOR MY LATEST FACEBOOK POSTS  πŸ˜ŽπŸ˜Ž  
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Another passion of mine is photography, l have a host of albums on my Facebook page so jump across to my page and browse my photo albums of places where I have been, explored and discovered. We are lucky enough to live here on the Coffs Coast, so there is always plenty of places to get out to take advantage of any weather conditions that may arise. I will also be writing about personal experiences and more.

Or another alternative is to take time and check out this online publication, great for those soft roaders  
http://issuu.com/coffscoast/docs/coffscoasttouringtrailsfinalissuu

Or keep an eye out for my articles in the following
https://coastbeat.com.au
http://coffscoast.focusmag.com.au
https://blog.campermate.com.au/outdorian-magazine/
https://blog.campermate.com.au/getaway-guides/
https://www.whichcar.com.au/4x4australia

And yes I know I post a lot of pics, but dont they say a picture tells a story ??
Anyone keen for a trip ?

Make sure you add me on Facebook and Instagram too !!!
https://www.facebook.com/woolgoolgaoffroad

https://www.instagram.com/woolgoolgaoffroad/

Kev
woopi4x4@bigpond.net.au




Feb 20, 2020

ULLADULLA ...NSW

A good 3 hour drive of Sydney is the wonderful town of Ulladulla nestled right on the coast. Known to the local Yuin people as ullada ullada which meant safe harbour, where today a huge fishing fleet takes advantage of the harbour that’s tucked in-between two headlands. Amazingly captain Cook sailed past on his voyage back in 1770 and named one of the hills Pigeon House mountain but it wasn’t until 1797 that explorer bass explored this southern coastline. During the next 30 years the area was surveyed and a town was settled to the north near present day Milton. The harbour at Ulladulla was used to load goods and timber for Sydney where it boomed in the 1840’s. A town was eventually built along with a timber jetty and a lighthouse at nearby Warden Head due to the exposed rocks around the headland and today it has grown to be the home of the largest fishing fleet in NSW. Each year on Easter Sunday - the blessing of the fleet festival is held where the town shuts down for a host of activities, parades and games.



The town itself is surrounded by several National parks where there are plenty off walking tracks across the headlands and along the beaches, the water is crystal clear which is great for diving offshore and the hills behind Ulladulla are perfect for the grazing animals. The Warden Head lighthouse can be found only minutes from town and is a great base for several walks. Built in 1873 it was originally placed down on the break wall but a few year later it was moved to where it stands today. At only 34 metres high and built from curved iron plates it was changed over to electricity in 1964 and still shines bright today. Just nearby the Coomie Nulunga Trail is a great 2 hour walk that winds its way around the headland giving stunning views along the coast as you meander past coastal Waratah, headland heath and Trigger plants. Keep an eye out for the Black Cockatoo that love to eat the Waratah seeds. To the north of town there is an amazing walk called One Track For All. This headland track has several lookouts overlooking back to town and along the coast, but the most interesting features are the timber sculptures and carvings done by local elder Noel Butler as it tells the story of the locals and their interaction with the land, sea and when white man came to the area. 




Away from Ulladulla to the north, the stunning Mollymook is a holidayers paradise where endless waves seem to roll in on beautiful beaches. Its all about the beach at Mollymook where there are rock pools for the kids, pristine beaches to walk and explore and from the lookouts you can see for miles along the coast. A small town with basic facilities its busy all year round with holidaymakers and retirees who flock here for the sun, pristine environment and away from the bustle of the larger nearby Ulladulla. 


At nearby Milton ( just 6km to the north ) this town was once a quiet pass through village but these days its full of coffee shops and loaded with history. There is a self guided walk around town that leads you to no more than 25 places of interest dating back to 1859. There are old churches, high house keepers residence, cottages and historical old banks to see. These days its hard to get a parking spot as hoards of people depend on this beautiful little village for homegrown meals, amazing coffee and hand made gifts, and a lot of these businesses operate from heritage buildings which add to the charm. Every month there are local markets highlighting what is grown within the area and for something different what about a Ghost walk around town where you’ll be led by lantern and be told old tales as you wander around town.


Ulladulla and the south coast have been a place where families can get away from it all yet only a few hours from Sydney, there are many hidden lakes where you can fish and enjoy a day on the water like Lake Conjola or Burrill Lakes. There are many National Parks where you can bush walk or enjoy the cycle trails to many stunning locations. Morton NP is where you can walk to the top of Pigeon House Mountain and enjoy almost endless vistas all around. If you can drag yourself away from the stunning coastline, head to Milton and follow the tourist drive signs for a great half day loop into the hinterland towards the top of the Clyde River and returning back to Ulladulla. Make sure you pack a picnic and swimmers as there are some beautiful stops along the way. 



While this area may not have the glitz and glory like other sea side towns, its all about the natural beauty that lies within as well as a stack of history thrown in. Do yourself a favour, take a few days off to explore the south coast.



Feb 18, 2020

BATEMANS BAY...nsw

To be honest I was a bit apprehensive about coming down the south coast to explore after the heartbreaking fires went through at xmas, but boy, was I pleasantly surprised. Now while the Eurobodalla Coast did get hit pretty hard, most of it has bounced back and is open for business. 


Being a first timer down here I wasn’t sure what to expect. First impressions are the best and when I rolled into Batemans Bay I fell in love straight away. You see its all about the natural surroundings and enjoying the outdoors. Batemans Bay has one of the largest river systems on the east coast, and it aptly named the Oyster Coast due to the local Clyde River being one of the freshest in Australia. The whole town is centred either around the bay or along this pristine river. Captain Cook sailed past and named the bay back in 1770. From then on it has grown to what it is today. Theres been some interesting history surrounding the bay in past times like when a Japanese submarine destroyed several trawlers back in 1942 and when over 100,000 bats decided to drop into Batemans Bay to call home in 2016. Luckily they have been moved on. 

Today the bay is a stunning tourist town and is part of the south coast snorkelling trail due to the crystal clear water of the Clyde River, numerous bays along the coast and the abundance of fish. National Parks surround the town giving it a real bush backdrop and with plenty of natural walking, mountain bike trails and 4wd tracks to explore its an outdoor paradise. 



Around town you can shop till you drop with plenty of great shops and markets on the weekends. But it’s the surroundings that attract the array of tourist to the town. Because the town has been built right beside the Clyde River ( back in the early 1820’s ), Batemans Bay thrives on the sunshine and fresh produce. There’s a magnitude of beautiful restaurants and eateries  along the coast walkway from town south to the marina all highlighting amazing seafood and and local produce. Several years ago the town hosted Sculpture on the Clyde in which a 10 day celebration let local artists show off their work along the river and each year the festival gets bigger and better. Today as you walk the 5 km loop there’s a stack of quirky statues like, a bronzed octopus, a pelican head holding a crab in the air, weird whale bones sticking out of the ground and many more. 

Now while the main town central is focused around the Clyde River the real beauty of the area isn’t far away. By hugging the coast road you’ll follow the river to the sea entrance and then be blessed by a host of secluded bays and beaches and most of the time the surf is a calm ocean shore break which is perfect for the kids 



Batemans Bay is at the northern end of the Eurobodalla Coast and with the Aboriginal meaning ‘land of many waters’ be prepared to see a different bay, rock pool or beach all the way along the coast. There’s also many rivers in the hinterland that carve their way towards the coast through pristine rainforest pockets. For the water junkies that want more, the Bay is renown for its excellent scuba diving around the islands just off shore in the marine parks around Tollgate Island and the many other rocky outcrops. The fisherman aren’t left out either as there’s a stack of jetty's, rock walls and pontoons that you can fish off plus if your a pelagic hunter this is the place to come as there are regular catches of Tuna and Marlin plus bottom dwelling fish. 



But there’s also life outside of Batemans Bay, so if you’ve had enough salt on your skin and in your hair why not explore the outer reaches of there area on a fantastic 40km loop. Starting at the Bay head south back down the Princess Highway passing through huge stands of gums until you enter the beautiful village of Mogo. This boutique town is the go to place for home made food and gifts, from some of the yummiest pies, cakes and coffee you’ll ever taste. After a stroll up and down the main street and the back alley ways I found that I had burnt off the pie so there was room for ice cream, oh and then there’s the lolly and fudge shops too - options are great in Mogo that has the small town spirit. In fact on most days you’ll struggle to get a parking spot as the town is This place was settled back in 1850 for farming and timber, and soon they had their own cheese factory. Gold was found and the rush was on in 1871, the town boomed where they soon had 15 000 people living here with 17 pubs. The loop continues from Mogo back to Surf Beach where you're treated with crystal clear water in many more secluded bays. Mogo is a laid back village like many others around the Bay where the chilled lifestyle is the way of life just like bbq’s, naturally talented artists and coffee shops along the way. 





FIRES


In recent times this area was hit hard by the fires especially the smaller towns and villages. Even tho the burnt areas of peoples lives and business’s remain for everyone to see, the area is alive and doing well. Some businesses are open and thriving, others may take just a little longer, but they need our support to kick along for years to come. Even just stopping for a coffee and a stroll down the main street they will appreciate it. So stop, smile and get back out there. 

Feb 15, 2020

BODALLA....nsw


Most people who enjoy fine dairy food has heard of Bodalla, makers of ice cream, butter and so much more. But have you ever visited the town ?


Just under a five hour drive south of Sydney is Bodalla on the stunning Eurobodalla coast with the Princess Highway running straight through. Years ago Bodalla was the home to the Big Cheese, but unfortunately it looks more like a big tub of ice cream than cheese. The main attractions to the town are the boutique shops and Bodalla Dairy. Here at the dairy you can spend several hours enjoying a host of dairy product from milk shakes, ice creams and bush tucker, plus down the back the kids can feel the small animals. Inside the building you can watch the workers turn the milk into different products, watch the machines pasteurise the milk and make cheeses. If all this is too much why not make a weekend of it and stay in one of their self contained units out the back. By doing this the next day you can spend a few hours wandering the beautiful shops that line the main street plus enjoy some of the best coffee and pastries that the coast has to offer. 




It was in the 1860’s when Thomas Mort arrived in the area and was blown away by the stunning settings that he knew it was perfect for a town and especially dairy cattle. Over the next few years he spent developing a town and his own dairy industry named Bodalla. As you enter the town from the north the stunning All Saints Anglican Church sits proudly on the hill which Thomas Mort ( a church Anglican ) whom the church was built in memorial for by his family but sadly passed away before it was finished. Self guided tours are available for this amazing architectural building both inside and out, all they ask for is a donation to help the upkeep. The granite stone was sources locally along with the stained glass windows, timber-work and the pipe organ that still is in use today came from England.


Mort’s arrival here was an interesting one as he started setting up his empire, he was a businessman and was soon looking for new ventures. Over the next few years he trialled share farming and attained the Boat Ally estate just north of town. Soon realising potential for the dairy industry he slowly got rid of beef cattle, somehow drained local swamps and replaced them with dairy grasses, built a maze of fence lines and the rest is history. Around Bodalla these days most of the shops make their own food and gifts plus recycle good that need a new home. Today more than 15,000 trees have been planted to attract more birds and insects to this already stunning area. 

There are several meanings to the name Bodalla, from the local Aboriginal meaning ‘near two or many waters’ ( Bodalla is in the Eurobodalla shire which means many waters also ), it also comes from Boat Alley and later blended to the name today.



 Now don’t think for a sec that there is nothing else around, in fact the whole area is loaded with history. Just 20km to the west head out to Nerrigundah and explore the gold mining history where just after Mort arrived, gold was found in the hills. Unfortunately, it was a little overrated as it died out only years later after a shanty town was built and mining gear was bought in. These days those with a little fitness can walk in to the old town and admire the stamper and mines that have been left behind. With gold fortunes, bushrangers marked their territory here too with notably the Clarke bushranger family who once took over over a local hut and held up anyone that dared to pass by. Apparently they held up the local tavern, shot horses, stirred the locals and in the end escaped several shoot outs with police and locals. 




National parks surround the Bodalla area and there are stunning areas to explore from the Deua NP to the north, Eurobodalla NP right on the coast and the marine park that protects the offshore environment. The whole south coast is a beautiful place to explore with stunning waterways, pristine beaches down to quirky little boutique towns, there’s something along the way for everybody. 



Feb 12, 2020

NIMMITABEL...NSW

Ever heard of Nimmitabel ????….. well its about 75 km west of Bega on the Snowy Mountain Highway and this cool little town has a stack of history associated to it. Its actually on the southern end of the great dividing range and plays a significant part to where water flows after rain, the aboriginal meaning is ‘ the place where many waters part’. When it rains here, the water to the south flows into the Snowy River but if it falls on the Northern side of town it will eventually flow into the Murrumbidgee system.



From 1837 to 1858 Nimmitabel had 12 spelling changes to its name due to different pronunciation and spelling. Grazing has long been the main source of industry here in Monaro country and still is one of the premium wool growing areas in Australia.  But timber was also sourced from the area as early as 1850 when they used saw pits to cut the timber to lengths with the old cross cut saws. Today you can wander around town on the heritage trail and explore the old buildings and the local history. The old police station, court house, two cells and three horse stables can be seen just behind the new cop shop, there’s the  Geldmacher house built in 1863, the towns well - dug in 1900 with a windlass and bucket are just outside town as well as the pioneers cemetery where the first Greek migrant who came to Australia was buried here back in 1874.



Just off the Main Street is an old mill tower which was built by John Geldmacher back in 1865 and took him nearly 7 years to build by himself. Originally the intent was to have it wind driven but he was told the noise of the blades would upset the horses in the street and he built it too close to the road. So off came the timber wings and he converted it to de driven by horses. The mill only lasted until 1885 after a short stint as a stream driven timber mill, but since been restored so the public can view it inside and out safely. The tower itself is made from Basalt like many other old structures around town and the roof made from hardwood shingles. 





Around town theres also the huge old Federation Hotel, antique shed, lolly shop 3 coffee shops and a couple of little boutique gift shops. Oh and there’s Lake Williams that you can walk around and understand a little about the eco system here on the plains, have a look out for several churches dating back to the mid 1850’s, one of them ( St Peters Anglican was made from black Basalt and has a gothic look to it ), plus the magnificent guest houses that were pubs back in the day ( 3 in total ) one is the Royal Arms Guest house built in 1850 - and if you can locate the archway that’s where the stage coaches used to be parked between two buildings. And for the film buffs - the movie Sundowners was made here back in 1959. Nimmitabel is well worth the stop over for a couple hours if you're in the area.



Feb 8, 2020

MOGO...south coast NSW

Mogo, a little village 10 mins south of Batemans Bay on the Princess Highway. Its a sleepy town today where tourism is the main source of income. Theres the Mogo Zoo ( the zoo has an extensive breeding program for several exotic animals as well as all your other favourites ) and the old Gold Mining village to explore with the shops ******* 

The town surrounds have many natural talented and vibrant artists within and there are plenty of recycled shops to explore as well. This boutique town is the go to place for home made food and gifts, from some of the yummiest pies, cakes and coffee you’ll ever taste. 



After a stroll up and down the main street and the back alley ways I found that I had burnt off the pie so there was room for ice cream, oh and then there’s the lolly and fudge shops too - options are great in Mogo that has the small town spirit. In fact on most days you’ll struggle to get a parking spot as the town is This place was settled back in 1850 for farming and timber, and soon they had their own cheese factory. Gold was found and the rush was on in 1871, the town boomed where they soon had 15 000 people living here with 17 pubs. The last gold mine actually only closed back in 1984 but today thrives on the passing trade. 



FIRES

******In recent times this area was hit hard by the fires especially the smaller towns and villages. Even tho the burnt areas of peoples lives and business’s remain for everyone to see, the area is alive and doing well. Unfortunately the Zoo and the Gold mining village are closed atm due to fire damage. Some businesses are open and thriving, others may take just a little longer, but they need our support to kick along for years to come. Even just stopping for a coffee and a stroll down the main street they will appreciate it. I personally did not take any pics of the destroyed buildings, houses or businesses as I don’t think it is right. A very humbling experience to walk the main street and see what the horrific fires did here. Some were very unlucky yet others extremely lucky. The loop road from Batemans to Mogo back to Sunshine Beach all tells the same story, very devastating for all.  


So the main thing that the locals are after is to stop, smile but just get back out there for them as most of the south coast is open for business.