Day 011, Wedensday, 8 April, 2009

Distance travelled – 43.4 km
Avg speed – 16.1 kph
Max speed – 48.7 kph

Forster, The Lakes Way, Taree

When we left Bulahdelah one of the people staying at the caravan park, who was working on the Pacific Highway duplication south of Bulahdelah, warned us about a similar but longer 34km duplication north and south of Kew. Kew is north of Taree and as far as we could ascertain from our maps there was no way around these road works.

With Easter approaching we neither wanted to find ourselves riding through these road works or to be on the road during the Easter long weekend. We, therefore, decided to ride into Taree, catch the Greyhound bus to Macksville and then thanks to the hospitality of Claire (Denise’s aunt) and Paul, stay in Nambucca Heads over the Easter weekend, resuming our trip north on the Tuesday.

Although not our preferred option to use a bus we decided it was the most prudent given the extent of the road works.

The bus was scheduled to leave Taree at 7.10pm so given the short ride from Forster into Taree we had a late start and went in search of a café for a late morning tea. The café at Forster Beach is called ‘Beach Bums Café’ so with our late start and no real hurry to be anywhere we felt right at home. As you can see in the photo the café’s sign adds “shoes optional”.

As always our bikes seemed to attract a great deal of interest particularly when people were unaware we were watching. On this occasion a gentleman spent some time peering over both bike setups being particularly careful not to touch anything but he did get very close to raise our attention as we sipped our coffees.

The bridge between Forster and Tuncurry is reasonably long but the pedestrian/ bike path was the widest we had experienced on the trip making it possible to stop and easily take photos from the centre of the bridge.

We rode about 6 km out of Tuncurry before stopping for lunch at the Darawank Memorial Park beside the Wallambah River. Compared to yesterday the traffic along The Lakes Way was considerably busier and so we were pleased to find a nice place to stop for lunch.

Once we joined the Pacific Highway the run into Taree was mostly downhill along a nice wide shoulder. Just outside Taree we stopped at the Twilight Caravan Park and purchased a shower so we were nice and fresh for our bus trip later in the evening.

After finding the bus stop we went looking for a supermarket to buy some dinner and then went and parked ourselves at the war memorial park whilst we waited for the bus. 

Thirty minutes before the bus was due we turned on our lights and headed off for the bus stop to unpack and dismantle the trailers. Five minutes before departure time we had everything ready to go and we sat down to wait the bus’s arrival. It turned out to be nearly 60 minutes late.

We arrived in Macksville at about 10.30pm. As we drove through the road works at Kew we both paid attention to the road ahead and both agreed that we had made the right decision to take the bus over this section.

Zoom into the map to see our new location.


Forster Beach

Passerby examining the bikes

"shoes optional"

Denise relaxing at Beach Bums Cafe

Pausing on Forster - Tuncurry bridge

Darawank War Memorial Park

Darawank War Memorial Park

Darawank War Memorial Park

Looking for handlebar tape at Taree

Manning River - Taree

Waiting for the bus at Taree


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