Category Archives: The Big Lap

THe Big Lap Takes a Detour

It was timely that we did our Great Barrier Reef snorkelling trip at Port Douglas when we did because, shortly afterwards, THe Big Lap took an unexpected detour southward.

The day we got back to Cairns from Port Douglas, Helen was diagnosed with a detached retina by the excellent staff at Cairns Base Hospital’s Emergency and Ophthalmology departments.  We flew to Brisbane the next day and Helen had surgery that evening.

Fortunately it was detected and repaired when it was “only” partially detached and so far the results are encouraging; unfortunately the recovery is slow and not conducive to travel or significant activity. We will be in and around Brisbane for the next couple of months, expecting to resume THe Big Lap in early September. Meanwhile, with the whale watching season now here, we hope to bring you some blowing and breaching from the lookouts at Byron Bay and Stradbroke Island.


-Tim & Helen.


Hello, I am typing this while on the ferry heading for Stradbroke Island for five days.

We have just spent two fabulous weeks in Brisbane catching up with our wonderful family and friends. My sister took me on a shoppathon which was lots of fun, we just needed a foot massage by the end of it. Tim spent a few days either under the van or on the roof, not just to get out of shopping, but to fix the fridge which has proved unreliable at times. I will leave that to him to write about, quite an adventure in detective work. And yes, he and our brother-in-law Mike got to drill more holes in the van. I got to the dentist and will return on our way back from Stradbroke Island to have a crown put on. A big thank you to my sister and brother-in-law and nephew for having us stay with them and park our van in their carport.

We don’t have any photos to show you as we didnt take any touristy pics.

The ferry is ready to dock so I will sign off for now and post all about our island adventure soon.


Helen and TIm

Crowdy Bay National Park, NSW

We left Toowoon Bay seven days ago and travelled north to Diamond Head Campground in Crowdy Bay National Park, just south of Port Macquarie.

I should add here, that unlike Victoria, there are fees for entering NSW National Parks. Around $7 a day per vehicle, regardless of if you are just picnicking for an hour or camping for a week. We bought an annual pass for $45 and it paid for itself in the first week, it’s worth considering if you are thinking of travelling to NSW.

We saw some BIG THINGS on our way. A big Mosquito at Hexham, A big Oyster at Taree (that looks more like a clam witha big grin and even bigger teeth), A big Axe at Kew (it was replaced recently as termites ate the last one), and A big bowling ball at Lake Cathie.

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Nowra and Surrounds, NSW

Staying at Nowra Show grounds was the perfect base camp to explored the surrounding areas. There are ample shady, powered sites with mains water. Being self contained is important as there is no shower and the toilet is 500 mtrs away, but there is a dump point.


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