We hit the road recently and headed north on a sunny winters day. The car was packed with bags and boards. It was my first real road trip up the East Coast of Australia in almost 20 years.
I don’t mind a long drive. You get to experience many of the great things that you don’t see flying around our country. Stunning scenery, little towns, country radio, big kangaroos, massive trucks and crappy roadhouse food. What’s not to like.
First stop was a night in Sydney at beautiful Bondi Beach. I love Bondi. The beach, the culture, the buildings, and the great cafes. We found a stunning little Brazilian café at Bronte next door to Bondi… Brazilian nachos for lunch… amazing.
Next stop Newcastle and once again a friend took us to a fantastic restaurant. I remember when Newcastle was all steel foundaries and workers. The place now rocks with great beaches and an amazing café culture.
We drove on and hit the mid-north coast during the evening. It was dark but we could hear that familiar sound of waves crashing in the distance.
The next day we woke to waves and wild weather. Swell was up… but where to surf? Surf websites and maps were consulted.
Not having been here before it was all getting a bit hard until we found a surf shop.
’Seal Rocks’ the man behind the counter said and we headed south, all excited… in a state of anticipation.
We were not disappointed. While a decent 2-3 metre swell smacked into the coast solid 3-4 foot waves were rolling into Seal Rocks. We were stoked… waves!
The next week comprised sleep, food, surf, read, eat. We travelled up and down the coast checking out beaches and small towns finding some amazing cafes on the way. (Surfing is a great excuse to do nothing but eat). It was great, we had a lot of fun.
Our last night at Seal Rocks we spent on the local bowls club watching State of Origin football surrounded by hundreds of boozy league supporters. My daughter had a great time catching waves. I was completely freaked out as a large sting-ray swam past and then proceeded to ‘catch’ a wave as it rolled into the shore.
The great Aussie surf road trip. It’s not as exotic as Bali or Hawaii or any other overseas destination but you do get to see a bit of your own country and meet some fascinating people.
I can’t wait for the next one… Perth to Broome’s, now that’s a road trip!
Written by John Foss