Our road trip was an opportunity to create lots of great memories especially for Judy as this was her first experience on a road trip.

Case in point Judy and I visited my childhood home that has long since been sold and now has fallen into complete disrepair.  No question that it’s sad to see your childhood home a dilapidated mess.

However, that being said it can never take away your memories, so I will always want to remember it the way it was rather than what it now is.

During our road trip I also had the opportunity to catch up with old friends, both from university days as well as friends from my time living in Darwin.

My best mate Craig lives in Ballarat and had dinner with he, his wife Audrey, Alan (his brother and ex-roommate from Uni) as well as his girlfriend Lea.  Lots of memories shared, mostly for Judy’s edification…

These friendships are the ones that even though you may not have seen each other for years as soon as you do it was as if you’d seen them earlier in the day.

I was also fortunate to meet with Heather who was another classmate from Uni who lives in Melbourne, the three of us having a long and laughter filled lunch as Heather regaled Judy with stories from our time together in university.

Some classic memories that I’d even forgotten that Heather remembered so vividly – truly awesome!

As we neared the end of our road trip, I had arranged with my mate Roscoe and his wife Jean to spend New Year’s Eve with them in Port Macquarie.

This beautiful coastal town is at the heart of the Central Coast region of Australia and only an hour from Comboyne.  It was easy to drive down to Roscoe and Jean’s from our idyllic stay at the Bed & Breakfast.

I met Roscoe when I first moved to Darwin back in the early 1980’s as we both were teachers at Nightcliff High School.

Even though we were in different departments it was a close-knit group and soon became close friends along with Bruno and others.

Over the years we played touch football together and I even played a season of Field hockey with him at his club.

Those Darwin years were incredible and even though we hadn’t seen each other for some time it was easy to be right back where we were when we last saw each other.

Roscoe and his wife Jean live across the road from a rainforest, which leads to the ocean.  In fact, on New Year’s Eve Judy and I fell asleep to the sound of the ocean waves rolling up on the nearby beach.

In the morning we were awoken by the sound of Kookaburras’ song in the nearby rainforest.

So blissful!

The thing I find about friends like this is that our relationships are timeless.

Neither of them had changed a bit since our Darwin days and even though they are now grandparents many times over still have that incredible sense of humour and zest for life that they’ve always had.

Lots of shared memories of which Judy got to hear and laugh along to.

At lunchtime we walked along the Port Macquarie beach front to a little beach side bar, the sun was out, and we were caressed by a gentle sea breeze off the Pacific Ocean.

More stories with drinks over lunch (I had the fish tacos), before an afternoon swim in their pool.

They had arranged for us to join them at a nearby friend’s place (walking distance) for New Year’s drinks and snacks.

Although we didn’t make it to midnight, we had a restful sleep until our little feathered friends woke us around 5:00 am.

During our visit we discussed potentially doing a trip to Darwin this coming year.  Now that would be a cool experience for us all.

After a great brekkie we headed north for our final destination before making it home.

Next stop was Emerald Beach.

This was one thing that I really wanted Judy to experience and that was to see wild kangaroos on the beach.

Sure enough, after arriving at our Bed & Breakfast we headed over to Emerald Beach.

My last visit was so memorable that I wanted Judy to experience this awe-inspiring piece of heaven.

Our visit was in the middle of the afternoon so many of the kangaroos were sitting in the shaded scrub, but we were fortunate to see a number of kangaroos grazing.

So cute to see a little Joey with his mum hopping about on the headland while the alpha male of the mob lay nearby under the shade of a large eucalyptus.

I’m sure it was the same large male as I encountered last time and given his size I would not like to tangle with him.

One of the great things about living back in Australia is the volume of natural wildlife that you see on a day-to-day basis without having to go to a reserve or park

This road trip has been awesome, and we’ve been able to create a host of beautiful memories.

Until next week