A Travellerspoint blog

Day 3 Mud, mud, glorious mud

A visit to Kerosene Creek for a dip in the geothermal water. The toastiest creek in the region. It is a hot stream creates multiple small natural pools lodged between the rocks. Boy was this water hot. Even hotter than yesterday's option. The only way to cool down was to stand up out of the water and feel the breeze cool you down.

We passed a green pool on our travels. How glorious is this? Still steam seaping out of the edges around the lake.

We stopped off at Murupara at a bakehouse cafe and headed off to a park with lunch by Rangitaki River at a rest area. Ian dipped his toe in the river to find it was cool. A very nice change.

While exploring the Waiotapu Loop Road we had a chance find and stumbled upon the Mud Pools at Waiotapu to our delight. We found much joy in watching the gurgling/explosive geysers erupting with mud.

The science of mud
There are two distinctive geothermal features at each end: One is pools & vents fed by deep primary geothermal fluids which basically ascend directly to the surface (e.g. Champagne Pool)
The other are pools fed from steam & gas that result from boiling deep under the earth at 10-100 m. These interact with geothermal fluid & ground water to form discoloured pools & mudpots.
With a continuum between these two end features, many intermediate forms of surface features & effects can result well.

The hydrothermal clays present include alunite, kaolinite, silica residue, mantmorilonite, cristobolite, pyrite & sulphur.

Driving around Kinloch to find another of Ian's favourite places, a lake library. It was a lovely small village which we visited late in the afternoon and there were a few families relaxing or swimming in the cool lake water. The beach area was stoney, a bit like England at the beach, but this was a lovely lake. So relaxing.

Home to do the washing as tomorrow we catch the bus to Auckland & say Cheerio to my sister Caroline for now.

Of course we decided fish & chips were on our dinner menu tonight by the Lake, at Lake Taupo.

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Taupo day 2

After the Friday to Auckland, and 24 hours awake, we had a good nights sleep before heading off for a big day out.
First stop was the Lava Glass studio. A wonderful place with such beautiful works of art.

Craters of the moon.

We found a lovely shade spot to have an old fashioned family picnic.

Time to visit the free thermal hot pools close to the town centre. Imagine a hot day, you are in your togs (swim suit) and walk down to the waters edge. You see this beautiful shallow waterfalls. You step in slowly imagining it will be freezing cold, well it was actually thermal water, it was hot. The waterfall hot water feeds into a fast running cold stream. So like chess you position yourself in a position in the water where you are not hot and not cold, but just right temperature. As people walk around in the pool either the hot water or cold passes you and you find yourself adjusting to be in the water the right temperature for you.

We headed to the boat harbour to board a sailing boat. We sailed for about 2 and a half hours with Sail Barbary. It is an eco sailing ship. The company uses an electric motor in & out of the harbour & then set sail for a taste of adventure. We had a wonderful time on the water. Temperature was a sunny 25 degrees.

The destination was the Maori rock carvings I created from a rock face at Mine Bay by carving students over 20 years ago. 20190211_001655.jpg50062d20-2d26-11e9-9a5d-637c29a62384.JPG

This was another sail boat on the water this afternoon.

Another amazing day in Taupo.

Posted by iandeborah 12:26 Archived in New Zealand Comments (1)

Tiki Tour commences

The flight from Perth to Auckland, via Melbourne, went smoothly and on time. Even arrived at Auckland airport a few minutes early, just after 5 in the morning 😊
A quick bag collection and a nice coffee to kick-start the New Zealand experience.

Off to catch the Inter City bus to our first few nights, at Taupo.
As with any longer bus trip there was a wee and food stop. Ours was at Tokoroa, sandwich and drink with the Pine Man.

Picked up by Caroline, Deborahs sister, and taken to our AirBnB for 3 nights. On the way Ian got side tracked seeking more information about the area & we visited the iSite.

Saw some of the local Graffiato along the street.

Time in the afternoon to see the Aratiatra dam and Huka falls.

Afterwards a walk around the townsite to look at a whole bunch of Graffiato, artist's work on the walls around the town.

The stormwater grates in the centre of town are even a bit fishy, in a great way.

Posted by iandeborah 01:09 Archived in New Zealand Comments (0)

Swan Valley and 'that' Concert

Another lovely evening at Moore River before we headed off to the Swan Valley.

Setup on a nice spot next to the vines.

We had a drive into Guildford to have lunch with the Patey's at the burnt out Guildford Hotel, now newly renovated...

Off to see Jimmy tonight...

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Moore River adventure


We headed off for our annual trip to Moore River. We decided to add a couple of nights.
First stop was at the Pinjarra rest area.
The Premier Hotel Skimpys were on Thursday so missed them!
We had 4 other campers overnight. The trains kept a coming along the track, we even saw the Australind pass by. It was a lovely quiet night.
We were not the last to leave & took off after a leisurely start towards Camillo, Perth where we celebrated Courtney's 21st Birthday at lunch The Willow Pond, Canning vale. We had parked up at Rick, Roz & Marks for the night. The boys & I watched some soccer. In the morning we waved to Mark out of the caravan window (where we heard Mark say Goodbye, in a soft voice) as he was heading off for work @5.30am. Rick went out for his morning glory walk then came back home. We didn't hear Roz leave but it was after 6am. Departed after catching up with Rick and popped into New Age Beckenham for a technical adjustment. All sorted within the half hour & on the road to Moore River, Guilderton. We picked up some salad at Drovers along the way.

Arrived at Guilderton/Moore River just after 12.30, had an easy set up (aren't caravans just the best) and relaxed into our holiday. We added some fairy lights to our site which the children & adults love (also helps keeps them off our patch). The weather was perfect, with the usual sunset.
Tuesday we had a swim across the river with our noodles. The weather has sprung up with strong winds so time for a nanny nap & catching up with our emails. A quiet afternoon inside. The pelicans are the only ones in the water this afternoon.


Woke up to a fabulous sunny Wednesday with a very light breeze. We had a relaxing kayak up & back along the river which took for about an hour. We saw lots of birds, fish & a few hawks. Then noodled around in the river & cooled down. Ian is relaxing doing a crossword he found in the laundry. Off to make another cuppa now. We are really enjoying our view as we overlook the beach in front of the river.20190109_120619.jpg20190109_120502.jpg

Posted by iandeborah 04:43 Archived in Australia Comments (1)

Bridgetown to Busselton

Saturday night was a late one for us both. After watching Swamp Thing, The Turner Brown Band, the living legend Russell Morris & finished off with the Black Sorrows featuring Vika & Linda Bull. We took a leisurely stroll up the hill past the Hospital to the Showgrounds. Our heads hit the pillow just before midnight as the Black Sorrows continued playing.

Another leisurely morning, we packed up the van & drove into Bridgetown. Parked up at a free powered parking bay. Picked up a coffee & walked to our final 2 events which were the "Ten cent shooters & The Riders."

We stopped off at beautiful Balingup for lunch at the transit park. IMG_201811..2627790_HDR.jpg

Hit the road & drove home. You know what they say, there's no place like home!

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Bridgetown Blues

After listening to a few happy campers come back from the music venues throughout the early hours of this morning we left the campsite & walked into town.

Along the way we discovered the BFG had dropped one of his pegs.

We negotiated the streets.

First stop was the lunch Ian won from Triple M radio station, by guessing which artist originally sang a song. Ian's guess was "Madonna" and you guessed it, like a virgin. Some of the MMM crew.

The afternoon session for us included "The Swamp Stompers & 19-Twenty."
Above you will find the Swamp Stompers, young and energetic.
Below you will find the entertaining 19Twenty.

Back to the ranch for a cuppa & wardrobe change before we head out for the nights activities.

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Still got the Blues

After avoiding an emu that wanted to commit suicide we arrived safely at Bridgetown. Set up camp at the Showgrounds.

We walked into town to pick up our weekend tickets Ian won from Triple M, our radio station. We slipped into Bridgetown Hotel for a tipple

Next we were off to listen to some live music. Starting with "The Streamlines."

& Shaun Kirk.

A walk past the butchers revealed a simple message for all environmentalists.

Having an early night.

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Intimate gathering at the campfire

It was a sunny day, and what better way to enjoy it, after a walk around the campsite, was a bottle of Moet to continue the celebration of Sharon's 60th.
Above you will find Peter & Anne in front of their New Age Manta Ray while Ian was starting our fire.
Above are Chaz & Sharon in front of their New Age Jewel.
Above are Peter & Ian.
As the sun goes down on yet another near perfect camping weekend.

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Lake Navarino - New Age catchup

2 hours from Busselton & 1 hour from Perth, a great place to have a weekend catchup.

We stopped off for a healthy lunch on our way through at Capel Berry Cafe. IMG_201810..2848486_HDR.jpg

A quick stop at Bunbury Hospital with good news. The ultrasound revealed Deborahs growth on her kidney has not changed in size & she has an all clear for another 12 months.

We headed off up the SouthWest highway & turned inland at Waroona to Lake Navarino. We were greeted by Peter & Anne who had arrived about noon from Kingsley. The caravan park has a lovely bush setting, but a little uneven ground. We set up to find some native flowers along side of us.

Chaz & Sharon arrived from Helena Valley after work by 6.30. Sharon shared a lovely pumpkin soup with us all for dinner.

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A leisurely breakfast, and then a walk down a goat track to see the lake.
Lots of wildflowers, ski boats and people fishing for trout.
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Posted by iandeborah 20:18 Comments (1)

3 days at the 24th Kulin Bush Races

We travelled to Kulin along the Tin Horse Highway. It is a great experience to drive along the highway & see all the man made horse creations. It started off with 1 or 2 to promote the Kulin Bush race & now it is voted as the best tourist drive in the wheatbelt.F8206A0DA6FFD4122444697102B7E86F.jpg

We arrived at the race course a day early than we planned and the camping area was already very busy. We set ourselves up nicely in close proximity to the track & facilities. They had flushing toilets & some basic hot showers for all campers.
No dogs allowed. Camping costs included $50 per night Earlybird ticket for Fri & Sat + $30 Thursday extra night of camping.
We walked up to one of the big rocks to have some amazing views of the area.
Deborah was getting ready for the nighttime fire.
And Ian was getting ready for the nighttime drinks at the bar.
There were activities for the young & the old.

Friday we took up the offer to drive into town for a look around Kulin. What a very friendly town. We visited the Info Centre ( which had hot showers & a 48 hour free stop point. Looked through the hardware, town hall, which had plenty of kids activities available. Some even showing children how to make recycled art from coffee capsules. We took up the offer for a Devonshire tea with scones, jam & cream at the CWA. Unfortunately it was not a patch on the CWA Capels biggest morning tea that we rave about.

Back to the track & 8 Tin Horses were available at the auction. They went from $220 to $540 per horse. Soon after the auction was this tin horse race. It was so entertaining to watch. All of the funds raised from this event went to the Royal Flying Doctor Service.
Saturday Race Day
Some of the events included the

  • Horse Barrel qualifying then racing
  • Perth Highland Pipe Band
  • Hobby Horse racing for 4-5 year Olds
  • Foot races for various boy or girl races


  • Tug of War
  • 2 up
  • A sheep race for the Kiwis whose names were:

Lamb Chops,
Ewe 2,
Wooly West Coast,
Lambs Fry,
Kiss Me Kiwi,
Dam Tasty Collingwood,

  • 8 Horse Racing events
  • Fireworks
  • Bands on the main stage that played till 1am Sunday morning


Ian & I are not big gamblers however we managed to pick a horse each on everyone of the 8 races ($2 minimum bet) and we put a long odds bet on a rank outsider in race 7 called Speedybon. It was announced she was 100 to 1, so we just had to pop a bet on the 13 year old girl. Low & behold the outsider won. The odds dropped to 20 to 1 at the end of the race. We still collected $40. Yippee.

The late night Saturday activities included the fireworks.

On offer was the great Aussie Revival breakfast as people start to pack up & head home.
We hit the road by 7.30am. A great start for us. 11.30 morning tea beak in Collie.
Lunch in Donnybrook.
Visit to see Lynne, Ian's Sister who has had a second knee reconstruction at Capel on our way home, then home by 3pm to unpack & wash the van.

Our thoughts about the Kulin Bush Races was it was great fun with country hospitality. It had a real Aussie flavour. Highly recommend.

Posted by iandeborah 12:38 Comments (2)

Day 12 Corrie to Kulin

Leaving Corrigin we are reminded of the 'country way' of doing things. Sheep in trailers along the main street.?
Heading into Kulin we travel along the Tin Horse Highway, with lots of creative tin horses.

At the racecourse we fitted ourselves into the many campers already onsite.

Posted by iandeborah 21:04 Comments (0)

Day 11 Corrigin

We left Bruce Rock for a leisurely drive to our next stop, the caravan park at Corrigin. We paid $33 a night for 2. The caretakers are Happy John & Merry Gwenda. There are 20 overnight bays, 2 separate males & females toilet & shower cubicles, a laundry with a top loader $4 a load & a front loader $6 a load, & 2 dryers. We prefer the solar dryer ourselves.

We are pacing out our free camping spots and powered sites.
Of course using a GPS machine should usually take you via the major roads, but ours which is set to quickest decided some of the minor roads (all sealed) was the quickest way. It doesn't know we have a caravan on the back. So after seeing Ardath pub for a second time, and it was still closed, we made it into Corrigin.

A nice lady at the Information Centre gave us useful brochures, and directed us to the caravan park.
We took a walk around the town which, like several others in the wheatbelt, are based around the train line and the provision of water to the old steam trains.
The Town Hall and Road Institute buildings dating from the early 1920's.
Of course Ian had to find the local library which, as you find in country town's, is based with another service, this one being the Post Office.
Corrigin is part of the 'Granite Trail', so is based near a 'rock', Corrigin Rock. It has a walk trail your with, as you guessed, some wildflowers.
Deborah also found some new, fluffy friends.

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Day 10 Bruce Rock

Today we headed off for a local wildflower adventure. We left Bruce Rock & drove to Ardath which is well known for its little pub. We passed through about 11.30 & it was closed.
We continued on to the little hamlet of Babakin. Known for its underground orchid. We searched high & low but it must have been well underground. We swung by the one shop in town which, according to the main town sign, was still open in 2004 but is now closed. This is a sign we saw in its window.
Town also has a hall, CWA, and cricket club (no sign of cricket club though).
It did have some quirky artwork.
Next stop was Kokerbin Rock. Third largest monolith in Australia. Very nice, but no camping allowed at 'Rocks' anymore.
We checked the Kwolyin 72 hour free camping area for self contained vehicles, this is where previous campers at Kokerbin Rock are now encouraged to go to. It was set up in amongst wildflowers in a lovely bush setting. It had flushing toilets & a gas cooktop. It would be a lovely place to stay.

We headed back to Bruce Rock but stopped off at Shackleton which has the smallest bank in Australia. It's open on Fridays between 3 - 4.30.

We had to stop in and have another freshly baked pie & coffee to support Bruce Rock on our way back to our second nights stay at the 48hour free camp area for fully contained vehicles.

We noticed we had 2 close neighbours, when we returned home.

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Day 9 Merredin Peak to Bruce Rock

We headed off after a peaceful night's sleep into town.
IMG_20181001_113723334.jpg Meredin was a lovely little town with friendly people. We splashed some cash in a few stores in town & checked our Lotto, alas we have found on this occasion there were no rail crossing sounds. We had to check out the bakery and bought a bee sting for Ian & a lamington for Deborah. None of which disappointed with our morning tea cuppa coffee in Bruce Rock. We did find we did not have phone or internet signal.

We visited the information office in the heart of town & picked up some local wildflowers information. The staff were very welcoming, knowledgeable & friendly. Set up the van & had a lovely freshly made pie for lunch. Ian says it's the one of the best pies he has ever tasted.

Our afternoon trip as suggested by the information staff was to Bruce's Rock,
IMG_20181001_141351053.jpg the old railway Dam & then the rifle range to see the wildflowers.
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