Southern Highlands, NSW, Australia

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


 In 1958 and we had been in Australia for 9 years. My Mum and Dad took five years to build their house themselves and they were still both working hard to pay off the bank loan , educate me and find enough money for a holidays. This was our second caravan holiday. We were going north again to the beaches and the warm sunny weather. It was May at the end of Autumn.
Mum and Dad looking foeward to a relaxing holiday.
This time we were going to go at a more leisurely pace along the coast road stopping when and where we wanted. First stop was in the lakes district near Newcastle at Belmont. 

The Comboyne Mts forestry road.
Next we went to Taree a little inland and close to the Comboyne Mts. We left the van in the park and went exploring in the mountains. We found ourselves winding through the forest on a narrow, dirt road. Soon we heard the growling of a huge Timber Jinker loaded with forest logs coming down the mountain. We were all nervous of how it was going to pass us. Dad moved to the edge of the road as far as possible, the wheels teetering on the side of a steep drop to the valley floor. With our hearts in our mouths we watched the huge truck squeeze past inch by inch and continue on its way. I don't think the driver was too impressed with us being on the forestry road. I don't know how we ended up on the wrong road but now we had to try and turn around and get out of there. Somehow we did it.

I took over the navigation after that, finding a way from Grafton to Ballina. We had to cross a river by ferry at Woodburn. It was school holiday time and the road was full of caravans heading north.   We stayed at the beach town of Ballina for a few days.
Brunswick Heads. I love this photo because they look so happy and they deserved this after their hard start in this country.
Then we went on further north to Brunswick Heads one of the most northern beaches in NSW. Mum and Dad were in the swing of enjoying their relaxing holiday and loved living in Australia.

I am holding my first camera case.
We turned back towards Sydney and stopped at different beaches on the way home. We stopped at Yamba where I bought a plastic banner.  I collected one from each town and stuck them on the wall of my bedroom. After Yamba we pulled into Woolgoolga. There was a lake and the beach. 
Dad having his daily sit and think by the lake at Woolgoolga.
Here Mum and Dad have caught each other at Woolgoolga.
We loved Woolgoolga and had many happy times. We laughed ourselves silly at our fishing attempts.  It was such a quiet and untouched place that we were to return to stay here for next year's holiday.

Our last stop was at North Haven where a river emptied into the sea. Mum was trying to catch our dinner but her line got snagged on the rocks. Us Pommies never became good Aussie fishermen.


  1. Your mum and dad look so relaxed. You are right... they sure did deserve some happiness.....I remember your tale about the first people you stayed with who locked you out of their house and made you put all your suitcases under the house. What creeps.

  2. This is such a beautiful collection of black and white photos. What special memories you've been sharing with us. I'll have to look back to see what posts I missed. You took wonderful photos way back then but i'm sure as you look through them it seems like yesterday.

  3. How wonderful to have all these pictures to remind you of those times, Diane. This made for such an enjoyable shared memory of what looks like a happy, albeit a hungry, holiday!

    Off to read the linked post now, too and looking forward to the next installment...and discovering the answer as to why that next holiday was an unhappy time for you!

  4. What a lovely holiday, Diane, and your parents sure look happy in all the photos. Your photos then were as good as yours today. Thanks for sharing. Greetings. Jo

  5. Those were happy times with your parents. Sweet memories, you have a talent for writing with a cliffhanger for next time. I am looking forward to the next part.

  6. Ha ha - I bet that logging driver was not impressed! Just as well you were obviously out of ear shot, I bet the air was blue with his cursing in his cabin!!!
    Strange that the road wasn't marked as a logging area????
    Great shots of what was - pretty different these days, isn't it?

  7. Wonderful happy times and your parents look so happy and relaxed. I love the photo of them standing in the water together. Great memories for you.

  8. I really like these pictures and the story of your holiday. It sounds as if it was a very relaxing time. We've found ourselves on a few forest roads in the mountains, but fortunately we have never met a logging truck going in the opposite direction!

  9. You were an excellent photographer even back then, Diane! Your photos and words tell a wonderful story. All immigrants have so many struggles ...but their children usually thrive because of the parent's sacrifices.

    Thank you for your congratulations! We are thrilled about the new addition to our family!

  10. Now you are telling your story from an area I know very well. I enjoy to read all the familiar names of this area.In the summer holiday time I remember seeing all these caravans along the Pacific Highway,when I went shopping to Grafton or Maclean.
    Wonderful childhood memories and photos. I am very happy for you and I am enjoying your stories.

  11. HI Diane, I think it's so neat that you have pictures from your family holidays... Your parents were amazing --how they worked hard to provide such a good life for you. Not only did they work hard --but they also took time for holidays... NEAT!!!

    That dirt road you showed looks alot like some of the dirt roads which George and I go on --searching for waterfalls.. ha


  12. Now, this is why I read blogs! Great for us as the reader, and great for you to record this family history. Everyone wins!!

  13. Lovely story also told in the photos. All the early hard work paid off.
    Good memories and photos to have.

  14. Thank you everyone. It warms my heart to know some of you enjoy reading my story and it isn't boring. I hope to make it a book for my children and grandchild/ren.

  15. wonderful photo memories. those carvavans bring back memories when we would drive from savannah ga to here in florid to visit my mothers family, the roads were all two lane and narrow and crowded with caravans just like these.

  16. Your Mom and Dad look so happy! I don't have many pics of my Mom and Dad together. She was always the one behind the camera.
    I love the caravan shot - everyone taking off to enjoy some time together.
    I again enjoyed this installment of your childhood memories.

  17. What a beautiful collection of memories Diane. Family holidays can cometimes be anything but a jolly time - but you all looked so relaxed and happy.

    I remember that photo of you on the fence with your first camera - you look so pleased with it over your shoulder - look at you now - nothings changed except the camera technology!



  18. You are sweet Cindy but there are 50 years of wrinkles to add to that photo.

  19. Thanks Diane,

    I added this to comments in my post. You raised an important issue.

    I am not sure which charity it is, it exempted any admin charges so all donation would go to the earthquake victims. I do not know if this was Red Cross.

    You are right, many people say that a lot of donation goes to admin which I believe is quite sad. People donate to the cause, not to be swallow up by admin.

    When I was raise funds for the Deaf in Kenya, I encountered lots of people asking me this.

  20. Your post brings back a lot of memories. We used to go on caravan holidays when I was a kid several years in a row down to the seaside, except we went to a caravan park where the caravans were already there. We would stay for about a week and enjoy tootling around to various places. I used to love feeding the seagulls out of the little window in the roof of the caravan and hearing the horrendous squawking as they descended on the bread in my hand. I think that's when I developed a great liking for seagulls.

  21. I especially like the row of vans at the ferry.

  22. These caravans ! You know the Dutchs (and only the Dutchs) use them still now and they still look the same. The others drive now with mobile homes.
    What nice memories for you !

  23. Diane, another great story. I loved the photos of you and your Mom and Dad. It does look like your family had happy times in the Caravan. The mountain road scene does look scary. I love the shot of your Mom and Dad near the rock pools. I have not even tried to catch fish but i do like eating them. LOL!

  24. oh i love these photos. what a wonderful way to look back and enjoy those happy times. it's great to get back to the workforce for a short time and even better to go back to being free. you'd really notice the difference. i wish i was retired. not long now. :)

  25. Been gone a while and now catching up on my favs. Reading two of your story posts at once reminds me of being little and getting two chapters of the read-aloud book at because we missed bedtime story one night!

    I've never been in your country, but I SWEAR we've been on that logging road ;>) (not with my parents who did not camp, but us with our kids -- in Washington/Idaho/Oregon, take your pick.)

    Love that you're scanning your old pictures and wishing I had the energy to do that.

  26. A lovely recounting of your caravanning holiday.
    I, too, thought that photo of your Mum and Dad walking by the water was particularly beaut.
    Again, thanks for sharing such happy memories Diane :)

  27. Those old photos were so special. Caravan holidays in the old days seem so much simpler.

  28. I love hearing about your holiday.

    The truck thing would have absolutely terrified me!