Bushtrackers in Caravan Magazines

Submitted: Wednesday, Aug 27, 2008 at 09:44
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Have just read a fantastic article & photos by John Tate (Grumblebum & dragon) on Gibb River Road, in September Caravan World.
Some Barra, John!
I liked the reference to the need for a 4WD & a "Proper" off road caravan.

Real caravan journeys & adventures are rarely covered by these magazines, who seem obsessed with 5 star caravan parks & dinky journeys on the blacktop.

Great to see another of your excellent articles again John.

Keep it up! (wish I could write)

Neil
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Reply By: Grumblebum & Dragon - Wednesday, Aug 27, 2008 at 11:07

Wednesday, Aug 27, 2008 at 11:07
Hi Neil,
Writing is not hard, you just need to string facts together in a readable style... just about anyone could do it if they try. Go into any news agents and look at the plethora of monthly mags on display. Most of them are busting for well written articles with good photographs.

To keep me sane while recuperating from a bad fall (off the roof of the new d/storey house on the farm) I did a short course with the Writing School " Writing articles for publication and profit" I paid for the $500 fee with two artcles sold before I finished the course.

Since then there have been many articles published and I have yet to have a knock-back. If you are interested, then doing such a course will be of great benifit - you get a personal tutor - mine was a crusty old editor from the british dailies who was a stickler for getting it write (sorry for the pun). It will provide you the basics of 'how to' as well as how to approach publishers and many other tricks of the trade.

Good photo's will sell an average article and poor photo's will kill a good article. If you want to write - first pick the magazine, study their style e.g. what type of articles, how long etc. Always contact the publishers and get their 'Contributor Guidelines' so you will get a better understanding of their needs and work on your photographic skills.

A professionally presented article with a suitable cover note and lots of photo's on CD (highest quality you can produce) so that the editorial team have plenty to pick from. Just because you like the photographs does not mean they will - so give them plenty to choose from.

Currently, in addition to the Caravan World article there is another in Fishing WA on the fishing opportunities in to top of WA, and a further one coming up in the Spring Edition of Town and Country Farmer on a 'tree hhange' - about getting out of the commercial cherry growing business and into aquaculture - basically about a mates place who now exports marron all over the world.

It brings in a bit of pocket money and more importantly keeps the brain active. Typically mags like caravan World pay $500 per article, other base the $ on length and photographs published, other per page. My best cheque from CW was $1750 - not to be sniffed at ..... about $500 per hour.

Cheers John Mack

ps who'e is this 'Tate' bloke :-)
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Follow Up By: Boystoy - Saturday, Aug 30, 2008 at 04:32

Saturday, Aug 30, 2008 at 04:32
Hi John,
I said I wished I could write, But I also wish I could remember names. I don't know who the Tate bloke either, but it is a 4-letter name.

Sorry

Neil
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Reply By: Deleted User - Wednesday, Aug 27, 2008 at 23:35

Wednesday, Aug 27, 2008 at 23:35
Hi John,

On the strength of the endorsement, subject matter and the response here I rushed out and bought the mag this lunchtime. I whole heartedly agree with Neil it is a most enjoyable read and brings back some fond memories of our Kimberley trip. I also liked the photos (and the Barra) and your approach to doing these articles. Like Neil I wish I could write as well - maybe travel is a good excuse to learn!

I like the BT picture at Silent Grove as we spent some time there as well. You have probably already mentioned this elsewhere but did you do the whole trip with the BT in tow? Just planning (a couple of years away) but I thought we would take our BT to Kalumburu, we stayed at McGowans last trip and reckon it would be possible.

Kind regards

Theo
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Follow Up By: Motherhen & Rooster - Friday, Aug 29, 2008 at 07:17

Friday, Aug 29, 2008 at 07:17
Hi Theo

We spent 3 lovely days 'on the beach' at McGowans - with a BT beside us (2 different members) each day. Road to Kalumburu was stony rather than corrugated - much kinder to the rig than corrugations. We have just got back from Chambers Pillar in NT- the road in there was a horror stretch. Glad you have picked up your BT - you will have many happy adventures

Motherhen
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Follow Up By:- Tuesday, Sep 02, 2008 at 01:59

Tuesday, Sep 02, 2008 at 01:59
Thanks Mother Hen,

I am pleased to see that your holiday is back on track and I am delighted that you decided to go to Kalumburu after all. Our memory of the road in was that it was a combination of stones and corrugations but each season is different. Lis and I are looking forward to our travels and the Kimberley is on our “to do thoroughly” list – two months last time was just not enough. Doing it in a BT will be a step up from the camper trailer! We have been looking at what to load into the van to make it a long term traveller as we now have a lot more room and it seems it may include a sewing machine (god know why – but I’m not arguing as long as Lis is going).

A shakedown trip of 2 weeks is planned for the end of the month and hopefully all the instructions will allow us to open and close everything to see how it works. Should be an interesting show after looking at the awning instructions!

Kind regards

Theo
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Follow Up By: Motherhen & Rooster - Tuesday, Sep 02, 2008 at 07:41

Tuesday, Sep 02, 2008 at 07:41
Hi Theo

We have never used the awning - so left it home this time. This is because we tend to keep on the move with so much to see out there. I would love to get one of those wind out shades instead - we may use that on a hot afternoon.

As you fitted all you needed into your camper trailer - you won't need much different in the BT. I still pack from the list i had back in the tenting days, although different things do get added to the list from time to time.

Have fun on your trial run.

Mh
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Follow Up By: Mobi Condo - Tuesday, Sep 02, 2008 at 08:26

Tuesday, Sep 02, 2008 at 08:26
Howdy the Hens and Theo - re the stuff we packed in the van we have to agree with MH.
We have a pic some where of the Toyota packed ready to leave home on our pick up trip.
We basically had the gear to load up Mobi (the van) with clothes, bedding, linen, food for two weeks and a few toys (cameras, fish gear, a few extra tools, ladder (tied on to the WDH at the bottom and lashed to the roof rack at the top end) plus the cook wear and cuttlery & dishes etc on the back seat of the car. Oh yes the all important LCD TV and DVD player + antenna. The roof rack had three empty jerry cans and the bedding gear wrapped in a tarpaulin.
It was about the same as we took camping (tenting or swagging), other than the TV gear, and so at the factory we only needed to tie the ladder onto the A frame, hitch up & drive off to the van park where we then loaded all the gear out of the car and into the van. Now that was fun! Sally had a ball setting up the gear inside, Ian doing the locker stuff etc.
Our packing check list is basically as we used for camping as well!
Re the sewing machine - we had one of the spaces under the bed specifically wide enough to carry a sewing machine and overlocker! Do not always take them, but when visiting the grandies up the Gold Coast way we take them!
We still have heaps of space, but prefer it that way if we can as we both disliked the cramped way we travelled prior to BT, but we loved to get out and so we put up with each others grumbles and at times frantic finding episodes. Now we have a much more relaxed mode with space to spare.
You will enjoy the luxury of the van. No more shower tents, porta potties near the car wheels, grubbing about in the dirt to set up or pack up the swag, and now we travel with a comfortable fly free zone with 360 degree views when ever we stop for a break or a cuppa!
Cheers - Ian & Sally
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Follow Up By:- Tuesday, Sep 02, 2008 at 19:57

Tuesday, Sep 02, 2008 at 19:57
Hi Motherhen, Ian and Sally,

Sorry for the post hijack!

Thank you for the tips and I’m OK with travelling light – so long as I don’t have to sacrifice any of the fishing gear. And boy Lis can be so unreasonable on this, I have forwarded your responses to her and all she said was leave my sewing machine alone! Strangely, she said that the inside was hers and the locker is mine so I see some interesting moments on the road. It seems this was the case for Ian as well?

Kind regards

Theo
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Follow Up By: Mobi Condo - Wednesday, Sep 03, 2008 at 07:12

Wednesday, Sep 03, 2008 at 07:12
Howdy Theo, re the inside - outside bit - we just do things that way being a bit old fashioned as we are generally happy with the gender roles of our parents and so on. In our case Sally is the better at inside stuff as well. She is pretty good all round though and would handle outside stuff as well. Mind you I get to do a bit inside if she is a bit off. Sort of works both ways too!
Cheers - Ian & Sally
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Follow Up By:- Thursday, Sep 04, 2008 at 19:53

Thursday, Sep 04, 2008 at 19:53
Hi Ian and Sally,

I know what you mean and I don’t mind confessing to being a little old fashioned as well. The separation of household chores happened early in our relationship and seems to be how it will end up vanning as well. Lis can make some of the inside chores look easy whereas I seem to make it look like brain surgery! On the outside Lis would have no hesitation in saying that’s my job. In a pinch she could change a tyre but would expect me to do it and I have no problem with that either. This formula has worked well for 30+ years so no point changing it now!

The one thing that is proving a little problem right now, looking forward, is the distribution of the increased leisure time to current and new individual interests. No problem with me as I like fishing amongst a host of outdoor activities but Lis is not a fan and will come along fishing just for company. She has stated that retirement is not going to be one big fishing trip – well there goes that idea! Hence the sewing machine comment I made earlier. How do you distribute your leisure time? It seems to me that it will just unfold as you go but making it a little difficult to decide what to pack beforehand.

Kind regards

Theo
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Reply By: Grumblebum & Dragon - Thursday, Aug 28, 2008 at 01:35

Thursday, Aug 28, 2008 at 01:35
Hi Theo,

Yes, we took the Bt the whole way, when we went through ther King Edward river is was 800mm deep plus a few holes and flowing fairly quickly. It was fun watching the spectators on the opposite bank gawking at this mad bastard who was gpoing to take his caravan through when they were 'umming and arring' about whether to risk taking their camper trailers through. Not a drop of water in the van:-)

We were warned against trying to get up to Kalumburu by one of these intrepid travellers....it took him 2.5 hours to do 20 kms the other side of Theda Station before he had to turn back because of "horrendous road conditions and massive bog holes". He did not go to the falls either because he was worried about drowning the Prado at the King Edward.

The road was still closed but as there had not been any rain for some weeks we figured it was just because the grader had not been through and the Shire were bjust covering their backsides. Just took it steady and did not have a problem.

Only problems were a puncture (nail) and I managed to 'crush' the steps twice on successive days. The last creek crossing before the Mitchell Plateau camp was pretty short and steep- I guess I should have taken it at a bit of an angle.

I backed up to a suitable protruding rock and with the aid of a jack and the back of the axe and a tyre lever I managed to get it straightened on both occassions - it still works well.

Cheers John
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Follow Up By: Noosa Fox - Thursday, Sep 04, 2008 at 20:13

Thursday, Sep 04, 2008 at 20:13
We also had people lined up with their cameras when Paul & Barb Swift went through with us at about the same depth, but we both did it easy.

We heard a group of 4WD vehicles heading out talking about how stupid they thought we were trying to take our caravans in there.

It is a great place to camp on the river there.

Brian
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