Bronnagh and I in the airport waiting for our flight to Coff’s Harbor. We flew from Canberra to Sydney and from Sydney on to Coff’s Harbor, which is this lovely city/town wayyyy far up the coast from Canberra. It was so green and mountainous there!
Bronnagh and I standing on the pier soon after arriving in Urunga. It was one of the most beautiful places! Across from us you can see a little beach that we kayaked over to on the last day. There was no-one over there but us and it was absolutely incredible. We did find heaps of tiny dead minnows dotting the beach, which was a bit confuzzling. Any ideas as to what could cause that?
Here is the sunset back over the mountains that first day in Urunga. Bronnagh, her cousins Jesse and Nina, her friend Taylor, and I all went for a walk along the beach. This was our view on the way back.
We camped the whole time we were in Urunga. Pictured here is our campsite. It is probably the most elaborate car-camping setup I have ever experienced. Major props to Danny and Robin, Bronnagh’s parents, as well as Karen, Bronnagh’s aunt, for their masterful design. We had a large awning to protect us from sun during the day, a camper tent for sleeping, as well as little tents for people who didn’t fit in the bit camper tents. There was even a fridge to keep food cold so people didn’t have to keep running to the shops. Not that running to the shops was a huge problem since the supermarket was about 400 meters away. But still.
Bronnagh and I reading. It got a bit cold while we were camping, as you can probably see by the fact that I’m wearing my orange jumper and a beanie while Bronnagh is wearing long pants and her fuzzy blue jumper. We decided it was a bit too cold for swimming so we read books out on the lawn. It was super chill and super fun.
Here I am with Bronnagh’s little cousin Archie. He is absolutely adorable and reminds me of my cousin Wyeth when he was young. Before this picture was taken, we saw a few sea eagles, but Archie was too short to see them, so I lifted him onto my shoulders. Then we proceeded to run around like crazy people after the eagles flew away. Fun fact: It is difficult to turn when you have a four-year-old on your shoulders. Who knew?
One day we, and by we I mean I, Bronnagh’s family, and their family friends the Longs, drove up the mountains to this little town called Dorrigo. There is an amazingly beautiful and diverse rainforest near the town, also called Dorrigo, but with “National Park” tacked onto the end. From left are Jordie, Nina, Danny, Bronnagh, Me, Bronnagh, Josh, and Liam.
A waterfall at Dorrigo.
Strangler figs are a common species in Australia. Here is a truly spectacular one. They send their roots down around the tree, eventually covering the entire trunk, stealing its nutrients and effectively strangling it. I saw this beautiful specimen in Dorrigo.
I’m pretty sure this only shows two rainbows, and only one of them well, but on the way home from Dorrigo we saw a TRIPLE RAINBOW. I freaked out. It was so cool!! I’ve seen double rainbows before, but never a triple!
On the way home from Dorrigo, we stopped in Bellingen, a little town that is still bigger than Urunga. It was super cute, and while we were there I saw this bright red phone booth. I simply HAD to get my picture taken in it!
Moonrise over the beach. There was a full moon while we were at the beach and it was just incredible.
When I get tired, I can get a bit silly. One day we were going to brush our teeth and I almost forgot my toothbrush. However, instead of being normal and exclaiming, “I forgot my toothbrush!” I said, “I forgot my mustache!” No idea why I said mustache instead of toothbrush, but that moment led to one of my favorite pictures over the holidays: Bronnagh and I with our ‘mustache’ mustaches.
The beach right near the campground wasn’t great for boogey-boarding, so one day Bronnagh, her parents, and I all went to Hungry Head, which is the swimming beach near Urunga. Her dad and I went boogey-boarding while she and her mom went for a walk. The air was a bit cold and the current was strong, but the water felt wonderful! At one point I was the only one in the water and I’m pretty sure I scared the lifeguard with my slightly frenetic frolicking.
Sunrise over the ocean. Urunga was truly lovely.
For my final two days with the Norris family, we went back to their home in Dungog. It is this tiny, tiny country town that is nevertheless totally lovely. It is actually quite green and its in the mountains. There were all these waterfalls and they had a big dam there that I thought was super cool. It was rather rainy while we were there, though. Here I am with Bronnagh by a stream.
After I left Bronnagh and her family, I went to Melbourne to visit my friend Jed. We went camping in the Cathedral Ranges, which was super gorgeous, but I am silly and forgot my camera. The trails there are definitely tough, and one day we decided to go on a very hard trail. We thought that very hard meant the usual “very hard”: plenty of steep trails with some big rocks. Actually, “very hard” in the Cathedral Ranges means basically free soloing with some sort-of caving in there too. Once we got halfway up the trail, we literally COULD NOT go down. All around us were memorials for people who had died there in the past. Needless to say, it was bit nerve-wracking. However, we survived (obviously), and I would TOTALLY go back there in a heartbeat. It was so fun!