Travelling Australia - Journal 2015c
|23 July 2015
Sydney (Emu Plains) to Urunga
Leaving the Emu Plains caravan park we joined the M4 motorway heading east towards Sydney. Overnight rain had cleared to a reasonable day; traffic was heavy but moving well. We turned onto the M7 at the Light Horse Interchange and continued onto the M2 Motorway where traffic volume slowed everything to about 40 kilometres an hour; then traffic increased speed until the exit to Pennant Hills Road. The M7 and M2 are both tollways without toll booths relying on inter-active units in regular vehicles for charging or on number plate identification for temporary users such as us.
Pennnant Hills Road is, at present, the only practical connection between the M2-M7 and the motorway to Newcastle so it carries a very heavy traffic load comprising a large number of heavy transports as well as caravans, sedans, 4WDs and commercial vehicles. Accidents are frequent along this congested road but we were fortunate in having a steady, but fairly slow, run. Possibly one bright spot is that the current NSW government has firm plans to build the long-overdue freeway connection between the M2 and the Newcastle Freeway completely bypassing Pennnant Hills Road for through travellers. If it happens this will make a tremendous change when driving around northern Sydney.
Traffic on the Newcastle Freeway was moderately heavy but moving well. There were none of the delays due to accidents which can make using this freeway unpredictable and we were soon heading north from Newcastle on the Pacific Highway. The extensive roadworks needed to renew and duplicate this Highway have been completed to Buledalah and progress was rapid on good, new, concrete roads to there. We turned off the Freeway a kilometres or so to refuel in Buledalah since we knew from previous trips that there were several large service stations there.
Around Port Macquarie we came upon the current road building projects with associated temporary road surfaces, an 80 kilometre per hour maximum speed limit and the possibility of stopping completely at single lane sections. Fortunately the Kempsey bypass had been completed and we zipped past this potential time-waster on a new concrete surface; but then returned to one of the worst parts of the old highway with a badly cracked and rough surface. On previous trips we have seen this part of the road almost under water so it is really no wonder the surface is so poor if the foundations have been submerged in floodwaters.
Roadworks continued on an off until we reached that part of Urunga on the highway. Here we turned off to make our way to the caravan park on the foreshore near the boardwalk. We checked in for two night and set up on a large site.
23 July 2015 - Sydney to Urunga, page 2