LEAVING behind the bitter cold of Armidale, we head out to the coast to Ballina. It’s an awesome drive, very easy going, but just make sure you take your campervan via Glen Innes and then head out to the coast. That’s the best road when in a camper or towing a caravan. There’s some stunning scenery along the way, too, and for once we had no hiccups! When arriving at Ballina you can feel the buzz. It is a vibrant little place and the beaches are awesome. We stayed at Big4 Shaws Bay, which is right on the water with a walkway that goes all the way out on the spit to the heads. The sites here are right on the water, which is just magic! Then it was time for a bit of a challenge and Anais, my 8-year-old daughter, thought a surfing competition was the order of the day (here I am, right, trying to psyche myself up for the challenge!). We hired some boards and, yes, the beach was awesome, the water surprisingly warm but unfortunately a 7-foot tall former footballer doesn’t make for a very good surfer. Anais, who has never surfed in her life, kicked my butt! Pretty embarrassing as I had been pumping myself up on the beach to anyone who would care to listen.
PETER “SPIDA” EVERITT