A Travellerspoint blog

Bringing Sweet "Marmalade" home

21 June 22 - Tuesday, the day we start our journey home from QLD.
234 Km travelled in total, but only 184km with the van on.
We had hoped to do around 500km today.

We departed Sunland Caravans at Caboolture by 2.30pm. We decided to take the toll roads to make the journey quicker. It did assist us with a smooth drive, less traffic through the City. We made it to Maryvale, QLD by Sunset. Parked up behind the Crown Hotel free camping area. Unfortunately closed Monday and Tuesday nights for dinner but we were able to test out the inverter system to make a quick microwave meal. We tested the hot water system using the red water valve to recirculate the first few litres of water until it heats up properly. It was a bit tricky to get used to, but we will get the hang of it eventually. We were able to use the radio.
Early to bed & early to rise.
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22 June 22 - Wednesday
618 km travelled today.
The alarm goes off at 6.30 am, the chooks crow on Ian's phone. We thought it was a bit cool so we tested out the gas heater and it worked a treat. It was 3 degrees outside with beautiful blue skies once again. Deborah had breakfast ready. A quick breakfast and ablute but not forgetting some photos of the location.

Some of the towns we drove through include
Warwick
Big Apple Thulimbah
Stanthorpe where we had a morning tea break. Previously all of the Containers For Change we have seen were all manned or womanned. This one was a real self serve, no cash, just choose to donate to your charity of choice, or a digital refund.
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We crossed into NSW.
Tenterfield, Peter Allen's hometown
Bolivia Hill, 1025metres tall on the New England Highway.
Historic Deep Water where Ian was halted by a Policeman, saying I should fine you for that number plate MANCTY FC. Then he pulled out a breathalyser for Ian to blow into. Again he maintains his Zero Hero status. We were then waved on.
There was chatter from the Truckies on the UHF, "Stop & Goes, pull em up" alerting other truckers of the situation ahead.
We went through the Killarney Gap a road which does not allow semi trailers and had some narrow U-Turn bends that could possibly rival some Tasmanian roads.

Today we were listening to the ABC radio, Conversations with author Ruth Ozeki . " The Book of Form & Emptiness. "
They mentioned Maree Condo & her Japanese background and the value of items even though you decide it has no intrinsic value. You might want to celebrate when the item is disposed of. They spoke of disposing broken sewing needles by placing them gently to rest in tofu at a temple for a soft respectful ending. If you want listen to the conversation go to abc.net,au.conversations I believe they said.
We found it very interesting.

As we passed Inverell we saw a road sign on the side of the road warning to look out for Deer. Not one was seen by our eyes alive or dead. We did however see cows on the road and slowed down to avoid them and the cow pats.

Lunch today was at Binga.

We then drove through the Killarney Gap. The drive was very scenic and peaceful not to mention slow at times.
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Our stop for the night is at Coonabarabran Golf Club. We were baptised upon our arrival into town.
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There were about a dozen campers that utilised the free camping area.
After a lovely sunset we wandered into the clubrooms for a drink and the most delicious Chinese meal at their restaurant Lotus. No MSG on these meals & the meals are suitable for people with Coeliacs. The service was very friendly. You can eat in the restaurant or take it away. Free camping allowed, you are asked to support the club by purchasing a drink or meal. We did both of course.
The restaurant serves lunch or dinners Tuesdays to Sundays. The campsite gave us an open view of the clear nights sky, the stars were so visible without any artificial street lights. It was certainly a beautiful night and lovely experience.

23 June 22 - Thursday
722 km travelled today.
Again we woke to the alarm, had breakfast and as we headed off just after 7am.
At 7.10 at -1 degrees, it was cold but again the heater worked well. A bit of water was need on the windscreen & the demister full blast on the windscreen to melt the ice. We drove through Collie NSW, Nevertire a little town where we stopped to have a cuppa & morning tea. We drove into the Bogan Shire where we saw cotton on the sides of the road. We drove past a big yard full of giant, hay bale size cotton wool rounds stacked awaiting transport. We drove onto Copper Mine City, Cobar & stopped to enjoy a bite of lunch.
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Picked up some fuel at Wilcannia. We saw wild goats on the sides of the road, none came too close but we did slow down to avoid an incident. Stopped for the night at Dolo Hill Rest Area just before sunset & the sunset didn’t disappoint. We had a quiet night by the hill and initially were the only campers. But we woke up to find 2 trucks, a ute & a camper trailer.
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24 June 22 - Friday
513 km travelled today.
Same process to wake up and get cracking when the sun rose. We viewed a lovely sunrise prior to departure. The day commenced at 5 degrees a bit warmer than we had been used too. We drove through Little Topar, and Broken Hill where they are filming the new Mad Max movie. Using Mr Google we found where Coles was and picked up some supplies, but wary of crossing the SA border we did not pick up fruit, vegetables, grape vines or plants. Not long after that we crossed into SA. The inspector asked us some questions and inspected our fridge. We were all clear. The inspector said he had confiscated lots of items already this morning purchased by travellers at Broken Hill. We gained 30 minutes so today felt quite long.
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We drove to Peterborough and stretched our legs as we walked through town. It was a lovely town filled with friendly people. It has a number of quirky opportunity shops & emporiums. Unfortunately the craft shop was closed. There were several pubs in town. The town is very RV friendly even with what looked like a show ground with at least 25 vans and campers parked up and room for 4 times as many easily. It would be a great place for a club meet.
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We drove through Orroroo, and past the Commercial Hotel where we stayed on the way over.

Music we heard today included:
Songs by 10cc, Don Williams, Slim Dusty, Bruce Springsteen, George Thorogood, Pink Floyd to name a few. Every hour we heard the news.

Tonight our resting place is Beautiful Valley Caravan Park at Wilmington. It is convenient with many drive through sites. Great for a 1 night stay. We have hooked up with power, water & sullage and are testing other items in the van. The air con is working on heat. We have bipassed the red water valve as we are on mains water. Our solar on arrival was at 100%. The night was peaceful apart from some of the locals dropping on the roof to party. About 2am and then again at 4am. We think the possums were tap dancing on our roof. Deborah turned on 6 outside lights so they didn’t hurt themselves when they jumped down & scurried away. They obviously had so much fun the first time they thought they would do it a second. Deborah obliged again by turning on the disco lights.
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25 June 22 - Saturday
606 Km travelled today
We commenced our day in the normal fashion. 6.30 wake up by the chooks, turn on the lovely gas heater with the control right next to the bed, Ian's side. Wait a few minutes & then get up and its all action stations. Beautiful Valley, Wilmington, is quite nice with its little puppet shop & toy & car museum, rodeo in January but we had places we needed to be. Up and over the misty Horrocks Pass, with the clouds hugging the peaks, and down the other side past the renewable energy on show. The sunrise catching the blades on a still & quiet morning.
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Picked up some fuel in Port Augusta and continued onwards past Iron Knob.
Our morning tea stop was in lovely Kimba with it's Silo Artwork. It was completed September 2017. It took 26 days to paint & 200Litres of paint. Artist Cam Scale. Artwork commissioned through Judy Roller by the Kimba Community Development Group as part of the Igniting Kimba Arts Program.
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The last time we came through the Coffee Hut was closed, as was Workshop 26 which it is part of. We enjoyed a very nice coffee today at the Coffee Hut & then ventured into Workshop 26 which is described as industrial meets country in an abandoned tractor shed. You can meet the Artisans that have created all the items that are for sale. It is a very quirky and modern, in an old John Deer Tractor Shed filled with sea containers, made into art and display rooms. They are filled with treasures that the 5 crazy Ladies that got together over bubbles & snacks to brainstorm what can only be described as a creative hub. We were invited to come in to sit down by the fire & join in on the conversations. This garage filled our hearts with joy! Thankyou Ladies! What an outstanding business you have created & so wholesome for visitors.
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If we ever come this way again, we will definitely be back, as this is a Hidden Treasure and not to be missed. And its half-way across Australia.
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We stopped at Wudinna for lunch.

Occasionally, as we did coming into Ceduna, we have experienced some wide loads coming in the other direction and have pulled over to accommodate.
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We reached our resting place for tonight at "Cohens Old School Site", SA. There was one other camper at the location, no others joined us for the night.
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26 June 22 - Sunday
670 Km travelled today
Today another coolish morning at 3 degrees. It was the day we gained an hour and a half extra so we thought we might be able to get a few extra kms under the belt. To this end Deborah chipped in and took the wheel for an hour. We drove off today, being Sunday, listening to Macca on ABC 693AM Australia All Over.

This was the day we traversed the Nullarbor plain. We stopped a few times for fuel at different roadhouses & morning tea was at the Nullarbor Roadhouse.
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We popped into Scenic lookout No 1 and viewed where the desert reaches the ocean. Magnificent cliffs & wild ocean.
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Entering WA at Border Village everything stops for inspection by the quarantine officers. Both car & van were inspected & both passed with flying colours.
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After being allowed back into our home state we drove a few more kms and stopped for lunch at Eucla. We passed a gentleman sitting on the side of the road, eating his lunch next to his push bike enjoying the sunshine.

Ian spied a hitch hiker on the roadside, looking a bit sheepish, needless to say we slowed down for it, but did not pick it up. Then he spotted 2 emus walking along the roadside. It must have been the day for hitch hikers.

Needing a rest our stop tonight was at "Kevs behind the truck stop". It's about 15km East of Cocklebiddy. The truck parking is beside the highway & the caravan parking is in the bush behind, way off the road. You must be self contained to stop here & enjoy free camping.

27 June 22 - Monday
587 Km travelled today
Setting off today just after 7am, it was 6 degrees & the skies were blue. By the time we reached Norseman it had reached 22 degrees. We came across many oversized trucks today. Between Caiguna and Balladonia is the longest stretch of straight road in the world. Deborah decided to take the wheel and drove through this section of our journey.
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Our morning tea location today was at Balladonia Roadhouse. Heading West from Balladonia we finally leave the low endless scrub land and start driving through the trees and shrubs of the Western Woodlands.
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We stopped at the Information Bureau in Norseman, WA, to pick up some Keep Australia Clean kits. We have seen our share of rubbish this trip at some of the roadside camp spots. We took the opportunity to enjoy lunch opposite a lovely park, then a stroll to IGA to pick up a few necessities and headed through Salmon Gums. Our destination today was Grass Patch Caravan Park, WA, halfway between Norseman & Esperance. Tracking well to be home on Wednesday. Grass Patch has it's grain silos, a pub currently undergoing renovation by new owners, a cornerstone/ postal agent, a works
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28 June 22 - Tuesday
507 Km travelled today
We left Grass Patch by 8 this morning and it was 8 degrees outside. We still put the gas heater on for a few minutes to warm up the air.
As we drove out of town a few specks of rain appeared, also too a rainbow in the distance. Sheep could be seen either side of the road. We came across truck after truck heading East & West, so we dubbed it Truck Tuesday.
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Our first town was the lovely Ravensthorpe. It has a 48 hour free camp are in town, IGA, cafes, the big lolly shop, a pub, an electric charging station and an amazing shop Deborah loves to frequent called " The Devil's Darning Needle." A must to visit for the sewing fraternity. This is what I picked up today, the middle is made from Mallee root. I can see it having great purpose with my sewing.
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The street seat art is spectacular. The town is clean & friendly. Ravensthorpe holds an annual Wildflower exhibition highlighting the flora from the Fitzgerald Biosphere. We had our morning tea at a rest stop about 20km East of arriving at Ravensthorpe.
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We took a photo of the Ravensthorpe Silo Art, one of 6 in WA and the second we have visited in WA during this trip. This Silo was finished in 2016. It took 338 litres of paint, 31 days to paint. The Artist is Amok Island
Ian & I appreciate the scale of each of the Silo artwork & the hours it took to create each piece of Silo Art. It covers the 6 stages of the Banksia baxteri.
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Our radio station of choice today was ABC. Listening to the conversations chat about, do you live in a Silo or a Village. Ian & I feel we live in a Village in Broadwater, Busselton. Our neighbours all keep an eye out for each other, collect mail, water the gardens, mow the grass, pull out & bring in rubbish bins, send a text late at night if a neighbours garage door is left up, drinks at the end of our driveways during covid. We feel very lucky.

Lots of water at the sides of the road was seen throughout our travels today. The expanse of Lake King, means no photo could do justice of its size.

Next stop was for lunch at the Newdegate Silos, our 3rd Silo in WA on this trip. How magnificent are they?
This Silo It took 120 Litres of paint, 13 days to paint, it is a massive 25 metres high. The Artist is Brenton See.
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A metal tree & leaves sculpture were a picture to behold at Lake Grace located behind the St John Ambulance Building. They have a bowls club & an Art Space.
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We noticed canola and wheat growing in the field both sides of the road.

Our destination today is Dumbleyung, behind the GODI (Grande Olde Dumbleyung Inne) pub. They have the fire on too. It has a beautiful community garden which even has lettuces growing.
You must be self contained to stop here & enjoy free camping & it is polite to support the establishment. As tonight is our last night on the road for this trip we are enjoying some pub grub & some celebratory drinks. The publican offered his shower & toilet but we declined as we have ours on board & water remaining in our tanks. What an adventure we have had.
Stubbs park directly behind us is a 72 hour free camping are also both so convenient.
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29 June 22 - Wednesday
285 Km travelled today

We depart our final leg of this adventure today from misty 6 degrees from Dumbleyung. Got to say we love the gas heater on these cool mornings.
Our drive today takes us through Wagin, Darkin, Arthur River, Collie, Donnybrook, Capel & home to see if Marmalade can fit under the carport.

We were following a mini bus that ended up being the school bus who stopped and was picking up the children to take them to school. It was delightful to see the happy faces of the children & their parents waving them off. We topped up with fuel at Wagin.

Donnybrook was our chosen morning tea stop. We visited the Big Apple Bakery to pick up a treat for morning tea to go with our coffee. We passed the Million dollar Apple Funpark which caters to children of all ages.
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Again listening to ABC conversations on our travels. The owner Richard Kuipers & brand ambassador of 2 men & a truck, who grew their family business from a trailer up to 94 trucks. They even employed a family mediator to help navigate creating a family business with succession planning. Now the eldest daughter is the CEO & the mediator continues with the process. They set up processes, one of which entailed how each family member is to respectfully communicate with each other when at the business. The business holds regular board meetings & every 3 years the whole family, including the children/grandchildren, they all have a voice & have input for a family holiday.
Richard has written a book about it called " Inside the Box." It certainly sounds like a good book to read.

We have had a smooth trip today homeward bound. Just dropping into South West Windscreens on the way home.

We left QLD with 190L general water tank and 60 Litres in our filtered water tank. We had 2 nights at a caravan park using their water and 6 nights using the water from our tanks. The water gauges on caravans are not very accurate & the gauges on Marmadale have 5 steps on both tanks. The filtered water is still showing 5 steps available ie Full (not an indication of how much we drink) and general water shows 2 steps left. The handy option is we can flick a valve & use the filtered water tank in the shower or basins if we ran out of our general water tank. End result is we have made it through 6 night and 7 days with what we hold in water so far with our own water and power. One shower a day & washing up in the mornings. We are yet to test the full power usage off grid.

We have noticed we have quirky steps, pressing the electric step switch for them to lower, actually raises them and visa versa.
Also a pulsing pump, when left on, pulses every 1 & a half to 2 minutes.

So far we are feeling very positive of the vans performance, we just need to monitor how the batteries recharge from the solar panels & in particular the car.

Destination & final resting point today is home in beautiful Busselton, but cloudy today.
This trip we have travelled a total of 7,704.5 Km.
We arrived home by 2pm.

Now to see if our sweet "Marmalade" fits in the carport which is 3.1 metres high
We were advised by Sunlandcaravans the travel height was 3.05 metres.
Looks like our tape measure is a bit different to Sunland Caravans.
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The progress is a foot to give Sweet " Marmalade" a home for when she's not off galavanting around.
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Diesel costs per litre along the way in case your interested to know:
Caboolture United 221.9
Glen Innes United 226.9
Coonabarabran 226.9
Cobar Shell 239.9
Wilcania 249.9
Little Topar 224.9
Yunta 227.9
Port Augusta 231.7
Kimba 231.9
Ceduna 229.9
Penong 240.9
Nundroo 237.9
Nullabor 319
Boarder 319
Mundrabilia 265
Caiguna 285
Balladonia 282.2
Salmon Gums 242.2
Gibson 245.9
Ravensthorpe 235
Wagin 230

Our trip
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Feel free to leave a comment on our blog.

Posted by iandeborah 05:57

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Comments

Welcome home. Sounds like you have had a lovely trip. Looking forward to seeing you soon.
I am putting The Devils Darning Needle' on my bucket list

by Michele

Welcome home.

by Bob and Wendy Shine

Such a wonderful and amazing adventure you've had and bugger that Van doesn't quite fit 🤔🤔

by Rose

Glad to see you have had a great time. Some wonderful narrative and pictures.Welcome home.😀

by Melanie

Welcome home! When are you going to get your garage height raised?!!!

by Liane

Liane, we have Peter & his Brother Henry working on it right now as you could imagine.

by iandeborah

Welcome Home, how fabulous the van looks. I have really enjoyed your journey home with Sweet Marmalade. I can see many happy adventures happening.

by rayannette

Impressive concrete work!

by Holdensam

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