Travelling Australia - Journal 2009
27 August 2009 - The Entrance to Urunga
We had some business to complete in The Entrance and didn't get away until nearly eleven o'clock, travelling through Toukley to the Pacific Highway then turning north towards Newcastle.

As soon as we got onto the Pacific Highway we could hear truckies on the UHF radio discussing an accident of some sort on or near the Hawkesbury Bridge behind us; the concensus of their comments was that the mess had been cleared away and the road was now open. Then we began hearing reports of some sort of accident ahead of us with comments that northbound and/or southbound lanes were blocked. We were not familiar enough with the road to understand the place names they used but we could understand there was some sort of accident and delay ahead of us.

So we were not surprised when we came upon a police car blocking the right lane. Traffic continued in one lane but one UHF radio report mentioned a helicopter would be arriving soon to evacuate an injured motorcyclist; the aircraft would land on the road which would be closed in both directions. Unfortunately this was correct; as we were approaching the crash site a police car drove across the line of cars six vehicles ahead of us and stopped everything; if we had been just that further along we would have avoided the delay. Then we waited half an hour while the helicopter landed and shut down; the second vehicle in the waiting queue was a truck whose driver gave a blow by blow description of what he could see.
Helicopter approaching Helicopter approaching to land on the road near an injured motorcyclist.

Waiting Traffic Traffic stopped on the F3 Motorway while injured motorcyclist is treated.

After half an hour the helicopter had taken off and one lane was open. Judging by what we heard on the UHF radio and what we saw as we passed the site a motorcyclist had lost control going down a hill, run into the back of a sedan, left the road and injured himself severely. He died before being evacuated by helicopter.

Throughout the incident the UHF radio had been invaluable in alerting us to the accident in the first place, then in allowing us to keep up to date with what was happening and how much longer we would be delayed. We find that, although there is quite a bit of irrelevant social chat on the radio, and a minority of users are offensive, the radio is also used by truckies to exchange information about road conditions and this is invaluable to us when travelling.

Our late departure from The Entrance, plus a half hour delay at the accident, meant we were a bit behind in our plans for the day. By driving a fairly long day, just over 400 kilometres, we reached Urunga Heads before dusk. The park was unexpectedly nearly full but we were assigned a large site with difficult access because of the permanent caravan opposite. But we got in.
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