Saddle Creek to Leycester's Rest to Ellendale Rest Area
From Saddle Creek, it was only 70ks to the NT/WA border.
We arrived around 9.10am
NT time and were directed to a stop by a young lady who appeared
to have had a very late night. Between yawns and droopy eyes,
she went through our van, asking all the right questions and we,
of course, gave all the right answers. No, we don't have any
honey, honey... no we don't have any vegies honey, only these
poor Queensland onions, which we dutifully surrendered. So yes,
you could say, we lost our onions to an overtired, twenty
Winding our watches back an hour and a half gave us a huge head
start on the day, driving off at 7.40am. It was another 109ks to
Kununurra where we refuelled and shot through. In hindsight, we
probably should have stayed at Kununurra, as that's the gateway
to a couple of "don't miss" attractions... which of course, we
missed! The Bungle Bungles, Lake Argyle and the Ord River. Oh
well... got to leave something for the next time around.
From Kununurra, our next
leg took us to our next free camp at Leycester's Rest, 100k
short of Halls Creek. Nothing flash about this rest area, but we
met a nice Victorian couple and spent Happy Hour (or 2) with
them, sipping the good stuff.
Had to buy a hat to hide my
We got an early start
Thursday morning and our trip took us through Halls Creek, then
Fitzroy Crossing (on the Fitzroy River... yes, WA has one too)
and onto our stopover, here at Ellendale Rest Area. Big
surprise... we have Internet! (But no TV at all.)
We have run out of water again, which I find incredible, as we
have two 60 litre water tanks and are always careful with our
supply. Had to skip the shower tonight and settle for a sponge
down, followed by a powder bath. (You really needed to know
Apart from the water 'problem', the caravan is performing
majestically. It's well balanced, solid on the road and as comfy
as a motel unit. Even the passing Road Trains don't shake us.
Also, I'm gradually getting used to the
BT50 but I hate
the unreadable, deeply recessed, dark-as-night instrument panel
and the very annoying fuel cap on the right! Who puts a fuel cap
on the right!? Creates
all sorts of problems at Service
Stations. Ok... enough griping... it's not a Ford and I
guess I'll have to live with it!
we'll be in Broome where we'll probably spend a few days. We've
been told to have a fat wallet (!) so maybe we'll only be there
for a couple of hours!
the Northern Territory, where the sun sets at 7.30 and rises
around 8.00, here in Western Australia, it's dark around 5.30
and light about the same time (at this time of year). Because of that, we were able to
get an early start this morning (Friday) from Ellendale Rest
Area on our final leg to Broome.
After paying a high of $2.09 for diesel at Warnum (?) it was a
'pleasure' to find a Coles outlet the next two fills at $1.845
(we didn't have a voucher) at Halls Creek and Fitzroy
bumping back to $1.89 before Broome.
Relaxing at Ellendale Rest Area Free Camp
A "farm" on the
outskirts (33k) of Broome, was recommended to us as a "Van Park"
to stay. The owner has several sites on his property, close to
the highway and a roadhouse, with good water supply, great
showers and toilets, but no power. After no power for the last
three nights free camping, I felt we needed some 240 to recharge
the laptop and get away from the red dust for a while.
We headed to the
Tourist Information Centre, where they display (on a board
outside the door), which caravan parks have sites available and
which don't. The only one with numerous sites available, was the
Broome Caravan Park a couple of clicks out of town. I pre-warned
Bev that there must be a reason it was the only one with
multiple sites available and at $47 a night it wasn't the
dearest in town... but at the end of the day, it's not that bad.
We booked two nights.
Tomorrow, Saturday, we're doing a bus trip tour of Broome,
followed by a visit to the Markets then finish the day with a
pre-sunset Camel Ride on Cable Beach. I'll let you know how it
Last Day in Broome
While in Darwin, more than one couple suggested we give Broome a
miss! Too expensive, too commercial. etc. The last lady we spoke
to in the CP in Darwin said she LOVES Broome... 'you must
So we did. And
we're glad we did. Today, we took a mini-bus tour of Broome and
saw far more than we could possibly see by ourselves. Plus, we
got expert commentary on what we were seeing. The tour lasted
just over two and a half hours, which was plenty.
Our Camel Train Arriving
It was then back to the
park, lunch, a poppie nap (instead of the Markets), then off to
Cable Beach for a
pre-sunset camel ride on the beach! Now that was an
experience! The highlight being Bev trying to get her leg over
the saddle! There were 16 camels in the "train"... two groups of
eight and we were on the third from the front. No, not
Humphrey... ours was named Tonku.
One unique feature of
this area is the housing. Almost all new homes - and there are
tons of new ones - are made of Corrugated Iron... Colorbond!
Yet they have a very modern appearance about them. The frames are
steel, the cladding Colorbond and they have no guttering, no
downpipes and no water tanks. Because of the red dust in the
Kimberleys, rain (or even the morning dew) turns it into red mud
which would clog everything and fill water tanks!
Tomorrow morning we're off to Port Headland... will be there in
two days. Will have an overnight stay (free of course) at De
Grey River. We've nearly finished three weeks already!
See ya guys!
Broome to Port Hedland
We left Rockhampton 3 weeks ago and ever since we left
Charters Towers, we have not seen a single cloud in the sky.
Absolute cloudless skies ever since!
Dry and dusty, but home for the
"Stay there love... I'll do it all!"
Beautiful blue skies
again when we left Broome, heading for Port Hedland 612 ks
away. Too far for this old fella, so we free camped
overnight at DeGrey River Rest Area approximately 80 ks
short of Port Hedland, leaving us a short run this morning.
into the Cooke Point
a Big 4 Park here for 1 night at $54, which still
worked out at $48.60 after our Club discount... ouch! That
left the afternoon free for sight-seeing which was plenty of
time for this town!
Welded steel animals at Pt Hedland
Tomorrow it's off to
Karratha, where the Caravan Parks are just as exy, but
hopefully there will be more to see. Once we leave Karratha
for Carnarvon, we will definitely need some free camping to
help with the budget.
A bloody big pub at Port
"No Photos! No Photos!
See my Agent!"
Karratha to Carnarvon to Denham
Free Camping Barradale Rest Area
Thursday, Friday 14,15,16 August
Rest Area is a free overnighter on the eastern bank
of the Yannarie River, just west of the Barradale
Roadhouse. It was nothing to write home about... but it was
free! Actually, there were some nicer spots than ours,
further in towards the river, but for a one night
stopover, it doesn't really matter where you park. Had
we been staying longer, I would have muscled in
somewhere closer to the River.
These free camps we utilize, are usually in the middle
of nowhere, with no mobile/internet/TV access. Our TV/DVD
combo is 12 volt and thankfully, we have a bunch of
movies to watch on such nights. Must get Satellite TV
before our next trip.
our way to Barradale Rest Area, we saw something we hadn't seen
since we left Charters Towers weeks ago.
cloudless blue skies we've had since then, gave way to
some high, rainless clouds.
Carnarvon, our next stop, around lunch time Thursday and
booked into The Plantation Caravan Park, a Big 4 park
close to town. We sure picked the right day, as they
have a free sausage sizzle (big sausage and onions on a
bun with tomato sauce) every Thursday arvo at 5.30.
your own drinks and a chair and join in." So we did. It
was well patronized, with a big crowd present. I was
able to back up for seconds, so thanks for the free feed
carriage shop at One Mile Jetty
Being a one
night stay and arriving around 2ish, we didn't get to
see much. We took a drive out to One Mile Jetty (yes, a
mile long), but the tram that runs out to the end, had
finished for the day.
satellite dish that Buzz Aldrin opened way back when, was
also closed by the time we got out that way, so all in
all we saw sweet fanny annie... but we did get a free
feed back at the park!
This morning we
left for Denham on the Peron Peninsula. Check your maps
guys! It meant a 300k detour (150 in, 150 out) from the
main highway, but we wanted to visit Monkey Mia.
from Google Images
understanding was, that you could "swim" with the
Dolphins, but apparently that isn't so any more. We're
told you have to pay $14 each, to stand in a group at
water's edge to see the dolphins (if they come in) and
only two people are chosen to hand feed them a few fish.
You aren't permitted to touch them!
know who has taken control and changed the rules...
probably the Environmental Gestapo or some Quasi
Government Dept out to profit from the event. But we had
already booked 2 nights at the Top Tourist Park here in
Denham, so we'll take the 28k drive over to Monkey Mia
(the other side of the peninsula) in the morning and see
Apparently the dolphins come in around 7.45 in the
morning, so we'll have to leave here about 6.45am. It's
still dark then and quite cold here so we'll rug up for
the event. Denham
is a quaint little seaside town, probably somewhere
between Keppel Sands and Emu Park in size and they say
the fishing is great.
All the Caravan Parks here are chockers and we got the
last spot at the Denham Seaside Tourist Village. Not
real flash... it's right near the entrance, so we get
all the in and out traffic past our door... but it will
do for a couple of nights. Then Sunday, it's off to
Geraldton. I'll post
some pics and a report about Monkey Mia tomorrow.
Set the phone
alarm for 6.30am to get an early start for the 28k drive
over to Monkey Mia. Good reliable alarm worked
perfectly. Pitch black outside, we get up, put on the
jug for a cuppa, get dressed, put on my watch... and its
My phone time
(No, I didn't notice) was still on the Northern
Territory time zone!
SETTINGS and it's set to "Automatic, Use Network
Provided Values." For some unknown reason, it didn't
change to WA time, yet it did change from Qld to NT
So, we're up
and hour and a half early, fully dressed, waiting for a
respectable time to start the noisy diesel, so we don't
wake the entire Caravan Park!
Ok... Retraction Time Re: Monkey Mia
Now that we've
been to Monkey Mia and have got the facts, I must eat
humble pie and retract my rantings about Environmental
Gestapo (sorry Lukey!) and Quasi Government Departments.
I won't go into a lengthy discourse here (mainly because
I can't remember all that was said!) BUT... there are
good reasons why they stopped unchecked human
interaction with the Dolphins.
of people come down to the beach to see the Dolphins (as
many as 700 once!) and it simply isn't practical for all
to be in the water, trying to pat and feed them. I'd
estimate there would have been around 100 people present
of Environment and Conservation have taken control and
run the "show'. The whole area is a National Park/Nature
Reserve with an entry fee (true of many National Parks)
which is not a fee to see the dolphins.
Bev and I arrived early (!!) and were advised the
Rangers (girls) would allow access to the "feeding
section" of the beach at 7.45am after a talk about the
do's and don'ts of the operation.
We were all
crammed in at water's edge waiting for the dolphins to
come in... and they didn't! People started leaving the
beach, mainly because of the cold westerly wind (read
freezing!) blowing in off the Indian Ocean.
about 9am, a couple of dolphins eventually came in close
and about 20mins later, there were as many as 7. They only
feed the females and they each get 500grams of fresh
fish each. By this time, Bev and I were up on the jetty
and got a great view of the activity.
Tomorrow it's Geraldton's turn to pamper us...
Denham to Geraldton
I haven't lived
a sheltered life. I've driven a lot of kilometres
through Queensland and New South Wales... but NEVER have
I come across so many straight stretches of road as we
have since leaving Rocky.
example... leaving Denham to travel to Geraldton... as
you round the corner on the crest of a hill, all you see
is a straight road, as far as the eye can see,
disappearing in the horizon. And as you reach that
distant point, another seeming endless road...
disappearing again into the horizon!
eventually reconnected with Highway 1 (Denham/Monkey Mia
was about 130k off the beaten track) and made our way
south toward Geraldton.
After filling up at the Overlander Roadhouse, we came across
the Billabong Roadhouse, where we stopped for a toilet
break and a photo op... the Billabong Caravan at
Moving on, the
flat endless plains finally gave way to a scenic change
of hills and bends, with hectare after endless hectare
of yellow flowers. We later discovered they were the
stuff from which Canola oil is derived.
As the yellow flowers thinned, they gave way to the
outskirts of Geraldton, as we made our way to the
Beach Holiday Park. As usual, Petal (Navman) guided us
skilfully to our destination and we set up camp for 2
nights in the "Windy City".
we aren't trying hard enough, but there wasn't a lot to
see in Geraldton. A visit to the HMAS Sydney Memorial
was an eye opener (Google it guys) but apart from that,
it was just groceries at Woolies and a trip to a Caravan
Accessories shop for a sullage hose which I couldn't find.
View from our Caravan Park.
Enlarge to see Ships waiting to
Geraldton to Perth
Cute little town on the way
from Geraldton to Perth took a little longer than
anticipated, for reasons I would rather not divulge.
However, because of pressure from you know who, all
I'll say is, we were supposed to take the route that
took us through Wild Flower Country. But someone,
who shall remain nameless, took the wrong turn (and
wouldn't turn back) and we saw nothing! All it did
was add a couple of hours to our trip.
we did arrive at our destination, moments before
sunset, but by that time, Bev was talking to me
Thankfully, Petal (Navman) took us right to the door
of Karrinyup Waters Resort, because I would have
hated to have Bev trying to guide me reading a map!!
The Resort is magnificent. See
the Video Here . We
booked in for 7 nights and have a nice, full slab
site (one piece slab for van, awning and car) right
next to a pond with ducks and water fowl.
We even have
a white duck that follows you around, looking for a
handout. I was eating a mandarin, which he happily
ate. I tried to get a photo of him, but this fella
chased him away.
Tomorrow morning, Thursday, we're off on a Wine
Country Tour, which wouldn't have gone over well
with Bev (seeing she missed her Wild Flowers!)
except we are visiting a Chocolate Factory, with
samples, as part of the tour. We took a similar tour
back in 2008 but a lot changes in 5 years.
Friday, I'm on orders to take us to the Casino. We
hope it is as friendly this trip as it was last
trip, as we had 8 visits in 2008 and won on roulette
Saturday, its off to the races at Belmont Park...
Sunday it's the Markets at Fremantle, if we can find them. Then
maybe a 'get on get off' bus trip on Monday. We are
scheduled to leave Tuesday morning, but we're
thinking of extending a couple of days. This is the
nicest and cheapest park we've stayed at since
I'll confirm our movements in a couple of days time.
mentioned, we booked into Karrinyup Waters
Resort for 7 nights, but this morning (Friday)
we extended our stay another week as we like it
here and there's still a lot to see.
Swan Valley Wine Tour went well and Bev even sampled
a few vinos... so much so, that she was "audible"!
We visited 5 wineries, a Boutique Brewery and a
The wineries were good, the brewery so, so (a third
of a glass of ONE beer to sample... additional HALF
beers $2 each) and the chocolate factory was a let
down as we got ONE sample and the prices they were
charging were ridiculous! We bought nothing!
did manage to buy 4 bottles of wine, one of which BJ
liked. BJ 1...Pricey 3... sounds fair to me!
went to the Casino. It's owned by young Packer and
is now called the Perth Crown Casino. It's the only place
in WA (except for the horse races) where you can gamble, as there's no pokies in WA outside the casino!
played roulette, as we do, and sadly, Bev lost $90.
Happily, I won $280.
Saturday we are off to the races at Belmont Park and
Sunday we'll probably head off to the Markets at
morning, I've booked the BT50 in for its 100,000
service, ($900+.ouch!) so that will use up one day
See ya next week!
Even More Perth...
As alluded to in
my last post, we went to the Perth races at Belmont Park
on Saturday, but unfortunately, we didn't win. When we
were last in Perth in 2008, we were told that Belmont
Park, which is huge and very close to the city,
was closing down and being sold off for housing.
Apparently the public outcry was so great, that it
didn't happen, but one of the shopkeepers at the course
told me that partial "re-development" of the course will
still go ahead within a couple of years.
planned, we visited the markets at Fremantle on Sunday.
Every kind of stall imaginable is there, all packed into
a old building, which makes it an all weather event.
Apart from a bite to eat, we didn't buy anything.
The 100,000klm service on the Mazda went without a
problem with an alignment and balance being the only
requirement. I probably should have had the alignment
done back in Darwin, as it's been pulling slightly left
for a while now, Hopefully, it hasn't caused early wear
on the front tyres.
As expected, we've had a few visits to the Casino
already. Every new casino we visit, we join their
Rewards Program, which gives members discounts on food,
plus a few other freebies. Here in Perth, they have a
deal (which we took advantage of yesterday) where they
pick you up from the suburbs, and bus you to the Casino,
shout you an 'all-you-can-eat' lunch, give you a few
bucks towards keno and pokies, then bus you back in the
afternoon... all for $10! Being a couple of tight-ass
pensioners, we couldn't resist!
Tomorrow, Friday, it's more sight-seeing around the
area, then Saturday, surprise, surprise... it's back on
the punt. Rather than heading for the racetrack, we'll
probably go to the Casino TAB where admission is free
and the food is cheaper! (Told you we were a couple of
Imagine this on a lovely fine sunny day!
We are here in
Perth until Tuesday morning, when we hook up and head
further south to the Margaret River area. Only problem
is, it's raining and cold down there (as here) so we'll
just have to make the most of it. In hindsight, we
should have spent a lot more time up north and arrived
down here in mid September. The locals have welcomed the
rain, as it's been dry for so long and this has been the
wettest winter they've had in many years!
Perth - Stock Photo
Just a quick
are really enjoying our stay here at Karrinyup Waters
Resort. Tomorrow (Tuesday) morning, we were due to
check out and move on, but we've decided to extend
our stay by an extra few days... maybe even another
There's still a lot we haven't seen and besides, the
Casino has been very kind to us! We both had very
nice wins (by our standards) today. Bev won for the
first time today, recouping all her previous losses,
while I've won every visit... Go Pricey!!
Our Last Week in Perth
from Monday's Post, we took time on Tuesday to visit
King's Park in the heart of Perth CBD. What an
impressive place it is.
Perth from Kings Park
plenty of photos, which would have been a lot more
impressive, had it been a bright sunny day.
the dismal weather continued with cloudy skies and a
very cold wind, so we left early as the rain started
falling and headed to - surprise, surprise - the warmth
of Perth Crown Casino.
Just in case you've been living under a rock for past 20
years, Bev and I love visiting Casinos. Roulette is our
game and it is one of only 2 casino games that can
actually give the player a solid chance of winning.
Blackjack is the other. And while we certainly don't win
all the time, we do win more than we lose, although you
may not think so from reading my posts.
We set a goal some years ago, to do a 'Casino Crawl of
Australia' and this 5 month trip around Australia has
given us the opportunity to visit 2 we hadn't yet
visited... Darwin and soon, Adelaide.
Ok... Wednesday, we took advantage, yet again, of the
"$10-all-you-can-eat, bus-you-in, bus-you-out, Casino
visit". A great day and excellent value.
As always, click to Enlarge
Checking the prices on next race
We were going to do a day trip to Mandurah on Thursday,
but because it's on our way south next week (and will
probably stay a couple of days) we opted instead for a
trip east to Northam and a visit to their mid-week Race
Meeting. Northam, around 90ks east, north east of Perth,
is a lovely little country town. It boasts one main
street, a McDonalds and a Woolies supermarket!
Our aim is to visit many
Provincial and Country Race Tracks and Meetings during
our trip. As keen punters, we have probably had bets on
horses at most City, Provincial and Country
Tracks around Australia. It will be a bit like putting a
'face to the name' so to speak. A lot of the lesser
known tracks have a character of their own, as witnessed
with our visit to Northam.
The return trip to Perth from Northam wasn't without
drama. As the sun was sinking lower and dusk approached,
we hit a road block. Road Closed! A young Main Roads guy
had just finished putting up the Road Closed signs and
turned us off to a side road. We had absolutely no idea
where we were and were very thankful we had 'Petal' with
us, even though 'she' tried more than once to turn us onto a dirt track
to get us back to Perth. The detour added around 10ks to
our return trip, but we arrived home safely thanks to
the marvels of the GPS system.
It was a beautiful sunny day on Friday, so it was 'clean
the car and caravan' day. The task was to remove the red
dust stain from the silastic sealer on the joins of the
van. The red dust through western Queensland, the
Northern Territory and northern Western Australia was
endless and gets into everything, even though we
travelled almost exclusively on the black top!
By Friday lunch time, we had the BT50 and the van
sparkling clean. But as always happens, it rained that
night. In fact, we had a thunder storm move through. We
were awoken at least three times as different cells
moved through. Strange weather for late winter early
This morning the rain had eased, but was still overcast, so
we decided another trip to the races was in order. We
had a lovely day at Belmont Park. It was a profitable
day for me, but unfortunately, Bev's losing streak
continued. But I had better not crow too loudly, as
fortunes can change in a blink in the punting
Mandurah - File
Perth to Mandurah... NOT!
for tonight's post.
left Perth this morning with mixed emotions. Our
three weeks at Karrinyup Waters Caravan Park, our
base for exploring Perth, was very enjoyable. Bev
and I actually discussed staying another week, but
realistically, it was time to move on. There's still
a lot of Australia yet to see.
Our plan was to travel the short distance south to
Mandurah and stay there a couple of nights. It was
raining cats and dogs when we arrived and I had
no desire to set up in the rain! So we decided
to continue on the extra hundred ks or so to
It was lovely fine weather when we arrived and we
booked into the Discovery Holiday Parks –
Koombana Bay, a Big4 Park close to town.
After a bit of a look around, we headed to one of
the two shopping centres here, searching for a
hairdresser. Neither of us had had a haircut since
Darwin, so the locks were getting out of hand. We
found a salon that is part of a franchised chain of
shops that offered no appointment, inexpensive cuts.
We both walked out looking like a couple of young
boys... Bev with a short cut and me with a #2
Back at the park, the local TV news was on, with a
severe storm warning for tonight between midnight
and dawn. Destructive winds up to 125k/hour are
anticipated between Bunbury and Walpole (which is at
the southern most point of WA). We are at the
northern most point of the warning area, so
we're hoping we'll be OK. We put the awning up and
parked the BT50 close to the van, so here's
hoping... If you don't hear from us for a
couple of days, we'll probably be blown east of here
3 Days in Bunbury
Well, the storm didn't get
us on Tuesday night. The wind blew, the van rocked
and the rain fell... but we got through it in one
Last night (Wednesday) it hit again, but not as
badly this time. This morning, we actually woke to
occasional sunshine, but still a strong, cold wind.
took advantage of the 'better' weather and did a bit
of sightseeing today. The first stop was a little
place about 30ks out of Bunbury in the beautiful
Ferguson Valley, called Gnomesville.
No, I'd never heard of of it either, but it's a
place you simply wouldn't believe existed unless you
saw it with your own eyes! Miles and miles from
nowhere, set in a picture postcard valley, complete
with a babbling brook winding through the area...
were thousands upon thousands of... GNOMES!
Yes, garden variety Gnomes! Scattered through the
bush, on both sides of a winding path, the Gnomes
have been put there over many years, by locals and
tourists from all over Australia... and the world. You
simply wouldn't believe the enormity of it all. I've
uploaded the photos full size, so you can get some
idea of the size of Gnomesville. As usual, click on
the thumbnails to see the larger photos.
After lunch back in town,
we did a bit more 'touristing' and saw the
lighthouse, the rugged coastline and the hilltop
also made a visit to the "Talking Toilet". It must
have been faulty. Bev stepped inside and a male
voice with an American accent says "Please press the button to
close the door." So Bev presses the button... and
the dunny flushes! But the door doesn't close. I go
in with her, press it again... the dunny flushes,
but the door still doesn't close! Four flushes later, with
Bev nearly peeing her pants from the water flowing,
we headed quickly back to the caravan park toilet!
that, apart from a trip to Bunnings, BCF and a
couple of caravan accessories' stores, was our
stopover in Bunbury. The dismal weather certainly
disrupted our visit.
Tomorrow morning, we're off to the Margaret River
Region 110ks south, where we'll probably stay for
about four nights. I might have to try and take Bev,
(kicking and screaming "all wine is vinegar!") on
another wine tour.
3 Days in Margaret River
Main Street Margaret River
weather marred our trip yet again. This time at
Margaret River. Friday, we drove through rain
most of the way from Bunbury, but thankfully, it
stopped long enough to set up camp at Margaret River
After the mandatory
drive around town to see the sights and get our
bearings, we parked the truck and walked the main
street... three blocks up... three blocks back. The
township itself is not that big, but it
does have a Woolies and two service stations!
Back to the Park and down came the rain. It rained
all Friday night and all day Saturday. We stayed in
the van and got on the punt, watching the races on
Ready for Work!
we awoke to blue skies and sunshine and the icy cold
wind had eased! What a contrast! We took advantage
of the change and made a visit to Mammoth Cave,
one of the several limestone caves in the area.
Unlike a couple of the other caves that have guided
tours, Mammoth is self-guided. There is no lighting
in the 300 metre cave system, so they provide you
with a hard-hat "miners" helmet and a flashlight and
you simply follow the pathways through the cave.
followed that with a visit to Bettenays, a Winery/Nougat place
and sampled their goodies, but I had to limit my
sampling to 3 wines, as I was the designated driver.
Bev got some Nougat and a bottle of Coffee Nougat
Liqueur and I scored a $35 bottle of Shiraz.
Very Long Busselton Jetty
From there, we took a 35k drive north to
for a sticky and had a huge lunch at a nice
pub in town. At least we got one good day to see the
sights of the area.
Tomorrow, we're off to Albany 382ks away.
Unfortunately, the prediction is more rain and
storms with three more fronts moving in, over the
next 10 days! Bugger!
3 Days at Albany... 1 at Esperance
3 day stopover series continues, with Albany in the
spotlight this time. The rain continued from
Margaret River to Albany, but fortunately, eased
long enough to check into the Top Tourist Park close
to the CBD. As members of both Top Tourist and Big
4, we prefer to stay with them for the 10% discount
Because of the weather, Albany didn't have a lot to
offer and in hindsight, a two night stay would have
been enough. We did get to see the inside of
Bunnings, a Caravan Accessories Shop and both their
shopping centres though, so the retail therapy
We were glad
to leave Albany behind us, with their cold wind and
rain, as we headed east for the first time this
trip. With the cold fronts and rain in our rear-view
mirror, the showers became less and less the closer
we got to Esperance. By the time we arrived, we had
lovely blue skies and sunshine. We checked into the
Esperance Seaside Caravan Park overlooking the Bay
and headed off for our usual drive-around, to see
is relatively small, so we only stayed one night
before heading off this morning (Friday 20/09/13) on
our next leg. We wanted to be in Port Lincoln, South
Australia by next Thursday, to catch the Race
Meeting there, so we put in 370ks today, passing
through Norseman and are now Free Camping at
Harms Lake Rest Area, 25ks from Balladonia. As I write this (we
have no TV or Mobile reception) Bev's on the bed
reading her That's Life magazine and I'm typing this
enjoying a glass of red. Actually it's a 'plastic'
of red... but that doesn't sound right, does it?
Tomorrow, I'm going to try to cover 550ks and get to
Eucla, just short of the WA/SA Border. If not, we'll
pull over earlier for another Free Camp somewhere in
I'll finish this post then and upload it when we
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 !
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
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
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)