Spending your weekends in, is always nice and relaxing but it had got to the point where an escape was needed, so after joining several Facebook groups, one appealed to me the most. This is where the escape had been found. A road trip with a bunch of strangers seemed like the perfect adventure, after persuading one of my friends to come along a message was sent to the organiser and a date put down in my diary; Saturday 17th June. The meeting point was outside Aurora Hotel opposite the train station in Sydney Central at 6.45am. Lewis met me at the station and we walked across stopping at a cash point to get some bucks out for the ‘other’ activities. Three girls were waiting at the pickup point; we got chatting and were offered cookies as we watched the time clock by. By 7.15am Adam came cruising to a stop; around 7.25am the van had set off for a fun filled trip to Port Stephens. There were seven of us, all strangers embarking on a trip with nothing but snacks and our common interest for adventures to bring us together. First stop en route was Morisset Park (which is actually a psychiatric ward) where hundreds (definitely over exaggerating here) of kangaroos run wild. For some reason, they are pretty tame so you can stroke them this is pretty cool considering they are wild! Forgetting my camera as per usual, shots were snapped through my phone. As we were approaching the Roo’s there was one lying down as one of the girls went over to it, it decided to stand up and my god it was humongous! Over exaggerating a touch but no joke it was big as all of us pretty much jumped away from it. It was rather amusing to watch one the girls, she kept jumping and running away from them, eventually, she warmed up to them but it did take her a little while. To be honest, when they come hopping over to you it is sorta scary. They are big beasts. As soon as you crouched down to stroke one of them they would all come over, sitting behind you so whenever you got up you’d get a little startled because you almost hit one. Sneaky things, they are so quiet you don’t even hear them coming. Once everyone had got the photos they wanted we headed back to the van taking a little detour of the psychiatric ward before turning around and heading back onto the road. On the way to our second stop, we drove past ranch after ranch; it’s rather relaxing watching the world pass by as you’re out and about exploring. We reached our second stop, Anna’s Bay. A quick toilet break was taken and afterward, we all head to the beach to take a look at the view before heading down to the sand dunes. By god the view was mesmerizing, orcas were spotted not that far in the distance and that just made the view that much better.
Jumping back into the van we took a 10-second drive down to the dunes where we had the choice to choose between two activities, these were either sand boarding or riding a camel. Whilst we waited for the camels to come back Halie went up to ask this guy if she could have an extra blanket placed on the camel for her to get a photo, he literally just grunted at her. Everyone in the van was in stitches; she came back like ‘no one has ever said no to me’. He was like an ogre, would’ve been perfect as Shrek! After some arm twisting, we managed to persuade Adam to let us do both of the activities which was so worth it. Starting off with sand boarding we paid the man $20 (this was the discounted price for us) got in a van that took us to the top of one of the dunes where some helpers showed us how to stand and sit on the board. Starting off on the small slope myself and the others learned how to sand board. For about 3 minutes we stood at the top of this slope debating who was going to go first, eventually, we got Adam to take one for the team as he had been before it made sense for him to show us how to do it. Standing at the top and watching him board down this slope your heart starts to pound with nervous excitement. Sand boarding is great, although when you fall off you get sand everywhere including in your mouth which just isn’t a pleasant taste. Once we had walked back up to the top (it kills your calves) we decided to have a race to see who could hit the bottom first, to our dismay we all fell off half way down. About 20 minutes in had built up the courage to go down the big slope which we were only allowed to do sitting down due to it being damp and a few people had broken their collarbones. Anyway going down this was so much better than the small one. After we’d all gone down, a race was in order; for this Halie decided to crouch down at the bottom to take photos. As we were going down at the last minute she had to jump out of the way as she was in line with me and nearly got bashed into. Made for an interesting photo though. Halie and Leah decided to go off and do a whole photo shoot whilst the others and I walked up to the top to get some photos taken for Adams website (which he’s in the process of doing). Once the entire photo shoots had finished we headed back and waited for out turn on the camels.
During our wait, Halie brought the cookies and decided to try and be nice to the man again by offering them cookies which they declined repeatedly. It was rather entertaining to watch her try to get a smile out of this guy. 20 minutes later or so we had another photo shoot taken with the camels before eventually getting on them and going for a ride. The guy took us along the side of some small sand dunes, onto the beach and walked us into the sea which was lovely. On lookers were photographing and taking videos as we passed by. All in it was worth spending $30 to do a quick 15-minute walk. By the time we had all got back into the van and had left Anna’s Bay, it’s safe to say we had gone off schedule by at least an hour and a half. Our third and final stop was Shoal Bay where we had a bbq before taking a short walk up to Tomaree head summit. By the time we actually got round to eating the sun had started to go down casting a beautiful look upon the water. Dolphins swam past as we ate adding to the amazing day. Once we were all packed up and ready two of the girls ventured off for coffee whilst Rowen, Lewis, Adam, myself and Adam’s friend (who for the life of me cannot remember his name and even if it was remembered it probably wouldn’t be spelled right) started the walk. At this point, we are all pretty tired so the walk was slow and painful! After 5 minutes everyone but Rowen was out of breath, now that’s not really a good sign, bear in mind we had just eaten…. The best thing about doing these walks is that you bump into all sorts of people, everyone you meet up on the hills are so lovely always stopping to have a quick chat.
Reaching the top and looking across at the view you become breathless. The view is so breathtaking you don’t even want to stutter a sound, just stand there in pure silence absorbing it all. The beaches, the lighthouse, and docks everything from up there just looks so much better. For about 10 minutes we sat down, taking in the view and chatting before deciding it was time to head back down. The walk back was so much easier than the walk up ha. The two girls were picked up and the journey home began. The three girls and Lewis slept whilst the three of us chatted away. The whole day had been pretty damn perfect, couldn’t have asked for better people to of gone with.
If anyone is in Australia and fancies going on trips like this check out the Facebook page ‘Aussie Day Trips, Social Events & Travel Mates’, Adam does these kinds of trips nearly every weekend and some during the week. Highly recommended, the people met from this trip were great, and it’s a good way to get out and about and make new friends; plus they’re not that expensive. He provides nearly everything and if not some of the activities are discounted. The price for the whole day excluding the extra activities cost me $89 which is £52.95 to help those who are English.