The Around Australia caravan team are back where they started

January 07, 2008
The Around Australia caravan team are back where they started

Hi Garth,

first of all a Merry Christmas to you and all fellow travellers and may we meet and catch up with many of you in the coming year.

Jo & I are in Jindabyne for Christmas / New Year, where we commenced our lap back in February.

I finished our last report heading for Eucla. The trip along the Eyre highway was a long day with the temperature reaching 49C as we got to Madura Pass!

I had to turn the aircon off when the motor started to overheat as we struck a bit of a headwind. We finally arrived at Eucla, where we explored the old telegraph station and jetty and I had a quick refreshing swim, (skinny dip!), before having another sing-along with Evan, Florence, Gail and John.

Next morning it was a final farewell to Evan & Florence and we hit the road for the final dash across the Nullarbor to Ceduna. The weather was a bit more "pleasant" only reaching around 38C and had cooled down by the time we reached Ceduna.

That night we joined John & Gail for a meal at the local then back to their bus for a cappuccino and a few laughs as we reflected on our travels.That night the westerly winds picked up a bit with gusts reaching 100kph, and I was glad I didn't have the awning out.

Streaky Bay was the next stop and we had a lovely spot right on the beach but John and Gail were shoved at the back of the park with no view and dust and noise from road works to spoil their stay.

Needless to say they moved on the next day and we arranged to catch up in Port Lincoln. In the meantime Carol and Bill were crossing the Nullarbor with Jackie and John and we arranged to have a big reunion in Port Lincoln.

We met fellow Geist owners Mel Carol in Streaky Bay and spent a pleasant couple of happy hours with them.

Port Lincoln was our next destination and on the way we stopped at Murphy's Haystacks, an interesting collection of rock formations about 40kms out of Streaky Bay and called in to Coffin Bay for lunch.

We spend four nights at Port Lincoln during which time Carol Bill and Jackie John, caught up and we enjoy an extended happy hour or two.

We farewell Gail John who are heading for Sydney and a day later say our final farewells to Jackie John and the other half of our around Oz team, Carol Bill, for the year.

Carol and Bill were heading for Sydney to visit her Mum before going on to Brisbane and the Gold Coast for Christmas.

We decided to stop at Wilmington for our next night and 'surprise, Jackie and John pulled in for an overnight stop not long after Bill Carol drove by.

We again farewell Jackie and John in the morning, (twice, once at the park and again at Peterborough), before we turn south for Nuriootpa, while they head for Broken Hill.

A pleasant afternoon was spent exploring the Barossa and towns around the district and we have it marked for somewhere to return in the future.

Murphys Haystacks
Murphy's Haystacks

Mildura is our destination and we spend two nights there visiting Wentworth where the Darling and Murray Rivers meet and enjoy a meal at the pub across the road from our park in Mildura.

Then Swan Hill and a spot right on the banks of the Murray,and a visit to the pioneer Museum.

Echuca next and two nights there, where we spend our time exploring the Port Precinct, tasting some local wines, (bought a great Muscat), and take a ride on a paddle steamer. A night of dancing at the Star Hotel completes our short stop. No prizes for Jo this time!

Albury was our plan for the next stop but I am not feeling tired so we push on to Gundagai. I haven't seen so many hills since we left Tassie!

An overnight stop with Jo's nephew Dan, his lovely wife Marcie and their delightful triplets in Canberra is next, before our final leg to Jindabyne where we are stopping until the New Year.

We are enjoying our time here catching up with dear friends Colin Barb, and our beautiful God daughters, Aggie and Jordy. They have been, and will continue to look after our dog Zak who has had a great time with his mate Indy and is in the very best of care. It was a hard decision to leave him when we first took of on our adventure but we know it was the right one for him.

Farewell Dinner with Jackie John Bill and Carol
Farewell Dinner with Jackie John Bill and Carol

We plan to visit with Dan, Marcie and the kids again, before driving to Gosford to drop off the caravan for a service and quite a few repairs.

We will stop with friends in Sydney and fly to New Zealand to visit family and friends, before picking up the caravan to continue north. We will pick up Bill Carol,in Brisbane around late February or early March after they have celebrated the birth of their first grand child, and do Queensland After that who knows?

Garth , it has been a real adventure so far and we have enjoyed, (nearly), every minute of it.

I will finish off with some of the personal highlights and lowlights of our trip so far.

Best adventure: the Horizontal Falls trip.

Most spectacular sight: a toss up between the Bungle Bungles and Uluru.

Nicest region: The Kimberley's

Friendliest caravan park owners/ managers: Jenny Darren at Tumbling Waters, Berry Springs.

Nicest caravan park: Jo liked Barossa Valley at Nuriootpa, while my pick was probably Low Level Katherine.

Best pool in a park: Cable Beach at Broome.

Worst parks: North Arm, Lakes Entrance, the sites were so small , the barbeques were dirty and it was difficult to get in and out. The Big 4 at Dandenong wasn't much better due to the smell from the nearby chicken farm.There were some others including road houses that were pretty ordinary but we have taken into account remoteness and climate.

Biggest disappointment of the trip: A toss up between Kakadu and the All Blacks being knocked out of the World Cup!

Worst takeaway meal: Fish and chips at shop next to Top Tourist Park in Strahan, Tas.

Best takeaway: Hamburger with the works in Yallingup, WA

Best night out: Daly Waters Pub, although there were very many others.

We all celebrated a birthday on this trip but Carol's was the best with a day at the races and the evening at the Trailer boat Club in Darwin.

Worst parts of the trip: The long days behind the wheel and replacing or repairing everything that broke or failed along the way.

Best part of the trip: All the wonderful people we met and the friends we made along the way.

Thanks to Carol Bill for helping to make this a wonderful adventure and one of the best years of our lives and to all the others who's company and friendship we have enjoyed along the way.

Rose Dave, Cheryl Barry, Penny Greg, Jackie John, Rhoma Bob, Rhonda John, Annie Kev, Geoff Joy, Winn Gerry, Libby Chris, Elaine Kevin, Terry Cheryl, Mick Brenda, Gail John, Evan Florence, Nerida Peter and many others too numerous to note here.

Garth thanks for the opportunity to relate our adventures in this format it has been a great way to keep all our friends up to date on where we were at and what we were up to.

regards

Ross Jo Bill Carol

Editor's Note: Also See -



and www.discovertasmania.com.au

The Geist needs a few repairs
The Geist needs a few repairs
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