Starting the NSW South Coast

Libby and I have converted our 99′ Honda CR-V into a two person camper and are heading from our home town of Newcastle down the South Coast of NSW, taking our time to take in the sights. 

We started our journey visiting Catherine and Ben in Curl Curl in Sydney. Seeing the massive waves crashing over the cliffs of Queenscliff gave us a tiny taste of what was to come! 

After a mini holiday with our fam, we headed on our way to our first stop: Shellharbour. 

We had been recommended to travel across the Seacliff bridge, being mindful not to accidentally bypass it by taking the quickest route. 

We incidentally ended up driving through National Park, south of Sydney, and we have certainly marked it down as a place to stop and visit again. The scenery and foliage on this drive alone were breathtaking – rich, rainforest flora covered the road making beautiful tunnels of light to travel through. 

The National Park had plenty of wonderous lookouts showing the scale of the shoreline, and the beauty of the Australian bush. 

As we were informed, the Seacliff bridge is quite short, albeit amazing. It is around a 2 minute drive winding around the cliff, with an epic ocean crashing onto large rocks below. 

Right after the bridge, there was a little park and lookout with this beautiful ship statue. Its presence made me think of the sailors who would have previously fought these wild seas to cross oceans towards new lives. We live in a spoilt time nowadays. Certainly in Australia – with beautiful coastline and few reasons to worry. 

We had read on the WikiCamps app (our trusty guidebook for this trip) about a beautiful, friendly caravan park – Shellharbour Beachside Tourist Park – and they graciously let us check in around 6:30pm when we arrived. We managed to get a site one row back from the ocean (not that we could see it yet!!) and we made a quick dinner and settled in for our first night. 

So – I know you are all wondering – how was it sleeping in the back of the 4WD?

Well, to briefly explain our setup, we had laid our seats down, and put our queen size foam air mattress on top. We had brought our down quilt, and put up an old bed spread on the side windows for curtains. We also used sun shades on the front and back to prevent nosy visitors and shield us from the light. 

When we initially prepared, we had a cargo net hanging from the internal roof with our swimmers and towels inside. I think I actually had a panic attack when I first climbed in for the night; I suddenly realised I was claustrophobic. I couldn’t think clearly and started flipping out. I forced Lib to remove the net before we ate our dinner, and with the freedom of the open cabin, I was able to breath again. 

After dinner, and with our heads against the back of the front seats, we curled in to sleep. Literally curled; neither of us could spread out our full length. Which proved to be an issue. Lib managed to get an ok sleep, whilst my knee continued to cramp, meaning I was often awake and probably only got around 2 hours in total. After what felt like the whole night, I intended to get out and stretch my legs, only to find out it was 1am!! 

Morning came, with sunshine and a fresh breeze  and Lib and I inverted our positions, our heads now against the tailgate. This allowed us to stretch out a little more, but we will work on a better solution later today. 

Having a toad-in-the-hole, with avo, for breakfast whilst enjoying the fresh ocean air and the view, I couldn’t help think what are the rich people doing right now. Immediately, I realised they were the row in front of us, living it up in large motor homes haha!

Today we head to Bass Point – one of the best snorkelling spots in Australia!

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