It’s time we joined a caravan club!

Deciding that we needed to know a heck of a lot more than we did about the ins and outs of caravanning, we joined the local branch of the Australian Caravan Club. Our first outing was to meet them at Apollo Bay for their April muster. Little did we know that this would be a life-changing decision.

Day 1, April 18th 2013 Thursday, Apollo Bay, Vic

We choose to go the inland route via Birregurra rather than the Great Ocean Road as it is a road that we haven’t travelled on and we don’t fancy dragging the van around the Great Ocean Road. The new Geelong bypass saves us a lot of time but confuses the Garmin, I probably should have loaded the latest updates before we left home, but then maybe the new road is progressing faster than the updates.

The Marengo Caravan Park is perfectly situated on a headland looking back down the coast to Apollo Bay. The views are jaw-dropping and the surf doesn’t just pound it roars.

As this is our first Muster with our new club, we wonder how we will be able to find the other club members. We find our booked site and it’s right opposite the ACC flag and the crew are here and already enjoying a campfire. Why were we worried? We are warmly welcomed and even assisted in parking our van (which we’re not very good at) before sharing stories and getting to know everyone around the fire.

Marengo Beach

2022 Note: ‘Life-changing decision’ sounds like a bold statement but 9 years later we’re still travelling with some of the bunch who were around the fire on that first day. We pay an annual membership to be in the ACC and we often wonder what that brings us. But, it does enable us to meet each other, like-minded travellers who love a laugh as much as we love exploring.

And those shared stories around the fire? Well, that’s how we learn how to do and not to do the technical things. As well as the places to visit, the good roads and the bad. It was only a few months later that a member convinced me that we could indeed ‘Do the Savannah Way’ and a year after this muster we’d upgraded the van and were up on the Gulf of Carpentaria. We never would have realised our potential without these guys.

Oh, and we later found that the Great Ocean Road is a soda with the van on the back.

Towing Kms: 251Kms

Apollo Bay, Vic (Map Source: WikiCamps the caravanner’s bible)

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