A Travellerspoint blog

October 2012

Final Summary for 2012

Home at last

We were on the road for 149 days in total, or 21 weeks. We towed the caravan 15,700 kms and drove another 5,250 kms sightseeing, making a total of almost 21, 000 kms. We used 4,090 litres of diesel and averaged 21.6 litres per 100 kms when towing the van, and 13.1 l/110k without the van. The price of diesel varied from a low of $1.413 per litre in Perth to a high of $2.15 at Gem Tree in Central Australia. The total cost for diesel was $6,740 at an average price of $1.65 per litre, which was pretty good given we pay more than $1.50 here at home.

Out of the total of 149 days on the road we free camped for 4 nights and stayed in caravan parks and camp grounds for 137 nights. The total cost was $4,750 at an average of $37.50 per night. The lowest cost camping grounds were at the Devil's Marbles - $6.60 per night, and the Wagin Showground - $8.00 per night, and the dearest was $52.00 per night at Coral Bay. While food and drink is a constant cost whether at home or travelling - it can be up to 30% more expensive in the far north-west of WA and the Northern Territory. At Katherine VB stubbies were on special at $59.00 per carton.

The cost on the Spirit of Tasmania was $1,538 return for a 2-berth cabin each way, and a 12 metre long car and caravan combination over 2.1 metres high. The cost is after the Bass Strait Passenger Vehicle Equilisation Scheme subsidy of $772. On a positive note the saving from turning off the heating at home for the winter is over $1,500.

Highlights of our trip were the Esperence/Albany region on the south coast of WA with its beautiful beaches, the Kimberleys, particularly the Bungle Bungles and Lake Argyle, and fossicking for Zircons and Garnets at Gem Tree.

TILL NEXT YEAR!!!!

Posted by TwoAces 18:25 Comments (1)

Day 149 - Monday 1 October 2012

Melbourne to Hobart

We were woken up at about 5:45 am and told that we would be called to the vehicle decks to disembark at 6:30 am. We sat in a queue for an hour waiting for quarantine inspections of the caravans which took quite a while as there were 109 caravan on this sailing, apparently a lot more than usual.

We stopped for breafast at Zeps Restaurant at Campbell Town before continuing on home via the dump point at Montrose Bay Yacht Club to empty our holding tanks. We arrived home at about 12 noon and spent a couple of hours carrying all our goods and chattels up the drive. After emptying the van we headed down to the Barilla caravan Park to put the van back into storage until the next trip.

Tassie is nice and green

Tassie is nice and green

Mt Wellington in the distance

Mt Wellington in the distance

Tasman Bridge - nearly home

Tasman Bridge - nearly home

Mt Wellington from our front door

Mt Wellington from our front door

Unloading the caravan at home

Unloading the caravan at home

Our back garden

Our back garden

More back garden

More back garden

Mt Wellington at dusk

Mt Wellington at dusk

That evening we went over to Michelle and Craig's for big hugs from the grandchildren and had dinner with them.

Welcome home photo taken by Josh

Welcome home photo taken by Josh

Josh the photographer

Josh the photographer

Posted by TwoAces 18:23 Comments (0)

Day 148 - Sunday 30 September 2012

Melbourne

We packed up the van and moved it into the storage area for the day, as we will not be catching the ferry until this evening.

Moved to the storage yard

Moved to the storage yard

After locking up the van for the day with the fridge running on gas, we caught a cab into the city to meet Kirrily at Southbank for brunch.

Yarra River from Princes Bridge

Yarra River from Princes Bridge

Public art work on Southbank

Public art work on Southbank

Street performer at Southbank

Street performer at Southbank

Di with Kirrily at Southbank

Di with Kirrily at Southbank

After brunch we walked into the city to Haigh's Chocolate Shop and then into Myers.

Haig's Chocolate Shop

Haig's Chocolate Shop

Bourke Street Mall

Bourke Street Mall

After a bit of shopping with Kirrily we said our goodbyes and Kirrily went off to meet some friends for lunch, while we made our way back to the caravan park. At about 3:00 pm we headed off in the van and drove to our usual waiting spot on Beaconsfield Parade along with several other vans waiting for boarding to start at 5:00 pm. While we were waiting we walked across the road to the Beach Hotel for a couple of drinks - the hotel was quite crowded with people waiting to watch the Rugby League Grand Final.

At about 5:00 pm we went back to our van and drove the short distance to Station Pier and joined the queue waiting to board
Spirit of Tasmania 11. The car in the queue in front of us obviously had serious engine problems as he moved along in a great cloud of steam, and on one occasion got out and added about three litres of water to his car radiator. We thought that he would be lucky to make it to the boat, let alone see Tassie and then drive back to WA.

Waiting to board Spirit of Tasmania 11

Waiting to board Spirit of Tasmania 11

WA traveller with engine problems

WA traveller with engine problems

We ended up on the main truck deck and noticed the general lack of trucks - only about three semi-trailers on deck 3. As we were getting our things out of the car a familiar face drove past and parked next door to us on the truck deck - Kevin and Maris Coates on their way home from Queensland were they had been for the winter. They have 2 children in Queensland - at Maroochydore and the Gold Coast, and two children in Tasmania. We caught up with them again in the lounge and compared notes since we had last seen them. Kevin worked in the PMG's Department/Telecom with David many years ago, before taking on dairy farming.

After 29 years of dairy farming, Kevin retired about 5 years ago, sold the farm and moved to Scottsdale. Like us they have been running away from the winter in a caravan for a few years, and now just go to the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast, having seen most of the country on previuos trips. Maris said to send a special hello to her good friend Neil Harwood.

We had a good trip across Bass Strait with only a very slight rolling motion.

Posted by TwoAces 18:20 Comments (0)

Day 147 - Saturday 29 September 2012

Melbourne

We were up at about 7:30 to pack up and leave Kirrily's place - had to do it quietly as she was still sleeping off a big night out. We arrived at the Trailblazers factory at about 10:30 am to find Phil waiting for us. They had added additional bracing at the front corners of the van and resealed the joints. After exchanging pleasantries with Phil and looking at some of the work going on in the factory we headed off to the Ashley Gardens Caravan Park at Braybrook in Melbourne's western suburbs.

We arrived at Ashley Gardens at about 11:30 am and set-up on site 51 - a drive through site that we have had several times before. Although we had been booked to arrive last Monday, and changed again from Friday to Saturday, they were very understanding and only charged us for the one night. The park has been fully booked this week because of the Melbourne Show and we are surrounderd by very large 3 axle caravans and fifth wheelers. Tomorrow morning we will move our van to the storage area (cost $10 for the day) as we do not catch the Spirit of Tasmania until the evening.

Showmen's rigs at the caravan park

Showmen's rigs at the caravan park

We spent the afternoon watching the AFL Grand Final - well done to the Swans, they were worthy winners of a great grand final.

Posted by TwoAces 18:19 Comments (0)

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