Having selected some rather yummy wines in the Hunter Valley, it was a great privilege to then get to share them with very special people on the final part of our journey. Newcastle and the Yeo’s were first on the list. The view from their balcony was amazing and we had a wonderful time together catching rainbows, eating, drinking, watching the sun set and the many tug boats and ships going up and down the estuary. The five minute ferry ride from Stockton was a novel way to get back and forth and I even managed to complete my 24th Aussie Park Run on the Saturday morning.
Wangi Wangi on Lake Macquarie was our next stop before heading on to Chittaway Bay to share another bottle of fine wine with cousin Sharon and hubby Steve.
As you may have noticed our lap missed out the pointy bit on the far right known as the Cape York Peninsula. Jura would never have made it as you require four wheel drive to get to the top. To give us a taste of what we can expect on our next trip Steve took us into Watangan National Park on a four wheel drive off road adventure. The photos do not really show how steep or rugged the terrain was but it was quite an experience and unlike anything we have ever done before. Thankfully the delicious picnic lunch stayed in our stomachs during this white knuckle ride. We felt very safe in Steve’s hands even when he had to do a 360 turn on the edge of a precipice!
On the 11th June, 317 days since setting off, we completed our epic lap of Australia and returned to Narrabeen. We are now back in Dee Why with a full fortnight to enjoy time with the grandchildren, their parents and other friends. We’ve got some stuff to sort out with our Aussie property and future visa options but the rental motorhome has been returned to base and we’re back into AirBnB accommodation enjoying the comfort of a proper bed and electric heating.
For those interested in the final statistics, we covered 24,000 kms in the motorhomes, 3,000 kms on our electric bikes and wore out four pairs of shoes between us. Our total expenditure excluding the cost of Jura was $36,500 which averaged out at $800 per week. Interestingly we spent more on alcohol than fuel but then again we were undertaking research on behalf of the AWAS (Australian Wine Appreciation Society)! The biggest expenditure was caravan parks because we didn’t do as much free camping as originally intended. That said, many of the caravan parks were in the best locations and being off season for the majority of our lap we got some great deals along the way.
We have created so many new memories, seen the most amazing places, met some truly lovely people and it has been the best year of married life (so far). We have been blessed with continuing good health and thankfully not experienced any traumas that have required us to cut short our trip. We thank each and every one of you who have continued to follow our pootling adventure and provided encouragement and comments through various means. The blogging experience was a new one for me but I have enjoyed the challenge of keeping you informed and mildly entertained over this past year whilst simultaneously reminding myself of the awesome journey we have been on. Fair dinkum I have no idea what’s next but there’s no time to be bored in a world as beautiful as this.