On the Road Again

Anna Bay Travel Blog

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Our cabin at Melaleuca Surfside Backpackers
Here we are, on the road again.  Figuring we'd take advantage of the holiday time off, Rod and I rented a car and hit up the east coast.  Our goal is to make to Brisbane in about 10 days or so and then fly back home to Sydney.   

First stop: Newcastle.  Taking the side roads up the east coast was just as we thought it would be.  The ride was serene and full of gorgeous coastal scenery.  The drive to Newcastle set a great tone for the whole road trip.

Newcastle sucked.

At first glance, we thought Newcastle looked boring as hell so we drove another hour north and found a lovely secluded backpacker in Port Stephens by One Mile Beach called Melaleuca Surfside Backpackers.
Stockton Beach surrounded by the long stretch of sand dunes
  The place was perfect.  Basic but comfortable wood cabins and tents made up the different rooms nestled between the tall trees casting welcoming shade over the whole area.  The owners were real nice and Rod and I both experienced our first up-close encounter with a kangaroo.  She was healing from a recent injury and liked to hop around the backpacker grounds feeding on all the grass and basking in the attention of curious travelers such as the two of us.  She didn't even flinch as we stretched our arms out to give her soft coat a pet.

Today we took a nice stroll around Tomaree headland to see the old remnants of the gun encampments left over from the war.  For lunch was an excellent stop at Red Ned's for my very first experience with Australia's fascination and love for meat pies.  Red Ned's was hailed as a top-knotch pie shop and after trying several of the over 50 varieties baked fresh that day, I was mighty impressed - and about ready to bust a button!  Even Rod was impressed with their meat pies despite claiming that New Zealand meat pies were generally superior.
Stockton Beach at sun set
  One day I hope to properly compare.  Our favourite pie?  Although an honourable mention should go to the Bangers 'n Mash pie, the Honey Chili Chicken pie pretty much blew our minds.  I'm not exaggerating when I use the term "explosion of flavours".  I swear.

And on the subject of blowing our minds, we ended our lovely day by watching the sun set over the ocean from one of the many sand dunes at Stockton Beach.  And I mean MANY dunes.  The sand dunes at Stockton Beach stretched all the way back to Newcastle, a 45 minute drive away!  We're talking desert-like sand dunes miles and miles long and right by a beautiful beach.

SIDE NOTE:  Right by the beach there was a vendor selling breakfast sausages with sliced bread.  Rod thought this was great and let me try a bite of his which he had added ketchup and onions to.  Can I just say that this is VERY WRONG.  I was then told that American hot dogs just don't exist in this part of the world.  You can't get them anywhere.  This sausage and bread thing was the thing to eat.  Weird.  I miss proper street meat.

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Our cabin at Melaleuca Surfside Ba…
Our cabin at Melaleuca Surfside B…
Stockton Beach surrounded by the l…
Stockton Beach surrounded by the …
Stockton Beach at sun set
Stockton Beach at sun set
Anna Bay
photo by: petit_gooroo