Sundowners Tagalong Mildura to Broken hill 12-18 Jun

Tuesday 12th June    -    Day 13
We had to do a bit of food shopping before heading off for Broken Hill.  By 10;15am all the vans were ready so we departed the CP , me in the lead, trusting our Navman to take us to the Buronga Bridge and the turnoff for Wentworth.  Well, we only had gone about 2kms and I took us up a closed street which was under repair, so we all had to turn around and find the detour to get us back on track.  Finally we were on the Silver City Highway and settled down to a short drive to just outside Wentworth for morning tea.  By 11:30 we were again on the road and we arrived at the Popiltah  Lakes rest area around 1:30pm where we set up camp for the night.  

Campfire

It was very busy at the rest area and we thought we may be fighting for a bit of space, but most of the vans there left a short time later having only stopped for lunch.  Someone had left a fire going so after setting up the vans for the night we all sat around the campfire for the afternoon.  We had a bbq dinner around the campfire and then stayed there till bedtime.  
Popiltah Lakes
Wednesday  13th June    -    Day 14
We all slept very well apart for the occasional semi going past.  We were ready to depart by 9:45am . It was a 137km run to Broken Hill with no rest stops in between.  The road was undulating  and bare with only a few scrub  patches.  Mainly cattle and sheep country.  There were lots of feral goats and emus about.   As we approached Broken Hill there was a sign on the road stating that we were entering Central Standard Time(same as Adelaide) .  We had to put our clocks back 30 minutes.  Because of the extra time now we pulled over for a coffee break about 15kms from the 'Hill'.  Afterwards it was an easy run into the Lakeview Caravan Park where we booked in for 4 nights.  We drove into town for some lunch after setting up and then found where the shopping centres are.   Then it was back to the van park for a rest and quiet afternoon.  Tonight we are watching the 2nd State of Origin game.  Go Maroons!

Emus

Thursday 14th June     -    Day 15
Well not much luck with the Origin game last night.  Maroons lost by 4.  :-(
Today we were planning to go looking at the touristy things in town but when I went to start the car, nothing!  The battery was flat so on the phone to call the RAA/NRMA.   About 20 minutes later the RAA van turns up and the mechanic checks the battery and the alternator and reckoned the alternator was shot because of a leak from the power steering connection right above it.  I had a similar problem with the battery whilst we were in Cobdogla in November and at the time the guy said the steering pipe had a small leak and could damage the alternator.  Karma?  Well, I was going to get it fixed as soon as we got home but now it looks like we are getting the car repaired here in Broken Hill.   The car was put on the tray and taken away to the repair shop.  Luckily, all the parts were obtainable here in town so it should be repaired today.  Meanwhile we headed off in Sue's Prado to the Lode line Memorial on a mullock hill that overlooks the city.   We spent an hour there looking at the memorial to all the miners that lost their life in the mines here over the years.  Then it was into town for some lunch.  After lunch we drove to the Pro Hart Gallery  and spent some time there looking at all the paintings that were there.  A very impressive collection.  Pro Hart died in 2006.

Pro Hart painting
Back to the van park and await the call from the repairer which came around 4pm.    The car was all fixed and should get us back to Adelaide!!  
Lode line Memorial
Friday 15th June    -    Day 16
We went for a drive out to Silverton today stopping off at the Day Dream Mine for a tour of the above ground and underground mine shafts. Mining was the reason that Silverton sprang up in the first place, and its still possible to experience what life was like for men working in its heyday. The Day Dream Mine is located northwest of Silverton and about 20 kilometers outside of Broken Hill.  Established in 1882, the mine attracted a sizable settlement which, while short-lived, boasted 500-odd residents at its peak, as well as the district's first smelters.  While the settlement gave ground to Silverton and then Broken Hill, mining continued up until 1983.   A miner's life consisted of twelve hour days, six days a week. Miners worked by Candle light which were held in holders known as spiders. Miners bought their own candles, picks and shovels. Mining method was mostly by hammer and tapping holes, then firing them. Miners did not leave the workings for firings. Pickey boys (Boys of 14-15 years old) would hand pick the ore after a firing, and bag it. Waste rock was carried back into the opening for back-fill. A miners living conditions were poor with the average life span only 40 years. Most miners suffered failing eyesight and respiratory diseases.
After and hour and a bit underground crawling along the mine shafts being shown where the ore came from and the uncomfortable working conditions that the miner  had to endure I takes my hat off to them.  It was bloody hard work.

Underground mine
We drove to Silverton after our mine adventure to have lunch.  Even people who have never been there will recognise it, as Silverton has starred in countless films, television shows and commercials in all mediums.  Nestled in the Far West outback of New South Wales, Silverton was built by miners in search of fortune.  Once a bustling home to 3,000 people, residents began to leave in the 1880s when the nearby mines of Broken Hill surfaced. Many took their houses with them.  These days less than 50 people call Silverton home and only a handful of buildings dot the landscape.   Most of the original buildings have now vanished or lie in ruins, but there are some interesting buildings that remain, including the Silverton Hotel and the Silverton Gaol. Silverton has been the scene for more than 140 films and commercials thanks to the light, the character-filled colonial buildings and its scenic desert surrounds.  The hotel is regularly featured in these productions, and its inside walls are covered with memorabilia.  A replica car, the Pursuit Special from Mad Max and Mad Max 2, is usually parked outside the hotel. Other well known productions filmed in and around Silverton include The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, The Flying Doctors, and Dirty Deeds.

Saturday  16th June    -    Day 17
Someone in the park suggested that we should go and take a look at a 50s style milk bar in Patton street.  So at morning tea time we all got in our vehicles and drove the 6kms to Bell's Milk Bar. First impression, it wasn't what we expected.  We had a coffee and then left disappointed.    
"Bells Milk Bar is an in tact 1950’s milk bar in South Broken Hill (thanks to Les and Mavis Bell’s 1956 renovation).  It is famous for its quirky décor and the ‘out of this world’ old fashioned milkshakes and soda spiders served here.  During Broken Hill’s mining hey days of the 1950s and 1960s Bells was regularly packed out and people were known to line up halfway down the street on a Sunday afternoon for a cool drink.  Despite the huge demand for the Bells drinks over the years, they have only recently been bottled for retail sale."    Attendance has somehow slipped over the years and appears to be now more of a tourist attraction..  
Next we went to the Railway Museum , which included the Migrant Museum as well.  The Railway Museum building was erected in 1905, from sandstone quarried from the Block 114 Mine Lease, replacing the original timber and iron station built in 1888.
The Silverton Tramway Company operated a private narrow gauge railway system between Broken Hill and Cockburn (on the South Australian border) from 1888 to 1970.   In 1970, following the introduction by the Commonwealth Government of the standard gauge system, the Silverton Tramway Company's Railway services were discontinued. The museum also houses the hospital museum, the migration museum and has an extensive mineral collection.  The Broken Hill Migrant Museum was set up by the Broken Hill Migrant Heritage Committee Inc.   Broken Hill is more than a landscape and old buildings - it is the people that make it special and the Broken Hill exhibition gives the local people a voice and tells their stories.

Jack Absalom is a legend with his many DVDs and TV shows back in the 80s about various places around Australia and survival in the bush.  I'll never forget the episode where he used a couple of lantern batteries to start a Sigma and drive it for 100kms to get out of trouble.  Also, there was a segment once about using a couple of AA batteries to help start a diesel engine.  These gems stick in my mind.  He also is a great painter of the bush.  I love his paintings and every time we have been to Broken Hill we go visit his Art Gallery.  On this trip Jack happened to be home and we met him and had our photos taken with him.  A great Australian!
Jack Absaloms Gallery

Jack Absalom with Gary, Geraldine and Sue.

Sunday  17th June    -    Day 18
Today was pack-up and  head home day for Allan, Helen, Gary, Sue, Geraldine and myself.  We three couples were ready to move by 9am, a record, and after saying our farewells to Dennis and Therese (who were staying an extra day) we drove of in single column through Broken Hill to the  Barrier Highway and settled down to  a long  uneventful drive to Peterborough.  We had morning tea at a road side stop about 10kms north of Olary.  Lunch was at Yunta where we bought a pie and coffee at the BP station.  Then it was on to Oodla Wirra where the Quarantine station is situated.  No fruit and veges south of here as there is a bin provided  for disposal of the offending items. The Quarantine Station wasn't open (probably because it was Sunday)  but the signs said big penalties for bringing prohibited fruit and veges.  On the Peterborough road just past the turn-off there was a semi  refrigerator trailer parked on the roadside, completely burnt out with a load of potatoes  still onboard.

Bob the Dog

 As we entered the township, Sue was pulled over by the Police for a random breath test.  We continued on to the Caravan Park and booked in for the night.  We also booked for the Sound and Light Show at the Steamtown  Rail Heritage Centre  for 6:30pm.   We decided to have tea out tonight so that we could make it to the show on time.  We found a cafe that was putting on a pork roast  for $10 so we booked a seat there for dinner.   "After dark, visitors can watch South Australia's first and only Sound & Light Show, from a historic Transcontinental carriage, now transformed into a viewing car and placed on the 85 foot long turntable. This magic light and sound spectacle tells the story of Steamtown and the creation of Peterborough, about Railways in South Australia and the history and personal stories associated with it. You relive the famous visit of General MacArthur in 1942 when he delivered the famous phrase: "I shall return",from the platform in Terowie. You learn about the first terrorist attack on Australian soil and the tragic accident of Walloway. Through this awesome sound and light spectacle you will actually experience parts of the last two centuries and become part of it."

Sound&Light show

Tomorrow we finish off the current trip and head for home.

cheers,

Alby&Geraldine

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Great trip report Alby.
Friday, 24 August 2012 16:07
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Sundowners meet Gipsland Gypsies for Mildura Muster 8-11 Jun.

Thursday 7th June    -    Day 8
Cold again this morning. We were ready to depart by 10am.  Some of the group went straight to the Palms CP to set up for the weekend.  A few of us did a small detour back down the Calder Highway to look at and take photos of 'Big Lizzy' a large tractor and trailer unit built in 1915 to replace the camel trains used to cart wool and heavy loads through the sandy plains of the region around Broken Hill.  However, because of its size  and weight there were difficulties crossing rivers and bridges to get to Broken Hill so eventually the tractor found its way to the Red Cliff region and went to work clearing land  for settlements there.
We all eventually managed to arrive at the Palms CP  and set up camp for the long weekend.  
In the afternoon we did some shopping at the large Centro Shopping Centre  before having a Happy Hour  at Derek's van.  

Friday 8th June    -    Day 9
Again a cold morning to wake up to.  Geraldine slept in till 9am.  The ladies wanted to go to town for a shopping spree at Spotlight, so whilst they were there we went to BCF and Ray's Outdoors.  Afterwards we headed to Centro for lunch and then went looking for a Canine Hairstylist so that Holly's facial hair could be trimmed.  We then went for a quick visit to one of Sue's friends in Mildura light industrial area.  Mid afternoon saw us back at the CP for a cuppa and rest before the GGs 'Happy Hour' at 4pm. A few more GGs  and Sundowners arrived for the muster whilst we were at the shops so that when we came back the empty sites were all filling.  Dinner tonight was a communal soup night where each couple brings a soup.  We had soup coming out of our ears.   As the cold descended we gradually broke up  and went our seperate ways back inside our vans.  We had a power failure during the night as all the heaters, blankets and kettles came on.  The GGs and the Sundowners are getting on like a house on fire.  This muster will be a good one.   Everyone is so friendly and there is fantastic fellowship.
Soup night
Saturday 9th June     -    Day 10
Today we went on a tag along to Wentworth for the day.   There were 5 vehicles in all and the first stop was the Rose Garden in the Australian Inland Botanic Gardens just outside Mildura on the NSW side of the river..  We had a quick walk around of the gardens and  after waiting for a GG couple to catchup with us, we drove to the Wentworth  ski reserve  where we walked the 900 mts along the itmus between the Murray and Darling Rivers to the place where the two rivers converge..  The pathway led us through heavy scrub and reeds over some boggy ground until we could walk no further.  A small platform  has been built at the point so that a clear view can be had of the two rivers.  You can also see Lock 10  from this point.   After our walk back to the carpark we drove to the picnic park adjacent to Lock 10 and had a bbq lunch.   After lunch we drove back into town and stopped in at Rodney Hobbs Model Paddlesteamer display in a small shop in the main street.  Riverboat Rod, as he is known locally, has made models of all the paddle steamers that have operated on the two rivers over the years.  The old fella  explained that the models are made from balsa wood, cardboard and paddle sticks, the design from old photos and measurements obtained from records.  There were no design drawings to work from in those days, but he makes them as  close as possible to the original design.  One thing of note is the fact that some of the paddlesteamers have had different super structures over the years depending on their particular use at the time.   An example is the PS Marion which started life as an open barge for carrying  wool and grain.  Then it had several changes made to its upper decks  to what we have today.


Afterwards we drove out to the Perry Sandhills and had a look around and took some photos.  The Perry Sandhills are on the edge of the flood plain that includes Thegoa Lagoon. They are ancient and include Aboriginal cultural heritage areas.  According to geologists, the Perry Sandhills originated after an ice age (40,000 years ago) and are formed by wind erosion over thousands of years. The dunes are located six kilometres outside of Wentworth and are a unique land formation of 400 acres of continuously shifting sand dunes.   Skeleton remains of giant mega-fauna (kangaroos, lions, emus and wombats) have been found there. Replicas of these animals are now on show at the Pioneer Museum in Wentworth. Aboriginal tribes used this area to camp and hunt. Evidence of this is still being uncovered as the sands drift.
We then made our way back to Mildura and the caravan park.  A short 'happy hour' was followed by a dinner at the Mildura Workers Club tonight.
Perry Sandhills
Sunday 10th June    -    Day 11.
The GGs put on an egg & bacon breakfast this morning for all the members.  The rest of the morning was free time.  Mo and Des left this morning to head back to Adelaide.  After lunch we made our way to the Mildura Wharf precinct where we boarded the PS Melbourne for an afternoon cruise down the river. The P.S. Melbourne is licensed to carry 300 passengers, and is 98 feet long, 21 feet wide at the waterline and 40 feet across the top of the paddles. Like all other Paddlesteamers, she has almost a flat bottom and therefore a very shallow draught. The bow only draws 2 feet, 6 inches whilst the stern 3 feet. So the Melbourne could safely float and operate fully laden in less than 4 feet of water. The Melbourne has a composite hull, which means she has a redgum hull with iron topsides.  The old steam engine was originally built by the Marshall Engineering Company in England. The boiler is referred to as a Loco type with a maximum steam pressure of 150lbs and still fired by wood. This in turn drives a twin cylinder compound engine, which at normal cruising speed turns at about 60 turns per minute. At her maximum speed of 11 miles per hour, 130 rpm.  Passengers can see the fireman fire the boiler and enjoy the magic of the old engine as it drives the massive gears of the paddlewheels, resounding the times of the "Old Paddlesteamer Days".
PS Melbourne
A unique feature of most cruises is travelling downstream through Lock 11, which was built to bypass the weir across the river. Passengers can experience the workings of a lock as the Melbourne is lowered to the downstream level and raised again on the return journey. We finished the day with a 'Happy Hour' and a steak bbq for dinner.  

Monday 11th June    -    Day 12
This morning the GGs put on a pancake breakfast for a gold coin donation.  This was well attended by ACC members. Afterwards several couples departed today as the end of the long weekend was looming.  Those who remained had a casual free day to catch up with washing, shopping and refueling before departure tomorrow to places north and west.  Four vans will be heading north to Broken hill and another four GG vans are heading west to Burra and Lake Eyre.   Geraldine, Sue, Gary and I headed to Hudak's Bakery in the CBD for morning tea and some food shopping.   After refueling the car we drove to Woodsies Gem shop at Nichol's Point to look at the different gems available.  Woodsies Gem shop showcases some of Australia’s most valuable jewellery, with over 6,000 pieces of gemstones.  Then it was back to the CP for lunch and a rest  before packing up ready for departure in the morning.Happy Hour tonight was at Derek's van again.  We met some new people who had arrived today.  One couple were ACC members who had seen the flag flying and had come over to introduce themselves.  We had dinner with Sue and Gary in their van again. Tonight Geraldine and I did the cooking.  We had pork steaks with apple sauce .  Yummie!!!!
Pancake Morning
The Sundowners members wish to thank the Gipsland Gypsies for inviting us for the weekend to their Mildura Muster and for making us feel so very welcome.

cheers,

Alby & Geraldine

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Sundowners Muster Lameroo and Tagalong tour To Mildura 1-7 Jun.

For those Sundowner members who were unable to come to the muster or who are sunning themselves up North  or cruising overseas over winter here is a summary of daily events. :-)

 Thursday 31st May    -    Day 1
We're heading off to Lameroo today to join other ACC members  for a weekend muster and then a tag along to Mildura and Broken Hill.  Lameroo is a small rural township on the Mallee Highway  proclaimed in 1884, but, which didn't  really take-off until the railway passed through in 1906.  We had arranged to meet up with friends in Tailem Bend for an early lunch at the Bakery before embarking on the rest of the journey to Lameroo.   We arrived in Lameroo around 2pm and after some time sorting out which site was where and having paid our fees at the Lameroo Hotel  we  set up camp and congregated with other ACC members who had arrived earlier.  Present  were Therese, Dennis, Mo , Des, Allan, Helen, Gary , Sue, Geraldine and myself .  We were joined by Derek, Gwen, Neil, Kay, Phillipa & Alan, from the Gipsland Gypsies  for the tag along to Mildura.  Derek and Gwen  attended one of our musters last year at Port Broughton whilst on their way to WA.  After introductions and greetings  we were introduced to a new  Finnish game called Klop ,which  turned out to be a lot of fun.   The usual Happy Hour was followed by a delicious dinner cooked by Sue and Geraldine.  After dinner it got quite cold outside so most stayed indoors, whereas the more hardy of us sat around a nice little choofer fire and spun ditties and discussed  the mulsing of sheep and other farmyard antics. After a long tiring day of travel we called it a night and headed off back to the van for some Internet therapy and then bed.
Camp fire
Friday 1st June     -    Day 2
It was not as cold this morning as we determined it would be the night before, due mainly to some drizzle arriving early in the morning around sunrise. The clouds kept the frost away.  Apart from a few trucks passing during the night it was otherwise peaceful.   We had our breakfast and sat around till mid morning when we all went for a walk into town to the local museum.  Entry was a gold coin donation.  The displays were interesting as always.  Most of these small town museums are operated by volunteers who rely on the passing tourist traffic for support.  After about an hour of perusing the displays and bric a brac we walked to the town cafe for morning tea.   We were joined by the final couple for the Muster, Ray and Joan who arrived just before lunch.  After lunch we headed off to  Gumvale homestead to look at how a local farmer operates. We were shown  heavy farming equipment and given an explanation of the workings of the farm including the size of the acreage and yields of the crops. Parilla is renowned for potato farming so we looked over one of the potato circles that was leased on the farm.  The potatoes are grown through irrigation, whereas the other crops are reliant on rainfall only.  Everyone enjoyed the visit to Gumvale  and we thanked  the owners, Les and Heather Maynard ,for allowing us to take a look. All very interesting for a city slicker, especially the cost of producing crops and amount of monies involved in the operation of the farm.   Then it was back to the van park for a game of Klop before happy hour, this time a match between the couples playing as a team.  This was followed by a pizza dinner around an open fire.   Geraldine looks like coming down with a  cold so she went to bed early.   Tomorrow we pack up and move to a free camp at Parilla for 2 nights.

Muster photo

Saturday 2nd June    -    Day 3
We left Lameroo in small groups and arrived in Parilla rest area about 15 minutes later.  Parilla is only a short distance from Lameroo but the point of the exercise was to free camp for a couple of nights without a power cord attached and relying on house batteries and  gas.  Most of the vans had 3 way fridges so it was only a matter of switching over to gas.  The lighting was through the 12v systems.     After lunch we were invited to the 'Gregory  Block'  a property owned by Therese and Dennis' son Leon and wife Linda.  This property is only small but still had cattle and sheep grazing.  We were shown a Mallee fowl nest in the scrub before being taken to the 'Love Shack' a small cottage that Leon built for their private get aways.  Leon showed us some working sheep dogs in action and the large shed he had built for the vehicles and equipment.   We had afternoon tea at the shack and then after thanking Leon and Linda  we headed back to the rest area for a game of Klop and happy hour. The Sundowners are quickly picking the game up as we won a game or two.  In the evening we all went to the Parilla Pub, which just happened to be across the road from the camp.  We dined on schnitzels and watched the  Crows beat the Dockers on the TV.  By the time we finished dinner it was getting cold so it was time to go indoors.


Sunday 3rd June    -    Day 4
This morning most of us slept in and then had a big breakfast before  taking a walk through Parilla  township being shown various historic locations by Gordon Hancock the  Mayor of the Murray Mallee District Council who had anecdotal stories of his younger years, as well as commentary by both Therese and Dennis who grew up in the area.   The rest of the day was taken up with a Klop rematch and happy hour sitting around a camp fire.  We said farewell to Ray and Joan who had to return to Adelaide for work commitments.  In the evening the Kramers, Ormsbys and Thompsons  had a bbq dinner.   It started to rain later in the evening so we all retreated to the vans.

Monday 4th June    -    Day 5
It rained most of the night and we woke up to a misty day.  We packed up to move  to our next location.  On the way to Pinnaroo we stopped at the Parilla Premium Potato Processing Factory where we were given a tour of the facilities.  This was followed by  morning tea at a roadside stop before continuing on to Pinnaroo for lunch and a tour of the Heritage Centre.  It was then a short journey to Murrayville just over the Victorian border where we set up for the night in the local caravan park. Happy hour was at the Murrayville football club where Lance Perkins a town elder, and uncle to the V8 driver Larry Perkins, kept the group entertained with stories of the history of Murrayville and the early days of the Redex Trials.   The weather deteriorated a bit and it rained most of the night.  We were snug in the van with the heater on watching the TV for the rest of the evening before bed time.
Farm equipment
Tuesday  5th June    -    Day 6
This morning the wind was up but it stayed dry.  After breakfast small groups walked into the village to look around and take a few photos.   Gary and Sue stayed in Murrayville for an extra day as they had a funeral to attend in Pinnaroo.  Mid morning the rest of the group departed for Cowangie and  the Kow Plains Homestead , part of the Kow Plains Station complex.  This historical homestead has been restored by volunteers and is now on the Historic Building Register.  One of the volunteers Joslin Lidner showed us around the complex which included the homestead, a barn, a well and a cookhouse.  The station was first settled in 1859.  The homestead is dated to 1860.   After the tour we had morning tea in the cookhouse and enjoyed small cakes and scones put on by the volunteers.  Then it was back into Cowangie to look at the Bush Nurse's Cottage and the Baker's oven.   We continued on to Underbool for lunch and to look at the Memorial Wall built to commemorate the pioneers and early settlers of the area.  We stopped at Walpeup for the night.  Our arrival filled the small van park but we all managed to get  a powered site. Late afternoon saw the Sundowners playing Klop  whilst the GGs went for a walk into the town.  The day was rounded off with another ubiquous 'happy hour' before the colder temperatures sent members indoors.

Wednesday   6th June     -    Day 7
Crikey, it was cold this morning when we woke up, temperature was around 1c.  Departure from Walpeup was at 9:15am.  I elected to wait till Gary & Sue caught up.  They had been at a funeral in Pinnaroo and were  overnighting at Murrayville.  By 10:15am  Sue drove into Walpeup and we travelled together to Ouyen  arriving there  about 30 minutes later.   By this time  the others had looked around Ouyen, refueled, had a coffee and were on their way to Hattah for lunch.  We decided to stay in Ouyen for lunch and then catch up at Hattah.  We tried the Bakery at Ouyen for brunch  and then had a quick look around the CBD before heading off to Hattah.  We arrived there just as the convoy was leaving so we formed up behind and travelled to Red Cliffs where we parked the vans at the caravan park for the night.  We needed to do a little food shopping  here .  Happy Hour was at the usual time and by the end of the day-light it got so cold we all headed back to our vans.  Tomorrow we finish this section of the Tagalong at Mildura and settle in for the GGs Muster over the long weekend at the Palms Caravan Park.

More Photos of the Muster and Tag here.

cheers,

Alby & Geraldine

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ACC Sundowners Berri Muster 27-29 April 2012

We had made previous arrangements to meet up with the Ormsbys at Truro on Thursday 26th for lunch before proceeding on to Berri in the Riverland.   We had our lunch at the Truro Bakery before continuing on to the Berri Riverside Caravan Park.  We arrived around 2:30pm and noted that Chris & Rhonda Acton were already set up.   Sue and Gary arrived a little later in the afternoon so by night time there were 4 vans parked up.  The weather was surprisingly mild compared to the wet weather in Adelaide.   This was to remain the case thoughout the weekend with mild sunny skies and temps in the low 20s.   The Berri Caravan Park is a Top Tourist franchise and dogs are allowed on payment of a $10 deposit.  Facilities are modern and well looked after.  A very tidy van park.

Allan and Helen arriving Berri.

Allan & Helen arrive on site.

The swimming pool

Rhonda

Rhonda preparing the vehicle

Thursday night was a do your own dinner night so we all ended up making beans or spagetti on toast.   Friday morning we got news that Ron and Bev weren't able to make it due to a back injury so we hope it all gets better soon Ron.  Greg and Judy  also had to pull out because they got their weekends mixed up.  Later in the morning, Tom and Nell  arrived so that was the group total, 5 vans.
Chris the Vice Pres, organised an afternoon tea happy hour for the group.  Later in the evening the group went to the Berri Resort Hotel and had a wonderful meal in the Bistro before wandering back to the Caravan Park.  Thanks to Rhonda for organising the dinner and making the booking.


Saturday morning a few of the more fitter ones went for a walk at the Martins Bend Reserve  free camping area, before breakfast.  However, due to the Murray being so high at the moment we found that the walking track was flooded about halfway along so we had to retrace our steps and walk back to the carpark.   

Dinner night Berri Hotel

Dinner at the Berri Resort Hotel.

Morning Coffee

Morning Coffee


We then had a bacon and egg breakfast to replace the calories we had just burnt off!!   Later in the day the Ormsbys, Kramers and Thompsons went to Renmark for a look around but found the town shutdown for the weekend.  The local coffe shop was still open so we went and had a coffee before a walk along the riverfront.    The Actons and Lilfords did their own thing visiting the Berri Township or staying at the Van Park..   We were all back in time for Happy Hour where we discussed the upcoming Lameroo  and Tagalong Muster to Milduraand Broken Hill.   
Saturday night we decided on a pizza night.  Again thanks to Rhonda for organising and picking up the pizzas from Eagle Boys.  
Sunday morning the Actons were up early because they had to get home for the Crows/Power football game in the afternoon.  They are Club members and like to attend all the games when in Adelaide.    The Ormsbys left after morning coffee as they had babysitting duties on Monday.  That left the Thompsons, Lilfords and Kramers to see out the weekend.  At the beginning of the weekend I was dissappointed at the small turn out but later on we all commented that small groups are more easier to cater for and it gave us all a chance to get to know each other better.   We all commented that the weekend was great and those of us that are going,are looking forward to the Lameroo Muster and Tagalong.  Unfortunately the Actons will not be available for that muster as they will be cruising off the coast of Mexico on the Love Boat and touring America for their 50th Anniversary in June.

Murray River at Berri

Murray River near Berri.

Group Photo

Group Photo

Tuesday morning saw the last of the intrepid Sundowners head for home.  Alby, Geraldine , Gary and Sue  returned home via Swan Reach  and Sedan.  At Swan Reach we had a lunch break  and we were lucky to see both the Murray Princess and the Proud Mary pass by at the Len White Reserve.  Proud Mary had just dropped off a group of passengers who were heading back home by bus and the Murray Princess was on her way back to Waikerie or Renmark.  Very impressive paddle steamers. 

PS. Proud Mary

PS. Proud Mary

PS Murray Princess

PS. Murray Princess

After lunch we continued on to Sedan where we parted company with Sue and Gary who were heading towards Mt Torrens whilst we negotiated the hill climb into Angaston and  then home to Munno Para.

Cheers,

Alby

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Sundowners South West Victoria Tagalong 21-26 Sept 2011

Tag-along attendees:        Therese and Dennis Gregory, Nell and Tom Lillford, Rol and Marion Hill, and Trevor and Margaret Aird.

Vans lined up

Day one, and we were off into Victoria. Our first stop was to be the Edenhope Bakery for its famous vanilla slices; however Dennis’s UHF had battery problems, so in the ensuing chaos we missed it. We completed the 90 km trip by noon and settled in at the small caravan park. We had a very quick lunch by the Glenelg river, before being met by town guide, John. He took us on a drive up though local farmland to the Clunnie shearing shed.

Shearing Shed

What an amazing building.  Built in 1882 of ironstone cut at a quarry 3km away, carted to the site over a 30-year period. The shed was exceptionally designed for use by 20 shearers, and is currently still being used. The shed interior was made of beautiful Blackwood, and after 130 years was still in suburb condition. The shed is regarded as one of Victoria’s best-kept secrets, and we are sworn to secrecy. Back in the township of Harrow we were shown around the old Wooden Jail, and Therese was given a hair raising shock by Nell in the “Young Ladies Finishing School”, ask Therese about it.

 

 

In 1868 the first Aboriginal Cricket Team went to England. Harrow local. Jimmie Mullagh was a talented allrounder in the team and there is a marvellous museum that depicts this first tour. Our tour of the town was completed with a visit to Calico Candle where local crafts are for sale. We all purchased packets of cookies for Happy Hour. The tour day cost each of us $10 and with the powered site only being $12, it was $22 very well spent. (Put Harrow on your “places to visit” list)

Group photo

We finished of the day with a BBQ dinner, before falling into bed fairly exhausted.

 

Day Two, we were on our way south, we stopped at the very quiet town of Balmoral for morning tea. The weather was fine and sunny. Strolling through town we found an underground house, “why underground” we asked. We continued on, on very narrow roads to Coleraine for lunch. By this time the wind was very strong, however we found shelter in the local milk bar for pies, chips and coffee. We completed the short trip to Wannon Falls, to find a delightful holiday park waiting. The owner got us power leads from the restaurant and soon we were settled in. The enclosed camp kitchen was ideal for lunch and luckily kept us out of the rain that had suddenly come in. After lunch we visited Wannon Falls. The falls were flowing very fast and they made for great photos. According to a sign there is a rock formation in the shape of a rams head, which some of us had difficulty finding. Happy hour was taken in the shelter of Nell’s van, where we sat around, had a few wines and solved the world’s problems.

We shared the camp kitchen for dinner with a group of people there for a 95th birthday celebration on the following day. A nice log fire made the room very cosy.

 

Day Three, after morning tea, had us on the road to Nigretta Falls. These spectacular falls were in full flood and we were able to see them from 3 different vantage points. Marion caught us all on camera at the lookout at the top of the falls, very spectacular indeed.

 

Therese had solved Dennis’s UHF problem by putting the batteries in the right way. So with aid of Marion’s commentary we were off to Hamilton. Rol and Marion have a daughter in Hamilton and they know all the towns “hot spots”. We had a quick walk around the town, where the men went into George Taylor’s hardware store and the ladies opted for the clothes store next door.

 

We met Therese and Denis’s friends for lunch at the Caledonian Hotel. The Pensioners Lunchtime special proved very good value and most enjoyable. A visit to the Art Gallery was relief out of the cold wind that blows through Hamilton. All of us were in agreement that Dobell’s “Nude Reflections” was the highlight. We had a pleasant stroll through the botanical gardens that were first laid down in about 1850. Nell’s knowledge of the old trees left us in no doubt that she should stick with towing caravans. We took ourselves on a quick tour of the Qantas museum, the lake and the Hamilton and Alexandria College before we returned to the caravan park. A quiet night in finished off the day.

Wannon Falls

Day Four, and we were up early to view the Wannon falls from the other side. Dennis had found a way in through a private entrance. We walked along the cliff and got a different view from above where the “Rams Head” is. One might say on the Rams Bum, so as to speak.

 

After morning tea we were packed and off to Casterton, only 55 km away. We called in at the historic Coleraine Railway Station. No tracks anymore but still very interesting. The rain was now very heavy as we pulled into the caravan park. At 5pm we arranged to meet Dennis’s friend Arnold who would take us to his home for BBQ tea. Well, Arnold and his wife Irene have built what can only be described as “The eighth wonder of the world”, in his backyard. Over the years they have built a wonderland of sheds, covered patios and displays for an amazing collection of bric-a-brac. Arnold also, (in his spare time), makes “teardrop” caravans. Beautiful, brightly coloured and has everything packed into about 3 metres of length. A massive log fire kept us nice and warm during dinner as Arnold and Dennis reminisced over past times in historic vehicle clubs. What a pleasant, unexpected and amazing evening we had.

 

Day Five started very cool indeed. However we decided to have a run around the town. There is a great lookout that looks straight down the main street below, and the surrounding farmland. Guide Dennis was keen to point out the various points of interest. It was time for morning coffee, so we found a nice café and soon gathered chairs and tables to sit us all. Nice hot coffee and cakes went down well. We strolled along the quiet Sunday Street, looking into a bric-a-brac shop that wasn’t a patch on Arnolds place. Across the road a local artist had a studio with original country scenes. He was more than happy when we all walked out, having purchased many of his works. All helping the local economy!

Dennis and sheep dog

Mid afternoon we had a visit from two Committee members of the Casterton Kelpie Muster with four of their sheep dogs in tow, they gave us the back ground to the origin of the Annual Kelpie muster held long weekend in June, $9000.00 was the highest price payed for a trained working dog this last year.

The wind dropped and at Happy Hour time we were basking in a sunny afternoon. Therese, ever the host, invited 2 other couples in the park to join us. One couple was from Tassie and the other from Mt Gambier. When darkness fell the Tassie (Gary) produced a wood fire that soon kept us warm. Frying pans, sausages and eggs were found and an impromptu dinner was cooked over the open fire. We sat there in the dark until “Underbelly- Razor” on TV dragged a few of us away. What a marvellous night to finish off our Tag-along.

 

Day Six, next morning we gathered in the Gregory’s van for our final morning coffee, before going our separate ways back home. The general opinion was that the Tag-along had been just great and we were of the opinion that short tag-alongs were a good idea. In all we would have only travelled around 330 km all up for the entire 6 days.

Roland Hill  S00064

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Sundowners Naracoorte Muster. 17-20 Sept 2011.

Muster attendees, Therese and Dennis Gregory, Nell and Tom Lillford, Rol and Marion Hill, Joe and Pat Vella, Clare and Barry James and visitors June and Ross Bessell.

 

Friday saw us all arrived and settled in. Therese and Dennis being locals were last in of course. Six vans made the trip; Claire and Barry were on the final leg of their trip north. At our first Happy Hour, visitors June and Ross were introduced and welcomed. The afternoon was a pleasant 24 deg, and the chatter was full of places we had traveled to over the past months. Friday dinner was casseroles, and we were tightly packed into the Gregory’s van.

Saturday morning we blew the cobwebs away with a walk to the bakery. Coffee and cakes went down well. We then walked around Naracoorte, with “guide” Dennis giving a running commentary. A quick look in the Catholic Church to view the stained glass, then onto the other 3 churches that are on the hill overlooking the town.

Naracoorte was hosting the local football grand finals, and the locals were taking on Lucindale in the A grade match. Five of us made the effort to support our adopted team and joined 3000 other fans for the big game. A 5-goal breeze blew sand across the ground as the teams took to the pitch. “Our lads” were on top early; however, the opposition had a few ring-ins and eventually wore us down to win by 26 points. It was tears in our beer.

Dennis arranged for us to have dinner at the local Naracoorte Historical Vehicle Club (NHVC) club rooms. Pizzas and chips were ordered and we sat down to partake with a nice glass of wine. After dinner we were shown around the beautifully restored cars, tractors and stationary engines that are all in working condition. NHVC life member Lance recalled the hours of work that had been put into restoration. A great night was had.

Sunday morning we made the 15 km ride to the Black Cockatoo bush camp. This 120 ha property is a “rough campers” paradise. Corrugated iron showers, toilets and BBQ huts are brightly painted with bush scenes. Native flowers and orchids are among the gum trees, and a lake has fish and yabbies for catching. We took morning tea seated under the shade of another warm day. Dennis took us around the 4-wheel drive course, but he chickened out of the bigger of the obstacles. Nell gave it a miss and settled for a leisurely drive back home. After lunch we all went to the Naracoorte Caves. We went into the Extinct Animals exhibit, and came face to face with huge wombats; Tassie devils and strange looking kangaroos, and some of them moved and gave out loud wild noises. The Dept of Environment had a family day going, so we joined in the activities. Snakes on the move were fascinating but we kept a keen eye on them. Sunday evening meal was a BBQ in the warmth of the NHVS clubroom again. We gathered for the now mandatory group photo in front of the ACC banner. What a happy bunch we are.

Group photo

 

Monday saw Barry,Claire,Joe and Pat leave us. The weather turned cooler and the gusty wind made us frantically take in our awnings. Seven of us made a visit to Mini Jumbuck, which was very interesting. We then drove down to Lucindale. First stop was the Lime Coast Cheese factory.  We all sampled delicious hand made cheeses, and ended up buying a fair amount. After a nice lunch in the park we went off for a visit to the Field Day site that the branch has been booked for the 2014 National Muster. In amongst the gusty showers we went though the facilities on the site. It was agreed that this location would be ideal for the muster. On the way out Rol decided to take a look at the electrical power outlets, only to be confronted by a huge Huntsman that made him drop the cover and jump. Laughs all round from the others. Happy hour had us huddled out of the weather in the Gregory’s, yet another great day.

Tuesday was a “lay day” giving us all time to recover after 4 hectic days. However, “Dennis the host” took the men on a run to see the largest Red Gum in the South East. The trees’ hollowed out center made for some interesting photos.

All of agreed that the muster had been a great success, and congratulations to Therese and Dennis for their superb local input. Late on Tuesday Trevor and Margaret joined us, in preparation for the Tag-along.

 

Ross and June left us on Wednesday morning, thanking us all for introducing them to our Sundowners way of life. Hopefully they will join us, provided we haven’t put them off.

 Roland & Marion Hill S00064

 

 

 

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ACC Sundowners Port Broughton Muster

Hi all, The Sundowners' Port Broughton Muster is in progress with 13 vans booking in for the Weekend.  Luckily, our Muster coincided with the Cornish Festival 'Kernewek Lowender'  on the Copper Coast of Yorke Peninsula.   There were lots of things to look at and travel to to see at Wallaroo, Moonta and Kadina.   The weekend got of to a great start with the Friday Happy Hour followed by a share dinner attended by all members. There was loads of casserols, stews and goulash to consume.   The Happy Hour turned into a meeting to discuss various issues including the request from HQ for us to host the 2014 National Muster.   The members present were very much in favour of the idea so more on that later.  We have Derek and Gwen Hale from the Gipsland Gypsies joining us before they head off to W.A. on Sunday via the Eyre  Peninsula coastal route.  Derek has been very helpful with information about National Musters as he is involved with the 2012 Muster at Mallacoota.  He gave us some great information and ideas to think about and showed us the Mallacoota Councils presentation DVD he had with him.  Derek also gave some helpful hints for using the ACC Website and discussed the Farm Stay plans that is still a project in progress.  Thanks Derek & Gwen. We also got re-acquainted with Des and Mo Freeman who have not been able to attend some of our previous musters.  Welcome to both of them.

Saturday night dinner at the Sunnyside Hotel  went well and was attended by all participants.  The food and drinks were well received by all.  We celebrated Nell Lilford's birthday which happened to be today with a 'cheesecake dessert with candle' and a rousing rendition of 'Happy Birthday'.

Sunday morning saw us all at the camp kitchen for a byo breakfast before the group photo shoot.  Some of the members had to leave this morning because they are workers.  Derek and Gwen said their farewells and left as well on their way to the Eyre Peninsula and W.A.  After the farewells most of the leftovers decided to do the Port Broughton Historical walking trail,  an easy walk around the town's historical buildings. After about an hour of that we all ended up at the Palette 2 Palette restaurant for a coffee break before making our way back to the CP for a quiet afternoon.   In the evening we had a happy hour and byo bbq dinner to finish off the weekend. 

muster photos

Allan, Rita, Jim and Geraldine discuss photos of previous trip.

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Afternoon tea Saturday afternoon.

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Pub dinner Saturday night.

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Nell's birthday dessert, Happy Birthday!

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The other end of the table, pub dinner.

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The Kernewek Lowender procession in Moonta.

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Cornish children dress up for the parade.

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Historical G0-Kart in the parade.

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ACC Sundowners members and guests Group Photo, Port Broughton CP.

We all hope that the next muster at the Lake Albert CP in Meningie on July 1-3 w/e will be well attended also.  Till then cheers, Alby Secretary
ACC Sundowners

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Coffin Bay SA

Day 1    -    Friday     -    1st April 2011

A couple of weeks ago a friend of mine told me of a trip he and another were planning to go to  Coffin Bay on Eyre Peninsula.  He suggested we tag along and join them.  Why not!
We were away by 9am having to meet up with our friends at Pt Wakefield around 10:15am. We were caught up in road works near RAAF Edinburgh along Heaslip Road and a large wide load on the Pt Wakefield road so that delayed us a bit. Once we passed those obstacles we had a reasonable run to Pt Wakefield where we caught up with Allan, Ron and Jim and their wives. After a coffee at the Pt Wakefield Bakery we headed off towards Pt Augusta. The plan was to travel to Coffin Bay over two days and stay at Point Lowly overnight in the free camp area. The run up was without incident. We had lunch and a fuel stop at the Gutta and then headed southwest towards Whyalla. At Point Lowly we checked out the free camp but it was chockers with fisher people and interstaters. We tried Fitzgerald Bay but that didn't suit Allan (no toilet). Allan had left his Porti Potti at home. Doh! A decision was made to stay the night at the Foreshore Top Tourist park in Whyalla. We were lucky to get in as the cp was booked out for the weekend. After set up we had a happy hour before retiring for the night. 

"Whyalla is the third most populous city in South Australia after Adelaide and Mount Gambier. It is a seaport located on the east coast of the Eyre Peninsula in South Australia. It was founded as Hummock's Hill in 1901 by the Broken Hill Proprietary Company (BHP) as the end of a tramway bringing iron ore from the Middleback Ranges to be used in the lead smelters at Port Pirie as flux. A jetty was built to transfer the ore. The settlement consisted of small cottages and tents clustered around the base of the hill. The Post Office opened in 1901 as Hummock's Hill and was renamed Whyalla on November 1, 1919.
On 16 April 1920 the town was proclaimed as Whyalla. The ore conveyor on the jetty was improved and ore began to be shipped to the newly built Newcastle, New South Wales steelworks. The town grew slowly until 1938...." Source: Whyalla ,, Wikipedia Free Encyclopedia               ( Remember: Google is your friend!)

Port Lincoln


Port Lincoln from Winter Hill Lookout

Makybe Diva Memorial

Allan,Helen and me at the Makybe Diva Memorial

Coffin Bay early morning

Coffin Bay in the early morning

Pelicans in early morning

Pelicans abound in the Bay


Day 2    -    Saturday     -    2nd April 2011
We departed Whyalla around 9:30am and were in Cowell for morning coffee at the roadhouse around 10:30am. From there we travelled to Tumby Bay for lunch. It was very busy when we arrived as there was a JJJ rock concert on that night so the park was booked out and the showgrounds was covered in tents. After lunch we travelled onwards to Coffin Bay Caravan Park via Pt Lincoln (where we stopped for fuel). We arrived in Coffin Bay around 3pm and were set up in time for a happy hour. That night we had a BBQ dinner and then retired. All this driving is wearing some of the oldies out. 
"Located on the shores of one of the most beautiful estuaries in Australia, Coffin Bay is an extremely popular retreat (its population of around 430 swells to over 2,000 in summer). There are excellent scenic views across large expanses of meandering waterways with bays, channels and inlets. The fishing is so good that even the professionals have been known to get excited. You can stroll the Oyster Walk, an easy eight-kilometre walkway which meanders around the Coffin Bay foreshore through natural bushland. The walk starts at the caravan park and leads you to Crinolin Point and to the lookout in the Coffin Bay National Park. Bridges make the walk wheelchair friendly. Other attractions are the summer markets and great, cheap meals at the yacht club. "Source: Internet, I Googled it!
Day 3     -    Sunday    -    3rd April 2011
We had a quiet start to the day. Last night we turned our clocks back an hour as daylight saving is over for another 6 months. Rita cooked us all a chicken roast for lunch which was appreciated by all. Jim wasn't feeling too well so Rita decided we could all share the chook. In the afternoon we drove into the Coffin Bay Nat. Park and had a look around Avoid Bay. Point Avoid and Templetonia Lookout. 
The Coffin Bay National Park offers some of the most spectacular coastal scenery in South Australia, ranging from ancient granite, limestone and sandstone cliffs to long beaches bordered by white sand dunes. While some sections of the park's coastline can be reached by two-wheel drive, four-wheel drive tracks crossing sandy and limestone terrain to the north allows bird watchers, fisherman, and others to access the more remote areas of the park. Picturesque sections of the coastline can also be reached via bitumen road. In the evening we all did our own thing for dinner.

Avoid Bay

Avoid Bay in the National Park

Sunset

Sunset over Coffin Bay

Private Jetty

Small private jetty taken over by the Pelicans

Coffin Bay sunset.

Sunset from The C.B.Yacht Club.


Day 4     -    Monday    -    4th April 2011
Monday morning we headed into Pt Lincoln for some shopping and lunch. We went to the Caravan Dealer in town and bought some parts for the TV aerial. We had lunch from Subway and ate it in the foreshore park near the Makybe Diva Memorial.  Makybe Diva is a British-bred, Australian-trained Thoroughbred who became the first racehorse to win the famed Melbourne Cup on three occasions: 2003,2004,and 2005. In 2005, she also won the Cox Plate.  Makybe Diva is the highest stakes-earner in Australasian horse racing history, with winnings of more than A$14.5 million when she retired on 1 November 2005.  Why is there a Statue of the horse on the foreshore in Port Lincoln?   Makybe Diva is owned by South Australian tuna fisherman Tony Šantić, who named her after five of his employees - Maureen, Kylie, Belinda, Diane, and Vanessa - by taking the first two letters from each of their names.

I took Allan & Helen to the Lookout at Winter hill where you get a nice panorama view of Boston Bay and Port Lincoln with the Lincoln National Park in the distance.. We returned to the van park after lunch and had happy hour at 5pm. BBQ dinner again that night. 

"...Port Lincoln is a coastal city situated on Boston Bay at the southern extremity of the Eyre Peninsula. It is the largest city in the West Coast region, and is located approximately 280 kilometres (straight line - 646 km by road) from the capital city Adelaide.  British naval explorer Matthew Flinders discovered the harbour in February 1802. Because of its particularly good harbour, he named it Port Lincoln rather than just Lincoln, where Flinders came from. It is thought that only the lack of a reliable nearby water supply stopped Port Lincoln becoming the state capital of the future South Australia. Even as a small town, Port Lincoln outgrew its fresh water supplies, which is now mostly supplied by a pipeline from the Murray River at Morgan...." 
Source: Port Lincoln, Wikipedia Free Encyclopedia.
Day 5     -    Tuesday    -    5th April 2011

National Park Vista

Coffin Bay National Park from the Templetonia Lookout.


We had a cooked breakfast followed by a coffee morning under the awning at our rig. After lunch we walked the Oyster Walk for about an hour, then to the General store for some food. There are lots of nice weekenders and shacks along the foreshore that must cost a pretty package. 
Day 6     -    Wednesday    -    6th April 2011
We went for a drive to Mt Dutton Bay  where the famous Woolshed Museum stands, Farm Beach, Gallipoli Beach and Wangary. Also the Antiques shop  at Minniribbie Farm
that sells the famous Berkshire pork near Wangary. We then came home and enjoyed the ambience of the CP.. Dinner tonight is at the Yacht Club, Whiting and chips for everybody followed by some home cooked bread and butter pudding with ice cream. A couple of beers and wine for the ladies went down nicely as well. We all walked back to the CP in the dark and I watched some TV before bedtime.

Church

St Mary's church building in Wangary.

Lone Fisherman

Lone fisherman on the Mt Dutton Bay jetty

Road sign

The Gallipoli Beach 4km sign at Farm's Beach.

Galipolli Beach

The Gallipoli Cove used in the movie,'Gallipoli'


Day 7     -    Thursday    -    7th April 2011
Woke up early, the sun was shining , another great day in paradise! We ended up going back into Port Lincoln for a coffee, some shopping and lunch. Then back to CP for HH and a bbq dinner. 

Overlooking Bay.

Allan and I standing on the cliff overlooking 'Gallipoli Cove'.

Uphill climb.

Allan and Geraldine climbing up the steep slope at Gallipoli


Day 8     -    Friday    -    8th April 2011
Today was pack up and go home day. Ron and Jim left early, i.e., 5:45am, in the dark, they are heading home all the way to Adelaide. Jim to Murray Bridge. Allan and I got up at a reasonable time and we prepared to head back as well but only as far as Melrose for tonight. Left at 8:30am and drove through Cummins, Cowell, Whyalla and Pt Augusta ,then Wilmington and Melrose. Got there about 4:15pm, a long day's drive. In the evening we had dinner at the Mt Remarkable Hotel a typical bush pub. This hotel was built and first licensed in 1857 by Thomas Moran who had previously been a member of the mounted police. It is located in the main street and has changed little from the original 1857 design with its decorated balcony and simple corrugated iron roof.    Came back after a great meal and some drinks and sat outside for a coffee before retiring indoors. Very mild tonight. 

Melrose

Melrose Roundabout.

Mt Remarkable Hotel

Mt Remarkable Hotel, Melrose.


Day 9     -    Saturday    -    9th April 2011
We continued our trip back to Adelaide today, leaving around 8:30am. We stopped for a coffee at Laura, because Allan's Triton had a faulty sensor in the front wheel drive. Luckily the Mitsubishi Dealer was open so he was able to get some information about it.  Laura has a very nice looking CP that may be a venue for a trip in the future. The further south we travelled the more the weather deteriorated. It started to drizzle out of Clare and by the time we reached Gawler it was showers all the way. We said farewell to Allan at the Northern Expressway and then made a beeline for home.   Another great trip comes to an end but we are looking forward to the next one in May.

Cheers,

Alby&Geraldine

 

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ACC Sundowners Victor Harbor Muster

The ACC Sundowners enjoyed a great weekend  Muster at Victor Harbor SA  from 1-3 Mar 2011.   This is part of my diary of the week we were there.  You can see other Diary entries of our Trips at  Alby's Caravan Capers

Victor Harbor:

European History
The first Europeans to sight Victor Harbor more than 200 years ago were Captain Matthew Flinders of the British sloop Investigator and Captain Nicholas Baudin of the French ship Le Geographé.
Their meeting took place at sea in 1802, a few kilometres from the Murray Mouth. Although their countries were at war, they exchanged information and maps. 
The first non-indigenous inhabitants of the area were fishermen, whalers and sealers, seeking an easy catch. Some were to jump ship and settle. Ridgway William Newland, a Congregational clergyman from the south of England, led the first true party of settlers to Encounter Bay in July 1839. The group comprised his family, some relations and friends along with several skilled farm workers and their families.
Newland had obtained letters of introduction to Governor George Gawler from Lord Glenelg, Secretary of State for the Colonies. Gawler told Newland that the village of Adelaide was becoming overcrowded, that most of the nearby land had been taken up and splendid land was available at Encounter Bay for only one pound an acre.
Newland took his advice and transported his party to their new home via the Lord Hobart. Whaling stations continued trading until around the mid-1860s, but bigger profits were to be had from boats carrying wheat and wool down the Murray River to the port of Goolwa. Since Goolwa was unsuitable for ships, a 12km railway was built to connect with Port Elliot in 1854 – creating Australia’s first public railway. But Port Elliot was also found wanting so a safer, more sheltered port in the lee of Granite Island was chosen. The railway was extended from Port Elliot to Victor Harbor in 1864.
The horse drawn railway was extended along the Causeway to Granite Island in the mid-1860s to service large American and European clippers. By the 1880s, 25,000 bales of wool from western New South Wales and Queensland were being paddled down the Murray, freighted by train to Victor Harbor and then shipped to the world. But railways killed the river trade in the 1890s – and Victor Harbor’s history as a holiday destination began.
 

Excerpt from the Tourism Victor Harbor site


Wednesday 2nd March  2011    -    Day 1

We departed home around 1030am and headed south to the Victor Harbor Region via the South road. We were on our way to the ACC Sundowners Muster to be held this weekend in Victor Harbor. A little over 2 hours drive south of Adelaide, if you are towing a van, the Victor Harbor area offers visitors a wide range of activities from swimming, boating, fishing and bush walking to enjoying a round of golf at the local courses or just relaxing with family and friends.
Victor Harbor is an excellent base for visiting other attractions in the region as well as the River Murray mouth at Goolwa, the wineries at McLaren Vale, the Fleurieu Peninsula and Kangaroo Island.

Victor Harbor with Granite Island and The Bluff

The Horse Tram 


Typical weekday traffic presented with a number of slow-down spots where road works were in progress. The trip to Victor Harbor was uneventful and we arrived in due course at the Beachfront Holiday Park and booked in. Our friends Allan & Helen O were already there and were in the process of settling in. In the afternoon we sat around and discussed world issues and had a few coffees to match. For dinner we walked into town and found the local highly recommended Fish & Chips shop in the main street. We munched on our food 'al fresco' whilst sitting outside the shop. We then walked some more to burn off the calories and found the 'Mc Cafe ' where we had a coffee before walking back to the caravan park. A lot of exercise interspersed with eating and drinking which tended to counteract each other. By the time we made it back to the van the sun was already setting so we settled in for the night. I got out my media player and we watched a movie on the TV 
           ( Twilight-New Moon) until bed time. 

Thursday 3rd March 2011    -    Day 2

An unsettling night getting used to the van mattress again.  I have this problem every time we go away on the first night.  In the morning we took our time getting up and relaxed till after lunch.  In the afternoon We all hopped in Allan's Triton and took a drive out to Middleton and Pt Elliot to check out the scenery and sights.  We had a walk around Port Elliot and took some photos of the old buildings and railway station.    The Railway station still gets used every weekend when the historic Cockle Train, which is popular with all ages, offers magnificent coastal views as it steams from Victor Harbor to Goolwa. 

Port Elliot Railway Station

Enjoying pancake breakfast Sunday morning.

Form a circle - Happy hour

Port Elliot

Storm front passing the CP.

We finished off the afternoon by doing a bit of shopping for dinner at the Victor Harbor Shopping Mall.    Some other Sundowners arrived during the day so an impromptu 'Happy Hour' was organised; come five o'clock we all sat around and had a great time together.  Dinner ended up being a bbq attended by all and sundry, and which continued late into the night at the camp kitchen.

Friday 4th March 2011    -    Day 3

We expected the rest of the Sundowners members to arrive today.  We didn't have to wait long before they started trickling in to the park so most of the day was spent meeting and greeting.  We had a number of guests from interstate at this muster, including Grant , Julie, Barry and Bev.  Grant and Julie are travelling around Australia and were original committee members  of the ACC in Queensland when the Club first started up.  It was nice having their company for the weekend discussing the origin of the ACC.  Barry and Bev were members from the Wide Bay Branch in Queensland.  They were on a visit passing through S.A. , so decided to join us for the weekend.  At the Happy Hour the Pres. Therese welcomed all and hoped we would have an enjoyable weekend together.  For dinner we had a shared casserole that the ladies had made, and Therese made the delicious dessert ' Golden Syrup dumplings' for all to enjoy.  It was interesting to see all the different kinds of casseroles that were on offer.  These Musters are not the place to come to if you are on a diet. Yummie!!

Enjoying their Dumplings!

Pancake breakfast Sunday morning

Saturday 5th March 2011    -    Day 4

We all met up for morning coffee so that we could plan the day's events.  Ron G was organising a walk around Old Victor Harbor for after lunch.  We had Sue & Gary coming down for the day so a group of us decided to do lunch over on Granite Island.  The Granite Island Recreation & Nature Park is home to the magical Little Penguins. The ever popular guided penguin tours are a visitor's favourite. Tours commence at dusk every night. To get to Granite Island you can walk across the Causeway or jump on the Horse Drawn Tram from Victor Harbor. Explore the island and all its magical wonders then stop at the cafe for a meal, coffee or cool drink.  That took care of the afternoon.  The day was pleasant and sunny so we all got a bit sunburned for our troubles.  Before we knew it the afternoon was over and the visitors had to head back to Adelaide.  We on the other hand, had to prepare for a happy hour and bbq at a member's home in Middleton for the evening.  It didn't take long for us to find the house.  We had a great time thanks to Anne and Gerard, who invited us to use their backyard for our function. Their home has a pleasant rural outlook which was magnificent at sunset.  

Sunday 6th March 2011    -    Day 5

One thing I should mention about the weather we were having at Victor. We have had cool and windy days, warm and pleasant days, hot and blustery days, and humid and rainy days.  We just about had all four seasons during the weekend.  How quickly time goes when you are having fun.  The weekend was over already for those of us that had to go back to work in the morning.    Today, breakfast was provided by the Park management in the form of a pancakes.  When we got up for breakfast Ron was already cooking the pancakes on the provided bbq plate so we got in line with the others and feasted on pancakes.  

The barriers have been removed to allow the lake to flush. 

 Pelicans feeding near the barrage.

Hindmarsh Island Bridge  in 2009 ,sandy patches and

pylons show lack of water due to drought.

The bridge in 2011, water levels are back to normal.

A couple of members had to pack up and leave so the numbers went down for morning coffee.  We quickly organised the Group photo before people started packing up.  We farewelled Allan and Helen and a few others. Today we decided to attend the Goolwa Wharf Markets  and explore Goolwa.  We arrived there just before lunchtime, and in time to watch the Cockle Train arrive from Victor Harbor.  It was a bit disappointing as I was expecting a steam train, but instead it was a diesel tug.  The markets were interesting with lots of things up for sale. I managed to keep Geraldine under control and we walked away empty handed after about an hour.  We also looked at the P.S. Oscar W which was tied to the wharf next to the museum.  It was planning a long trip to Renmark shortly to attend the 100th birthday of the P.S. Industry on 1st April 2011.

The Cockle Train in Goolwa

Sue,Geraldine,Allan,Helen and Gary

The PS Oscar W at Goolwa

The barrages wide open to let out the floodwaters.

We had lunch at the bakery in Goolwa, drove out to the barrages and then meandered back along the coastal roads checking out the surf beaches along the way.  In the evening we cooked another bbq and had fruit damper for dessert compliments of Jim & Rita who brought out their choofer camp oven for the occasion.

ACC Sundowners and guests attending the Victor Harbor Muster

Monday  7th March 2011    -    Day 6

It rained overnight.  We heard that the northern suburbs of Adelaide had some heavy rain and minor flooding.   I won't have to water the garden again for a while.  It was still warm and humid today.  There was an outbreak of crickets overnight due to the rain and they were into everything in the amenities block.  The magpies and other birds were having a feast on them.  More people departed today, so ,then there were four couples left to organise a happy hour.  We spent most of the day relaxing and farewelling Sundowners departing.  Drove into town to browse through the Craft Shop.  I sat outside.  Then on to Subway for lunch and a walk through the shops in the mall.  I bought my 2nd    Heading Off around Australia DVD.  They come out quarterly and from first glance seem to be interesting enough for me to buy again.   

Tuesday 8th March 2011    -    Day 7

Pack up and leave day today.  We were ready to go around 9.30am.  We fare-welled everyone we could find and departed. The rain came and we had a wet trip all the way home.  We stopped off at Allan's house for lunch and to pick up a knitting machine for Geraldine. (This will be fun to watch)  We were home mid afternoon and unpacked  before tea.  Next trip is planned for April to Coffin Bay on Eyre Peninsula with a couple of friends.

 

cheers,

Alby&Geraldine

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Northwest Ho! No more!!

Last time we blogged we were on our way back south from Geraldton to Perth to get the car repaired.  We spent a week in Perth with our daughter and found a place to fix the car.  EFI Automotives of Balcatta did a great job getting the fuel consumption and tuning sorted out.  In the end it was a computer problem, ie, bad memory which was cleared and the car now is running like a Singer Sewing Machine, well almost.!   The mechanic did some adjustments to the autogas tuning but when we hooked up the van it still backfired under duress.   We decided that due to the need to get home to Adelaide we will use ULP and not bother with the autogas.  The mechanic told us that if the computer problem happens again next time, just disconnect the battery and that will clear the computer memory and it should be OK .  That's fine for him to say but I think I'll be calling a mechanic.

We left Perth on Saturday and spent the first night in Southern Cross.  Sunday we got to Fraser Range and Monday we are in Eucla.  The car is performing very well, we are getting between 14-16ltr/100kms.  Excellent for towing at 100kmh.  Tomorrow night we should be in Ceduna and Wednesday in Pt Augusta.  If all goes well we will be back home on Thursday.

Fraser Range

Sitting around the fire at Happy Hour, Fraser Range.

Fraser sunset

Sunset, Fraser Range.

cooking

Cooking with the Turbo

Update:  We did a dash across the Nullarbor to Eucla after we left Fraser Range.  The wind was behind us and we had excellent fuel economy.  We arrived at Eucla at 4pm Central western time, 45 minutes difference with Perth.  Overnight a wet front moved through and left some rain on the ground.  Next day we continued on to Ceduna again with a tail wind.  In Ceduna the rain and wind caught up with us again.  Today we drove to Port Pirie again with a tail wind.  At Pt Augusta a rain front was moving east being blocked by the Flinders Ranges. Tonight we are at the Port Pirie CP, in between rain showers.  Expecting some rain overnight.  Tomorrow will be a quick trip to Adelaide.  Till next time, safe travels.!!

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Hi, At the start of your report I thought we'd be able to catch up with you, as we are in Port Augusta tonight and tomorrow night... Read More
Wednesday, 21 July 2010 17:45
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Northwest Ho! - Kalbarri to Monkey Mia

We left Kalbarri behind us and continued our journey north to Shark Bay.  Along the way we stopped at the Billabong RH for fuel. Fuel economy 27ltr/100kms.  Not good!  We stopped at Shell Beach along the Shark Bay World Heritage Drive.  A beach made up of billions of small shells up to 7m deep. Eventually it will be crushed into sand.  Some quick photos and on to a couple of lookouts along the road.  We finally arrived in Denham a quaint seaside town catering mainly for the fisher people and tourist accommodation for the Monkey Mia Dolphin experience. We booked into the Top Tourist CP at the far end of the seashore esplanade for 3 nights. 

The next day we drove back along the road to the Eagles Bluff Lookout, where a boardwalk has been built along the cliff so that you can look down on to the shallow water and see shark, rays, dugongs, turtles and other fish.  None were to be seen, as it was probably too cold and the wrong time of year. Apparently, in winter the fish move to the other side of the bay because the water is warmer there.

Back towards Denham, we called in at the Ocean Park Aquarium to look at the fish display in tanks and ponds.  They have a number of small sharks in a pond including a tiger shark which they only keep for about 3 months before releasing it.  They then find another one for the display, this keeps the sharks from dying because being migratory, they don't do well in an enclosed enviroment.  There were several other species of fish in the ponds, barra, mulloway, snapper, coral trout, wrasse, lemon sharks and sandbar sharks are just some.  The young guide was very good and gave interesting information about the fish and the workings of the aquarium. The next day was an early start for us because we had to go to Monkey Mia to experience the Dolphin feeding. This starts aound 8am and there is usually a large group of tourists and resort guests waiting for the occasion.  The Ranger gave a history of the dolphins at Monkey Mia and then some volunteers came out with the fish buckets to feed them.  A number of people were invited to join the volunteers in the water and feed the dolphins a small fish each.  There are normally 3 feeds per day and all before midday.  Normally it is all over by 10am.  We looked through the resort shops and Geraldine bought a 'T'shirt.  We had breakfast in the Cafe. After that it was back to Denham and the caravan park for a relaxing rest day. Due to the ongoing problems with the car and family illness at home we have decided to return to Perth for repairs and then home.  Tonight we are back in Geraldton and tomorrow will be in Perth.  We found out last night that the MIL had taken a nasty  fall and was in hospital. We will need to go back to help with her rehab. So this will be our last entry for this blog, apart from the advise that we have arrived home safely, hopefully the end of next week.

Shell beach

Shell Beach panorama.

fish feeding

Feeding fish at the Ocean Park Aquarium.

Monkey Mia

Dolphin feeding at Monkey Mia.

Monkey Mia 2

Volunteers feeding the Dolphins.

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Northwest Ho! Geraldton to Kalbarri

Well, after getting the car repaired in Geraldton we were off to Kalbarri for a few days to relax and have a tour of the Kalbarri National Park.  We left Geraldton's Batav ia Coast CP on Saturday morning and drove through Northampton and on to the coastal scenic route to Kalbarri, through undulating hills, and farmland.  We arrived in Kalbarri without incident and booked into the Murchison Park CP on the foreshore. 

We spent the afternoon driving back along the coast to look at the various lookouts and interesting rock formations on the coastline.  Nature's Bridge, Castle Cove and Red Bluff are just some of them.  I refueled in Kalbarri and was amazed at the amount of fuel I had used getting to here.  It worked out something like 25ltr/100kms, way over the top for this Falcon.

Couldn't do much about it on the weekend so first thing Monday morning went to see the RAC Repairer here in town and he found the air intake hose was split open in two places and the O2 sensor needed replacing.   Will these repairs never end!  Another $250 on the card.

Finally got the car back and after a good run through the National Park and up the Kalbarri road to the Highway, it seems the fuel problem has been fixed, until the next stop no doubt.!

We went to the Kalbarri N.P. on Sunday and Tuesday, looking at the gorges and the Murchison River in several places.   The Murchison River cuts its way through the landscape for 750kms to the Indian Ocean leaving some wonderful scenery and wild river gorges in its wake.  Tomorrow will be a rest day.

Hawk's Head Lookout, Murchison River.

Ross Graham Lookout

Sunset, Kalbarri

Natural Bridge, Kalbarri

Sunset Murchison River, Kalbarri

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Have been so busy doing my own trip reports that I haven't had time up until now to relax and read yours. Really takes me back. ... Read More
Tuesday, 06 July 2010 12:16
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Northwest Ho! Perth to Geraldton.

On the road again, blah,blah,blah!  Willy Nelson knew what he was singing about!  We are on our way to Geraldton after spending 2 weeks in Perth.  We managed to find our way out of Town following the Tonkin, Roe and Great Eastern Highways  to the Great Northern and the Brand Highways.   We stopped for brunch at the Upper Swan, Shell Roadhouse.  I also topped up on LPG and ULP , the last at city prices for a while me thinks.
We pressed on and decided to stop the night at Cervantes as Geraldton was just too far for us to get to in one day.  Besides, a sunset on the beach at Cervantes was something to look forward to.
The township of Cervantes is located 254 kilometers North of Perth and only 2 kilometers West of the entrance to the Nambung National Park, which is the home of the internationally famous Pinnacles formations.   Coming off the Brand Highway, we followed a couple of sand trucks  until we reached the turn-off  to Cervantes.  They are working on a section of the Indian Ocean Drive near the turn-off to the Nambung N.P.   We booked into the only Caravan Park in town, the Pinnacles Caravan Park, near the beach, and nearly full of permanent sites.  There is a small section  for tourists.  We managed to get a drive-through site near the front office.  As it was only for a night we weren't too concerned about location. Most of the permanent sites are unoccupied at the moment probably due to being week enders for the suburbanites of Perth or rural north.  Having been to see the Pinnacles on a previous trip in 2007,(see our website)  we stayed in the park and relaxed. Later, I checked out the sunset, but due to cloud moving in it was  unremarkable.  I set up the sat tv, discovered I had lost and had to rescan Aljazeera News and NITV, due to them moving to a new frequency, and also found two more free channels, Foxtel's Boomerang and Sports 1 active news. 

After spending $450 to get the auto gas repaired in Perth, I'm still having backfiring problems whilst towing.  We have decided to tow on ULP and use the LPG around the attractions, in case we cause more engine problems with the gas.

Update: Tuesday 22/6

Today the Ford packed it in for an hour until the RAC arrived to find the fuel pump needs replacing.  Have it booked in tomorrow at Ford Dealer in Geraldton.  I'm starting to loose confidence in the car's ability to finish this trip!  Fingers crossed ,hope all will be OK!

Update: Thursday 24/6

Had the car in for repairs Wednesday , they found crack in pump housing, needs replacement part, not available in Geraldton, had to source in Perth, hopefully overnighted today and may have car back this afternoon. We are stuck in van park at moment. Waiting on phone call to say all is fixed.

Pinnacles Caravan Park

Cervantes Jetty, Cray Boat.

Sunset at Cervantes.

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The sunset pic looks pretty good Alby
Wednesday, 23 June 2010 05:02
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Know the feeling of being stuck in the caravan park. My brother-in-law, Eric, has the same problem at the moment. We are sitting... Read More
Tuesday, 06 July 2010 12:11
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Margaret River to Mandurah.

We are heading north towards Perth, stopping in Mandurah for a couple of days before staying at our daughters place for a couple of weeks. 

Once you leave Margaret River and head north the highway is all there is passing through farmland and vineyards.  At Bussleton we stopped near the jetty to see how renovations were going.  They are still at it and are expected to finish in August 2010.   We had a coffee at the little cafe near the jetty.   The weather has improved markedly, with the sun shining from a blue sky. 

We bypassed Bunbury and Australind and followed the highway 1 signs to Mandurah.  Again, mainly farmland and conservation parks until you reach the outskirts.  Mandurah is like the Gold Coast of WA, lots of new housing, canals, marinas and beaches.  It is a very busy place, traffic is dense.

We booked into the Mandurah Tourist Park a Top Tourist affiliate about 10 minutes from the Town Centre.   Lots of shopping centres nearby.   Had lunch at Hungry Jacks so won't need dinner tonight.  This will be the last blog till we head off up north in a few weeks time.

 

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Sounds like you're having a great time Alby.
Monday, 07 June 2010 17:50
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Pemberton to Margaret River

Whilst we were in Pemberton we did the Karri Forest Explorer self guided drive around the local attractions.  We ended up getting lost for about an hour in the Karri Forests north of town.  The cause was that one of the turn-offs was closed due to a tree blocking it. There are so many logging tracks out there that they call unsealed roads that if you make a wrong turn you end up hopelessly lost driving around in circles trying to find your way to the highway again.  Luckily we were saved just before the Navigator went into panic mode.  A bloke from Manjimup came along in his 4x4 towing a boat trailer to god knows where, but we pulled him over and told him of our predicament and he just told us to follow him....  We weren't that far from the highway, but we were going the wrong way backtracking.  So we were saved from  a situation that could have gone bad.   On the Monday we left Pemberton and drove through undulating farmland and forests to Manjimup and Bridgetown where we had a quick look around and then headed up the Brockman Highway towards Augusta and Margaret River.

About half-way  to Augusta from Nannup the car started playing up with all the rain and water on the road.  The ignition leads were arcing and the car was running rough.  We slowed down and managed to nurse the car to Margaret River where after booking in at the Tourist Park we found a mechanic to do some repairs by replacing the leads.  This seemed to fix the problem so we were able to do some sightseeing the next day , going to Cape Leeuwin and then returning along Caves Road where we looked at the Lake Cave, a large sinkhole in the forest. 

 

Cape Leeuwin

The Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse Precinct.

Lighthouse

Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse.

Lake Cave

Lake Cave, near Margaret River.

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Norseman to Pemberton

We have left Norseman and spent 3 days in Esperance on the coast checking out the scenery in between the rain showers and gale force winds.  We drove the Great Ocean Drive from town to the Pink Lake and saw some magnificent coastal scenery a wind farm  and a slightly pinkish lake.   This is the 3rd time we have visited Esperance so we did not do the Cape Le Grande National Park .  The weather was not what you would call ideal during the 3 days we were here.  We stayed at the Seafront CP amongst the trees.  The guys next door were woken one night with a large tree branch coming down in the wind.   Luckily no-one was hurt and the van and car only received superficial damage.  Pays to be insured!

We left Esperance and spent the night in Jerrimungup CP , so that we could watch the NRL Origin game.  Then we by-passed Albany and stopped a couple of nights in Denmark instead booking in at the River-mouth CP.  We have seen Albany before as well.  We did all the scenic drives and stopped  at Green's Pool and the Elephant Rocks in the William Bay National Park.   

Today we drove the 180kms to Pemberton via Walpole and Northcliffe, right in the heart of Karri Forest country.  We are staying here for 2 nights so we can have a proper look around.  We visited the Gloucester Tree , a 58 m tree topped with a Fire Lookout on top which can be reached by the bravehearted along a stairway of metal rods driven into the tree  years ago.   Unfortunately, my knee joints don't work like they used to so I only climbed the first 10 steps for a photo opportunity.   We watched as a group of British backpackers climbed to the top and back down again.     Tomorrow we will look at some more of the attractions around here and then on Monday we will head for Bridgetown.

Esperance coastline.

Esperance Coastal scenery.

Elephant Rocks, Denmark.

Elephant Rocks, Denmark,WA.

Tree hugger

Geraldine, Tree Hugger, Pemberton WA.

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Looks a little chilly over there Alby.
Monday, 31 May 2010 19:27
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Ceduna to Norseman

We left Ceduna and traveled through undulating farmland to Nundroo which is the western edge of the agricultural region of the Eyre Peninsula.  Beyond here is the Nullarbor Plain a vast treeless plain of salt bush and limestone.  Just down the highway from  Nullarbor Roadhouse is the turn-off to the Whale Watching Center where you can see the Southern Right Whales as they come close to the shoreline at the Head of the Bight, to mate and calf.  Further along the coast towards the border of SA/WA there are viewing areas near the Bunda Cliffs where the Southern Ocean crashes against them 100 meters below. There are numerous camping or rest areas along here where you can set up camp for the night and look at the stars and planets above after sunset.  The WA  Quarantine Station is very thorough when they search the van and vehicle.  No fruit, veggies or honey  are allowed.    At Eucla we visited the old Telegraph Station ruins which are slowly being swallowed up by the sand dunes.  On to Mundrabilla  , past Modini Bluff and up the Madura Pass  to look back on the vast flat plain below us.  Driving on we stopped for the night at Cocklebiddy Roadhouse.   Distances are great and days are long to drive from one point to the next.   The weather changes and we strike rain showers between Caiguna and Balladonia.  At Balladonia we look through the museum and see the Skylab debris on display.  More rain as we approach Norseman our next overnight stop.   At last we are able to replace the fruit and veggies at the local IGA store.  Tomorrow we go on to Esperance.

Overnight camp

Our overnight camp on the Nullarbor

Old Telegraph Station Ruins ,Eucla

Old Telegraph Station ruins, Eucla.

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Port Broughton to Ceduna.

After a two day sojourn in Port Broughton we headed further north to Port Augusta where we refueled before heading west to Wudinna for the night.  We were told by the receptionist at Wudinna CP that there was a mouse plague around the place and that we should keep the door closed in the event we picked up some stowaways.  Walking to the amenities block after dark I could see a few mice scampering around the grounds.  In the morning it was foggy and cold.   We packed up and continued west towards Ceduna where we booked into the Shelly Beach CP for two nights.  This park is a good distance from the CBD and nice and peaceful.  We refueled the car and bought some groceries from the local Foodlands.  The weather has been holding good since we left Adelaide .  Talking to some other vanners at the park, the sun has been shining and they have been wearing shorts.  Thursday we head off towards the SA/WA  border, planning to do some 'budget camping' along the Nullarbor.

 

Kimba

Alby at Kimba

Thevenard deep sea port, Ceduna.

Thevenard, Ceduna.

 

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I gorged myself on Oysters when I was in Ceduna. Spent two hours at the Oyster farm round the bay.
Thursday, 20 May 2010 13:06
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Westward Ho!

G'day Guys,

Geraldine and I are off to the West for a few months doing the West Coast, Darwin, Alice and then maybe  FNQ.  All depends on how much money we have, lol!  Time isn't important!

Today we left home (Craigmore, S.A.) around 10am and travelled about 10 kms before I realised that we had left the cameras home, Both of us.  Well you just can't do a West Coast trip without the cameras. How else are we going to record our trip.  Back we go and discreetly park and rush into the house to pick up the items before sneaking away again in case someone saw us.

We stopped at Pt Wakefield for lunch and then headed towards Snowtown.  As we got closer I asked Geraldine if she would like to go to Pt Broughton for the weekend and then continue on Monday.  Answer in the affirmative, so we took a left turn and headed to Port Broughton instead.  This is what happens when you don't have an itinerary,  some where different and we haven't been here before either.

I woke Geraldine up , poor girl she was so tired, we go for a walk to the town jetty and wait for the sunset. The walk was pleasant, it's only about 600m from the caravan park.  We walk along the jetty and watch the fisher people trying to catch fish.  The tide was turning and starting to come in. Looked promising, more people came to try their luck.  We walked back to the beach, then the fish & chip shop in the main street.  With our paper wrapped fish & chips we walk back to the park adjacent to the jetty and eat while watching the sun set slowly in the west.  Afterwards we walk back to the van  park having experienced  a beautiful sunset.

So endeth the first day of travel, happy hour coming up soon, got to slow down.  Still got a few months to go before we are due back..

Sunset at the Jetty, Port Broughton, SA.

Sunset at the jetty, Port Broughton, SA.

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Lovely shot Alby. Anyone catching anything?
Monday, 17 May 2010 07:48
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Lucky you remembered the cameras otherwise we wouldn't have had such lovely shots. Wish we were there. Sue and Gary... Read More
Tuesday, 18 May 2010 16:45
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Happy and safe travels, we are very envious, you are doing the trip that we hope to do someday.
Wednesday, 19 May 2010 14:22
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Morgan to Nuri

So we arrived at Nuri on Thursday 15th-18th April where we met up with other ACC members to have a great weekend and discuss the formation of another Branch in SA.   About 12 other vans took part with apologies from another 8 members.  A good turn out. 

Weekend included a mini tag along tour of the Barossa Valley and Swan Reach/Blanche town.

We also had a Roast night at the CP where we all contributed in the cooking.  Nancy and Geoff provided the vittles for the occasion.  On the Sunday morning we all had breakfast together at the BBQ area where Allan and Geoff provided the eggs and bacon,Yum! 

The meeting for the formation of the new branch went so well we even voted in a  branch committee  and hopefully that will get approval.  The next muster planned for the new branch will be in Moonta Bay in June, by then we should know if we have approval and a Name.

Most of us departed on the 18th for home or other parts.

We are now back home preparing for our trip to the West and Darwin in May.

Alby

 

Happy Hour Nuri

Happy Hour at Nurioopta CP.

Breakfast on Sunday morning.

Sunday Breakfast compliments of Allan and Geoff.

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