The weather just keeps getting worse. As I write this on Thursday 3 March 2022, there are 500 000 people in NSW under an evacuation notice of some kind. Some are just warnings but others are orders. We awoke this morning to news that a few caravan parks very close to us – about 2km – are under evacuation warnings. We are on a small strip of land between the ocean and the Illawarra Lake but are not under an evacuation warning yet. Many of the areas that are currently flooded were also flooded in 2021.
We managed to secure a booking for an additional night and will need to leave Windang Beach Tourist Park on Friday morning. We have no idea where we will be going if we are forced to leave. We may simply park in the car-park on the beach and wait it out.
On Thursday we where told that Windang Beach Tourist Park was fully booked for the weekend but when we checked with them on Friday they had had a spate of cancellations and we booked in for a further two nights thinking we would leave on Sunday morning.
The weather forecast just kept getting worse. The forecast for Sunday was for heavy rain and they were expecting an east coast low to form off the east coast of Australia. East coast lows have the potential to be serious weather events and we decided to book in for an additional two nights. Sure enough, the heavy rain arrived on Sunday at midday. The rain and wind were relentless and they are only expecting things to settle down on Wednesday.
We contacted Coledale Camping Reserve on Friday morning to see if they were accepting arrivals. They are not. They have cancelled all reservations for at least another week. Bendeela Recreation Area initially advised that they would re-open on Monday 7 March 2022 but that has now been moved to Monday 28 March 2022. All of the roads to Kangaroo Valley have been damaged and it is at this stage unclear when they will start repairs. Things are going from bad to worse.
On Monday morning things had deteriorated even more. The weather forecast was for heavy rain for Monday and Tuesday and there were flood warnings everywhere. We decided to extend our booking at Windang Beach Tourist Park for a further few days. There is no point in leaving the park right now. Watching the devastation caused by the flooding on TV is heartbreaking.
We managed to stay at Windang Beach Tourist Park until Thursday 10 March but had to leave as they were fully booked for the weekend. Finding somewhere to stay over the weekend proved a real challenge. The weather had improved and everyone who had a booking for the weekend was desperate to get out and camp for the weekend. It meant we had to free camp for 3 nights.
We managed to get into Corrimal Beach Tourist Park on Monday 14 March. It was really messy. The ground is water-logged and we had to use the 4 wheel drive in the Ranger to get the caravan into place.
Coledale Camping Reserve were still not accepting arrivals. They did try and put a caravan onto one of the sites but the site got wrecked in the process. We managed to stay in Corrimal Beach Tourist Park until Wednesday 23 March. We called in at Coledale Camping Reserve and they kindly offered us one of the powered sites. Most of the campground in still closed as the sites are water-logged. We managed to get the caravan into the site but it was really messy and we again had to use 4 wheel drive. Rather than wreck the site by moving the caravan around too much, we decided that it would have to sit off-centre. Not a great look, but we will blame the weather!