Just click on the photos to enlarge them and see the captions…….
August 23rd, 2017
Well, where did those few months go?? I’ve been a bit slack in getting this updated, so apologies to any that are following our travels.
We are presently at Croydon Qld. near Normanton. So, what have we been up to getting here………
Our van was attended to at Ballina NSW, which I must say, took longer than we had hoped. We stayed a total of 17days while several small things were attended to, and a couple of bigger issues were sorted out. One being a water leak that only manifested itself on the drive through torrential rain to get to Kimberley Headquarters. Kimberley were kind enough to pay some of our accommodation costs so we were happy campers again.
Leaving Ballina we traveled north staying overnite at Dalrymple Creek, and a couple of nights at Kingaroy before meeting up with friends John & Julie at Boondooma Dam for a week at that fantastic spot. John launched their portable boat and did manage to catch us a feed of “Red Claw”, the local yabbie delicacy!
From there we free camped taking a few days to get to Emerald before heading across to Barcaldine, then north up a mainly dirt track to Hughenden. From Hughenden we again pushed north up another dirt road through “The Lynd” and on to Mount Surprise. We had a great time at Mt Surprise catching up with our mate Russell that runs the caravan park there.
After a couple of weeks of “R&R” at Russell’s we traveled back to Atherton to stock up before heading out to a great camping spot on Lake Tinaroo. We stayed there about a week before heading to Yungaburra for a few days, then back to Mount Surprise, staying another week before heading west again. We stayed a couple of nights at the Forsayth Caravan Park which was a pretty hot and dusty place.
We have been at Croydon now for a couple of days with Pauline getting quite a bit of work cutting hair for the hairdresser starved locals! Tomorrow we backtrack a little and take a dirt road south to Richmond.
Here a a few pictures from our journey through Queensland………
May 31st, 2017
After leaving Pakenham we traveled to Marysville for a few days before heading to Gaffneys Creek near Woods Point for Easter. We were so lucky to meet a big clan, family and friends, who had been camping at Gaffney’s Creek over Easter for many, many years. We had great fun, and they shared their massive fire, and firewood with us. We came 5th in their cook-off, with Pauline making a great pizza for the judges. After that mob all took off after Easter we had the place to ourselves. It was just great. There is a working gold mine near Gaffneys Creek, the “A 1” mine. Trucks loaded with mined rock rumbled by each day and that helped make up our mind to leave early on the day we left. The roads were very narrow in places, rough gravel, and dangerous with the van, so, a 6am start was in order.
Travelling from Gaffneys Creek after two weeks without power we decided to head for a caravan park at Swan Hill. Friends John & Julie met us there and we then went a short distance to the town of Nyah to free camp with them for another couple of weeks before heading back to Swan Hill for supplies and another short stay in the lovely caravan park right on the Murray River.
On the 21st May we left Swan Hill and drove to Broken Hill where we met up with, now friends, Joe and Jackie (fellow Kimberley owners we met at Nyah), and camped next to the horse racing track there. We had a great stay and met quite a few of the fellow campers. Nice!
The 28th May saw us leave Broken Hill and head north to Cunnamulla Qld. where we are enjoying some great weather before heading east toward Ballina for some van repairs/maintenance.
Below are a few photos from our recent travels, and a couple of videos from the drone….
9th April, 2017
We left Merimbula on the 28th March with Pauline sporting a new crowned tooth, and after spending happy times with Bob’s brother Gordon. It was great to catch up and have time with Gordon, Liz and Catherine.
Below: Drone footage of the Merimbula jetty and Cafe.
Below: Short Point, Merimbula.
That night we stayed with friends at Lake Tyers near Lakes Entrance before moving on for an overnighter at the Warragul CP. That put us within striking distance of Pakenham again where we needed to get Kimberley to look at a couple of things on the van. I wasn’t happy with the cursory look that they had done with the wheel bearings during the service performed in February, so asked that they take a closer look and actually “service” them. There was also an issue with the wiring of the auxiliary solar panel that needed to be sorted. It turned out that the request to do the wheel bearings was well worthwhile as, in attending to the bearings, Gav (Kimberley Victoria’s great technician) discovered a cracked weld on one of the suspension arms. This meant extending our stay in the magnificent?? CP in Pakenham until the new arm arrived from Ballina, NSW!
Whilst we stayed in Pakenham we were happy to have some time to catch up with friends Ruth and Gary who live here. Gary also invited us to tag along for a visit he had arranged at a museum located in Beaconsfield. What a day we had! The private collection of cars and other old wares has to be seen to be believed. Cars owned by the rich and famous, a “Brock” collection of race cars including a replica of the early Austin he started racing in, huge areas of cabinets with wonderful old memorabilia, and much, much more. The “Tydel” museum has been built and stocked by Terry Dowel, who is the owner and developer of the “Earth” brand of products found in supermarkets. One vehicle alone is said to be worth over $3m!!
All van issues sorted now so tomorrow (10th April) we off again, heading to Marysville, Victoria for a short stay.
16th March, 2017
Leaving the farm on 1st February, we traveled through Melbourne and on to Pakenham to drop off the caravan at Kimberley’s Victorian Dealer for some servicing, then on to our home town of Inverloch.
Bob’s sister Jen was kind enough to have us stay until the van was ready, and then we set up at the Foreshore Camping reserve on the east side of Inverloch (our house is rented for while). It was a very nice, casual place to stay as we caught up with family and friends. Our mates did their best to fatten us up with lots of lunches, dinners and get-togethers. We had a great time, and thanks to everyone for your hospitality!
At the end of Feb. we moved on to camp beside the Snowy River for a while in a free spot with great grass, and a view over the river. We stayed there a few days before moving into the Orbost Caravan Park for some power, and to sit out some wet weather and the long weekend. We loved it there, not to busy, and another very casual Park.
Whist in Inverloch we bought a DRONE!! A quad copter to be precise, so below we have a few amateurish first flight videos for you to enjoy……..
Salmon Rocks near Cape Conran…
Our time in Orbost was spent exploring the district with one highlight being a seven hour round trip towards the NSW border, across McKillops bridge, along some very narrow roads, and back to Orbost through Buchan. A great trip with magnificent views – certainly not a drive to undertake with the caravan!
Below, some drone vision of the historic Stony Creek Railway Bridge.
We are now at Merimbula on the south coast of NSW so we can catch up with Bob’s brother Gordon and his wife Liz who have retired up here. Bob, Gordon and Jenny spent many years holidaying up here with their parents through the 70’s and 80’s and have very fond memories of Merimbula. Our stay is going to be extended due some dentistry that Pauline needs, but that won’t be any hardship!
30th January, 2017
Doesn’t time fly when you are having fun!!
Arriving at Daniel and Jody’s farm at Yeodene, just out of Colac, we set up camp for an extended stay.
Christmas was fantastic starting with kids presents, a fantastic lunch with all of Pauline’s family together, as one, for the first time in over twenty years! With the Middleton family leaving after a slap-up lunch there was the arrival of Jody’s family for Christmas tea. They all stayed overnight laying their heads down wherever there was space, then enjoyed another feast for Boxing day brunch! Not satisfied with that, Daniel and Jody then had another part of Jody’s family (the Brown family aunties and cousins) arrive for afternoon tea!! A fantastic effort by all, and we are very thankful to have been there to share the special family Christmas.
After a very quiet NYs Eve we have spent all of January with the van on the farm looking after chooks, cattle, dog and cat while Dan and family went to their Townhouse in Apollo Bay, then later, on to Renmark in SA for another break away. We love the farm!
During the month we also drove through Geelong to visit Pauline’s brother Doug and wife Jenny. Great to catch up with them after way too long! Travelling back through Geelong we took the opportunity to have a couple of nights with friends John & Julie Alsop. Great hosts!!
Later in the month we went down to Apollo Bay for a few days before Dan and family joined us there for Australia Day. It was a great time, with a free gig in the park at Apollo Bay being entertained by the Chantoozies. Old rockers, but they still looked fantastic and still “had it”!
Last Sunday (29th Jan.) we went to watch Kyle and Toby playing cricket. Although they lost, we loved watching the game…..
The month has flown by, and tomorrow we head off through Melbourne, drop the van off at the Vic dealers in Pakenham, then on to catch up with my sister Jen, and friends, in our home town of Inverloch. With our house rented we will camp in one of Inverloch’s four caravan parks for a while.
21st December, 2016
Arriving at Barry & Jodie’s property on the 16th we were quickly convinced that we should stay a couple of nights as Barry’s two brothers Kelvin and Chris were arriving with their “better halves” (Kate and Katy) the next day. As usual we were wined and dined magnificently, and what fun we had. The property is a credit to both Barry and Jodie and the renovations to their magnificent historic home are to be seen to be believed!
Reluctantly we headed away from Lucindale, with the intention of heading through Coleraine to find a spot to camp but we saw a sign to one of our favorite spots on the way. Robe. After a quick detour we booked in for three nights and were able to catch up with Barry & Jodie’s friend Shane while we were there. (Thanks for the cray Shane, it was beautiful)!
Today (21st) we have driven down through Millicent toward Port Fairy and have camped for an “overnighter” where the Fitzroy River flows out to sea. Only about 10 camps here, and at $5 for the night, it will do us nicely!
Off tomorrow for Colac where we will set up camp at Daniel and Jody’s farm and enjoy Christmas with the family.
Wednesday 14th December, 2016
Well, where did those 3 weeks go?!
We left Morgan on the 1st December as scheduled and headed for Victor Harbor via the “Stone Stomper” factory south of Adelaide. There we had a “measure up” for a mesh stone protector they make. We have deliberately avoided rough tracks to date, being a bit precious about stone damage to the new van. The Stone Stomper will see us on many more off road tracks in the future. They make a great product!
Victor Harbor was great. We stayed there for 8 nights and had so much fun with Kristy and the extended family celebrating Kristy’s Birthday on the 4th, 5th and onwards….My family tends to do extended celebrations! David produced some fantastic food as usual and helped us stretch our tummies ready for Christmas!
Davids mum, Christine, has bought a house in Victor Harbor and along with Kristy, David, Jackson, Charlie and Juno the dog moved in the day before we left. It’s a great home and we were lucky to see them moving in, and to share their excitement and happiness!
Below: We had many happy times with our camping neighbors Jill and Steve (I told you you’d be on the Blog!), and other neighbors, Rhonda and Bob and John and Junita. Thanks for the company!
Leaving Victor Harbor on the 9th December we only traveled a short distance to Strathalbyn as we have only passed through in the past, and we have loved the look of the town. It’s a very nice place with great old homes and an even greater Bakery! If you pass through you must try out the huge “Ploughmans Pastie”!
The rather small Caravan Park in Strathalbyn is located in the sports precinct with tennis courts and the footy oval. I’ve enjoyed the local cricket over the past weekend with a senior match on Saturday and a district under 18 game on Sunday.
We leave here on Friday 16th of December and will head to Lucindale to catch up with Pauline’s niece and family on their property, then on to Colac for Christmas.
Friday 25th November, 2016
After leaving the Erldunda Roadhouse at the turnoff to Uluru we headed south and were soon into South Australia. The terrain we traveled through wasn’t the most interesting we have come across, and we have traveled the Stuart Hwy before, so we decided to put in a longer days driving. Passing through Coober Pedy, we continued south to a rest stop called “Bon Bon”not that far north of Woomera and the Roxby Downs turnoff. The entire trip was spent battling strong westerly winds which buffeted the car and van continually, and had the fuel consumption way up. It was really interesting to watch the tyre pressure and temperature monitor we have, as we drove. Due to the load created by the wind continually hitting the drivers side, and tending to push the van off the side of the road, the temperature of the rear passenger tyre of the car went up by 10 degrees Celsius hotter than the drivers side rear, and up by 3 psi also!
After an overnight stop on the 12th Nov. at the Bon Bon rest stop we continued south, stopping at Port Augusta for supplies, before continuing on to one of our favorite spots in the south Flinders Ranges, Quorn. The Quorn CP is run by Bronwyn & Gary who are keen conservationists and the CP is a great place to visit with bird life galore. We have camped in the Flinders Ranges a couple of times before so only did day trips through the area this time. The drive through Brachina Gorge is spectacular, Warren Gorge nearer Quorn is also a great spot.
After a wonderful week at Quorn and the Flinders Ranges it was time to move on, so on the 20th November we headed to Renmark on the Murray River. One interesting sight along the way was the massive Gum Tree just near Orroroo. Over 500 yrs old, it has a girth of 10.89m!
Arriving at Renmark we decided to “lash out” and stay at the Big 4 CP. It is surely a sight to behold! We must admit that it was the best CP that we have ever stayed in, but it comes at a cost, $51 per a night! It is located right on the Murray River and the grounds and amenities are just superb. The Murray is rising by the day at the moment and is due to peak any day now. With the flooding upstream a lot of debris is flowing down consequently curtailing a lot of the water activities. There were very few boats,skiers or JetSkiers venturing out. It was an an amazing thing that after a 40deg day, we had the temperature plummet to a point where it was sweaters on, and I nearly had to put on some long pants! Oh, I forgot, I don’t have any! After 4 nights, and the threat of a severe storm with 130km winds (which didn’t eventuate), we moved on to Morgan, and here we sit for a week by the Murray again before heading for Victor Harbor to catch up with family. We will leave here on the 1st December and enjoy seeing Kristy (Bob’s daughter), David and the kids and celebrate Kristy’s birthday on the 5th.
Friday 11th November, 2016
On the 30th October we headed east into the McDonald Ranges and quickly made the decision to camp at the Ross River “Resort”, not that we are toffs, but it was VERY hot and we would have cooked without our air-conditioner! We used this camp spot as a base, stayed for a week, and explored the surrounding area. It was great, and beautiful!
We were asked if we would like to stay at the Resort for an extended period next time we visited, free of camp fees. The deal is that we would need to shift sprinklers through the day, and check the toilets each day reporting any problems (no cleaning involved they said!) I must have done a good job shifting sprinklers while we were there! We’ll think about it as it was a great place, with beautiful surroundings – we could do worse!
On leaving Ross River we headed back through Alice Springs and headed south, then west, then north to Kings Canyon – a bigger than normal drive for us at 550km and taking about 8 hrs at caravan towing speed and stops. We have been to Kings Canyon before and did the “Rim Walk” then so we were not tempted do do it again in the heat. The walk is closed to the public at 9am each morning due to the temperatures reached during the day. We stayed 4 night at the Kings Canyon Resort, once again needing power due the the heat day and night. Whatever did we do without air conditioners?? We were plagued by ants in the Resort and they got so bad we could not sit outside the van even into the evening or night! They took the edge right off the stay.
We left Kings Canyon on the 10th November and only traveled to the Erldunda Roadhouse on the intersection of the north/south Stuart Highway, and the road west to Uluru and Kings Canyon. This is the first mobile reception we have had for some time, so we are staying in the campground to catch up on our communications and phone calls. It is a fantastic campground with the first green grass that we have seen in a while.
Saturday 29th October, 2016
We’re at Alice Springs now after travelling from Mt Isa leaving on the 23rd. We had a stop at the Barkly Station Roadhouse for one night, and on to The Devils Marbles where we stayed for three really enjoyable days. Although hot, we just loved the changing colors of the “Marbles” and lapped up the peace and quiet! Each day all the other campers would leave in the morning and we would have a wonderful, quiet time until the vehicles started to roll in again mid to late afternoon. Only one drawback at the Marbles….ANTS. Millions of ants! They were fortunately not of the intrusive variety and they stayed pretty much out of the van, but they did give a nip from time to time, and we would often look down to see feet and legs covered in them! Dawn and sunset colors were amazing – a truly magnificent and unique part of Australia.
Alice Springs has been good, and we have re-stocked the cupboards ready for the next leg. Although the Caravan Park we are in is really nice (G’day Mate CP) we are finding it a bit cramped after out wonderful stay at the Marbles. A high tin fence instead of the magnificent rocks!
Tomorrow (30th) we are heading east into the East McDonald Ranges and will decide whether to camp in the Trephina Gorge Nature Park (recommended by mates John & Julie), or the Ross River Resort. There is some rain forecast for the next 5 days or so, so it will depend on road conditions, and access, where we camp.
Friday 21st October, 2016
On leaving Karumba we backtracked a bit to visit with Pauline’s cousin’s wife’s nephew on Haydon Station 50km east of Normanton. A good track only 5km off the bitumen to the Station homestead saw us pull in at about 2pm. We were made very welcome by Luke and Helen and the kids, and as a bonus, Luke’s dad and mum were there as well. I believe that dad & mum (Tony and Helen) own the properties with Luke and Helen working the Cattle Station. Tony and Helen are certainly hands on people, with Tony driving the Station’s Kenworth Road Train shifting cattle after the muster. We enjoyed a great meal with them that night, and Bob was able to go with Tony in the Kenworth next morning to the yards to load cattle. A great experience.
After leaving the cattle station we traveled south to spend the night at the Burke & Wills Roadhouse. We had a great meal in the Roadhouse that night with Bob enjoying a massive hamburger and Pauline, an equally large Chicken Schnitzel!
Turning west next day we headed to Gregory Downs to camp beside the Gregory River for a few days. It was so fantastic we stayed 6 days! The Gregory River camp site is often used as a base for people wanting to travel out to the Lawn Hill National Park and Adels Grove. Both beautiful places, but as we have been out there before we decided to just lap up life by the river.
After reluctantly leaving the River we headed east again via Burke & Wills roadhouse, then south to Mt Isa. We have been here a few days now and have restocked the van ready to head west again via Camooweal and on to Alice Springs……………
Thursday 6th October, 2016
We’ve been at Karumba on the Gulf of Carpentaria for 4 days now. It is hot, and the nights stay hot too. We hear from family and friends, and the media, that severe weather is happening down south so we feel for those caught up in it. The caravan park here (The Karumba Point Sunset Caravan Park) is quite empty now as the heat increases, and the usually packed boat ramp car park is all but empty as those from southern states have fled back to cooler climes and, of course, their bowls season! We are loving it up here although some time is spent in the air-conditioned comfort of the van during the middle of the day.
Brongas are all over the place at the moment, lots more to be seen than on the other occasions we have been up this way. We were surprised by the visit of a Tawny Frogmouth in the tree next to our van the other night too.
Friday 30th September, 2016
This is our second night in Croydon Qld., a town we have visited before but a town we have an affinity with. It has a Caravan Park, a Cemetery, a dried up Lake (well nearly, at 5% capacity), an historic set of ruins from the times when the Chinese were a significant part of the population, and a wonderfully restored set of early buildings such as the courthouse, Police Station, etc. The pub is pretty special too! Before we arrived we drove through some rain and it became heavier as we approached Croydon. This was the most significant rain that they have received for several years. As we set up in the Caravan Park we found the birds just going nuts in the trees as the rain tumbled down. I guess most of the birds had never seen rain!
After we left Mount Surprise we drove to the “Cumberland Historic Mine Site” and camped overnight. (Just west of Georgetown). The site is better known to many as “The Chimney” due to the site having a tall brick chimney as a landmark for travelers passing by. There is a substantial dam at the site which is a haven for birds of all sorts. A photographer, or birdwatchers paradise. It happened to be the hottest day and night we have spent so far! Not much sleep was had as we sweltered through the night!
Here are a few pics from the past few days: ……
Click on images to enlarge….
Tuesday 27th September, 2016
After leaving Mission Beach, (well Wongaling Beach to be precise), we traveled to Atherton on the Tablelands and stayed for two nights, restocked with supplies and then moved on to “Kauri Creek Camp” on Lake Tinaroo for a few days. On arrival at the camp we found that all the other campers belonged to one family, Mum & Dad, all their adult kids, wives and families. They were a great bunch and we enjoyed their company very much.
The water level of Lake Tinaroo was well down compared to the last time we were there but it is still a very beautiful place. The weather there, and right across the Tablelands was cool, and there was plenty of rain about. As the Qld. school holidays were about to start we decided to ditch our plans to travel to the coast and head inland for some heat and sunshine. Mount Surprise here we come!
We’ve stayed with Russell at Planet Earth Adventures caravan park on several occasions in the past and have enjoyed the place very much. We have stayed for 9 days now and will move on tomorrow (Wednesday) towards Karumba. We have sure had our wish for heat granted! It has been high into the 30’s each day, but nights have been cool, and temps very comfortable for sleeping. We have not done much while here as we have explored the area on previous visits so it has been R&R and we have loved it!
Click on images to enlarge.
Monday 5th September, 2016
Well, a lot of water under the bridge since our last post!
We are now sitting at Mission Beach Nth Qld enjoying some warm weather at last. Most days have been a overcast and we’ve had a little rain, but it is warm!!
Let me fill you in on what has happened since we picked up the van……
We stayed at home for a couple of weeks testing all the functions of the van and running everything we could to check it out. We did come up with quite a list including the washing machine not working, Midgie screen door ill fitting, Incorrect Manual supplied, Modem/WiFi box not supplied, Fuel Cell (EFOY) not fitted, remote for TV over bed missing, water tank readings were incorrect, agreed increase to the ATM of van plate was not attached, and, to top it off, there were no “Black Caviar” stickers on the van!!
Kimberley Vic. took the van back and all items were attended to in a few days.
So, with just about everything sorted we set off on the 17th August. Murray River at Tocumwal the first night, then on to Forbes for 3 nights (great free camp by the Lake), then on to Nyngan for an o’niter, before heading to Cunnamulla, staying at the Warrego Riverside Tourist Park for three nights. It was there that we started getting shocks from the van, and to cut a long story short, after some deft work with the multimeter, it was found to be a faulty extension lead that we were using. Pays to check these things! A night at Augathella free camped beside the river was great. Sunshine at last! Next was a free camp near Barcaldine for a one nighter, before heading to Emerald for one more night. You can see we were chasing the warmth and sun! From there we had another free camp outside Charters Towers at the Mocrossin Camp Ground before making for Mission Beach to meet up with friends Hugh and Elaine from Inverloch.
Thursday 21st July, 2016
Yesterday we heard from the Victorian distributor in Pakenham that our van has arrived. They have to detail it and check it over before we pick it up. YIPEE! Not long now!
Reading back through our posts I realize that this is getting very boring! Hopefully things will get more interesting when we get on the road.
Friday 1st July, 2016
Here we sit still vanless. Last indication was that it would be finished this week, but no word yet. We have spent the last weeks getting the house ready for Glenys and Barry to come home to, and just about everything is ready for us to pack into the van. We have had the suspension upgraded on the Mazda giving it more road clearance, and on Tuesday we will be taking it to Engineers to have it inspected for a 130kg increase to its GVM (Gross Vehicle Mass). That simply means that we can legally carry more stuff!
Sunday 8th May, 2016
We spoke to the Kimberley agent here in Victoria on Thursday who said that our van would not be ready until early July. That means the delivery date has blown out by a month inside of one month!! Not really what we want to hear. I’ve been in touch with the General Manager of Kimberley in Ballina who says that they will get ours done ASAP. We will see what that relates to down the track.
11th April 2016
Our Farm Fix is in its last week. The exciting bit is that we have a very tentative delivery date for our new van for the first week of June. We will believe it when we see it!
22nd March 2016.
All packed and ready to go for our “Farm Fix”! Off to Dan & Jody’s tomorrow to look after the farm south east of Colac for a few weeks. Always love it there.
14th March 2016
We are waiting now for the quote on the new van build. We should hear in few days, then the order will go in, and the real waiting will begin! In the meantime we are both at a loose end really. How does the saying go? “All good things come to those who wait”!
We are getting excited as we have now organized for friends Glenys and Barry to rent our house for nearly three years! So, when we take delivery of the van, it will be pack up, and off on one great extended holiday!!
Waiting, waiting ………
After finishing our last adventure late in 2015 we decided to sell our Coromal van and buy another. We spent ages getting the van ready for sale and contacted Gayle and Chris in Sydney who had expressed interest in buying the van. They arrive, spent two days inspecting the van, and took it away.
Now we have an agonizing wait until we can get our new van and take off again.
We hope Gayle and Chris have as much fun, and enjoy the van, as much as we did.
Now, we are waiting to get the new van, a Kimberley Kruiser T3. Can’t wait to set it up and get going…. we’ll keep you posted!