Thursday 4 Feb 2016
At the beginning of 2016, our daughter Ruby completed her cadetship as a journalist with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC). The ABC posted her to its regional office in Coffs Harbour in February, and put her up there for two weeks in a motel while she looked for long-term accommodation. Susie and I took some holiday leave to spend time with her, and help her to re-locate. So began our first adventure for the year.
Coffs Harbour is not much to behold at first sight. Because it is located where Australia’s Great Dividing Range swerves close to the coast, however, it is fringed by beautiful beaches, and the town is only a short drive from about a dozen national parks. For both of these reasons, we planned to go on a few side-trips while Ruby was at work during the week.
The motel was located about a block back from Park Beach. The beach is largely invisible from the town because the locals have had the good sense to preserve a strip of thickly vegetated sand dunes that separate it from the urban sprawl. Ruby’s motel room was like a relic from the 1970s: it had painted wooden trim, gaudy couches that had been updated in the ’90s, and there was a ‘for sale’ sign on the front. You could almost hear the hiss of the wrecking ball approaching.
After a joyful reunion, the three of us walked to the touristy part of town near the jetty and had a meal at the Element Bar on Harbour Drive. This gave us a chance to catch up and make some plans for the forthcoming week. We walked back to the apartment in the late evening, enjoying the balmy weather and basking in each other’s company.