Sebastian, Vic

We intend to spend the night at the Sebastian Recreation Reserve so we take the Marong Bypass to avoid Bendigo. It is still raining, steady soaking rain. Gabbi Garmin decides to send us down a shortcut and before we know it we are sliding along on a stretch of very wet clay road, hanging on and hoping that our new four wheel drive does what it is meant to do. By the time we reach Sebastian we look like we’ve been to the outback with red mud from top to tail. Needless to say Gabbi gets told once again. Sebastian … Continue reading Sebastian, Vic

Oh dear, not again

We had hoped to get into El Questro and the staff had informed me that our van would have no trouble at all and that he road in was great. We take the iconic Gibb River Road which is sealed at this end and cruise on down to the turn off. It is a wide gravelled road but within minutes we realise that it is a no go for Priscilla. We shudder our way through five kilometres before we can find a spot wide enough to turn around then shudder back to the bitumen cursing bad roads for the second … Continue reading Oh dear, not again

Boy did we bungle that

We unhook Priscilla at the Bungle Bungles Caravan Park (Mabel Downs Station) and take off down the track to the Purnululu National Park. Fifty three kilometres of bone jarring corrugations, twists, turns and blind rises. Not to mention the five or six creek crossings although I do notice Woody grinning like a Cheshire Cat with those. When we finally get to the ranger station we learn that there is another 60km return journey just to reach Cathedral Gorge. Deciding to err in favour of caution we choose to visit the nearby lookout before skedaddling back to camp. The view is … Continue reading Boy did we bungle that

Barradale, WA

This morning we had doubts about towing the van up the steep road to Vlamingh Head lighthouse. It turned out to be easier than it looked and well worthwhile. We camp for the night at the Barradale Rest Area which is beside the Yannarie River. It is a well appointed rest area and we are kept entertained watching the road trains as they approach the bridge. The highlight being when one prime mover tows another fully loaded four tray road train across the bridge, now that’s torque. He’d have no trouble getting up to the lighthouse. Our neighbour John and … Continue reading Barradale, WA

Free Camping

Free Camping Explained Free camping is a misused expression. Free refers to freedom, not free of charge. Usually it is a camp ground in the bush and often beside a river or beach. That being said, small towns often provide a short stay area for caravanners who are passing through. These towns have seen the potential for stopping the tourists when they are on their way to somewhere else. Also under the banner of free camp I should mention roadside overnight rest areas. Cost wise, free camps maybe free of charge or a gold coin donation to a local body … Continue reading Free Camping

Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder

Beasley River Rest Area in the Pilbara in Western Australia is well off the road with good facilities and shady trees. We’ve driven for two days without seeing a town. There are red mesas covered in buttons of green spinifex with purple ranges in the distance. Dry creek beds are lined with white ghost gums. Real Australia. We make camp and I bounce over the red dirt to meet a couple from Berlin and extol the virtues of the area. They look at me in shock “Vot zees?” he says. They leave shortly after, obviously he’s looking for the scenery. … Continue reading Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder

Katherine Museum

The Katherine museum is a little beaut. We learn about the World War Two bombings, the 1998 twenty metre flood (when even the high level crossing was under water), pastoralists, explorers, the stolen generation and native title. Three things were a stand out to me. 1. The statue of a stockman on his horse at the entrance to town honours all stockmen and is the local legend Sabu Peter Sing part Chinese part Aboriginal. To me that typifies most Australians as we are a mixed bag. 2. The Planetarium built by a man known as ‘Galloping Jack’ who was an … Continue reading Katherine Museum

The Flag Man

We’re coming down the Burke Developmental Road out of Normanton and on our way to Cloncurry. There is very little traffic and we feel like we are in the middle of nowhere. The names of the roads out here sound desolate ‘developmental’ this and developmental that. We come upon a distant road crew and are stopped by the flag man. The flag man tells us that the wait will be quite long about 15 mins or so. He explains what they are doing, putting a layer of cement dust onto the road, this will ensure that the road stays intact … Continue reading The Flag Man

Bathurst, NSW…did you know?

That Bathurst was “the objective and terminal point of the only inland journey in Australia by Charles Darwin in 1836”. As we enter town we can see the hill behind emblazoned with the words “Mount Panorama” in true Hollywood style. A mere two kilometres out of town is the Mount Panorama Circuit and although we knew that it is a normal road for most of the year, we are surprised that you can just drive on it, so we did. With caravan in tow we went up the hill over the top and down the straight past the pits. Such … Continue reading Bathurst, NSW…did you know?

The Gellibrand River Hotel

We chance upon the sleepy little timber town of Gellibrand and stop for lunch at the Gellibrand River Hotel. It’s a case of kick the dogs out of the way to get to the tables, but I guess that’s country pubs. There has been a pub on this site since 1898. This area once boasted a narrow gauge railway to haul timber down from the Otways. There is a photo on the wall of a hollow tree trunk so large that several men and a horse are standing inside it! The butt of one felled tree was so large that … Continue reading The Gellibrand River Hotel