Wednesday, November 12, 2014

HOME………………… Day 228

9 the November 2014………………………..and now we are home.

We left Smokey Bay on Thursday in the morning. A couple of days before we left Smokey Bay we had a wonderful evening with some new found friends at the Smokey Bay park, Pete and Di.


We had chili prawns and golden Syrup Dumplings for our last meal before we set off over the Nullabor. We left Thursday  morning. As we drove the temperature was rising and John was reporting temperatures outside the car of 43 degrees Celsius. We kept driving as it was cooler than stopping somewhere in the bush. We stopped late afternoon where 3 million flies lived.

Sleep was almost impossible that night and thankfully the next day was a little cooler and found us stopping at the Balladonia Roadhouse where we had power. Hamburgers were enjoyed from the Roadhouse.

Another long day on Saturday saw us camping 11 kms north of Ravensthorpe on the Lake King Road. This was our last night together and this is the last sunset while on the road.



We have had a wonderful experience with good friends Denise and John. Thanks guys for your company.

All is well with our house, thanks to Bob, our neighbor. They had a fresh load of bread for us when we arrived. The bread maker has come home and I have forgotten my bread recipe – thank goodness Mary wrote it down when I lent her the bread maker.

Now to get back to our normal life. Thanks to everyone who kept up with our adventures for the last 8 months.

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Smokey Bay……………………Day 224

5 Nov 2014

4 days left

We have been at Smokey Bay for the last 5 days. We arrived Saturday with few vans in the park. Sunday we went out crabbing off the jetty and got 8 crabs and put together with the 2 John had caught the afternoon before, we had enough for our tea.

Monday was blowing a gale and although John and I braved the gales, I only lasted an hour on the jetty. It was so bad I had to tie my trolley and bucket to the railing.

Finally today it was a fairly good day and we got a further 4 crabs for tea while on the road tomorrow night. We caught a strange looking crab. John took it to a local who identified it as a Spider Crab. John took a photo of this weird looking crab. Apparently they are not that special to eat.


Tomorrow we start to 2000km journey home and hope to reach Dawesville by Monday 5 November. Thats the plan anyway.

Saturday, November 01, 2014

Smokey Bay………………..Day 220

1 Nov 2014

9 days left.

We spent 3 days at Streaky Bay with variable weather including extreme heat and a rainy night. It still looked the same as 2 years ago when we visited.

Last night was Halloween and we were in the camp kitchen of Streaky Bay having a BBQ, when some little children came running near us. John screamed, then Lance and the poor kids wondered what had happened. They were rewarded for being brave by Denise and her chocolates.

Today, Saturday, 1 November we packed up and headed for Smokey Bay and great 72 kms further west. We stopped in at Haslam Bay to have a look. There is a jetty, used for the last time in 1964 and a few houses, but no shops and the4 camping area is one where you must be self sufficient.

Smokey Bay caravan Park only had a few caravans and we were allowed to pick out where we wanted to set up. Its windy today but John went out on the jetty late afternoon and got two sized crabs. We are all going to try for more tomorrow. We leave here Wed morning.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Venus Bay ………………..Day 217

28 Oct 2014
Goodness, only 12 days left.
Well we had a windy day , then a perfect day with some fishing then another windy day at Whyalla. Saturday morning we moved from Whyalla, on our way to Venus Bay.
We stopped overnight at Tumby Bay in an overnight parking area for RV’s. There is water and a dump point provided, for a cost of $7.50. This is something Mandurah should be doing.
We spent some time watching a Pacific Gull who had come to visit us.
This was just an overnight stop so there was little we needed to do next morning to pack up. Moving further south west we drove through Cummins to Venus Bay where we had stayed 2 years ago. There are lots of pelicans here at Venus Bay and it is a lovely place to stay.


We have discovered that there are trivia questions underneath the caps of Hahn stubbies. Each day at Happy Hour, we have been having mini quizzes. This has resulted in us tending to walk around the caravan site, looking at the ground for more bottle caps. We have learnt a lot including the fact that our forearms are the same length as our feet. We all know that the Australian Rugby Union team won a gold medal in the 1908 Olympic Games and that this is a discontinued sport in the Olympics.

There are also more Pacific Gulls at Venus Bay including this juvenile who objects sharing his breakfast with a sea gull..
Tomorrow, Wed, we are moving further westwards to Streaky Bay.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Whyalla………………………day 211

22 Oct 2014

18 days left to meet new people

We woke to a cooler day today, thank goodness. Packing up at our regular pace found us speaking to a new motor home that came in late yesterday afternoon. They are from Margaret river,Western Australia and flew to Melbourne to pick up their new motor home and taking it home.

On the road again we are driving to Whyalla to the Beach Front caravan we stayed in 2 years ago. We have sites on the water and the wind is blowing hard, making fishing hard on the incoming tide.

We are hoping tomorrow is not as windy.

During happy hour a gentleman came over to speak with us – he is from Safety Bay, Western Australia. The couple next to us also came over for a chat – they are enjoying Australia, having travelled from Germany.

We will miss meeting new people when we get back home, but the memories will last.

No photos today.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Port Pirie………………………………Day 210

21 Oct 2014

19 days left of answering quiz questions at happy hour.

Yesterday we had a nice look around victor Harbour and its surrounds. After checking out the view from The Bluff, a lookout giving fantastic views of the area, I was dropped off at the causeway to enjoy a ride in the horse drawn carriage that goes from the mainland to Granite Island.


The tramway links the visitor information centre in downtown Victor Harbour with the nearby Granite Island, running for half of its route over a 630 metre wooden viaduct or pier, locally described as a causeway. It is one of the very few horse-drawn tram routes remaining in public transit service anywhere in the world, and provides service every day throughout the year. There are four tramcars, each hauled by one of 8 Clydesdale horses.


Then we went to 15 kms to Goolwa, over the Hindmarsh Bridge onto Hindmarsh Island. It is from here that you can see the official mouth of the Murray River.


On the way home as we came into Port Elliot we saw this futuristic home.


Today, Tuesday, we drove from Victor Harbour to Port Pirie to spend the night at the Rangeview Caravan Park which is on the turn off from the A1 to Port Pirie. We spent 3 days here on April 1 while we got some repairs done to the caravan. Like that day some months ago, the temperature outside was 44 Celsius today although it had dropped to 38 Celsius by the time we were camping up. April 1 was the same temperature.

Tonight’s sunset was worth a look.


Tomorrow we are staying at Whyalla for a few days. We have an ocean front view booked.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Victor Harbour…………….Day 208

19 Oct 2014

21 days to get home

Friday we packed up once again. We have this down pat and its almost automatic. We are driving to Meningie, not sure where to after this. we had lunch on the shore of  Lake albert._MG_0069web

At lunch we decided to spend the night at a free spot just 7kms south of Tailem. This was an OK spot for the night and we had 5 other vehicles /vans to keep us company. We heard gun shots and later that night around 9pm there were loud gun shots. There was a farm across the road and there was a light from a vehicle so probably it was a farmer chasing rabbits.

Friday morning we left our bush camp and drove back a few kms to Wellington where we had to ride on the ferry over the Murray River.


This ferry operates 24 hours a day. Once we both were on the other side it was tally ho and onwards to Victor Harbour. I counted back to the last time I was in Victor Harbour and it was 49 years ago when my Grandmother Henderson & I visited some Henderson relatives that used to live here. I remember the main street and the causeway.

As we were pulling into our site at the caravan park I noticed one of the tyres on the van was going flat. John helped us get the tyre off and we found a piece of steel in the tyre. Everyone took the view that at least it was only flat on the bottom!

Today, Sunday we all took a drive over the Fleurieu Peninsula. It is such a scenic place as was evidenced by the many visitors from Adelaide in cars and motor bikes. Our first stop was Cape Jervis where the ferry leaves for Kangaroo Island. There are lots of houses and a hotel and general store.


We stopped at Normanville to get some lunch and enjoy the the scenic coastal views.


After lunch we continued northwards towards Adelaide, doing a small detour to have a look at the Myponga Reservoir Wall. Just before we reached the Reservoir we saw 3 Galloway bulls. Here is one who felt it was worth getting up from his sleeping position to check out what I was doing.


They provide a lookout for people to have a great view of the Myponga Reservoir Wall which was opened 1962.


We called into Sellicks Beach where people are allowed to drive onto the beach. This was a beautiful area and there were heaps of people enjoying the water.


We decided to drive to McLaren Vale in the heart of wine growing region. there were grape vines as far as the eye could see. From here it was back to Victor Harbour for BBQ chops.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Kingston SE……………………..Say 205

16 Oct 2014

24 days left.

Yesterday we all did a day trip to Robe, 47 kms to the west of Beachport. the day was a little warmer but still required jackets. It was hard to take photos with the heavy cloud cover.

We drove around Robe which has a rich history, of which some evidence still remains. One such remnant was the Obelisk which stands on Cape Dombey. A local builder erected the 40 foot high Obelisk for $460 to act as a landmark for shipping and to contain rocket fired lifesaving equipment. the structure was originally all white, but captains found it difficult to see against the white sand hills so it was painted in red and white stipes.

We saw the old goal ruins, and the Chinese Memorial which marks the 17,000 Chinese who landed at Robe and walked to the Victorian gold fields.

This area also has a number of drains built that drains water from the various swamps into the numerous lakes and thus making the land fertile farming land.

No happy hour as it was too cold and there was some rain.

Today we woke up to more clouds and it seemed a little warmer. We drove the great distance of 80 kms to Kingston, a little further to the west. Kingston SE is definitely a summer town, with many houses available for holiday accommodation. We have views of the ocean from our caravan sites, although the wind is still a little chilly.

We got here early before lunch, so after a cuppa, it was off to have a look around this town, which is home to the giant Lobster. Actually when you get up close to these things, you realise how shabby many of them are. They seem like a good idea at the time but later on as the paint fades, no one wants to pay the money for paint and repairs.

Off again tomorrow to Menigie, closer to Adelaide.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Beachport……………………….Day 203

14 Oct 2014

26 days left of exploring.

Since Horsham we have left the state of Victoria and passed another quarantine bin into South Australia.

Leaving Horsham we set of towards the Grampian Mountains showing on the horizon. we passed through a small town with some lovely old buildings called Natimuk. Natimuk has traditionally survived as a rural service centre for the surrounding grain and sheep farming community. More recently it has diversified into tourism and staved off the decline common in other Wimmera towns. People from all over the planet flock to Natimuk because of the rock climbing at Mount Arapiles and the nearby Grampians. We were unable to stop and get a photo of M Arapiles safely but from a distance it looked an awesome climb.

Driving along you tend to read all the signs and names of roads, creeks etc. Some of the names intrigue you and you find yourself wondering where the name came from. One of these was “Sheep Wash Swamp”, 24 kms east of Edenhope.

Passing through Edenhope we continued to the showgrounds at Naracoorte in South Australia, having crossed the border some few kms east of Naracoorte.

We arrived at the showgrounds, along with a lot of carnival people who were arriving with their rides etc for the Naracoorte Show being held this coming weekend. We woke this morning almost surrounded by trucks, vans and caravans and strange dogs.

Leaving Naracoorte at our usual time of around 9.30am in cold head wind, we continued southwards towards Penola, a road we have already travelled on before in April when driving from Bordertown to Mt Gambia.

Leaving Penola, we were once again on a new road we haven’t travelled before. We came to the former timber town of Mt Burr. Mount Burr was once a thriving country town, which was home to a large timber mill. The mill was the first of its kind in the region, built in 1931. It was considered a turning point for industry on the Limestone Coast. Unfortunately in late 2000 the timber mill closed.

The town is named after a local mountain called Mount Burr; it measures 240 metres tall (787 ft) and is one of 15 dormant or extinct volcanoes within the Limestone Coast. Today there is only a general store which sells fuel.


Continuing through Millicent we finding arrived at our destination, Beachport, on the coast. It is cold and windy with some rain. We set up and went for a drive.


We saw the Pool of Siloam. The Pool of Siloam is a salt lake, reputedly seven times more salty than the sea and it is alleged to possess therapeutic assets. The pools depth although close to the sea does not fluctuate with the tides as its depth relies on soaks in the area.


Tomorrow we are doing a day trip to Robe, further up the coast.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Horsham…………………….Day 201

12 Oct 2014

28 days left of roaming around Australia.

We have been camping out for 6 days and it time to come to a caravan park to do washing and charging up electronics, watch the Bathurst super 8 race and generally enjoy a little luxury of power so we can have lights on.

We left Nyah 4 days ago and headed westwards towards Mildura. We found our bush camp at Horseshoe Bend quite easily, just a few kms west of Mildura. How luck we were to find this beautiful spot right on the banks of the Murray River.

From Nyah we drove through Robinvale, crossed the Murray River into New South Wales and drove west to Barong. Here we crossed the Murray River back into Victoria into the city of Mildura.

Below is the view at dawn at Horseshoe Bend on the Murray River.


We spent Friday looking around Mildura, Red Cliffs to the south and then we crossed the river back into New South Wales to drive to Wentworth where the Darling River joins the Murray River.


The Darling River has come all the way from Queensland to here at Wentworth to flow into the Murray River at this point. The Darling River is to the left of the photo and the Murray River  is to the centre of the photo around the point of land.

Later this afternoon, a couple in another caravan joined us for Happy Hour. Soon a couple of others also joined us, including the couple in a fifth wheeler. We were all a bit puzzled when he parked his vehicle next to ours and rolled an electric cable down to where were sitting. Don then spent a couple of hours entertaining us with his keyboard and piano accordion. In the end we had 14 people at this impromptu concert.


On Saturday, a little reluctantly, we left this fantastic spot of paradise and turned the car southwards for Hopetoun. We stopped at Red Cliffs to look at “Big Lizzie”, a mechanical monster of a machine that was used in the 1920’s to helped the Returned Servicemen clear the blocks of land around red Cliffs. It was built in Richmond Victoria and moved at 1 mile per hour.


Then onwards to Hopetoun where we had planned to stay, but a school reunion and the local show caused caravans spots to be few. we decided to travel a further about another 104 kms to Horsham where we could watch the BIG Bathurst Race. We were all interested in some degree in this car race as only a couple of weeks earlier we all drove around this famous race track. Admittedly we were only able to do 40 to 50 kms along the track as it was being prepared for the race but we did enjoy watching the speeds of 250kms to 300kms the race drivers were doing where we had been.

I think we are going to Naracoorte in South Australia, tomorrow but as everyone knowa, things can change.

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Nyah…………………………Day 197

8 Oct 2014

32 days until I can stop about whether I have turned the water pump off.

We left our camp site at Bourkes Bend near Yarrawonga and headed north west. We stopped at Lake Charm for morning tea where all the business’s were for sale as a job lot, including a caravan park, bottle shop, post office, fuel station. There were a few houses still being occupied and this  beautiful display of flowers was on show.


Where is Nyah you ask. It is a tiny village with almost no shops (just a post office/general store) and is about 27west of Swan Hill. It is on the Murray River on the Victorian side. a couple of kms west is Nyah West which grew up around the railway line in 1915. It is known for its intact heritage listed street scape, which has only one operating business,


We are camped at the Nyah Sports complex which was a former trotting track. There are about 37 campers here tonight. It is on the banks of the Murray River and is a free site although they do ask for a donation. This morning a gentleman in a ute came around to welcome us to the area with information to impart as well as some dried fruit and sultanas for sale.

Finally we were ready to drive back into Swan Hill for a look around and to stock up on fruit and vegetables as we had to give up what we had in the van before at a quarantine stop.

Swan Hill has a rich history with the Murray River and its paddle steamers. There is a Pioneer Village there which I had a look at.


I also had a look at the BIG Murray Cod which was a prop in the 1993 movie “ Eight Ball”.


The first record of rice cultivation in South Eastern Australia was in 1906, when the Victorian Government allocated 200 acres of land on the Murray River to former Japanese Parliamentarian – Isaburo Takasuka.  Despite floods and droughts, he managed to produce a crop for commercial sale in 1914. This was in the Vinifere Forest area and this is the site of that first rice crop._MG_0112web

Tomorrow we are heading for Mildura – not sure where we will end up camping.

Sunday, October 05, 2014

Near Yarrawonga…………………Day 194

5 Oct 201

35 days to go .

Yesterday we left Albury to head westwards towards Yarrawonga, on the Murray River. We spent two nights in Albury and also had a look around Wodonga which is in Victoria, just over the bridge. It is interesting along the Murray River as there are often towns on either side of the river. The border between NSW and Victoria runs through the centre of the river.

In Albury they have a magnificent War Memorial at the top of a hill over looking the town. What a view.


Yesterday we left Albury and headed more or less west, following the Murray River. Stopping at Rutherglen for morning tea we stretched our legs.


We had read of a free camp along the Murray River, just 19 kms west of Yarrawonga. we set the GPS co-ordinates into our Navman and off we went. When we got to yarrawonga we were led down the main street and over the bridge back into NSW and down some farm roads to a farm. No Free camp.

Turning around we could only assume the Co-ordinates were wrong and set off, missing the turnoff to the camping area and landing in Cobram. After we had lunch and check for other camping sites, we decided to turn around and carefully followed the directions in the camp book. We ended up exactly opposite the farmhouse on the other side of the river. The co-ordinates in the Camps 7 book are just fractionally out.

We are now camping on the Victorian side of the Murray River with no one about for a couple of days.


Tomorrow, Monday, I think we are leaving and driving to Gunbower.

Thursday, October 02, 2014

Albury………………………………Day 192

2 Oct 2014

38 days until we see the palm trees at the entrance to Ocean Road.

Today we travelled south from Wagga Wagga to Albury which is on the border of NSW and Victoria. We had stayed an extra day at Wagga Wagga so John could go back to the chiropractor for a follow up for his back.

We spent a lot of the time watching the Sulphur crested Cockatoos go into their nests in the hollow in the trees around us. One would watch while the other one was in the nest. We saw wrens and a lot of other birds flying around.

Oura Beach Reserve on the banks of the Murrumbidgee is a great spot to stay for a few days to chill out. One night the wind came up really fierce and we helped John & Denise get their awning down. We moved our car well away from any trees which had been a good idea as the next morning there were a couple of broken tree branches lying on the ground.

No photos as the internet is really slowwww.

We are staying at the Albury Citygate Holiday Park for a couple of days to get washing done and everything charged up.

Wagga Wagga ……………..Day 188

28 Sept 2014

42 days until I get to open my own mail.

Today we are on the banks of the Murrumbidgee River at a tiny village called Oura, about 18 kms east of Wagga Wagga. We left Cowra Showgrounds this morning still heading southwards.

We drove through Young, a town originally called Lambing Flats but after riots against the Chinese on the goldfields in 1861, the town was renamed Young.

A decision was made to go to Wagga Wagga via Gundagai so we could see the famous Dog On A Tucker Box 5 miles (8kms) from Gundagai. The dog statue we saw was unveiled in 1932 as a tribute to pioneers. the statue was inspired by a bullock driver’s poem, Bullocky Bill, which celebrates the life of an bullock driver’s dog that loyally guarded the man’s tuckerbox .

Oura is a tiny village in the central east part of the Riverina with a population of about 320.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Cowra……………………………day 187

27 Sept 2014

43 days until I sleep in a big bed.

When we arrived here at Cowra the decision to stay 3 nights was based on whether we could get the right TV channel to watch the Aussie rules Football Grand final.

Denise checked her TV after scanning for our new location and by the time the caretaker came around to collect our money, we had confirmed the TV reception.

Today was grand final day.


We had sausage rolls, party pies, baby quiches, vanilla slice and Magnum ice creams. By the time the match had finished we were full.

Just before sunset I went out to the canola paddocks just down the road where I met Spider, a beautiful horse being taken out for a ride.


Canola fields near town.


I hung around until near sunset to take some more photos.


John’s back is still hurting but we think we are moving on tomorrow.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Cowra……………………….Day 186

26 Sept 2014

44 days until I see Mandurah again.

Today there was a lot to see. Lance has a connection to Cowra through his father’s business partner who was one of the soldiers on duty on August 5th 1944, the night of the “The Cowra Breakout”.

Starting at the POW Theatre at the Information Centre, we heard the story of the Cowra Breakout. Next was a visit to where the POW camp was located. Little remains but there are story boards to help you visualise what once stood here. A replica Guard Tower stands at the site.



The memorial in the middle of the photo is where the initial breakout took place. Onwards to the two War Cemeteries, one being the Japanese War Cemetery. Established in 1964, this site remains the only official Japanese war cemetery in the world.


Aside the Japanese War Cemetery is the Cowra War Cemetery. This is the resting place for the 4 Australian soldiers killed in the Cowra Breakout. Lest we Forget.


In the afternoon I went to the Japanese Gardens which was preparing for the Cherry Blossom Festival tomorrow._MG_0070magnoliawebMagnolia

I took my macro lens for a change and had a great time photographing the beautiful trees in blossom.

_MG_0169purple_leaf_crab_applewebpurple leaf crab apple


_MG_0235pink_weeping_cherrywebPink weeping cherry tree.

There were a number of ducks in the ponds and a lot of little babies. So obvious it is Spring time.


Tomorrow is the Aussie rules Football Grand Final. Party pies here we come.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Cowra…………………………… 185

25 Sept 2014

45 days until I see the sun setting over the ocean.

Another day of driving south’ish from Bathurst to Cowra. We drove 104 kms and passed through 4 tiny villages, something we wouldn’t see back in the west.

Arriving at lunch time, we all did a brief drive around town getting used to the layout of the place and having a look at the scenic lookout.


We are again staying at the showgrounds of Cowra where the caretaker has a number of cattle in the cattle pens.

Travelling through the outback of NSW and Queenland and travelling back down south we have come across a large variety of cattle breeds.

Breeds we have seen or heard of while travelling around have been the following:

  • Texas Longhorns – at Longreach
  • Shorthorns
  • Herefords
  • Simmentals
  • Santa Gertrudis
  • Murray Grays
  • Angus
  • Dexter
  • Red angus
  • Belted Galloways
  • Charolais
  • Brahams.

We have some Belted Galloways here in the showgrounds.

Another weird road name we saw today “Hen & Chicken Lane”.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Bathurst……………………….day 184

24 Sept 2014
46 days until I see my house again.
Mount Panorama, Motor Racing Circuit Bathurst is a motor racing track located in Bathurst, New South Wales, Australia. It is the home of the Bathurst 12 Hour motor race, held each February, and the Bathurst 1000 motor race, held each October. Preparations are in place for getting the track ready for the big race in 2 weeks time. Caravans have already started arriving._MG_0008web
You can drive this track and guess where the four of us were this morning………….yes the men were playing racing car drivers on this famous race track, doing about 50 kms/hour.
Actually there were speed signs everywhere as these roads are used as normal roads outside race times.
Off we go from the start line………………..thats John & Denise in front of us.
Up the hill we go……………………..
I bet the race driver’s don’t even know this view is near the top of the mountain……….
Now its down the mountain towards the finish………….
This was such a fun thing to do and even the girls enjoyed it.
Lance & I went into the main part of Bathurst to look around. We came across the Bathurst War Memorial Carrillon in the small park called Kings Parade.
This memorial was completed in 1933 using funds mainly raised by the local community. Within the memorial an eternal flame burns in remembrance of the fallen. At the top is a bell chamber which houses 35 bells. We heard the bells rings for the half hour.
It was nice to see Spring in the air as we looked around.
As we have been driving around the countryside we noticed the lack of wildflowers that we are used to seeing in spring, along the roadside in West Australia. There have been lots of wattle trees but not a lot of other flowers.
While in the park I came across 4 Assistance Dogs out in the park, learning how to be polite while out in the public eye. I asked about the dogs, who had their Assistance Uniform on with an L plate on it. They ranged from 3 months into training to just a few days. In this photo its obvious the most experienced dog was the one on the left, a female smooth haired German Shepherd.
At this stage we are going to Cowra tomorrow, a 104 kms south of us.