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Show Us your Craic! -'Australia'! John and Deirdra

Port Stephens- East Coast Pit Stop

AUSTRALIA | Wednesday, 3 September 2008 | Views [809]

Scouring round the guide books for somewhere to stay after leaving Newcastle late in the evening, Deidra pulled Melaleuca Backpackers out of the Lonely Planet, a camping ground and hostel in one and described fairly positively in the guide books. Not expecting anything out of the ordinary, we were blown away by the little haven we discovered when rumbling up to the little wood enclosure- and were so taken with its charm we ended up staying much longer than planned! You only have to read their little “comments” book lying in their lounge area to see that many other travellers have found this little place a perfect pit-stop aswell, many saying “now this was the Austrailia I was looking for” and “I came to escape the city for a few days and that’s exactly what I got…a pure escape”

Now it’s not particularly easy to find, you have to head (if coming from South) just past Anna Bay and follow signs for One Mile Beach, but when you do, be sure you’ll be rewarded.

Walking up a wood chip path from the parking area we saw a grassy knoll surrounded by stilt raised wooden cabins, decked walkways and tropical plants.

Following the instructions on a hand written welcome sign we approached the blue house, which doubled as the office.

Before we could even reach the door we were greeted with a warm and hearty “G’day” by Pete, one of the joint owners of Melaleuca, as he walked down his front porch to meet us.

Within seconds we were being taken on a spontaneous Koala hunt as Pete quickly familiarised us with the prominence of natural wonders in the immediate area.

After a tour of the facilities Pete spied our van and lucky for us he’d seen it before! Not as other Ambassador’s passed through, but at a Backpacker Expo, where it seems all the local tour operators and interested parties had gathered a year or so back with a surprising sense of community between them, as they concerted to do everything they could to make the area attractive to the likes of Deeds and me (i.e. budget stricken travellers). And that they did as we spent a few days finding out.....

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