Since joining the ACC I have been on a Tag a long, Moreton Bay Drifters to Bingara, what a blast! Musters at Jondayn, Again Moreton Bay Drifters and a Sunshine Nomads Muster at Moffatdale, Bjelke Petersen Dam. All great fun and fellowship, thanks to all whom we have met and enjoyed company with. Will certainly see a lot of you on the Muster trail in the near future,
Cheers and a Happy Festive season to all,
Since joining the ACC I have been on a Tag a long, Moreton Bay Drifters to Bingara, what a blast! Musters at Jondayn, Again Moreton Bay Drifters and a Sunshine Nomads Muster at Moffatdale, Bjelke Petersen Dam. All great fun and fellowship, thanks to all whom we have met and enjoyed company with. Will certainly see a lot of you on the Muster trail in the near future,
Having been north for the winter, we are planning a trip from Melbourne to McLaren Vale SA in January. We are planning to head to Echuca first then progress along the Murray before heading to the Barossa, Adelaide and on down to McLaren Vale.
We then hope to head back to Melbourne along the Great Ocean Road.
We would appreciate receiving any information on good camp sites along our route.
Hope someone can help
Richard & Trish
Our tag-a-long to the national muster at Bingara began officially on Monday the 3rd of October when 4 vans met at the Highlands caravan park in Seymour, the Reids & the Tucks arrived on the Saturday followed by the Kollmorgens & the Hales on the Sunday. We had a very attentive park owner who did his best to make us all feel very welcome and shared his vast knowledge of things important. We had a camp fire provided for us and I mean provided because we told in no uncertain terms not to interfere with it, judging by all the laughter everyone enjoyed themselves so all was good.
Monday saw us head off for Albury to the All Seasons Tourist Park where we found a very neat and tidy park and once again very friendly and helpful staff. Happy hour was enjoyed by all, followed by a BBQ tea. We then played cards until about 11 pm which was a lot of laughs Derek and I were outnumbered by the girls so we thought we had better let one of them win.
Tuesday we pointed the wagons to Junee and enjoyed a very easy 180km trip, when we arrived at our destination we found an extremely good park; the Top Tourist Park in Junee has beautifully manicured grass sites, immaculately clean amenities and very friendly staff. This park even provides bath mats for added comfort after showering. We visited the chocolate and licorice factory which was quite interesting. The Junee Railway Station is well worth a visit, this place must have been a hive of activity in its heyday and the refreshment rooms have been maintained to reflect the era in which they were first opened, with many old photos and memorabilia adorning the walls. Dinner in the camp kitchen was another pleasant evening where we met up with another caravan club from NSW who were travelling south they had just left two days of rain in Bathurst. As we were leaving the park Peter & Faye (the owners) came racing over in their golf cart, Faye started yelling “Who was the thief who stole the rhubarb from my garden?”, everyone stood there very sheepishly admitting to nothing (we had permission from Peter to take some but we all thought he had forgotten to tell her) she went on to say, “Who would like some more?” well everyone broke their silence then and with Fayes help raided the rest of the garden. They have sold the park and she wanted to take the rhubarb corms down to her daughters place. I hope the new owners take as much pride in the place as Faye & Peter have done; the park is a credit to them.
Wednesday it was off to Cowra only a very short drive of 170km, at least that was the plan but just the other side of Young we were detoured through Grenfell because of a fatal accident involving a bus which added an extra 60 km to the trip. After settling in at Cowra Tourist Park we all took up positions around the fire pit which had huge fire going, late night snacks consisted of crumpets and raison toast cooked in a jaffle iron, yum. A great night was had by all, we met up with some fellow travellers with the conversation and laughter going on until the stumps were pulled at 10pm.
Thursday saw us wake up to rain, but it wasn’t all that cold. We started our trip to Gulgong and decided to call into the Wellington caves for look but the next tour didn’t start until after 2.00pm so we decided to push onto Gulgong, where we stayed the night at the show grounds, where we met up with the Sydney City Slickers, that night we all went into the RSL for dinner. The hospitality shown to us was fantastic, these country towns certainly know how to make you feel welcome, we were invited to join their carpet bowls night, well what a great night we had most of us had no idea how to play the game so as you can imagine there was lots of laughs and a great night was had by all. Derek and I won the booby prize.
Friday we headed for Tamworth, but not before stopping in Gulgong and checking out the town. The town oozes history with buildings that are all of by gone era and a walk down the street brings you back in time as you can just imagine what it was like in its heyday, there is even an old horse trough complete with hitching rail, which has been preserved in the main street. It is, in my opinion well worth a visit and make sure you visit the RSL they will look after you. Most had early night tonight in anticipation of a big day tomorrow.
Saturday we were on the last leg of our journey, we decided to stock up on essentials in Tamworth so made a beeline for the local supermarket then off to Bingara. The weather has turned a little nasty here at Tamworth but hopefully only showers. We arrived safely in Bingara just after 1.00pm and were warmly met by the organizing committee and shown to our site. Happy hour was set up around a nice fire with great company and was enjoyed by all.
Tag-along attendees: Therese and Dennis Gregory, Nell and Tom Lillford, Rol and Marion Hill, and Trevor and Margaret Aird.
Day one, and we were off into Victoria. Our first stop was to be the Edenhope Bakery for its famous vanilla slices; however Dennis’s UHF had battery problems, so in the ensuing chaos we missed it. We completed the 90 km trip by noon and settled in at the small caravan park. We had a very quick lunch by the Glenelg river, before being met by town guide, John. He took us on a drive up though local farmland to the Clunnie shearing shed.
What an amazing building. Built in 1882 of ironstone cut at a quarry 3km away, carted to the site over a 30-year period. The shed was exceptionally designed for use by 20 shearers, and is currently still being used. The shed interior was made of beautiful Blackwood, and after 130 years was still in suburb condition. The shed is regarded as one of Victoria’s best-kept secrets, and we are sworn to secrecy. Back in the township of Harrow we were shown around the old Wooden Jail, and Therese was given a hair raising shock by Nell in the “Young Ladies Finishing School”, ask Therese about it.
In 1868 the first Aboriginal Cricket Team went to England. Harrow local. Jimmie Mullagh was a talented allrounder in the team and there is a marvellous museum that depicts this first tour. Our tour of the town was completed with a visit to Calico Candle where local crafts are for sale. We all purchased packets of cookies for Happy Hour. The tour day cost each of us $10 and with the powered site only being $12, it was $22 very well spent. (Put Harrow on your “places to visit” list)
We finished of the day with a BBQ dinner, before falling into bed fairly exhausted.
Day Two, we were on our way south, we stopped at the very quiet town of Balmoral for morning tea. The weather was fine and sunny. Strolling through town we found an underground house, “why underground” we asked. We continued on, on very narrow roads to Coleraine for lunch. By this time the wind was very strong, however we found shelter in the local milk bar for pies, chips and coffee. We completed the short trip to Wannon Falls, to find a delightful holiday park waiting. The owner got us power leads from the restaurant and soon we were settled in. The enclosed camp kitchen was ideal for lunch and luckily kept us out of the rain that had suddenly come in. After lunch we visited Wannon Falls. The falls were flowing very fast and they made for great photos. According to a sign there is a rock formation in the shape of a rams head, which some of us had difficulty finding. Happy hour was taken in the shelter of Nell’s van, where we sat around, had a few wines and solved the world’s problems.
We shared the camp kitchen for dinner with a group of people there for a 95th birthday celebration on the following day. A nice log fire made the room very cosy.
Day Three, after morning tea, had us on the road to Nigretta Falls. These spectacular falls were in full flood and we were able to see them from 3 different vantage points. Marion caught us all on camera at the lookout at the top of the falls, very spectacular indeed.
Therese had solved Dennis’s UHF problem by putting the batteries in the right way. So with aid of Marion’s commentary we were off to Hamilton. Rol and Marion have a daughter in Hamilton and they know all the towns “hot spots”. We had a quick walk around the town, where the men went into George Taylor’s hardware store and the ladies opted for the clothes store next door.
We met Therese and Denis’s friends for lunch at the Caledonian Hotel. The Pensioners Lunchtime special proved very good value and most enjoyable. A visit to the Art Gallery was relief out of the cold wind that blows through Hamilton. All of us were in agreement that Dobell’s “Nude Reflections” was the highlight. We had a pleasant stroll through the botanical gardens that were first laid down in about 1850. Nell’s knowledge of the old trees left us in no doubt that she should stick with towing caravans. We took ourselves on a quick tour of the Qantas museum, the lake and the Hamilton and Alexandria College before we returned to the caravan park. A quiet night in finished off the day.
Day Four, and we were up early to view the Wannon falls from the other side. Dennis had found a way in through a private entrance. We walked along the cliff and got a different view from above where the “Rams Head” is. One might say on the Rams Bum, so as to speak.
After morning tea we were packed and off to Casterton, only 55 km away. We called in at the historic Coleraine Railway Station. No tracks anymore but still very interesting. The rain was now very heavy as we pulled into the caravan park. At 5pm we arranged to meet Dennis’s friend Arnold who would take us to his home for BBQ tea. Well, Arnold and his wife Irene have built what can only be described as “The eighth wonder of the world”, in his backyard. Over the years they have built a wonderland of sheds, covered patios and displays for an amazing collection of bric-a-brac. Arnold also, (in his spare time), makes “teardrop” caravans. Beautiful, brightly coloured and has everything packed into about 3 metres of length. A massive log fire kept us nice and warm during dinner as Arnold and Dennis reminisced over past times in historic vehicle clubs. What a pleasant, unexpected and amazing evening we had.
Day Five started very cool indeed. However we decided to have a run around the town. There is a great lookout that looks straight down the main street below, and the surrounding farmland. Guide Dennis was keen to point out the various points of interest. It was time for morning coffee, so we found a nice café and soon gathered chairs and tables to sit us all. Nice hot coffee and cakes went down well. We strolled along the quiet Sunday Street, looking into a bric-a-brac shop that wasn’t a patch on Arnolds place. Across the road a local artist had a studio with original country scenes. He was more than happy when we all walked out, having purchased many of his works. All helping the local economy!
Mid afternoon we had a visit from two Committee members of the Casterton Kelpie Muster with four of their sheep dogs in tow, they gave us the back ground to the origin of the Annual Kelpie muster held long weekend in June, $9000.00 was the highest price payed for a trained working dog this last year.
The wind dropped and at Happy Hour time we were basking in a sunny afternoon. Therese, ever the host, invited 2 other couples in the park to join us. One couple was from Tassie and the other from Mt Gambier. When darkness fell the Tassie (Gary) produced a wood fire that soon kept us warm. Frying pans, sausages and eggs were found and an impromptu dinner was cooked over the open fire. We sat there in the dark until “Underbelly- Razor” on TV dragged a few of us away. What a marvellous night to finish off our Tag-along.
Day Six, next morning we gathered in the Gregory’s van for our final morning coffee, before going our separate ways back home. The general opinion was that the Tag-along had been just great and we were of the opinion that short tag-alongs were a good idea. In all we would have only travelled around 330 km all up for the entire 6 days.
Roland Hill S00064
Muster attendees, Therese and Dennis Gregory, Nell and Tom Lillford, Rol and Marion Hill, Joe and Pat Vella, Clare and Barry James and visitors June and Ross Bessell.
Friday saw us all arrived and settled in. Therese and Dennis being locals were last in of course. Six vans made the trip; Claire and Barry were on the final leg of their trip north. At our first Happy Hour, visitors June and Ross were introduced and welcomed. The afternoon was a pleasant 24 deg, and the chatter was full of places we had traveled to over the past months. Friday dinner was casseroles, and we were tightly packed into the Gregory’s van.
Saturday morning we blew the cobwebs away with a walk to the bakery. Coffee and cakes went down well. We then walked around Naracoorte, with “guide” Dennis giving a running commentary. A quick look in the Catholic Church to view the stained glass, then onto the other 3 churches that are on the hill overlooking the town.
Naracoorte was hosting the local football grand finals, and the locals were taking on Lucindale in the A grade match. Five of us made the effort to support our adopted team and joined 3000 other fans for the big game. A 5-goal breeze blew sand across the ground as the teams took to the pitch. “Our lads” were on top early; however, the opposition had a few ring-ins and eventually wore us down to win by 26 points. It was tears in our beer.
Dennis arranged for us to have dinner at the local Naracoorte Historical Vehicle Club (NHVC) club rooms. Pizzas and chips were ordered and we sat down to partake with a nice glass of wine. After dinner we were shown around the beautifully restored cars, tractors and stationary engines that are all in working condition. NHVC life member Lance recalled the hours of work that had been put into restoration. A great night was had.
Sunday morning we made the 15 km ride to the Black Cockatoo bush camp. This 120 ha property is a “rough campers” paradise. Corrugated iron showers, toilets and BBQ huts are brightly painted with bush scenes. Native flowers and orchids are among the gum trees, and a lake has fish and yabbies for catching. We took morning tea seated under the shade of another warm day. Dennis took us around the 4-wheel drive course, but he chickened out of the bigger of the obstacles. Nell gave it a miss and settled for a leisurely drive back home. After lunch we all went to the Naracoorte Caves. We went into the Extinct Animals exhibit, and came face to face with huge wombats; Tassie devils and strange looking kangaroos, and some of them moved and gave out loud wild noises. The Dept of Environment had a family day going, so we joined in the activities. Snakes on the move were fascinating but we kept a keen eye on them. Sunday evening meal was a BBQ in the warmth of the NHVS clubroom again. We gathered for the now mandatory group photo in front of the ACC banner. What a happy bunch we are.
Monday saw Barry,Claire,Joe and Pat leave us. The weather turned cooler and the gusty wind made us frantically take in our awnings. Seven of us made a visit to Mini Jumbuck, which was very interesting. We then drove down to Lucindale. First stop was the Lime Coast Cheese factory. We all sampled delicious hand made cheeses, and ended up buying a fair amount. After a nice lunch in the park we went off for a visit to the Field Day site that the branch has been booked for the 2014 National Muster. In amongst the gusty showers we went though the facilities on the site. It was agreed that this location would be ideal for the muster. On the way out Rol decided to take a look at the electrical power outlets, only to be confronted by a huge Huntsman that made him drop the cover and jump. Laughs all round from the others. Happy hour had us huddled out of the weather in the Gregory’s, yet another great day.
Tuesday was a “lay day” giving us all time to recover after 4 hectic days. However, “Dennis the host” took the men on a run to see the largest Red Gum in the South East. The trees’ hollowed out center made for some interesting photos.
All of agreed that the muster had been a great success, and congratulations to Therese and Dennis for their superb local input. Late on Tuesday Trevor and Margaret joined us, in preparation for the Tag-along.
Ross and June left us on Wednesday morning, thanking us all for introducing them to our Sundowners way of life. Hopefully they will join us, provided we haven’t put them off.
Roland & Marion Hill S00064
Hi I am 65 (Dec). Cathy is 62.
Cathy & I have now Retired and are still livingin Ipswich Q.
We are members of Moreton Bay Drifters Caravan Club.
We Presently own a 19' 6" Coromal Lifestyle 605 Van and tow it with a 2010 Ford Ranger 4X4 3L Turbo Diesel Dual Cab Ute fitted with manual transmission.
We area awaiting delivery of a new Coromal Princeton Van in Late March/ Early April 2012.
Our ambition is to then hit the road, as soon as we can arrange it.
We have just returned from a test run for our new Ssangyong Korando and our little Avan. From the NSW Central Coast, the 1st. stopover was Moree for 2 days of soaking in the thermal pools. Then onto Grawin (back of Lightning Ridge) for the 2011 Grawin Ball at the "Club in the Scrub". It certainly was different. Next, back to nature at the beautiful Warrumbungle National Park, where the Avan held up well in the overnight frost. Then onto Dubbo for a visit to the Zoo after 33 years since our last visit. 3 mearkat pups came out of the burrow for the 1st. time on the day we were there. Then home via Merriwa. A good little trip around the centre of NSW. Ted & Merlyn
We left homeont he 16th June and have visited oman-ama, Nindigully, Lightning Ridge, Bourke, Louth, Tilpa, Whitecliffs, Menindee, Broken Hill, Wentworth ad now in Berri SA, stayingat th Berri Riveride Caravan Park
We will be here until Monday and then we willbe heading into the Barossa.
Barb and Darryl
Hi - This is from Allan Hand and Diane Loxton, new members of the Moreton Bay Drifters. We are 66 and 65 years respectively, retired and live at Ferny Grove, Brisbane. From the age of 55 to 60 years we left home and worked all around Australia for 6 years - North for the Winter and South for the Summer. We did a variety of work - some of them getting away from our usual working life occupations - we enjoyed every minute. On leaving we agreed that if either of us did not like the work we would change or pack up and leave. We have just returned from 4 weeks in the United Kingdom and look forward to our first muster at Bingara - see you there!!!
This years main trip is pretty short for us, (around 9 weeks) as we have to fit in in between other family/medical commitments. Main part of the trip is to have a look around the Gregory NP in the NT, travel the Victoria, Duncan, Buchannan & Buntine Hwy's spend a weeks R&R in Katherine then head east across the Savannah Way/Great Top Road into QLD from Roper Bar to Lorrella Springs, Borroloola, Burketown, Julia Creek, Jundah, Quilpie, Thargomindah, Hungerford, Darling River Run (oposite side to what we did last time) into Menindee, Pooncarie, Mildura and home.
Our trip plan on Google can be seen here 2011 Gregory NP & Gulf Trip
Some trip photos will be posted here Gregory Gulf Trip Photos
Back home now....Summary for trip is we were away 69 days/68 nights, travelled 11379km (towing 10020km, sightseeing 1359 without the van) = avg of 165km per day (way up on our usual much more restful 80-100km avg per day while away) Fuel ULP costs total $3946 avg $1.55 litre for 2540 litres, avg of 22.3L/100km. Accommodation costs $1280 avg of $18.82 for the 68 nights away that were spent either in van park, free camp or with family. Kept over 4300 of the photos we took along the way to revisit and refresh our memories of the trip in the years ahead.
Now to rough planning our 2012 Tassie trip.........
Hi all, The Sundowners' Port Broughton Muster is in progress with 13 vans booking in for the Weekend. Luckily, our Muster coincided with the Cornish Festival 'Kernewek Lowender' on the Copper Coast of Yorke Peninsula. There were lots of things to look at and travel to to see at Wallaroo, Moonta and Kadina. The weekend got of to a great start with the Friday Happy Hour followed by a share dinner attended by all members. There was loads of casserols, stews and goulash to consume. The Happy Hour turned into a meeting to discuss various issues including the request from HQ for us to host the 2014 National Muster. The members present were very much in favour of the idea so more on that later. We have Derek and Gwen Hale from the Gipsland Gypsies joining us before they head off to W.A. on Sunday via the Eyre Peninsula coastal route. Derek has been very helpful with information about National Musters as he is involved with the 2012 Muster at Mallacoota. He gave us some great information and ideas to think about and showed us the Mallacoota Councils presentation DVD he had with him. Derek also gave some helpful hints for using the ACC Website and discussed the Farm Stay plans that is still a project in progress. Thanks Derek & Gwen. We also got re-acquainted with Des and Mo Freeman who have not been able to attend some of our previous musters. Welcome to both of them.
Saturday night dinner at the Sunnyside Hotel went well and was attended by all participants. The food and drinks were well received by all. We celebrated Nell Lilford's birthday which happened to be today with a 'cheesecake dessert with candle' and a rousing rendition of 'Happy Birthday'.
Sunday morning saw us all at the camp kitchen for a byo breakfast before the group photo shoot. Some of the members had to leave this morning because they are workers. Derek and Gwen said their farewells and left as well on their way to the Eyre Peninsula and W.A. After the farewells most of the leftovers decided to do the Port Broughton Historical walking trail, an easy walk around the town's historical buildings. After about an hour of that we all ended up at the Palette 2 Palette restaurant for a coffee break before making our way back to the CP for a quiet afternoon. In the evening we had a happy hour and byo bbq dinner to finish off the weekend.
Allan, Rita, Jim and Geraldine discuss photos of previous trip.
Afternoon tea Saturday afternoon.
Pub dinner Saturday night.
Nell's birthday dessert, Happy Birthday!
The other end of the table, pub dinner.
The Kernewek Lowender procession in Moonta.
Cornish children dress up for the parade.
Historical G0-Kart in the parade.
ACC Sundowners members and guests Group Photo, Port Broughton CP.
We all hope that the next muster at the Lake Albert CP in Meningie on July 1-3 w/e will be well attended also. Till then cheers, Alby Secretary
Day 1 - Friday - 1st April 2011
A couple of weeks ago a friend of mine told me of a trip he and another were planning to go to Coffin Bay on Eyre Peninsula. He suggested we tag along and join them. Why not!
We were away by 9am having to meet up with our friends at Pt Wakefield around 10:15am. We were caught up in road works near RAAF Edinburgh along Heaslip Road and a large wide load on the Pt Wakefield road so that delayed us a bit. Once we passed those obstacles we had a reasonable run to Pt Wakefield where we caught up with Allan, Ron and Jim and their wives. After a coffee at the Pt Wakefield Bakery we headed off towards Pt Augusta. The plan was to travel to Coffin Bay over two days and stay at Point Lowly overnight in the free camp area. The run up was without incident. We had lunch and a fuel stop at the Gutta and then headed southwest towards Whyalla. At Point Lowly we checked out the free camp but it was chockers with fisher people and interstaters. We tried Fitzgerald Bay but that didn't suit Allan (no toilet). Allan had left his Porti Potti at home. Doh! A decision was made to stay the night at the Foreshore Top Tourist park in Whyalla. We were lucky to get in as the cp was booked out for the weekend. After set up we had a happy hour before retiring for the night.
"Whyalla is the third most populous city in South Australia after Adelaide and Mount Gambier. It is a seaport located on the east coast of the Eyre Peninsula in South Australia. It was founded as Hummock's Hill in 1901 by the Broken Hill Proprietary Company (BHP) as the end of a tramway bringing iron ore from the Middleback Ranges to be used in the lead smelters at Port Pirie as flux. A jetty was built to transfer the ore. The settlement consisted of small cottages and tents clustered around the base of the hill. The Post Office opened in 1901 as Hummock's Hill and was renamed Whyalla on November 1, 1919.
On 16 April 1920 the town was proclaimed as Whyalla. The ore conveyor on the jetty was improved and ore began to be shipped to the newly built Newcastle, New South Wales steelworks. The town grew slowly until 1938...." Source: Whyalla ,, Wikipedia Free Encyclopedia ( Remember: Google is your friend!)
Port Lincoln from Winter Hill Lookout
Allan,Helen and me at the Makybe Diva Memorial
Coffin Bay in the early morning
Pelicans abound in the Bay
Day 2 - Saturday - 2nd April 2011
We departed Whyalla around 9:30am and were in Cowell for morning coffee at the roadhouse around 10:30am. From there we travelled to Tumby Bay for lunch. It was very busy when we arrived as there was a JJJ rock concert on that night so the park was booked out and the showgrounds was covered in tents. After lunch we travelled onwards to Coffin Bay Caravan Park via Pt Lincoln (where we stopped for fuel). We arrived in Coffin Bay around 3pm and were set up in time for a happy hour. That night we had a BBQ dinner and then retired. All this driving is wearing some of the oldies out.
"Located on the shores of one of the most beautiful estuaries in Australia, Coffin Bay is an extremely popular retreat (its population of around 430 swells to over 2,000 in summer). There are excellent scenic views across large expanses of meandering waterways with bays, channels and inlets. The fishing is so good that even the professionals have been known to get excited. You can stroll the Oyster Walk, an easy eight-kilometre walkway which meanders around the Coffin Bay foreshore through natural bushland. The walk starts at the caravan park and leads you to Crinolin Point and to the lookout in the Coffin Bay National Park. Bridges make the walk wheelchair friendly. Other attractions are the summer markets and great, cheap meals at the yacht club. "Source: Internet, I Googled it!
Day 3 - Sunday - 3rd April 2011
We had a quiet start to the day. Last night we turned our clocks back an hour as daylight saving is over for another 6 months. Rita cooked us all a chicken roast for lunch which was appreciated by all. Jim wasn't feeling too well so Rita decided we could all share the chook. In the afternoon we drove into the Coffin Bay Nat. Park and had a look around Avoid Bay. Point Avoid and Templetonia Lookout.
The Coffin Bay National Park offers some of the most spectacular coastal scenery in South Australia, ranging from ancient granite, limestone and sandstone cliffs to long beaches bordered by white sand dunes. While some sections of the park's coastline can be reached by two-wheel drive, four-wheel drive tracks crossing sandy and limestone terrain to the north allows bird watchers, fisherman, and others to access the more remote areas of the park. Picturesque sections of the coastline can also be reached via bitumen road. In the evening we all did our own thing for dinner.
Avoid Bay in the National Park
Sunset over Coffin Bay
Small private jetty taken over by the Pelicans
Sunset from The C.B.Yacht Club.
Day 4 - Monday - 4th April 2011
Monday morning we headed into Pt Lincoln for some shopping and lunch. We went to the Caravan Dealer in town and bought some parts for the TV aerial. We had lunch from Subway and ate it in the foreshore park near the Makybe Diva Memorial. Makybe Diva is a British-bred, Australian-trained Thoroughbred who became the first racehorse to win the famed Melbourne Cup on three occasions: 2003,2004,and 2005. In 2005, she also won the Cox Plate. Makybe Diva is the highest stakes-earner in Australasian horse racing history, with winnings of more than A$14.5 million when she retired on 1 November 2005. Why is there a Statue of the horse on the foreshore in Port Lincoln? Makybe Diva is owned by South Australian tuna fisherman Tony Šantić, who named her after five of his employees - Maureen, Kylie, Belinda, Diane, and Vanessa - by taking the first two letters from each of their names.
I took Allan & Helen to the Lookout at Winter hill where you get a nice panorama view of Boston Bay and Port Lincoln with the Lincoln National Park in the distance.. We returned to the van park after lunch and had happy hour at 5pm. BBQ dinner again that night.
"...Port Lincoln is a coastal city situated on Boston Bay at the southern extremity of the Eyre Peninsula. It is the largest city in the West Coast region, and is located approximately 280 kilometres (straight line - 646 km by road) from the capital city Adelaide. British naval explorer Matthew Flinders discovered the harbour in February 1802. Because of its particularly good harbour, he named it Port Lincoln rather than just Lincoln, where Flinders came from. It is thought that only the lack of a reliable nearby water supply stopped Port Lincoln becoming the state capital of the future South Australia. Even as a small town, Port Lincoln outgrew its fresh water supplies, which is now mostly supplied by a pipeline from the Murray River at Morgan...."
Source: Port Lincoln, Wikipedia Free Encyclopedia.
Day 5 - Tuesday - 5th April 2011
Coffin Bay National Park from the Templetonia Lookout.
We had a cooked breakfast followed by a coffee morning under the awning at our rig. After lunch we walked the Oyster Walk for about an hour, then to the General store for some food. There are lots of nice weekenders and shacks along the foreshore that must cost a pretty package.
Day 6 - Wednesday - 6th April 2011
We went for a drive to Mt Dutton Bay where the famous Woolshed Museum stands, Farm Beach, Gallipoli Beach and Wangary. Also the Antiques shop at Minniribbie Farm that sells the famous Berkshire pork near Wangary. We then came home and enjoyed the ambience of the CP.. Dinner tonight is at the Yacht Club, Whiting and chips for everybody followed by some home cooked bread and butter pudding with ice cream. A couple of beers and wine for the ladies went down nicely as well. We all walked back to the CP in the dark and I watched some TV before bedtime.
St Mary's church building in Wangary.
Lone fisherman on the Mt Dutton Bay jetty
The Gallipoli Beach 4km sign at Farm's Beach.
The Gallipoli Cove used in the movie,'Gallipoli'
Day 7 - Thursday - 7th April 2011
Woke up early, the sun was shining , another great day in paradise! We ended up going back into Port Lincoln for a coffee, some shopping and lunch. Then back to CP for HH and a bbq dinner.
Allan and I standing on the cliff overlooking 'Gallipoli Cove'.
Allan and Geraldine climbing up the steep slope at Gallipoli
Day 8 - Friday - 8th April 2011
Today was pack up and go home day. Ron and Jim left early, i.e., 5:45am, in the dark, they are heading home all the way to Adelaide. Jim to Murray Bridge. Allan and I got up at a reasonable time and we prepared to head back as well but only as far as Melrose for tonight. Left at 8:30am and drove through Cummins, Cowell, Whyalla and Pt Augusta ,then Wilmington and Melrose. Got there about 4:15pm, a long day's drive. In the evening we had dinner at the Mt Remarkable Hotel a typical bush pub. This hotel was built and first licensed in 1857 by Thomas Moran who had previously been a member of the mounted police. It is located in the main street and has changed little from the original 1857 design with its decorated balcony and simple corrugated iron roof. Came back after a great meal and some drinks and sat outside for a coffee before retiring indoors. Very mild tonight.
Mt Remarkable Hotel, Melrose.
Day 9 - Saturday - 9th April 2011
We continued our trip back to Adelaide today, leaving around 8:30am. We stopped for a coffee at Laura, because Allan's Triton had a faulty sensor in the front wheel drive. Luckily the Mitsubishi Dealer was open so he was able to get some information about it. Laura has a very nice looking CP that may be a venue for a trip in the future. The further south we travelled the more the weather deteriorated. It started to drizzle out of Clare and by the time we reached Gawler it was showers all the way. We said farewell to Allan at the Northern Expressway and then made a beeline for home. Another great trip comes to an end but we are looking forward to the next one in May.
The ACC Sundowners enjoyed a great weekend Muster at Victor Harbor SA from 1-3 Mar 2011. This is part of my diary of the week we were there. You can see other Diary entries of our Trips at Alby's Caravan Capers
The first Europeans to sight Victor Harbor more than 200 years ago were Captain Matthew Flinders of the British sloop Investigator and Captain Nicholas Baudin of the French ship Le Geographé.
Their meeting took place at sea in 1802, a few kilometres from the Murray Mouth. Although their countries were at war, they exchanged information and maps.
The first non-indigenous inhabitants of the area were fishermen, whalers and sealers, seeking an easy catch. Some were to jump ship and settle. Ridgway William Newland, a Congregational clergyman from the south of England, led the first true party of settlers to Encounter Bay in July 1839. The group comprised his family, some relations and friends along with several skilled farm workers and their families.
Newland had obtained letters of introduction to Governor George Gawler from Lord Glenelg, Secretary of State for the Colonies. Gawler told Newland that the village of Adelaide was becoming overcrowded, that most of the nearby land had been taken up and splendid land was available at Encounter Bay for only one pound an acre.
Newland took his advice and transported his party to their new home via the Lord Hobart. Whaling stations continued trading until around the mid-1860s, but bigger profits were to be had from boats carrying wheat and wool down the Murray River to the port of Goolwa. Since Goolwa was unsuitable for ships, a 12km railway was built to connect with Port Elliot in 1854 – creating Australia’s first public railway. But Port Elliot was also found wanting so a safer, more sheltered port in the lee of Granite Island was chosen. The railway was extended from Port Elliot to Victor Harbor in 1864.
The horse drawn railway was extended along the Causeway to Granite Island in the mid-1860s to service large American and European clippers. By the 1880s, 25,000 bales of wool from western New South Wales and Queensland were being paddled down the Murray, freighted by train to Victor Harbor and then shipped to the world. But railways killed the river trade in the 1890s – and Victor Harbor’s history as a holiday destination began.
Excerpt from the Tourism Victor Harbor site
Wednesday 2nd March 2011 - Day 1
We departed home around 1030am and headed south to the Victor Harbor Region via the South road. We were on our way to the ACC Sundowners Muster to be held this weekend in Victor Harbor. A little over 2 hours drive south of Adelaide, if you are towing a van, the Victor Harbor area offers visitors a wide range of activities from swimming, boating, fishing and bush walking to enjoying a round of golf at the local courses or just relaxing with family and friends.
Victor Harbor is an excellent base for visiting other attractions in the region as well as the River Murray mouth at Goolwa, the wineries at McLaren Vale, the Fleurieu Peninsula and Kangaroo Island.
Victor Harbor with Granite Island and The Bluff
The Horse Tram
Typical weekday traffic presented with a number of slow-down spots where road works were in progress. The trip to Victor Harbor was uneventful and we arrived in due course at the Beachfront Holiday Park and booked in. Our friends Allan & Helen O were already there and were in the process of settling in. In the afternoon we sat around and discussed world issues and had a few coffees to match. For dinner we walked into town and found the local highly recommended Fish & Chips shop in the main street. We munched on our food 'al fresco' whilst sitting outside the shop. We then walked some more to burn off the calories and found the 'Mc Cafe ' where we had a coffee before walking back to the caravan park. A lot of exercise interspersed with eating and drinking which tended to counteract each other. By the time we made it back to the van the sun was already setting so we settled in for the night. I got out my media player and we watched a movie on the TV ( Twilight-New Moon) until bed time.
Thursday 3rd March 2011 - Day 2
An unsettling night getting used to the van mattress again. I have this problem every time we go away on the first night. In the morning we took our time getting up and relaxed till after lunch. In the afternoon We all hopped in Allan's Triton and took a drive out to Middleton and Pt Elliot to check out the scenery and sights. We had a walk around Port Elliot and took some photos of the old buildings and railway station. The Railway station still gets used every weekend when the historic Cockle Train, which is popular with all ages, offers magnificent coastal views as it steams from Victor Harbor to Goolwa.
Port Elliot Railway Station
Enjoying pancake breakfast Sunday morning.
Form a circle - Happy hour
Storm front passing the CP.
We finished off the afternoon by doing a bit of shopping for dinner at the Victor Harbor Shopping Mall. Some other Sundowners arrived during the day so an impromptu 'Happy Hour' was organised; come five o'clock we all sat around and had a great time together. Dinner ended up being a bbq attended by all and sundry, and which continued late into the night at the camp kitchen.
Friday 4th March 2011 - Day 3
We expected the rest of the Sundowners members to arrive today. We didn't have to wait long before they started trickling in to the park so most of the day was spent meeting and greeting. We had a number of guests from interstate at this muster, including Grant , Julie, Barry and Bev. Grant and Julie are travelling around Australia and were original committee members of the ACC in Queensland when the Club first started up. It was nice having their company for the weekend discussing the origin of the ACC. Barry and Bev were members from the Wide Bay Branch in Queensland. They were on a visit passing through S.A. , so decided to join us for the weekend. At the Happy Hour the Pres. Therese welcomed all and hoped we would have an enjoyable weekend together. For dinner we had a shared casserole that the ladies had made, and Therese made the delicious dessert ' Golden Syrup dumplings' for all to enjoy. It was interesting to see all the different kinds of casseroles that were on offer. These Musters are not the place to come to if you are on a diet. Yummie!!
Enjoying their Dumplings!
Pancake breakfast Sunday morning
Saturday 5th March 2011 - Day 4
We all met up for morning coffee so that we could plan the day's events. Ron G was organising a walk around Old Victor Harbor for after lunch. We had Sue & Gary coming down for the day so a group of us decided to do lunch over on Granite Island. The Granite Island Recreation & Nature Park is home to the magical Little Penguins. The ever popular guided penguin tours are a visitor's favourite. Tours commence at dusk every night. To get to Granite Island you can walk across the Causeway or jump on the Horse Drawn Tram from Victor Harbor. Explore the island and all its magical wonders then stop at the cafe for a meal, coffee or cool drink. That took care of the afternoon. The day was pleasant and sunny so we all got a bit sunburned for our troubles. Before we knew it the afternoon was over and the visitors had to head back to Adelaide. We on the other hand, had to prepare for a happy hour and bbq at a member's home in Middleton for the evening. It didn't take long for us to find the house. We had a great time thanks to Anne and Gerard, who invited us to use their backyard for our function. Their home has a pleasant rural outlook which was magnificent at sunset.
Sunday 6th March 2011 - Day 5
One thing I should mention about the weather we were having at Victor. We have had cool and windy days, warm and pleasant days, hot and blustery days, and humid and rainy days. We just about had all four seasons during the weekend. How quickly time goes when you are having fun. The weekend was over already for those of us that had to go back to work in the morning. Today, breakfast was provided by the Park management in the form of a pancakes. When we got up for breakfast Ron was already cooking the pancakes on the provided bbq plate so we got in line with the others and feasted on pancakes.
The barriers have been removed to allow the lake to flush.
Pelicans feeding near the barrage.
Hindmarsh Island Bridge in 2009 ,sandy patches and
pylons show lack of water due to drought.
The bridge in 2011, water levels are back to normal.
A couple of members had to pack up and leave so the numbers went down for morning coffee. We quickly organised the Group photo before people started packing up. We farewelled Allan and Helen and a few others. Today we decided to attend the Goolwa Wharf Markets and explore Goolwa. We arrived there just before lunchtime, and in time to watch the Cockle Train arrive from Victor Harbor. It was a bit disappointing as I was expecting a steam train, but instead it was a diesel tug. The markets were interesting with lots of things up for sale. I managed to keep Geraldine under control and we walked away empty handed after about an hour. We also looked at the P.S. Oscar W which was tied to the wharf next to the museum. It was planning a long trip to Renmark shortly to attend the 100th birthday of the P.S. Industry on 1st April 2011.
The Cockle Train in Goolwa
Sue,Geraldine,Allan,Helen and Gary
The PS Oscar W at Goolwa
The barrages wide open to let out the floodwaters.
We had lunch at the bakery in Goolwa, drove out to the barrages and then meandered back along the coastal roads checking out the surf beaches along the way. In the evening we cooked another bbq and had fruit damper for dessert compliments of Jim & Rita who brought out their choofer camp oven for the occasion.
ACC Sundowners and guests attending the Victor Harbor Muster
Monday 7th March 2011 - Day 6
It rained overnight. We heard that the northern suburbs of Adelaide had some heavy rain and minor flooding. I won't have to water the garden again for a while. It was still warm and humid today. There was an outbreak of crickets overnight due to the rain and they were into everything in the amenities block. The magpies and other birds were having a feast on them. More people departed today, so ,then there were four couples left to organise a happy hour. We spent most of the day relaxing and farewelling Sundowners departing. Drove into town to browse through the Craft Shop. I sat outside. Then on to Subway for lunch and a walk through the shops in the mall. I bought my 2nd Heading Off around Australia DVD. They come out quarterly and from first glance seem to be interesting enough for me to buy again.
Tuesday 8th March 2011 - Day 7
Pack up and leave day today. We were ready to go around 9.30am. We fare-welled everyone we could find and departed. The rain came and we had a wet trip all the way home. We stopped off at Allan's house for lunch and to pick up a knitting machine for Geraldine. (This will be fun to watch) We were home mid afternoon and unpacked before tea. Next trip is planned for April to Coffin Bay on Eyre Peninsula with a couple of friends.