Yatala

We left Caloundra around 10.00am heading for would be best described as a farm stay. I had come across the site through Facebook, halfway between Brisbane and the Gold Coast at Yatala. We didn’t really know what to expect, although I had looked at a Google satellite view of the area. We were amazed that a spot, only 5 minutes from the Yatala Pie Shop and the Pacific Motorway, which is basically an industrial area would be so well suited to spending a few days next to the Albert River with a golf course on the other side. Maybe the reason that it isn’t built up, is that our camping area was a long way under water in the 2017 floods.

Aussie Roadrunners RV at Loganlea is only 15 minutes away from Yatala, so we paid them a visit to see their 5th wheelers. They had one almost finished and another almost ready to have the walls added. They are a very well designed and made unit although they do have a price to match their quality.

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26ft 5th wheeler almost ready to be delivered

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They can be ordered with a complete Lithium battery setup from Enerdrive

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5th wheeler chassis ready for the next stage

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Left hand wall ready to be lifted into position

Phil and I also had a visit to the Beenleigh Historical Village and Museum, lots of relocated houses in a village enviroment, with a room devoted to Beenleigh Rum. This then led us to add a tour of this site as well.

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Phil has had a bit of bad luck of late. It all started in Caloundra when he sneezed and his top plate bounced along the footpath, later that day one of his front teeth broke off, luckily he had a repair job to fix the damage.

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Phil about to get to his teeth back

We couldn’t visit Yatala without at least having a pie from the Yatala Pie Shop. Apparantly it has been a landmark in Yatala for 130 years. It was very busy, probably because the pies are very tasty and just off the Pacific Motorway with easy access.

We also wet our fishing lines for the first time on our trip with Phil catching a large eel and I caught a smaller eel and two catfish. Phil reckons his eel weighed more than my three fish combined, he was probably correct, but we won’t let that get of the fact I caught three fish and he only caught one.

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A beaut little floating pontoon to fish from. We never hooked a bull shark that are supposed to inhabit the river, probably a good thing.

After three nights here at Yatala, we will head down the Pacific Motorway, deciding each day where we will end up the next night.

 

 

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Kybong

We started off the day not knowing where we would end up. Luckily our first option was a small 24hr camping area behind a Puma Roadhouse on the Old Bruce Highway at Kybong, approximately 12km south of Gympie. What a great spot, although it was reasonably wet underfoot and lots of puddles everywhere. We came from Maryborough, only a 100km away and had only had a shower the day before. We found a nice dry spot, we were setup up for an early lunch.

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A beautiful place to spend the night

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Matilda, the 1982 Commonwealth Games mascot now lives here

A couple of big kids at play, too tight to put any money in the slot though. It did look as though it was fully hydraulic though, young boys and girls would have a lot of fun on it.

We decided to check out Hell Town Hotrods and Collectables back up a road just a short distance after spotting it on the drive down. What a great find, an absolutely fabulous place to have a look around.

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Hell Town Hotrods

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Lots of hotrods on show

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Every nook and cranny had something of interest

What was meant to be just a lay over day, turned out to be quite an interesting day. I would thoroughly recommend anyone travelling up the Bruce Hwy through Gympie to make a slight detour and check Hell Town out.

Tommorrow we head to Caloundra for three days

Caloundra

We have checked into the Caloundra Caravan Park for three days just relaxing.

We had the chance to met up with two of our grandchildren, who were on holiday with our eldest daughter, Renae and her hubby Jason. Dianne is always happy to catchup with family, even if it was only a short time.

 

It was also a chance to meet up with the previous owner of my Iveco. He was aware that I was going to make a few modifications and he had stated that he would like to see what I had done. A very enjoyable afternoon, even the drive from Caloundra to Twin Waters. The drive around some established canal estates is a bit of an eye opener. Very different to TassieCaloundra 25 816 pixels

Dianne always loves to check out out any local market and so does Sandra. The main street is transformed into a great market place on Sunday (not sure if it is every Sunday)

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Always like to try some Duch Pancakes if we come across them, they are very nice

Phil was looking forward to trying his luck at fishing, but a niggling bad back forced him to give it a miss. Dianne and I were planning to visit fiends Stan and Jo, but unfortunately Stan came down with a bug, probably from being in a confined space, on a flight from the USA, maybe next year.

A fairly uneventful few days, although very enjoyable is over and our next stop is Yatala, a stay on private property, who have a small camping area. We are undecided how long we will stay here, we will just see what is on offer.

RV Homebase Maryborough

Our next couple of days was mainly about just enjoying some warm weather and not doing much at all. We decided to show Phil and Sandra the RV homebase at Maryborough. We also enjoyed our time here both last year and this year. Could we live here, probably not at the moment , but who knows what we will do in the next ten years.

 

I also had the chance to meet Erich and Lesley who I have followed on their blog for a couple of years, but have never had the chance to meet. It was only a short meeting, but it was good to put a name to some faces.

A bike ride around the complex allowed us to see what is on offer.

A walk around some of the town looking at the sites did have an added bonus. I have been trying to track down a new handpiece for my UHF, it seems to work over longer distances, but it was very crackly, almost useless when close. We were less than 100m away from the Iveco after walking around town for nearly two hours and we stumbled across an electronics shop. A chat to the lady behind the counter and a dash to the ute to remove the handpiece on the UHF to check compatability. Bingo, perfect match and to to think that they had three in stock. I had been checking high and low for one, most stores either sold complete units or had to order one in (no good for us when on the move all the time). We checked it out when we were back at camp. Perfect reception with the new part and to think we had given up looking.

 

 

 

I did like the two little men holding up the large gear on the smaller gear in the photo above.

We have a spare day before we are due in Caloundra, where we end up will be determined tommorow, although we do have a few options. We will try one to see how it stacks up. If it is OK we will probably stay, if not we will move on to the next one.

Bundaberg

We are booked into the Bundaberg RV Stopover for 5 days, just to see what they are all about. Dianne and I have done the training to be Camp Custodians, although while I am working, we will probably not be doing any custodian work. First impressions of the camping area that has only been open a few weeks are positive. No doubt there will be teething problems and these will be addressed over time. The park is approximately half full when we arrived around lunch time, but it is almost full by nightfall. We are squeezed in resonably well, with water taps at a premium and the dump point is 2ft above ground level. (this is because of the threat of flooding) I can understand this but surely a screw on cap at ground level would be an extra addition that could be sealed off with the threat of flooding.Bundaberg 4 816 pixels

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Only thing missing is the firepot

Day 2 at Bundaberg starts off with the sun shining and potentially a very hot day, then the clouds come over and a good shower cools off everything.

Day 3 mainly involved a trip to Bagara, with some delicious fish (cod) and chips for lunch and a drive down the coast to Elliott Heads. There is a nice beach where the Elliott River enters the ocean. Most of the coast around here is very rocky with only a few small patches having sandy beaches, although we were told that Woodgate had the best beaches along the coast, we didn’t go for a look, maybe another day.

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Phil playing in the kids playground at Bagara

Day 4 was going to be a drive to the Bucca pub, just for a look and an opportunity to top up with firewood for the firepot. We heard that there was live music there, so we took the opportunity to have lunch there after some quick phone calls to make sure we could get a seat. What a great afternoon for a great pub meal and some great entertainment by a young fellow (we didn’t even find out his name), but he was very good, lots of easy listening music at the Bucca Pub, shame it had to end, although we did find enough firewood on the side of the road, to get us home

 

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Day 5 was spent chasing spare parts and Phil and I came across 2 retro caravans in a local dealership and they were the highlight of our day.

 

 

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Gas lighting in an early caravan, I wonder if there was gas detectors for any leaks

We have met several other RVers at Bundaberg who have made the time spent here very pleasant. Steve from Western Australia organised a great feed at the local RSL. He even arranged for us to be picked up and returned back to the camp with their courtesy bus, we didn’t even have to worry about who was going to drive. When you can get low cost camping almost in the middle of town, spending a little bit on a night out, helps spread the money around and we all can have a great time without breaking the budget.

Our time at Bundaberg has gone very quickly, the friendly nature of the people here, has made our time here most enjoyable, we have met several couples who have been very friendly and we will probably see them again sometime in the near future.

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Chris and Dianne, Phil (taking photo) and Sandra, Anthea and Stephen, Jim and Rosie, Len and Ruth, Will and Jenny. 

We have now booked at a couple of days at the RV Homebase in Maryborough. Dianne and I have been there before, but Phil and Sandra wanted to see what it was all about. One thing that has stood out on this trip is that both couples have enjoyed taking the other couple to a destination that stood out for them and they just want to share the previous experience.

Hervey Bay

We left Lawnton after a little searching about where to stay. We were lucky enough to come across a CMCA Member Stop Over (MSO) on the Geowiki App in a semi rural setting, just 15 minutes from Hervey Bay. Our hosts, Ken and Carol were very friendly and welcoming, they made us feel right at home. We set up camp on the lushest green grass that we have seen since leaving home. Member Stop Overs is a fantastic idea set up by various CMCA members who allow fellow members with fully self contained RV’s to stay for few days at a private residence who have an area large enough to host a visitor or two.

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Just a mavellous spot, only 25km from Hervey Bay

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Some nice sculptures to add to the ambience

Hervey Bay is just a nice place to relax for a few days, have a bike ride around the esplanade and we always have an ice cream at a small shop at Torquay that bosts that they have 72 flavours. Dianne loves to catch up with a friend here as well. A nice drive to Burrum Heads filled in an afternoon, although nothing remarkable about it, just a nice place to relax.

The weather has been pleasant without being hot, so after three days of taking it easy we have a short drive to the Bundaberg RV Stopover for five days of doing not much.

 

Lawnton Showground

Today we left Maclean and headed through the city to the Lawnton Showground, avoiding Toll roads (never again Phil Cowmeadow) even though I had obtained a new Linkt (Govia) etag for the Iveco before we left Tassie. My word this was exciting. I didn’t have a clue where we were going, I just followed the GPS. No trouble with the road or the directions, but the traffic and the traffic lights. Bumper to bumper traffic in three lanes at times. We couldn’t believe how many people were using phones while they were driving in such heavy traffic, it was unbelievable. trying to drive and stay in their lane while talking and texting on their phones. We did drive along the river near Southbank at one time. I think the wives in the passenger seats were more excited than Phil and I doing the driving.

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Some views of the river was a small consulation of our drive through Brisbane

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We were planning to visit the market at the showground, as there was no entry for caravans before 3.00pm. Sadly the market finished at 12.00pm and they were all but packed up when we arrived at 12.30pm, although they had to 3.00pm to pack up and clear up their area.

The Lawnton showground was almost full of caravans. It was very busy, we were pleased we had rung ahead. Anywhere there was a power connection and a water tap, there seemed to be a caravan neatly parked up. However there was plenty of room to move and no crammed in feeling.

We really only came here to catch up with a friends who were house sitting here from Tassie. We had an enjoyable barbeque on the Saturday evening beside the vans when they came for a visit. We also visited them at their house sit in the Samford Valley, just over 20km away in the hinterland.

The weather is very pleasant, especially by Tassie standards, we are now planning to just relax and enjoy the next couple of weeks with some short stays  around the Sunshine Coast.

Queeensland

We left Nimbin just after 9.00am, a lovely warm day, with the fog lifting allowing for safe driving. Our big dilema was which way was the easiest way out, we chose to go via Kyogle. The road was a little narrow with plenty of undulating hills and winding roads. Once we reached Kyogle, we headed north via Woodenbong towards Beaudesert.Mountains 2

What an amazing drive through the mountains following Summerland Way . Definitely the best drive of the trip so far, a flowing drive through the valley  following the Richmond River, before another hilly stretch into Queensland.Mountains 1

We had lunch at a very picturesque T M Tilley rest area just before Rathdowney, no camping allowed though.

Tully Memorial Park, our stop for tonight, has a rear entrance for free camping, a delightful spot with a memorial for the large floods of the Logan River showing flood levels for previous floods.

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Very impressive display after dark, although my photo doesn’t show it 

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This sign was obviously erected before the 2017 flood, as the right pole is blank in the lower photo.

Sadly as we are on the outskirts of Brisbane, backpackers did make up a fair share of the people staying here. Most were very pleasant, but there was the one exception who had to play their “Doof Doof” music so everyone had to endure it as well. The van beside us said they had their music on for the last two nights. After two nice attempts asking them to turn down their music, a third more assertive effort and the offer to move the Iveco over to near them and place a certain song of Hank Williams on repeat had the desired  result.

Our next stop is the Lawnton Showground for a couple of days to catch up with friends.

Nimbin

We have changed our plans to avoid some inclement weather, today we left Beardy Waters rest area to head to Nimbin, not a big drive but the road from Tenterfield to Casino is steep and very undulating, making for steady driving, a little light rain didn’t help either, although it was through some interesting country side. We had lunch in Casino, before restocking our groceries and heading to Nimbin. The short drive from Casino to Nimbin was almost like a transformation from one world into another in lots of ways. First we went from open hilly country into almost rainforest and the people are just different, not in a bad way. Everyone was laid back, they did dress a little different, everything had a rainbow theme, even the houses.

There were a couple of picturesque lookouts, but we were most impressed by the different culture, I would thoroughly recommend a visit here to take in the ambience of the area.

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Nimbin Rocks stand out as you drive into town from Casino

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The Nimbin Valley from only a few kilometres out of town

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Our Nimbin trip wouldn’t be complete if we didn’t come across an assortment of “smoking devices”, just not legal to use them

It looks like we are dodging most of the inclement weather, although we have had a few showers. The forecast is still forecasting rain across the top half of New South Wales

We had a couple of enjoyable days in Nimbin, the plan is to head to Maclean tommorrow and we will finally be in Queensland.

Heading North on the New England Highway

We left Gunnedah early with plans to spend a couple of days in Tamworth and then slowly check out each town along the way north up the New England Highway. We found a low cost campground, approxiamately 10km out of town at small hobby farm owned by local country music entertainers Shaza Leigh and Lindsay Butler, LBS Musicland. They even offered us a tour of their studio, sadly we couldn’t take them up on their offer.

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Shaza Leigh and Lindsay Butler have opened up a small low cost camp on their property, just out of Tamworth. They plan to host some sort of event here as part of the Tamworth Country Music Festival in January

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They have a firepot setup in the round yard, although we setup ours inside a tyre rim they had in place. Lots of trees have been planted but it will be a while before they provide shade, especially if it stays this dry. They even supplied a little firewood.

A quick check of the weather forecast changed everything, we have decided to hightail it north with only one night in Tamworth. A quick look at Uralla and a photo of Thunderbolts Statue, a quick drive through Armidale, Gyra, Glen Innes was all we managed for the day, until we setup camp mid afternoon just out of Glen Innes at Beardy Waters Heritage Park, just a small rest area on the side of the highway. It was just in time as soon as we were set up a few more campers rolled in. We were tucked in over the back, just far enough to be away from the worst of the road noise, although after dark it was very minimal.

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A common theme is starting to emerge as we head north, we are spending a lot of time around the firepot. We are around 1000m above sea level and it has cooled off early. We setup camp mid afternoon, used the two vehicles as windbreaks today as there was just a gentle breeze blowing and still enjoyed happy hour until dark.

The forecast is still not that flash so we have decided to go straight to Nimbin, via Casino. It is such a shame as we could of easily spent a week having a good look around the New England Highway