28th May 2019–Back Home

Distance: 339km
Fuel: 49L

It was a cold night though I was warm enough in the camper but definitely the weather I went north to get away from.

This morning I woke to a cloudless sunny sky however it was not warm. I had a shower, some coffee and a very quick breakfast before preparing to leave. There was not much to do because I had not got out my chair or table nor put up the TV aerial yesterday evening. While I was getting ready a lady from a neighbouring teardrop camper came over to have a chat, her camper was parked opposite mine, apparently it came with the tent; she lives in it permanently and works during the day. I only have a picture taken from my dashcam.

Teardrop Camper, Orange

Once I set off I did not stop, I travelled through Bathurst and Lithgow, made my way across the Blue Mountains then straight onto the M7, I didn’t leave the expressways until I turned onto the Picton Rd at the Wollongong turn off.

The Picton Turnoff to Wollongong

It was a completely uneventful journey but always nice to see Wollongong as I descended Mount Ousley that’s when you know you are home.

Wollongong from Mount Ousley

Jobs for the next couple of days – lots of clothes need washing, equipment needs cleaning, that should keep me busy.

Statistics

Total Fuel: 482 litres
Total Distance: 4645 km
Total Park Cost: $368
Average Park Fee: $28

The Journey

18/19th May 2018–Canberra & Home

18th May

Distance: 225 Km

Only a couple of hundred k’s to travel today to my daughter and son in law’s house in Canberra. My last chance to see them before they go to Europe for a six week holiday.

The scenery changed from the flat plains to rolling hills as I went south toward the Hume Highway. Didn’t stop in Boorowa because it was too early for coffee in the end I didn’t stop until I reached my destination.

19th May

Distance: 277 Km
Fuel: 51 L

Canberra is cold at night. There are a lot of nice things to be said about Canberra but its climate is not one of them.

Spent the morning with the kids then set off after lunch so they could continue their packing and travel preparations in peace.

Arrived home at about 5pm.

Statistics for Trip

Total Distance: 7905 Km
Total Fuel: 824 L
Length of Trip: 26 Days
Total Fuel Cost: $1205
Average Fuel Price: $1.46/L
Total Accommodation Cost: $723
Average Park Cost: $28.96

Summing up

Good trip – saw just about everything I expected or wanted to see and I enjoyed every minute of the trip. Love travelling inland Australia; there is nowhere in the world like it. Apart from the miserable weather near Ravenshoe on the way up the weather for the whole trip was near perfect; warm sunny days and, even in NSW, dry (cool) nights.

On occasions found towing a bit of a nuisance because it meant that in some towns or places of interest it was not possible to park or turn round. Would still use the camper for longer trips but for shorter trips am definitely thinking of going back to my tent with the option of the odd motel stay.

I don’t think I need a powered site because the solar panel on the car roof, together with the aux battery, seems to run the fridge easily with some power to spare. During the whole trip the fridge was never plugged into the mains power at all yet the battery remained fully charged or nearly so. We shall see, when spring comes I might give it a go again, I always liked camping.

10th November–Canowindra to Home

Distance: 409Km
Fuel: 48L

Set off for Wollongong at about 8.30am, it was a pretty uneventful trip, drove south at first via Boorowa to get to the Hume Highway near Yass and continued on that heading north until Picton Road.

Arrived home about 1pm, unloaded the car but the camper will be sorted out tomorrow.

Filled up with fuel at the local servo – the most expensive fuel of the whole trip at $1.38/L – How does that work?

Statistics for Trip

Total distance: 2927Km
Total Fuel: 318L
Average Fuel Price: $1.30/L
Average Park Cost: $28.58/night

8th June 2017–Cape Crawford to Barkly Homestead

Distance:382 km
Fuel: 42 L

The scenery on Tablelands Highway south to the Barkly Homestead was a little more varied than the Carpentaria Highway. There was typical bush with some trees as well as open plains, lots of cattle on the road too but no stubborn cows that wouldn’t move.

170608 001 Cape Crawford to Barkly Homestead-001

Only one road train and a couple of smaller trucks plus the usual assortment of caravans and four wheel drives. The road was narrower in general and in poorer condition than the Carpentaria but not bad really. A section was being made two lane (for overtaking) so there was a dirt detour through the scrub, elsewhere there were a few unrepaired washouts left over from the wet which bounced you about a bit.

170608 003 Cape Crawford to Barkly Homestead170608 007 Cape Crawford to Barkly Homestead170608 009 Cape Crawford to Barkly Homestead170608 011 Cape Crawford to Barkly Homestead170608 013 Cape Crawford to Barkly Homestead170608 016 Barkly Homestead170608 018 Barkly Homestead

I say the road was ‘not bad’ but I have actually broken a piece of wood in the trailer, or rather that bane of my life the Esky has. Nothing serious or unrepairable just annoying.

170608 019 Barkly Homestead170608 021 Barkly Homestead

Quite cold today, there is a cold wind so I had my jacket on at 2pm, it was about 25’C but felt decidedly cool because of the wind. Wind also affects my fuel economy too.

Today I had phone reception (at the Barkly Homestead) so I have booked a couple of nights at Undarra and Normanton – the latter has a rodeo on when I am there so I thought it a wise precaution; the former tell you in their advertising that it is necessary to book – I booked a tour of the lava tubes while I was at it.

Just realised it is Thursday:

Statistics

Distance Travelled: 12581 km
Fuel Used: 1271 L
Cost of Fuel: $1782
Cost of accommodation: $1583

l should be home in less than two weeks.

11th May 2017–Denham to Carnarvon

Distance: 345 km

After leaving Denham called in at Shell Beach again (I forgot to take any photos last time) and this time walked much further along the beach. It really is a remarkable beach.

170511 017 Shell Beach

It literally is just a mass of small shells – millions of them stretching for kms.

170511 001 Shell Beach170511 010 Shell Beach170511 007 Shell Beach170511 012 Shell Beach170511 016 Shell Beach

The sea is exceptionally salty, I put my hand in and once it had dried it was covered in a thin layer of crusty salt.

Walking back to the car I saw what I thought was a straight shadow across he road; except that there was nothing to cast a shadow.

170511 020 Shell Beach Caterpillars

On closer inspection it was a happy band of caterpillars crossing the road holding hands.

170511 021 Shell Beach Caterpillars

Carnarvon

I arrived in Carnarvon at just after 1pm, booked in to the caravan park and went looking for a tyre place for a wheel alignment. Quickly found a Tyrepower shop and was lucky enough to book the car in immediately. While it was being worked on I had a wander about what looked like the centre of town.

170511 028 Carnarvon

170511 025 Carnarvon

Found a tourist information bureau and obtained a map and a brochure on local attractions. I also had the most unusual meal at a local cafe – egg and bacon on a waffle with maple syrup! I had to try it… actually it wasn’t that bad but I think I will stick to egg, bacon, toast and BBQ sauce in future.

Back at camp noticed the old OTC dish was lit up right behind my  ‘campsite’. It is due a visit tomorrow – they claim to have been an important part of the Apollo moon landing, I can’t wait to find out why.

170511 030 Carnarvon-001

(You do know that if you click on these photos you get the full size version – click on your browsers ‘back’ button to return.)

Looks like another night without the news. The problem with digital TV is that it either works or it doesn’t, there is no snowy but watchable picture when the signal is weak just a mass of blocky pixels with an incomprehensible sound track. Oh well, I can always watch a movie.

 

Some Statistics:

It is three weeks since I set off so here are some facts:

Distance driven so far: 6800km
Fuel: 647 litres of diesel at a cost of: $870
Most expensive fuel: $1.76/l, Average: $1.34/l
Accommodation (Caravan Parks powered sites): $590