Not Everyone’s Cup of Tea

We had just set up in the caravan park at Sawtell on the NSW coast. It was a lovely sunny day, parrots were chattering in the trees and there was the sound of the surf in the distance. A newish motor home pulled in opposite us and all hell broke loose. Tirades of abuse were hurled at the gentleman driving while wife attempted to guide him into the reasonably sized camp site. Campers peered from windows and from behind annexe screens. No one was game to help and certainly not while language like that was being bandied about and so … Continue reading Not Everyone’s Cup of Tea

Warburton’s Bridge

Warburton’s Bridge is a pleasant camp ground tucked into the hills south of Castlemaine, Vic. There are well made concrete fire pits, those good ones with a hot plate that swings over the fire. There is a toilet as well. The first camp sites don’t have a view of the river as it is quite overgrown but it is only a short walk further into the camp ground for a paddle. When we stayed, there was phone reception from the hill behind the toilet. The best access on a good made road is from either Chewton or Guildford. The local … Continue reading Warburton’s Bridge

A Bloke Called Mahoney

It is late June and there are so many RV’s heading north on the Stuart Highway that it could be described as a stream. We’re heading south because I’ve broken my ankle and Woody keeps complaining that he’s sick of waving and wants a plastic hand on the dash board. In fact southbound we’ve only passed an old bloke collecting aluminium cans, a backpacker whiz bang and a fellow an idiot on a bicycle. I text my old boss to wish him a Happy Birthday and he tells me that his Dad is camped at the Marbles. We drive in and … Continue reading A Bloke Called Mahoney

You Wouldn’t Get Me in There!

At Augusta in Western Australia’s south west, boys are cleaning fish in the Blackwood River near our van. Lots of fish in fact and they stand up to their knees in water. The Pelicans jostle for fish heads but the action is below the water. The boys reach down and hand feed stingrays and they are huge. All that I can think of is the demise of Steve Irwin. Continue reading You Wouldn’t Get Me in There!

Sing it LOUD

Oh the talent of humankind. Who hasn’t roamed the Lakes District of England without quoting Wordsworth? The same goes for our Australian writers, poets and singers. “And he sees the vision splendid of the sunlit plains extended” from A. B. Paterson. So many times we crest a hill and Australia in all its splendour is laid before us and draws our breath. The writings of Banjo Paterson, Henry Lawson, the songs of Slim Dusty forever rattle through our minds. And so too as we leave Charleville after being absolutely captivated by a town that we had been only mildly curious, … Continue reading Sing it LOUD

Anderson’s Mill

In an area founded on gold then settled on the wealth of golden grain, Smeaton is one of a number of hamlets dotted across these western plains of Victoria. Built in 1861 Anderson’s Mill at Smeaton served the community until 1959. Now preserved by Parks Victoria the mill, its huge metal water wheel, the office, the Anderson house and all of the outbuildings are in excellent condition. There is an old wooden bridge spanning Birch Creek, a rather grand bluestone bridge and a picnic perfect park of shady oak trees nearby. It doesn’t take much to imagine what life was … Continue reading Anderson’s Mill

A Wise Old Bird is the Pelican

His beak can hold more than his belly can. We were in Mallacoota in Victoria and there had been quite a bit of rain. Once the weather cleared we wandered around the boat ramp watching the commercial abalone boats returning with their catch and amateur fishermen cleaning theirs. The family of pelicans that live on the sandbank opposite the boat ramp, took flight and skimmed in to the pier to get their fill of the leftovers. It was easy to spot the birds that were successful enough to get a fresh feed as the blood dribbled down their huge bills. Continue reading A Wise Old Bird is the Pelican

Indee Station

About 70kms south of Port Hedland, WA and a mere 9kms off the Great Northern Highway is Indee cattle Station. Alison greets us in the cool of the sprawling homestead. It turns out that she’s from Melbourne too and ‘does the season’ up here. We park out back behind the machinery sheds where there are spotlessly clean portable bathrooms. In fact everything seems portable. Dongas for accommodation cabins and a large shipping container makes for a pretty good camp kitchen. Everything is chained or bolted down and the buildings that have conventional roofs have them strapped down and the wire … Continue reading Indee Station

Breaker, breaker

We leave Tom Price and take the road to Karijini National Park. We soon meet up with a large piece of equipment being transported to one of the outlying mines. There are more mines out here than you can shake a stick at. A voice comes on the CB and says “5 metres at the blade, 4 on the wheels”. After we’ve gone past, the escort vehicle has trouble raising our mates on the radio and then we hear “first caravan can you tell your mate to buy a bloody radio!” The truckie then comes back on the radio and says “See … Continue reading Breaker, breaker