There’s a little gem on the Murrumbidgee River in south western NSW. Balranald is so neat with its manicured lawns and pretty flower beds that you’d think that the Queen was due to pay a visit. In a district traversed … Continue reading Balranald
Camped at Rollingstone, Qld we can clearly see the Balgal Beach fish cafe from our caravan window and it’s only a few hundred metres away, how good is that? We can see its lights blinking temptingly as we close our blinds at night. But it’s not good at all because it’s a fourteen kilometre drive to get there. Huh, 14kms? Well, thanks to the crocodile who just happens to live in the creek… between us and the cafe. Continue reading Fish and Chips Anyone?
Greenmount Homestead at Walkerston, inland from Mackay, was built by the Cook family a hundred years ago and with no descendants to carry it on the homestead was given to the community of Mackay, with the proviso that the last … Continue reading Greenmount Homestead
Norseman was named after the horse Norseman who found a gold nugget when pawing the ground and thus starting a gold rush. The town of Norseman is at the junction of the Eyre Highway and the Coolgardie Esperance Highway. The … Continue reading Norseman
Two out of three ain’t bad. There’s another opal field about 60kms from The Ridge and it is home to 3 iconic pubs. We set off in a convoy of 3 cars down a good bitumen road to the tiny town of Cumborah. A little further on we turn onto an appalling dirt road that our mate Vee rates as worse than the Birdsville Track. Outback Jack is in the back seat thanking God that Vee has offered to take us in her car! We bump along swearing and cursing the road and the dust and reading car door signs … Continue reading Grawin Opal Fields, Lightning Ridge
Two streets down from the Opal Caravan Park is one of the famous Lightning Ridge Car Door Tours, the Red one. Thus we leave the bitumen to follow numbered red car doors to explore this town’s minefields and minefield is an appropriate description. Because people live on mining leases in Lightning Ridge their houses are as basic as possible. By order of law the land should only be used for mining not housing. The hillsides are littered with ramshackle dwellings, decaying caravans, tram cars, corrugated iron shanties and mullock heaps with rusting bucket structures atop that look like roller coasters, which … Continue reading Car Doors and Castles
Lightning Ridge is unique. Seven hundred kilometres from Sydney it feels like the outback but in Australian terms of distance it isn’t, really. An ironstone ridge rising from a floodplain it attracts lightning and thus the name.The Ridge is an opal mining town where people live above ground usually beside their mines. Unlike the opal towns of Coober Pedy and White Cliffs where they prefer to live underground because of the hot climate and the dry air in their mines. To the tourist it is a town of characters and eccentrics and never knowing whether the scruffy bearded guy in … Continue reading Lightning Ridge
Our friends like to camp in the National Park nearby. They hooked up the van one weekend and took off down the road. They’d only travelled three kilometres when a stone bounced off the van and broke the rear window of their four wheel drive. As luck would have it they’re farmers so they just turned around went home and hooked up another 4WD from the shed. Continue reading It’s Handy to Have a Backup
The noise of our neighbours generator forces us indoors and we start to wonder why they need a generator these days anyway. It turns out that they are powering a microwave, hairdryer and two Waeco fridges. But why? The fridges can be powered by 12 volt. The 12 volt system can be topped up by solar power. In cold weather gas and diesel heating will make a caravan cosy in minutes. If it’s too cold to air dry your hair there’s always the car heater. And who needs the chicken defroster anyway? Continue reading Gen Why?