Thursday, 12 March 2015

TOD Tour, Day 28 - Red Rock to Minnie Water

We moved north from Red Rock to the Illaroo campground in Yuragir NP at Minnie Water. It's probably only 30 kilometres up the coast but 75 in road distance. Like Red Rock, it's a place we haven't been before and it had a good reputation from other travellers.

Before leaving Red Rock, Sue had a chance to enjoy a sunrise and again, it was spectacular.

After breakfast but before packing up the campsite, I had to learn some new tricks involving Dropbox, to make it easier to share high resolution photographs that I sell. In this case, the photos were to accompany an article I have had sold to Time To Roam magazine. We put the trips to and from Tamworth for car repairs to good use, rather than resenting them ... therefore I wrote a piece on the Waterfall Way as the best way for travellers to commute between the Pacific and New England Highways. It's was always my intention to research, write and sell articles during our trip.

We had our first experience with the North Coast Holiday Park collective at Red Rock. From Hawks Nest in the south to Brunswick Heads in the north, these parks are all council owned but are a far cry from the old image of the run down, dated and tourist unfriendly local government owned trailer parks of the past. Badged and marketed together as a joint initiative, the concept is to provide clean, well maintained tourist mobile accommodation but without the bells and whistles associated with what are now called resorts. Prices are set in the low end of the market but services are not and often these parks have prime locations because a they are local government land.

Being owned by local government means that profits stay local. All councils involved are committed to pouring profits back into the facilities and into parks, gardens and beaches of their area. By staying in a North Coast Holiday Park you are helping improve it for the next time. That can't always be said for the big park chains.

The Red Rock holiday park is located right behind the headland which gives the village it's name, fronting both the Corindi River on one side and the Pacific Ocean on another, at the southern end of the Yuraygir NP. The sites are grassy and generous, with power for those who need it but unfortunately, no water. Reliable rainwater is available to fill up those van tanks. There are also cabins available. The newest of the amenities block is state of the art, with fixed temperature, one button showers (some badged as hot, some as warm), a family bathroom and faculties for disabled patrons. Low graduate ramps add to this accommodating attitude. There is generous hanging space for washing and the laundry is among the best I've seen on the road - front loading, efficient washing machine with digital timers show cycle lengths and large, programable driers that do the job in one go, not spend the afternoon bringing you weekly budget to its knees.

The beaches of the river and the ocean are a few minutes walk away and the sunrises at Red Rock are worth rising for. The surf lifesaving club is located within the caravan park.

There's not a lot else in Red Rock, apart from a boardwalk amongst the mangrove trees and a small, well appointed shop.

Our short journey ended at the southern of the two Illaroo campgrounds and as luck would have it, we arrived at just the right time, in the early afternoon, to obtain the best site in the place. On an elevated pad right behind the beach and with privacy on three sides, regulars to the campground have dubbed it "the Penthouse". The camp manager said it is often referred to as "Honeymoon Corner". I hope we can do its reputation justice.

We had a late swim, a later dinner and then read until the eyes could stand it no more and we lulled to sleep by a gentle ocean breeze and the sound of the surf, no more than 100 metres away.

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