THE sky is calm and steely today and the rolling clouds threaten us with rain. We are in Emerald Beach, praying for clear skies 20 minutes north of Coffs Harbour. The locals don’t seem to be at all perturbed by the impending downpour as they cook their family’s lunch on the electric barbeques. The children’s playground usually glowing in primary colour even manages to take on an ashen hue.
Surfers glide in with the break and look like seals clambering onto rock as they fight the surf to stand upright. Usually a perfect surf beach, today the water reflects the swirl of dirty water in a washing machine.
We are staying in the caravan park directly adjacent to the beach and are amazed to find a sub-tropical haven hidden away. We feel a bit as though we have cheated somehow, staying in a place as nice as this. The park warns of wandering wildlife and at dusk we meet two such nomads.
Two kangaroos approach our tent, and as we are visiting in the low season, we have much of the grassed area to ourselves. The kangaroos munch grass right in front of our site and we cook sausages to eat in fresh bread while we watch them.
Completely unfazed, the female shares a secret with us. Carefully surveying the area around her, she lets a small joey slip out of her pouch to hop and wobble about. A big possum enters the fray, making an unbelievable amount of noise as it clambers up and down the trees. These are the moments we dreamed of when we set out on this trip: quite time together with full bellies before a good night’s sleep.