Jul 20, 2023

Bingara to Kenilworth 20/7/23

A chance to catch up on where we are and what we have been doing.

Leaving Bingara we stopped for an early lunch at Leyburn where they hold the round the town speed trials each year. It’s on again soon and well worth going to, but not for us this time.

That night we stayed a night at Texas at the free camp near the river, we walked into town via the track thinking it would be quicker but turned out being double the distance. Came back via the highway but we stuffed up and ended up having to climb through barbed wire fences. Hilarious really as we’re not very flexible. 😃

Our next night was at Blackbutt Showgrounds, we have been here before and frequented the Bakery, this time it was no different except upon arrival we were greeted with the voice of a Bushtracker mate .. Muzza & Judy. They were staying the night so it was a great coincidence we were also, it’s lovely bumping into people we know with nothing planned. As it turned out we stayed an extra night, and visited the bakery again 😁

Judy & Muzza 

Scoffing down some pie’s 

Muzza’s Rig 

Our next destination was Woodford Showgrounds, here it is $25 per night with power & water. We stayed 4 nights and Vickie caught up with the clothes washing, one day we took a drive up to Mt Mee & the Pitstop Cafe for coffee & cake which is a great place full of motorcycle memorabilia. We continued on up to Mt Glorious for lunch, plenty of motorcycles about and the roads are very twisty as they wind their way up the hills. 

Love the old classic cars 

Mount Mee is a motorcycle Mecca 

The route we drove 

Saturday morning we checked out the local markets and that evening we went to the Woodford Hotel for dinner.

After our 4 nights we left Woodford and headed to Nanango where good mates Rob & Marg live now after moving up from Victoria. They have a beautiful 5 acre property that is parkland cleared with many beautiful tree’s scattered about. Lots of bird life and I saw 3 kangaroos early one morning. We all caught up with our life stories, Rob & I gave the rig a wash as it needed it badly. We stayed two nights and went to the local Service Club for a great meal and couple of ‘coldies’ 

At Rob and Margs place, peace and quiet, birds and kangaroos. 

Rob has been very busy with their place since buying it and is 1/2 way through building a massive shed, it is very impressive and I had shed envy. Each night we had a camp fire and reminisced about the many things we got up to all those years ago. 

Leaving our friends, we were heading to Kenilworth but .. yes .. I made the mistake of allowing the Map App show us the way, well what was supposed to be a two hour drive turned out to five and a bit hours !! We were directed down a narrow sealed road for a few kilometres which then turned into dust and gravel, the roads were more like tracks and were taking us higher in elevation and into thicker forest. We went down one track, travelled 10k or so only for it to be a dead end, not a lot of fun when towing a caravan. But what was good was finding a chainsaw in the middle of the road, although it must of fallen of a vehicle or trailer it was undamaged and starts and runs great. 

We eventually got to Kenilworth but it was a long day driving and the clean rig is now dirty again 😀 Pleased to say the van itself has been trouble free, except for a electrical plug coming off the Victron Cerbo device, the plug is for the water tank levels and it was an easy fix once I found out the problem.

Jul 10, 2023

Bingara 10/7/23

Bingara (Aboriginal for 'creek) is a small town on the Gwydir River in Murchison County in the New England region of New South Wales, Australia. It is currently the administrative centre for the Gwydir Shire that was created in 2003. The Gwydir River being a main highlight of the town is a main catchment of the Murray-Darling System.

The Shire allows camping along the Gwydir River. Many years ago my mother moved here with her husband from Victoria and to be honest, back then we didn’t see the attraction. We visited twice whilst she was alive but we have been back many times since. 

It surprised me to see her old home on the sales market, Is that a sign ? 🥴🤔

We usually camp around the 10 klm mark up river but this time we stayed closer to town. There were a few other campers scattered around, some with caravans, some camper trailers and even a couple of motor homes. 

We had a lovely spot right near the river and there we stayed for 3 nights. We had a camp fire each night, and each morning and evening enjoyed the birds calling. We spoke with a young lad at the IGA who mentioned he fishes the river and we were surprised when we saw him walk up to our camp, we had a chat and he then proceeded to catch a Murray Cod directly in front of us.  

After 3 nights we left Bingara and drove towards Texas QLD, the roads are very bumpy and patched and even at 80k we felt every bump. We stopped at Yetman for morning tea where Vickie whipped up some delicious pikelets whilst I made the coffee. 

We have stayed at Texas previously and the camp area hasn’t changed, we walked into town the long way and coming home we came back on the main road but it did involve clambering through some barbed wire fences after thinking we were on a short cut, we’re not the most flexible so it was a bit of a struggle. 🥴😂 

Tomorrow it’s on towards Leyburn and possibly Woodford where we will stay a few days and catch up on the washing and maybe get to give the rig a wash.

Jul 7, 2023

South Australia, Victoria & NSW - 7/7/23

Catch up time .. 7/7/2023

Crikey.. We have to remember where we have been since last post 🤷‍♂️ Lucky I take photos 😃

The weather has been very average since leaving home and nothing got better until today … but to recap .. we traveled across from WA with no issues, we made the decision to come across the SA range at Port Augusta via Wilmington, this is a lovely scenic route and gets you away from trucks and cars. 

We stopped at the Stone Hut Bakery 😃 we have visited here before but it’s been a few years and a change of owners but we’re delighted to say the quality of their pies are still rated in the top 10!! We bought one each and a coffee but also bought 1/2 dozen take-away’s 😃 they are that nice. 

We were heading to Mollongghip which is where friends live, but a town along the route is St Arnaud, here is where a mate lives after moving away from the Geelong region, he has bought a Hotel and associated buildings in the town with the intention of remodeling them and leasing them out. We had a great night out at the ‘other’ working hotel with a lovely meal and lots of laughs and drinks. We can recommend the Fireball .. Cinnamon flavoured Whiskey & Apple Juice.. It was a fun night with Darren & Kerrie 👍

The next day we were at Mollongghip and one word FREEZING ! describes the place but also another word BEAUTIFUL is their home on 2 acres with views of surrounding hills and cattle grazing paddocks. Typical of Victoria nothing is to far away and the same here, Daylesford & Bendigo not far away and Melbourne only an hour and a bit away. We stayed two nights, getting the rig around the back was a bit slippery with the semi frozen grass and where it stopped is where we stayed.. did I mention it’s freezing ? Luckily Rob and I had some bourbon to warm the innards. 🥃🥃 And at night thanks Gosh for a heater in the van. Great catching up Bev, Rob & Chachi for the two nights but the lure of warmer weather and road was calling … 

Our 1st night back on the road we stayed at Hay at a free camp next to the Servicemen’s Club .. it was a bit of a piss off when we stopped to find water had entered the van via the Dometic Dust Reduction system on the roof, the bed was soaked in parts and our TV we leave on the mattress was also drenched in water 😫 We’re not a fan of these Dust reduction gizmos 🤯

Drying everything out wasn’t so hard with the Truma Gas heater, previous van had a diesel heater and wasn’t without its issues, so far this heater has performed exceptionally well and can recommend them. The TV didn’t fair so well with damage due to the water, we now watch it with lots of lines across the screen. We’re confident warranty will get us a new one along with solving the water ingress issue. 

Next day we drove longer than hoped but eventually stopped at the Tullamore Hotel, here they have a camp spot behind the pub and the reviews gave it a thumbs up 👍 Luckily for us there was a place for our van and a table inside near the fireplace to have a great pub meal. 

The roads we took were intentionally the back roads where the traffic was a lot less than the highways but also the roads themselves were very average with pot holes big enough to swallow a wheel ! And the undulations kept us rocking and rolling along .. a great workout for the Rig and pleased to say everything stayed in place inside the van, nothing moved .. not even a book left on the table. 

Our night was spent at Narrabri Showgrounds, quite a few other caravan’s here but being cold no one was out and about. The grounds were very wet and muddy but we found a perfect spot and connected onto power & water. I’m still not 100% happy with the DC2DC charging system which uses the car to put power (volts) through to the van via this elecktrickery box & keep the van batteries charged up .. and our solar system needs sunshine which has been missing for weeks. 

Today, all charged up, some clothes washing done and a $25 donation to the Showgrounds which is good value but I doubt everyone pays, I’d prefer to see a caretaker collecting the money. 

We drove the Narrabri to Bingara road, roughly 80-90klms which is hilly and windy, and very scenic. A couple of trucks, one was a wide load with a pilot kept us concentrating on the very twisty bends. Having visited Bingara many times before we knew where we wanted to go but with the recent floods we chose to go to the free river camps closer to the town instead of 10k further out. Quite a few others doing the same but plenty of area no one was parked to close. A lovely afternoon watching the birds and river and an evening with the Kimble Fire Pit glowing.