The Tullipan family completes their Follow the Sun Relay journey with a final drive, Narooma to Canberra.
After leaving picture postcard Narooma, we stopped one night on our way to Canberra at sleepy peaceful Nelligen.
Nestled on both the Clyde River and Nelligen Creek (both tidal), the BIG4 Nelligen Holiday Park offered us relaxing views, has it’s own boat ramp, not one but two jumping pillows, a skate park, a cricket pitch and oval, large swimming pool, tennis court, kids water park area, an enormous games room complete with a snooker table, ping pong table, infants indoor play area and disabled and infant amenities. In all our travels we have never yet come across a Holiday Park that has had a cricket pitch, oval and a skate park!!!! They offer luxury villas, cabins, caravan and camping sites, powered and unpowered. This park was recommended to us by fellow travellers at the park we stayed at in Huskisson. Perfect example of one of the perks of meeting people on your travels. So if you are reading this Rob and Marg we heeded your advice and it didn’t disappoint.
When we left for Canberra the next morning it was raining pretty much from when we drove out the driveway of the park, the entire way along the Kings Highway and up and over the notoriously steep and windy Clyde Mountain in the Great Dividing Range all the way to Canberra. ‘Winnie’ took the mountain range in her stride. We used the gears and commonsense of driving to the conditions and had no issues whatsoever. We minimised the breaking so as not to overheat the brakes and took it nice and easy up the steep hills.
So what does one do when they arrive in Canberra with kids and it’s raining? Well there are numerous indoor places of interest and our kids chose to go to Questacon – The National Science and Technology Centre. We spent the entire afternoon there. They had so much fun with over 200 hands on exhibits and so many levels to observe, examine and explore. Even us big kids had fun too!
It rained all night and who doesn’t love going to sleep to the relaxing sound of the pitter patter of rain on a roof. It is glorious. When we woke in the morning, it was still raining so off we went to The Royal Australian Mint. This place is interesting for both young and old. Our six year old Son has been learning all about coins in Year 1 at school so he was keen as mustard to get there. He was fascinated to discover how coins were made. I must say it was very engrossing to learn the stories behind every coin in our pockets and purses. There was also a large glass dome that contained 24,999 one dollar coins and a cascading staircase that had its steps filled with 5c coins. The kids even made their own souvenir bushranger coin! It was FREE entry and had ample parking for the Motorhome.
The next morning we woke to an extremely brisk 3 degrees blue sky day. It didn’t reach higher than 11 degrees that day which was a shock to the system for us Queenslanders, especially as 2 days prior the kids were swimming. Off we went to one of Canberra’s most popular attractions – the charming and enchanting Cockington Green Gardens. A place that we had always wanted to visit. You felt like a giant walking amongst the perfectly manicured lawns and flowerbeds. Such a unique place and their attention to detail was outstanding. They also have a short steam train ride that takes you through part of the gardens.
Directly across the road from Cockington Green was the National Dinosaur Museum which we could not pass up a visit to as our Son is a dinosaur lover. His little eyes nearly popped out of his head when he saw full size models and moving robotic dinosaurs. You could touch a meteorite and see amazing displays of fossils.
The next day it was on to the National Zoo and Aquarium. Well let us say, the camera sure did get a workout here! This is Australia’s only combined Zoo AND Aquarium. It really is a spectacular attraction for Canberra and is well laid out for mobility challenged guests. We passed a number of mobility scooters (which are available for hire) on our walks around the well maintained pathways. We spent most of the day at the Zoo. Our favourite animals were the giraffes, meerkats, sea otters, zebras and the lions, they even had white lions as well!
Telstra Tower is Canberra’s iconic communications tower. Rising 195.2 metres above the summit of Black Mountain, no matter where we went in Canberra you could pretty much always spot this landmark. The observation deck offers 360 degree panoramic views of the capital city of Australia and we could spot the War Memorial, Parliament House and Lake Burley Griffin. It’s open until 10pm so you can also get to see the city lit up at night time too.
As this is my last blog for our journey on the Follow the Sun Relay we really do have to dedicate a couple of paragraphs to ‘Winnie’ the Apollo Motorhomes Winnebago. Kerrie was the sole driver for the entire 15 days. She was completely out of her comfort zone on Day One. Driving out of the Taren Point NSW Apollo Depot and within 2 minutes being thrust into 3 lanes of busy Sydney traffic was pretty daunting for her to say the least. She said it was like driving a road train. But by Day three she was fully aware of her clearance height for bridges and allowed for Winnie’s tail swing and was using the gears to go up and down the steep mountain ranges. So we just want to say, if there are any females out there contemplating a motorhome holiday but are hesitant to actually book one because they have concerns about driving such a large vehicle, it genuinely is relatively easy. Commonsense really is a big factor, by the time we returned the motorhome back to the depot, over 2000 kilometres later, Kerrie could reverse park Winnie anywhere!
And how does it go on fuel? Well we were honestly shocked. In 15 days and the distance we travelled, up and down the Great Dividing Range, we stopped only 3 times to fill the diesel tank.
More people are hitting the road in their caravans, camper vans or with their tents than ever before. More than likely for screen free getaways. Families spend so much time in front of screens these days. TVs, laptops, phones, tablets, kindles, heck even most fridges have digital displays on them! There’s just so much to see in this great country of ours, so get out there and see it!
-The Tullipan Family
Check out the rest of the Follow the Sun Relay posts.
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