Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Merry Christmas for 2012

We just wanted to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and hope your day was filled with fun and laughter and spent with the people you love whether family or friends or both.
Hope you also have a Happy New Year and best wishes to all for 2013.  As for us, we don't have an update on the time of our next adventure as yet, but we will!
Stay safe everyone :)

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Next Adventure

Hello All,  Now we think we may have found our next adventure......   Firstly we have to see how the current work project pans out for a finish date, but hopefully maybe mid next year!  I know, I know that's so far away, right.  Anyways, might involve the NT.....  stay tuned.

Monday, 18 June 2012

Karumba - Thursday 3rd May - Sunday 6th May 2012

As you might have noticed by the photos the weather was bright and sunny at Stanage Bay.  We had a lovely relaxed bacon, scrambled eggs and toast breakfast this morning.  Craig's brother Donny should be arriving around lunchtime today.  In the meantime, we met some of our neighbours and spent time chatting with them, Craig went out fishing with the fellow camped near by in a bus yesterday arvo, alas they returned with no fish (just as well we had some in the freezer for dinner last night!).  We just basically relaxed today around camp, watching the comings and goings of other campers arriving and finding a spot to setup.  Craig went off fishing again with our neighbour from the bus - he mightn't catch much, but he enjoys it.

 There isn't any internet or mobile phone coverage at Stanage Bay, unless you stand underneath the overhead wires next to the Coast Guard building apparently  - hmmm, let me see, no we weren't that desperate to make a phone call or get internet.

Craig and I walked up to the Plumtree Store/Pub for an afternoon drink while we waited for Donny to arrive.  Lovely pub and very relaxing sitting outside watching the world go by.  They do lunch at the pub and evening meals on Friday & Saturday nights, otherwise you can get takeaway meals from the store.  We decided on spag bol for dinner tonight, done over the campfire of course - that way if Donny was late it could just urgle away until he arrives - yes we're talking about dinner, so Donny is already late!  He finally arrived about 6pm I think (it was dark anyway), after hellos and discussions about where to put up tents, we finally sat down for dinner.  Frances and the kids weren't arriving until Saturday, so Craig and I decided we'd stay an extra night to catchup with Frances again.

Friday morning and we were up fairly early and the boys went out fishing on the beach for a bit.  We went for a drive around the area - along the track off the left from the boat ramp, where there are more camping spots along the creek (no facilities). then through the townships on the bay - just a beautiful spot.
 Fishing and boating are the main activities at Stanage Bay, although it is a great place to sit around relaxing.  We met some lovely fellow campers while staying at Stanage Bay and enjoyed our stay immensely. 

We headed for home on Sunday about 11am and Craig decided we'd drive straight through to home, so eventually we arrived safe and sound about 8pm.

Stay tuned, hopefully we shall get away for a couple of self proclaimed long weekends and maybe even a week between now and Christmas, see how we go!

Karumba - Wednesday 2nd May 2012

The skies this morning were still overcast and it was still blowing a gale.  We made coffee and walked over to the edge of the beach to have a look.  Craig took Boris for a walk, run, play along the beach for a while and I retreated back to the camper out of the wind and started packing up.  He did his normal thing on the way back and stopped for a chinwag with our closest neighbours, who had a great campsite right on the beach but sheltered by some bushes - made a note of the spot for next time.

We went for a drive down to the end of the camp area where it meets the river mouth, great spots down there as well (but no toilets).  Our destination today was Stanage Bay, it's one of those places we've heard/read about and have wanted to go see, so we are!  For those who don't know where Stanage Bay is, you turn off the Bruce Highway near a town named Kunwarara north of Rockhampton, you head north skirting the Shoalwater Bay Training Area north to the point of Stanage Bay - Now, don't tell anyone and good luck finding the turnoff......

We stopped at the servo in Carmila to fill up and get breakfast.  While I was getting our sustenance, Craig was speaking to an older gent, who mentioned it would take about 45mins from the highway to Stanage Bay. So we headed off in search of the turnoff to Stanage Bay.  We put our destination into the GPS and it found it, feeling confident we turned off and followed a dirt road, crossed over a cattle grid, turned a bend and could see a homestead up in front and cows grazing around us - hmmmmm, me thinks this isn't the road to Stanage Bay but to a property.......  U-turn before property owners get upset with us, yell at the GPS and tell it how stupid it is, then we decided to continue south for 5 mins and see if we can find the turnoff, if not, turn around and head north from this point for 5 mins.

So, off we went south not seeing a turnoff sign for Stanage Bay but then came across a fruit stand/secondhand stand on the other side of the highway in the middle of nowhere.  We turned around as we wanted some fruit & veg anyway and thought he might be able to give us directions.  Bought the fruit & veg, then asked the nice man if he could tell us where the Stanage Bay turnoff was.  He laugh and referred to himself as the "gateway to Stanage Bay", the turnoff was only maybe 800m north of his shop where you could see a clump of trees (the gentleman was telling us that the locals keep pulling the sign down because they want to keep it a secret!).  So we headed back up to the turnoff where you can see the empty poles where the sign should be, then once you turnoff you see all the signs about Stanage Bay which are off the highway.

The road is bitumen which is a surprise, for some reason we were expecting a dirt road.  At least it should be an easy, pleasant drive out to Stanage Bay then.....   so we thought!  Well, the dirt road soon disappeared and it became a gravel road, although it wasn't in too bad a condition and the scenery was pretty.  There are a number of little creek crossings and keep an eye out for woopty dos - Craig didn't see one and we hit it at full pace, getting all four wheels airborne on the exit and I should add it wasn't a little bit airborne, it was alot, needless to say when boy got us to a safe stop he jumped out of the gaylux and went around to check the tyres, suspension and make sure the camper was still securely connected to the tray of the Gaylux.  Everything checked out, so we continued on our way, maybe just a tad slower then before! (NB. We were only doing about 60-70klms/hr before our launch into the air, but afterwards slowed down to 50-60klms/hr).  Don't misunderstand, we are careful when driving on dirt/gravel roads, whether we're out west or up in the Cape, however, this particular woopty do just snuck up on us.

So we thinking to ourselves it's been 45mins since we left the highway and we haven't come over a range or anything yet (we could still see the range in the distance ahead of us)........  Lets say about 1 1/2 hours after leaving the highway we came over the range and looked out on Stanage Bay and what a beautiful sight that was!  (for a number of reasons - mostly because the road didn't stay in good condition).  We drove through looking for the camp area we'd seen on Creek to Coast, kept following the road until I recognised the pub/general store from the story and then the sign popped up in between the trees "Endeavour Park" and with a great yell I said "that's it, that's it, stop, stop, stop" - all I heard was laughing and Craig trying to say ok, ok, ok.  We ended up driving down to the end of the street where the boat ramp is, turning around and coming back, having a look at the entire camp area as we came back to the first entrance.  It was around 1.30pm when we arrived and there were quite a few people already camped there, so we found an area that everyone would fit into (Craig's brother Donny, his partner Frances and her adult children were joining us for a couple of days).  We checked with the fellow who was camped next to us, that we weren't too close to him and it was time to setup for a few days. 

 Stanage Bay Camp Area "Endeavour Park" has 2 lots of toilets, campfires, dogs allowed all for a donation, which you can make at the Plumtree General Store -  they use the donations to help keep it clean and cover the costs - well worth the donation!

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Karumba - Tuesday 1st May 2012

We were on the road around 7:30am this morning (and I forgot to take a photo of the Balgal Beach camp area), still heading south our destination tonight will be Carmila Beach.

We took a detour  to have a tiggy tour around Townsville to see what it looked like these days, then continued south.  Had a quick stop in Mackay for some refreshment supplies for the remainder of our holiday and arrived at Carmila Beach around 4pm.  We went a bit further along the camping area this time and found a heap of campsites poked into the dune all the way along as far as the river (the camping area is probably about 1klm long).  We found a spot overlooking the beach and setup camp.  It was blowing a gale, so we went for a walk to the facilities and had a look for a more protected spot we could camp for the night.  Upon returning to the camper we could see if we stayed there any longer that the tropical roof on the camper would probably get torn off (yes, it was blowing that much), so we closed up the camper and moved back about 10m behind some shrubs - much nicer, could still see the ocean and there was the threat of rain coming also.

 We packed the chairs etc., inside the camper twice when it started to drizzle, but no sooner had we done that, the drizzle stopped.  Eventually we had a simple dinner (due to fact we didn't know if it would really rain or not), Craig had a shower after dinner even with the wind blowing (I decided I could wait a night and I'm glad I did - apparently it was quite cold showering in the wind ?), after my giggling subsided we retired for the evening fairly early.

Karumba Monday 30th April 2012

Apologises to anyone who had been following our trip to Karumba and was wondering what happened to the remainder of our trip.  We had some indecisive/untidy weather one night when I was planning on updating, then we had some coverage issues for a few days after that and of course once we got back home, work was busy etc., etc., and our poor blog got pushed back in the list of things to do.

Now I'm sort of winging it a bit from memory due to the fact one of the things I forgot to pack on our trip was my trip journal....  I know right, usually one of the most important things I pack and I left it sitting on the kitchen bench!
Now where were we - that's right Mount Surprise was my last post.

So we were on the road by around 8am, continuing east/north east toward Innisfail past Ravenshoe.  Coming through the Atherton Tablelands we came across our first bit of rain, but it was still very pretty.

We took the turnoff to Millaa Millaa to get through to Innisfail - the road is a winding, narrow road but beautiful scenery.

From Innisfail we headed south on the Bruce Highway toward Balgal Beach.  We took a little detour around Cardwell to see how it's recovery was going - you can still see the evidence of Cyclone Yasi, but the town is looking good.  Our destination tonight is the free camp site at Balgal Beach (dogs allowed, toilets, on the creek and a small cafe close by that does meals and has some grocery items available.), but as we found out upon arriving, a small camping area.

We turned off the highway making our way slowly to Balgal Beach (we got stuck behind a small motorhome), upon arriving at the camp area we realised it is somewhat popular....  We waited a bit for the motorhome people to decide where they were going to park, then they realised we were also wanting to camp for the night......  Craig got out and went over to see where they wanted to setup and spoke with the poor lady who had the only spare space for both us to setup right next door.  It seem to be quite an involved decision for the older couple in the motorhome, but Craig eventually sorted it out with them, so we could both fit in.  We gave them a hand to level up their motorhome, then set ourselves up.  The lady in the caravan we camped next too was somewhat nervous when the motorhome was being reversed up onto chocks, if the older gent got it wrong it was their car that was the back stop!

Everything sorted, Craig went off to do a spot of fishing on the creek while the sun set.  I was busy downloading photos and writing the previous post on our blog.  There was lots of activity to amuse oneself with - more caravans, troopies and a lady trying to reverse a trailer down the boat ramp.  Eventually Craig came back (empty handed of course ) and he decided to take Boris over and say hi to our caravan neighbours, while I finished doing what I was doing.  Ok, dinner tonight was again seafood - King Salmon, Garlic Prawns, boiled Mud Crab and chips from the cafe.  The seafood in our freezer seems endless doesn't it!

Monday, 30 April 2012

Karumba - Sunday 29th April 2012

Right, up at 7am this morning - moving on day, so lots to pack up (not really, but sounds good!), we do have to rearrange the fridge/freezer to fit the fish/seafood we are being given to take with us!!!  So, coffee is needed first thing to get everything going and awake......  Packed up the camper, boys stopped for a chat about Hilux's etc., (probably haven't mentioned that my cousin also owns a Hilux SR5), time to get the camper back on the Hilux, pump up the air bags & tyres to accommodate for the extra weight.  More chatting.......  farewells, more chatting......  final farewells and we are out the gate about 10.20am!!!!  I have to say (not that anyone else probably wants to know), but it was wonderful seeing my cousin & talking to my Uncle - I haven't seen Young Dave for about 10 years we all worked out and haven't spoken to my Uncle for a while.  You all don't necessarily need to know these details, but I'll tell you anyway - my Uncle David is my mum's twin brother, so he has been close to us for all my life - sadly my mum passed away Christmas Eve 2009 and that hit us all pretty hard.

Now, back to more fun things.....  We departed Karumba around 10.20am heading along the Karumba Developmental Road to Normanton. We did manage to take some photo's of some birdlife on our way this time - just wonderful!

Stopped at Normanton for some tourist type piccies & comfort stop (most important!), then continued along the Gulf Developmental Road to Croydon for lunch. 

Lunch consumed, onwards to Georgetown, HOWEVER a east fo Croydon we had a small incident - I was reading our map or something and heard Craig saying repeatedly F*!k, F8!k, F*!k, looked up to see what appeared to be an animal disappear under the bullbar/front drivers tyre of the car, heard thumping along the length of the car, I gave a squeal at some point and looked in the side mirror to see a very motionless kangaroo out the back :(  Craig informed me, that the roo jumped up out the the gutter on the right hand side of the road, took 2 hops and collided with the side of our bullbar and you know the rest......
Craig, as most outback travellers know, didn't swerve otherwise we would end up on our side in the bush somewhere and possibly dead, but he checked the car was steering properly, braking properly and we kept going - and yes, the roo was dead, we would never leave an injuried animal on the side of the road - we know better.

So, we continued on to Georgetown stopping for some beer for boy as we weren't sure if there was a pub at Mount Surprise, which was our stop for the night.  Arrived around 4pm at Mount Surprise and SURPRISE there's a pub there (go figure, if I had of said to boy I'm sure there's a pub there to get your beer, murphy's law there wouldn't have been, so I played it safe!).  We stayed at Bedrock village Caravan Park, which was a very friendly, clean & pleasant place to stay - powered site $27.00/nite.

The reason I didn't update the blog last night was because our neighbours came over to say hello and we chatted for a little too long.  We however have one fillet of King Salmon between us (yes, it was that big) and some potato discs (we had to give all our salad bits to Dave, so we could fit in the fish fillets, prawns, crabs & squid!).

I don't think it was a late night, but we were woken 3 times during the night by the dingoes howling (our guard dog lifted his head once and promptly put it back down in the doona!).  For those travelling that way, we would recommend staying there, it was really pleasant.

So I don't drain all the batteries in the camper tonight, keeping this computer powered up, I will update you tomorrow night on our travels from today & tomorrow when we arrive at Carmila Beach tomorrow night.

Karumba - Saturday 28th April 2012

While the boys were sitting around the fire last night, apparently there was a fishing plan put into place as Dave's not working today.  So 7am and Craig's being called out of bed and told to grab his rod!  The 3 boys went off to the "hut" again, trying to catch you know what and then went back to the point afterwards - you guessed it no Barra!!  Apparently though, a fellow that was down at the hut earlier had caught a couple of smaller ones.......

I tried to stay in bed a bit longer after they left, but dog wanted to get up and needs to be lifted down off the bed - so up we got.  As I was sitting there enjoying my coffee, I noticed the water pump making a strange sound, so turned that off and then noticed a steady stream of water coming out of the drain holes from under the camper......  Hmmmm.  Checked the storage hole and it had about 1/2 inch of warm water in it (not giving a good feeling at this point), so lifted the bed and turned off the hot water system, found a bit of water sitting on top of the water tank (also warm).  Decided there was nothing I could do right now, so sat back down and enjoyed my coffee and had a chat to Neville (Dave's mate) who was getting ready to go to work (deckhand on a crab boat up here).

About 8.30am Dave & Craig came home and I updated Craig on our current issue with the camper this morning - he says to me " I leave you alone for an hour or so and you break the camper!"  Nice....
Anyways, they had brought back some Bacon & Eggs rolls from the corner shop for breakfast, so enjoyed those first, then Craig had a look at the water problem.  Turns out that one of the clip together fitting on the hot water system has just wriggled loose and when I put the water pump on this morning all 14ltrs of hot water from the system leaked out - so nothing major and all fixed.

While we went off to do our voting for our local council elections this morning, or so we thought we would (turns out there's no absentee voting and you have to vote in your own electorate), Dave cooked some muddies for Craig to take with him when we leave tomorrow - steamed, boiled and he has one from the coals to take also.  Talk about being spoilt!

The boys took the boat out about 11am, with the promise of hooking a Barra (every time I write this it gives me the giggles now!).  I reckon my Uncle David in Mt Isa has rang every day since we arrived and asked young David if he's got Craig hooked on a Barramundi yet - sadly the answer as you know has been a big fat NO!  I think Uncle David's asking his son, what's going on.  Anyways we'll see how they go out on the boat.

We're thinking we might dine at the Sunset Tavern again tonight and catch one of those beautiful sunsets on camera! 

Alrighty, boys returned home about 4.30pm and you are never going to guess what!  They brought fish & crabs home - OMG!!!!!  They brought home a King Salmon, Barramundi and Jewel, plus I think about 4 crabs thereabouts.  Go figure....

They unpacked the boat and the fruits of their efforts, then it was time to freshen up for dinner at the Sunset Tavern and to watch a glorious sunset.  Great meal again at the Tavern, then it was time to return to the ranch as the fish needed filleting.

I took a few photo's of this activity, but then retired to bed with the dog and left the David & Craig chatting about their days adventure over a rum.  Won't be a late night, we're on the road tomorrow, heading slowly for home :(