So, this week we took off on a spontaneous little road trip down South, just the 2 of us. We haven't really had a proper break away without our fur baby, Nola, in the 2 years that we've had her. She's only left our side twice. Once for an interstate wedding, and the other time for family Christmas down in Sydney. Pre-Nola, Brendan and I used to have little (and big) getaways all the time! We'd visit America every year, road trips were a monthly occurrence, and basically, I was always planning the next getaway. And up until last week, I hadn't been able to bring myself to book anything, because I really didn't want to leave Nola! I know some of you are shaking your heads, but she's my child! Lol. We have a very special bond, and because I work from home, we've basically spent the last 2 years by each other's side.
I just didn't like the idea of the doggy hotels. It made me so sad to think of her there, and if I'm honest, I'd actually make myself sick about it. And she can't stay with Mum and Dad, because, well, let's just say she's a handful. She never settles down around other dogs (and they have Coco (Nola's actual Aunty) and Benji the cocker spaniel, who doesn't have time for anyone's nonsense, human or animal! lol). Coco is very tolerant of crazy, hypo Nola, but Benji does not stand for it. So there'd probably be fights and honestly, I'd feel sorry for Coco and Benji having to put up with her!
And then after what felt like months of looking online for the right doggy motel (for our upcoming trip to Bali), I finally stumbled across AAA Pet Resort in Mudgeeraba. I just need to state - this is not a sponsored post, I'm just sharing my genuine LOVE for this amazing place. The reviews on google were exploding with positivity and praise, and best of all, it had upgrade options! Exactly what I had been looking for. So basically this all happened on a Monday afternoon, and I suggested that maybe we bring Nola in for a day or 2 as a trial, before our 2 weeks in Bali. They thought it was a great idea, and the room I wanted happened to be available for the next 2 nights. So we packed the car for a very spontaneous road trip (quickly booked an airbnb) and went to bed ready to drop Nola at 7am the next morning.
I booked her a private room that was tiled, with aircon, couches, rugs and a TV! I also added a few extras like private nature walks, doggy treats, etc. Basically I just wanted to ensure that her time away from us was fun, and filled with activities. The girls at AAA are AMAZING. They made me feel so comfortable, and you could tell they really were animal lovers. I left for our road trip feeling relaxed, happy and confident that our girl was going to be very well taken care of. They also sent me photos of Nola with updates, and I cannot tell you what this meant to me. When they'd come through I'd get all emotional! lol. And then I'd stare at them for the rest of the day and wonder what she was doing at that very moment. Ok, I hear what you're saying - CRAZY DOG LADY ALERT! lol. Anyway, we're so happy we've found AAA and can actually start to get a bit of travel back in our lives, which is super exciting!
Now, to the trip. I'm basically going to let the pictures do the talking here, because I've just written you a novel about my dog. Yep.
We first travelled to Wooli 4 years ago, when we rented a little shack right on the beach at Easter. It was so amazing and we've dreamed of going back ever since. The whole family actually had a christmas planned down there a couple of years ago, however my sister and law went and got herself pregnant and my
nephew Sonny was born on Boxing day. Bitter sweet. Just kidding. I still give Carly a hard time about that. I won't even mention the time a family ski trip to Aspen got cancelled because of her pregnancy. Nope, won't even mention it! ;)
(JK Sonny is the light of my life and I'd trade all the holidays in the world for him)
I don't really need to fill you in on any details for Wooli, because, as you will discover, it is the smallest (and cutest) little town ever! It basically has a corner store, pub, fish and chip shop, chinese restaurant, bowls club and that's all folks! I find that this is part of it's charm. There's one road and it will take you straight to this slice of paradise.
If you look at the picture below, (with Brendan off in the distance to the left) you can see that you can wander/swim over to the island in the middle and then you can swim on the other side, which is even more beautiful. Note to self: don't leave clam floaty at home next time! I would've been amazing here.
We just love Bellingen. If you're a nature lover, particularly a waterfall enthusiast, this is the place for you. It even has a road called Waterfall Way. It's a super cute, old fashioned town with the most beautiful old houses. I love that so many of them have archways in their front yard, swamped in the most beautiful flowers and greenery. We stayed at an Airbnb in the Promised Land (love the name) and it was glorious! I'll put a link below, so you can get in touch with Rosie, the host. Rosie is so welcoming and lovely, and after we got to chatting with her we discovered she's owned the property since the 1980's! Her pup Bruno will brighten your stay, what a beautiful boy. But the highlight is the private waterfall. Rosie goes for a dip every morning, and I can see why. The crisp, fresh water comes straight from the mountains down to this amazing waterfall with a pool at the bottom, perfect for having a refreshing dip. If you look at the picture of the airbnb, to the right you just wander down that path and head off to the right down the hill until you come to the waterfall.
The walk down itself is beautiful. You feel dwarfed in the most amazing way by the surrounding mountains, and Rosie has some amazing produce growing in her garden. Or should I say, gardens! The drive out to The Promised Land is also such a treat for the eyes. Beauty everywhere you look!
We love Sawtell. It's only about a 15 minute drive South from Coffs Harbour. We find that Coffs is a really good base if you're looking for somewhere to stay, as it's surrounded by so many amazing spots. Valla, Bellingen, Sawtell, Urunga, etc.
We can't drive past Sawtell without a dip in the ocean pool, which is here. And on the Northern side of the pool is the magical spot where we swam over to the little island. Now, I think it's very important to note that
this is not suitable for everyone, depending on what the tide is doing, and rips etc. Also please keep in mind that even though you may be able to walk over in waist deep water at low tide, coming back might be a different story! We had a family follow us over there and I ended up rescuing a little boy that was getting sucked out by the very strong tide, and a crazy rip that was heading in all different directions. I definitely wouldn't recommend families going across! Now even though my swimming days are long gone, I was a swimmer for many years, and so was Brendan. And I don't mean dabbling once a week type thing. I mean we were both swimming in squads and competing into our teenage years. So we're always going to naturally be good swimmers, and have grown up on the beach, so we understand rips and what to do in these situations. Brendan even more so that me, as he surfs and is wayyyyy fitter than me! Although I do still surprise him, with how much I can keep up ;)
I questioned whether or not I should even share this spot, as seeing what happened with that little boy had me quite rattled! So I just want to stress the importance of safety, and respecting the ocean. Ok, I can take my responsible hat off now and tell you that over on the little island were the most glorious rock pools, coral, colourful seaweed and marine life! It was amazing. Brendan even found a tooth (we couldn't figure out what animal it belonged to, but he was so intrigued by it! lol).
While you're in Sawtell, please stop at Treeo! We went there for breakfast, and I had the deluxe brekky roll, and it was AMAZING. I've been wanting another one ever since! It's served on a brioche bun and even has a hash brown in it! PLEASE HAVE ONE FOR ME IF YOU'RE IN THE AREA. They also had Nutella French Toast on the menu which is still haunting me, please try it for me!
Anyway, I hope this info helps! If you have any questions, as always, feel free to reach out. And go on, plan that road trip. You'll only ever regret the trips you didn't take, not the ones you did!