Who is on the road and where are you ?

Submitted: Monday, Apr 28, 2014 at 19:32
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I am sitting outside my van having coffee in Beachport, South Australia.

It has rained during the night and it is now cold and grey. Yesterday afternoon was beautiful and we sat above the beach called the 'Salmon Hole' and watched guys reeling in fish after fish. I got so excited I came back and pulled out my fishing gear for a foray this afternoon.

We are currently in a caravan park, so I will use the bad weather as a chance to do a load of washing while my wife attacks her work on the internet.

One more night here and we head off for some bush camping in the the Little Dip Conservation Park south of Robe.

We started from Sydney and spent a couple of weeks in the Vic High Country, then the Vic wine areas of King Valley, Rutherglen, Heathcote and Great Western.

Next we went along the Murray where we found some beautiful campsites and launched our sea kayyaks.

Next we headed south and spent a week wandering along the Great Ocean Road where we did some beautiful temperate rainforest walks.

Grampians were next, but because of Easter it was so crowded, we got out and stayed at Ararat where I had previously done some gold detecting.

We then headed south to the coast at Port Fairy, worked our way around the various volcanic and limestone features until we arrived in Mt Gambier. This was a great base and we spent four nights there exploring the surrounding country.

I would love to hear where you are in your BT.

Cheers,

Willie.
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Reply By: Grumblebum & Dragon - Tuesday, Apr 29, 2014 at 00:44

Tuesday, Apr 29, 2014 at 00:44
Currently in Isisford Central Qld. Camped on the Barcoo River and waiting for my favourite mechanic - local John Avery to do a couple of jobs on the Tojo.

Spent a few days with the Macdonald's ou of Blackall whose second property we looked after for two years. Unless the central west gets some winter ran - the drought will be worse than last year. Dry as already.

Slowly wandering north - catching up with friends in Townsville and Cairns (why else would you go to cities?) with the intention of going to 'The Tip' - Cape York not the local rubbish variety.

John and Jean
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Follow Up By: Oldperc - Tuesday, Apr 29, 2014 at 16:47

Tuesday, Apr 29, 2014 at 16:47
Good one John and Jean
We're heading off at the end of May and making our way slowly up to The Tip .
Keep in touch, should be able to catch up for a yarn.
I understand Stephen and Deborah are looking to check out The Tip this year as well.
David and Ann
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Follow Up By: Grumblebum & Dragon - Tuesday, Apr 29, 2014 at 19:54

Tuesday, Apr 29, 2014 at 19:54
Good one David and Ann - time we shared a bottle of wine will definitely keep in touch'

Cheers
John and Jean
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Reply By: muddywaters - Tuesday, Apr 29, 2014 at 01:19

Tuesday, Apr 29, 2014 at 01:19
Hi Willie,
We spent 2 lovely months between Carpenters Rocks out of the Mount and Marks Point on the Coorong last year, bought a 2 months Parks Pass and free camped all the way. Little Dip, from memory was a bit tight for us so we bypassed it but there are some great free camp sites along that coast We did a fair bit of tripping about as well. The Parks were not collecting camping fees at that time something to do with the cash boxes getting broken into. That was fine by us anyway.

Currently house sitting in Dampier for the next 10 days or so, already been here a month, then heading north. hope to make Darwin by about July /August, don't know if we can drag the chain that long. We want to check out the Dampier Peninsular north of Broome so we guess that will chew up a couple of weeks at least. Regards Andrew
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Follow Up By: Willie - Wednesday, Apr 30, 2014 at 00:22

Wednesday, Apr 30, 2014 at 00:22
Hi Andrew,

We are sitting tucked in behind a dune at Long Gulley in Little Dip. This is a big flat grassed area with a toilet and we are the only ones here. It is blowing a gale from the SE now and it is quite unpleasant.

Do you remember any of the nice camp spots on the Coorong ? We will head up there tomorrow.

Thanks,

Willie.
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Follow Up By: muddywaters - Friday, May 02, 2014 at 00:44

Friday, May 02, 2014 at 00:44
Hi Willie. Marks point was a good spot we spent about 8 days there but there are no facilities, which does not bother us. Where we camped was very open but a great view both up & down the Coorong, got blown away for 2 nights [rocked to sleep] but otherwise was great. easy to bury the toilet in the dunes. Site No 43 in camp 6 book
Go to the marks point display board then drive on thru the gate, track is a little sandy but plenty of room to get on the hard. We camped on the first point on the right, backed right up to the end and unhooked out in the open. there are places to park in some shelter if U wish. There are more sites further in just go for a drive and have a look, the track goes for about 15 km I think.
We camped at Long Gully in the trees for about 5 days, a great spot. We also spent a few days at 42 mile crossing no 37 camp 6 book a good spot heaps of room similar to Long Gully only more shelter available, has toilets. There is beach access and U can drive for miles at low water if this your scene [just not ours]. The F250 is a bit heavy to play in the sand. Goes well in the sand as long U stay up it. We tend to travel alone and figure is not worth the risk.
There was another spot that looked good is at Narrung Jetty on the western side of the entrance to Lake Albert Site No 44 camp 6 book. lots of facilities there. Was fairly busy when we drove past though.
Another site was Kingston SE Jetty parking area is now a free 24 hour camp site though most were staying 2/3 nights, No 31 camp 6 book
If U get near Naracoorte area Cockatoo Lake Reserve is worth a few nights quiet spot was not very busy, toilets fire places etc No 102 Camp 6 book.
Carpenters Rocks was a great spot, we spent 10 days over Easter there only about 6 sites lost in the tea tree under the lighthouse, just toilets but fresh tank water was available at the park at Carpenter Rocks, drive in round the back of the rotunda to the small tank there. Site No 8 camp 6 book
Hope this helps you along the Limestone Coast, plenty of good wineries along the way too. Regards Andrew
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Follow Up By: Willie - Friday, May 02, 2014 at 05:21

Friday, May 02, 2014 at 05:21
Andrew,

That is great info. Thank you for going to so much trouble to help us.

Willie.
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Reply By: Emu 65 - Tuesday, Apr 29, 2014 at 01:35

Tuesday, Apr 29, 2014 at 01:35
Taking off for a month next Sunday to Cania Gorge, Blackdown Tablelands, Lake Theresa, Finch Hatton. Then north passing Townsville and staying around Ingham/Cardwell somewhere. Then up to Chillagoe via The Tablelands before returning home.

Cheers

Paul
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Reply By: The Hob - Tuesday, Apr 29, 2014 at 04:56

Tuesday, Apr 29, 2014 at 04:56
At the end of the month we hope to head to Katherine and then go around the gulf Roper Bar - Nathan River - Borrooloola - Normanton - Cobbold Gorge - Gilberton - Lava Tubes and then head south back home

Cheers

Alan
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Follow Up By: Beatit - Sunday, May 04, 2014 at 06:26

Sunday, May 04, 2014 at 06:26
G'day Alan,
That is almost an identical trip we did the year before last. We did leave later in the dry (August) but had a great trip. If you find the time the Towns River is well worth a stay if you like fishing. I hope you have a great trip.

Kind regards

Theo
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Follow Up By: The Hob - Sunday, May 04, 2014 at 19:11

Sunday, May 04, 2014 at 19:11
Thanks Theo

Our trip will be shorter than yours timewise. I have studied your blog in depth as I haven.t been through Nathan River before. We only have 4 weeks. Will be travelling with usual mates who do not have BTs so our little convoy will be 1 BT, 1 Jayco windup and 1 other hard floor camper.

We will travel slow and steady. One mate is recovering from cancer treatment and I am recovering from triple bypass plus heart valve repair surgery.

We all need the break and the trip should do us all well

Cheers

Alan
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Follow Up By: Beatit - Wednesday, May 07, 2014 at 06:06

Wednesday, May 07, 2014 at 06:06
G'day Alan,

Geez mate I hope your health is OK with all that surgery? Four weeks is pretty quick and I hope you don't feel rushed. Will you be fishing at all? If so King Ash Bay is not bad and it's only 25 k or so from Borroloola.

Sounds like a needed break. I hope you have a great time.

Kind regards

Theo
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Reply By: Trailer Trash - Wednesday, Apr 30, 2014 at 01:20

Wednesday, Apr 30, 2014 at 01:20
Hi Willie and ALL
We left Sydney about 3 weeks ago,have just finished the mini muster in SA at Rob & Glen Butlers.The muster was a great time with all really nice people....funny about that....Jan and I would publicly like to thank Rob & Glen for their hospitality & hard work they put into our camp ground on their property.Soon we will be heading north & see Ayres Rock for the first time.Then to Roper Bar for a while,Tomatoe Island for a month or so,King Ash bay for about 6 weeks, then to QLD coast,to be back in Sydney mid October.
Cheers to All
Graham & Jan
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Follow Up By: muddywaters - Tuesday, May 06, 2014 at 02:19

Tuesday, May 06, 2014 at 02:19
Hi Graham & Jan,
I reckon Ayers Rock is over rated, The Olga's are much better but the mountain I really like is Mt Conner, it's grand, much more character about it.
One of the local girls got married on top of it. The local station owners used choppers to fly the wedding party to the top and back again, just tweaks my romantic side, ha ha!
Regards Andrew
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Follow Up By: Ned 03 - Tuesday, Jun 03, 2014 at 02:24

Tuesday, Jun 03, 2014 at 02:24
We are currently in Burketown QLD where the caravan park has a no vacancy sign out. A friendly local took us to his block of land, we filled our water tanks, did our washing and staying for the night. One of our brakes was locking up so Laurie put on his mechanic clothes and solved the problem after a very helpful phone call to Bob at Bushtrakker. Hopefully tomorrow when we head to the river to do some fishing all will be ok. We are travelling the Savannah Way and heading to Hells Gate, King Ash Bay, Roper River, Mataranka and Daly Waters.
So far the journey from Brisbane via Cairns and Mareeba has been excellent.
Good roads, the scenery is spectacular with alot of green around. I have noticed a few B/T's around. Haven't met too many owners though?
Thanks to The Orb who directed us to Archers River camp site. Really good.
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Reply By: Sawtybt - Wednesday, Apr 30, 2014 at 01:52

Wednesday, Apr 30, 2014 at 01:52
We are currently sitting in an ensuite cabin in a caravan park while our 2008 BT is getting a new lease on life.
Its at the factory having a total reskin after a severe hail storm hit us last November at Sawtell just south of Coffs Harbour.

Will be heading north around July.

Regards
RosnRoss
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Follow Up By: Willie - Friday, May 02, 2014 at 05:25

Friday, May 02, 2014 at 05:25
Bummer guys. That could happen to any of us, at any time. I hope the repair is spot on.
Cheers,
Willie.
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Follow Up By: Gone Bush - Friday, May 02, 2014 at 06:00

Friday, May 02, 2014 at 06:00
Ross, just passing this on because I didn't realise this when we were having some repairs done. CIL will pay for a limited number of days' accommodation as part of your claim.

They actually brought that up themselves, excellent service.

Where are you staying? We have always used Maroochy Palms Big 4. If you and Ros are movie-goers, we saw "The Grand Budapest Hotel" today. Good movie, cinemas are at Sunshine Plaza shopping centre.

I hope you will be putting a comprehensive report on your "new" van on your blog.



Stephen
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Thru' the pouring rain,
Going where the weather suits my clothes.......

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Follow Up By: Sawtybt - Friday, May 02, 2014 at 19:39

Friday, May 02, 2014 at 19:39
Willie,
Van repairs are on track with the van in the factory for another week. Will look great when its finished.

Stephen,
We were aware of the CIL extras after reading one of your previous threads. Movie sounds good and with current weather conditions here, (rain) sounds just like the place to be.
Will definitely post about the new looking van

Regards
Ross
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Reply By: Willie - Monday, May 05, 2014 at 19:06

Monday, May 05, 2014 at 19:06
We have stayed the last couple of nights at Trig Camping area in Deep Creek Conservation Park on the Fleurieu Peninsula just south of Adelaide. What a beautiful spot and two stunning walks from here - one to Deep Creek Waterfall and the other to Deep Creek Cove.

Most campsites are small but there a few big enough for a van. It was crowded on the weekend, but just us and a couple of Irishmen this morning. Two long drop toilets. Lots of shady sites.

Off to Clare this morning to try some riesling.

Willie
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Follow Up By: Motherhen & Rooster - Monday, May 05, 2014 at 23:30

Monday, May 05, 2014 at 23:30
Hi Willie

A friend visited the Deep Creek CP on a day trip from Adelaide a couple of days ago, and found the Stringybark Campground has gas heated hot showers. Not mention of showers on the SA Parks website at any of the other campgrounds. Both Trig and Stringybark shown as having some sites suitable for caravans.

Motherhen
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Follow Up By: Willie - Tuesday, May 06, 2014 at 05:27

Tuesday, May 06, 2014 at 05:27
Hi Mrs Chook,

Like you, I always get excited when I spot another Bushtracker.

A couple of days ago we drove into a beautiful little seaside hamlet called Rapid Bay. There was a big campground right on the beach with what looked like a 19' Bushtracker sitting on a nice grassy spot. We were around for a while, but the tow car never appeared. We figured they might have left their van there and gone out to Kangaroo Island for a couple of days.

We are in a CP in Clare tonight and there is a new Spinifex caravan there. I had heard that the maker is ex Bushtracker so I was really pleased when the owner gave us a tour of the van. It was a stunner.

Cheers,

Willie.
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Follow Up By: Motherhen & Rooster - Tuesday, May 06, 2014 at 10:57

Tuesday, May 06, 2014 at 10:57
Hi Willie

Rapid Bay looks wonderful. When we travelled through the area in 2006, we ended up at a poky little caravan park at Second Bay, when Rapid Bay would have been much more to our taste but we did not know about it, or it may not have been established then. We did meet Bushtracker people that day in a parking bay near the ferry terminal, ready to head across with their caravan the next morning.

Where are you heading for next?

Cheers

Mh
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Follow Up By: Willie - Tuesday, May 06, 2014 at 18:39

Tuesday, May 06, 2014 at 18:39
We would have liked to see the Yorke Peninsula on our way west, but there is a mouse plague there at present.

We have been to the Eyre Pen before, so after we leave here, we will go to Pt Augusta, then straight over to Venus Bay. I might wet a line with my new graphite beach rod when I get there.

After that, it is the Nullabor and the south east coast WA.

Cheers,

Willie
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Reply By: Willie - Sunday, May 18, 2014 at 08:48

Sunday, May 18, 2014 at 08:48
Tonight we are playing on the net after a few days with no coverage in the beautiful Cape Le Grande NP just east of Esperance.

The white sand beaches east and west of Esperance are incredible.

While we were in Venus Bay there was two big Bushtrackers in the park. We had Boggers Peter and Carolyne round for dinner one night. They had to bring their own chairs , wine glasses and a table !

Caught a couple of nice whiting off the jetty and Peter came round with a big feed of tommy rough and whiting for us - yum.

We went into the very pretty Fitzgerald NP today and were going to camp there until we saw the 'improvements' the National Parks people had made to the two camping areas. One of them looked like a Woolworths car park with tiny parking bays and the other one was not much better.

We ended up tonight at Tozer's Camp, just outside Bremmer Bay. No power or on site water, but the best showers, toilets, camp kitchen and drinking area (with fire pit) I have ever seen in a park. Toz shared a couple of drinks with us too - a really nice fella.

Cheers

Willie.

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Reply By: Willie - Thursday, May 22, 2014 at 07:52

Thursday, May 22, 2014 at 07:52
We are camped in Esperance at the Big 4 and a 19 ft BT is parked alongside us - a couple from Ballarat. How common these things are in WA.

The CP is at Middleton Beach and there is two great bike paths leading from here. One out to Oyster Bay (nice cafe for lunch) and the other one goes around the mountain and ends up at the bulk loader near the city centre. We did both today for a pretty easy 20km ride.

We are off west along the coast tomorrow.

Willie.
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Reply By: braggy - Sunday, Sep 07, 2014 at 18:57

Sunday, Sep 07, 2014 at 18:57
Hi Willie.

Just back from a trip to the Tip,

Went up from Cape Trib, via Bloomfield track (could be called road not track)
Out to Elim beach and met Eddie, who was wearing a Kedron shirt, what a great character.
Though Lakefield with all the usual stop offs, even got RBT half way through.
Up to Weipa and out to Pennefather River (only van out there),stunning spot to stay.
Called in at Bramwell station for some washing and water, great big camp spot, has live music for a couple of hours at the bar of a night. The station has not been able to sell cattle since 2012 (export ban hang over), so appreciate tourist dollars.

Left the van at Bramwell Junction, went though the OTT to passed Gunshot, then back to get van.
Met up with a guy in a little Millard off roader and decided to do the last of the Tele Track with the vans, went back in on the northern Gunshot bypass, crossed Cockatoo and camped on the north side.The next 15km had its moments with ruts and wash outs but all good,short winch for both of us then across Sailor creek and back on to main road and a quick dip at Fruitbat Falls.

Stayed at Punsand Bay, did the normal things, Tip for a photo, Sommerset for some history and cave art, quite a nice camp site at Sommerset beach, bit windy and a shame that people can't see that writing your name on junk and leaving it in a pile under a tree isn't vandalism and disrespectful.

Met another guy in a Trakmaster, and we decided to try and get out to Virilya Point with the vans.And Ward in the Millard was keen as well.
First obsticle Crystal creek log bridge,Maxtrax over a few suspect logs and all across, the water at crystal creek is unbelieveable.
The track out to the coast was badly rutted,rough, with some tight turns and narrow spots, started to wonder if we were going to make it,
After 5hrs of winching,towing,digging and branch trimming we hit the coast.
Had been told to do the 9kms to north behind the dunes to the point, all good except for one sand dune, that the Millard just got over (being first and light) the Trakie and me both had to winch (even at 12psi).
What an absolutely beautiful spot to watch the sunset into the Gulf for a couple of days,with 2 resident monster crocs for amusement, even caught some dinner.
The trip back out was fairly uneventfull (all the trees had been trimmed), over nighted at Crystal creek, then back onto the development road which is in pretty good condition, but glad to get to Laura and the bitumen.

All in all a great trip,
Only damage was a graize to the awning going into Old Batavia goldfields (you will not get a fullsize van in there) but it was delaminating before we left and the Dometic agents are going to replace it anyway, and of cause the crappy door catches.

cheers Ken & Denise
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Follow Up By: Willie - Thursday, Sep 11, 2014 at 09:23

Thursday, Sep 11, 2014 at 09:23
Hi Ken,

What a great adventure that was. I used to do that sort of trip a few years ago with diff locks and winch, but I think I have got a bit long in the tooth for it now. I have copied and saved your post, so I can follow your voyage on Oziexplorer when I get home.

I have never been further up the Cape than the Mitchell River - barra fishing 40 years ago.

We are at El Questro tonight. In a couple of days we head for the Bungles. After a few days walking the gorges there, we will head for home in Sydney.

The Gibb R Road has been quite a comfotable ride, as graders have been at work for the last month.

We worked our way up the coast to Karratha, then inland to Millstream and Karajini and then north through Nullagine and Marble Bar to Pt Hedland. Then Broome, Cape Leveque, Derby, a 'gorge tour', then om up to Mt Elizabeth, Drysfale and Mitchell Falls.

We have been on the road since March and need some home time with the family.

Cheers,

Willie
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