Friday, September 4, 2015

Mareeba - Cooktown - Mossman

We departed Mareeba early and pointed the rig North to Cooktown, a very easy drive with some steep climbs and lovely scenery, the closer we got to our destination the greater the traffic and our pace reduced to a casual crawl of 80kph.

By the time we got to the Lakeland junction traffic was reduced considerably by those heading to Laura, Weipa or the Development Road.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Airlie Beach

We arrived at Sea Breeze Tourist Park on Monday the 6th of July and set up camp for a weeks stay.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Woodgate to Calliope and on...

Five weeks in to our trip and we are still learning the ropes.... you know, 'the wish we had known that' and the 'we won't do that again' moments.  Eileen and I have got setting up and breaking camp down to a fine art and I recon we could both do it in our sleep but there are still so many little things to learn as we go...

Leaving Woodgate after four days of lazing around, we again headed North to Calliope for our first experience at 'Free Camping'.  We arrived at our destination at around 12 pm and were surprised at the limited spaces available to fit our rig, but after setting up for the night, we were even more surprised to see the Vans continue to rock up till way past 5 pm and a few even arrived late in the night. I counted 60 vans on the North side of the river and a further 40 on the Southern side and that's just one night... I couldn't help wondering exactly how many vanners are traveling our country.

We left the fiver hitched and just wound down the rear stabilisers and put the awning out. 

That night we also learnt why the 'Wicked' and 'Juicy' vans are called 'Whizzbangs'. One must have arrived at around midnight and the couple started to get settled for the night.  Well, let me tell you, there are five doors on that vehicle, two of which are side sliders which when opened make a whizzz! noise and when closed they go 'whizzzbang' as they shut. this couple must have opened and closed the doors at least 20 times in the following half hour. People who know me, know just how tolerant I am, well I very nearly lost it that night and apart from the fact that it was quite cold and I was snug in bed, I almost got out to shove the van up their ar...  Honestly, this is where they parked, it's the orange one in front of our truck.

As it turned out we were further entertained by a Hot Rod Show which was being held at the Historic Village just above where we were parked.  I was lucky to spend a pleasant couple of hours wandering around the Rods. In my opinion, many of the rods today are 'all go and no show' so many of them had dollars spent under the hood but the body work was of a very poor standard. Here are a few that I recon deserved commendation.


This 1962 restored Sun Liner Caravan was also a feature... very nice.

Also, as is often the way with these events the following units were seen in the car park....

Sunday was roast dinner and rest day ready for an early start to our next overnight stop at Carmila Beach, a distance of 351 km.  We arrived at around 2 pm and the spots were all taken.  This is where we learned that you should always have an alternate site in mind.  A quick search on WikiCamps gave us a location about 50 km north, so off we went.  

On arrival the spot did not look the best but we figured that beggars could not be choosers so we set up in a little spot about 15 m from the rail line and 5 m from the truck stop. Thinking that we were going to be in for a disturbing night we settled in.  To our surprise we had an enjoyable night with very little noise to speak of.

Leaving early for a short leg of 251 km to Airlie Beach.

Next Report - Airlie Beach and surrounds.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Goomboorian – Standown Park

Located half way between Gympie and Tin Can Bay, Standown Park is a Memorial Caravan Park run by and dedicated to Vietnam veterans. At around $18 a night for a powered site it is a great spot to stop, reflect and unwind for a time.

After the full on week we had with our FWAA members at Kilkivan, Eileen and I decided to stay for two weeks before continuing on our 6 month journey of discovery.

Our camp spot is right next to the lake which, to me, resembles the paddy fields of Vietnam, it is a nice spot and I find it a little moving to walk around the shrine of remembrance.  I have to say here that while I did my National Service in 1970/71 and completed all of my training prior to embarkation, I was one of the lucky ones who did not see active service as Labor got in to power on the mandate of ‘Bringing the troops home’.  I have many friends who did and from the stories that they tell, I feel for them.

It is so quiet here and the animal and bird life feel quite comfortable and often venture right up to our back door, in fact on our first morning we had several Kangaroos grazing on the lush grass right next to our awning.

I didn’t think that it could but the bond that Eileen and I share was certainly strengthened here (it must be something in the water), we have enjoyed 14 days of talking, reading, exploring the region, eating, shopping, sleeping, walks, meeting friendly travelers, watching movies and just generally lolling about that it is going to be difficult to leave.

"They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old; 
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. 
At the going down of the sun and in the morning 
We will remember them."