Travelling Australia - Journal 2015a
|16 March 2015
Casino to Urunga
Today we set off to drive to Urunga for a few days in the caravan. Weather at departure was reasonable although a hot day threatened. We drove along the Summerland Highway to Grafton - as usual a good trip with a good road and very little traffic. In Grafton we made our way to the elderly "bendy" bridge and carefully crossed in fairly heavy traffic. Everybody around us was obviously well aware of the tricks of negotiating the bends on the bridge, especially the need to give on-coming articulated vehicles plenty of space to cross the central dividing line in the road as they negotiated each bend without scraping the sides of the bridge.
Then out to the Pacific Highway with Halfway Creek Roadhouse as the immediate destination for fuel and coffee. On the Summerland Way we had crossed over Richmond Range taking us from the Richmond River catchment into the Clarence River catchment where we remained through Grafton and until past Halfway Creek when we crossed a ridge past the roadhouse then descended onto the coastal plain.
The highway soon turned into the Woolgoolga bypass with two concrete lanes in each direction and numerous fly-overs and exit/access ramps. The weather changed around here with a very strong wind making a speed of no more than 80 kph safe with the caravan. There were a lot of other caravans on the road, all coming to the same conclusion. Traffic was predominantly sedans and caravans with very few heavy transports in sight in either direction.
The Woolgoolga bypass ended eventually in the old Pacific Highway taking us through Coffs Harbour; by then the wind had faded away and the weather was pleasant for travelling. Once we were clear of Coffs Harbour traffic was light and the road a new freeway built as part of the Pacific Highway upgrade. The freeway merged with the old Pacific Highway a few kilometres before the Waterfall Way turn-off but travelling was comfortable. Just past the Waterfall Way turn-off we passed the beginning of the next section of Pacific Highway upgrade in the Urunga to Brunswick Heads bypass. This project is at a very early stage and many months of work will be needed before there is any sign of progress. We continued along the old Pacific Highway through the edge of Urunga then turned off at the Information Centre and followed the road under the highway and through the shopping centre to the caravan park where we had previously booked.
Urunga caravan park (officially Urunga Heads Holiday Park) has been seriously upgraded since our last visit several years ago and is now an attractive park with large sites, good grass cover and plenty of trees. It is very nicely placed across the road from the shopping centre and pub and immediately adjacent to the boardwalk which is the hart of holiday activity in Urunga. after reversing the caravan into the designated site with no difficulty we set up and looked forward to several pleasant days here.