In late November my twin sister Els; (@elsas_wholesomelife) and I hit the roads for a summer road trip..
Destination Brisbane QLD > Berry, South Coast of NSW
“Oh, Darling, Lets be Adventurers”
We set off in a camper van from Travellers Autobarn for a week long Roadtrip, Just two sisters on the road what more could we ask for.. from Brisbane all the way to Berry (2 hours south of Sydney) over 1000kms and stopping everywhere and anywhere along the road..
The Kuga Campervan from Travellers Auto Barn
Just the two of us.. & the van! These are some of our highlights
We spent the afternoon at the figure 8 pools and were lucky enough to have them to ourselves for some time..YEP all to ourselves, that is rare at such beautiful places. I have heard some negativity around visiting the pools (too many people, smaller than anticipated, long walk blah blah blah) well here is my experience/opinion on those words..
Firstly the hike is so so stunning, you walk down the headland of a national park with stunning views of the coastline and beach (Burning Palms). It takes roughly 45 minutes.. Take the track towards Burning Palms and once you get to the beach (past the beach shacks rented out by NSW national parks) walk along the rocks around the headland, passing a 2 headlands until you see some life-buoys up on the rock cliff, the Figure 8 Pool will be around this area, can become a bit of a where’s wally game, when theres not loads of people surrounding it. It is surrounded by MANY other rock pools, or as I like to refer to them as Mermaid Pools!
Too many people.. well yeah… anywhere beautiful tends to be like that, especially when you pick the busiest time of day and a Sunday..! It’s like any beautiful location if you want it uncrowded you need to go either really early or late afternoon not the middle of the day, and always pick try to not go on a weekend.. Especially if you are a photographer that is the most photogenic time of the day anyway 🙂 We went late afternoon and it was just PERFECT and still had plenty of daylight to get back to the car park!
Too small: NO WAY- It was exactly as I anticipated it to be, seeing many photos of people in the rock pool how could you be dissapointed.. It’s natural and so stunning, I appreciate anything mother nature gifted us!
Now this next tip is important;
HINT: Check your tides before visiting!! Many people make the mistake of not looking at the tides and on a high tide the entire area is under water, Now thats no fun! Unless you have the whole day to wait for them to change..
Back2Earth farm stay at Berry NSW
(Outfit by Shop Spell Designs)
My sister Ellie was invited to stay at the back2earth vegan farm stay for a couple of nights, and lucky me, I got to be here Guest!! Jenny & Marc run the farm along with their two dogs Smudge & Ebony.. They made us feel right at home, cooked and educated us on so much, from the farm animals to raw vegan diet benefits. Although the vegan meals are an extra to the accomodation I 100% would recommend that you DO opt for a detox of raw vegan meals! The food is absolutely DROOL worthy, soo many flavours & smells, I was in food heaven!
My twin els is a plant-based foodie, so it was really incredible to see them bounce of ideas and knowledge to one another! I just loved the education on sustainable living practices. I am a Vegetarian myself & love the vegan diet! You don’t have to be a vegan/vegetarian to visit each of the houses are equipped with a full kitchen and you are welcome to bring your own food. (Although why would you when you can have the BEST vegan food thats homemade from scratch by Marc & Jenny)
The farm is in Berry which is around a 2 hour drive south from Sydney. It is quiet possibly the most gorgeous country town I have visited, and I truely fell in love with the quaintness of the town. Whilst staying on the farm we would be up and going by 7am to go feed the animals and let them roam for the day. Animals at the farm included; ducks, chickens, rabbits, guinea pigs, goats, sheep, miniature horses & alpacas. It was such a unique experience to be able to get up close and personal with all the animals! We repeated this in the afternoon to tuck all the small animals away for the night.
We raced up the mountain from the carpark, with time not being on our side.. I knew I needed to witness a sunset from here! The spot I took these photos from is not quite at the top, but it offers the best views over the deserted beaches and beach towns.
Nelsons Bay is approx 2.5 hours north of Sydney and around an hour north of Newcastle.
We only had time for an afternoon in Port Stephens area, oh I wanted so much more time to explore, but we had long drives ahead, add this to the return to list!
Night Shooting on the road;∗
Peoples responses on night shoots are always mesmerised and curious to the gear setup and camera settings.. so well here it is!
I shot each of these on my Nikon D750 with 24-70mm f/2.8 with the photography necessity- TRIPOD!
These were all shot at 24mm on settings; 30sec f/2.8 ISO1250
I shot each of these in a beach carpark in Port Macquarie, there was a nearby toilet block that was lighting up the van, Oh and I was totally unaware a moonrise was about to happen! That was pretty cool! Meanwhile el was keeping the van nice and warm ♥
HINT: Make sure you have focused your camera properly, which can be hard sometimes in the dark, if I’m with someone I get them to stand a few metres from the camera & shine a torch at themselves until I have the lens in focus and then switch it to manual focus! So each photo afterwards are in focus and that process isn’t necessary (Oops unless you bump it)
Now who can do a trip past Sydney without a stop in to Bondi! A good friend offered us her visitor parking space at her apartment in Bondi- SCORE! So we were able to camp right in the city and even better in my favourite busy spot of BONDI! But shhh we weren’t supposed to be camping in the car..
During our short time in Sydney we got to meet up with the talented creatives Tara from ‘TaraMilkTea’ & Noel from ‘Noel.Alva’ for a sweet breakfast date at Speedos Cafe I always love meeting faces from Instagram and being able to form a friendship more than through a phone screen.
This is what we got up too in our short time in Bondi;
(Clothing by our Favourite;Spell Byron Bay )