Hey ya’ll, and welcome back to my page! Today is part 2 of my Sydney to Perth Roadtrip series, so if you haven’t already, be sure you check out part 1 here first! Let’s get started!
So we drove from Hunter Valley, one of Australia’s wine regions, to Jervis Bay, which is about a 4-hour drive. This was one of my first times driving on the left side of the road in over a year, so needless to say I was a little nervous. Alas, I didn’t kill us or wreck my travelmates car, so yay!
We stayed overnight at a zoo just outside of Jervis Bay, after spending the day just casually exploring the town, trying to go for a hike only to find out the main area people go was closed for the weekend. We had lunch at a little restaurant in the center while music played. The town was buzzing with a race taking place, happy tourists salty and sandy stopping for ice cream, enjoying the summer air. It was nice.
We ended the day with a much needed shower and glass of “the good” white wine we bought from Hunter Valley by the river whilst watching the sunset. A very great way to end the evening.
The next day we set off for Budawang national park. Not as popular for backpackers as it would seem but definitely worth a trip. The park is huge and absolutely gorgeous. We left after another day in Jervis Bay and arrived at around 10pm at night. The last hour of the drive was on a bumpy dirt road through the forest which was a bit ominous if I’ll be honest, but with classic Disney songs bumping on Spotify, it was a great ole adventure!
We arrived, unfolded our tent, drank some wine, and passed out. At last.
We stayed 2 nights and unfortunately the weather did not hold out for us. It rained the majority of the time so we couldn’t exactly go hiking too much or explore but it was good just to relax. Or at least try to.
#rooftoptentroublespart2 After we spent a full day getting the rooftop tent to correctly sit on the car, we had another issue… Because of the bumpy road, it caused the rooftop tent to slip every so slightly. Which begged the question, why so? Being that my travelmate was a German engineer he took a look and decided that it just wasn’t secured properly.
“Maybe we should wait and fix it after we get out of the park, just in case, I don’t know, the bumpiness causes it to slip again?” I said.
“No, I just need to tighten it.” He replied.
Since it was raining anyway, he spent the majority of the next day tightening the screws and cleaning the car. (He liked fixing up the car and as much as I tried to help he just wanted me to chill. Lucky me.)
I spent the day making friends with the friendliest dog ever, trying to stay dry, and going on walks in between the rain. Not a bad way to spend the day if you ask me.
The next evening two young gentlemen came walking up in the rain and began pitching their tents near us. We had a fire going, had our tent and awning up, basically a little glamping situation, and these two youngsters (probably 18-20) had been hiking for hours and looked so tired. We offered to share our fire, our cover during the rain, and a bit of wine. They were both very nice young men, both from near the area. They had been hiking from one area of the park to this one where one of their Dad’s would pick them up the next day.
This is one of my favorite parts of traveling; meeting new people. They told us their dreams, told us about the area, where to get the best pies and what and what not to do with the local wildlife. Truly, sweet young Australia gents and it was so nice meeting them for an evening.
The next morning they offered coffee as a thank you. We then, as a tip from the nice gentlemen we met, packed up our campsite and headed towards a hiking trail known as Pigeon House Mountain.
It was still a bit dready and drizzly but we decided to go for it anyway. It’s about a 2 1/2 hr trek return, so it wasn’t too bad. It was lush forest all the way up but as we got higher and higher the weather was colder and colder. I went from wearing just a tank top at the bottom to wearing a rain jacket and freezing towards the top. Perfect for climbing up slippery wet ladders. Which, by the way… did I ever mention I’m terrified of heights?
When I was in Peru we had to climb a ladder for a zipline and I very nearly couldn’t do it. I got up halfway and was shaking so horribly. I wanted nothing to do with the heights, my body refused.
Now, the ladders at Pigeon house weren’t nearly as high but with my fingers being slightly frozen and the rain making the rails completely slippery, it didn’t help. Not to mention the fact that I had told my travel mate earlier he could go ahead without me, no big deal. Oy…
I mustered up the strength sang to myself the entire way up the ladders “Every little thing, is gonna be alright”
Thankfully there were only two ladders so it wasn’t too bad but once at the top rejoiced in the fact that I wouldn’t need to climb anymore.
Unfortunately it was still cloudy and rainy but we waited for about half an hour. The clouds came and went, giving us brief views of the valleys around us which looked more like England than Australia. But this is just one of the reasons I love exploring areas I don’t know much about. You never know what you’ll find.
We ate some apples, drank some water, made friends with the little birds singing around us. Grateful for this moment, this view, this opportunity.
I was still freezing so we decided to head back down after a while. I confessed my fear of heights to my travel mate who stayed with me this time as we climbed down the ladders. Thankfully, it was fine.
Now remember how the rooftop tent shifted and my travelmate spent the rainy fixing it? Well, the fun wasn’t over yet with fixing it…
You see, whilst driving from our campsite to Pigeon House Mountain, guess what happened? Yup, the tent shifted once again. My predicition of waiting because it might slip again came true.
So after we got down from the mountain my travel mate schemed on how to secure it. He tighted the screws, tried to get it just right, tried putting tree limbs underneath to secure it, got opinions from an older Swiss guy who saw the struggle. All the while I tried to help wherever I could, made coffee for the both of us and made a gourmet dinner of spaghetti.
It was another few hours of debating, trial and error, but eventually he got it at least somewhat decent so we wouldn’t have to worry about sleeping in it at least.
But this begged the question, how do we actually fix it? The answer came to my travelmate…
The roof racks on top were not correct for the rooftop tent. Awesome.
So that means… we were going to look forward to getting new crossbars to replace the old ones then put the rooftop tent on top of those. Basically, we’d have to take apart everything we put on then put it back on. Another full days work.
As much of a pain as that would be, at least it would solve the issue.
We then ate our spaghetti and drove to a showground campsite near Canberra. A bit warmer than the mountain-ish areas we had been in thankfully.
Within the next few days we spent in our time at Bunnings (surprise surprise) and SuperCheap Auto. We got new crossbars for the rooftop tent, spent an entire day taking the tent off, fitting the new crossbars, and putting the tent back on. Struggled with getting the right screws, made an extra trip to Bunnings, ate Domino’s pizza, drank some well deserved wine, and enjoyed the warm evening.
The next day we actually spent time in Canberra. The capital of Australia. We went to the Parliament house where they confiscated our beer whilst inside but gave us the “goods” as we left. We raced go-karts which my travelmate is stupidly good at. We sat by the river and drank beer and went to the lookout. Of course, we also went to the Ikea, because we can’t seem to be able to visit a city without visiting the local Ikea.
Then we were off… Until Part 3 ya’ll!