Qld Camping

Isisford – Housekeeping Day

Housekeeping Day

Housekeeping Day

We decided to spend another night in Isisford mainly because we really needed to do some washing and it is just such a nice peaceful spot (and at only $2 a night – a bargain place to camp!).  So – I walked up to the local shop which has the laundromat attached in a little lean to shed and put 3 loads of washing on (yes – lots of washing because we had one wet the bed, one wet their pants and one have a no 2 accident – aaaaargh!).  The kids were given a free lollipop each from the lady at the shop so they were happy – I bought myself a coke – so I was happy – and we went off to the park to play while we waited for the washing to be done – a pretty good way to spend a Thursday morning!

The rest of the day was spent pulling everything out of the camper and trying to get some organisation happening – we got things a little better but basically just put everything back in a little neater!!  Matt has a new obsession silicon spray and has literally sprayed every zip, door and roller we own!!!  He reckons that he could now be a salesperson for the stuff, he loves it so much!!  Everything is moving/opening/unzipping much better now, so I’ll give him that!

And that was our day really – was lovely to stop and relax for a bit!  The kids played and coloured in and we spent lots of time at the park!  We have pretty much run out of food now though (soup and noodles for tea tonight!) so might move on tomorrow and finally do a proper grocery shop as up until now I had only been buying food a day at a time – a little expensive and doesn’t work so well when you stay on somewhere a little longer than planned!  Dinners for the last week have been – Spag Bol, Pizza, BBQ, leftover Spag Bol, Chicken Stirfry, Fish & Pasta and salad, Bacon & Eggs & Tinned Spaghetti and Soup & Noodles.  Not great but has been easy so far!  Anybody else got any easy dinner ideas for us??  We don’t have a camp oven yet, but have a gas oven and cooktop so can cook most things!

Hope you are all well!

Me hanging out the washing with my sexy washing belt - it works a treat Mum!

Me hanging out the washing with my sexy washing belt – it works a treat Mum!

Kids enjoying some down time to play

Kids enjoying some down time to play

Matt & his magic silicon spray!

Matt & his magic silicon spray!

Rainbow wall in Isisford which Lex loves!

Rainbow wall in Isisford which Lex loves!

Great kids playground in Isisford - the park is also where the awesome hot showers are located!

Great kids playground in Isisford – the park is also where the awesome hot showers are located!

Relaxing at the park

Relaxing at the park

On the banks of the Barcoo River

On the banks of the Barcoo River

We are loving having a campfire each night!

We are loving having a campfire each night!

 

Categories: Camping, Qld Camping | Tags: , | 7 Comments

Charleville to Isisford

Me publishing a blog entry while the kids played in the playground at Augathella

Me publishing a blog entry while the kids played in the playground at Augathella

Finally getting a chance to post this entry from last night!

It is warm – I only have 2 layers on tonight – wahooooo!  We couldn’t believe it when we hopped out of the car at Isisford at 6pm tonight and didn’t have to instantly reach for the beanie’s and extra jumpers!
We have had a looooong day today!  We set out from our free, beside the road camp, just out of Charleville at just before 9am this morning and only pulled in to Isisford at 6pm.  We survived the ‘night in the middle of nowhere’ free camp without any incidents except something had a chew on my thongs and our rubber floor mats during the night!
Our first stop was at Augathella for a toilet stop (as a side note all the public toilets we have used have been really clean out here – and it is a nice feeling knowing I won’t be cleaning a toilet for the next 7 or 8 months!) and to have a look around town and publish last night’s blog while we had reception.  Augathella was such a pretty, tidy little place but very quiet – the kids wanted to know where all the people had gone as lots of shops seemed to have closed down – perhaps as the highway no longer goes through there.
The next stop was Tambo for lunch where the kids were spoilt at the Visitor Information Centre with new colouring in books and a packet of smarties each!  We had a little wander through the historical post office and telegraph office in Tambo which was free and quite interesting for the kids who learnt how to send their names using morse code on an old telegraph system.  We checked out the ‘Tambo Teddies’ store – beautiful teddies but very expensive!
Another hour further down the road we stopped at Blackall which is where my uncle was a bank manager and lived with my cousins for a few years – we even tracked down their old house!  There was another great information centre in Blackall which the kids enjoyed and we loved seeing the Jack Howe statue – unbelievable that he was able to shear 321 sheep in 7.5hrs – a world record that has never been broken!!!!
Things went downhill a little after Blackall as about 20minutes out of town we ran into another muster happening in the middle of the road.  (Uncle Murray I’m blaming you for this because you said it makes for interesting reading!!!)  We were being very touristy taking photos and I was worried that I was in trouble when one of the men rode over the car, but he had come to tell us that while we were stopped to let the cattle pass by he had heard air hissing out of our left hand camper tyre.  Aaaargh – sure enough the valve on the camper tyre was split and leaking all the air out of the tyre!  So we pulled over – of course right in the middle of all the cow poo which Matt proceeded to stand in and put his hand in – and spent the next half an hour changing the tyre – but we are at least pleased to say we had all the right equipment this time and managed the change without drama!!  However, this now meant that it was getting late and it was kangaroo time on the road – not ideal for us still to be out driving!  Luckily though we ended up behind some grey nomads with their caravan and they hit all the kangaroos first (well – they only hit one, but that was one more than us!).
So when we arrived in Isisford it was quite dark.  We drove down to look for a spot on the river but it was quite crowded so we just kept driving along the river track, and driving, and driving because we could not find anywhere to turn around with the camper!  Needless to say we were all tired and grumpy by this stage, and hungry!  Eventually Matt had to reverse the camper in the dark with me walking and guiding him until we found a tight spot to turn around!  During all this Lexi wet her pants because she was busting to go to the toilet and couldn’t hold on any longer.  When we finally just went back to the entrance to the campground and pulled up beside another caravan (they will probably be grumpy that we are camped so close but we will sort that out in the morning!) we were not happy campers!!!
However, we are now all fed and have had our first hot shower in 3 days and we do not need to go to bed all rugged up so we are all feeling much better!!!  I think we have done some big driving days and would just like to stay put for a few days now, but we will have to try to work out our plans in the morning.  Once again we are very tired – this sightseeing and driving stuff is hard work it seems hehehe!
So, off to bed for me!  Here’s hoping QLD has a win in the State of Origin – we had thought we might find a pub to watch the game in tonight but it just didn’t happen!!   Go the Maroons!
Favourite Parts of the Day
Lexi – hopping out of the car and it was warm
Toby – playing in the Augathella meat ant park
Jack – having dinner (we were hungry), seeing the wild pig run across the road
Jess – not feeling cold for the first time and having a hot shower!
Matt – having a look at Tambo – a town trying really hard to attract the tourists and is a nice, friendly place

Meat Ant Sculpture in 'Meat Ant Park' Augathella - made by Ang Graham's Aunt for any Malandarites reading this

Meat Ant Sculpture in ‘Meat Ant Park’ Augathella – made by Ang Graham’s Aunt for any Malandarites reading this

Augathella - the home of 'Smiley' - we will have to get a movie for the kids to watch!

Augathella – the home of ‘Smiley’ – we will have to get a movie for the kids to watch!

Beautiful mural in Augathella

Beautiful mural in Augathella

Great visitor information centre in Tambo

Great visitor information centre in Tambo

Great information centre in Tambo - kids loved the 'Are We There Yet' book pictures that were on the wall in front of the kids table

Great information centre in Tambo – kids loved the ‘Are We There Yet’ book pictures that were on the wall in front of the kids table

Jack in the old telegraph station house in Tambo

Jack in the old telegraph station house in Tambo

Pretty standard old Queensland home in Tambo

Pretty standard old Queensland home in Tambo

Blackall is famous for being sheep country

Blackall is famous for being sheep country

Jack Howe statue in Blackall

Jack Howe statue in Blackall

Blackall - where the saying 'beyond the black stump' originated

Blackall – where the saying ‘beyond the black stump’ originated

Uncle John and Aunty Marie's house in Blackall where my cousins Melissa, Sarah and Michael lived for a few years

Uncle John and Aunty Marie’s house in Blackall where my cousins Melissa, Sarah and Michael lived for a few years

We drove through another muster on the road to Isisford

We drove through another muster on the road to Isisford

Loved the sound of the muster, cattle mooing, cattlemen whistling, horse with bell clanging, dogs barking - wish I had of videoed it!

Loved the sound of the muster, cattle mooing, cattlemen whistling, horse with bell clanging, dogs barking – wish I had of videoed it!

Matt changing the camper tyre - a success!

Matt changing the camper tyre – a success!

Categories: Camping, Qld Camping | Tags: , , , , | 5 Comments

Mitchell to Charleville

Good morning everyone – I’m posting this entry from Augathella this morning where we have stopped for a quick look and toilet stop!
——————————————————————————————–
We had a very short day of travelling today.  Mostly because we took a long time to get packed up this morning as it was a) very,very cold, b) it was such a lovely spot, c) we had to spend the time finalising all of our insurance for our home now it is a rental, as well as the car and camper insurance – phew – very glad to have it all sorted now but it did take a good 2 hours on the phone to get it all done and was something we just hadn’t had the time to do before we left home.
Oh – most exciting news today is that we sold our little Toyota Yaris – wahooooooo!  Big thank you to James for hanging around in Brisbane to make the sale happen for us!
Tonight we are camped by the side of the highway in a grassy, paddocky type area on the banks of the Warrego River about 40km’s outside Charleville (hoping not to get woken up in the night and told to move along!) – a little scary camping on our own in the middle of nowhere!.  We met up with an old Butcher’s Creek school friend of mine today in Charleville and she recommended the spot to us!  Great tip Celeste and lovely to catch up all the way out here!!  We have no facilities tonight, so second night without a shower – looking forward to a hot shower tomorrow night that’s for sure – yes we are all getting a little stinky!!!
We stopped in Charleville for lunch today and met Celeste and her bub Carter at a lovely park.  The kids had a great time chasing the geese and playing in the playground.  We even got to check out a funny sculpture in the park which were the Steiger Rainmaking Vortex guns – a contraption built to try to break the drought in Charleville in 1902 by exploding 180grams of gunpowder at the bottom of the vortex gun creating a high pressure vortex up to 6metres above the gun – supposedly forcing the clouds to drop their rain – it didn’t work, but interesting to think the council/town was that desperate for rain they funded such a crazy experiment!
Too cold and too tired tonight to write much more – we have no internet reception here so I will have to post this blog when we get reception on the road in the morning.
Must mention that for the last two days we have discovered prickles everywhere!  We are constantly pulling them out of the bottom of our thongs and crocs (which they go right through) and out of our feet – ouch!  Definitely need to keep our shoes on out here as they are big prickles with barbs on them to boot!!
Favourite Parts of Today
Lexi – having a chocolate biscuit (Tim Tam) at the park
Toby – seeing the very broken bridge (washed out by floods) here where we are camping tonight
Jack – playing at the playground in Charleville, chasing the geese
Jess- sitting at a picnic table on the banks of the river sorting out our insurance
Matt – sitting in the car at Charleville sorting out our insurance – life feeling far removed from home
Today’s Photos

Brrrr - frost!

Brrrr – frost!

Down to 1degree at our campsite outside Mitchell - freezing cold!!!

Down to 1degree at our campsite outside Mitchell – freezing cold!!!

Jess, Celeste and Carter

Jess, Celeste and Carter

Chasing the geese at the park in Charleville

Chasing the geese at the park in Charleville

Rainmaking Vortex Guns - Charleville

Rainmaking Vortex Guns – Charleville

Lovely park in Charleville

Lovely park in Charleville

Our bush camp off the highway in the middle of nowhere!  Nice and quiet but a little scary - I will have to get used to that!

Our bush camp off the highway in the middle of nowhere! Nice and quiet but a little scary – I will have to get used to that!

Afternoon walk to check out our surroundings on the bank of the Warrego River

Afternoon walk to check out our surroundings on the banks of the Warrego River

Cooking dinner - kids relaxing

Cooking dinner – kids relaxing – still some sorting out to do but we are getting more organised each day!

Jerry all snuggled up!

Jerry all snuggled up!

Lexi - look comfy much!  We all love the snuggle rug thank you Grammy!!

Lexi – look comfy much! We all love the snuggle rug thank you Grammy!!

Categories: Camping, Qld Camping | 8 Comments

Goondiwindi to Mitchell

Picnic with pringles at sunset

Picnic with pringles at sunset

Fireside blog posting tonight, but brrrr – starting to get very chilly so might have to move inside soon!  It is supposed to drop to 2 degrees tonight – needless to say we have lots of layers on!  We are free camping again tonight at Neil Turner Weir on the banks of the Maranoa River just outside Mitchell.  There are quite a few other campers here as it is a very scenic spot and campfires are allowed.  We would love to put the kayaks in for a paddle in the morning but not sure if we will be brave enough – I don’t fancy taking a dip when it is this cold!

We had a fairly late start this morning, not leaving Bungunya until 9.30am, mostly because we didn’t feel like rushing and we did a little more sorting out – each day we are getting things a bit more organised in both the car and camper!    However – the kids got filthy playing in the dirt and gravel piles at the free camp which would usually be ok but when it is difficult to wash I’m not sure what to do – on one hand we want them to amuse themselves in the dirt but on the other they are fast running out of warm clean clothes!!!  How do any campers manage this on the road???  No showers tonight so the kids are in bed a little bit grubby – oh well!
After checking out the cotton fields on the way, we had a stop for lunch in St George on the banks of the Balonne River – another pretty spot.  After umming and aaahing a little over the maps at lunch time we decided to head for Mitchell rather than Cunnamulla and try to get off the major highway for a change.  We were rewarded with a very quiet sealed road and lots of wildlife spotting opportunities for the kids!  In the two hour drive from St George to Mitchell we came across a lost lamb, a turtle, heaps of Emu’s, heaps of kangaroos, a dead cow, a dead pig, flocks of lorikeets and a herd of goats, oh and a pack of wild dogs!
Ok – getting too cold to write much more – so off to bed for me – the photos can do the talking!
Ooops – nearly forgot – favourite parts of the day;
Lexi – putting the sticks on the fire
Toby – seeing the turtle on the road
Jack – looking out the window on the track we went on and seeing all the things there was to see
Jess – looking out the camper door and watching everybody sitting around the fire waiting while I cooked dinner, very close second was evening picnic on the river
Matt – having dinner by the fire
Goodnight All!  Thank you so much for the great comments we have been getting!  We do read them all but we are quite conscious of our internet usage at the moment – we seem to be flying through our data packs so we may not be able to reply until we come across some decent Wifi, but we love hearing from you!

Jerry gaurding our site at free camp ay Bungunya

Jerry gaurding our site at free camp ay Bungunya

Picking cotton - the kids were so interested!

Picking cotton – the kids were so interested!

Toby - cptton fields outside St George

Toby – cotton fields outside St George

Lots of huge cotton bales

Lots of huge cotton bales

Ballone River - St George

Balonne River – St George

Jack having a look at the Hema maps on the iPad at lunch time

Jack having a look at the Hema maps on the iPad at lunch time

Turtle crossing the road

Turtle crossing the road

All in the name of good photos!

All in the name of good photos!

Kids wrapped to see the turtle

Kids wrapped to see the turtle

Emus - lots crossing the road too!

Emus – lots crossing the road too!

Neil Pier

Neil Turner Weir Free Camp

Maranoa River outside Mitchell

Maranoa River outside Mitchell

First campfire for the trip!

First campfire for the trip!

Categories: Camping, Qld Camping | 13 Comments

Wynnum to Goondiwindi

Beautiful light this afternoon - wish we had have taken the time to stop and get some better photos!

Beautiful light this afternoon – wish we had have taken the time to stop and get some better photos!

Hooray – we finally made it on the road and out of Brisbane today and as promised we sang our Zac Brown Band theme song ‘Free’ at the top of our voices as we were leaving – it was a nice feeling! Video below – please excuse the singing – we’ll work on it!

We decided to head for Goondiwindi first as we have never been that way before. It rained for most of the day and we were getting nervous as we watched the temperature drop from 24 degrees to 14 degrees as we got over the Great Dividing Range – just outside Warwick – eeek! But it is not too freezing tonight – we have fleece liners in the kids sleeping bags and their flannelette PJ’s on and hoping that will keep them snug enough tonight – otherwise tomorrow night we will add a thermal layer to them!
We are free camped at Bungunya which is about 70km’s west of Goondiwindi – we even got free hot showers tonight – awesome and pretty clean to boot! Lots of driving today and not a lot of sightseeing as it was very wet and we wanted to put some kilometres behind us. No incidents today except that I split some delicious home-made chutney (it is soooooo yum Bern!) from my sandwich on my freshly washed pair of jeans which is very annoying when you don’t know when they will next see the washing machine! Lesson No 2 for the trip to be very careful when eating – especially when wearing freshly washed clothes – we already feel that freshly washed clothes is going to be a luxury!!
We finally out drove the rain at Goondiwindi this afternoon so we pulled over for a late lunch at the rest area and checked out the botanical gardens and the McIntyre River while we were there – very pretty! We then drove through a muster happening on the way out of town which was lots of fun to drive through all the cattle! The scenery today was really pretty – especially this afternoon when the rain cleared – we wished we had of stopped the car and taken some more photos but plenty more chances hopefully!!
We need to do some grocery shopping tomorrow and get some meals organised for the next few days but we need to do a bit of ruthless dumping of items in the morning to make room for groceries as we still feel to heavy and crowded in the camper!
Our Favourite Parts of Today (we try to go round the table at dinner time every night and each say a favourite part of the day – I thought I would record them here if I can remember them!);
Lexi – seeing two windmills
Toby – just driving in the car, seeing the Mustang car
Jack – going over the great dividing range, seeing all the cattle on the road
Jess – finally seeing the sun come out and seeing the beautiful late afternoon scenery, driving through the cattle muster as we felt we had come a long way from Brisbane.
Matt – just enjoying the driving and seeing all the different things there is to see from dwarf motorbikes on the road to huge grain silos
Today’s Photos

Rest stop in Goondiwindi

Rest stop in Goondiwindi

Botanical Gardens Goondiwindi - only small but very pretty!

Botanical Gardens Goondiwindi – only small but very pretty!

Beautiful Coolibah Tree - Jack was very excited to read the name of the tree - his first Coolibah Tree sighting - just like the 'Waltzing Matilda' song mum, he said!

Beautiful Coolibah Tree – Jack was very excited to read the name of the tree – his first Coolibah Tree sighting – just like the ‘Waltzing Matilda’ song mum, he said!

Goondiwindi is grain, sheep and cotton country - huge grain silos everywhere!  And yes we did outrun those dark clouds!

Goondiwindi is grain, sheep and cotton country – huge grain silos everywhere! And yes we did outrun those dark clouds!

We drove through a muster in progress just outside Goondiwindi

We drove through a muster in progress just outside Goondiwindi

Was a little funny driving through a herd of cattle with our big rig!

Was a little funny driving through a herd of cattle with our big rig!

Kids writing in their journals while waiting for dinner on day 1 - great idea - thanks Keria!

Kids writing in their journals while waiting for dinner on day 1 – great idea – thanks Keria!

Categories: Camping, Qld Camping | 9 Comments

Bribie Island Camp

DSCF2162Probably my favourite ‘practice run’ camping trip leading up to our big trip around Oz has been our long weekend away at Bribie Island in late November last year.

Bribie Island is less than an hour’s drive north (65km’s to be exact) of Brisbane.  It is linked to the mainland by a road bridge.  It is beautiful, with lots to see and do and such an easy camping weekend away!

We camped at site ‘K’ in the Ocean Beach Camping Area which was a site suitable for a camper trailer and a tent – perfect for us and Ben, Amy and the kids who joined us on this camp.  It was lovely and secluded and we had our own private stretch of beachfront!  This was our first experience camping without any amenities, and our first attempt at taking Karen Camper on to the beach.  We were very nervous!  Especially when we stopped in the car park entrance to ‘air down’ (drop the air pressure in the car and camper tyres to a suitable level – about 20 PSI – for sand driving) and we had some people come over and say to us that they weren’t sure we would get the camper down onto the beach – eeeek!  But we decided to give it a go anyway as the whole point of this camp was to test out the camper and ourselves with some beach driving/towing.  We were fortunate that a nice man offered to drive ahead of us down on to the beach and make sure we made it through the ‘cutting’ okay.  We were chewing our fingernails even more when we hit the cutting and saw a Prado bogged in the sand in front of us and they were not even towing anything!!!  But – we followed the car in front who had visited Bribie many times and we made it through just fine – phew!

On the beach in front of campsite 'K'

On the beach in front of campsite ‘K’

The next challenge was then getting the car and camper up the sand dune and into our campsite!  It took two goes for Matt to get the camper in after backing out on the first run when he realised he hadn’t given himself enough of a run up and power to get up, and managing to reverse out!  It is very nerve-wracking being on the beach, knowing the tide is coming in and not being sure if you are going to be able to get your camper off the beach and up into your campsite – I had visions of our camper having to be left on the beach at the mercy of the ocean while we watched from the top of the dunes!  I guess this is what doing something new/having an adventure is all about, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t get stressful sometimes!!  The campsite was quite small so it was definitely a test for Matt’s reversing skills to finally get the camper in to position for the weekend.  We suffered a small dent to the front of Peter Prado when Matt hit one of the National Park ‘bollards’ (posts that mark out the campsite) so we didn’t entirely avoid a small amount of swearing!

Great view from our campsite

Great view from our campsite

Our setup - there wasn't a lot of shade

Our setup – there wasn’t a lot of shade

Kids having their before breaky swim at 7am in the morning

Kids having their before breaky swim at 7am in the morning

Over the course of the weekend we tackled the ‘Fort Bribie’ walk which was a 5km return trek that ended up being quite tough for the kids but they managed!  The walk wasn’t very well signed so we got a little lost a few times but did make it to the Fort in the end with hot faces and scratched arms and legs!  This is an extract about the walk from the National Park website;

“Near the northern tip of Bribie Island, you can take a walk through coastal plant communities featuring casuarinas, melaleucas and some rainforest species to heritage-listed remains of gun emplacements and searchlight buildings. Wayside signs provide information about the forts and the men and women who served here during World War II (1941–1945).

During World War II, Fort Bribie was strategically located near Bribie Island’s northern tip to secure the passage south. Moreton Bay’s shallow waters are scattered with small islands, banks and sandbars, so large ships are limited to the main north-west shipping channel that runs close to shore near Bribie Island.”

A bushwalking challenge!

A bushwalking challenge!

Jack having a look at one of the gun emplacements

Jack having a look at one of the gun emplacements

Fort Bribie

Fort Bribie

We were pretty cranky to find that we could have just driven up the beach to the Fort rather than bashing through the bush!

We were pretty cranky to find that we could have just driven up the beach to the Fort rather than bashing through the bush!

We opted for the walk home along the beach rather than through the bush again!

We opted for the walk home along the beach rather than through the bush again!

We also had a fun afternoon four wheeling driving along the Northern Access Inland track and checking out the Poverty Creek camping area.

An afternoon of 4wding along the inland norther access track on the island - Roma Rav bogged!

An afternoon of 4wding along the inland northern access track on the island – Roma Rav bogged!

Can you tell that Matt is just a little happy to have a chance to use the brand new 'snatch strap' and get bragging rights over Roma Rav??

Can you tell that Matt is just a little happy to have a chance to use the brand new ‘snatch strap’ and get bragging rights over Roma Rav??

Afternoon stop at Poverty Creek - beautiful Glasshouse Mountains in the background

Afternoon stop at Poverty Creek – beautiful Glasshouse Mountains in the background

Amy at Poverty Creek

Amy at Poverty Creek

And other than that we just spent time lazing on the beach and cooling off in the Welsby and Mermaid Lagoons on the island.  The lagoons were very shallow and lovely and warm – perfect for young kids!

Mermaid Lagoon

Mermaid Lagoon

Welsby Lagoon

Welsby Lagoon

Cars on the beach in front of Welsby Lagoon

Cars on the beach in front of Welsby Lagoon

Another great weekend getaway so close to Brisbane – I think Bribie Island would even be an awesome day trip!  We loved it and just wish we had more time to go back again.  The kids, and me, even survived our first bush toileting experience of digging our own ‘bush toilet’ hole!  If you live in Brisbane and have a four wheel drive then definitely go and check out Bribie Island!

I cooked my first chocolate cake in the camper oven while we were there - going to take some getting used to cooking with but tasted ok after we cut the burnt bits off!

I cooked my first chocolate cake in the camper oven while we were there – going to take some getting used to cooking with but tasted ok after we cut the burnt bits off!

Kangaroo visiting our camp site

Kangaroo visiting our camp site

Evening fishing on the beach - very quiet and peaceful

Evening fishing on the beach – very quiet and peaceful

Tackling the cutting after racing the tide up the beach to head home

Tackling the cutting after racing the tide up the beach to head home

The worst bit about beach camping - the cleaning up and hosing down when we get home

The worst bit about beach camping – the cleaning up and hosing down when we get home

Very thankful for 'sand grabber' floor mats!

Very thankful for ‘sand grabber’ floor mats!

Categories: Camping, Qld Camping | Tags: , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Elanda Point Camp

Elanda Point November 2012

Elanda Point November 2012

We still have so many blog posts to add about our lead up camping forays before we head off, but time seems to be galloping now!!  We really should have been blogging as we were doing these things like we planned, but hopefully better late than never!

Our third trip away with Karen Camper and Peter Prado was in November last year to Elanda Point which is a one and a half hour drive north of Brisbane.  We camped at the Elanda Point Education Centre and Adventure Park which had great facilities but unfortunately no campfires allowed – bummer!  The campground is set right on the edge of Lake Cootharaba.  When we arrived it was very windy so despite the fact that I desperately wanted to camp right on the water, we opted for a quiet spot at the back of the campground after several campers who had been there the night before showed us the damage that had been done to their annexes and awnings – we couldn’t risk having that sort of damage to our camper.  Apparently it is very common to have severe winds down on the water at Elanda Point.

Our 3rd setup - Elanda Point

Our 3rd setup – Elanda Point

Heaps of Kangaroos all over the campground

Heaps of kangaroos all over the campground

Kangaroo

Kangaroo

We had Matt’s brothers and Amy join us on this trip, along with the Fealy cousies.  Elanda Point is great for young kids as the water in Lake Cootharaba is very shallow – basically knee deep for hundreds of metres out and very warm.  Our kids had a ball playing in the water – especially on the Monday when we pretty much had the whole place to ourselves!

Gotta love Uncle Jimbo!

Gotta love Uncle Jimbo!

Lexi Lou!

Lexi Lou!

Helping to set up Uncle Ben and Amy's new tent.

Helping to set up Uncle Ben and Amy’s new tent.

We camped here for three nights and could have easily stayed longer.  There was heaps of room for the kids to run around and lots of lovely shady spots.

Took the hammock this time but I think the kids were the only ones who got to use it!

Took the hammock this time but I think the kids were the only ones who got to use it!

The kids doing some 'rest time' activities in the shade

The kids doing some ‘rest time’ activities in the shade

Jacko spent the whole weekend rescuing baby birds that kept falling out of their nest in the tree - and trying to bring them home!

Jacko spent the whole weekend rescuing baby birds that kept falling out of their nest in the tree – and trying to bring them home!

Lace Monitor

Lace Monitor

There are a few great walking tracks that you can tackle from Elanda Point.  As our kids are still quite little – we choose a walk that left from the campground and which was just a short 3km return walk to Mill Point, the place where a timber mill township flourished from 1862 to 1892.  It was a really easy and scenic walk with quite a few interesting spots to stop and see along the way – a fun way to give the kids a bit of a history lesson!

An afternoon walk to the old 'Mill' site at Elanda Point - an easy 3km return walk for the kids and quite interesting

An afternoon walk to the old ‘Mill’ site at Elanda Point

The 'Family Tree' - Fealy Cousins at Mill Point

The ‘Family Tree’ – Fealy Cousins at Mill Point

We used Elanda Point as our base to try out the first of our 4wd tours from the ‘Dirty Weekends’ book.  It was a bit of a disaster!  We blew a fuel line on Peter Prado at about 20kms into the drive so spent the rest of the day worrying about how much diesel we were losing!  Then we got a bit lost and couldn’t pick up the track that the Dirty Weekend’s book was directing us to (a first lesson for us that we are not going to just be able to rely on our iPhones/Ipads for help when lost as we had no reception!!!) so we ended up driving all the way to Rainbow Beach along a forestry track, which was not the scenic 4wding experience we were hoping for!  We would definitely like to go back and do a bit more exploring of the Cooloola National Park!  Despite the frayed tempers, frustration and disappointment, we still managed to have a pretty good day and see some beautiful spots!

Time to go 4wding!

Time to go 4wding!

We found the first stop on the 4wd tour ok - Harry's Hut.  It all went down hill from there!

We found the first stop on the 4wd tour ok – Harry’s Hut. It all went down hill from there!

Noosa Everglades - beautiful - would love to go back with Kayaks.

Noosa Everglades at Harry’s Hut – beautiful – would love to go back with Kayaks.

Group photo (credits to James) at Freshwater Campground - Rainbow Beach where we stopped for a very late lunch!

Group photo (credits to James) at Freshwater Campground – Rainbow Beach, where we stopped for a very late lunch!

A bit of beach driving - it was a spectacular afternoon!

A bit of beach driving back from Rainbow Beach to Noosa North Shore – it was a spectacular afternoon!  We drove past the beach camping at Teewah Beach – it looks great, definitely something we would still love to do!

Red Canyon - Rainbow Beach

Red Canyon – Rainbow Beach

Red Canyon

Red Canyon

The car ferry back to the mainland at Noosa North Shore

The car ferry back to the mainland at Noosa North Shore

Zip tying the fuel hose back up with the assistance of a very helpful man at the Noosa North Shore car wash.

Zip tying the fuel hose back up with the assistance of a very helpful man at the Noosa North Shore car wash.

A pretty good weekend away but we did blow our first tyre on the camper on the highway on the way home, which was a bit of a downer way to end the weekend, but all a learning experience for us!

We blew our first tyre on the camper coming home - this is where we discovered we had no tools - not even a tyre iron that fit!  Definitely a wake up call and thankful for our RACQ membership!

We blew our first tyre on the camper coming home – this is where we discovered we had no tools – not even a tyre iron that fit! Definitely a wake up call and thankful for our RACQ membership!

Categories: Camping, Qld Camping | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Lake Moogerah Camp

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This weekend we squeezed in one final camping trip, one last test run before we head off on our 7 or 8 month adventure exploring Oz!

We are home now and all enjoying an afternoon of resting and quiet time that always comes after a weekend away camping.  The kids are playing lego in the lounge room with a movie on, Matt is crashed out asleep and I am wasting time on the internet, downloading the photos off the camera from the weekend, and writing this blog post.  There is a massive pile of wet togs and towels, and dirty washing in the laundry which really should be taken care of and the bags unpacked, but we all love retreating for some quiet time in our own corners when we get home – the washing will wait, it will be scrambled eggs on toast for dinner and early to bed for us all – this is our normal ‘post camping’ routine.

We had originally organised to camp at ‘Camp Lakefire’ at Lake Maroon outside Boonah, but after finding out on Friday that the 4wd track we had planned to tackle (The Condamine Gorge Track) was now permanently closed due to flooding earlier in the year, and then arriving at  ‘Camp Lakefire’ and being told we could no longer camp on the lakefront due to new SEQ Water regulations (and the fact that camping at ‘Lakefire’ was very expensive!) we decided, thanks to some quick thinking from Jai, to head to Lake Moogerah about 20 minutes away, instead.  So – after a bit of a bumpy/grumpy, disappointing start – we managed to keep our ‘Happy Faces’ on and have a great weekend camping at Lake Moogerah Caravan Park.

Lake Moogerah - was busy but great camping right on the lake's edge!

Lake Moogerah – was busy but great camping right on the lake’s edge!

The kids wasted no time on getting into the water - it was cool but not freezing yet!

The kids wasted no time getting into the water – it was cool but not freezing yet!

Jack's mate Connor joined us this weekend!

Jack’s mate Connor joined us this weekend!

And my mate Shell and her family joined us too!

And my mate Shell and her family joined us too!

And Ben & Aimes and the kids were brave enough to give one more Fealy Camping weekend a shot!

And Ben & Aimes and the kids were brave enough to give one more Fealy Camping weekend a shot!

Lake Moogerah is located about 90 minutes away from Brisbane in the very beautiful Scenic Rim area.  The campground was fantastic with lovely shady, grassy sites and direct access to the lake (although it is quite muddy/weedy on the water’s edge).  The amenities were great and there was even a playground where Shell and I took the kids early this morning to have a play in order to let the rest of the campground wake up without the alarm clock noise of our gaggle of rowdy kids at 6am in the morning!  The campground was very busy and obviously a popular spot for water skiers and jet skiers, which was only a problem when they went past us while we were trying to master the Johnson family’s stand up paddle board.  Ben and I both ended up having a refreshing dunk on two occasions!

Me first go on the Stand Up Paddle Board - Jacko coming along for a paddle too.

My first go on the Stand Up Paddle Board – Jacko coming along for a paddle too.

Matt & Toby's turn (the kids Kayak got plenty of use Grammy & Grunda!!)

Matt & Toby’s turn (the kids Kayak got plenty of use Grammy & Grunda!!)

Jack had a go

Jack had a go

It was so lovely and peaceful! Thanks for letting us all have a turn Shell & Jai!

It was so lovely and peaceful! Thanks for letting us all have a turn Shell & Jai!

It did get quite chilly at night and first thing in the morning so we were grateful for the camp fire and the extra liners in the kids sleeping bags!  We need to give a special mention to our dog Jerry who we brought with us on this trip as dogs were allowed at Camp Lakefire.  They were not however, allowed at Lake Moogerah, so poor Jerry spent the whole weekend in the camper, only being snuck out every now and then for toilet breaks!!  He didn’t seem to mind though – we would look back at the camper from the lake and see him sitting up at the window watching us all – just grateful to have come along!

Home made pizza for tea this time (not quite in the wood-fired oven like it was supposed to be at Camp Lakefire!) but our little oven in the camper managed just fine!

Home made pizza for tea this time (not quite in the wood-fired oven like it was supposed to be at Camp Lakefire!) but our little oven in the camper managed just fine!

Never too cold to toast marshmallows!

Never too cold to toast marshmallows!

Snug as Bugs in a Rug!

Snug as Bugs in a Rug!

Sunrise at Lake Moogerah

Sunrise at Lake Moogerah

Early Morning View

Early Morning View

Bit chilly the next morning - the boys!  I hope I see this picture again in about 10 years time!!!

Bit chilly the next morning!  The Boys – I hope I see this picture again in about 10 years time!!!

The 'Scenic Rim' side of the dam on our early morning walk.

The ‘Scenic Rim’ side of the dam on our early morning walk.

No luck with the fishing this time.

No luck with the fishing this time.

An absolutely beautiful spot to camp and the campground was really quite reasonably priced for all of the amenities.  We have really fallen in love with the Scenic Rim area – wished we had have found it earlier – just another of the many great spots to camp around South East QLD!!!

Fealy, Johnson and Hanstede kids - Lake Moogerah 2013

Fealy, Johnson and Hanstede kids – Lake Moogerah 2013

We can't wait to get on the road - 4 weeks to go!!!

We can’t wait to get on the road – 4 weeks to go!!!

Categories: Camping, Qld Camping | 4 Comments

Somerset Dam Camp

Somerset Dam Camp October 2012

Somerset Dam Camp October 2012

When we purchased ‘Karen’ Camper we made a decision to get away camping once a month right up until we departed for our trip.  This was mostly to get as much experience towing and setting up the camper in different environments, as well as getting us all (kids included!) running like a well oiled machine with our set camping jobs, but also to make sure we got as much use out of our investment in the camper as possible. We are thinking that once we have finished our trip around Oz, we will have to sell the camper to put the funds back onto the mortgage so it was really important to us to make sure that we got to do as much camping as possible while we had her and see some of the many great spots around South East Queensland!

So, with that as our goal, our second camp after our first hit out to Flanagan Reserve was in October 2012 to Somerset Dam, which is a 1 hour drive from Brisbane.  We camped for two nights at the SEQWater Somerset Park Campground as it was very cheap at only $20 per night per site!  Adam and his two boys joined us on this camp which made it heaps more fun for us all as they bought all the fishing experience and know how, along with a boat and kayak!

There wasn’t really anywhere for the kids to swim at the campground, but plenty of room to ride their bikes and run around, along with some great spots to fish from the banks of the Stanley River.

Our setup!

Our setup!

Beautiful Jacaranda trees around the campground.

Beautiful Jacaranda trees around the campground.

Boys off for a walk at the campground to check out the fishing possibilities at the river

Boys off for a walk at the campground to check out the fishing possibilities at the river

Great spot for fishing and Caleb even caught one on his first cast!

Great spot for fishing and Caleb even caught one on his first cast!

We spent most of our time at ‘The Spit’ at Somerset Dam, which was about a two minute drive away from the Somerset Park Campground.  It was nice and shallow off the bank for the kids to swim (but the bottom was very muddy!) and there was a roped off area so the kids were safe to swim out of the way of all the ski boats.  It was pretty busy with all the water-skiers but we quite liked just sitting and watching all the action!

Having an afternoon swim at 'The Spit'

Having an afternoon swim at ‘The Spit’

Adam & Matt took all the kids out in the boat for a spin around the dam

Adam & Matt took all the kids out in the boat for a spin around the dam

These boys even fished while the boat was anchored at the bank and we had lunch!

These boys even fished while the boat was anchored at the bank and we had lunch!

Lach taking the kids for a Kayak

Lach taking the kids for a Kayak

Lach spent most of his time paddling around in the kayak and fishing from it!

Lach spent most of his time paddling around in the kayak and fishing from it!

A really enjoyable spot for a quick weekend getaway out of Brissy!  We came home via Mt Glorious which wasn’t the best idea as it definitely gave the poor car and camper brakes a good workout coming down the windy section of the range – we wouldn’t advise taking a car and camper that way!

Always have to toast some marshmallows on the fire!

Always have to toast some marshmallows on the fire!

Peter Prado & Karen Camper - Camp No 2

Peter Prado & Karen Camper – Camp No 2

Categories: Camping, Qld Camping | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Flanagan Reserve Camp

DSCF1582I’m back tracking a little tonight to record on the blog our ‘maiden voyage’ camping trip with Karen Camper!

The week after we brought Karen just happened to be the start of the September school holidays so we made a snap decision that we would take off for one night away camping to test out the camper and kick start the school holidays (yes – this is the trip we did without a brake controller – eek!  See this post if you’re not sure what I’m talking about).  We roped Ben & Amy and the kids into coming along with us to celebrate our very first adventure.

As we were only heading away for one night we wanted to go somewhere close so we opted for Flanagan Reserve http://www.flanaganreserve.com.au.  Flanagan Reserve Bush Camp is less than two hours from Brisbane, out past Beaudesert on the banks of the Logan River and you are able to take dogs, so Jerry got to come with us on this trip too!

It was a nice spot but the campsites were a bit too dusty for our liking.  The camp ground is large though so we got to spread out and not have neighbours right beside us and the kids loved playing in the creek!  There were toilets and showers (coin operated) and you could have your own campfire which was great as it was quite cool even at the end of September!

Anyway – I’ll let the photos tell the rest of the story – we had a fun time (despite the fact that we discovered the camper fridge was not working!) and it was a good first test run!

All hitched up ready for our first ever trip away with Karen Camper!

All hitched up (yes it did take a few goes and some yelling at each other!) ready for our first ever trip away with Karen Camper!

First setup - this is where we learnt that it is important to put the handbrake on the camper FIRST, before unhitching!!!

First setup – this is where we learnt that it is important to put the handbrake on the camper FIRST, before unhitching!!!

Fealy Kids terrorising the campground.

Fealy Kids terrorising the campground.

Dad and his girl off for an evening stroll around the campground.

Dad and his girl off for an evening stroll around the camp.

Hours of fun to be had in the creek

Hours of fun to be had in the creek

There are plenty of spots along the creek to explore and swim in.

There are plenty of spots along the creek to explore and swim in.

Girl Fun - making 'sand cakes'

Girl Fun – making ‘sand cakes’

Leaf boat racing - the best fun for a boy!

Leaf boat racing – the best fun for a boy!

The creek does get busy but there is plenty of room for everyone.

The creek does get busy but there is plenty of room for everyone.

Mt Barney - plenty of hikes to be done around here but we didn't have time to check any of them out.

Mt Barney – plenty of hikes to be done around here but we didn’t have time to check any of them out.

Lizard of some description!  Anyone know what he is??

Lizard of some description! Anyone know what he is??

Categories: Camping, Qld Camping | Tags: , , | 3 Comments

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