Thursday, 26 August 2010

25 - 26 August 2010–Samford Valley Showgrounds

Samford Valley Showgrounds is actually the local equestrian centre as well as showgrounds. We stayed there so we could meet with Deb & Pete who have offered us a house-sit from the end of November to the start of January 2011.  They have a lovely 1 1/2 acre property, with a horse, a miniature horse, two cats and a dog (who according to Deb is a moron!).  We’ve accepted this one with glee, as it covers the Christmas / New Year period.  They are absolutely lovely people, and have three daughters aged between 10 and 16. (who we are NOT baby-sitting!)

The showgrounds themselves are quite nice, lots of area for both powered and unpowered camping.  The toilets & showers might struggle a bit though if there were a lot of people there, as there are not that many in the blocks.  The manager was very helpful, even though he had his hands full trying to fix the septic system!



Tuesday, 24 August 2010

24 August 2010–Petrie Park, Tiaro

This was a really long, hard days drive – I think we travelled about 60km.  Not our shortest by a long shot, but add in the van cleaning????

This is the first time we’ve actually stayed at Petrie Park, and it’s really quite lovely.  On the banks of the Mary River just to the north of Tiaro it has two areas separated by a (presently) dry creek.  Any sort of heavy rain, and I think they’ll have only one area!  We had happy hour with our neighbours (as you do!) and got a really good nights sleep in the peace and quiet of the bush (a bit different from Hervey Bay).

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Monday, 23 August 2010

19–23 August 2010–Australiana Top Tourist Park, Hervey Bay

After leaving Booroobin, we headed north towards Hervey Bay to catch up with our son & daughter-in-law, Brett & Joanne.  We had made a booking at the Top Tourist based on Brett’s recommendation, and it turned out to be a very nice caravan park.  Very well organised, and the type of CP that will take you to the site, and make sure that you are parked properly.  Very civilised.

Brett & Joanne popped around after lunch and after 18 months it was great to see them.  It appears as if they have sorted out their problems now, and life for them is now much better.  After seeing the state of the van, they decided that they would just have to come back the following day and clean it for us.  Rick thought that was great, but when they turned up with the bags of cleaning gear and all of them had a really good look at it, they decided it needed much more than a bucket and cloth to get it really clean, so decided to take the van to their place in Toogoom on the day we left and get into it with the pressure sprayer.

They also took us out to lunch at the Hervey Bay Boat Club at Sinbad’s Restaurant.  Lovely meal  and company, and a stunning view out over the marina.  The dollar value of the boats in the marina must be staggering.

When we left Hervey Bay on the Monday, the van got a solid and thorough scrubbing.  She now looks much cleaner, but it’s an ongoing job.

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

17–18 August 2010–Standown Park (28km east of Gympie)

Standown Park is a beautiful bush camping experience with new, modern facilities, where all campers, motor homers, caravaners and travellers are welcome.  The emphasis there is on friendliness and relaxation, and everyone is encouraged to be part of the “family”.  It is also a friendly and welcome retreat for Veterans of all services and conflicts.  It is owned and managed by Rod & Pam Elkington who have done a magnificent job to develop this park from raw paddocks.  Situated on 18 lush green acres surrounded by the pine forest on two sides and pasture paddocks on the others, the park site has an abundance of trees attracting many species of birdlife.  Standown is just off the Tin Can Bay Highway so the Park is secure, and with the picturesque mountains in the near distance, it is the ideal place for parking the rig and resting while exploring the many attractions of the area.

This is the third time we have been to Standown, and it definitely will not be the last.

Check out the web-site: Standown Park

Purely by chance, we decided to arrive on 17 August.  The park was absolutely jam-packed because the following day, 18 August, is Long Tan Day (Vietnam Veterans’ Day).  The days’ activities were very well organised – commencing with a multiple sports (if you can call a balloon exchange race or playing darts a sport!) morning.  This set a high and very funny tone for the morning which acted as counterpoint to the more sombre march and commemoration of fallen comrades which followed.  The service was extremely moving and very well organised.  Happy hour followed immediately afterward, followed by a fully catered Roast Dinner, with Pam’s Syrup Dumplings to follow. YUM!  Then we staggered to bed, complaining of having eaten too much – hmmmm!


Monday, 16 August 2010

16th August 2010–Booroobin (between Maleny and Woodford, QLD)

We had received an offer of a house-sit in Booroobin, and today was the day chosen to visit and get to know the owners (Pete & Viv) and their property and pets.  They have a wonderful 42 acre property, which is primarily bush and backs onto the Stanley River.  They have three horses (two are miniatures) and three dogs as well as lots of birds and other wildlife.  Pete took us on a trip down to the river in the ute.  It is a steep track with lots of lumps & bumps.  At the bottom of the track is a walking track to the river and the base of the falls, where there is a beautiful little pool.  It is quite deep in the middle, and apparently very cold because it doesn’t get a lot of sun.  Hmmm!

Pete & Viv cooked us a wonderful roast dinner in their wood-burner stove.  It was a great way to get to know each other, great food and the odd glass or two of wine.

The sit is for the second half of October, and we are both looking forward to it very much.  It is going to be a completely different experience.


The home is entirely self sufficient in power and water.  If the solar does not generate quite enough, they have a generator to add the extra power.  The wood-burner stove is used not only for cooking, but also for hot-water.

Sunday, 15 August 2010

13–15 August 2010–Kilcoy Showgrounds

This was the weekend for the Kedron Owners Group first Annual General Meeting.  It was an interesting and very enjoyable weekend.  I’m not a huge fan of politics or AGM’s of any kind, but due to some damn fine organisation, it was pretty painless.  All positions were nominated, seconded and voted with a minimum of trouble.  I suspect that the attendance was only 14 people had something to do with the ease of proceedings.

It was a lovely clear weekend, warm during the day, but quite cool at night.  Hence the use of multiple “pigs”.  For the non –camping / caravanning fraternity, a “pig” is generally an unused 9kg gas bottle, which has been modified to become a small but efficient wood-burning oven.  Various metal plates are attached to the top so that cooking of all sorts of yummy food is possible.

There are many home-made but well designed ‘pigs’, in fact probably as many designs as those who have designed them!


Thursday, 12 August 2010

10–12 August 2010 - Somerset Dam Campground

Just beautiful – had one night of heavy rain, a day of mist and drizzle and then the sun came out.  Because it is such a quiet spot, we really had a relaxing time.  The second day we were there, which was the morning after the heavy rain, we heard a roaring sound coming from the dam itself.  Seeing as the campground is BELOW the dam, it was a bit nerve-wracking, so there was an immediate rush to the river to see what was happening (especially since I was in the middle of reading a book about dams on the Colorado river in the US being blown up and breaking apart).

It was very good news to hear that Dam management had opened the overflow spillway.  This raised the river levels by a couple of feet, but did not create any problems.

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Monday, 9 August 2010

7–9 August–Kingaroy Showgrounds

Spent 3 busy days interspersing shopping, catching up with the washing and a bit of tourism.  The showgrounds are not a bad camp spot, but the price has recently gone up, and is now $20 per night for a powered and watered site.

The view from Mount WooroolinOpposite view from Mount Wooroolin

We took a ride out to the local lookout at Mount Wooroolin where there is a 360 degree view of the countryside.  It was actually quite impressive.

Then we went to Taste South Burnett.  They offer exclusive tastings of Kingaroy Cheese and of course their home made fudge. Barambah, Kingsley Grove and Bellbird wines are featured along with a wide range of local and modern Australian products in their Cellar Door. We had a lovely cup of coffee and then a tour of the Cheese factory.  The tour could have been a little better if the factory had been working, but being weekend – well, you get the gist.  It was however very interesting, and the host was very knowledgeable about the area and his product considering that he and his wife had only owned the place for six weeks.  They had however spent years visiting the place, and even got married there.

Sunday, 8 August 2010

West to East– through the Centre

Finally, it was time to leave Perth!  We headed out early on Friday 16/07/2010 because our first stop was Kelmscott (not a really long travel!), so that Rob could re-install that **** diesel heater.  Fortunately, after a lot of swearing and getting wet (oh! it was raining quite well too!) he finally got it going properly.  Yet another $200 making $500 all up.  This covered parts and labour, but was way more than we expected to pay for a simple service.  Obviously, because of all the problems it was not just a simple service.  Oh well, you learn these things the hard way.