Wednesday, November 9, 2016

A Trip to Quamby Corner

A group of Cambridge Caravan owners, meet once or twice a year and this time it was decided that we would go to Quamby Corner.
We took our motorhome, even though it was the caravan club! (We love our motorhome too much now!) We decided we would head off on Sunday, and stay somewhere overnight before meeting up with everyone on Monday and Tuesday. We had heard that the Midlands Highway was quite bad, with roadworks and so on, so we turned off at Melton Mowbray and went through Bothwell up towards Great Lake. We really enjoyed the different scenery on the way, and found a nice place to stop at a lookout at the bottom end of the lake.

It was really quiet here - no sounds of traffic or city noises and we really loved it.

                                   
video

There was a little walk that lead up to a grave. 


 We had to laugh at the inscription!


It was quite cold overnight, but we were toasty warm with our diesel heater going! The next day we got going and headed towards Deloraine, and our caravan park where we were gathering. It is in Golden Valley, just out of Deloraine, and it really is a beautiful place.
It was certainly nice catching up with our friends again!
It was quite cool and windy on the Monday night, and the camp kitchen was a bit open to the elements,  but David had his fire pot so we all gathered around for a bit of warmth!

video




Randall pulled out his bagpipes and gave them a blow. We always enjoy listening to him!




Some of us headed back to the Great Lake Hotel for lunch the next day. We enjoyed the fire and the chat with people who came in for a meal. 

The weather was a bit better in the afternoon, and we stayed around the fire for a bit longer in the evening, thanks to Chris and Tom's great wind break!
On our last morning, Ros wanted to walk up the hill to get some duck eggs. She had noticed the sign when driving towards the caravan park the previous day. A few of us walked up the hill in glorious sunshine, only to find the sign covered over, so no eggs for Ros! The view was lovely looking back down to the park.


We headed for home mid morning, back down past Great Lake, detouring through New Norfolk to call in and visit Randall's Mum and Dad.
We had a lovely few days renewing friendships and having lots of laughs, and will look forward to the next time we can all meet up.




Friday, September 23, 2016

Melbourne to home

We arrived back in Melbourne to stop initially outside our daughter Nikki's house. We can park on her front lawn, and hook up to power. We really enjoyed catching up with her and her husband Shannon, and, of course, our little grandson Zac.


We stayed there for two nights, then off to camp outside Katie and Matt's house (on the road), and some grandparent duties looking after little Otto.
Nikki and Zac came over for a visit, so it was lovely having time with all the family.
We discovered that Zac loves moving to the music!


Otto loves looking at trains, so we took him on a tram trip down to Flinders Street station for some train spotting.

Sadly it was time to say our goodbyes. We were booked on a day crossing on Sunday, so we headed down to Port Melbourne on Saturday afternoon, to look for a place to stay so we were close to the Spirit of Tasmania for the early morning departure.
Amazingly we found a place with no parking restrictions, and right near a lovely park.


Last time we had stayed on the esplanade and it was a bit noisy. This place was lovely and quiet. We met up with friends from our Cambridge Caravan Club, Bev and Dave, and had an enjoyable meal with them at a Thai Restaurant nearby.
We were up early the next morning, to get organised for our day crossing. Thermos's, bread rolls, snacks, plus computers, iPads etc etc. Then off to queue to get on to the boat. It was a full sailing, and we had to wait for a while to get on.




The swell was a bit big after we got through the heads, but settled down after a few hours thank goodness. We got off the boat at about 6.30 pm, and headed for the RV camp spot called Horsehead Creek. It was really just a carpark, but we were happy to stop for the night. We had a lazy morning and so got a knock on the door from a fellow from the Devonport Council asking for our permit. We explained that we got in too late to get one, and assured him that we would pay up the $10 as we were leaving. He explained that the fee was too appease the caravan parks in the area. That was the first bit of 'accommodation' that we had paid for the whole trip!!
Our last stop before we got home was to be our holiday place at Coles Bay. It had been raining heavily on the East Coast, so we went to check that Randall's leak fix had been working. Fortunately it was all good, so we enjoyed a night there. We both think that in all our travels that Coles Bay is a very special place!




We arrived back home, and felt we were in luxury with so much space! It was lovely to be home and catch up with my mum and Randall's mum and dad. Now to plan for the next adventure!







Friday, September 16, 2016

Wodonga to Benalla

As we drove down the highway we checked out some of the towns that were bypassed. One town called Holbrook was interesting. It was originally called Germanton, but during the war it got changed. They chose Holbrook  in honour of Lt. Norman Douglas Holbrook, a decorated wartime submarine captain and winner of the Victoria Cross
There is now a submarine half buried in a park and other submarine memorabilia in a little museum. It is quite amazing to see how big the submarine is when you walk all around it.


We called into the Albury Wodonga RV World at Wodonga, where we had got good service from earlier on in the year, unlike the Avan Superstore back in Melbourne. (Hopeless!!)
We had a wander around the new caravans and motorhomes in the show room. This one caught our eye - a deck at the back of the caravan!!
It all folded up into the back of the caravan. They still didn't have a new Avan Applause to check out - you have to wait up to six months if you want a new one!
We stopped overnight at Lake Hume and got a spot right by the water. 


We went for a lovely walk around the lake in the morning, and passed lots of runners and walkers on the way. After that we packed up and decided to head for Benalla via Yackandandah and Beechworth.  
They were both lovely old towns. We checked out the bakery at Beechworth but it was crazy busy, so we found a little takeaway and enjoyed some delicious potato cakes and dim sims, before the last part to Benalla.
Benalla used to welcome campers at an area by the lake, just near the shops. We had stayed there once before and it was really nice. The council had stopped people using that area and we decided not to push the friendship, so we went to a place called Thoona, where you could stop behind the pub. It wasn't that far up the road. As we drove along Randall suggested checking out another place just out of Benalla, and there were heaps of people stopped there. It was a chapter of the CMCA, so we said hello and then went to Thoona. Thoona was a bit disappointing, so around we turned and went back to our friends from the CMCA! They were very welcoming and friendly, and we enjoyed sitting by a nice big fire having a cuppa and later a wine and our tea.





The next morning we drove back into Benalla as I wanted to check out the Benalla museum. It has Ned Kelly's green sash there and as I had read about it in a children's book, I really wanted to see it.
I wasn''t disappointed. I can't believe I didn't know about this until I read the book to my classes.



From Benalla we drove off back to Melbourne to see our lovely girls and their families, and lots of Grandma and Pa cuddles from our two little grandsons.




Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Heading South.

Our next destination was to the Gold Coast to visit our friends Cliff and Fiona. They live in a two storey unit and we were able to park our van outside their back door and hook up to power - the first time since we left Melbourne 3 weeks previously.
They took us up to Mt Tambourine for lunch at a pub with an amazing view looking down on the Gold Coast.


We had a great couple of days, with lots of laughs and good times. Cliff cooked us a delicious breakfast one morning at it was beautiful sitting out in the sun eating it.

From the Gold Coast we drove a short way south to Kingscliff for an unexpected catchup with Randall's old workmate Andrew and his friend Janine. They had arrived from Singapore only the day before and had followed our travels on Facebook, so they knew where we were.
We stopped overnight at a place called New Italy, which was nice but a bit noisy as it was near the highway. Then down the coast to Bulahdelah. We arrived quite late, but there were lots of campers there - obviously very popular. We walked to the pub, hoping to get a meal there but nothing appealed  so back to cook out own tea.

In the morning we we sat and watched as a few rigs packed up and headed off, before we did the same.
Our next stop was going to be Wollongong where Randall's second cousin David, and wife Penny live. We drove towards Sydney and on a spur of the moment decided to head to Manly and check out the area. Probably a bit of a mistake, as the traffic was shocking, and by the time we got there it was just about time to leave! It was amazing driving in the tunnels under the city to get to Woolongong - all so fast and furious! Penny and David had invited us to a roast lamb dinner, and a spot in their driveway - both very much appreciated. They have a motorhome, so it was nice to chat with like minded people about our travels so far.
From there we headed for Gundagai. It is a quaint town with lots of roadworks in the main street which was a pity. It is an RV friendly town, so we camped by the river and sat out in the sun in the afternoon.

                                         

We decided to stay two nights here, so get over the hustle and bustle of constant travelling. There is a cafe at Gundagai called the Niagara Cafe and it has been around since the early 1900's. We went to get some potato cakes and dim sims for a treat. It is a time capsule from the early days with memorabilia up on the walls. John Curtain had famously stopped there late one night and returned often over the years. The booths are the same, as are the padded seats, when you look at the photos.

The forecast was for lots of rain in the next 24 hours, and the campsite was very grassy, so it was suggested we go to higher ground. We headed for the highest ground - the look out! The view up there was amazing!

     

I was really glad we moved as it did rain quite a lot overnight. The only thing that disturbed us up there was some idiots doing wheelies in the mud not that far from us - luckily they got sick of it after a while and we were left in peace.
We packed up the next morning to continue our trip down the Hume Highway, checking out all the rivers and creeks full to overflowing in some places.




Heading South.

Our next destination was to the Gold Coast to visit our friends Cliff and Fiona. They live in a two storey unit and we were able to park our van outside their back door and hook up to power - the first time since we left Melbourne 3 weeks previously.
They took us up to Mt Tambourine for lunch at a pub with an amazing view looking down on the Gold Coast.


We had a great couple of days, with lots of laughs and good times. Cliff cooked us a delicious breakfast one morning at it was beautiful sitting out in the sun eating it.

From the Gold Coast we drove a short way south to Kingscliff for an unexpected catchup with Randall's old workmate Andrew and his friend Janine. They had arrived from Singapore only the day before and had followed our travels on Facebook, so they knew where we were.
We stopped overnight at a place called New Italy, which was nice but a bit noisy as it was near the highway. Then down the coast to Bulahdelah. We arrived quite late, but there were lots of campers there - obviously very popular. We walked to the pub, hoping to get a meal there but nothing appealed  so back to cook out own tea.

In the morning we we sat and watched as a few rigs packed up and headed off, before we did the same.
Our next stop was going to be Wollongong where Randall's second cousin David, and wife Penny live. We drove towards Sydney and on a spur of the moment decided to head to Manly and check out the area. Probably a bit of a mistake, as the traffic was shocking, and by the time we got there it was just about time to leave! It was amazing driving in the tunnels under the city to get to Woolongong - all so fast and furious! Penny and David had invited us to a roast lamb dinner, and a spot in their driveway - both very much appreciated. They have a motorhome, so it was nice to chat with like minded people about our travels so far.
From there we headed for Gundagai. It is a quaint town with lots of roadworks in the main street which was a pity. It is an RV friendly town, so we camped by the river and sat out in the sun in the afternoon.

                                         

We decided to stay two nights here, so get over the hustle and bustle of constant travelling. There is a cafe at Gundagai called the Niagara Cafe and it has been around since the early 1900's. We went to get some potato cakes and dim sims for a treat. It is a time capsule from the early days with memorabilia up on the walls. John Curtain had famously stopped there late one night and returned often over the years. The booths are the same, as are the padded seats, when you look at the photos.

The forecast was for lots of rain in the next 24 hours, and the campsite was very grassy, so it was suggested we go to higher ground. We headed for the highest ground - the look out! The view up there was amazing!

     

I was really glad we moved as it did rain quite a lot overnight. The only thing that disturbed us up there was some idiots doing wheelies in the mud not that far from us - luckily they got sick of it after a while and we were left in peace.
We packed up the next morning to continue our trip down the Hume Highway, checking out all the rivers and creeks full to overflowing in some places.




Heading South.

Our next destination was to the Gold Coast to visit our friends Cliff and Fiona. They live in a two storey unit and we were able to park our van outside their back door and hook up to power - the first time since we left Melbourne 3 weeks previously.
They took us up to Mt Tambourine for lunch at a pub with an amazing view looking down on the Gold Coast.


We had a great couple of days, with lots of laughs and good times. Cliff cooked us a delicious breakfast one morning at it was beautiful sitting out in the sun eating it.

From the Gold Coast we drove a short way south to Kingscliff for an unexpected catchup with Randall's old workmate Andrew and his friend Janine. They had arrived from Singapore only the day before and had followed our travels on Facebook, so they knew where we were.
We stopped overnight at a place called New Italy, which was nice but a bit noisy as it was near the highway. Then down the coast to Bulahdelah. We arrived quite late, but there were lots of campers there - obviously very popular. We walked to the pub, hoping to get a meal there but nothing appealed  so back to cook out own tea.

In the morning we we sat and watched as a few rigs packed up and headed off, before we did the same.
Our next stop was going to be Wollongong where Randall's second cousin and wife Penny live. We drove towards Sydney and on a spur of the moment decided to head to Manly and check out the area. Probably a bit of a mistake, as the traffic was shocking, and by the time we got there it was just about time to leave! It was amazing driving in the tunnels under the city to get to Woolongong - all so fast and furious! Penny and David had invited us to a roast lamb dinner, and a spot in their driveway - both very much appreciated. They have a motorhome, so it was nice to chat with like minded people about our travels so far.
From there we headed for Gundagai. It is a quaint town with lots of roadworks in the main street which was a pity. It is an RV friendly town, so we camped by the river and sat out in the sun in the afternoon.



We decided to stay two nights here, so get over the hustle and bustle of constant travelling. There is a cafe at Gundagai called the Niagara Cafe and it has been around since the early 1900's. We went to get some potato cakes and dim sims for a treat. It is a time capsule from the early days with memorabilia up on the walls. John Curtain had famously stopped there late one night and returned often over the years. The booths are the same, as are the padded seats, when you look at the photos.

The forecast was for lots of rain in the next 24 hours, and the campsite was very grassy, so it was suggested we go to higher ground. We headed for the highest ground - the look out! The view up there was amazing!

     

I was really glad we moved as it did rain quite a lot overnight. The only thing that disturbed us up there was some idiots doing wheelies in the mud not that far from us - luckily they got sick of it after a while and we were left in peace.
We packed up the next morning to continue our trip down the Hume Highway, checking out all the rivers and creeks full to overflowing in some places.




Friday, September 9, 2016

Caloundra

Caloundra has a lovely walking track by the water. Part of it is dedicated to the Anzacs, and there are little plaques embedded in the footpath, with the name of an Anzac, and there are rosemary bushes along the pathway as well.


There are mostly low rise units dotted along the water's edge, but we did find this funny little house squashed in between two modern places. Cheekily, at one stage, it was stealing the power from next door as well!



We have also seen some interesting wildlife around the place. The bush turkeys, which I've mentioned before, and a green tree snake, pointed out to us by another walker as we went by. The birds around it were going crazy!


                                     

We bought ourselves a Telstra hotspot to give us some more data while we are away. Because of that purchase we can now connect to the free wifi often found at Telstra phone boxes. We get an alert on our phone that we are connected as we walk or drive near it. It's free until March next year. It's good for quickly updating any apps on our phone or iPad.
We get to talk to a lot of people as we are sitting in our van. We usually have the door open while having a cuppa, and people often come up to us and ask about our setup. Randall is a mine of information about the Avan. One day a couple stopped to chat and two hours later they were still there!
We had our wedding anniversary while we were at Caloundra - 37 years! We went out for a celebratory meal, which was really delicious.
After two lovely weeks at Caloundra we headed south, first to Brisbane to catch up with an old friend from Randall's bagpipe band, The Derwent Scottish Pipe Band.
We had no idea where we would stay, but headed for the CBD and did a cruise around some back streets. We found a park, reasonably level, and paid the parking fee for the rest of the day. It was Friday, and free parking on Saturday, so we didn't have to worry about getting up early the next day to move on.

     
   
We enjoyed catching up with Selina and listening to her play with her band, Queensland Irish, then enjoying a drink with her at Mick O'Malleys in the Brisbane Mall.

                                    



We then headed to the Gold Coast for our next catchup with friends.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

In and around Caloundra

After three days staying in the parking spot we thought we'd better move on. We had a fair bit of washing to do - so off to the laundromat and then to a camp spot 10 kilometres away, where we could hang our washing between some trees. (We didn't think we could do that in our carpark spot!)


We were right near a rainforest walk, which we did - it was very nice for being just next to the highway. There were lots of mangy looking bush turkeys there wandering around. Apparently they are protected here.
We decided we would head up to Eumundi the next day to check out the Wednesday markets. We stopped overnight about 7km south ofEumundi at  a camp spot just off the road. There were quite a few people there, and some semi permanents as well. It was funny watching a 'domestic' while sitting having our morning coffee!
Randall can't believe how many people don't get their rig level when stopped for the night. We carry levelling blocks and use them regularly. We are very rarely anything but level!
As we drove off, Randall said "They're not level" as we passed each set up.
At Eumundi there are parking Nazis everywhere! We wanted to dump the toilet, but to get to the dump spot, you had to drive into a designated parking area for the markets - through a manned boom gate. We managed to talk our way in, then were guided on our way by three of four people in high vis vests. After that, we scooted off and parked in the back street about 500 metres away - no charge, no people telling us where to park, and a nice walk to the markets!
We stopped and had breakfast at a cafe, with a bit of an argument about getting Randall's coffee hot enough. He likes it at literally 100 degrees, but the coffee 'snobs' as Randall refers to them, roll their eyes and say they'll 'try'. He managed to get an ok one in the end.
I loved wandering around looking at all the stalls. It was good going on a Wednesday, I'm sure there would have been lots more people in the weekend!
I bought a few things then we wandered back to our van and headed back to Caloundra for farewell drinks and tea with our friends Mark and Marlene. On the drive back we saw signs for a display home raffle. We were reminded of a visit to 'Bella Rosa' display home in Surfers Paradise about 20 years ago and taking photos of ourselves and the girls outside and imagining how good it would be to win.
We stopped to look and bought some tickets. Who knows.........
Back to our original parking spot in Caloundra - people watching while we sat inside. A beach sweeper cleaned the beach each morning and watched the driver checking his phone as he drove along. We were rudely awoken by the rubbish truck the next morning, so we moved to another spot by the boat ramp.







One night Randall observed that a boat had not come back after it was launched about lunchtime that day. The car with trailer was still there. He called the police after it got dark, and they came and took some details. Fortunately the boat did come back, but the owners were not that grateful that Randall was concerned. We thought they must have been up to something dodgy!



Thursday, August 25, 2016

Still Heading North



Our next stop was Millmerran – another quaint little country town. We are members of the CMCA  and they have an app called Geowiki which tell us the RV(recreational vehicle) friendly towns. An RV friendly town has water, a dump point for the toilet, and free or cheap camping areas. The place where we stayed was quite pleasant and we wandered along to the township to check out the shops and get a feel for the place.
We cooked tea on our Biji barbequeue   a great idea we found at one of the caravan shows. It is a pan with legs which can sit over a little gas cooker or a fire. We had steak, sliced potato, tomato and onions – it was delicious!

-
Our next stop was going to be Kilcoy, about 300km away. We passed through Toowoomba, and as we were travelling along we saw a sign for a Cuckoo Clock shop. We pulled in to check it out. It was very quaint, with hundreds of cuckoo clocks. The outside of the shop even looked like a cuckoo shop!


No room in the van for one, so had a lovely look around and then kept going along quite windy roads, more like Tassie, until we got to Kilcoy.
We went for a walk up and around the town, then a short track leaving from our camp area – not sure what would happen if more than 3 people were on the bridge – it felt quite stable!

The last stint of our trip up was only short, about 80 kilometres, and we hit the Sunshine Coast at Caloundra. We had heard that the council don’t mind if you park overnight so we found a place to stay at King’s Beach, with a view of the ocean, level and next to a water tap and tables and seats.
We caught up with our friends, Mark and Marlene, who have been up here for a month, and they were a mine of information about where to stay, places to eat, good cafes etc.


We stayed 3 nights in our carpark, with no complaints from anyone, and did lots of walking along the walkways by the water and watched lots of big boats go by in the distance. We enjoyed breakfasts and dinners with friends, and we felt very relaxed.. It was just nice lying on the bed reading, or having an afternoon doze on the bed.