Sunday, 27 March 2011

Iluka Riverside Caravan Park 23–27 March 2011

Our next stop on our slow lazy trip north was Iluka which is across the Clarence river from Yamba. We had a 16th Minesweeper Squad.reunion there in 2004.  We took a ferry trip on that occasion and passed the Iluka Caravan Park.  It looked very nice, so with an up to date recommendation from friends decided, to stay there for a few nights. We booked in for 5 nights expecting it to be very busy.  About half an hour after we arrived vans started to pour in. We were thinking we were lucky to get a spot in a very popular park.  The next morning most of them headed out again.  After that it was pretty quiet for the rest of our stay.

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Split Solitary Beach Caravan Park 19–22 March 2011

Our next stop was Sapphire Beach, about 10ks north of Coffs Harbour.  We had stayed there some years ago, on our way down the coast to Tasmania.  It is now known as Split Solitary Beach ,Why you ask? Who knows!!  We stayed here for 4 days.  It is a small quiet C/P with quite a few permanents and only $25.20 for a powered site which is cheap for that area (Coffs Harbour).  We picked up our mail and did some food shopping.  Other than that we sat round on our clackers and relaxed. We drove past the Giant Banana a couple of times, I must say it is looking a bit tired. We visited BCF in Coffs. and bought 2 new chairs. The old ones were going mouldy and getting harder to pack, so we have bought lighter ones which are easier to pack away.  When we are travelling we find that keeping the weight in the van down is an ongoing battle, so every 3 months or so, if it has not been used, OUT IT GOES!  Since buying The Mungrill we do very little cooking inside the van. With the BabyQ (Weber) and the Mung, we rarely use the van oven which is as useless as tits on a bull anyway!  If we could chuck it out we could save a bit of useless weight!!

Friday, 18 March 2011

Hat Head Caravan Park 15–18 March 2011

Our first stop was Hat Head C/P about 47 kms from Sherwood.  We booked in for 4 nights.  It is a lovely little park right between the river and the Ocean beach.  A very popular fishing spot for boaties.  On Thursday 17th at about 3.30pm all hell broke loose.  We had one of those mad storms that they can get in the area (found that out AFTER?!)We copped 4.5" of rain in about 20 mins. accompanied by crazy winds.  That lot lasted about half an hour all up, but when it went on its way it left behind a fair bit of chaos.  Anything that was made of canvas was flattened and filled with water.  There was a group of year 12 girls from one of the local High schools camped there, and all their bedding and clothes were soaking wet, so we all jumped in and helped them take down what was left of their tents and packed them ready for the bus or parents to pick them up.  It certainly left most of them wide eyed and slightly shocked as it apparently the first time the girls had been on the annual camp.  The school usually takes the boys.  It would be interesting to see how many girls volunteer next year .

Monday, 14 March 2011

Joy & Bruce, Sherwood, 14 March 2011

Lovely couple in a large house on 116 acres, with about 40 head of cattle.  They invited us to stay overnight and after a BBQ and a couple of convivial cool drinks (alright, wines then)we decided to accept the sit starting in May. It is in a nice quiet part of the country, so we are looking forward to it.
As I had more medical appointments to attend in Brisbane we decided not to travel down to Kurmond, west of Sydney in the foot of the Blue Mountains to check out our sit after Sherwood.  The price of fuel was the main reason.  It was a 1000 k round trip just to say good-day basically.  So we spoke to the people on the phone and they were quite happy with that.
We decided to head back to Brisbane via the Coast for a change.  We usually stay away from the coastal regions because they are busy,crowded and expensive, but it became quite a good trip.

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Lake Keepit, Eastern Foreshore 11–13 March 2011

This is a lake and dam between Gunnedah and Tamworth.  It is used mainly by the locals for skiing and fishing and general recreation activities.  The lake was full after the heavy rain events that everybody around the area seemed to get.  We arrived on the Friday and expected it to be very busy, but to our surprise there was hardly anyone there in the bush camp area.  Our nearest neighbour was about 400 metres away.  Sheer bliss!!  There was a lot of activity on the lake, mainly skiing and tube riding (that looked like a lot of fun), but that was primarily from the caravan park side.  We moved out on Monday morning to go to an appointment with our next housesit clients in Sherwood about 16 klicks out of Kempsey.

Thursday, 10 March 2011

John Oxley Caravan Park, Coonabarabran, 9 - 10 March 2011

Well folks, it is my turn to write the Blog so here goes.  We arrived in Coonabarabran NSW in the early PM, had 2 choices of C/P one at the south end of town or the John Oxley at the northern end.  We chose the latter 'cos the other one looked a bit daggy.  It is a nice open park at the south end of town on the Newell Hwy. Surprisingly, being right on the corner of the highway into town it was fairly quiet.  Unfortunately, the reception area looked like a bomb had gone off in it, there was  crap every where.  But the owners were very helpful so all was well.  Power, water and clean amenities, so every thing we needed for $26 a night.  Across the road from the C/P was a Gem shop full of all sorts of crystals and fossils (not counting me of course!!).  The lady who owned the shop was a wealth of info. The business is up for sale if anyone is interested.  We stayed in Coona. for 2 nights to catch up with washing and top up the water tanks before heading out to Lake Keepit Bush camp about 150 kms away.

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Mehi River Caravan Park, Moree, 8 March 2011

Moving down the Newell, we stopped at Goondiwindi on the banks of the McIntyre River for a brew-up.  The river is looking really good, but you can see the marks of the flooding in the debris high in the trees. IMGP2984 Too early to stop for the night, so it was on the road again.
We eventually landed in Moree and decided to call it a day.  Now, we’ve heard lots of stories about people having troubles with thefts and damage when camping in the area.  Fortunately, the Mehi River Caravan Park area gave no indications of anything to worry about.  It’s well organised, and well looked after.  Having said that, we didn’t push our luck, and only stayed one night.  The following picture is a collage of photos Rick took from around the park.  There are many amusing murals painted around the place.

Monday, 7 March 2011

Yarramalonga Weir 7 March 2011

(Camps Australia Wide V6.0 Ref: #726 11km from Millmerran, QLD)
This was a great first night spot.  There’s still a bit of damage around the area due to the floods (the Condamine came up quite high), but the river has gone down now and the place is quite “campable”.  Apparently there are spots all along the river which is used extensively for fishing and small boating.  Tomorrow we’re heading towards Goondiwindi and the Newell Highway.

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Lawnton Showgrounds 4–6 March 2011

The reason for this visit to Lawnton Showgrounds was a General Meeting of the Kedron Owners Group Inc.  The Committee members for this year had conducted a review of the Constitution which came into play when the group was originally incorporated in late 2009, and made recommendations for some changes.  The aim of the changes was to simplify the wording of some of the clauses.

With 20 or so people in attendance, the debate was vocal and “interesting”!!  And that’s all I’m going to say about that!

To compensate, both Happy Hour and dinner later at the Pine Rivers Bowls Club were excellent.

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Kalbar Showgrounds 21 February to 3 March 2011

Plugging into the power here at Kalbar was a bit of a relief.  Monday was still very hot so the air-conditioning came in very welcome.  We had a big thunder storm on Monday night which cooled the place down nicely.


It’s a quite pretty spot, just on the northern outskirt of Kalbar.  They had some flooding in early January, with the showgrounds going under water, but Harry has got the grounds looking nice now, even though he is a little obsessive about mowing the grass.  At $80 / week, it is pretty cheap living, with power and water and two toilet and shower blocks.  One is quite old and a little dilapidated, while the other is quite new.  Rick spent about 4 hours all up cleaning and scrubbing the old toilet block.  It was completely disgusting, and covered in bugs and webs, but is now clean and sweet.

We took a drive out to Lake Moogerah and Maroon Dam, to assess their suitability for camping.  Lake Moogerah Caravan Park is quite good for powered and unpowered camping, NOT ON A WEEKEND, but Maroon Dam was pretty decrepit.  That’s now crossed off the list.