A Travellerspoint blog

Cheela Plains Station

Station camping.

We arrived after a very slow & dusty drive in convoy with the other Ian & Jan & their caravan to Cheela Plains Station. Unfortunately we had a tyre wall blow out on the car along the way. Both Ians did a fabulous job by replacing the 20 inch tyre. You know what they say 2 heads are better than 1. After now using our spare we have to consider our options going forward in the next 2 days.
Jan was so kind & thoughtful & made us a cuppa & we all rested up in a shady patch in between the hot sun & all the red hot dirt.
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We continued our drive for over an hour longer & found a lovely shady place to give the boys a break from driver fatigue by the roadside in between the trees & enjoyed a lovely lunch & cuppa & a few laughs over lunch. Other convoy vehicles passed us and some stopped to check we were all okay & they continued their journey to todays destination Cheela Downs Station. This was a nearly 8 hour drive...
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On the drive we saw a snake crawling ever so slowly across the road, a beautiful outback windmill, a pump & a big truck being loaded with cattle.
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We all arrived & took a look inside the vehicles & ours had red dust in every cupboard. Most other caravans & camper trailers were in a similar predicament. I needed to wipe out every cupboard to begin our time on the Station. It seemed even though Ian covered all the vents in preparation for the journey that the dust still came through the door of the van, and possibly through other unknown areas. We also had a few other bits & pieces we had to sort out. We chose to have a welcome hamburger cooked for us by the Station staff @ $10 a head. None of us felt like cooking that night. A few wines & stories were shared that night.

Our first full days outing took us to Cheela Springs, supposedly an old out station area. It was a very windy day, with very little shade, but some interesting old artifacts along the water course. These included a couple of old cars and one, an old Standard Vanguard, still has all its original glass intact. Not many tourists allowed in this area, so we were privileged again.
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Dinner our second night was a roast, with dessert and a glass of wine, beer or soft drink, cooked by the Station staff @ $45pp.
It felt good supporting the station & treating ourselves a station roast meal & desert & glass of wine for the night. Don't worry we cooked the last night. Some of our fellow neighbours decided to go to the homestead for a lovely hot cooked breakfast for $18 a head. Yes they had their fill before embarking on the next stage of the excursion.

Our excursions took us on self drives to explore the sites. We visited the Beasley River Gorge Time Trail. We certainly got our exercise walking up & down the mountains. This Gorge provides a unique window into the distant past. We explored the volcanic basalt rocks.
We visited mussel pool. Deborah climbed 2 rather tall mountains exploring with geologists.
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We came across a bush kitchen is situated on a prominent ridge of Boolgeeda. How amazing is this?
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The Wall was a shear wall of BIF, which is a banded iron formation. It had a large vertical waterfall after rain that flowed into one deep clear pool surrounded by jagged edges of broken BIF and directly in front was a smaller pool.
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We do have to report after much research we have decided in our best interest to depart the Naturalists excursion and head for Carnarvon as they will have our tyre in stock by the end of the week. This is where we said good bye to the group and thanks feel very privileged to be part of the excursion.

We have learnt so much from the people in this group. We even had stargazing lessons at night by the amazing Mark Patey and were shown uv lighting through fluroscing stones. We certainly have a rock/ crystal fetish now. We will make it to Marble Bar another time.

I think we stuck it rich again heading towards Carnarvon for Wednesday as we are meeting up with Ians brother Neil & lovely wife Mel C.
We are resting up tonight in a 4 star rest area called Barradale rest area.
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Our adventures continue as we hope do yours, although we have decided to return slowly to Busselton via mainly bitumen due to the tyre issue and difficulty in getting a suitable replacement . The rest the Naturalist group headed to Mt Webber for some more bush adventures.
Here we are parked up today Wednesday 12 August @ Canarvon. Guess who we have seen here? Neil & Mel. Looking forward to our next pub dinner Mel.
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Posted by iandeborah 06:28 Comments (9)

Mt Augustus National Park

We stayed at the Mt Augustus Outback Tourist Park for three days. The group parked around 2 hexagonal grassed areas & went off on walks throughout the days.
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We chose class 3 walks, but some others were adventurous and did class 5/6 walks, like the summit walk. Madness.

Places we walked include :
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Ooramboo (Edney's) Aboriginal engravings
Edneys Lookout
Mundee (Aboriginal engravings)
Petroglyph Trail, this was an easy walk that took us to an engraved wall where we sat quietly to ponder our thoughts.

Flinstone - Beedoboondu (Aboriginal engravings)
Was a short walk that led us to a large slab of rock that bridges the rocky stream when it rains. It was all dry when we visited. We crawled under the rocks to see the paintings. The large rocks were very cool & refreshing. We all enjoyed sitting quietly here and stilled our mind.
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The Pound and Saddle Trail.
This was a natural basin that was used earlier this century for holding cattle before moving them on hoof to Meekatharra. Droving would take 10-12 days.
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Gooline (Cattle Pool)
A permanent pool on the Lyons River. The walk was picturesque we enjoyed Sunset drinks & nibbles one night. We enjoyed it so much we went for a walk around the river where we heard & saw lots of birds & wildlife.
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Our nights were cool. The sunsets spectacular. A great time was had by all.

Posted by iandeborah 06:32 Comments (7)

Yinnetharra Station

We head off in a convoy this time with caravans, camper trailers, pop tops, motorhomes & self contained roof top campers. First stop, by the river in Gascoyne Junction to look for fossilised stones by the river.
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We then headed off towards Yinnethara Station, as invited guests, for a 3 night stay by the Gascoyne River, free camping. Yinnethara is a 880,000 acre cattle station.
It was an amazing camped on the banks with views of the Gascoyne River. Interesting to note that February 2020 where we actually camped was under water & it hadn't actually rained at the station. All the water came down the river from Meekathara, over 400kms away.
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And some lovely sunsets.
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The two full days we went out fossicking for rocks at old mine sites. We were particularly looking for Tourmaline (black), Mica (a layered clear, very much like slithers of clear plastic, some had pictures, like the black & white movies as you peel it off,) Beryl (Green), Fieldspa (whiteish), Dravite from the mine to find Taumaline (black), saw the shaft & overhang & underhang.
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We have found we now need to add estwing geology pick & a pair of safety glasses into our travel kit.

We stumbled across a Tourmaline shaft mine which we were all very careful to avoid falling down.
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On this site Deborah made a very good find. It was a very old metal Vesta matchbox with the lid.
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We also checked out an old wool shed & Police Station where many old items of interest were gathered. We also saw a spinifex pidgeon nest on the ground, Ian was the first to see this rare find. At the same location we also saw a striped Gecko & a Dunnart. We weren't quick enough to get a picture.
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On our drive back to camp we spotted 2 dingoe's.
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Our group had the pleasure of viewing a beautiful sunset at Red Rocks, with wine and cheese of course.
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Posted by iandeborah 06:21 Comments (3)

Gascoyne Junction - Kennedy Range West

We set of again in our convoy heading to Kennedy Range West. Although there was a little bit of bitumen road, once we turned off the highway it became a bit of a dirt goat track requiring 4WD. We were heading off to find Mukalite. It is an ornamental rock only found in a vein 2km wide x 8km long area.

We saw some wildflowers springing up along the way which you will see on a page of its own. We made several stops to collect rock samples.

We stopped for lunch by the spring just past the Muka Mine. Next to the spring is the old accommodation for some of the early miners (20th century ones).
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Yenny Creek
A few intrepid explorers continued a further 40 minutes along a goat track to discover Yenny Creek. This area had a water spring which was still trickling, a water trough for the sheep or cattle. Several brahman cattle came for a drink while we were exploring. It still had some remnants of the fence around the spring, and an old sheep ramp.
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To get to the Muka Mine we crossed a small section of the Gascoyne River, luckily it was not in flood.
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Posted by iandeborah 03:39 Comments (4)

Gascoyne Junction - Kennedy Range East

We set out in the convoy again 40 km to the Eastern Section of the Kennedy Range.

Here we were anticipating finding fossilised shells in rock formations as we firstly visited Honeycomb Gorge & secondly Temple Gorge.

Honeycomb Gorge
We went for a walk into the Gorge to find Honeycomb Gorge. The Honeycomb effect is created by differential erosion where some parts of the rock are harder than other parts. The minerals create the colouring. The iron/ mineral sometimes leach down cracks within the rock which leave different colourations. We came back from the head of the Gorge following the route of the creek bed to find fossilised impressions of shells in the rocks.
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Temple Gorge
We drove to the entrance to Temple Gorge. We walked into the Gorge to find the reason it was called Temple Gorge. At this point it splits into 2 the yellow route & the blue route. We chose the yellow route which provided some spectacular scenery although there were a few rocky steps to traverse to get to the end. Unfortunately there was no water pool as it is the dry season. We did find the Knight Templar who oversees the Temple Gorge.
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Posted by iandeborah 19:11 Comments (1)

Gascoyne Junction - Get your rocks on

We arrived Thursday.

Bernie the Busselton Naturalists President took us on a convoy to "Rock On."

We all drove in a convoy out to the Rock On owners property & were shown a huge selection of specialised rocks & fossilised items. Many of which we hope to see in the days to come as we explore the Pilbra region.

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Posted by iandeborah 08:45 Comments (1)

Carnarvon

An overnighter at the Big 4 Plantation caravan park.

Took a drive out to the Fruit Loop. It is a circle of roads lined with fruit & vegetable plantations selling fresh reasonable produce along the roadside stalls. Deborah picked up zucchini, capsicum, cucumber, tomatoes, & bananas of course. They were also available paw paw, pumpkin, lettuce, cabbage, & chillies.

Waste not, want not at Bum Baks.
We headed off in hunt of a freshly made mango icecream for Ian & a smoothy for Deborah which we thoroughly enjoyed. This shop was formed in 2017 to use rescued fruit & vegies deemed too unappealing for sale in the supermarkets. They set about making award winning ice creams h preserves. Working with local growers, Jo Bumbak rescued fruit & vegetables using produce that would have otherwise been dumped h left for rot. Its no surprise through their business they are aiming to reduce waste, improve financial industry & create delicious that contain nothing artificial & no preservatives for visitors to enjoy all year round.
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Posted by iandeborah 08:16 Comments (4)

Long Range Pilbara camping trip

Busselton Naturalists do a long range camping trip each year but due to our previous work commitments ie not retired, we have never been able to accompany them on the adventure. This year we convinced ourselves to retire and head off to the unknown.

We planned a few appointments around the trip, one being measured up for an annex prior to joining the group. The other being the caravan service at the end of the trip.

We casually headed off on Wednesday for a free overnighter at Pinjarra, only two other campers partook.
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Next morning we went to our next stop at the beautiful Karinyup Waters Caravan Park for a pleasant 2 nights stay. Our friend Annette visited for afternoon tea & dinner . We caught up & shared many stories. We visited the new cafe at the caravan park, which is open to the public, & we would highly recommend it.
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Whilst we were there our first appointment occurred & Melba was measured up for her annex walls. Once it is made it will be posted to our home address.

Whilst in Perth we took the opportunity for a quick IKEA visit which took under under an hour. IKEA was surprisingly busy with people everywhere.

Saturday we headed off on the next leg of our jouney on the way to meet up with the Naturalists (not Naturists). Lots of traffic going North & South on the Indian Ocean Drive, mainly cars, caravans, motorhomes & boats.
We stopped at Wilbinga Grove Rest Area just South of Moore River for a morning cuppa. We have stayed here overnight before. There is a sign there saying no camping. We will have to cross that one off the list Karen & Phil.
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Our destination for 3 nights was to be Cliff Head North & Ms Garmin decided that we might want to be in a slightly different spot away from all the other campers. A couple of Wily Wagtails have frequented our campsite. Singing as they glitter from the car to the tree to the awning. They seem to like running across our roof of a morning with the sound of tiny pitter pattering of feed, saying come on it time to come out & play with me. They have been such happy welcome birds. As I type this one of them is dancing on the roof with its tiny feet. I think perhaps the insects are attracted to the white roof providing dinner for this Willy. Here are some pictures from our time here North of Cliff Head.
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So we are parked up on the beach slightly North of Cliff Head North.
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We have already has a visit, yes they found us, from Neil & Melanie who were staying 30 km up the road at Dongara. Thanks for bringing the potatoes, they cooked up nicely on the fire. We have been for a couple of walks along the beach. The weather is delightful & sunny. The nights have been mild. We have been able to have a small fire each night.
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Today Monday we went for a long walk along the beach. We were doing a beach sweep looking at shells & collecting a special few. We found a nest of Sea Eagles perched at the edge of the beach. Also some Whale bones.
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Our walk entailed coming across a large gazebo sitting area with a fire pit & some fancy drop toilets. There are quite a few areas where you could park vans or motorhomes in one area.
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Tonight is our last night here. Tomorrow we have a lunch date with Mel & Neil at Dongara on our way though to our next overnight stop at Nerren Nerren.

Posted by iandeborah 02:01 Comments (6)

Big Valley Getaway

The NATs (New Age Tribe) were having an informal get together at the Big Valley Campsite, Margaret River. We thought we would take our time getting to the destination as it was such a long distance.

So we dropped into Taunton Farm for our first stop. They said said pay for 2 & stay for three. So we did. Nice caravan park, big bays, relaxed atmosphere & what better way to enjoy happy hour in Winter than to do it beside a wood fire. This is where you meet fellow caravanners around the campfire. Hello Brian & Natalie from Safety Bay. As Taunton Farm is a working farm they have a scheduled 5 pm feed the animals session where you can meet the calves, pigs, goats, donkey & the horse & if your really lucky you can feed milk to the baby calves. Deborah took pleasure feeding the calves.
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One of our local experiences we like to enjoy is enjoying a picnic lunch & a glass of wine at Fermoy winery.
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On the way back to the campsite we couldn't resist dropping into Howard Park to pick up a free bottle of wine using a free guest voucher from Taunton Farm.
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We continued our long journey on Thursday morning to Big Valley Campsite in Margaret River.
This too is a working farm & it is lambing season. They have up to 80 guinea pigs in cages & free roaming, many chickens & roosters & 2-3 (at any one time) orphan lambs that Deborah was very happy to help feed. They were named Sharona, Carina ( who did not make it), Gloria & Tiny.
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They also do a sheep feeding opportunity at Big Valley, so we hopped on the farms electric buggy and took a turn feeding out some oats.
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Walking around checking out the guinea pigs we found a macadamia tree & Deborah had Ian cracking those nuts. They were Yummo.
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Saturday we headed out to Witchcliffe & explored.
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Had a coffee at the local Witchcliffe coffee shop, Yardbyrd.
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On the way back we went for a walk around Ten Mile Brook Dam.
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Sunday we took a drive to The Berry Farm for a filling lunch.
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Off to our Sunday night Happy Hour with the group.

Monday, and it's homeward bound for us. We have had a lovely week out for our first retirement trip away.

Posted by iandeborah 19:49 Comments (3)

Pumphreys Bridge

The border restrictions for COVID-19 were relaxed so, we thought, what better way to celebrate than a road trip.
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A short stop at Peppermint Grove Beach caravan park along the way and a catch up with Neil and Melanie Christophersen, who were at the park for a week after Melanie getting great news about here cancer battle.
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Next stop Pumphreys Bridge, north of Dryandra Forest, to meet up with 9 other New Age caravans for a few days.
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We took a walk around the local area, and found the tennis courts established in 1946, so it must have been a booming farming area after the Second World War finished.
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And it still has its own CWA, with an old swing out the back...
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The old bridge, which the area is named after, has seen better days...bit of a jump to get to the other side.
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And the new bridge isn't as impressive, but certainly more structurally sound.
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The area certainly has some historical buildings, or wrecks, and an old homestead built in 1867 and used as a school from 1944 to 1948.
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A nice frolic through the bushes along the river bank provided some lovely landscapes.
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Of course our camping buddies did socially distance as much as one can when out in the middle of a recreation oval.
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Our drive over to Pumphreys Bridge took us past one of our old camping haunts, Glen Mervyn dam. The water was very low, and no water ski boats allowed this time...but there were a few campers around the edge of the lake.
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A storm warning had many of us heading back early on the Sunday morning, to each of our homes. We left before 8am, a morning tea stop at Donnybrook, and we beat the bad weather home.

Posted by iandeborah 00:27 Comments (6)

A legal break away during Covid-19

We had a week off work & due to Covid-19 restrictions we weren't allowed to travel outside the South West Region.

We hadn't felt comfortable to travel prior to this week. But with the easing of some restrictions we can now travel within our Region.

The New Age Tribe had planned an adventure to come to Peppermint Grove Beach Holiday Park before the border lockdown. We thought it was the right time to give it a try.

We have enjoyed a few walks along the beach & surrounding area. Enjoyed a couple of games of mini golf, using our own putters & golf balls. Had some relaxing time also back at the van.

There is one couple here staying for a year after selling up in Perth & now building a new home in Dunsborough. Otherwise there are two other vans still here and a family with three vans & roof top camper who left today.

Heading home tomorrow to meet up with neighbours on the corners of streets, social distancing ofcourse for Happy Hour. Then back to work Monday for us both

Firstly starting the day as I intend to finish it with a relaxed walk along our beach back home with my dear friend Rose.
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Set up at the caravan park, a whole 37 km
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A couple of walks to the beach & walking through the neighbourhood.
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Then the golfing tournament. Deb won the first round. Ian won the second. Time permitting we will have another game tomorrow before we depart.
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Sunset on our final night.
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Happy adventures.

Posted by iandeborah 04:43 Comments (1)

Not the Crab Festival, Mandurah in 2020

Shades of John Farnham concert at Kings Park when we made it to the Kwinana Freeway & heard on the radio it was cancelled. This time we just made it past Brunswick Junction & heard on the radio, Mandurah Crab Fest 2020 has been cancelled due to fears of covid-19.
We pulled over to contemplate, should we attend or find somewhere else to go this weekend. We had already paid our campsite fees & decided to help the local economy in Mandurah.
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After setting up we walked along the foreshore which looked eerie with the absence of people & the stalls erected, but now being dismantled.
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Our slow cooker made a wonderful curry, we enjoyed a few drinks & a quiet night in. The park was half full with folks from NSW & an Oz Classic from QLD as our neighbours.

We went to visit Woolies & Bunnings. Have to report the shelves were bare on the toilet roll aisle.
Dome, Baskin & Robins & Bunnings had moved from where we last saw them.

We visited Freedom ( we don't see that where we come from) & a surf store and had lunch on the foreshore.
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We went for a walk along the foreshore & over the Mandurah Bridge & low and behold 'arrrgh' a Pirate Ship sailing below us looking for some treasure.
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Seen by our very own eyes some free range crabs moving in the water's. Percy too also put in an appearance.
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Here's the loved up shot I know you've been waiting for.
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There was a line up for crabs. We were 3rd & 4th in line & purchased some crabs. The chanel 7 news team snapped us in the long queue & we managed to be on the news Saturday night.
We purchased our crabs & wandered back to the van for a nanny nap. A quiet night in. The rain was peaceful to hear on our rooftop.

A lovely scenic drive home was had.
Stay safe, have fun & let's look after each other.
And may the toilet rolls, erm sorry, the Force be with you...

Posted by iandeborah 21:56 Comments (0)

Nannup Music Festival 2020

The Labour Day long weekend each year is the date of the Nannup Music Festival. A huge range of musical acts, a multitude of venues, and so little time.
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We camped at the local golf course, behind the Nannup Recreation Centre, our first time at this camping area. To call it dry, is giving a desert a bad name. Still, it was relatively cheap compared to the caravan park which charges like a wounded Bull during festival time and needs booking a year in advance. As it was the festival was a sold out event, 2500 tickets, and the golf course pretty well standing room only.
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Our first night we walked down main avenue past some of the decorations and food vendors.
Into the main amphitheatre for a few acts and stormy skies.
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A stroll through Nannup on our free time you encounter many interesting sites, such as the Tiny Tea House.
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We had free tickets to the music venues due to our weekend volunteering efforts. Trailer Trash was our job. Basically we were to transport the full trailers if rubbish to the tip, but we ended up helping empty bins and bag rubbish then fill the trailer.
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We also, on our last rubbish trip, encountered an incident on the highway thru town. A car towing a pop top caravan lost its load...the van fell off the ball. Trailer Trash to the rescue. Deb stopped the traffic, and Ian helped lay the caravan back onto the ball.
A friendly reminder to the owners to cross the trailer chains, he hadn't, so the tow hitch had hit the deck. No damage, just to his pride.

Posted by iandeborah 22:31 Comments (4)

Lazy Ledge Point

The New Age Tribe had an official meet up with Dealership support from Perth New Age Dealership.

Being a long drive from Busselton we split the distance and stopped at Pinjarra free camping for the night. As we pulled up the Australind came through & dropped off a couple of passengers.
With a dozen other travellers as neighbours overnight this was nothing compared to what we have found when we arrived at Ledge Point.
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Our lunch destination was Wilbinga Rest Area.
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When we arrived at Ledge Point, the first day we had 21 New Age Vans. This grew to 28 by the end of the second day.
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It was a very social gathering where we caught up with members we had met at other gatherings & a few new faces. The happy hours, the BBQs and the formal country club dinner.
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The vans range from 11 foot Geckos to 23 foot Oz Classic. Many Manta Rays various configurations, a Jewel, Wallaby & the road owl and Oz Classics. Ours was the West at this event. Our rear end kept being a topic of discussion. As we are a series 4 van with the new rear moulding recessed spare wheel.

We held a raffle of donated goods which raised over $700 for the RFDS.( Royal Flying Doctor Service).
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Homeward bound.

Posted by iandeborah 21:04 Comments (2)

A quickie in Bunbury by the Sea

After a little bit of insurance work at the Doctor's in Busselton we grabbed Melba by the nose & took her off for a quickie. After driving through Ludlow Forrest.
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Parked up at the 48 hour rest area at Back Beach, Bunbury.
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Ocean views with sunsets each day. Our Friday night was a dinner & sunset at the Bunbury Surf Life Saving Club. A $10 meal. Magic.
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Earlier in the day we took a walk down to town. We checked out the Bunbury Art Scene and were informed they have the largest collection of original street art in Regional Australia.
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The Bunbury Art Gallery building was originally a Sisters of Mercy Nuns Convent. It was free entry.
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Two of the displayed art themes were steel and glass...plus other artistic materials.
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Saturday found us sleeping in hearing the waves on the shore but later the occasional car started to drive by. This was our cue to wander into town and support Bunbury with our hard cold cash. A delightful lunch was had at Natural Temptations cafe.

After we arrived back to to Melba to deposit our purchases we went for a walk up to Marlston Hill & the Rotary Lookout, via the Lighthouse.
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Sun is just going down now with a lovely glow on the horizon.
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Home tomorrow for Soiree.

Posted by iandeborah 03:51 Comments (2)

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