South Australia to Victoria
The trip took us through Portland, where we stopped
off at McDonalds for some take-away
Cappuccinos and Chicken Bites for smoko.
Warrnambool is a fairly large city with
33,000 population, which makes it
roughly a third the size of Rocky. Our home
for 2 nights, was the Surfside Holiday
Park, smack bang on the coast. There
were many walkways to the beach from the
Park, but yet again, the cold, wet,
windy weather made such a visit
unbearable. Instead we opted for a big
drive around town, finished off with a
visit to a popular suburban Pub/TAB,
where we spent a comfortable Saturday
Saying goodbye to Warrnambool, our next
journey took us along The Great Ocean
Road to our current location, Apollo
Bay. We did the tourist thing along the
away and stopped off at a few of the
many spots, including (of course) the 12
Apostles. Unfortunately, nature has
taken its toll on the famous dozen and I
could only count about 7. One story has
there were only ever 9, but hell, who
cares? It was a spectacular sight to see
We are at the Pisces Big4 Park at Apollo
Bay, set up on a hill, just 800m from
the town. Sadly, the bad weather has
continued, which has virtually confined
us to barracks. If you listen closely,
you'll probably hear the rain in the Van
roof! This place would be really
beautiful in summer, but right now, I'd
score it 5 out of 10.
Very few photos due to the weather.
Tomorrow morning it's off to Melbourne
where we will be based for 15 nights at
Melbourne Big4 at Coburg, a near city
Life in Melbourne
seem to grow wild in Melbourne
October Our trip from Apollo Bay to Melbourne
was 'interesting' to say the least. The balance of
the Great Ocean Road was mile after mile of "Mt
Morgan Range" except it was overcast, freezing cold
weather, with rain and landslides. Not pleasant,
especially pulling a van!
Once that was over, we got onto the highway to
Melbourne and were cruising along the Geelong
Bypass, when I spot the cops behind me, with
flashing lights. Check the speed... only doing 92...
can't be that. It's a 6 lane divided highway, with
hardly enough room to pull over. 3 cops came up to
Bev's window (not enough room my side!). "Good
morning folks, Geelong Highway Patrol, just a RBT
and routine check... do you have your registration
and driver's licence sir?"
was good, so we got the niceties over with and were
back on our way to Melbourne. As expected, Petal (Navman)
got us safely to our
Melbourne Big 4
Holiday Park at Coburg. Coburg
isn't the nicest suburb in Melbourne, but it's only
9 ks from the city and the Park is nice. It's home
for us for the next couple of weeks.
3rd November I've been a bit slack with the
Blog Posts lately. I guess it's because we've been
on the go ever since we arrived in Melbourne.
worked out the Bus/Tram/Train thing for the area,
getting around became much easier. We do take the
car sometimes, but mostly use Public Transport.
caught up with my son Andrew for lunch today at "TGI
Fridays". He picked us up at the Caravan Park and
took us to Chapel Street, a popular retail and
dining area in South Yarra. While it's only 16ks
from the Park, the traffic was so bad, it took just
over an hour to get there. The locals think that's
Tomorrow morning (Monday), we are heading into the
city to catch the Melbourne Cup Parade. To quote the
Herald Sun Newspaper, "The race that stops a
nation will stop traffic with the Melbourne Cup
parade to take over the city's streets.
The iconic Melbourne Cup will be paraded through
Melbourne's packed CBD on Monday alongside jockeys,
trainers and racing royalty from noon until 2pm.
Thousands will line Swanston Street for the 30th
annual Cup parade from Bourke Street to Federation
Square ahead of Tuesday's race - which is expected
to attract more than 100,000 people to Flemington.
The parade culminates in entertainment and
interviews with trainers and jockeys on stage at
We have only had 2 really nice days here since we
arrived, but the forecast is for a fine day, with a
top of 24 for Tuesday. Here's hoping!
More after the Cup.
The Melbourne Cup
Bev and I
and 100,000 other humans, squeezed into Flemington
Racecourse today, to witness the Melbourne Cup.
No, I didn't say watch the Melbourne Cup...
because we didn't see it, didn't hear
it and certainly didn't win on it!
Makybe Diva Statue
It was a
very uncomfortable day, mainly because, at the last
minute before we left, I decided we didn't need
to take the 2 small camp stools, the picnic
blanket, umbrella and water.
We had to stand out in the sun most of the day
shoulder to shoulder and as a result Bev nearly
fainted and I got sunburnt. Our feet are so sore,
we can hardly stand, BUT... we did
go to the Melbourne Cup!
Racecourse is huge and spectacular and you wouldn't
believe the Roses... beautiful! IF
we ever go again, we will pay the $300 a head so we
can sit down at a table, under cover and enjoy the
We are here for another day yet, leaving for
Lakes Entrance on Thursday morning. All going
well, we'll be in Forster (NSW) in a couple of weeks
and catch up with Luke and Joanne who will be down
for Luke's Triathlon.
Melbourne to Sale to Lakes Entrance
morning traffic getting out of Melbourne, pulling a
caravan through suburbia, wasn't as
daunting as I
first anticipated. Travelling east, the traffic
gradually thinned until I couldn't see anyone
in the rear view mirror.It
was a short 233ks to Sale, where we had
booked for 2 nights at the Showgrounds Motorhome
& Caravan Park. In hindsight, it wasn't the best
place to stay, but for $21 a night, for a powered
site with town water, we couldn't complain.
were originally going to travel directly to Lakes
Entrance, but Google told us there was a Race
Meeting at Sale on Friday, so we decided to go.
Sale is a very 'nothing' sort of town, but the race
course was a credit to them. Sadly, Bev's losing
streak continued but I was fortunate enough to back
a $36 winner!
left Sale this morning (Saturday) and took the short
trip to beautiful Lakes Entrance, passing
through Bairnsdale on the way.
are now in the Eastern Beach Caravan Park,
home for the next couple of days.
Unfortunately, the weather is turning nasty again
with strong (freezing!) winds and rain moving in.
From here, we cross the border into NSW and will
stay at Merimbula for a few days. We sure
hope NSW turns on better weather for us!
UPDATE: Just Googled Merimbula weather...
guess what? More rain!
Our solution to
this dilemma was to install a Satellite TV System. My research had
narrowed the choices down to 2 companies:
Access Antennas & Satellites a West Australian company
in Perth, with offices as well in Bunbury and Brisbane.
SatGear.com.au an Internet based company that has earned
the respect of travellers around Australia.
Both companies offer a full Satellite Caravan
Kit at great prices. I was ready to order a full kit from
Access Antennas, when an email changed everything.
a subscriber to the popular Caravan & Motorhome on Tour
Magazine, which I enjoy very much. In November 2014 they sent out an
email to entice new subscribers and get current subscribers to
extend. To sweeten the deal, they were offering a
Satellite Dish Kit with a 15 month subscription, for $149!
I used to buy the Magazine each month from the
Newsagent and 15 issues @ $9.95 comes to $149.25. Just so happens,
the Kit they were offering is the
Access Antennas kit, selling on their website for $339. This is
the full kit, without the Decoder Box.
I had to buy the
VAST Decoder Box separately, which cost $235 postpaid. So I got
the full kit, worth $584 including the Bag, plus 15 issues of the
magazine ($149.25 across the counter) for only $384!
Now that's a deal !
Caravan Improvement Projects
I love working on new projects that will improve our quality of
life on the road. Here's one project I just completed recently. See
if it will suit your setup... you may want to do it for your van.
Simply enter your current location in the box and hit
enter. It's preset for the Optus C1/D3 Satellite.
The only drawback is, you need Internet to
use it. They also have an iPhone app as well. (No Android yet)
But it doesn't have to be
this way! Stop the frustration! My New Guide
will lead you step-by-step towards a successful set-up every
Read More Here
Usually, we don't
stay in a Free Camp location longer than 2 days. We like to share
our Free Camping experiences with Caravan Park stays. Therefore,
we don't need a lot of Solar. Even so, our setup includes 2x 130w
Panels fixed on the roof (above), powering a 110AH Battery.
We also have a second battery in the tug.
a supplement, we also have a 120w Folding Panel. We have never
come close to running out of power, thanks to our van's highly
efficient LED lighting and low power draw appliances.
lumped a generator around Australia, but in two years, have
never used it !
Anyone want to buy a genny?
Read the full Article Here