Coastal Cruisin’

Hello again old friends, we haven’t seen each other in a while. Big things have been happening with the McCannakings but we will get to later.

Today we want to share with you our adventures to Sydney in January. We decided to repeat our epic california trip with a little road trip from Brisbane to Sydney.


Our first stop was to the famous Yatala (pronounced Yatla) Meat Pie shop. If this was any indication of how the rest of our trip was going to be we were in for a real treat.



Our beautiful bed, car, bathroom and kitchen for our adventure. A MUCH bigger and more grown-up ride than our beloved Daytripper in California.Van_with_pia

We pulled up for our first night just south of Byron Bay in the small town of Lenox. We found a beautiful beach front parking spot complete with an even more beautiful sunrise that Ryan was able to catch.lenox_am_view

The next morning after some beach front eggs and a morning swim we hit the road again to Yamba.Which was a beautiful little town complete with a welcoming beach and an awesome seaside pool.


Waves crashing into the side of the seaside pool.


After our quick tour of Yamba we headed to Port Macquaire to see what the fuss was all about. We enjoyed a stroll along the pier watching locals fish, swim, jump off the pier, kayak and even dragon boat!


We finally stopped for the night in Nambucca Heads for a tasty dinner and a good nights sleep. dinner_nambucca

But don’t worry we didn’t go to sleep until Ryan received a good dose of losing in our favorite game!


Good Morning from Nambucca Heads!


We were up and hit the road early for Port Macquarie where we enjoyed another  beach-front breakfast and swim. We were shocked how cold the water was compared to the water near Trish’s place at the Sunshine Coast.portmac_breakfast

After our time along the coast we decided to head inland to the Hunter Valley to enjoy Australia’s oldest wine region. Unfortunately for us our visit to the Hunter Valley coincided with one of the hottest days on record. We were met by weather in the mid-forties (110 for those who think in Fahrenheit) nonetheless we were still able to enjoy some pretty tasty wine.vineyardviews

Throughout our trip we had been hearing constant warnings of bushfires and we finally encountered one in the Hunter Valley which was (thankfully) under control a few hours later.


On our second day in the Hunter Valley we were able to catch-up with close family friends of Pia’s, Jim and Helen. We had such a great day exploring their favorite spots in the Hunter Valley and catching up on life.


The day was made even better by the stunning views we enjoyed at literally one of the most delicious meals that has ever passed our lips.
(Note: If you find yourself in the Hunter Valley you MUST we repeat MUST go to Bistro Molines)


We couldn’t even let the outrageous heat ruin our lunch, too bad we can’t say that about the candlesticks.


After we bid Jim and Helen good-bye we headed towards Sydney for our last night in our campervan sleeping in the small fishing town of Ettalong Beach.


Stay tuned for Part II of our adventures (we promise we won’t make you wait too long).

Photo Dump: Christmas, Weekend Travels and the rest of life the last few weeks.

Apologies for the lack of posting in the last month. But this post is full of pictures that will show what we have been up to!

 Christmas at our place, we decorated a bit and here is our tree with gifts from family in the USA.

 Ryan woke up before 6 am on Christmas Eve to wait in line for Seafood with Trish. In Australia Christmas lunch/dinner is all about the seafood. We had Salmon and some delicious oysters.

The tree at Trish’s place (where we spent Christmas).

A beach walk on Christmas morning including some Christmas cheer!

Pia, her cousin Mara and a family friend Grace went to church with Pia’s Nana. She has been going this church for 45 years.

 This is a beach that we (Pia and Allie) used to play at when we were kids and it is literally down the hill from Nana’s Church. We obviously loved going here because of the name.

After Christmas lunch it was time for a bit of relaxation on the beach. It was a passport shredder of a day.

We spent a few more days post-Christmas with Trish at her place and then headed back to Brisbane. We enjoyed a picnic at the cliffs on Kangaroo Point. The views are spectacular.

In Australia there are BBQs in every park that are free to use, it is such a great way to get people to be outside and enjoy some greenery.

We also managed to squeeze in a few swims at our favorite local pool.

Ryan looking his finest.

We also took a few walks once the weather had cooled down. This is from Kangaroo Point looking over to New Farm where we live.

I (Pia) also enjoyed another BBQ with my cousin at the top of the cliffs one night.

We also mailed in a application for Ryan to gain residency in Australia, look at all that paper!!

Up next: Our trip to Sydney.

PS We have had a bit of rain due to Cyclone Oswald but all are okay! We are enjoying drying as we speak.

Byron Bay Part II

We are back for part II of our Byron Bay tip (part I here). Before we left for Byron Bay a few people had told us that we absolutely must watch the sunrise from Cape Byron. Not only was Cape Byron the most Eastern point in mainland Australia but it was also the first place to watch the sunrise each day (makes sense eh?).

So we decided to get up at the insane hour of 4:45 for a 45 minute walk out to the Cape making it just in time for a 5:58 am sunrise. Although there were a few clouds on the horizon blocking the sun, it was still a great sunrise.

How Ryan spent most of the sunrise.

The most eastern point is at the top of the hill behind us.

Once the sun had fully risen above the horizon our tummies were growling for some breakfast and we made the 45 minute walk back into town stopping for a few photos along the way.

After breakfast and a nap we visited Byron’s weekly market.

As expected in a hippie town there were plenty of beautiful fruits and veggies for sale.

After some coffee we then headed out to the beaches on the eastern side of the town. The wind had died down from the day before and we enjoyed a few hours on the beach.

You can see the lighthouse peaking out from the top of Cape Byron in the picture below.

Once again our tummies started grumbling (seeing trend?) and we packed up from the beach and the strong sun to a shaded picnic table to enjoy our lunch beachside.


We caught a bus later in the afternoon back to Brisbane. Our time in Byron Bay was short but sweet and we can’t wait to return with guests from out of town (hint hint!).