We got out of The Gap at 8.30am, which was pretty well done, but was necessary, as when we crossed the border back into New South Wales, we lost an hour of the clocks.
The road south is a lot different from the last time Helen and I drove along it. It is now all by-passes, with so many towns that we used to drive through now just names on a roadsign with an arrow to show which sideroad to take. No Coolangatta or Tweed Heads, no Lismore, no Byron Bay. Of course, for us, who were now just in a hurry to get as far down the coast as we could as quickly as we could, the new road is terrific, but it must certainly impact on these towns, and really change the way a family travels now.
We finally pulled into Coffs Harbour, and met up with our final Big Thing, the Big Banana, to get our customary photo, and also a (very) late lunch.
From here we headed on down to Kempsey, to stay overnight with my cousin Carlos and Deanna and their family. It was the first time we have been to their property (even though they have been there for six years...), and we were very impressed. Carlos took us all over to check out his bees and their hives, and gave us a crash course in honey making.
The kids all went for a swim in the pool, along with various pool toys and even the slide, keeping them all amused. After dinner we watched Australia put England to the sword in the first ODI after the Ashes, which produced an excellent way to finish a great evening in Kempsey.