How time flys. Last update was in October last year. Now heading to Geelong after two years on the road.
On the 24/03/2023, we dragged ourselves out of Olive Hill Farm / Margaret River and got back to retired life on the road.
As we headed south east the weather took a turn and we drove through the rain which funnily enough, we hadn’t seen in quite some time. It helped wash away some of the accumulated dust from the farm off the car and van. Since we had 3500k’s to do we decided to do a decent drive and arrived at the Rush-cutters camp site just outside Denmark. The place was basically a paddock on a hill adjoining a winery. We parked up, didn’t unhook the van before getting indoors out of the still raining weather. It was great to stop for the night, just reading and planning our stops. After a good nights sleep we decided to move on. Before leaving we stopped at the Single File Winery where we bought a couple of bottles. After the drive yesterday, we only went 36k’s before pulling in to Cosy Corner campsite. We got lucky by scoring the last spot available and including seniors discount $10 a night with ocean frontage is incredible value.
We booked two nights but might stay for three to enjoy more chillaxing. Anyhow that’s it for this update but please see pic’s and more via the following.
It’s been several weeks since we took the reigns as camp hosts at Olive Hill Farm. With the Xmas holidays ending the camp has been a bit quieter but the weather continues to be hot. We are spending time between the farm and the beautiful beaches that surround the area. We have also began a fitness regime that we try to do most days depending on how we feel in the morning. It’s mostly stretches and includes a bit of weight training. We continue to offer Helen help around the place and have managed to carry out a few improvements around the camping area. Helen has generously opened her stunning house to us and we are enjoying great nights relaxing whilst watching movies on Netflix. We also enjoy a wee wine or two at the same time.
We had said our goodbyes a while back to our Tassie mates who were the camp hosts when we arrived. We got lucky as they came back to Margs to enable the purchasers of their motor home to collect it at the farm. They hadn’t even told us and sent us some pic’s sitting in our chairs and on Karen’s bike. We were so happy they were back and we all enjoyed some great times out in Margs as well as over at the farmhouse. They are a great couple and we will definitely be catching up with them when we finally get to Tasmania next year. We will definitely miss them and they’re happy demeanour.
With the school holidays ended there was an exodus of people heading back to their day jobs. The camp is a bit quieter and this gives us the chance to help Helen out by doing some easy tasks around the place.
We are now over nine months on the road and from the start it has been fabulous. It’s great meeting some of the characters that come and go at the farm. Spending time with them and getting tips and tricks along the way. The laughs we have had have been brilliant with some folks trying out a Scottish accent. The swims in the river have also been amazing and is a top spot to cool down in.
Thankfully we still have quite a bit of time before we have to move on. We are certainly in no hurry to do so.
With the Xmas and new year festivities over, it was good to get back to our version of normal. With our COVID booster jab now due, we managed to get a booking at the pharmacy in Margaret River for the thirteenth of January. Hopefully this will be the last one we will require. We are lucky to be in WA at the moment as COVID has been relatively kept under control. This will change early February no doubt when the border re-opens.
Margaret River is a great base making touring the area easy. We have managed to visit all the surrounding towns. Coweramup, Dunsborough, Busselton. Vasse, Gracerown, Yallingup to name a few. we still have the southern towns to visit but we have plenty of time.
Each of these were fantastic and had the the bonus of amazing beaches. We also visited Canal Rocks which was wild, with massive ocean waves crashing against the huge rocks surrounding it. We then took a stroll along the walkway, we watched as several youngsters were jumping off straight in to the deep water below. As usual it was ‘No Dogs Allowed’ so our time was limited but we managed to get down to the boat ramp in time to see a huge stingray swimming just off the ramp.
We found ourselves back at the Colonial Brewery next to the farm for Reggae n Ribs Sunday. We enjoyed a few hours here with the camp hosts and our new friends, Andrew and Kim who are great company. These guys will leave soon as they make their return trip to Tasmania. They are due to leave the day before us on the seventeenth and eighteenth of January. Today Tuesday the 11th, we are off to the Prevally beach for a few of the hottest hours of the day. today and tomorrow will be in the mid to high thirties. Happy New Year to everyone. Hope 2022 finds you healthy and happy.
Now that we have landed in Broome we have booked in for a week with stay seven pay for five deal. this works out relatively cheap considering we are 1km from Cable Beach. we are thinking of adding another week of the same deal but will see how we go. We aren’t doing a lot mostly beach then bed maybe watch a movie on the laptop. Hope you enjoy the photos.
After another hot night we we wake to a hot morning and the first rain we have had in months. Calling it rain is a bit of a stretch as it lasts about 30 seconds and what had fallen was immediately dried out in the sun.
Having scored a drive through site we didn’t even have to unhook the van. We only have to lock up and start the car before we are back on the road heading west to WA.
The drive of around 200km takes us to the WA border where we have to show our permits and go through the usual quarantine check before being allowed in. 20 minutes later we have crossed our fourth border in six months.
We will stay in WA for four or five months before we head over another border in to South Australia.
We drive on to the town of Kununurra where we head in to the local Coles for supplies then we have the usual frustration of the north and wes where we have to wait until 12pm before we can buy alcohol. At least its not as bad as the NT which was 2pm.
Now fully replenished we are back on the road and decide we need a nice place for a treat. One of the best we have been to before is Lake Argyle and we cover the 70 km from Kununurra.
It’s kinda strange being back here after four years. It seems the place hasn’t changed a bit and has retained arguably the best infinity swimming pool view in the country.
We are having to abandon our free camping purely due to the heat which is 40+ almost every day right now. The forecast doesn’t show it changing anytime soon. Both Max and ourselves are just about surviving by drinking a ridiculous amount of water. Luckily Lake Argyle has power and so we run our aircon on just about permanently.
Within the park there is a walk down to the lake where you can have a beautiful swim which we decide to do. There are 30,000 croc’s in the lake but all freshies no no worries unless you make the mistake of standing on one. This turned out to be a bit of a stuff up as my thongs decided to break half way down. Then poor Max was getting his paws roasted from the rocks and sand. When he got to the bottom he just sank in to the water looking like he was never going back.
I dived in and cooled off and Kaz did the same trying not to think of how we would one, get Max back up and two, get me back up without any foot coverings. In the end Kaz had to just grab Max and get up ASAP then wait for myself running up the hot coals to the safety of a sprinkler on a large piece of grass which helped put my foot fire out and poor Max’s paws.
Later in the afternoon we grabbed some refreshments then headed down to the pool area where Steve Case was entertaining everyone with his guitar and funny stories.
It was great to be kicking back as the sun was setting providing an amazing backdrop on the rocks and lake behind him.
We then decided to get in the pool and cool off once again before returning to Max in his air conditioned luxury.
In the evening we walked down to the restaurant/bar where we enjoyed a meal we didn’t cook on dishes we didn’t have to wash. With the sun already gone and a nice cool breeze happening it was a treat to be people watching whilst listening to Steve Case do his more adult set of songs.
Then having had a pretty long day we returned to the cool of the van walked Max the it was lights out on a great day.
Having left the Corrella Dam site we drove on to the town of Camooweal where we pull up another free camp which runs along Lake Canellan and is quite similar to the site we just left. This stop is a great location being so close to the Northern Territory border. This will give us plenty of time to complete our entry declaration allowing us to enter the state.
Today we are pretty happy to get off the road again as it continues to be windy and in fact we end up staying here for a couple of nights due to the high wind gusts.
There aren’t many people here and there is plenty of room and privacy.
When we came through Mount Isa to do some shopping I took the chance to head in to the local ARB dealer because when we drove to the cape and back we lost several bolts from our bull-bar. This made the bash plates loose and were getting pretty noisy. The guy at the ARB store couldn’tj have been better. He apologised that this had happened even in tough conditions then promptly supplied the missing bolts for free!! I then went in to BCF as the first time using the compressor we purchased the bag ripped itself apart, The store swapped the bag for a new one without question again apologising that this had occurred.
Now with a couple of days without driving I took the time to fit the new bolts then checked all round the car in case there maybe more but thankfully there were none.
Later we had a visitor from another van who came over to chew the fat about where we were heading, where he was heading and the good oil for both directions. He then told me that he and his wife are gold prospectors. They travel Australia in search of gold nuggets and in fact have had considerable success. So much so that they now use a $10,000 dollar detector which has paid for itself in a relatively short time. It seems there are more and more people doing this on the road and hey we might even have a go one day without the $10k machine.
Finally the wind has dropped allowing us to move on. We drive in we drive in to Camooweal where we fill our water tanks then queue up to get fuel.
Whilst filling up we notice a group of young people sitting in the shade with their bags and at the same time see a truck with a couple of vehicle’s on the back. A girl from the group approached us asking if they could get a lift to Mount Isa but we have to say no as we are heading west. She then explained that the vehicles on the truck were theirs and they were now stranded. If we were headed that way we certainly would have helped them out but we left hoping someone picks them up.
At last we make our way to the border where we get stopped and have to show our completed border declaration then driving licenses before happily we can drive through in to the Northern Territory.
We drive on for a bit then stopped off for the night at a roadside rest area called Wonarah Bore where we could drive a good distance from the road which avoids some of the road train noise through the night. We were the only ones here but later there were about eight vans.
Here there is no service for phones or tv but our bus mates had given us a box set of DVD’s from the series Love/Hate, it’s pretty gritty and came out in 2010. This will keep us entertained at night as it is a five series box.
After a great night sleep we are back on the road now heading a bit further west before arriving at three ways roadhouse where we again fill up with fuel had lunch then headed north for a change on to the Stuart Highway.
We then repeated our stop like the previous night. This time at the Old Cattle yard which looks exactly like its name suggests but again it’s a free stop with no problems and another great stop. Max is slowly turning in to red dog due to the amount of red bull dust he is picking up.
Friday the 24/09/21 we are the the last to leave but get back on the road north. Today we will make it to the famous Daly Waters pub which has a campsite next to it. We have been here before as it’s a good stop before Katherine. On the way we stop at the town of Elliot. We only stop as we have phone service but take the chance to have an early lunch before getting back on the road and later arrive at Daly Waters Pub.
It feels funny being back here after our last visit four years ago and thankfully it hasn’t changed a bit with all the usual quirky stuff around.
We head straight to the bar but just to book a spot in the free camping section which puts us in with a variety of campers and back packer type vans which we prefer as they are a varied and chatty bunch just having fun.
Having chosen a spot we get set up, awning out for some shade against the hot sun then went for a wander around the place. Last time here we booked in for the famous beef n Barra food night complete with entertainment provided by an Elvis impersonator. This time we don’t other now that we are full time travellers and need to tighten the spending.
We intended staying here for one night (Friday) but Saturday is the Australian Rules Football final. We ask if the game will be shown on the big tv in the bar which is confirmed and we decide to book in for another night to make sure we see the game.
Later we head for the bar as happy hour is on from 4pm till 6pm. Food is also not served until 6pm. A couple of drinks later we order some food, Burger for Kaz and fish n chips for me. The waitress asked me if I want the seperate salad which comes with the fish, I say yes please but i am yet to see it.
Later we take in a bit of the Elvis guy and the owner turns up with his horse who thinks it’s a dog as it follows him wherever he goes. The same can be said of the goat which wanders around as it pleases. Funny thing is there are no dogs allowed in some bits of the place but the horse and goat access all areas. The goat reared up at one stage in head butt mode on a poor dog that didn’t appreciate it. Thankfully it didn’t come near Max probably due to him showing his teeth to it earlier.
We then retire to the van and watch another episode of our Love/Hate DVD.
In the evening whilst at Pinnarendi Station, as nightfall descended we decided to light the fire pit in front of the van. It had been stocked with enough wood for the evening by the owners. When we arrived there was no one around in this area of at least two acres.
Then a couple who seemed decent looking but also looked like they were sleeping in their car and parked pretty close to us on the other side of the fire pit asked if I was aware that you can’t light fires on the ground. I replied yes I was but the non powered side of the camp had three camp fires already designated as fire pits complete with wood, ours being one of them. That is why we set up next to one. He then tells me that if any smoke comes his way that I would have to extinguish the fire. I replied, sure, 😂. NOT.
The fire was lit and the troublemakers were in their car and lights out by 7:30 smoke free.
Thankfully the next day we woke to find them gone. No doubt on their way to annoy someone else’s peace. How un-Australian.
This morning we take the 3km walk around the property which is a massive cattle farm with at least three dams and it’s own airstrip!! In fact the owner takes off in his plane to go pick up his two kids who are at school in Charter Towers.
We continue our walk getting to the Garden dam first then on to dam no2 where Max was allowed to take a dip in which he does whilst inhaling copious amount of the dam
as he runs around splashing about.
Shortly after we get to the big dam which as the name suggests is huge and was made by the property owners who want to have all sorts of birds taking it over.
As the heat rises we head back to the the van for a large drink of water ourselves.
We then thought a treat was due so off we went to the cafe where we had great coffee, scone with Jam and cream and a piece of strawberry cheesecake all of which were delicious.
Later on there seems to have been a mass arrival, we have vans, motor homes and a tent parked around us but we are excited as the pizzas we ordered arrive and we both scoff in to them. These are made on the property by Nadine then delivered to everyone’s sites by her two young sons. These are magnificent with sourdough base with veg, herbs and everything else from the property then cooked in their wood oven, YUM. There was no way we could finish them so they will be tomorrow’s dinner again.
Next day we are off and back on the Savanna Way westbound.
We passed through the town of Mount Surprise. The surprise to us was how small it was and we motored on.
Our intention was to stop at Georgetown but on arrival we didn’t feel any vibe about the place so once more we carried on straight through. We would have liked to visit the Undara Volcanic National Park and the lava tubes but with dogs not allowed we had to drive past.
We took a stop off the road to visit the Cumberland Chimney and Mine for a couple of pic’s and a wee break. There is also a huge lake/dam with an abundance of birdlife.
With it getting in to late afternoon and the sun beating down at 38 degrees we arrived at the town of Croydon. This little town is a fantastic place really trying to be bigger than it is with lot’s of things to see and do. The people we met were just easy to talk to and pumped up about Croydon. We headed for the tourist information where a lovely lady with a real funny quirky sense of humour talked us through the things not to miss.
We headed for the Heritage Precinct where as you would guess time has frozen the place but the original buildings etc have been restored. Including the police station, jail and courthouse. You can have a seat in the courtroom and listen to a trial played out on speakers. This included the actual testimony and a few words had to be bleeped out from the defendant who was a woman charged with being drunk and disorderly. She was eventually sentenced to two months in jail. There is also a museum documenting the towns mining heritage. We then popped in to the local hotel which is the last bar standing where there were thirty eight in one street. It was good to stay out of the heat and a the beer was so cold and refreshing.
Later we headed for the campsite a small bit out of town. It’s nothing much with toilets, a shower and a few trees around for shade but on mostly level ground which is good. It only costs $5.00 for two nights, good on Croydon for providing a place to stop bringing in some travellers dollars to the town.
We set up our awning then scoffed the pizza from the previous camp which were again delicious. We were then joined by a couple of other folks travelling and we had a chat for a while before heading to bed this time with our fan blowing to help cool us off a bit.
In the morning we take a drive to the fantastic Belmore Lake two kilometres out of town. Again a beautiful part of this place and if you are ever there do not miss it.
Later we take some pictures of the town from the viewpoint near the lake then head in to town to spend some dollars.
We grab breakfast with coffee at the little cafe in town and were served by a lovely French girl. We then fuelled up before getting back on the Savannah Way this time we are heading to the town of Normanton where we will reunite with friends Karen and Helge we last seen in Kenilworth.
As we travel we are seeing some huge eagles flying above or feeding on the roadkill of pig’s and Kangaroos amongst others, there are plenty to choose from.
A few pic’s of another beautiful beach drive at Byfield National Parks, Sandy Point. Dropped tyre pressures to about 20 psi. With new powerful spotlights fitted. We need to get moving further north to make Cape York before heading south again then west. Follow us at our Facebook Group – our wee journey, just send a request to join as the group is private.
You must be logged in to post a comment.