I'm going to do a couple of posts about our trip away which will hopefully keep them reasonably short and not a mile long.
The first is about actually getting to the town of Yamba where we were spending some time over the school holidays. It's about a 4 hour drive south but took us much longer as we were intending to stop in at a few towns and sights along the way.
The first stop was the town of Tweed Heads which was at about the 2 hour mark just over the Queensland border in northern New South Wales.
My Dad is from Tweed Heads and growing up we used to spend a lot of time on school holidays visiting my Grandma and Uncle who still both lived there. My Grandma passed away when I was 17 and my Uncle stayed living in the town he had grown up in until my brother and I started our own families. He then moved up to where we live to be closer to his only family.
The kids have heard me talking about different things I used to do when we went to visit Grandma so we did a bit of a pilgrimage past the old house. Unfortunately it's not there anymore and is now a block full of brand spanking new units.
We drove around the area a bit taking in some of the sights and one thing I HAD to do was drive up to Point Danger. We used to do this with my Uncle as he would by a newspaper at the bottom of the hill then we would drive to the top and sit and watch the ocean and the surfers.
We couldn't get a car park anywhere to sit and look at the surf as it was not only school holidays but the last day of a long weekend. Bedlam!
I don't remember the above building up on the point growing up. We would have called it the Jetson's house if it was there back then since we loved that cartoon.
The other place I wanted to call into on the way down was Byron Bay. I haven't been there in about 18 years and it's a nice enough town but back then it was too touristy and busy for me. It's even more so now and is also a very popular holiday destination with celebrities.
That in itself would make me want to avoid it but it also happens to be the Eastern most point of mainland Australia and I wanted to take the kids to the lighthouse and down the hill to the point for a photo.
I did mention that it was the last day of a long weekend. It was a nightmare getting through town and there were hundreds of people walking up and down the road to the lighthouse.
I snapped the photo below of the lighthouse as we were turning around, told the kids that the eastern most point was just down the other side of that and we'll come back another day maybe. I then got out trusty google maps on my phone to see if I could find some back streets to get us out of town without having to go through the gridlocked main street again.
Not long later we left Byron Bay in our dust and headed down the coast road to some much quieter beach towns.
The kids were pretty happy for most of the trip. Miss R had her book and read a lot of the time and Master M slept.
Well I thought he slept but when I looked at the photos on my phone (which I had tried to snap half turning around and over my shoulder), I realised that he wasn't exactly asleep. Cheeky.....
A little further down the coast we stopped at Lennox Heads for a short break. We got a car park at the beach easily and the place was relatively deserted compared to Bryon.
It gave the kids a chance to stretch their legs as they were starting to get sick of sitting in the car by then. We still had further to go so we let them get the fidgets out before heading off.
The coast road south of Bryon Bay ends at the lovely town of Ballina. It has a little lighthouse and we were a bit early for the Jacaranda trees to be in bloom along the main street. Evidently when they flower it's a carpet of purple petals in the town.
We had one more stop to make before we reached Yamba and by this time the kids were really whinging and wanting to get to our accommodation. Luckily they don't drive with Shane to work each week as he drives twice as far as we went for our holidays.
Our last stop was another pilgrimage to the town of Evans Head and more specifically to see the bridge in town.
My Dad spent two years here before he met my Mum. He lived in a canvas tent and was one of the people that built the bridge.
All the cement pylons you see in the photo below were poured by hand. Dad said there was a large hand mixer on site where the cement was mixed then it was brought out to where it needed to go by wheelbarrows.
Dad's main job though was to dive underwater and do whatever needed doing there. I'm sorry about the quality of the below photo but we weren't game to take it out of the frame so I could scan it.
It's a photo of them suiting my Dad up for one of his dives. He had one of those big old space type helmets on where they pump in air from the surface too but we don't have a picture of him fully suited up.
They certainly make bridges a bit differently these days!
Much to the kids relief we ended up in Yamba not too long later (after they phoned Nan and Pop to say they had been over Poppy's bridge).
More on that soon.