Aug 26, 2013

August 26th Kenilworth Qld

As planned we went down to Sound In Motion in Nambour last week to get the van's Oyster Satellite system checked over and the Pioneer stereo deck working properly. Everything went to plan and the guys at SIM did an excellent job, they found a problem with the LNB on the Sat System was faulty and rectified that, also they did some fancy electronic work on the deck and wired in a rear auxiliary connection into the rear of the deck to enable all the controls to work correctly, we were very happy with the result, they even found the problem with our wineguard digital TV antenna unfortunately they did not have a replacement part so that means us traveling back tomorrow, we are also calling in at Southeast Stainless and getting a large checker plate alloy box fitted to the drawbar of the van, handy for the generator and chainsaw.

So in between then and now we have just been chill'n out at Kenilworth, we have taken drives to Maleny, Montville and Mapleton, also out to Gympie, Imbil and Kandanga, along with visits to the Eumundi markets on Saturdays. Mostly it's been relax one day, go off and explore the next.

Views along the Gympie Kenilworth Road

The couples that we befriended have left, Steve & Mary off to get their diesel heater and other things fitted to their van, and Mick and Jenny went to visit friends. We left Kenilworth for the day to have the jobs done on the Van and came back in the afternoon but went out and stayed at Little Yabba Creek which is approximately 10klms west of Kenilworth. A lovely overnight camp beside the river, it has enough room for half a dozen campers, courtesy gas BBQ and clean Eco style toilets. We were treated to a family of Kookaburra's dropping in along with the blue faced honey eaters.

Camp at Little Yabba Creek
Most tree's have Stag and Elk Horn ferns growing on them
Friendly Kookaburra's
Vickie and i went on a lovely but short walk along the Fig Tree trail, this well maintained track meanders through the rain forest giving walkers the opportunity to see some great specimen tree's, be warned though there are also some stinging tree's which i think may have done the deed on my skin as i ended up with an itchy rash for a few days.

Stinging Tree - Dont touch
We stayed two nights at Little Yabba Creek and upon leaving noticed a sign stating it was an overnight stop, Ooops Sorry about that, but we hadn't stopped anyone else staying in fact we only saw two other campers in the time we were there.

Large Moreton Bay Fig Tree
Map of the area
Back into Kenilworth showgrounds again early morning, the place had quietened down a bit and we had space to set up along the fence line overlooking the rolling hills and small creek. I disconnected the van but when i went to start the ute it just went click click, Mmmm battery i thought so out came my jump leads to connect to the auxiliary battery but that didn't help, being in the RAC i thought it would be wise to use the service and call them up, fairly soon the local mechanic drove in and did some tests and gave me the diagnosis that the starter motor was the problem. Bugger as the starter motors are deep inside the valley of the newer V8's and not an easy fix, not much i could do than take his knowledge as truth and a quick tow start had me mobile and off to Nambour Toyota to book it in. Dropping the ute off i then organized a hire car for a couple of days through 1/2 price Car Rentals in Maroochydore, i was very pleased with the service as Jo the manager came to Nambour to pick me up and take me back to the office to do the paper work, no extra costs all part of the service.

So having wheels again i headed back to Kenilworth, arriving back around lunch time i received a call from Toyota telling me that the Ute was fine and the battery was the problem, apparently it had dropped some cells and though it was showing good volts it's cranking amps were way down. I find it hard to comprehend that a mechanic operating the local RAC wasn't able to correctly diagnose a faulty battery and saving us all the hassle. Of course i then had to return the hire car, the company reimbursed us a day's rental which was appreciated.

Poppy Flowers at the Cheese Factory

Local Water Bird

Kenilworth Main Street

Fence Post
Another Flood and this tree will fall
 Back at Kenilworth we were surprised to see three Bushtrackers had arrived and set up camp, it was just as surprising to know that we had met two of the van's owners previously at KingFisher camp three years ago when they were Kimberley Karavan Owners and wanna-be BT owners. They had checked out our van then and liked what they saw, so here they were with new Bushtrackers. Sadly one of the group Debbie lost her husband to cancer before taking delivery of her 1st van two years ago, she also had the misfortune to have an accident which damaged the van beyond repair and here she was at Kenilworth after taking delivery of her 2nd new van along with her friends Mark and Christine, Trevor and Jan all with very recently purchased Bushtrackers giving her the support that only friends can do.

So a MINI MUSTER was happening that night and we had a great fire going and the conversations came easily as it often does with like minded people. Their one night stay turned into three and involved another visit to Eumundi Markets Saturday morning.

Trev and Jan

Mark and Chris
All three rigs looked very similar and must look a site when traveling in convoy.

We have been waiting for our mail to turn up and that happened today [Monday] which means tomorrow the trip back to SIM and then to get the alloy box fitted. Where we end up tomorrow night we are not sure.

Aug 10, 2013

Adelaide - Kenilworth Qld - 11th August 2013

Adelaide was freezing cold and though we love our Daughter dearly we could not wait to get away and head for warmer weather. We stayed four nights and left Sunday afternoon thinking the traffic would be less, how wrong we were. We chose to head North via Broken Hill and Bourke a route we have not driven for a few years, once out on the open road the traffic thinned out and we just rolled along not intending to drive to far but every rest site we came to was to close to the road so it wasn't until around 5pm that we pulled in to a spot 2klms out of Peterborough. We had intended to bypass Peterborough but the Roadhouse that we pulled in to fuel up had run out of diesel so the decision was made, as things turned out the rest area we stayed at was well off the road and with only one other Caravan already there we had plenty of space. For us it was straight into the van and get the Webasto heater working.

Morning smoko at Mannahill
 With our body clocks still working on WA time we awoke early and were on the road by 7.30am, we stopped at Broken Hill and checked out the Information site and bought more post cards for our grand daughters along with some fancy rocks for their collection. Lunch in the park and visit to the post office and then on out to Silverton, famous for where Mad Max and other iconic Australian films were made. I was expecting to see the Mad Max Interceptor out the front of the Silverton Hotel but apparently it's been sold and all there was the Love Child of the Interceptor and a night of passion with a VW. We had a drink in the pub and checked out some of the old buildings but it wasn't enough to make us want to stay so on we moved

Interceptors Love Child

Cold Beer at the Silverton Hotel
Broken Hill to Wilcannia along the Barrier Highway, and then across to Cobar, here we turned north and headed for Bourke along the Kidman Way, we had a good run and traveled some distance finally stopping for the night at a rest stop along the road, no one else apart from us and a Police vehicle pulled in to transfer a prisoner into another vehicle. Plenty of fire wood around so we had a lovely evening with a superb sunset.

Stunning Sunset
The next day it was the same as any other, keep driving, stop for smoko, lunch and pull up around 4pm, tonight it was to be the North Star Rest Area 30k south of Goondawindi. The rest area is a large bitumen parking area used by trucks and travellers but if you drive a short distance down the side road there are plenty of camp spots tucked in the bush far enough away from the roads. Here we had our 2nd camp fire for the night with an equally as nice sunset but being tucked away in the bush it was not as captivating.

Camp Fire for the night

 We were finally in Queensland and passed through Goondawindi and on up through Moonie and on to Dalby we thought about stopping early but i decided to press on and head to a lovely camp we know about 10klms South East of Kenilworth. Vickie wanted me to bypass the hills and go up through Kingaroy and double back at Gympie but i thought it unnecessary in hind-site it would have been probably quicker and easier on the Ute as the route i choose was up through the mountains at Maleny, at times i was down to 2nd gear as we continued to climb and twist and turn. We have been on the same roads before towing but then we had the big F250 and hills were never a problem, as it turned out it wasn't so bad and we finally drove into our camp for the night only to find we were one of six other caravans or motor homes. One lot had their guitars out and were singing away, i listened for a short while and left them to it.

Next morning it was just a 10 minute drive into Kenilworth where we intend to stay a couple of weeks, to say we were astounded was an understatement, the showgrounds were very busy with two caravan clubs in their designated areas, another motorhome club taking up their area and the rest was relatively full with travelers. We know Clem the caretaker from previous visits and he saw us and came over and explained the situation, most were only here for the weekend and he suggested parking out in the middle and then choosing our space once the crowds are gone which is what we have done.

We noticed one Bushtracker parked against the fence boundary and wondered if it was anyone we knew and as i was unhooking the Ute from the Van the owner came over and started chatting like he knew us all of our lives, but this was the 1st time we had actually met, it didn't take long for the penny to drop that Steve had been following our Blog and had been told about it from another Bushtracker owner Ponce whom we met in Adelaide, or should i say he stalked us down. It's a small world when traveling, and the conversations came easy. Steve and Mary are camped next to Mick and Jenny whom they only met a week before, so that night it was a few drinks around their camp fire talking the talk.

Friday night the temperature fell dramatically and it was a chilly night, we didn't put the webasto on as we had some campers directly behind us in a small A Van and we didn't want to gas them out with the smell of diesel. Saturday morning we were up and heading to the Eumundi Markets where we spent the morning wandering around. Vickie loves it and always finds something to buy, this time she was on a mission to get some bread boards of a certain size to use as Pizza servers, this she accomplished by ordering from one of the sellers two custom made boards to be picked up next weekend. I enjoy wandering around but the stalls are always the same, even ten years ago when we 1st visited i see the same stalls and faces, sure there is the new area and some different but to me its a bit the same same, i do enjoy people watching though and its a beautiful setting under the huge Moreton Bay fig trees. The afternoon we drove to Noosa where we have been many times before, it was a mad house with traffic and people everywhere, we managed to find a car park and stopped long enough for a coffee and a quick walk along Hastings street.

Eumundi Markets, under the shady trees

Hastings Street Noosa
That was enough for me, get me out of here and back to Kenilworth. That night we went across to the Hall and watched a lady performer sing some old time rock and roll, it was good fun but we felt the odd one's out as everyone was part of a group. We left at the interval and back to the van where we had an early night.

Today, Sunday has been very relaxing, just a walk up the main street and a visit to the Cheese Factory, coffee in the local Cafe and the rest of the day I've been typing away on the laptop filling you all in with the exciting times of our life's, Vickie is over playing card games with the others.

We look like having the Oyster Sat and Stereo looked at on Thursday, also whilst we are here i may look at getting new batteries for the van, We have also made contact with a couple we know and are tossing the idea about of traveling to the BOG muster in Alice via the Strezlecki and Oodnadatta tracks. We will know more about that as time goes by.

Drive By Shooting ?

No, just my idea to cover a few dents on the front of the Van :-)