How often do we peer at our reflections in the mirror on a Monday morning and mutter to ourselves, “I need a holiday,” before bouncing out the door to the bread-winner? One-third of our human life is spent working, yet the average person takes only around 57% of their allowed annual leave. So when we eventually listen to ourselves and act upon those four little words, “I need a holiday,” the candle is well and truly burnt.

Many assume a flick of the ‘refresh switch’ is obtained by long and luxurious trips to distant lands, far from the hassles of emails, phone calls, and meetings. However, you don’t need to discover Shangri-La to disconnect. A 48-hour ‘Get me the hell outta here’ style venture can administer the required dose of escape and provide you with that well-deserved break.

Australia is brimming with easy and accessible adventures, many of which can be accomplished over a weekend! To celebrate the spirit of the Australian road trip and to encourage you to partake in your own summer adventures, we’ve teamed up with our friends at North Journal, Bear Rentals, Dead Kooks, and Poler to bring you eight epic Australian summer journeys – all easily obtainable! Each journey will provide inspiration and expert tips from locals within each area and the Corona creative community that’ll help make your next roadie a breeze.

For me, the line where 2016 ended and 2017 started was a blur of commitments. So with little planning, I recently organised a 72-hour strike mission to the Great Lakes Way on the mid-north coast of New South Wales, the perfect weekend getaway only hours out of Sydney. I picked up the Bear Rentals truck on the Friday afternoon after work and packed it that evening with surfboards (priority #01), an esky full of beer (priority #02), and some camping gear. The following morning it was go-time. In tow were a handful of close friends who shared the same avidity for a weekend road trip.

The Lakes Way (a combination of waterways that include the Myall, Smiths, and Wallis Lakes) is located along the NSW coast, just 244 kilometres north of Sydney, and is home to over 50 kilometres of pristine and secluded beaches (with plenty of epic surf), coastal forests, and sprawling National Parks. We rose at sparrow and hit the road, ready for the three-hour journey ahead, only stopping for pies and coffee. A quick surf check at Seal Rocks and the call was made to continue through to Yagon to set up camp. However, we just so happened to choose the hottest weekend ever in NSW on record to go camping, and the majority of the National Park was closed due to severe fire danger and ‘catastrophic’ conditions, and upon arrival we were greeted by park rangers who stopped us in our tracks. Thankfully, the Treachery Surf Camp which is situated on 38 acres of privately owned land, was open for business.

We paid our camping fees, chose a nice looking patch of earth to pull up stumps, quickly changed into boardies and tucked our surfboards under our arms. Making our way up over the sand dunes towards the beach, we were happily met by good banks and light winds; little teepees of swell reeled in opposing directions along the stretching, vacant shoreline. The following hours were spent immersed in turquoise water, sharing waves, swapping boards and trying to stay cool from the intense sun that beat down on our already sunburnt land. We eventually took shelter under a beach umbrella and ripped into an esky full of icy cold beers.

That afternoon, the telltale signs of a killer sunset began to form in the sky, and it was decided that we’d trek up to the top of Treachery Headland with a replenished esky to take in the view. The sun danced behind a lingering patch of clouds before finally showing face and providing us with a solid 20 minute, ‘From Where You’d Rather Be’ moment, before eventually sinking below the horizon. Unfortunately, it didn’t take the extreme heat with it, and we spent the rest of the evening inundated with sweat; no amount of cold beers could keep us cool.

After a restless night of sleep, we woke early and made our way back across the sand dunes towards the beach for an epic morning of surf and saltwater, followed by your typical camp feed consisting of eggs, bacon, BBQ sauce and the whitest bread known to man. We caught wind of some good banks from other friends staying in Boomerang Beach, so we packed up camp at Treachery and made our way towards Pacific Palms.

The ‘Palms’ is the ideal retreat away from the big smoke; life feels so much simpler as soon as you take the turnoff, and roll past the caravan park towards Blueys and Boomerang Beach. We teed up with our friends, and the call was made for a quick session out North Boomerang before heading inland to spend the night at Barrington Tops, an incredible world-heritage park that offers some of Australia’s best camping and bushwalking. We surfed until 5 pm, bid farewell to our compadres, and made the journey towards Gloucester ready to exchange the salty sea air for subalpine woodland, waterfalls and rainforest.

We rolled through Stroud and decided to stop in at the Roundabout Pub, Gloucester, for dinner and a schooner before making our way up the mountain into the Barrington Tops National Park. By the time we started our ascent, night had fallen and we found ourselves driving in pitch black save the headlights from the Landrover. We decided this would be the ideal time to discuss Ivan Milat, the Wolf Creek movies and any other urban legend surrounding the grim fate of unfortunate campers who decided to pitch a tent in the middle of nowhere. The lack of reception and the fact we hadn’t come across another living being inside the National Park set the mood for the exchange of conversation, which lasted until we eventually made it to the Gloucester River campground where we spent the night. I slept with one eye open and jumped at anything and everything that rustled in the bushes outside our tent.

We woke early and made our way along Barrington Trail to Carey’s Peak Lookout and Gloucester Falls; the air was fresh, and we were still yet to come across anyone else within the park. With no reception and nobody around, I finally felt detached from the worries of day to day life, we were totally immersed in nature, and it felt amazing. We relaxed by Gloucester Falls for an hour or so and made the loop back towards where we had left the car. On the way down the mountain, we took in all of the empty rolling hills and scenery we had missed the evening before due to the darkness. It was such a vast contrast to what I’m so used to taking in on my daily commute to work. No buildings, no traffic, no billboards, no worries. It was at this point I noticed a lack of tension in my body, and even though we were starting the journey back towards the big smoke and the past few days had been brimming with adventure, I felt rested and rejuvenated. We stopped for pies and coffee on the drive home, and that evening I slept better than I had in a long time. All it took was for me to remove myself from my habitual setting for 48-hours.

Life is Short, Start Living It

As society becomes more infatuated with screens, social media, and technology, less and less of us are recognising the importance of the great outdoors. When we speak of adventure, it often evokes images of some great explorer scaling Mt. Everest or sailing a yacht through uncharted waters. But, in actual fact, the ethos of adventure is a lot more straightforward. Adventure comes in many forms, and many of us forget that it is obtainable in smaller, more frequent doses. Enter Alastair Humphreys, an adventurer and motivational speaker who made popular the concept of the ‘microadventure’. Microadventures are defined as short, thrilling trips that fit in around work and life commitments, they are small, achievable and usually cost very little, or nothing at all. They’re a realistic and accessible escape into nature and out of our comfort zones. So next weekend, don’t succumb to sinking into the couch perusing Netflix, embrace the outdoors even if it’s on a smaller scale.

The Forgettables (Pack a Pillow)

It is pretty obvious, right? Well, my mate Ryan jumped in the car when I picked him up first thing Saturday morning, and we were halfway down the street when he asked, “Do I need a pillow?” I snickered, but only briefly, as I started to run through my head everything that I may have forgotten to pack. Toothpaste? A leg rope? Torch? Dishwashing liquid, paper towel, and a plastic tub for washing up? Thongs? Hammer for tent pegs? Bottle opener? It’s easy to forget the smaller things (a pillow isn’t that small Ryan). Always double check you have everything you may need for the adventure ahead. Cold beer is always a necessity.

You’re in Australia, Eat a Pie

The meat pie was once described by former NSW Premier Bob Carr as Australia’s “national dish,” so you would think when one is experiencing all that Australia has to offer, that would include indulging in a meat pie or three, possibly a maggot-bag (sausage roll) and a choccy milk too. However, some bakeries don’t pie as good as others, so one must be wary. If the bakery has those translucent door flaps that you have to push to the side upon entry, then you’re in the right place. Other telltale signs that you’ve discovered an excellent pie shop are: the abundance of old people seated around the place drinking strawberry milkshakes, the shop assistant referring to you as “love” or “darl,” and the only other thing on the menu besides pies are lamingtons. Warning: If a pie comes in one of those cheap handi-foil tins, abort mission. The base pastry is most likely soggy, and the pie contents aren’t worthy of a meal for a bin-chicken (ibis). The best places to pie on the mid north coast are:

 

– Crescent Head Pie Shop
– Wauchope Bakery
– Bels Bakery, Port Macquarie
– Fredo Pies, Frederickton
– Heatherbrae’s Pies


Depart Your Comfort Zone

Most of my outdoor escapades revolve around the beach and surfing; all I need are some tasty waves, a cool buzz and I’m fine. And, while it’s tempting to continually do the thing that makes me happy, I’ve found it’s often rewarding to mix it up and try something different. When you push yourself outside of what you know and understand, you can open yourself up to a world of discovery. Life’s greatest lessons are usually learnt by taking risks and stepping outside our comfort zone; we’re immediately paying attention to our surroundings as they’re not what we are used to. And, it’s in these circumstances that we discover new experiences and places, make new friends and uncover hidden skills that we never knew we had.

Roof Top Tents, Genius!

As much as camping is about embracing the outdoors and immersing yourself in the elements, there’s always the hassle that surrounds pitching a tent and packing. Ground tents are great, don’t get me wrong, but if you’re jetting into a campground for a night and then bouncing out again the following morning, you’d rather spend your precious time doing something more enjoyable than wrestling tarps and tentpoles. Rooftop tents are extremely convenient, especially those that just pop up or fold out, taking minutes or even seconds to set up. Not only that, they’re super comfortable as the majority of them have built in mattresses (no more laying on sticks or rocks or having to deal with ground moisture). Roof tents also provide added security from curious fauna as you’re 7ft off the ground, and the bedding can remain in the tent on pack down. Check out our friends at Feldon Shelter, who offer an extensive range of epic rooftop tents.


The Road is Never Straight

It’s all good to have a well thought out plan and itinerary for your trip, and when seeking adventure, it pays to be prepared. However, the universe works in mysterious ways and more often than not it’s going to throw you a curve ball, and the best way to deal with that is to stay loose and flexible. If you travel with no expectations as opposed to great expectations, you’ll have a much more enjoyable trip, especially if plans change against your will.

The Sunset Session

It’s pretty self-explanatory. Nothing rounds out an epic day of surf and saltwater like a few beers at sunset with your amigos. The better the vantage point, the tastier the beer.

Photos & Words: Lincoln Jubb // @lincoln_james

Like the sound of an epic weekend away to The Lakes Way? Well good news, our pals at Surfing World are holding the annual Surfing World Surf Camp this weekend at Treachery! Tickets are still available and you can purchase them HERE.

Check out our other Australian Corona Journeys:

Corona Journeys No.40 – Crossing Borders by North Journal

Corona Journeys No.41 – The Sapphire Coast by Mitch Cox

Corona Journeys No.42 – Van Diemen’s Land by Nick Green

Corona Journeys No.43 – South to Shoalhaven by North Journal

Corona Journeys No.44 – The Great Western Highway by North Journal