Travelling Australia - Journal 2009
26 March 2009 - Casino to Urunga
In mid-morning, after loading the caravan and locking the house, we drove out of Casino Village with the Eurostar in tow and headed along the Summerland Highway towards Grafton. Weather was good for travelling, a bit of sun, not much wind. Traffic on the Summerland Highway was light, as usual. We are using a fairly new towing vehicle, a Nissan Pathfinder, and are still getting used to it while adapting to the different way we can pack our caravan when towing with the Pathfinder. For this trip the caravan has an additional 20-litre drum of diesel in the boot and this weight (about 18 kilograms) seemed to improve the towing.

Carrying additional fuel in drums is not particularly pleasant but the Pathfinder fuel tank holds only 80 litres of fuel which is inadequate over distances travelled in Australia at the fuel consumption we get towing this heavier caravan.

We seemed to have the weight distribution about right on this occasion as the van towed steadily behind the Pathfinder; at first, there was a little bouncing but most of the time the weight of the van seemed to dampen the movement of both car and caravan via the Haymen-Reese weight distribution hitch. The way the Pathfinder/Eurostar combination handled on this first stretch gave us a lot of confidence for the planned thousands of kilometres ahead of us.

The short hills kept the fuel consumption a little high but that is usual for this road. At Grafton we joined the Pacific Highway which also had light traffic and made our way to the roadhouse at Halfway Creek where we filled up with diesel and had a steak sandwich for lunch.

From Halfway Creek we continued along the Pacific Highway through Coffs Harbour and turned off into the village of Urunga where we stopped at the caravan park on the bank of the river. We set up on an open site on the river bank; the wind was fairly strong so we didn't use the awning.

At 6 o' clock we walked across the road to the hotel for the evening meal. By the time we returned the weather was definitely cooler with a cool breeze. There had been no sign of rain all day.
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