A Travellerspoint blog

May 2015

Hobart to Longford

Wednesday 6 May 2015

Weather forecast for today was not good - 11 degrees and windy from the northwest.

As we had spent the last two days loading and preparing the van for our trip, we were hitched up and on the road by 10:20 am. We headed north on the Mud Walls Road via Richmond, Campania and Colebrook. Traffic was fairly light until we reached the Midland Highway where we saw more trucks. We reached Campbelltown about 12:00 noon and stopped at Zeps for an early lunch. Chappy and Lee had arrived before us and were already having their lunch.

We arrived at Longford Riverside Caravan Park at about 2:00 pm and checked in for 5 nights on site no. 56, the same site as our last visit. Chappy and Lee were nearby on site 53.

We had battled the head winds all the way - NW winds 30 kph gusting over 50 kph. Our fuel consumption was not good and averaged 26.7 litres per 100 km.

Set up on site 56 - too windy for the awning

Set up on site 56 - too windy for the awning

Chappy on site 53

Chappy on site 53

Posted by TwoAces 01:04 Comments (0)

Trip Preparations

Winter trip 2015

Apart from preparing the garden for a cold winter without any attention, our main activities have concentrated on the Navara and the 5th wheeler. After 75,000 km it was time for a new set of 5 tyres on the van - Toyo LT 225/75/R15 at $220 each. While not worn out, the old tyres - Goodyear Marathons, were about 7 years old and due for replacement. We also completed the addition of three boxes on the rear bumper of the Van to carry awning and annexe poles and associated equipment. We carried out a general service of brakes and bearings as well as numerous minor maintenance jobs like checking for leaks.

Extra bins added to back of van

Extra bins added to back of van

The Navara was a little more difficult, and expensive, for that matter. After five visits for repairs we ended up solving our noisy engine problems that included a replacement injector, repairs to a cracked EGR pipe, machining of the exhaust manifold and replacement of gaskets, and replacement of the turbo gaskets which had failed because of loose bolts. One of the turbo bolts had almost fallen out - so much for modern servicing regimes. The ute now idles quietly and does not whistle and screech under load.

Finally we had a cover made for our roof rack as we intend to carry all the bags of the annexe and floor mats on the roof. We will only set up the annexe at the Gold Coast (2 spells of 4 weeks each) and they need to be kept dry when not in use.

New Roof Rack Cover

New Roof Rack Cover

Roof rack cover from the front

Roof rack cover from the front

As usual the Blue Heeler has a great many lists of all the jobs to be done before we leave.

Posted by TwoAces 04:25 Comments (1)

2015 Winter Trip

Itinerary

We are planning to leave home on Wednesday 6 May 2015. Before we catch the ferry on 12 May we will have a few days at Longford so that we can take in Agfest (one of the top agricultural field days in Australia) and get ourselves organised for the rest of the trip. Good friends Chappy and Lee will also be at Longford for Agfest in their caravan. We will spend our last night in Tassie and the following day at the Forth Recreation Ground (a free camp) while we wait to catch the ferry at about 6:30 pm.

We plan to spend a few days in Melbourne with our daughter Kirrily before we head north. We will travel to the Gold Coast on the Newell Highway and the New England Highway, via Quicks Beach on the Murray, then West Wyalong, Dubbo, and Gunnedah, a bit of fossicking at Glen Innes, then Casino. We have a booking for 4 weeks at one of our favourite spots, Tallebudgera Creek Caravan Park at Palm Beach. We plan to try out a few free camps this year.

We have given ourselves 5 weeks to make our way to Cooktown and back via Dalby, Roma, and Charleville on the Mitchell Highway, then Barcaldine and Winton on the Landsborough Highway, then the Kennedy Development Road and the Flinders Highway to Charters Towers, then Mt Surprise and Atherton via the Gregory Development Road and the Kennedy Highway again, then the Mulligan Highway to Cooktown. On the way we will check out the Cosmos Centre at Charleville, the Dinosaur Quarries at Winton, do some more fossicking at Mt Surprise, and have a better look at Atherton. We are going to Cooktown because we have not been there before (why else).

We will return to the Broadwater Tourist Park at Southport via Cairns and Townsville on the Bruce Highway, before heading inland to Belyando Crossing and Emerald (more fossicking at Sapphire) on the Gregory Highway, then Rockhampton and Gin Gin on the way to Dickie Beach on the Sunshine Coast for a couple of days. We arrive back on the Gold Coast at Southport on 1 August and have a booking for 4 weeks on the same site that we had last year. We hope to catch up with brother John and his family while in Townsville, and do some more fossicking in Sapphire - Di's got the bug.

When we leave Southport we will have about 3 weeks to make our way back to Melbourne via Yamba, Nambucca Heads, Nelson Bay, Lane Cove in Sydney, then Canberra and Rutherglen. We will catch up with the Conway family in Sydney, and its nearly 40 years since we used to live in Canberra - we will see if it has changed much. After a few days in Melbourne we catch the ferry back home and will arrive home on Thursday 17 September.

All up about 9,500 km for the Van and maybe another 5,000 km doing the tourist thing in the Navara. In total about 4.5 months before we return home.

Posted by TwoAces 04:24 Comments (2)

Port Arthur - March Long Weekend - Part 3

The Remarkable Cave and the Tasman Golf Course

Our final tourist jaunt was a trip to the Remarkable Cave and a stop at the Tasman Golf Course for lunch, before a stop at the Garden Point boat ramp on the way back to the caravan Park.

The other side of Cape Raoul in the distance

The other side of Cape Raoul in the distance

View from the Remarkable Cave car park

View from the Remarkable Cave car park

Basalt meets the Limestone rock formation

Basalt meets the Limestone rock formation

Remarkable Cave

Remarkable Cave

Close up of the Remarkable Cave - map of Tassie?

Close up of the Remarkable Cave - map of Tassie?

View from the path to Remarkable Cave

View from the path to Remarkable Cave

Tasman Golf Course

Tasman Golf Course

Another shot at the Tasman golf course

Another shot at the Tasman golf course

Pontoon at the Garden Point boat ramp

Pontoon at the Garden Point boat ramp

Fish farms from the boat ramp

Fish farms from the boat ramp

Kayaker leaving the Garden Point boat ramp

Kayaker leaving the Garden Point boat ramp

Two kayakers heading out for a paddle

Two kayakers heading out for a paddle

Posted by TwoAces 04:23 Comments (0)

Port Arthur - March Long Weekend - Part 2

A walk to the Lookout on the Cape Raoul Track

Our walk to the Lookout on the Cape Raoul Track took a couple of hours for the return trip. The walk to Cape Raoul itself is about 5 hours return and was a bit far for us.

Start of the Cape Raoul Track

Start of the Cape Raoul Track

Flowering bushes on the Cape Raoul Track

Flowering bushes on the Cape Raoul Track

More flowering shrubs

More flowering shrubs

Wild flowers on the track

Wild flowers on the track

Rock pile built by walkers on the track

Rock pile built by walkers on the track

The start of another rock pile

The start of another rock pile

Cape Raoul from the Lookout

Cape Raoul from the Lookout

Di at the Lookout on the Cape Raoul Track

Di at the Lookout on the Cape Raoul Track

Cape Raoul from the Lookout

Cape Raoul from the Lookout

Shipstern Bluff

Shipstern Bluff

Another view of Shipstern Bluff

Another view of Shipstern Bluff

Wild flowers

Wild flowers

More wild flowers

More wild flowers

View from the car park

View from the car park

Facilities at the car park

Facilities at the car park

Posted by TwoAces 04:22 Comments (0)

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