My Perth Adventure

                A recent incident let me know Murphy is alive and functioning at full capacity. I was in Perth and was ready to head to Adelaide, I was at a Woollies check out to pay for my cross country provisions when the card reader said " go away, your card is invalid ", luckily I had enough cash to cover the transaction. I promptly rang the Visa freeze card department who informed me they had indeed acted on my behalf as a previous purchase of update of software from an overseas firm had also been blocked as this firm had been tagged as scammers. They also told me a new Visa card had been mailed to my postal address in Adelaide --- Bewdy!!  Unfortunately I was still in Perth with 70 bucks to my name and it was a Friday long weekend there, so they agreed to sponsor my trip across the Nullarbor as they could monitor my purchases ( fuel etc ) as I progressed on my run East. I thanked them profusely as they were bending over backwards to assist me. Some hours later silly me went to withdraw some cash from a hole in the wall, the ATM promptly ate my card and I am sure the ATM camera had an arched eyebrow and a nasty gleam in the lens!  Needless to say I survived the next 4 days by using nefarious methods and not being there when the council ranger checked. Luckily for me there was a branch of the bank I use in Fremantle, one of about five in Aust and managed to get there the following Tuesday without running out of fuel. Luckily my run East was uneventful. To add insult to  injury the Visa person I had negotiated the terms of use with rang me and inquired  how my trip went?  I must confess I calmly and sedately described my anguish at being stranded due to an oversight in their department.  Just another incident in the learning curve of being on the road. however I would not change this life for anything and am happy to keep going.      Regards   Nick 

Continue reading
  2827 Hits
2827 Hits

The Pownall's

John and Janet Powell from Point Cook vic 

Continue reading
  2413 Hits
2413 Hits

Ted and Cathy's Nomadic Adventures 2014 (Pt.5)

Day 228  18-09-14

Left Camooweal and headed to Mount Isa. Called into Lake Moondarra.  A shadow of its former self and I am not talking about the water level. Very disappointing.

Booked into Sunset Top Caravan Park. Ted contacted a friend Trevor Crawford, and made arrangements for lunch the following day.

Did some shopping. Woolworths building disgusting. Filthy and run down.

Day 229 19-09-14

Washing day and then off to lunch at the Coffee Club for lunch with Trevor Crawford. Great to catch up with him again.

Day 230 20-09-14

Left Mount Isa and set off for Cloncurry. Toured the Rev. John Flynn Memorial ( He was the founder of the Royal Flying Doctor Service). We found it very interesting.

Moved on towards Normanton. Pulled up at Terry Smith Lookout Rest Area, opposite the now closed Quamby Hotel. We decided to stay a few days.

The sunsets were fantastic.

Day 231 21-09-14

Decided to stay an extra night. Lots of birds drinking from bird waterers, some person had made. Kept the water level up.

Day 232 22-09-14

Headed off to Normanton, with a quick look at Burke an d Wills Roadhouse. Very basic and expensive.

Arrived in Normanton and visited the Tourist Info Centre, which is in the old Burns Philp Warehouse. Toured the Museum, which cost us $8 each. Very Interesting.

Then to the Normanton Railway Station and went for a ride on a 1931 Rail Motor RM 31, which is powered by an AEC petrol engine, which has to be started by a crank handle. Gret ride.

From there we headed to Karumba, where we filled up with water and emptied black water. No free camps. Back towards Normanton and spent the night at Phil Schaeffer Rest Area. We had no gas as the tap on the regulator was leaking. Had to run the generator all night to keep the fridge cold.

Day 233 23-09-14

Into Normanton and had the gas tap replaced, before heading off to Croydon. Had a great yarn with an old lady (a real "Bushie") Very interesting lady. Also went to the  "Oldest Store in Australia". It was like a step back in time.

A quick trip to Lake Balfour and then off towards Georgetown, with an overnight stay at Cumberland Chimney Camp Spot, right near a lilly covered Billabong. Fantastic range of Bird Life.

Day 234 24-09-14

On the road again, into Georgetown,where we bought some souvenirs. Continued on to Mount Surprise. Could not get fuel as they were waiting for a delivery. The road has deteriorated into narrow, one lane bitumen, with strips of wider road. Headed on into Mount Garnet and then cut across the Silver Valley Road, to just outside Herberton. This road was all dirt with some very hilly sections. We headed to Irvinebank, as the Tavern there was advertising free camping. Irvinebank is an historic tin mining village, 26 kms from Herberton, along a sealed and unsealed road' We set up camp and decided to eat at the Tavern, only to find that it closed the week before our arrival. Bummer.

Continue reading
  3878 Hits
  1 Comment
Recent comment in this post
Noel : q00008
Looks like you haven't left the Police Force yet Ted, you have on - in one of the photos above - one of those Police belts with ev... Read More
Wednesday, 28 January 2015 18:08
3878 Hits
1 Comment

Ted and Cathy's Nomadic Adventures 2014 (Pt.4)

Day172 23-07-14

Left Tapping W.A and headed North on Indian Ocean Drive.

Called into Two Rocks. Very interesting place with numerous sculptures.

From there it was onto Leeman where we fueled up again and found out about a free camp along the coast, exactly 51 kms from Leeman. Unfortunately, we weren't the only ones who found it. However, we found a spot.

Day 173 24-07-14

Travelled on into Geraldton. Stayed one night at Belair Caravan Park.

After check out next morning it was off to see the H.M.A.S Sydney Memorial. This is a truly magnificent tribute to those who lost their lives in this Naval engagement.

Left Geraldton and travelled via Chapman Valley into Northbridge and Kalbarri. We spent the night in a 24 hour Rest Stay amongst the wildflowers

Day 174 25-07-14

Only went about an hour up the road to Nellen Nellen Rest Stop. met a nice couple, Marge and Pat from Mandurah and also several ACC W.A. members, who gave us advice re free camps and water points. Another great reason to be in the ACC.

Great night.

Day 175 26-07-14

Decided to spend another night with marge and Pat. Played Canasta in the afternoon. Made a really good change from just sitting around. Thank goodness for the new van's layout, that enabled all of us to sit at the table.

Day 176 27-07-14

Left Nellen Nellen and headed into Shark Bay (Denham). Stopped at Shell beach and again found our ACC friends. Went in to Denham and purchased a Camp Permit for Whalebone Beach. $10, but only allowed to stay one night. Not even a rubbish bin provided for our $10. Great rip off as was the fish and chips at $17 per serve. We filled up with water at the Water Board. $1 for 20 litres.

Back to Whalebone Beach and found an fantastic camp site. right on the waters edge.

Met a nice couple Tony & Robyn. We had Happy Hour together. Spent a nice night alongside the water.

Day 177, 178,179 & 180 28, 29 & 30 & 31-07-14

Headed off back to the Highway, via Overlander Roadhouse to Eddogee Rest Area, approx. 8o kms from Carnarvon. Will spend at least two nights here.

Day 181 01-08-14

About to leave Edagee, but battery decided to be flat. Asked a couple in a sedan for a jump start, which earned us a flat out NO. Hope Karma decides to visit them. Honda generator took care of the problem. Will probably be up for a new battery soon, as it is almost 2 ys since the last one gave out.

Late start, but made it to Carnarvon for water and fuel. Quick look around and off to Bush Beach Free camp. Met up with friends Marge and Rob from our brief camp at Nellen Nellen.

We set up camp next to them. Windy as usual.

Day 182 02-08-14

Finished setting up camp. Sat TV made easy by Rob next door, who had a much better Sat finder. Must get one.

Restful day and then went into Carnarvon for a look around. Returned home to very windy conditions. Forced to roll up awning during night, due to gale force winds.

Day 183 03-08-14

We did intend to reposition the van to try and minimise the wind on the awning side, but changed our mind as the wind direction was continually changing.

Went fort a walk on the beach at low tide and tried to help Rob with his Sat TV Set Top Box which is playing up. No luck there. He will have to contact his supplier tomorrow.

Day 184 04-08-14

Less wind today. Helped Rob next door with his Sat. TV. Managed to find the problem, which was an incorrect setting.

Ron and Marge's friends, Peter and Ruth arrived, and set up camp with us.

We played Bocce until the flies got too bad and then all had Happy Hour together.

Day 185 05-08-14

Some wind, but plenty of flies. Walked on the beach and later had a really great Happy Hour with all our neighbours. Gathered some useful information.

Day 186 06-08-14

Left Bush Bay this morning. Into Carnarvon for water, fuel and supplies. Bought a "Solid Gold " Gas refill at $42+. Ridiculous Rip Off. Complaints were met with, 'its not our fault. Kleengas tell us what to charge. You can always complain to them". What a Cop Out.

Presently camped about 73 ms North of Carnarvon.

Day 186 07-08-14

Off towards Exmouth this morning. Lots of cattle and sheep to be seen on the side of the road. Presently camped at "The Termite Mounds" Rest area.

Day 187 08-08-14

Went into Exmouth to replenish water and fuel.

Fuel $1.86 per Litre for Diesel. We got a 5cent per litre discount at Exmouth Fuel Supplies.

National Parks camps all full, so back to the "Termite Mounds". We will try to stay here until warranty matters can be finalised. Doubtful if we could have gotten to the Caravan Parks, even if we were prepared to pay their exhorbitent prices.

Day 188 & 189 09& 10-08-14

Quiet day at Termite Mounds.

Day 190 11-08-14

Contacted Coromal Agent. Tap replacement set for 12: oo Noon at Exmouth. Packed up and headed off. Shopping and Lunch in Exmouth. Tap replaced, door adjusted and told battery may be faulty. 

Contact made with Cameron Caravans. Further tests to done.

Spent the night in a Rest Area near Bullara Station on the Alt. Route to North West Coastal Highway.

Day 191 12-08-14

Weather hot and windy (what else would it be but windy). On the road again. Saw four Wedgetail Eagles, but could not find a safe spot to stop for photo.

Lunch at Nanutarra Roadhouse. Made our  own as a Chico Roll was $4.95. Small cup chips $6.95.

Camping tonight at a Rest Area alongside one of Rio Tinto's Mines. Rest area possibly provided by the Company, going by the signs.

Day 192 13-08-14

Onto Karratha. Filled up with water Coin in the slot. Fueled up. Brief look and then  headed out towards Port Hedland.Camped at West Peawah rest area..


Day 194 14-08-14

On towards Port Hedland, battling gale force headwind all the way. Playing havoc with fuel economy.

Pulled into South Hedland.Stocked up on groceries, after lunch at Maccas. Fuel and then on towards Broome.  Camped at De Gray River rest area, about 80kms North of {Port Hedland.

Day 195 15-08-14

Still at De Grey. We will be here until Monday (18th), when we rendezvous with Cameron Caravans Rep. to do a battery swap, as the van house battery is not holding charge.

Day 196&7 16 & 17-08-14

Still at De Grey River. Beautiful clear water in river. Replenished water bottles for washing etc.

The area abounds in cockatoos. Large flock visits in the early morning and late afternoon

Met a few fellow travellers and on 17-08-14 did laundry with river water.

Day 198 & 99 18 & 19-08-14

Still resting here at De Grey. Met up with Representatives of Cameron Caravans and had faulty battery changed in the van.

The water in the river is of exceptional quality. Dipped out some for washing etc.

Numbers swelled here last night to probably 60+ vans and other RVs, most of whom were returning from Broome, after attending the Broome Cup.

Began the pack up for our departure for points North in the Morning.

Day 200 20-08-14

Said goodbye to neighbouring campers, George and Debbie from Dubbo and headed North.

Fueled up at Sandfire Roadhouse. Saw an ACC badge on a van marked "Grumpy". Couldn't get to it before he drove off. UHF call unanswered. Pity.

Kept going to Stanley Rest Area for the night. Very popular spot.

Road Trains are part of the scenery in this part of the Country.

Heavy smoke on horizon. Obviously bush fires in the area. We will have to keep an eye open.

Day 201 21-08-14

Set off for Broome. Easy to see where the fires had been.

Arrived there about 11:00 am. Straight to the Visitor Information Centre. Did a huge shop at Coles. Fuel and lunch. Went out to Cable Beach for a look and decided to head for Derby. The Tourist attractions were a bit steep for our blood, as was the Accommodation. The Pistol Club and PCYC Overflow Parks were being closed this week, with no reduction in the exorbitant rates for the CPs.

We got as far as Roebuck Plains Roadhouse and then found the road closed due to large Bush Fire. We reluctantly booked into the Caravan Park there, to wait for the road to clear.

Day 202 22-08-14

Awoke to find the road is open, but lots of smoke. Headed out to Derby.

We had a good run to Willare Roadhouse. Cuppa break there before moving out to Derby.

Gas bottle refill at Derby @ $45. Visited Tourist Info Centre. Decided against Gibb  River Road, due to extremely poor road conditions.

Made a visit to the Boab Prison Tree, before departing.

Travelled past bushfires near Curtin RAAF Base, on the way out.

Made camp at Rest Area, about 110 kms from Derby, on the Great Northern Highway, heading to Fitzroy Crossing.

Another fine specimen of a Boab Tree in the middle of the Rest Area.

Day 203 & 204  23&24-08-14

Onwards towards Fitzroy Crossing. Two nights here Ellendale Rest Area. Popular spot with a resident flock of Top Knot Pigeons, who are not afraid to come right up to the vans.

The spoilsports were also there. See above.

Day 205 25-08-14

Arrived at Fitzroy Crossing, after battling head winds again. We saw a few eagles outside the Town.

Went to the Visitors Centre at Fitzroy Crossing.  Boat cruise on Geikie Gorge advertised as being available at 11am. Checked with staff and we were advised to head out quickly. 18km trip out there to be told that the 11am cruise had been cancelled. Not happy. Next cruise scheduled for 3pm. We decided to keep going, after returning to the Visitors Centre re not being told  about the cancellation. The blame game was being played.Obviously poor  communications between National Parks and the Visitors Centre. Overnight on the cliff top at Ngumban  Cliff rest area.

Day 206 26-08-14

Headed off towards Halls Creek in strong headwinds, still. Arrived at Halls Creek and went to the Visitors Centre. Bought water at 20 cents per litre. Asked for current road condition to a number of attractions, but we were refused the information, due to a possibility of the staff being sued, if we did not like their information. Not much use at all. So much for the   local tourist industry.

We did visit the China Wall, which is a unique rock formation.

Overnight at a nice little Rest Area about 60kms from Halls Creek.

Day 207 27-08-14

headed off to Kununurra. Plenty of heavy transports on the Highway.

Arrived at Kununurra at about 1:30 pm. Booked into Discovery Big4 and got a discount for ACC membership.

Did some shopping in town and then went to dinner at the park in aid of the Careflight helicopter service.

The highlight of the evening was a visit from the Park's resident crocodile "George", who is a Johnson River Crocodile.

Day 208 28-08-14

Laundry day. Made a visit to the Sandalwood Factory. Dearest Coffee in Australia. $5 for a small cappuccino.

However, we did locate cheaper fuel at Ord Co-Op. Cheaper by 20 cents per litre.

Visit to Tourist Info Centre. Picked up some brochures for N.T., as we head that way tomorrow.

Day 209 29-08-14

Left Kununurra and travelled to Lake Argyle. Could not get to the Lake itself as caravans were not allowed past the caravan park. Camped at Dead Horse Springs. Nice spot to camp.

Day 210 30-08-14

Left Dead Horse Creek and crossed into Northern Territory. Speed Limit now 130 kph.

Camped overnight at East Baines River. Nice spot. met a nice couple from Geelong.

Day 211 31-08-14

Onto Timber Creek. Had a Devonshire Tea. Fueled up and refilled a gas bottle. before moving on.

Day 212, 213 & 214, 01,02 & 03-09-14

Camped at Mathison Creek Rest Area and then arrived at Katherine. Booked into Shady Lane Caravan Park for three nights. Very nice little park.

Travelled out to Katherine Gorge and booked a 7am cruise on the Gorge for 04-09-14.

Day 215 04-09-14

Out to Katherine George and went on a fantastic cruise. Would recommend it to anyone.

Day 216 06-09-14

Left Katherine and headed off to Pine Creek. Found a great camp at Coomalie Creek RV Park. $10 per night unpowered and $20 powered. Owner gave us a guided tour and explained his plans for the park. It will be fantastic when completed.

Day 217 07-09-14

Headed off and detoured via Batchelor. Not a lot to see. Stopped at the Northern Territory Wildlife Park. Arrived in time for the Birds of Prey show. Excellent presentation. Ted got free entry and an ice cream, for Fathers Day.

One of the interesting parts was that of a Buzzard (Pictured above), dropping a stone, which he had picked up in his beak, onto a simulated Emu egg, as he could pick up the Emu egg.

Arrived at our ACC Farm Stay at Howard Springs.

Went into Darwin and headed to Mindil Beach for the markets and the stunning sunsets.

Day 218 08-09-14

Went into Darwin again, passing an overturned Road Train of soil. Emergency Services in attendance.  Much disruption.

Explored Darwin and watched an old Army Duck used for tours enter the water.

Lunch and then back to the van.

Day 219 09-09-14

Took a trip to Kakadu National Park, with a detour through Windows on the Wetlands.

Given the extremely dry conditions, we opted not to pay the $50 entry fees to access the Park.

Checked out Bird Billabong, which had some water, but not m uch bird ;ife in the extremely hot conditions.

Returned back to Howard Springs.

Day 220 10-09-14

Had Morning Tea with our Host, Lindsay Davis and then into Darwin with toilet cassette for the dump point.

Checked out the shops at Parap and Bunnings at Palmerston, before returning to the van.

We are off tomorrow, for points South.

Day 221 11-09-14

Late start from Howard Springs, back towards Katherine. {Pushed on through Hayes Creek and overnighted at Bridge Creek. Quiet spot along the creek.

Day 222 12-09-14

Hit the road at 8am and arrived in Katherine. Coffee, fuel and gas refill. Some shopping and then off towards Tennant Creek. Pulled up on the side of the road near Dunmarra. Noisy night.

Day 223 13-09-14

On the road again at 8:30am and headed into Elliott. Refueled at $1.92 per litre.

Travelled on to a Rest Area at Bonny Springs.

Day 224  14 -09-14

Another night spent at Bonny Creek. Dis some laundry.

After some thought, we decided not to go to Alice Springs and Uluru this trip.

Day 225 15-09-14

Back to Tennant Creek for fuel and water and then turned onto the Barkly Highway at Three Ways. Spent the night at 41 Mile Bore rest Area,

Day 226 16-09-14

Hit the road again and had Morning Teas at Barkly Homestead.

No phone reception from about 20 kms from the Roadhouse.

We were following a Road Train, that was all over the road. Almost onto the gravel shoulder on the incorrect side of the road, with traffic coming towards him. No way to contact Police, due to the phone situation.

Arrived in Camooweal at about 2:30pm.

It is approx. 43 Years since Ted was last there. On that occasion he was performing relieving duty at the Police Station.

Not many changes. Fueled up and made camp at Georgina Billabong. We will be staying two nights.

Day 227 17-09-14

Made contact and had a quick yarn with Sgt. Dan Baker, on of the present day Police Officers.

Great lunch at the Pub. Fillet steak, salad and chips for $12. Great value.

Met a few other travellers and swapped road conditions etc.

Off to Mount Isa tomorrow.

Continue reading
  4331 Hits
4331 Hits

New Member request to contact another member with similar intinerary

We left Tasmania 4 weeks ago after joining your club at Agfest. We are currently camped at a scout camp near Maroochydore QLD. Our general itinerary is to travel slowly to Cairns across the Gulf to Darwin spend quality time at Kakadu then head south and attend the Clubs Muster in SA in November. Would be so nice to catch up with another member just to have a yarn or possibly join us in our travels for a day or so or what ever. Happy to hear from you in this blog or if you would prefer contact Mike on 0408322412

Posted 18 June 2014

Continue reading
  2220 Hits
Recent Comments
Barb & Daz : q00255
Welcome Mike, Unfortunately we are headed in the opposite direction to you, but I am sure that you will find someone else with a s... Read More
Thursday, 19 June 2014 08:41
Banjo : v00029
Mike, Go to the 'where are you now' thread on the members forum. Most members post where they are at present.
Monday, 11 August 2014 09:48
2220 Hits

Blog title (click to edit)Ted and Cathy's Nomadic Adventures 2014 (Pt.3)

Day 101 19-05-14

After attending to medical matters in Horsham, we set off for South Australia and overnighted at a Rest Area, just over the Border into South Australia.

Day 102 20-05-14

Packed up and set off towards Bordertown. Pressed on to Narracoorte. We didn't stay as it was too difficult to find suitable parking for a 20 ft 8in van and rig.

Headed into Penola, which is a lovely little town. Visited the Information Centre, which also houses an Art Gallery and small Museum. The staff were terrific and were very helpful.

Penola has a very interesting main Street, with Antique Shops, Crafty and other shops, including food. We had lunch at a business called Vintage Coffee. Cathy had quiche and I had the most delicious chicken pie with champagne sauce.

After lunch it was on to Robe. Definitely not an RV Friendly town. No free camps and very very expensive caravan parks. On the advice of a very helpful lady in the Information Centre, we headed off to Kingston SE, which was the exact opposite of Robe. At least four areas set aside for  free camping. We spent the night along the foreshore.

Day 103 21-05-14

Filled our water tanks and dumped the toilet contents. Stocked up on fruit and veges. Very expensive.

It was then off to Murray Bridge. We have booked into the Avoca Dell, Top Tourist Park, which is a very nice park. Caught up with the laundry etc.

Day 104 22-05-14

Had breakfast and decided to go to Hahndorf  (the oldest German town in SA). Travelled down the Motorway, in heavy cross winds. Thank Goodness the van was not on the back, as it would have been a lot slower. Turned off at Mt. Barker, and then 4kms into Hahndorf.

Hahndorf was a delightful surprise, although the streets were very narrow, when vehicles were parked on both sides. The German influence is very obvious in the style of shops and businesses.

Had to buy some mettwurst. My Sons will relate to this. Terrific taste and very reasonably priced. Much more so that the Queensland product.

Into Mt. Barker for fuel and then home again.

We manged to book a cruise on one of the Paddlewheel Steamers on the Murray River for tomorrow.

Day 105 23-05-14

Down to the main wharf area for our three hour cruise on the Murray.

We boarded the "Captain Proud" for our journey. The staff were very friendly and welcoming.

The cruise included a two course lunch, which was truly amazing. We had a choice of roast beef or chicken with vegetables, for the main course, with a choice of  fruit crumble and cream, fresh fruit salad or lemon cheese cake. All for a reasonable $59 each.

It was beautiful day on the river, with plenty of birdlife and boats to keep us interested.

We have no hesitation in recommending the cruise to anyone, wanting a glimpse of this one time popular method of transport. Fantastic Day.

Day 106 24-05-14

Left Murray Bridge and headed off towards the Barossa Valley. Lunch at Angaston. Picked up some cheese at the local Cheese Factory. We were surprised at how close the little towns are to one another.

The road signs take a bit of getting used to here, as instead of showing the next Town, they show Towns further along the road.

We spent the night in a Rest Area at Dublin. Very quiet spot.

Day 107 25-05-14

Headed off towards Port Wakefield, which was somewhat larger than anticipated. Lunch was at Port Pirie, before heading off gain towards Port Augusta. We have encountered heavy head and cross winds for the last several days. Overnight tonight in a Rest Area at Mambray Creek, approx. 40kms from Port Augusta.

Day 108 26-05-14

Set off towards Port Augusta and arrived there about 10:00 am. Wasted time trying to find the Dump Point. Eventually found it at the Football Ground, which houses the Port Augusta Motorhome Park. In true South Australian form, we have a Dump Point sign, indicating a turn off the main road, but then no further following signs.

Visited the Information Centre and inquired about where we we could fill our water tanks.

We were directed to a list of Service Stations, where we could fill up with water, after filling up with fuel. Tanks filled, despite a confrontation with a cranky truckie. Sorted things out with him and he then kindly advised us against drinking any of the water in Port Augusta, other than bottled water.

Not to happy with Port Augusta, so we headed off towards Coober Pedy and are presently camped at Ranges View rest Area, about 60kms from Port Augusta. Several other vans with us here.

Some showers have developed, so it will be interesting to see what tomorrow brings.

Day 108 27-05-14

Woke to a fine morning. Set sale again and arrived at Pimba. Fueled up at Spud's Roadhouse. $1.87 per litre for Diesel. Bought the worst coffee ever.

Off 6kms to Woomera, which is a very interesting town. Woomera was heavily involved  in the Space race with America in the 1960s and 1970s. The Museum is very well stocked and documented, and should be a must for all visitors to the Town.

From there it was on towards Coober Pedy again. An over night stay at a roadside rest area again for the night.

Day 109 28-05-14

Arrived at Coober Pedy and made a visit to the Tourist Information Centre and then we booked into Riba's Camping and Caravan Park, which included a tour of their underground Opal mine at night.

It was very interesting to Cathy, but no much to Ted, who had been deep underground, three times at Mount Isa  Mines, in the 70s.

The park itself was interesting, in that several sites, including ours, had a shadecloth roof and sides. No mains water though, as water is very costly in Coober Pedy.

Day 110 29-05-14

Off this morning for a look through the Catacombs Anglican Church (underground), Catholic Church and Serbian Church (also underground). We followed that by a tour of "Faye's House", which is an amazing underground house, constructed by three Ladies.

It was originally began by Faye Nayler, who is considered to be the instigator of the Coober Pedy tourist industry. She is still alive at 82 ys of age and living in Brisbane.

It is a fantastic establishment and well worth the entry fee.

Day 111 30-05-14

Shopping today and then in the late afternoon, we made the loop trip to The Breakaways Reserve, amongst the Sandstone and Granite hills, where the movie "Mad Max III - Beyond Thunderdome" was filmed. Fantastic scenery, followed by a loop back along the "Dog Fence", which is 2025 kilometres in length and built to control wild Dingos.

We spent the rest of the day hooking up ready to move in the morning, back to Port Augusta.

Day 112 31-05-14

Left the Caravan Park at 7:30am in cold and heavily overcast conditions. Fueled up and then off towards Port Augusta. Fuel again and Glendalbo and took on water at Woomera. Over night we camped in a Rest Area about 150 kms from Port Augusta, after having driven in mostly wet conditions.

Day 113 01-06-14

Arrived at Port Augusta, for grocery shopping and medications. met some nice people also new to  caravanning. Handed out an ACC Brochure and Application Form.

Then it was off towards Whyalla. Camped about 40kms from Whyalla.

Day 114 02-06-14

Arrived at Whyalla. Went on a tour of the Onesteel steel production plant. A little bit disappointing, in that we were not able to go into any of the plant on foot, but were confined to driving around in a bus.

Headed off toward Cowell, and arrived there with not much fuel left. We have been fighting a headwind most of the way. Set up in a free camp, provided by the local Council. Great views of the harbour.

Day 115 03-06-14

Spent the day relaxing and looking around Cowell and surrounds. Paid a visit to Lucky Bay and then to the Quandong Farm, where we had Devonshire tea with the elderly owners. It was a great afternoon.

Day 116 04-06-14

Set off towards Port Lincoln. Side trips into Port Neil and Tumby Bay etc.

Quick visit to John martin Caravan Repairs, as toilet had decided not to open properly.

Arrangements made for plumber to visit tomorrow. Booked in Port Lincoln Tourist Park. The park is on the foreshore, with terrific water views from our Awning.

Day 117 05-06-14

Decided to stay here for a week. Sorted that out just before the plumber arrived. Toilet fixed in about 45mins, for a cost of $60.

Into town later to shop, and arrange cash payment to Plumber. All sorted.

Day 118 06-06-14

Touring around Port Lincoln. Took a trip around the Marina and Wharf areas. Coffee & Cake overlooking the harbour.

Day 119 07-06-14

Ventured down to Coffin Bay for a look, without the van attached. Nice place, but fail to see what generates all the commotion about it.

Had a great time watching the sea birds, Pelicans, Gulls etc.

Day 120 08-06-14

Nothing special today, resting, Laundry etc.

Day 121 09-06-14

Restful Queens Birthday. Not much to do.

Day 122 10-06-14

Off to Centrelink to renew Cathy's Health Care Card. Stock up for departure tomorrow morning. Washed car at car wash, but ran out of cash to do a bang up job.

Packed up for departure.

Day 123 11-06-14

Left the Park at 9:00am. Off to car/truck wash to do caravan. Cold windy day. After $16 spend, the van looks much better.

Off towards Elliston.

Ran into rain and cold, windy conditions. Stop at Elliston Visitors Bureau.

After a quick look at the rugged coastline cliffs, it was off towards Streaky Bay. We overnighted off the side of the Flinders Highway, about 20kms from Streaky Bay. Light rain.

Day 124 12-06-14

Into Streaky Bay. Shocking weather. Blowing a gale, raining very heavily and very cold.

Fueled up and headed off towards Ceduna. Took a look at Smoky Bay. Too wet for photos etc., so off into Ceduna and booked into Ceduna Foreshore Caravan Park. Stocked up on prescriptions and supplies, to head over the Nullabor tomorrow. Checked with the Tourist Information Office, re Whales at Head of Bight. Will not be paying the requested $12 each to stand on a viewing platform to possibly sight a whale.

This area is apparently under control of the local Aboriginal Community. The charges are a disgrace.

Not too concerned about not seeing a whale as, we have been on two whale watching vessels and had seen plenty of whales.

Day 125 13-06-14

Set sail from the Caravan Park, took on fuel and set off towards Nullabor Roadhouse.

Bucking a headwind all the way. Despite all advice that we should have gone around the other way to W.A. e.g via N.T., it is not always possible to do that, given the time of year that we set off. Mid January, would have put us right into cyclone season in the North.

Fueled up again at Nullabor Roadhouse $2.03 per litre for Diesel. Operator obviously had an overdose of Nasty Pills. Most unhelpful with road information. Overnight at a rest area with about 4 other vans.

Day 126 14-06-14

Off again into the wind. Made a couple of photo stops along the cliffs above the Great Australian Bight. Decided to camp at the last stop.

Answered a knock on the van door, to find Wayne & Jo Mills, our former neighbours from Ipswich, outside. They have purchased a Motorhome and are on their way to Perth to see their daughter. Small world.

Day 127 15-06-14

Set off again. Rain eased somewhat. Kept running across the Mills, from time to time. Fuel again. This time at $1.98 per Litre. Overnight in another Rest Stop. Well into the Nullabor Plain by now.

Day 128 16-06-14

Off along the Nullabor again. Sunny day. Fuel at $2.00 per litre. Loaf bread $5.50.

All roadhouse staff seem to be on the Angry Pills.

Pushed steadily onward and spent the night about 40kms from Belladonia. Five other vans with us.

Day 129 17-06-14

Pushed on this morning and arrived at Norseman at about 11:00 am. Stocked up on groceries. Visit to the Tourist Information Centre. Decided to head towards Kalgoorlie, due to bad weather warning for the coast near Esperance.

Went to use the Dump Point at the rear of the Tourist Information Centre, but found it locked. Went to the office for the key, only to find it closed. All this in the space of less than 5 minutes, after seeking their advice. Pressed on and are presently camped about 20kms from Norseman. First Internet connection for two days.

Overnight at a rest area about 20kms from Norseman.

Day 130 18-06-14

Pushed on into Kalgoorlie and set up camp in the Centennial Park RV 24 hour stopover. Very handy to shops etc.

Called in at Visitors Information Centre. Fantastic building and very helpful staff.

Day 131 19-06-14

Took a tour of the Royal Flying Doctor Base and also viewed the huge Open Cut Gold Mine.

Moved on in the afternoon to Coolgardie. Once a busy centre, but now pretty much a Ghost town. Still a lot of interesting things to see.

Day 132 20-06-14

Toured Coolgardie Museum and Pharmacy Museum. Very interesting, with a huge amount of exhibits in both buildings.

Headed off to Southern Cross. Had a quick drive through of the town, which was bigger than anticipated. Spent the night in a Rest Area about 40kms out from Southern Cross. On our own for most of the night until two trucks arrived late.

Day 133 21-06-14

Set off again  into Merriden, where we had a walk around this busy town. Tourist Information Centre does not open at weekends, go figure, and then off to Narrembeen and Kondinin and then turned towards Hyden.  We had intentions of visiting Wave Rock, but decided against it, when we were required to pay an entry fee. Free camped in Rest Area about 80kms from Ravensthorpe. Storms and heavy rain most of the night. Very windy conditions.

Day 134 22-06-14

Gale Force cross winds and rain this morning. Had to keep the speed to around 80kph to stay on the road. Got into Ravensthorpe about 3pm. Fuel and then overnight about 5kms on the Albany Road. Camp shared with a few other travellers. Bitterly cold and windy.

Day 135 23-06-14

Scattered showers, but not such a heavy wind. Full head wind today. Kept going into Albany, arriving there late afternoon. Booked into Lazy Days Caravan Park. Nicely kept park.

We had a quick look at some of the town. Very picturesque.

Day 136 24-06-14

Laundry day. Then into town. Finally located the Visitor Information Centre. Very helpful staff. Finished up at the Coromal Dealer looking at vans.  Good deal offered on new Off Road Van. May accept after inspection of our van was made. Will see tomorrow.

Day 137 25-06-14

Well we did it. We accepted the deal on a new Coromal Off Roader. Now its chaos to sort out stuff and make ready to tow the Princeton to Cameron Caravans in the morning.

Day 138 26-06-14

Early start to be at Cameron Caravans at 8:30.

Spent a lot of time on the phone re purchase. Arrangements made to stay in their yard to make transferring payload from one van to the other. Blustery, showery day

Worked flat out between showers to empty old van into new one. The staff were very good as they had parked the vans so that the doors were opposite. We were locked in the caravan yard, but were given a key to get in and out.

Very blowy, wet night. Almost completed the change over. Will finish last of it tomorrow.

Day 139 27-06-14

Up at 4:30am. Finished off the last of the clean out of gear from the old van. Then began cleaning, before staff arrived.

Off sightseeing, while reversing camera transferred to new van and other matters being attended to.

Called in at Lime Burners Distillery. We were going to do a tasting, until we saw the prices.

Tastings start at $5.00 each for a taste of the lower class whiskey and then rise dramatically, as the quality increases. Priced a Single Malt Whiskey and almost needed a taste to revive me $300.00 for a normal sized bottle. I almost told them were dreaming, ala The Castle movie.

Back to the yard, to discover problems with the camera set up. Eventually we were sent to Albany Stereo, where a new plug  was required on the truck. Cameron's paid for it all. We left Albany about 5:30pm. Overnighted about 30kms from Denmark.

Day 140 28-06-14

Set off again this morning and called at the Information Centre at Denmark. Some shopping. Called into a Cidery and Toffee factory. Had a taste and bought Cider, Chutney and Toffee. Photographed the pet Pig that imitates the dog barking. Most enjoyable stop. Then off towards Pemberton, where we filled the water tanks. Due to all the drama with the camera, they had not been filled completely, before we left Albany. Had to make a donation before we could have water.

Continued on towards Busselton and Bunbury, through very mountainous country, amid thick forests. Interesting drive.

Found a rest Area, about 40kms out of Walpole.

Day 141 29-06-14

Off again and decided to travel straight to Perth, where we will be staying with our Son in Law, Dean Rich, at Tapping. Nice drive on good roads. Bit confusing with GPS in Perth, but arrived safely at destination around 5:30pm.

Day 142 30-06-14

Walked Grandson Zack to school. Met his Teacher.

After Breakfast, went exploring and some shopping. Laundry etc.

After a phone call from Cathy's Niece, from Queensland, who was in W.A. at her daughter's house, we made a quick trip Baldivas, which is about 45 minutes from Tapping. Joy and Rachel were leaving for Queensland tomorrow, so it was the only chance we had to see them. We spent a very enjoyable evening. Got home about 10pm.

Day 143 01-07-14

School run again today, as it will be until the week end.

Laundry next then off exploring again in nearby Joondalup and Wanneroo.

Day 142 02-07-14

Spent the morning exploring the area.

In the afternoon, it was off to the dreaded Centrelink again, as Cathy's new Health Card had not arrived. Mixed messages from Centrelink, as usual. Most confusing. Matter sorted out O.K.

Made contact with Leura & Doug Catchcart from Moreton Bay Drifters Chapter of the ACC.

Leura will ring again to arrange a catch up, before we head off again.

Message left for friends, Maria and Brian Minchin, who live near Perth.

Day 143 03-07-14

Decided to travel along the coast towards Perth. We had morning tea at a very nice restaurant called "The Dome" at Mullaloo Beach. Very nice.

Travelled towards Perth, along the Sunset Beach Tourist Drive. Nice view of the Indian Ocean.

Our travels took us to the Port and we were amazed by the stockpile of containers.

Maria Minchin, made contact and we will be meeting her and Brian for lunch on Sunday, at a yet to be decided destination.

Drove through Perth CBD for quick look. Seems to be a very vibrant City.

We arrived back at Tapping about 3pm, after a stop for lunch.

Day 144 04-07-14

Off to North Perth for Morning Tea with Doug & Leura Cathcart, fellow ACC Moreton Bay Drifters members, who are visiting family in Perth. Had a great catch up.

More exploration of Perth area after Morning Tea.

Day 145 05-07-14

Spent the day helping our Son in Law sort out carport contents etc.

Also made some adjustments to van e.g. hooks in front boot and extending rear bumper bar to accommodate coil of sullage hose.

Day 146 06-07-14

Woke to very windy conditions. Gale Force at times with heavy rain.

Off to lunch at Hilarys Boat Harbour with our W.A. friends, Maria and Brian Minchin. We had a delicious meal at Grilld and a great catch up and shared trip stories and experiences.

Went sightseeing afterwards. Pity about the weather, but not much we could do about it.

Day 147 07-07-14

Horrible day. Gale force winds and driving rain. Very low temperature.

Did not venture out of the house, except for some urgent supplies and obtaining a quote for a service on the Tug.

Day 148 08-07-14

Slightly better day. Ventured out to Morley to have repairs made to Ted's hearing aid. Lunch at Galleria Shopping Centre, with young Grandson Zack Rich.

Hopefully tomorrow will be much improved.

Day 149 09-07-14

Spent the day at home. Not doing much.

Day 150 10-07-41

Took the Van to Perth Caravan Repairs, for some small Warranty matters.

Took a trip to Freemantle. Very difficult to find anywhere to park, especially with a roof rack. No free car parks, except for the dog beach near the Yacht Club. Would like to return, but not with the vehicle. Bus maybe.

Collected the Van and returned home.

Day 160 11-07-14

Took the car in for a 100,000 Service at Killarney Autos at Wangara. very thorough.

Car runs really well now, not that there was anything wrong before the Service.

Day 161 12-07-14

Coffee and Lunch out today. Just the two of us sightseeing today.

Day 162 13-07-14

Lazy Day. Stayed in.

Day 163 14-07-14

Haircut for Ted, with some shopping. Touchiong up house for real Estate inspewction to,morrow.

Day 164 15-07-14

Picked up a key rack that a kind gentleman, who works for Masters made for us at no charge.

Not really suitable for our use, but didn't want to seem ungrateful. Will find a use sometime, I guess.

Miserable day, but took Grandson Zack to the beach.

Real Estate inspection did not happen, as Real Estate  person discovered that she did not have keys, despite assurances from her that she did.



Day 165 16-07-14

Day mostly spent at home. Quiet day.

Service to Honda Generator (oil change etc.)

Day 166 17-07-14

Off to the Thermomix shop to buy a carry bag for the machine. Of course, we did not leave without extras (Gluten Free Cook Book and a book stand). The bag is great as it holds the machine and supplied accessories in padded safety. Goodbye original box.

Day 167 18-07-14

Quiet day. Sorting out cupboards in van in preparation for departure on Wednesday.

Day 168 19-07-14

Another quiet day, after a visit to Wanneroo markets, for some supplies.

Day 169 20-07-14

Similar day to previous. Discovered a locking knob missing from Anti Flap Kit. Inquiries for a new one to be made tomorrow.

Day 170 21-07-14

On the run around again for the previously mentioned Ant Flap locking knob. Eventually had to bite the bullet and maker a trip to Camec at Welshpool, which is some distance from here. Fortunately the trip was successful and the new mechanism fitted on returning home.

Two more sleeps to our departure from Taspping.

Day 171 22-07-14

Spent day sorting out gear to go back in the van. Fueled up etc.

NB: Please catch up with us in Part 4


Continue reading
  10068 Hits
Recent Comments
Chris and Robyn : n00710
bags are good aren't they whats the first stop north??
Sunday, 20 July 2014 03:18
As it turns out we stayed at a Free camp 51 kms North of Leeman as our first stop North.
Sunday, 27 July 2014 13:26
10068 Hits

Heading for KARRATHA


18th April '14

Hi one and all, 

Finally 'on the road' again after leaving home on 5th April heading to our niece's at Geelong for a short stay with the 11 grand nieces and nephews.  No that wasn't a typo they have 11 children.

  The only daughter of my only brother who sadly passed away at a nursing home while we were there.   His son was travelling from the UK for the funeral which took extra time before we could hold the service. All went to plan though a very sad event nonetheless.

Last time we were travelling was June 2013 so we have been keen to warm up the wheels again.

Heading to Karratha via Adelaide and no issues since we left Geelong having  a very pleasant overnight stay at Green Hill Lake 3 km before Ararat. Great spot donation of $5 hot showers and clean facilities.  

The spot is on the Lake which is somewhat depleted from lack of rain, but a bonus for nomads with no keen boaties roaring around and dog friendly. Highly recommend.  

Off to Adelaide now to see Chris's sister then our journey starts to Geraldton via Meridian then to Karratha. Looking forward to a safe and happy trip.  

Happy Easter to all you fine Nomads out there. Go on get on the road again.


Chris & Marilyn

Continue reading
  2781 Hits
2781 Hits

Ted and Cathy's Nomadic Adventures 2014 (Pt.2)

Day 41 19-03-14

Left Upper Lansdowne and travelled to Thornton, near Maitland, with an quick detour into Tea Gardens and Hawks Nest, which were lovely places.

Spent the night at Margaret & Terry Writer's house. Margaret is Cathy's Cousin. Had a terrific night with a few tipples.

Day 42 20-03-14

Left Thornton and travelled onto Mudgee and then onto Ilford, where we overnighted at a Rest Area near the Town. We had plenty of company, as it seems to be a popular spot.

Day 43 21-03-14

We left a very chilly Ilford and headed into Lithgow. We checked in at the Tourist Information Centre and the decided to travel over to Bathurst and on to Cowra. We were going to stay at the Showgrounds at Cowra, but after receiving slight damage to the van getting into the camp ground we left. Of course, it didn't help that the camping area was the most run down one we have ever struck, with derelict looking power boxes and long uncut grass.

We motored onto Grenfell, where we fuelled up and found a free camp in the Lions Park, where the public Dump Point is located. Allowed to stay 2 to 3 days. Great spot.

Day 43 22-03-14

Checked out the historic main street in Grenfell, which is the Birthplace of one our most famous poets, Henry Lawson. There is a bust of Henry in Town. A Henry Lawson Festival is held here each June long weekend.

After coffee etc we headed off to see Ben Hall's Cave, where the bushranger hid from the authorities. The cave is in the Weddin Mountains National Park, some 48 klms from Grenfell. It is very rugged country and would have been very difficult to hide there with horses at the time of Hall's rampage.

Had neighbours for the night. Barry & Cherie are relatively local residents, who were going to try and sell some goods at the markets here tomorrow.

Day 44 23-03-14

Had breakfast and then visited the markets. Nothing much of interest to us on sale, so we headed off for a look at Forbes. Nice town and home to Ben Hall's grave.

We also located the grave of Kate Foster (nee Kelly) who was the sister of another famous bushranger, Ned Kelly.

Had lunch and headed home to our camp.

Day 45 24-03-14

Rained most of the night. The weather was very considerate and stopped raining while we hooked up. Off to West Wyalong, where we decided to stay for a couple of nights. Having lunch in the park, and met relatively new ACC Members, Margaret & Ian, who were travelling from their home in Adelaide to the Sunshine Coast. First fellow ACC Members we have met on our adventures.

Presently listening to the rain falling on the van roof. We are staying at the Ace Caravan Park. Reasonable price at $27 per night for 2 people.

Day 46 25-03-14

Woke to a rainy morning, which turned into a sunny day. Shopping and exploring West Wyalong. Nice little town.

Day 47 26-03-14

Checked out of the Ace Caravan Park and waited at nearby gardens to catch up with fellow Moreton Bay Drifters, Barb and Darryl Walker. Great to see them and we shared a very nice morning tea.

Set off towards Temora. We didn't stop there but continued onto Illado for an overnight stay in a great little rest area, across from the Pub and Store. Dinner at the pub. met some fellow Caravanners. Pub closed by 8:30pm. Off to Liquorish Factory tomorrow at Junee.

Day 48 27-03-14

Rainy morning. Had a late start, then onto Junee.

made the 10:00 am tour of the Liquorish & Chocolate Factory. Was the maiden tour for our guide, Jessica. She handled it and us very well. We were provided with plenty of samples during the tour. We were introduced to vertical Liquorish Bowling, which Ted won by a hair.


Then it was coffee in the Coffee Shop, before purchasing some of the varied wares in the shop, before heading to Gundagai.

We arrived in Gundagai about lunch time and after a visit to the Tourist Information Centre, we set up free camp at the Gundagai Pump House reserve. Great spot by the creek. At the moment we have it all to our selves.

Day 49  28-03-14

Another wet day. Spent the morning around the local area, including the "Dog on the Tucker Box"

After lunch it was on to Tumut for a look, and then on to Adelong, and the gold battery ruins.

Day 50 29-03-14

Rest Day today. Have new neighbours from Sydney.

Took photos from some of the lookouts.

The photo above shows our van on the right and our new neighbour's van.

We had a visit from a lone pelican today

Probably leaving here tomorrow.

Day 52 30-03-14

Packed up, filled up with water etc and headed off to Yass. Made a quick stop at Jungiong. Very busy so we pressed on.

Located an RV  Parking area in town set up camp in a lovely spot along a creek under the trees.

Only downside is the poor TV reception.

Day 53 31-03-14

Decided to move towards Canberra, so packed up and head off. We stopped at a little place called Murrumbateman. Free camping was supposed to be available at the Recreation Ground, after making a donation at the local Post Office. The office is a volunteer one and was closed when we arrived. Spoke with some men working at the Men's Shed, who told us the arrangements were to pick a spot and call at the Post Office when it opens at  4pm.

We were joined by a couple in a Motorhome and he went to the Post Office and was virtually told to get lost. Both of us decided to move on next day, after catching up with the laundry.

Day 54 01-04-14

Headed out early and travelled back through Yass and Gundagai to Tarcutta, where we had morning tea. Great caravan parking area in town.

Headed out and stopped in Holbrook and had a look at the former Submarine "HMAS Ottway" in the park.

We called at the Tourist Information Centre and spoke  with a very nice man called Cliff.

Lunch at a nearby cafe, which was great.

Onto Howlong, where we found a terrific free camp by the river. We met some fellow Queenslanders, Mark and Lyn. Very nice people.

Day 55 02-04-14

Shopping and fuel at Howlong.

After lunch we travelled to Rutherglen, Vic. Very old Town, checked out a few Antique Shops and then moved onto Chiltern, which seems to have more Antique and Second Hand shops than normal stores. Cathy got a bargain in one shop, scoring a bag of old jewellery for $5.00, which she will be able to recycle into her own hand made jewellery.

Day 56 03-04-14

Woke to a rainy, miserable day. Had Breakfast and after breaking camp, headed to Corowa.

We made a visit to the Corowa Whiskey and Chocolate Factory, which is a sister factory to the Junee Liquorice Factory. Chocolate was yum. Coffee was great to0.

Both properties were bought from the respective Councils for the princely sum of $1.00. Both were in a very neglected state.

From Corowa we travelled onto Berrigan for water and dump point, as the very unhelpful Corowa Council has removed tap handles from all of their dump points. Berrigan dump point is in a lovely park, which also contains the Berrigan Lions Club Caravan Park.

From their it was a wet drive, almost to Jerilderie, where we set up a free camp, along the river.

Day 57 04-04-14

Quiet night at Jerilderie with one other van and two Motor Homes.

Woke to overcast skies and drizzly showers. After breakfast, it was a quick pack up and after purchasing the cheapest fuel so far on this trip, we set off along the busy Newell Highway, before turning off towards the Village of Urana.

We arrived there about 11:00 am and booked into the Council Caravan Park for week. Lovely park and very friendly staff. Tariff $18 p/n for 2 Adults.

Caught up with the laundry and just chilled out on the banks of Lake Urana.

Day 58 05-04-14

Some shopping locally at Urana. Took a drive through Boree Creek, Morundah and back to Urana, under very overcast skies, with some showers. Both Boree Creek and Morundah are very small and have little in the way of services.

Day 59 06-04-14

Rest day, here in Urana. Chill out time.

Day 60 07-04-14

Sunny day. Off to Wagga Wagga for some pharmacy items and toilet chemicals etc. Wagga is about 1.5 hours from Urana. We had morning tea at Lockhart, in the Blue Bird Cafe, which is a 1950s Greek Cafe. The decor has been kept along with framed articles about the Cafe and its owners. Coincidentally, the owners came from the same Greek Island as quite a number of the Greek Cafe owners in Ipswich, when Ted was young.

Day 61 08-04-14

Another rest day. Ted walked into Urana Business Centre this morning and discovered a number of scrap metal sculptures.

This is a terrific Caravan Park and we would happily recommend it.

Day 62 09-04-14

Another rainy day.

After lunch we went back to Lockhart for some grocery shopping.

Did some more exploring.

Lockhart is known as the "Verandah Town" due to the shop awnings, providing shade to the footpaths.

The footpaths are paved, with designs and tiles commemorating historical facts and family roots.

Dotted around town are numerous sculptures, made from scrap metal, similar to those at Urana.

Day 63 10-04-14

Rain, Rain and more Rain.

Began some packing ready to head to Wagga Wagga tomorrow.

Day 64 11-04-14

Rain eased overnight. Luckily, we were able to pack up without getting drenched. Headed into Wagga Wagga and found ourselves free camping at Oura Beach Approx. 19 kms east of Wagga Wagga City centre.

Still a bit wet and some showers persist. Still its a lovely spot.

Day 65 12-04-14

Had a great nights sleep. Into Wagga Wagga for some shopping and then back home for a late lunch etc.

Day 66 13-04-14

Quick trip in to the nearest dump point and then sussed out the venue for the "Stone the Crows Festival" and made a visit to the Tourist Info Centre.

Lunch and then Laundry etc.

Day 67 14-04-14

What a day.  Van battery low as Waeco was not set right overnight. Started generator to charge it, but the inline fuse blew. Off to Town for a replacement fuse. Almost home and cart fuse blew, as did adapters for cigarette lighter plug. Had a spare for the car, but not for the adaptors. They will have to wait until tomorrow.

Car booked in for service tomorrow, so fuses tomorrow.

Have more neighbours. I wonder how many are going to "Stone the Crows".

Day 68 15-04-14

Lovely morning again. After breakfast, it was into Wagga Wagga for fuses to get the adaptors working again. Returned home and replaced the fuse in the double adaptor without any problems, however, the extension lead to connect the Waeco to the car was another matter. It suffered a meltdown and was unusable. back into Supercheap Auto and purchased a Narva heavy duty lead. No problems with that one.

Day 69 16-04-14

Began to pack up camp ready for departure in the morning to Stone the Crows. Quick trip to the Dump Point for the toilet. Then last minute stock up for the weekend. We will be sorry to leave Oura Beach, as it is a wonderful spot.

Day 70 17-04-14

Well. What a sight. Fog and heavy dew everywhere. Bit nippy to pack up, but we managed.

Off to Wilks Park for water refill. We had to line up as there was a max exodus of vans and motorhomes, heading to Stone the Crows. A fifth wheeler was in front of us and during discussions, established that it could take up to an hour for him to empty waste and fill water tanks.

Fortunately for us, he was almost done, so there were not so many curses uttered. Filling up complete, we headed off to Stone the Crows.

What an amazing sight. So may RVs lined up, all going to the same venue.

We eventually made our way through the gate, where we were directed to our site. Thanks to an inept and cranky official, we managed to slightly damage the rear corner of the van. This will now have to be an Insurance claim on Tuesday. ***@@@@

Nevertheless, we put it behind us and decided to enjoy ourselves.

We were sited next to fellow ACC Members, Rob and Marg, who are somewhat famous to readers of Caravan and Motorhome magazine, as they travelled around Australia, and had there adventures documented in the magazine. They are a great couple.

The afternoon saw us attending the official welcome and we were entertained by the Wagga Wagga Accordion Band. They were very skilled musicians, but the music was a bit ancient.

Commentary was provided by Jim Haynes, who was part of Slim Dusty's travelling shows.

He was joined by a very talented 17 old girl named Kaitlin O'Donohue. She is a fantastic entertainer, and will no doubt, go a long way in the entertainment industry.

We registered for games etc. and look forward to a great time.

Happy Hour was round a fire near our van. We were fortunate enough to meet a lot of new people.

Day 71 18-04-14

Well,  first day of competition. Ted's team in CrowFL, managed to progress to the third round, before being knocked out.

Visited the ACC Stand. new members being signed up and queries from interested parties being handled very efficiently by the capable members manning the stand.

Cathy attended the Ukelele lessons for beginners. Mostly a sales platform for the Tutor's merchandise.

Had happy hour around a campfire. Very welcome as the weather was quite cool.

Day 72 19-04-14

Had Breakfast and then off to Town. Gas bottle refill, some grocery shopping etc., while Cathy was at Ukelele lessons. Had Lunch and then watched some of the games competition and took photos.

Saturday night, saw Ted going to a great concert, hosted by Jim Haynes. Cathy was too chicken to brave the cold. Headliner was Darren Carr, a comedian/ventriloquist. Fabulous show, worthy of any top line auditorium.

Day 73 19-04-14

Attended a workshop on photography. Didn't learn anything new though. Also attended a workshop about writing for Magazines. Very informative, but I probably will not pursue this avenue, as there are too many rules and conditions.

Noticed an antique caravan, which was being used by one of the professional Bush poets.

More lessons for the budding minstrel.

Sunday night saw the Talent Quest finals. Great show, although very cold.

Day 74 21-04-14

Up at 6am. Freezing. Started to set up at the Open Day markets at 7am. Cathy managed to make a modest amount of profit, despite intense competition from other stall holders.

After Lunch, we decided to pack up and head off to avoid the rush, next morning.

We left the grounds, filled up with water at Wilks Park, Wagga Wagga, and then headed back to Oura Beach. Unfortunately, it was almost full, so off to Wantabadgery for two nights.

Unfortunately, the van bolt on folding step, fell to pieces, and had to be removed.

Day 75 23-04-14

Back into Wagga Wagga, still chasing mail, without success. Great job, Australia Post. NOT.

Lunch and then off south. Overnight between Glenrowan and Benalla at a Rest Stop. Very popular and very well set up. Cool night.

Day 76 24-04-14

Off this morning towards Shepparton. Had lunch at Wunghnu, pronounced One Ewe.Nice little town.

Had a quick stop at Benalla and visited the Information Centre.

Great ceramic feature in the park. Constructed of hand made tiles, it took 27 years to complete.

Travelled to Shepparton. Unable to park near the Chocolate Apple Factory, so we kept on towards Echuca. Overnight stop near Tongala turnoff. Freezing night.

Into Echuca, very busy. It suffered from a lack of available caravan parking, so it missed out on our dollars. We did make a stop at Bunnings, but could not find the gas heater we were looking for, so on towards Swan Hill.

Lunch at Gunbower and filled our water tanks.

Free camped at Lake Charm Rest area. Camp spots shown in Wikicamps, could not be located.

Day 77 25-04-14

Decided to retrace our steps towards Shepparton, due to lack of free camp spots near Swan Hill and the school holiday pricing of caravan parks. Paid a visit to Boort and then back into Kerang. Filled tanks again at Gunbower Overnight at Rich River Golf Resort at Moama. The club administers the dump point and allows free camping of up to 48 hrs on a grassy area near the tennis courts.

We had dinner at the club for a change.

Day 78 26-04-14

Travelled via Tongala and Mooroopna, where we had lunch at the award winning bakery and then onto Shepparton. Missed the chocolate apple factory again. Free camping at Casey's Weir, about 20kms from Benalla. Will stay two nights. Still cold at night. Lovely days.

We met Martin, who makes and sells A-Boards to businesses, to advertise on footpaths etc.he is also an accomplished musician.

Great yarn spinner.

Day 79 27-04-14

Quiet day. Mostly relaxing with a book or two.

Day 80 28-04-14

Packed  off and headed towards Benalla. Visit to the chemist and then onto Yarrawonga.

Lunch at Maccas, after attending to toilet duty. Attempted to get a quote for tyres, but operator really did not want to be bothered, so we headed into Cobram and located the free camping area at Big Toms Beach on the banks of the Murray River.

Very cool weather, but not a bad camp.

Day 81 29-04-14

Arranged for new tyres to be fitted on 30-04-14. Had a look around town. Seems to be a nice town, with some interesting buildings, such as the Court House.

Rain this afternoon, which made the weather very very cool.

Day 82 30-04-14

Breakfast and then into town for tyres.

Purchased warmer clothes at the Op Shop. Good bargains.

Ted made an overdue visit to the barber and had his ears lowered.

Picked up the car and we were informed that the steering idler arm bushes, need to be replaced. Went to the Ford dealer, but spare parts man did not know what we were talking about. Great isn't it. Over to Repco and parts ordered, without any problems.

Grocery shopping and then back to camp.

Booked into Yarrawonga Holiday Park for weekend. Check in 01-05-14.

Day 83 01-05-14

Off to Yarrawonga, after picking up parts for car, arranging repairs and wheel alignment for 05/05/14. Also priced gas bottle refill at local caravan dealer. Refused to pay $34.

Booked into Yarrawonga Holiday Park. Quite a number of ACC members already in attendance. Set up camp and then attended our first Happy Hour of the weekend. Met lots a new faces.

Day 84 02-05-14

Awoke to a very cold day. Shopping in Yarrawonga. Laptop mouse decided to expire, so purchased a cheapy wireless mouse at Woolworths. Brought it home and found it faulty.

Happy Hour again. Great atmosphere.

The hearty fire certainly helped.

Day 85 03-05-14

Today is a cold wet day. Back up town for a replacement computer mouse. Bought the dearer one, I should have bought the first time. No problems.

Quiet day, until communal dinner in the camp kitchen. Great meal and company.

Entertainment was provided by a new band, at one time called "Four Play", until they became five.

Following the magnificent voices of the ACC members attending, a Fashion Parade

evolved. Not sure of the models, but the Three Stooges spring to mind.

Our Chairman Tom, provided us with an overview of where the Club is going and some problems that will have to be addressed. He then took questions from the floor, which I believe, was most beneficial to all attending members.

Day 85 04-05-14

Up early on a bitterly cold and windy morning, for breakfast in the Camp Kitchen, which we shared with a visiting Hot Rod Club.  The proceeds were donated to Blazeaid. Very good cause.

A great time was had by all.

Spent the rest of the day yarning and packing up. Ted went to the very cold Happy Hour, while Cathy stayed in the warm van.

Then off for dinner at the Mulwalla Golf Club. Great meal and Ted won $15 on the pokies.

Day 86 05-05-14

Cold day again. Broke camp and headed to Post Office, as Telstra, were supposed to have delivered a Wi-Fi Mobile Hot Spot device to us there. Unfortunately, there was no delivery.

Over to Cobram for care repairs and wheel alignment. Contacted Telstra, who informed us that the order had been cancelled by their credit dept. Believe it, or not, a person in Ipswich, withe same Christian and Surname as my self has a credit default. We were advised to go to a Telstra Shop to sort it out and to take delivery of a device.

So it was back to Shepparton for this purpose. Spent the night at a Rest Area about 24 kms from Shepparton.

Day 87 06-05-14

Freezing morning. After a visit to the Chocolate Apple Factory, in Shepparton, it was off to the Telstra Shop. Assisted by a very helpful young bloke named Jonty. Credit matter sorted by Drivers License No. The other person had a similar Lic. No. with only one digit different.

Collected device and headed towards Bendigo.

Spent the night in the Huntly-Epsom Lions Park, with several other vans, including three Quuenslanders. Great spot.

We had to cover the mirrors on the car to stop a stupid Minah bird, from going berserk and attacking himself in the mirror.

Day 88 07-05-14

Off towards Bendigo. Very busy City. Parking a problem. Visited Show Grounds for the Dump Point. Budget camping stopped by Bendigo Council, so we decided to spend our money elsewhere.

Off towards Horsham and overnighted in a rest area, about 75 klms from Horsham. No other campers. Cold night again.

Day 89 08-05-14

Headed off to Horsham through St. Arnaud, Rupanyup, Murtoa and Dooen. After a little trouble, we found the Horsham Showgrounds on the banks of the Wimmera River and booked in for 7 days at a cost $50 in total, as well as two complimentary tickets to the Greyhound racing on Tuesday night. How could you beat that for value.

Unfortunately the Horsham Council, who own the caravan park, and another person, who owns cabin accommodation, are attempting to close the camping down. Greed raises its ugly head again.

What a great club the ACC is. Waiting for some prescriptions to be filled, we decided to have a coffee in Waack's Bakery, when lo and behold, who should we run into but the very well known Lionel Mussell and Bernie Barnwell, the leading Tasmanian identity.

An invitation to visit Lionel at Illawarra was issued and gratefully accepted. Consequently, at the end of our week in Horsham, we will b travelling to South Australia by way of Chez Mussell.

Day 90 09-05-14

Woke up to rainy and windy conditions. Very cold. Up town for shopping.

Laundry day again.

After lunch it was off to see a Doctor to replenish our Prescriptions.

Day 91 10-05-14

Overcast morning. After Breakfast, it was up town and coffees etc. at Maccas. Not much room to move in their Car Park, when the Drive Through is overflowing.

The afternoon turned into a fabulous day, as the sun decided to come out.

Day 92 11-05-12

Woke to heavy fog. Sun came out later, so we walked into town along the river. Great walking paths provided. Had a coffee. Cath visited Spotlight for some supplies. Back to the van for lunch, with showers threatening.

Visit to the dump point etc. Priced some cameras in Harvey Norman. Think I will stick with the one I've got, even though it may need a minor repair.

Day 93 12-05-14

How great it is to be able to do nothing at all, except speak with Tom Smith on the phone.

Much warmer day when the sun came out, following another heavy fog.

Day 94 13-05-14

Better day, weather wise. spent a little time looking around Horsham. Used our complimentary tickets to the Greyhound racing. Meeting started at 4pm. We went over at 5:30pm and found that the meeting was almost finished. Only about 6 spectators in evidence.

Day 95 14-05-14

Very foggy morning again, but turned into a nice day.

Stocked up the pantry, prior to our moving to Lionel's tomorrow. After lunch, began the process of packing up.

Day 96 15-05-14

Off to Illawarra. Uneventful journey to Lionel's house. Had a coffee with Lionel and then set up camp.

Cathy made a curry, which we shared with Lionel over a wine or two.

Day 97 16-05-14

Set off into Stawell for a quick look and then we decided to look at Halls Gap. Lovely spot.

We had a coffee with  the bird life at the Information Centre.

Back to the van, awaiting roast leg of lamb at Lionel's.

A great night was had by all.

Day 98 17-05-14

Visit to Stawell for toilet dump.

Lionel undertook to show us around Lake Lonsdale and lake Fyans, in Bernie's jeep.

Very interesting tour, albeit a bit cool.

We were very impressed by Lionel's Long Necked Sheep (Alpacas) named Doris and Lucy after Doris Day and Lucille Ball.

Dinner again at Lionel's, with him and his Daughter and Son in law. They are a terrific couple.

Two of Cathy's Daughters and two of the Grandkids are visiting Portland, which is only 220 kms from here. Arrangements made to catch up in Portland tomorrow.

Day 99 18-05-14

Early start this morning to Portland, via Halls Gap. Arrived about 9:30am. Had a great time with Tanya, Michelle, Jayden and Jayme, along with Tanya's friends, Penny and Dean and their kids. Had a good look at Portland, which is a great place on the coast. It is home to a fishing fleet and a commercial Port.

Our tour of the area also included Port Nelson Lighthouse.

We left about 3:00pm and returned to Illawarra via Arrarat.

Ted made his famous Spaghetti Bol, for the three of us. It is our last night with Lionel.

We should be in South Australia, tomorrow.

Day 100 19-05-14

Late start. Said our farewells to Lionel and his Son in Law and set off to Stawell and Horsham.

Attended to some medical matters in Horsham and then off towards South Australia.




Continue reading
  7425 Hits
Recent Comments
Great to meet you at the Chairman's muster in Yarrawonga and to be neighbours on the campsite. We had good fun with with the ukele... Read More
Monday, 05 May 2014 07:50
Thanks very much Vee. The pleasure was all ours. Thanks for the constructive feed back. Do hope we run into each other again. Ted ... Read More
Monday, 05 May 2014 09:04
7425 Hits

Ted and Cathy's Nomadic Adventures 2014 (Pt.1)


Day 1. 18/01/14

Finally we have left Ipswich about 11:50 am. Steady run up Cunningham's Gap, across to Toowoomba and on towards Dalby.

We traveled through to a little place called Brigalow, where we overnighted, in what was obviously a heavy vehicle stop. A bit noisy, but, hey, it was free.



Day 2 19/01/14

Set sail for Chinchilla. Large markets near the road, but we did not stop as parking was a problem. Fueled up and continued on towards Roma. Went to buy some groceries at Woolworths, only to find them closed. This would be the only Woolworths I know of that was not trying to ring the last fifty cents out of the population. IGA open and trading steadily.

We returned to the car and saw that a pedestrian had been knocked over by a car, in the short time we were shopping. All Emergency Services were in attendance.

Left Roma about 11:30 am, heading towards Charleville. Temperatures steadily rising.

Numerous delays due to extensive roadworks between Roma and Charleville. Arrived Charleville at 3:55 pm.  Road works added almost 1.5 hours to the trip.

Booked into Bailey Bar Caravan Park (Top Tourist). very helpful Proprietor. The park is a quiet shady park with some concrete annex pads and some grassy sites. We do think, however, that it is a bit pricey at $34 p n, considering the basic amenities offered. To top it off the use of Private Washing machines is prohibited. They need to pick up their act.

Had a quick look around the town. Ted was stationed here for 6 years when a Qld Police officer. Almost a ghost town.  only one pub operating. Back to the park for dinner.

Day 3 20/01/14

Made contact with Dave Barker.  Dave is a former Sergeant of Police, who worked in Charleville with Ted. Arrangements made to catch up in the afternoon.

Made a few purchases and explored shops etc. Temperature reached 42 degrees. Bloody Hot.

Spent most of the afternoon in the van with the A/C struggling. Met up with Dave Barker as arranged. It was great to reminisce with him and recall some funny events.


Day4 21/01/14

Fueled up at the new Gulf Truck Stop. $1.64 per litre for Diesel. Then off to Cunnamulla.

Walked around town and took some photos, before heading off towards St. George. We are amazed by the proliferation of Emus. Every couple of kms there is another Mob. When I lived out this way it was rare to see one, unless you out around Thargomindah. Roos of course are in plague proportions, as they always were.

We arrived at Bollon and camped overnight, in a great camping ground, along Wallam Creek. Camping fees are by donation to the local community for medical equipment. It is all set up with a flush toilet, fireplaces and seating on the river bank. Concrete walking paths follow the creek bank. I have filled out a Budget Camping entry for this one.

Spent a quiet, but warm night. We were the only campers.

Day 5 22/01/14

We left Bollon this morning about 07:30am for the run into St. George.

St. George is a larger community on the banks of the Balonne River. Spent some money in the town on Iced Coffees and a haircut for Ted. Fueled up at $1.64 per litre, before moving off to Goondiwindi.

 Lunch was had at the little town of Talwood. Nice tidy little town.

Arrived at Goondiwindi  at about 2:00pm. Booked into Top Tourist Park.

Went out to dinner at the Queensland Hotel. Lovely meal, but had to wait almost 1 hour for it. Was only Rissoles and a Chicken Parmigiana, which was the special and one would think, should have been precooked.

Arrived at the Van in very gusty winds. We found the awning flapping madly. It had been torn out of the Anti-Flappers. The washing was a mess. We managed to roll up the awning, although conditions made it very difficult. A number of other campers, were happy to stand there watching, without offering help. Why am I not surprised? Of course Management was conspicuous by their absence. 

Day 6 23/01/14

Still no sign of Management, to see whether we sustained any damage last night. Happy to take your money though.

Found a MacCafe and had a coffee, whilst we fueled up for tomorrow. Stocked up on groceries and visited the Botanical Gardens. It is a lovely are, but conditions are very dry.

We don't mind Goondiwindi, as it is a vibrant very tidy town.

Spent the afternoon resting as,  the rains came along with gusty winds.

Day 7 24/01/14

Well its off into NSW today. Not that it took long, as Goondiwindi sits on the border.

Gusty winds, fortunately behind us today. Into Boggabilla, past the "Wobbly Boot" Hotel.


from Boggabilla it was on into Moree for a quick look. Moree is quite a large town, very busy on a Friday at least. We didn't stay but headed to Warialda. Quite a nice easy drive. From there, a short drive to Bingara. Had lunch at the Roxy Cafe. Very retro and very nice.


Stocked up on groceries at the IGA and then set off to camp by the river for the night.

Day 8 25-01-14

After a rainy night, we struck camp and headed to "Thistlebank" near Tingra, which is owned by the National President of the Australian Caravan Club, Tom Smith and his wife Sandra.

Tom and Sandra are hosts of one of the ACC Farm Stay Properties.

It was great to catch up with Tom & Sandra. Tom organised us with a top spot to set up camp. Afternoon tea on Tom & Sandra's front  verandah, followed. We partook of chocolate chip bikkies, made by their Daughter, Katerine. Yum Yum.

Day 9 26-01-14 (Australia Day)

We awoke to a blustery, windy and cold morning. We packed up, and after Morning Tea with Tom and Sandra, we set off to Guyra, where we stopped for the Lamb and Potato Festival. We decided to camp at "Mother of Ducks Lagoon" Rest Area. Top spot.

We met fellow caravanners, Kevin and Lance, together with their wives. Had a good talk with them about the ACC and handed them brochures and Application Forms. They seem very interested.

We invited ourselves to Happy Hour with them and had a great time, with many yarns being told, at least by the men.

Day 10 27-01-14

Another blustery cool morning. Packed up and realised we had left our extra long hose at "Thistlebank". Fortunately, Tom's Daughter, Hannah and her Husband, Sam, were returning to Armidale, so thanks to their good graces, we got the hose back. Thanks all.

So, after all that, we set off to Armidale. Booked into Armidale Showgrounds, for the next week. Very reasonable at $20.00 per night. Because we were staying for a week, we only paid for 5 nights. Very windy weather. We decided against putting the Awning out. Dinner at Hungry Jacks for something different.

Day 11 28-01-14

Awoke to a less windy day, which enabled us to erect the Awning etc. Relaxing day. Ted walked to Town for groceries. 12 Minute walk. Too easy.

Booked free Heritage Bus Trip, for tomorrow, at Tourist Information Centre.

More vans arrived today. Approx 6 vans and two large mobile homes now in residence.

Day 12 29-01-14

A bit cool this morning, but turned into lovely day.

After Breakfast, we took ourselves to the Tourist  Information Centre, for our heritage bus trip around Armidale. It was a very informative tour, of the city education precinct, Aboriginal Cultural Centre and Keeping Place, New England Regional Art Museum, Armidale Railway Station and Museum (the morning tea was most appreciated) and finished off at The University of New England at "Booloominbah"  Homestead, which is now the Administration Centre for the University.

It contains some of the most magnificent stained glass windows, we have seen. One of these  commemorates general Gordon of Khatoum fame.


This last photo is of "The Gordon Window".

Following the tour, we explored the town and Ted purchased a new phone handset at the Telstra Shop to enable better coverage when away from urban areas. Cathy has the same phone which works well in outer areas.

Returned to the van for the rest of the evening.

Day 13 30-01-14

Another blustery day. Laundry day.

Took car to "My Car Sound & Communications" to have a 3G phone antenna, to the car for greater coverage. Excellent people to deal with. Very reasonable.

Walked all over town, while waiting for the vehicle.

Had dinner with Ted's  Niece and family. Great meal and great night.

Day 14 31-01-14

Another fine day in Armidale.

There have been some changes in our fellow campers. It looks as though it may be quite popular.

Quiet day today. Stocked up on a few groceries. Spent the rest of the day in relaxed mode.

Day 15 01-02-14

A pinch and a punch, the first of the Month.

Went walking today, well at least Ted did.

Still waiting for Australia Post to get their  act together. Mail posted 4 days ago on the Gold Coast, still not delivered to a P.O. Box in Armidale. maybe an increase in service levels, before an increase in postage rates.

Paid for another two nights here. Can't travel on the Navigator's Birthday.

Day 16  02-02-14

Lazy morning. Then off to Saumarez Homestead, which is a National Trust property, approximately 10 kms from Armidale CBD, for a Devonshire Tea and guided tour.

Well worth the Concessional Price of $8 each for the tour and the $7 each for the Devonshire Tea.

The house is over 100 years old and was home to two generations of the White family, before being handed to the National Trust.

Because there were only four of us on the last tour for the day, we granted access to areas that are not usually shown to visitors.

The house is surrounded by a number of garden areas. "Mary's Garden" is a typical English style cottage garden, with meandering paths and little nooks.

Day 17 03-02-14

Cathy's Birthday today.

Off to Breakfast at Caffiends, Armidale. Lovely meal.

Dinner at "Servies Bistro" at the Armidale Services Club. Another top meal.

Played the pokies with limited success.


Day 18 04-02-14

Mail finally turned up. Only took a week. Great Service from Australia Post.

Some shopping and tidying up ready to move on tomorrow.

Met some new arrivals at camp. Darryl and Marie. Fellow Queensland full time travelers. Had Happy Hour with them and another couple, Trev and his wife.

Day 19 05-02-14

Pack up time this morning and then on the road to Walcha. Arrived in a busy Uralla, with the intention of having a nice cup of coffee etc. No parking available to suit our rig, so Uralla missed out on our dollars.

Onwards to Walcha. Fueled up and had a quick snack. Off towards to Wauchope. Lots of cattle grazing on the road, due to drought conditions.

Very overcast day, with some showers. We decided to overnight at Stockyard Creek Rest Area. Lovely bush c amp. prolific bird life, including Bellbirds.

We decided to play a card game called "Crazy Eights" for something different. Ted won of course.

Spent a peaceful night, albeit a bit wet.

Day 20 06-02-14

Onward to Wauchope. Very windy road, interspersed with numerous roadworks. Overcast with light drizzle. The drizzle ended before Wauchope, but overcast conditions continued.

We are camped at Wauchope Showgrounds at $20 per night.

Stocked up on groceries etc.

Day 21 07-02-14

Woke up and had Breakfast with 3 Magpies. 2 Adults and one Juvenile. All demanded food.

Off in Port Macquarie for some shopping and to fill prescriptions. Ah the price of getting old.

Back to Wauchope. Relaxed for the rest of the day.

Day 22 08-02-14

Great weather this morning. Neighbouring Van left this morning.

After Breakfast it was off to Ricardoes Tomato and Strawberry farm for a look. This a a self pick strawberry farm, with tomatoes for sale as well. A well stocked Gift Shop and Cafe are attached.

We had coffee, with scones, jam and cream. A little bit pricey, but very nice all the same. Picked some strawberries and bought tomatoes. Not the cheapest, but at least we know they are fresh and where they came from.

Went back to the van, to find we had new neighbours. Another Coromal Princeton.

Lunch and spent the rest of the day in relaxed mode.

Day 23 09-02-14

Quiet Day. Did nothing until pm and then into Port Macquarie, to the Tourist Information Centre. Bought some Post Cards and a fridge magnet. Stocked up on some groceries, at IGA while we were there. Prices a lot dearer than Queensland.

Started packing up after dinner, for our departure tomorrow.

Day 24 10-02-14

Leisurely departure and steady drive to Taree with a pie and coffee stop at Kew.

Sought info at the Taree Tourist Information Centre. Very helpful staff who told us about a free camp at Wingham. Off to Wingham we went, post haste and secured a possie near the river.

We had a visit from a very friendly chook.

Day 25 11-02-14

Nothing to do and all day to do it, in a lovely spot.

The friendly chook, turned out to be a rooster this morning early.

Unfortunately we had to stock up on fuel for the generator, so had to cease doing nothing.

Day 26 12-02-14

Much the same as Yesterday, with the exception of a trip into Taree, checking on mail. Return journey via Tinonee and Mondrook. Nice looking little villages.

Day 27 13-02-14

Trip to the Chemist. Ah the price of aging.

Met some new travellers, Hosea and his wife from Cairns and Motorhome people, who did not really give us a name. Happy hour before dinner.

Day 28 14-02-14

What is this wet stuff falling from the sky. Wait, I believe its rain.

The locals are so looking forward to this. Country is very dry.

Toured the Wingham Museum, which is one of the best we have visited. Well worth the effort.

Day 29 15-02-14

Still raining today.

Contacted Chris Murphy, re our Farm Sit. Arranged an ETA with him for tomorrow. Spent some more money in Wingham.

Rain eased off for awhile, after lunch, so we went for a walk on the boardwalk in Wingham Brush, which adjoins our campsite. The walking trails have been very nicely done.



Day 30 16-02-14

Packed up and headed off. Stop at Taree for lunch then onto Ryrie Lane, Upper Lansdowne. Met Chris and Robyn Murphy. Set up camp. We had to take the Awning in, due to violent storm. Very strong winds and heavy rain..

Day 31 17-02-14

Still raining. Off to Taree, chasing mail. No luck. Back to Upper Lansdowne for a BBQ with our hosts, Chris & Robyn. Lovely meal. Great company


Our Farm sit is pictured above.

Day 32 18-02-14

Lazy day at the Farm.getting familiar with tasks to be undertaken.

Day 33 19/02/14

Off chasing mail again. Australia Post has struck again. Nothing like good service. Pretty we can't get from Aust. Post.

Some shopping, then back home.

Day 34 20-02-14

Chris and Robyn left for their holiday today.

We were on the mail chase again. No luck again.

Went to Old Bar and Manning Point for a look. Old Bar was a bit bigger than anticipated, but Manning Point was about as pictured.

Lunch at Taree Rest Stop, in torrential rain.

34.5 Mls in the Rain Gauge at Upper Lansdowne (Just in case you're reading this Chris & Robyn)

Went out for a steak at the Airport Hotel. Would not rush back again. Ted's T-Bone was OK, but Cathy's Rump very gristly.

Its a bit of a con. Steak advertised at $5, but then the salad is an extra $3 and Mushroom or Diane Sauce is another $2 on top of that.

Day 35 21-02-14

Went for a walk around the property with "Chocko", the dog.

Large variety of bird life in the area.

Lawn mowing and relaxation for the rest of the day.

Day 36 22-02-14

Checked water troughs and went to ill neighbour's house to feed pony.

Off into town and then to Forster-Tuncurry, for a look see. It reminds me a bit of Yepoon in Qld.

Also drove into Hallidays Point, for look. Much quieter and less commercial development.

Back home to feed animals.

We had a visit from Neighbours, Doreen and Darryl Bishop. (Horse owners) Very nice couple, who asked if we could water some plants for them as well as attend to the horse. This will be no problem.

Animals seem to have taken to us as you can see below.

"Chocko" and Cathy.

Day 37 23-02-14

Travelled down for a look see at Nabiac. Nice little town with a quaint Antique Shop. Nothing quaint about the prices, however. Back to Taree and then home. Located Chris' Persimmon tree. Only tree in the paddock and loaded with fruit. Collected some for later.

Day 38 24-02-14

On the mail chase again with Aust. Post. Still nothing.

Off to Wingham to head for Ellenborough Falls. Direct road closed for Roadworks so off via Comboyne Road. Majority of the trip is gravel. High Range 4WD a definite must for most of it. Graders working and rain on freshly graded areas. Located the falls. Quite spectacular.

Resident Brush Turkey was quite unfazed by our presence. In fact he walked up to Ted and demanded food.

We had a coffee and snack at the local store. Felt like we were back in the 60s what with all the "Flower Children", somewhat older versions, and Alternative Lifestylers, probably Dope Growers.

Returned via Comboyne, Kendall and Kew.More gravel road. Lovely scenery, including our restful friend below.

Day 39 25-02-14

Replaced one way water valve with an isolating tap. Sick of the valve sticking open when mains disconnected, and allowing the holding tanks to drain.

Still no mail.

Day 40 26-02-14

Well. Some mail finally arrived in Taree. 6 Days from the Gold Coast. 1 letter still missing after 2 weeks +. Well done APO, NOT.

The boss went shopping in Spotlight. Oh well, more jewellery in the production line. Getting ready for the Stone the Crows Festival at Easter.

Day 41 27-02-14

Nothing to report on today.

Day 41 28-02-14

Woke to heavy rain. 8Mill in that lot. Showers and rain for rest of the day. Into Taree for more jewellery supplies. Came home with an Android Note Tablet for the boss.

Day 42 01-03-14

Lazy Day. Stayed home.

Day 43 02-03-14

Met up with Cathy's Brother Joe and his wife Marianne. They are now staying with us at the farm.

Had a great lunch and dinner. They are on their way home from a lap around Oz.

Inspected the river crossing here on the property. It was barely trickling across the causeway before the rain. A big difference now.

Day 44 03-03-14

Off to Thornton, near Maitland, with Joe and Marianne, to visit Joe & Cathy;s Cousin, Margaret Writer and her Husband Terry. After a battle with the GPS Witch, we arrived in time for lunch. We had a great time there, before returning to the farm to feed the animals.

We had a coffee stop at Bulahdelah, overlooking a great Free Camping area on the river.

Day 45 04-03-14

All of us went to Taree for shopping, before visiting Wingham Museum and giving our guests a tour of the area including Tinnoee and similar villages on the way back to Taree.

Day 46 05-03-14

Lazy day today. Rest and relaxation.

Day 47 06-03-14

Spent the day mowing after the rainy periods. Still more to do.

Day 48 07-o3-14

Joe and Marianne packed up this morning. Had Breakfast with them and them showed them a short cut to the Pacific Highway. More sightseeing around Taree after a delicious Fish & Salad lunch on the banks of the Manning River at a lovely Town park.

Day 49 08-03-14

Spent the day mowing. Lots to do. Fed the neighbours horse and then rested up.

Day 50 09-03-14

Rest Day, then in the afternoon off to Krembach and took a second look at Forster. Missed a lot the first time.

Day 51 10-03-14

Into Taree for a Naturopath Appointment. Shopping and then home and sorted out some computer files.

Day 32 11-03-14

More yard work. Cathy not well and spent a restful day.

Day 34 12-03-14

Shopping in Taree, Cathy much better today. Lunch in town. Phone call re a buyer for Cathy's Investment Property. Numerous phone calls with agent.

Day 35 13-03-14

Cleaned our poor muddy/dusty tug. Can now see its correct colour again. Calls from and to Real Estate agent.

We decided to go out for dinner, so went to Taree Leagues Sports Club. Nice meals and lucky night for Ted on pokies.

Day 36 14-03-14

Collected some mail at Taree. Grocery shopping. Rest of the day spent relaxing.

Day 37 15/03/14

Full days mowing and cleaning, as our Farm Sit is nearing  completion, with Chris & Robyn returning home on 17/03/14.

Fed neighbour's pony, probably for the last time, as they are due to return today, sometime.

Day 38 16-03-14

Started to pack up our gear. Chris and Robyn advised they will be home tonight. Severe thunderstorms here today. Had to roll up awning.

Cathy cooked dinner for the travellers and we joined them for dinner and catch up.

Cathy has created a collage of photos for them. It was a great hit.

Day 39 17-03-14

Collected mail at Taree P O. Lunch in town. More packing etc.

Day 40 18-03-14

Packing. Checking tyre pressures etc. Having "Last Supper" with Chris & Robyn tonight and heading off tomorrow.


Continue reading
  4426 Hits
Recent Comments
Kay and Ron : q000592
Hello Kathy and Ted, I'm enjoying reading your travel blog from the airconditioned comfort of home. It's far too hot for us to go... Read More
Wednesday, 22 January 2014 13:32
Hi Kay. Unfortunately the Charleville Hotel no longer operates. Corones has a bottle shop and does tours of the Hotel. They charge... Read More
Thursday, 23 January 2014 19:17
4426 Hits

Who is using the forums?

Hi. I've just joined the club and am in the single traveller's club. In scanning the various blogs across the site, it seems that there hasn't been in activity or discussion for quite a long time. Of course, I may be missing something but it seems, on the face of it, that little is being talked about or shared. If that is the case, why is it so (thanks to Professor Julius Summer-Miller).

Continue reading
  2190 Hits
  1 Comment
Recent comment in this post
Andrew and Deb : v00470
Yes I have noticed the same thing . Looks like the forums have been very busy a long time ago maybe they aren't very user friendly... Read More
Friday, 14 February 2014 12:15
2190 Hits
1 Comment

Farm stayers @ Narrabri

Just had some great time with Ray et al when they stayed at ours. What laughs!!

Hope all enjoy the Muster.

Maybe Stephen and I will get to the next one???? Plan A or Plan B!!!!!!!

Keep laughing


Continue reading
  753 Hits
753 Hits

SW Queensland

Left home in Mackay early July this year and had a good trip south on the old Sarina/Marlborough Road, a lot less traffic and NO trucks.  Had a week at Bargara and then headed south inland.  Stayed at Lake Broadwater just south of Dalby - magnificant site, very large, hot showers and plenty of wildlife.  Then off to Cunnamulla where we stayed on Bowra Station - a bird lovers delight!  Well over 300 species of birds frequent this property! Continued west stopping at Lake Bindigolly (?) a huge expanse of water both sides of the road.  Great spot and camping on the southern side of the highway.  Next stop Thargomindah, a wonderful caravan park there, did washing etc. Enjoyed our time there - plenty to see.  Next stop was Noccundra where  we camped on the banks of the Wilson River and watched the hundreds of pelicans feeding etc.  From there did a loop around to Quilpie, first night at the Lake and then stayed at the rest area.  Fascinating place - everyone should check out the opal altar in the catholic church.  Has to be seen to believe it! On to Charleville and visited the Cosmos centre at night - freezing cold but a great experience. From there north to Longreach and then onto Lake Dunn - the most wonderful lake we have ever seen.  Cannot wait to get back there!  The sun rises and sets over the lake and there is also good birdlife there.  Watched the pelicans feeding while we having breakfast!.  Wonderful trip.

Continue reading
  2289 Hits
2289 Hits

Travels in 2012

My major trip for 2012 was up to Alice Springs and back in. A mixture of free camping and caravan parks. Great trip.  Can't seem to upload photos to this blog so will have to leave the "stunning photos" till another time.

A couple of injuries one after the other have kept me tethered to home for the latter part of the year. 

I have several trips planned for next year including the Stone the Crows Festival. Anyone else going? Sounds like a lot of fun.


Continue reading
  1980 Hits
1980 Hits

Caravan Choice

My wife & I have just ordered an OPTION RV Destinction model for Dec delivery & was wondering if any members had such a van & what were there thoughts about this particular van, it's 20'6" centre door.

                Cheers, Trevor

Continue reading
  2128 Hits
2128 Hits

Life after Mallacoota

Day 1. 29/10/12

Well, its out of Mallacoota this morning and on the road again. First stop was at the little village of Cann River for a coffee and to pick up a loaf of bread. Cann River is situated at the junction of the Princes Highway and the Alpine Highway.

It is larger than Genoa, with several coffee shops, diner, bakery and pie shop, as well as a fuel outlet. The Cann River Cafe, boasts a sign saying that the original cafe was established in 1947. The town also has a shop displaying signs from the 1930s - 1950s, mostly for motorcycles.

We could have had a caravan club muster of our own this morning at Cann River, with the number of ACC vans stopped there for refreshments.

From there we moved along towards Orbost, through areas that had been involved in bushfires. CFA vehicles could be seen in the area, obviously mopping up after the fires. Signs warning of smoke over the road were still in place, however, we did no have any smoke problems.

There were a large number of motorcycles travelling East, obviously returning home after attending the motorcycle racing at Phillip Island.

We stopped in at Orbost, which is lovely country town in East Gippsland, on the banks of the Snowy River. Timber seems to be one of the main industries in the area.

While we were in Orbost the strangest thing happened. We were told at Mallacoota, that a couple had been looking for us. They were friends of Bevan & Margaret Guttormsen from our Club. We were out on that occasion. We were walking down the street in Orbost, when we were approached by a couple, who inquired if we were Ted and Cathy. When we replied that we were, they told us that they were the people had been looking for us at Mallacoota. They had seen our name on the back of our van, as we drove down the street. How about that for a coincidence. More on this topic later.

We did a little shopping before heading off to Lakes Entrance. We arrived at Lakes Entrance at about 1:30pm.

Now for the next chapter in the Orbost coincidence. When were booking in at the Eastern Beach Caravan Park, the lady looked at Cathy and said, "And you'd be Cathy" We were nonplussed for a while, as to how she would know Cathy's name, as I had not supplied it, while on the phone making our booking. She eventually told us that the people we met in Orbost had told her.

When we met up with Barry & Jeanette, they told us that at the eact time I called the caravan park, they were in the office booking in. When Jeanette heard the manager say that she would see us this afternoon, she asked if it was us one the phone. How amazing.

This a lovely park and there are at least another four Queensland vans from our Muster here as well.

The Park is well maintained and the amenities are clean and a pleasure to use.

We had Happy Hour with Barry & Jeanette and a couple of their friends.

We all went to the Lakes Entrance Bowls Club for Dinner. Meal and company was great. Pokies not so great.

Day 2. 30/10/12

Slept in for a change. The off to Bucan Caves, approx. 54 kms from Lakes Entrance (Turn off at Nowa Nowa). The caves may not be as extensive as the Jenolan Cavers, but nevertheless, they are well worth a visit. $13 per head (Seniors Concession) for a guided tour with a very informative guide.

On the way back we visited an historic trestle rail bridge near Nowa Nowa. The bridge is no longer in use, but what a feat of engineering to build it in the first place. Built in 1916 for steam trains, it was built from red Iron-bark and Grey Box timber. It is 247 metres long, and 20 metres high. The road in is a very narrow dirt forestry road and care is essential, due to logging trucks.


Back to the van park for Happy Hour with friends from yesterday as well as two other new couples. We are having a great time here.

Day 3 31/10/12

Lazy day. Washed and detailed truck. Spent the rest of the day doing laundry and relaxing.

Happy Hour with some new friends. The Group seems to be growing each day. We had a storm this afternoon, with very gusty winds and little rain, Fortunately it did not last very long.

Day 4 01/11/12

What a difference a day makes. Woke this morning to wind and showers. Major change from yesterday. Obviously I shouldn't have washed the car yesterday.

We decided to fold up the awning a bit early, in preparation for our departure tomorrow morning. This turned out to be a very wise decision.

Trip into the shopping area including lunch at the Lakes Entrance Communiy & Sporting Club. Fair lunch for $10.00, but not as good as our lunches in Ipswich. While were inside the weather blew up into gale force, gusty winds. Thank goodness the awning is packed up.

As the sun was shining, we decided to brave the winds for a small trip to the seaside village of  Metung.

Had to fight the winds all the way, as even without the van the truck was being buffeted.

Metung looks like a very nice little village. Lots of holiday accomodation and lake cruises.

The conditions there were less than ideal due to the weather.

No happy hour today. Weather too bad.

Day 5. 02/11/12

Thank goodness. The winds have abated considerably overnight. As planned, we began the process of breaking camp. We left Lakes Entrance about 7:45 am. This is early for us, lately.

Fairly pleasant drive along the Prices Highway. First major town was Bairnsdale, however we kept on moving as we wanted to make Springvale, before Peak Hour Traffic began.

We did, however,  stop at the small hamlet of Stratford on the River Avon, for coffee. We had that a quaint coffee shop called 'Herwegodutch Cafe". It appeared to be a very popular eatery.

The coffee shop had a large range of bric-a-brac, with a Netherlands influence. Strangely enough the serving staff were of Asian appearance. I believe the owner may have been of Dutch descent.

On again towards Melbourne, with a comfort stop in Trafalgar. Kept going and had lunch at a Service Centre and Longwarry, which, incidently, is the first Service Centre, we have seen since crossing into Victoria.

Victoria certainly could learn from NSW & Qld. about how to cater for the travelling public. The Rest Areas, we have seen so far, in Victoria, are deplorable with very basic or no facilities.

We have driven through some lovely farming country. Green paddocks everywhere, some with cattle and some with sheep.

After playing a little GPS tag we arrived at the Sundowner Caravan Park, at Springvale. Not a flash park, but in fairness the amenities have recently been renovated and are quite good. There is a coffee shop in the process of being fitted out at the entrance to the park.

Went for a walk to the nearby shops and had a coffee.

Day 6 03/11/12

This morning was mainly sunny, but still quite cool to us hot blooded Queenslanders. After Breakfast, it was off to Montmorency to visit our friends, Glen & Marg. Reigo. Followed the GPS without too much hassle. It was great to catch up with Glenn & Marg. again.

From Montmorency, it was on to North Melbourne to catch up with Cathy's daughter, Michelle.

Michelle took us to a park at North Fitzroy, where the annual Community Festival was in progress. This is an annual event and sometimes referred to as the Gypsy Festival. It was very colourful and seemed to be popular with the younger "Upwardly Mobile" residents of Fitzroy North.

The worms were biting, so it was off to lunch at the nearby Pinnacle Hotel. Nice meal, although a little pricey at $14.50 for bar snacks. Couldn't believe that Victoria still allows smoking in food consumption. Time to get with the program guys.

After being dropped back at our truck we headed back to the van, through the CBD of Melbourne, thanks to the GPS.

Day 7. 04/11/12

Sunday dawned a beautiful warm day. Explored Springvale a little and then it was over to Lower Plenty to see friends, Alan & Raelene Baker. The afternoon was very pleasant. BBQ lunch followed by a good old chin wag. We got home about 6:00pm. Scratch dinner and got ready to leave Melbourne tomorrow.

Day 8 05/11/12

Well its off to Ballarat. Got onto the M1 or Monash Freeway, after some difficulty. I love how Melbourne street signs are either well hidden or don't exist at all. Finally onto the M80, Western Freeway to take us to Ballarat. We made a detour into Baccus Marsh. Seems a nice little Town, but there is very little or no parking available for caravans, so no stop was made.

On to Ballarat. After lunch we made our way to the Eureka Stockade Caravan Park.

To our horror, when we went to unlock the van, the lock barrel had turned, and the key would not go into the lock, and consequently we were locked out. A locksmith had to be called, which cost us $50. After some phone calls, we are still not sure if this will be covered by Warranty. Thank goodness we can now get into the van again. Some shopping and sightseeing in Ballarat before dinner in the van. Hopefully tomorrow it will be a visit to Sovereign Hill tourist attraction.

Day 9 06/11/12

Out and about Ballarat this morning. First off a visit to Kryall Castle, but unfortunately it was closed for renovations. Then off to Mill Markets and in to the biggest antique and collectable stores, we have ever seen.

A quick look and the off to Sovereign Hill which is built on one of the richest gold mines discovered in Ballarat in the 1850s. We spent most of the day looking around the large site.

It was very interesting day and we took lots of photos. I still feel that it is a bit expensive as the entry fee does not include internal tours and rides etc., which Timberland at Wauchope does.

Meals also a little bit on the expensive side.

Further exploration of Ballarat and then home for the rest of the day and evening.

Day 10 07/11/12

We left Ballarat and finally got onto the right way to Shepparton, no thanks to the GPS.

We had a good run until we got to the small town of Guildford. We had a lunch and then needed to use the toilet in the van. Turned on the water pump, but only a trickle coming out of the taps. Huge amount of water being pumped out through the mains water connector.

A couple of phone calls to City Caravan Sales in Brisbane, where we bought our van, and arrangements were made to have the problem rectified at Shepparton, under Warranty. Took the van to Solar City Caravan Repairs, where a new two way valve was fitted at no cost to us. Craig Collins, the Proprietor, told us that it is very rare for one of these brass valves to malfunction.

Arrived at Lake Victoria Holiday Park in Shepparton . Very nice surroundings on the shore of the Lake. Unfortunately, the amenities let the park down. Although very clean, they are old and would be inadequate if the park was full.

Did a quick shop before an early night.

Day 11 08/11/12

Woke to a very nice day. Fuelled up and then went exploring. First stop was the Chocolate Apple Factory at Shepparton East. Absolutely fantastic deserts and juices. Owner by Vera Fleming and family. May be a relation of Cathy's but who knows. Sampled the wares and then purchased juice and a couple of chocolate apples.

From there it was over to Guthrie Street, Shepparton to see the house Cathy built when she lived in Shepparton. Bit of a disappointment as it has been neglected to a large degree.

After that we decided to head off to brown Brothers at Millawa 1.5hrs away. This took us through the bustling little town of Benalla and off to the side of Glenrowan (Ned Kelly's last stand). Both of us had been to the winery before (a long time ago), but we were disappointed this time with the set up. Previously cheese and bickies were offered at wine tastings, but not now. The attitude seems to be the same at most wineries, give us your money and get lost. We bought two bottles of wine, as they were delicious.

The afternoon turned out windy and cool. We headed home and then had dinner at Shepparton RSL. Very nice club.

Day 12 09/11/12

This morning it was off to Campbells Soup outlet and the SPC Ardmona. Bought up big. Did some other shopping and relaxed for the rest of the afternoon and evening. Went for a walk around the lake. Very nice spot.

Day 13 10/11/12

Left Shepparton this morning for Wodonga. Decided to give Echuca a miss. Attempted to get a replacement massage cushion for Ted's seat from Homeart at Wodonga, as the old one is still under warranty and has given up the ghost. Homeart sold out. Going to be difficult to obtain one apparently. Onto Albury and tried there without success, so we continued on and decided to overnight at Mullegandra Rest Area about 30kms from Albury. Reasonable stop. 1 other van and a motor home shared the spot.

Day 14 11/11/12 Woke up this morning after a fitful night. Had Breakfast and then set off for Yass. We stopped at the historic town of Holbrook, mainly to use the public toilet dump point at the caravan park. Seems to be a very nice park. Put into the memory bank for future trips. Onwards with a stop at Gundagai at the dog on the tucker box monument. Lunch there and then on into Yass for fuel. Have been driving into wind all day. Fuelled up and tried to find ran overnight rest stop. Nothing suitable so onto Cowra, where we did find a lovely O/N stay.

Day 15 12/11/12

Had a good night's sleep. Breakfast and then found out No.1 gas bottle had run out. Also needed to sort out some banking problems at NAB. Unhitched the van and went into town. Got gas refilled, sorted out other problems. Collected the van and then headed off to Bathurst. Heavy Police presence between Cowra and Blayney. Arrived in Bathurst about 2:00 pm. set up camp at Bathurst Show Grounds, $25 per night . Basic but clean amenities, although typical of old time show grounds. Staying two nights.

Day 16 13/11/12

Bit of sightseeing and shopping in Bathurst itself. There are some beautiful old buildings in the town, and most of them are well maintained. Did not go to Mount Panorama (sorry Roberts boys).  Spent the rest of the day relaxing. Have decided to travel via Sofala to connect up with the Golden Highway to run into Muswellbrook and connect up with the New England Highway.

Day 17 14/11/12

Well. We left Bathurst at about 8:30 am this morning. We did, as planned, travel via Sofala.

There were some very steep inclines and declines on the way. We passed turn offs to a number of small villages, but did not venture in. Sofala has signs warning of very narrow streets and they urge people to drive very carefully. Since we are a fairly big rig, coupled with the fact that Sofala, is at the foot of a very steep climb. We opted to keep going. I neglected to mention that we nearly had a very large Wallaroo as a bonnet mascot, before Sofala. I braked fairly heavily and he got as big a fright as us and spun off the other way, thank goodness.

So it was on to Mudgee, which is a bustling country centre, with a vibrant shopping CBD. Many coffee shops. Had to make a U Turn in a side street due to Police directions following an accident and oil spill. Not the easiest, but managed, despite lack of assistance by Police Woman.

We travelled on towards Gulgong, turning off to Dunedoo, on the outskirts of the town. We are presently in a Rest Area for the night between Dunedoo and Denman. Nice  rest area.


Day 18 15/11/12

Leaving our campsite this morning, it was off towards Denman and Muswellbrook. First stop was the small town of Merriwa, as we needed to use the public dump point to empty the caravan toilet. We  moved further into town and had a coffee and then toured "The Hut" tourist welcoming centre. Very interesting spot.

We moved onto Denman and then into the bigger centre of Muswellbrook. The fact that Muswellbrook is in the heart of coal mining country was brought home to us by an oversize  load causing us to pull off the road and stop.

The load pictured was being moved by two Prime Movers, one pulling and one pushing.

We did not linger, but decided to push on towards Tamworth.

We free camped at the Burning Mountain Rest Area, about 100kms from Tamworth and 5kms from the little village of Wingen. Nice enough spot except for the fact that the ground was not level. Wildlife moved freely about, Kangaroos and Galahs. We pulled up about 12:30 pm for the night.

Day 19 16/11/12

Woke up early and decided to have breakfast on the road. Packed up and set off by 8:30am.

We by passed a sign at Wallabadah, advertising the best coffee outside of Italy and had breakfast at a truck stop on the outskirts of Tamworth.

We did not venture into the Tamworth City Centre as the Highway to Armidale, turned off before we reached the CBD.

It was on towards Armidale, with a stop at Uralla to view Captain Thunderbolts Grave.

Thunderbolt was a Bushranger named Fred Ward. It is worth putting Captain Thunderbolt into Google on a computer and reading his History. I am not going to detail it all here.

We arrived in Armidale at about 11:45am and booked into the  Pembroke Caravan Park, whic set in lovely manicured grounds. Amazingly, as we were heading off to do some shopping, we noticed Neville & Jo Meier, from our Caravan Club had also booked into the Park. Arrangements were made for Happy Hour at 5pm. Did our shopping and had a very enjoyable Happy Hour with Nev. and Jo.

After dinner we visited Ted's Niece, Kath Jarman, and spent a very enjoyable evening with Kath and her Daughter Emily. Kath's Son, Jock was not at home.

Back to the Van Park for the evening.

Day 20 17/11/12

Leisurely morning. Went to the  Tourist Information Centre, where we were given quite a bit of material.

We made a picnic lunch and drove back to Uralla and turned in towards Dangar Falls. We stopped at a quaint little chapel at Gostwyck. It is covered in Ivy, but still in use. We continued on, but took a wrong turn and missed the falls. The weather was very cool and rainy, so we decided to go home.

We experienced some heavy rain from thunderstorms during the night.

Day 21 18/11/12

Another leisurely day. Some shopping and a visit to a market. Didn't buy anything as it was all overpriced.

Lunch and then prepared things for our departure tomorrow.

Day 22 19/11/12

On the road again, through Guyra and on into Glen Innes, where we made our first stop. Coffee at McCafe and then into the Information Centre, where we had a very interesting conversation with a retired sapphire miner turned gem dealer.

On into the information centre proper, with a discussion about the Glen Innes Celtic Festival, which is due to be held over the Labour Day long weekend in May 2013.

Could be a bit expensive for us though, at $60 each, plus accommodation and travel expenses.

From the Information Centre, it was up to the Standing Stones area, where the Celtic Festivals are held annually. Interesting area, with lovely views of Glen Innes.

It was Lunch at Tenterfield, then off towards Casino, to hopefully catch up with Cathy's Sister Pattie and her Husband Bob.

We overnighted in a rest area called "West of the Ranges". No internet or phone coverage.

Day 23 20/11/12

Breakfast at "West of the Ranges" then off to Casino over some very windy  road with steep inclines and descents. One again the rig performed very well.

Attempted to contact Pattie and Bob, but no luck. Small amount of shopping and a walk around the town. Casino is a very busy town on the banks of the Richmond River.

We headed off on the Summerland Way, towards Grafton and dropped for lunch at Breamer Park Rest Area. We liked it so much, we decided to camp here. Good phone and I/Net coverage.

Day 24 21/11/12

Off on the road to Grafton. Some brief showers at the road works. No problems getting into the bustling centre that is Grafton. Jacarandas staring to bloom and looking good. Shopping in Grafton, then over the bridge with "S" Bends in the middle and on towards Ballina.

We have seen some evidence around Broadwater, of very wild weather, with many trees being broken and knocked over.

We are overnighting in the Wardell Rest Area, south of Ballina.

Day 25 22/11/12

Booked a site at Ballina Lakeside Holiday Park for three nights. Arrived at the Park this morning and believe it or not the people next door are a Sunshine Coast couple we met while overnighting at Cowra. One more coincidence on this trip.

This is a lovely park and would recommend it to anyone.

Some shopping in Ballina. Relaxed.

Day 26 23/11/12

Woke to a beautiful day in the lovely surroundings of this park.

The day was so good, we took the Kayak off the roof and went for a paddle around the lake.


Shopping and then lunch. Dinner at Ballina RSL, No luck on pokies.

Had a visit from a very fat rabbit tonight. He or she wasn't too concerned about us and was very near the annex pad on our site.

Day 27 24/11/12

Weather pretty good this morning. After Breakfast it was kayak time again. Wind was beginning to spring up.

Laundry time, wind was now very gusty. Great for clothes drying.

Lazy day. Spent a little time watching a Plover chick with it's Mum. Originally there were three chicks when we arrived on Thursday. Now down to one. Found another chick dead under a tree. We don't know if a bird killed it, or something else. What a shame.

Off tomorrow to Tweed Heads for the next week.

Day 28 25/11/12

Packed up and off to Tweed Heads. Arrived at Pyramid Holiday Village at about 10:30.

Difficult site, but eventually got in. Set up camp. Off to see Grand Kids tomorrow.

Day 29 26/11/12

Today's events seem a bit mundane after our adventures in other States, But here it is anyway.

We went out for Breakfast. Settled on  a little coffee shop in Bay Street,Tweed Heads. Scrambled Eggs for Cathy and Bacon and Eggs for Ted. plus two coffees for $21.80. Good value. Ted got a haircut for $9.00 across the road. Haven't had such a cheap one for years.

Didn't see the Grand Kids last night as one of them not well. Had lunch today with Cathy's Daughter Tanya. It was great to see her again. We will b e having the kids stay overnight later in the week.

Some shopping at Pacific Fair Shopping Centre, Broadbeach and then home for dinner etc.

Day 30 27/11/12

Breakfast and then off to Mudgeeraba School for our Grandson Jayden's Kindy graduation. The children put on a nice show.

Morning tea was provided, but we were unable to stay, as we had to go to City Caravan Centre to recover money spent on a locksmith at Ballarat, which was a warranty issue. No problems with reimbursement. They have been very good to deal with.

Back to Broadbeach, where we had lunch with Tanya. Some shopping then home.

Day 31 28/11/12

Lazy Day. Ted went to Bunnings for a new sullage hose for the van. Some other necessary shopping.

Out for dinner at Seagulls Leagues Club, in light rain. Nice meal. Pokies very tight.

Day 32 29/11/12

Lazy Day chasing beading supplies for Cathy. Dinner at Tanya and Marty's. Took our Grandson, Jayden, back to the van with us.Will collect Granddaughter, Jaime, tomorrow night, for a short stay with us.

Day 33 30/11/12

Quick trip to Loganholme and then shopping  for new shoes for Jayden. Had forgotten what it was like to shop with kids in tow. Quick lunch and then collected Jaime from school at Mudgeeraba.

The M1 was closed in the Southbound lanes at Tugun due to a fatal traffic accident near the Kennedy Drive off ramp. Almost two hours to get back to the van after trying to dodge the delays. The trip is normally 20 Minutes at the most.

Day 34 01/12/12

Took the kids to Broadwater Parklands at Southport. They had a great time in the zero level water park. Took lunch to save money, but ended up with a $50 parking fine. Ticket machine and sign obscured by tree branches.

Dinner at the Wallaby Hotel with Tanya and Marty. Early Birthday celebration for Tanya as we can't be there on 04/12/11. Reasonable meal. Delivered kids home at same time. We had trouble parking at the Hotel due to a large Police operation in progress at the car park. Dogs, Detectives and Uniform personnel involved. We are off to Kalbar tomorrow for our caravan club Christmas muster and AGM.

Day 35 02/12/12

Very early start this morning to pack up the annex, kayak and awning. Got away from Tweed Heads about 9:30 am (Pretend Time). We had brunch at Beaudesert and had intended to free camp tonight, however, we were so close we opted to book into Kalbar Show Grounds today instead of Tomorrow. Had to take a temporary site for tonight, as the Kookaburra Caravan Club were having a muster there.

Day 36 03/12/12

Took a walk up into the busy metropolis that is Kalbar township. Had a coffee at one of the three coffee shops. very nice. Spent some more money at the butcher and then a quick trip into Boonah for groceries, as Kalbar does not have a supermarket.

When we returned to the van, Anne & John & Anne Mathams had arrived and set up camp.Happy Hour for four.

Day 37 04/12/12

Decided to make a quick trip home and drop off the kayak, as well as tend to other business.

Very hot day. Fruit shopping at Aratula on the way back to the van. Max & Marilyn Watkins and peter and Sandra Beerens had arrived, so the happy hour increased dramatically.

Day 38 05/12/12

Not quite as hot today. Coffee at Kalbar and some shopping at Boonah. Numerous arrivals from our club. Very large happy hour, which will only get bigger over the next few days.

Day 39 06/12/12

Full day. Off to Beenleigh for Ted's Retired Police Association Branch Christmas Lunch. Great morning. Then  up to Mater Children's Hospital, to see our Grand Daughter, Savannah (2 yr old) who has an unidentified bone infection. Stayed with her Mum, Danielle, while bub was having a bone biopsy, in theatre.

Returned to Kalbar at about 9pm.

Day 40 to Day 43 07/12/12 to 10/12/12

Muster went ahead in full swing with AGM and Election of Office Bearers on Saturday afternoon. Ted is now Vice President of the Moreton Bay Drifters Caravan Club.

Christmas Dinner was a great night with Ted doing the Santa Claus gig.

Day 43 10/12/12

We packed up and after many farewells from the remaining club members we left Kalbar and returned home. Our journey to Mallacoota and back was over.

Continue reading
  5111 Hits
  1 Comment
Recent comment in this post
very enjoyable read.
Tuesday, 06 November 2012 16:29
5111 Hits
1 Comment

Ipswich to Mallacoota or bust.

Day 1. - 11/09/12. Finally on the road. Making our way slowly down the Coast to catch up with our Tag a Long at Blacksmiths, after visiting numerous rellies on the way down.

Only a short leg today. Staying overnight at Pyramid Holiday Park at Tweed Heads.

Dinner with Cathy's Daughter and Son in Law to say goodbye to them and the Grandkids.

Day 2. 12/09/12. Left Tweed heads at about 9:30 am. Very nice park. Would stay again.

Made a short detour into Brunswick Heads for a recce., then back on the main drag.

Had morning tea at Sleepy Hollow Rest area with the chooks. Yes that's right, CHOOKS. We couldn't believe our eyes. Six to eight chooks of various persuasions, bumming food from weary travellers, without a house in sight.


Going along nicely and then received a call from the Real Estate Agent with whom we have listed our house. She has a couple viewing the property and feels they are keen. If they buy, Ted and Cathy will have to do a quick U turn to clear our our gear.

With that in mind, we are staying at Calypso Van Park at Yamba for a few days, to see what eventuates. Will know more tomorrow, hopefully.


Day 3. 13/09/12

Got in some practice for the Fishing Comp. at Mallacoota. Nothing caught as yet.

Breakfast and some shopping up town and then went exploring Yamba and Maclean. Lovely area.

Park is very nice, but long way to the single dump point when you are at the end of the park. Not sure if the amenities would cope in peak season.

After speaking with our Real Estate Agent, we have decided to continue on our way South.

We are intending to pull out of Yamba tomorrow morning. A storm has just hit Yamba at 8:10pm. Nothing too severe at this stage.

Photos below:- Us at Turners Beach, Yamba.



Day 4. 14/09/12

Left Yamba about 09:15. Off south towards Grafton with Morning Tea at McPhillips  Rest Stop. Very popular with R.Vs. Had intended to stop at Coffs Harbour, to visit Ted's Niece, but as we were unable to contact her after a number of phone calls, the plan was revised and we had lunch at The Big Banana instead. We felt the Big Banana has shrivelled from it was the last time we visited some years ago. Approx. 2002.

Took a detour into Nambucca Heads, (lovely spot), before travelling to Macksville and staying with Cathy's Cousin Barry Kerr and his wife Gaye, on their farm on the Taylors Arm (Slim Dusty's Pub With No Beer) road. Barry and Gaye took us on a cook's tour of the the numerous residential and industrial sub-divisions that Barry has and is actively engaged in developing.

Then off to the R.S.L. Club in Macksville, for dinner with Barry, Gaye and their Son, Lindsay and Daughter in Law Carmen, and their 6 Month old Granddaughter, Ellie Lindsay and his family had only just returned from visiting Carmen's Parents in Canada and were understandably jet lagged. Didn't seem to worry the bub much though.

Day 5. 15/9/12

A quick Breakfast, before heading off for a tour of Taylor's Arm, Frederickton and back to Barry & Gaye's house. Cathy met some distant cousins she had not met, also shown the ancestral home of both Parents.

After a cuppa, we headed off again and made a stop at South West Rocks and toured Trial Bay Gaol. Big changes since our last visit, which in Ted's case was 1976.



We had intended to overnight in a Rest Area, but since the only one left open was not available, we continued the 18km to Port Macquarie and decided to stay in the area for a week. Booked into the Leisure Tourist Park (Top Tourist) $179 for the week. Not a new park, but the amenities are freshly painted and clean. The Manager, Ivan,  could not have more helpful. He came down to the site and helped us back in and then fine tuned the position of the van with his tractor. He even gave directions for the easiest way to exit the site, when we leave, given that it is a little tight. I asked about dining establishments, as tomorrow 16/09/12 is Cathy's and my 12the Wedding Anniversary. Ivan then produced a couple of discount vouchers for the All You Can Eat Buffet at the Port Bowls Club, which was a sea food buffet tonight.

As it was after 6pm by the time  the van was set up, we decided to wait until the 16th for our dinner out.

Day 6. 16/09/12

Spend the morning immediately after Breakfast, setting up the full annex and catching up with the Laundry. Then some grocery shopping, followed by a bit of a look around at Tacking Point Light House, Lighthouse Beach and Lake Cathie.


We decided to use the dinner vouchers and had a very nice buffet as mentioned above. No wins at the pokies, however.

Day 7. 17/09/12

Went exploring on foot near the C.P. Spoke to an 82 year old bloke who gave us an interesting talk about when Port Macquarie had a population of 1000.

Breakfast at a coffee shop and then continued on. Bought a couple of Herb pots to take with us.

Back to the van and then went to Wauchope  for a visit to Timbertown which is a working Pioneer type Museum. Fantastic place, especially for any one with children. (Take note Tanya Marty, Stuart and Danielle.)

One entry includes Steam Train Rides, Whip cracking lessons, Horse and Carriage ride, and Bullock Team displays. Unfortunately the Bullock Team demo had to be cancelled due to thunder storm. It was too dangerous as the metal bows on the bullock yokes would be like a lightning conductor and as the bullocks would be linked together with chains, he could lose tall of them.

Went back to the van ahead of thunderstorms. Nice rain for the rest of the evening.

Day 8 18/09/12

Woke to a sunny day after last night's rain.

We decided to christen the Kayak and so off to Lake Cathie for the inaugural launch .

After a little bit of trepidation on the part of the Navigator, who had not been in a Kayak before, we set off. The Navigator is ready to go again, after having a great time.

Found a better launching pad for next time and then decided to have a coffee at Settlement City Shopping Centre. Finished up being an expensive coffee, as I bought a new and improved lens for my Canon camera. No longer need the twin lenses that came with it. Now takes much better quality  photos.

Had to make a quick trip back to the van as, once again storms were imminent. Steady rain for the rest of the Afternoon.

Day 9. 19/09/12.

Weather fantastic this morning. Extended our stay here by 2 more days. School Holidays on Friday and I didn't feel like coping with the mad holiday traffic on Saturday.

Lazy day today. Shopping , laundry etc. Cathy bought  Macro and Portrait lenses for her camera.

Day 10. 20/09/12

Another lazy day. Beautiful weather. Unfortunately Ted had to go to Centrelink as his Pension Card has still not arrived and the temporary card was about to expire.

Went out to Bonny Hills, Camden Haven and Laurieton. This area really is very picturesque.

Dinner at Port Macquarie Panthers League club. Not to bad.

Day 11. 21/09/12.

Noticed Yesterday that Ford was very close to 60,000 Service. Contacted Midecke Ford, who managed to fit us in. Fixed Priced Service still way dearer than at home.  They do, however, have a Courtesy Bus on all day, which will pick you up and drop you off from various places around Town. Unfortunately, during the Service, it was found that there was too much play in the front Pinion. This needs to be fixed and will take about 3 days. Thank goodness its all under Warranty. So, this means another week here. Of course, at a higher tariff, due to the School Holidays. Still, we could be stuck in worse places.



Decided to give the fishing another go, but no luck. Can only improve from here on in.

While we were at Settlement Point, a young Koala came out of the bush onto the roadway. He headed towards the river and climbed into a Mangrove tree. We have no idea what set him off on his little journey.


Day 12. 22/09/12

Another lazy day with some food shopping. Dinner at Panthers Sports Club, across the street from the C.P. Nice meals.

Day 13. 23/09/12.

Relaxing day once again. Nice to sit and do nothing.

Day 14. 24/09/12

Paid up here until 30/09/12 due to vehicle repairs. Ted visited the Barber finally. Had to go to buy new sunnies as Ted's broke. Did a bit of other shopping and banking.

Day 15. 25/09/12

Vehicle in for repairs at 7:30 am. On foot for next three days. Decided to walk into the Westport Club in the main city area, Will check, but about 7 - 10 klms each way.

En-route we stopped and went Ten Pin Bowling. Ted lost by one point. Not real cheap at $10 each per game.

Had lunch at the Golden Arches and then went to the Club, which was apparently voted best Club in NSW. Pokies pretty well screwed down. Not much in the way of pay outs. Walked back to home with a stop at the Ford dealer to enquire about the Ranger. Not able to find out much, but did drool over a genuine mint condition 1970 XW Falcon GT HO, which is owned by Andrew Midecke, the owner of the dealership. Brought back memories for Ted, who owned GT Falcon of the same model, which he brought brand new in 1970.

Day 16. 26/09/12

Phone call from Midecke Ford. Our car was ready to pick up. Problem was incorrect pre tension on the pinion bearing. Good news. Returned to Wauchope and had a good look around and lunched on the river bank. Nice little town.

Day 17. 27/09/12

Not a good night. Cathy was ill and vomiting. Decided to wait before seeing Doctor. Seems to be O.K. now. We have no idea what caused it. Slow day. Anxious  wait for mail, which has not arrived when it should have.

Day 18. 28/09/12

Nothing startling today, except our mail from home has finally arrived. It was sent Express Post on Tuesday, by my Daughter in Law and arrived today, Friday. Would have been quicker by normal mail. Good on Ya, Australia Post.

Shopping today, stocking up for our departure on 30/09/12.

Day 19. 29/09/12

Started packing up for our departure tomorrow. Took a break for coffee in town and decided to go out for dinner. Consequently dined at the Port Macquarie Bowls Club.

Day 20. 30/09/12

Time to leave Port Macquarie. Battery decided it wasn't going to start the car so we could hook up. Thanks to next door van for a jump start.Looks like a new battery before Mallacoota. Overnighting at Newmans Road Rest Area south of Taree, after a few stops and rude words, trying to stop the wind noise/ vibration from the kayak on the roof racks.

A couple of other vans here as well.

Day 21. 01/10/09.

Had a great night's sleep here. Woke up to find a few more vans and a couple of trucks had pulled in during the night.

We met a great couple, Graham & Ann, who were towing a brand new Jayco van with their 1934 Chevrolet. 6 litre V8. Beautiful car. Our battery decided to play up again, so we had to prevail upon Graham for a jump start. It was trouble to him  to unhitch his van and back the Chev up to us, as his battery was in the boot.

So it was off again to Thornton, to locate Cathy's cousin, who unfortunately was not home.

On to Newcastle, which was extremely busy, with some sort of fair on the beach front. We decided to stay in the area to hunt up a new battery tomorrow, as today is a Public Holiday.

Eventually managed to get a site for two nights in the Bellhaven Caravan Park at Raymond Terrace. Not a flash park, but the amenities, although dated, were very clean and tidy. $30 per night.

Went out to Woodrising to locate where Cathy's niece is living. Will go to see them tomorrow as it was a bit late today. Also found Blacksmiths Beach, where we have to meet up for the start of our Tag a Long.

Southbound Traffic on the Pacific Highway was bumper to bumper as the Long Weekend was drawing to a close. Thank goodness we didn't have to be in that.

Day 22. 02/10/12

Tracked down a battery for the car at Battery Kingdom near the C.P.  Fitted battery for $195.00.

Took a look at Newcastle again. Still not impressed. Drove out to Thornton and bought some wine, before visiting Cathy's Cousin Margaret Writer and her Husband Terry. Had a very enjoyable evening and will be staying there tomorrow night.

Day 23. 03/10/12.

Left Raymond Terrace and parked the van at Margaret and Terry's. They took us to Nelson and Salamander Bays. Terrific lunch at the Marina. Seafood Basket for two for $24.50.

Fantastic outlook over Port Stephens.

From there to Historic Morpeth for coffee etc., before returning to Margaret & Terry's.

We had a terrific time. It was so good to catch up.

Day 24. 04/10/12

Breakfast and hit the road to Blacksmiths about 10:30. Arrived there about 11:30. Very nice park. Set up and then went to Belmont for some shopping. Temperature was 29+ degrees. Bright sunshine made it a lovely day. This is a beautiful area on the shores of Lake Macquarie.

Day 25. 05/10/12

Went out to Cathy's niece at Woodrising this morning. About 20 mins.  from Blacksmiths.

Had a nice time. Had a quick look at Swansea. Returned to the van for lunch and domestic chores. Neville & Jo from our club arrived and set up near us. Off to dinner at Pelican RSL. Fantastic Chinese food. Ted had a win on the pokies.

Day 26. 06/10/12

Drove out to the Hunter Valley and visited a couple of wineries, Briar Ridge, McWilliams - Mount Pleasant and McGuigan's. Also visited the Hunter Barn, where they have the lolly kangaroo. Too expensive to eat at the wineries, so lunch was a pie from Darby's Fast Bake. Bought a couple of wines at Briar Ridge and McGuigan's. Also visited the cheese factory at McGuigan's. Bought a couple of nice cheeses. Some shopping at Green Hills and then back to the van, Happy, Happy hour with Max & Mal, Glen & Di and Jo and Neville.

Set watches and clocks forward by 1 hour for the ridiculous Eastern Daylight Saving Time.

Day 27. 07/10/12

Domestic chores this morning. Welcomed some more tag a Long members. Some shopping and then back to the van for lunch. More arrivals, including one member's Land Rover Discovery on a tilt tray (again).

Happy hour with a much expanded group, now that all participants have arrived, Freezing weather.

Day 28. 08/10/12

Last day at Blacksmiths Beach. Last minute sightseeing at Caves Beach to look at the sea caves. Could only find one, due to tides. Lunch at Swansea RSL. Fuelled up for tomorrow and then to happy hour, followed by Reef & Beef Night. See photos.

Did some preliminary packing up for tomorrow.

Day 29 09/10/12

Left Blacksmiths at about 9:30 in drizzly rain and cold air.

Onto Kiama, bypassing most of Sydney. Google directions were useless and the GPS decided to have a spasm at Wollongong, emitting loud beeps and noting else.

We arrived safely at Kiama and have a completely concrete site. No levelling required. This is a beautiful area. Photos will follow.

Happy Hour until Cathy & I got too cold.

Day 30 10/10/12

Visit to the Blow Hole at Kiama. Unfortunately the wind was not right for the best effect.

From there to Saddleback Mountain. Disappointed with the lookout as any view is blocked by trees. From there we went to the Illawarra Fly Tree Top Walk above the rainforest. Well worth the trip. Ted climbed "Knight's Tower", with its 106 steps, towering over the rainforest.

Kiama is a beautiful place.  See next photo.

Out to dinner at Kiama Leagues Club, as a group. Meal was ordinary, but the pokies were more hospitable.

Few spots of rain. Supposed to very cold tomorrow.

Day 30. 11/10/12.

Rainy morning, so we slept in for a while.

Later we went down town and toured the historic Terrace Houses and shops.

Just wandering around and enjoying the beautiful afternoon that evolved.

Happy Hour at 5pm. Then home, just before a storm.

More photos of Kiama below.


Off to Lake Conjola, tomorrow.

Day 31 12/10/12

Heavy Rain, vicious winds and some hail, overnight at Kiama. We left there at about 10:am, after getting drenched while hooking up the Van. Very stressful drive in heavy winds and driving rain. Stopped for coffee at Berry. Then a bit of sightseeing via GPS, arriving at Lake Conjola about 1:30pm.

Lovely Park. We are surrounded by Kangaroos, Ducks and Lorrikeets. Set up camp and had a snooze, then Happy Hour.

Day 32 13/10/12

Woke up to a beautiful sunny day. Slight cool breeze.

Off exploring to Milton. Quaint little village, with lots of coffee shops, antique shops and restaurants.  Bought a couple of Chrissie pressies.


Then on to Ulladulla, which is a much larger centre, lunched at Fisherman's Wharf, coffee was terrible. Shopping and fuel.

Returned to Lake Conjola vis Mollymook. Happy Hour and the off to dinner at the Lake Conjola Bowls Club. Meal was great and pokies not too bad. Off to Kioloa tomorrow (50 Klms).

N.B. Apologies for the delay in updating the Blog. We have been without I/Net Access for three days.

Day 33. 14/10/12.

Short drive to Merry Beach, Kioloa. Cathy not well. Lovely park, but no mains water to sites, so we have to work off van tanks.

Park abuts a National Park and Kangaroos and Rabbits abound.

Very windy and cold. No rain but water constantly running from the hills due to heavy rain previously. Park showers were pay to use (20c for approx. 3 minutes). This is of course, on top of the tariff paid per night. Bit rude really. No mobile or internet coverage. Happy Hour was a blowy affair. Two vehicles had to be parked at right angles to each other for a wind break.

Off to Nelligen, near Batemans Bay, tomorrow.

Day 34 15/10/12.

We left windy Merry Beach at about 9:30 and travelled the 55 kms to Nelligen. Lovely park again on the banks of the Clyde River. However. no phone or internet again. Dropped the van and then into Batemans Bay. This a larger centre with a population of approx. 16,000 people.

Shopping and some sight seeing, before returning to Nelligen to finish setting up the van.

Happy Hour was a humorous affair as usual. The highlight of the Happy Hours, has been the awarding of a Rudolph Christmas Cap, complete with antlers to, usually the first to arrive at the next park. Yesterday, however, the cap was awarded to the last to arrive. So far we have managed to avoid the coveted cap.

Nelligen Big4 is a lovely park, but inflation has obviously hit, as their showers are 40c for approx. 3 Minutes.  Another blatant rip off.

After Happy Hour, dinner consisted of a communal Bar B Cue . Much laughter and good spirits.

Two nights here at Nelligen and now in the morning, its off to Tuross Heads. We have decided to be different to everyone else and travel via Mogo, which is slightly inland, before turning off to Tuross Heads south of Moruya.

Day 36 17/1012.

We left Nelligen about 9:00 am and headed off towards Mogo. We visited the Botanical Gardens on the outskirts of Mogo. Free entry to a well laid out attraction. We saw a large black snake after leaving the entrance hall.

The Gardens have a children's play area, where they are building a cubby house from mud bricks, which are made by children from the various schools in the area. Each school attends on a different day and make their supply of bricks.

From there it was onto the village of Mogo, which reminded us a lot of Mount Tamborine in Queensland, with its main street lined with shops. We easily spent several hours there, browsing through the shops. We did not have time for the Zoo or the Gold Rush Colony. Maybe another trip will allow this.

There is a magnifcent carved pole outside the Mogo Trading Post (See Photo). The detail is outstanding.

After Lunch it was a short drive to Tuross Heads. We arrived at about 2:30 pm. Still did not win the hat.

Once again, this is a stunning park. We are right on the beach front. The next Photo is from just outside our van.

At Happy Hour where we joined by a journalist and photographer, from Caravan and Motorhome  Magazine. They will be accompanying us the rest of the way to Mallacoota, and doing some articles on our Tag a Long.

After Happy Hour it was off to the Tuross Heads Country Club for dinner. We were collected and returned by the Club's Courtesy Bus. Great meal and Ted won $60 on the pokies. Top night.

Off to Wallaga Lake tomorrow.

Day 37 18/10/12

Set sail for Wallaga Lake at about 9:00 am. Stopped at Bodalla for Breakfast. Had that at the Bodalla dairy Barn, along with Noel and Dawn Hawes from our group, who had also pulled in. Bought some lovely cheese and after browsing through the hippy Shop and a few others we set sail again.

We did not stop at Moruya, but did detour via Mystery Beach. Once again the scenery is outstanding. We sailed through Narooma without stopping, as parking was a bit tight due a number of other vans parked near the Information Centre.

We arrived at Wallaga Lake at about 2:30pm. We could pick any site we liked in this park. This meant we could drive forward into our site. So easy. We were fourth to arrive, so avoided the funny hat again.

Happy Hour was around a camp fire, with tons of frivolity. Handouts were received from the Caravan and Motorhome  magazine guys. We drove into Narooma for some urgent shopping, but only Woolworths were open. We returned to the campfire for a few drinks and more jokes.


Day 38 19/10/12

Bit of a sleep in and then kayaking on the lake. Beautiful. From there we went into Bega via Cobargo. Bega is a fair size town with good shops. We had lunch at Gloria Jeans and then browsed and explored. Cathy bought a top and a harmonica, while Ted's purchases were more mundane (hose fittings and a hose). Unable to find a Woolworths petrol, so we fuelled up at out caravan park. cheapest in area. Ron & Sylvia McGrice pulled in after being stranded at Blacksmiths beach with transmission  problems.

Happy Hour was quite humorous, after Ron and Sylvia's arrival.

Off to Merimbula tomorrow.

Day 39 20/10/12

Left Wallaga Lake at about 9:40. Good run across to Cobargo and then down the Highway to Bega. From there we turned off to Tathra. Nice little place. We had intended to visit the historic wharf, but the road was signed as unsuitable to caravans.

We left Tathra and turned off to Tura Beach and we reached Merimbula, at about 11:30, after negotiating the steepest hill yet encountered. The trusty Ranger was down to 2nd gear for about 1.5 klms to get over it. No bends at all, just straight up.

We set up camp at Sapphire Coast Caravan Park. This is a beautiful park, within walking distance of the business centre. After lunch we ventured to Eden. Magnificent scenery. We were surprised to see a Brisbane tug tied up at the wharf. We toured the Whaling Museum, before returning to the van for Happy Hour. Whale watching tomorrow.


Day 40 21/10/12

Well the last day of our Tag a Long, before Mallacoota has arrived to overcast and windy conditions. The whale watching outing has been brought forward by an hour by the operators, due to the weather.

Small amount of shopping then down to the wharf. Onto the whale boat "Tru Blue".

Fantastic voyage, plenty of whales, including one breach almost within touching distance of the boat. However, it was very cold and windy, which made photography very difficult.

Happy Hour at the usual time and then out to Merimbula Bowls Club for dinner. Lovely meal and later Ted won on the pokies again.

The Caravan Park Owner is putting on pikelets with jam and cream for us tomorrow at 10:00 prior to us leaving. How good is that?

Day 42 22/10/12

Woke to a cold, drizzly and windy day. We decided to head off to Mallacoota and forego the pancakes.

We set sail and after a stop at Eden we arrived at our destination of Mallacoota Inlet.

Continue reading
  5982 Hits
5982 Hits

Pet insurance

anyone needing pet insurance, stear clear of 1300petinsurance, after paying in for over a year, we put in a claim for $350 odd for our poodle for a small operation, after months of back and forth requests for information by them we have finally given up in discust, we could see it is there intend to make it impossible to make a claim, requesting all sorts of information not readily available while travelling and the final straw was to tell us that they don't believe our 4 year old poodle didn't need to see a vet for 2 years except to have her vacinations! enough was enough. looking elsewhere now.


Continue reading
  2254 Hits
  1 Comment
Recent comment in this post
Chris and Les : w00338
Hi, I know your post is an old one but just had to comment pet insurance an absolute waste of time and I'd recommend people not ge... Read More
Saturday, 24 March 2018 09:53
2254 Hits
1 Comment

Doug and Jane to North Queensland

Hi All
We have now retired. The Roma Elegance van is almost ready to travel with our favourite tug, a Pajero TD Exceed. Modifications have been made to both van and tug including suspension, 12 volt power and a diesel heater in the van.

Our first big trip starts around 16 June when we head up the NSW coast free camping all the way to Tweed Heads. From there we plan to cut inland to Lake Wivenhoe, Kilcoy, Glasshouse Mtns, St Lawrence, Camp Kanga near Prosperpine, Townsville, Daintree then back inland. The plan is to return to Canberra about mid October or November.

We will update this blog as we travel this great land, girthed by sea.

Continue reading
  2241 Hits
2241 Hits

Wood Expo - Maleny Qld.

If you yearn  freedom camping, new experiences, great friendly people & worthwhile souveniers then we found it all & more at the above on Labour Day Weekend.

"How!!?"    do I hear you say.

The  organisers, Barung Landcarers Assn Inc advertised on their website for volunteers, that only required downloading their form, filling in your options, returning & Bob's you uncle, easy as campessi.

There are many organisations requiring volunteers to assist with the setup, operation & cleanup of their events. Nominate & in return you will be amazed at the self satisfaction you will develop as well as making many new friends.

Consider Blaze Aid. Not only do they provide free camping, but, would you believe 3 hearty meals a day. Yep for a few hours of work similar to what you  pay Jenny Craig & your are  in the clean invigorating fresh air.

Rvers you dont know what your missing. And the money you save, plus get fit & those evening happy hours around the campfire of new stories of the loggers, timbermillers, turners not just a new lesson but a great experience.

Sorry can't get the photos accross. Still learning


Continue reading
  2077 Hits
2077 Hits

Dry White for Wet Feet

Recent floodwaters hit us harder than previous inundations. In what seems like this years ‘annual flood,’ the vineyard was totally flooded with 0.5m of water running past the sandbagged buildings. Up to 3m of water covered the vines in the far blocks while the cellar and coldroom copped ankle deep water for the first time in the vineyards history.

For three days pumps, manpower and a few sips of liqueur muscat kept the water levels down inside the cold room, cellar and office thanks to lots of help from loyal friends John & Cate Travers, staff such as Trevor Forbes, Dana Gluzde and Julieanne Gray. “Thanks to the help of friends and staff, we were able to get in and restore the cellar and garden to visitor-ready status in less than a week,” said David Blacket, vineyard owner.

The biggest job lies in cleaning up the paddock. “We need to quickly resume our vine nourishment program and to do that, we have a lot of debris down rows and fences to clear first. Anyone want to volunteer?” he asks. Trellis infrastructure is still intact and older vines will survive. Some of our 3,000 baby Midnight Beauty vines we planted in August appear to have drowned, but only time will tell.  WINE SUPPLY IN THE CELLAR
Now that our cellar has reopened and no stock was damaged during the flood we still have wine available. Some of the white wine grapes we harvested before the flood should be bottled mid year to minimize any gaps in supply.
“Visiting us at the vineyard or purchasing a few bottles online is one of the greatest ways people can help our flood recovery,” David concludes.

Easter in the Vines – TIME TO VISIT!

David Blacket says, “Riversands is a great place to bring friends, family and visitors to relax and get away for a few hours, especially at Easter. Thanks to everyone working quickly after the flood, the lawn and garden have bounced back in no time.”

“Besides a free wine tasting, we serve mud cake, scones and cheese platters in our grassy garden cafe along with a hot cup of tea or coffee… or wine!” he says.  Easter also sees the addition of gourmet BBQ packs and live entertainment over two days. There will also be an official flood thankyou at 3pm on Sunday.

LINKS - Easter in the Vines - Special Deals Available

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   - book your Easter group!

Continue reading
  2425 Hits
2425 Hits