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Blue Snoopy is a 2012 Nova Vita Caravan pulled by a 2012 Nissan Navara ST Dual Cab Ute.

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Fingal Bay – 25 October 2008

For some time now we had planned a trip to the Port Stephens area to visit an old workmate that “He” worked with in the late 1990’s. It would also be the third trip for the new “Blue Snoopy” and another chance to work on the optimum speed to maximise fuel consumption. It would also be the first time that “She” drove the new motorhome.

We departed home at 8.15am and were soon heading up the F3 towards Newcastle. Signs saying that the F3 would be closed northbound on Sunday from 4.00am to 11.00am sounded warning bells as to what the F3 would be like on Sunday afternoon during the return journey. We had chosen the weekend when the RTA was testing their disaster plan for the rerouting of traffic in the case of a major accident.

The driver change took place at the service station near the Wyee turnoff and “She” drove the motorhome to Nelson Bay.

Neither of us had ever been to the Port Stephens area and what a surprise waited for us. We changed drivers at Nelson Bay and “He” drove the short distance to Fingal Bay.

The overnight stay was at the Fingal Bay Caravan Park. Keen eyesight noted that the height of the entry through the main entrance to the park was 3.2 metres so arrangements were made for the motorhome to enter via one of the exit gates and travel slowly through the caravan park in the wrong direction to the assigned camping site. This was achieved without any problem.

We visited “His” friend during the afternoon before returning to our site (same method as earlier in the day) for happy hour at 5.oopm and “fish n chips” for tea from a local shop. We were given $2.50 worth of chips that would have provided food for a small army.

We had an early night and woke just before 7.00am.

We departed just before 9.00am and spent time looking around Fingal Bay. The area abounds with quiet streets overlooking Fingal Bay and the entrance into Port Stephens. Migrating whales come into the bay and a local informed us that a mother and calf were sighted the previous day. As there is only one road into the area, it is well protected from general traffic.

We had a chat with a local and learned that rental accommodation in the area earns around $1,500 per week during the holiday season. Average prices for reasonable houses with views is around the $1m mark.

We called into a local lookout near Nelson Bay to surprise another couple in a campervan who could not believe we had brought the motorhome up the steep narrow road to the top. The view was extraordinary with Seal Rocks visible to the north and Newcastle visible to the south.

We took advantage of an offer from Flybuys for a $0.40 per litre discount saying just on $30.00 when we filled the motorhome at Belmont.

Except for a burning car northbound on the F3 neat the Hawkesbury River, the trip home was uneventful.

We monitored fuel consumption on the return journey and taking into consideration a couple of long hills where the consumption rockets, the overall result doing around the 90-95 kph mark (as per GPS as the speedo on the Iveco is out by about 4 kph) was 14.01 litres per 100 kilometres. Under the circumstances, we were very pleased with this result.

We need to go back to Port Stephens and have a good look around the area.

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