This Adventurous Age

Adventures travelling and working around Australia.

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2002 Travels December 20


We reached home mid-morning.

Our house sitter had already departed, on her drive to visit her family, near Sydney, for the holiday period. We had already arranged, via phone and mail, that she would return to us in the new year, and mind the place, and cats, while we went off adventuring some more. It was a mutually convenient arrangement.

The house was clean and tidy, the cats well fed and happy, and L had arranged a lovely array of welcome-home things. Sweet of her!


And thus to unpacking, cleaning the van and Truck, doing the washing that had accumulated – since Ayr! And getting the head into Xmas mode. It looked like I would be feeding at least ten people on Xmas night, with a rather short period to plan, stock up and prepare.  Enter real life!

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Gardens well kept by our house sitter



Kms travelled:     19,783

Kms towed:         11,998

Cost of diesel:        $2,309.42

Average fuel consumption:   8.0kms per litre

Dearest diesel:     $1.30cpl – Hells Gate Roadhouse

Cheapest diesel:   $0.78cpl – Dalby

Accommodation cost:   $2240.40

Dearest accommodation per night:  $22.50  –  Brisbane Gateway Holiday Village

Cheapest paid accommodation per night:   $6.00  –  Windorah Caravan Park

Number of different places stayed:  39

Longest stay in one place:  7 weeks – Adels Grove



2002 Travels December 19


As we were not due home until tomorrow, today’s was a more leisurely start, and a short stage to Yea. NOW we have slowed down!

It was a hot day, again.

Refuelled at Shepparton – 87cpl.

There was a stop for an indulgent pie and pasty  lunch for John, at a favourite bakery at Nagambie. I had sandwiches. It was pleasant by the lake there.

We reached Yea early in the afternoon. Booked into the Yea Family Park – $18.


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The last overnight for the van, this trip

After the basic set up, we went for a wander around town. It is a very pretty place, so this was quite enjoyable walking.

I commented to John that this was much nicer than the only previous time I’d stayed in Yea – some twenty years previous. Then, I’d spent several hours in the local hospital, suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning, due to a faulty hatchback fastening on my car, that allowed exhaust fumes to be sucked in as I drove.

Today was a much more pleasant one than those we’d spent coming through NSW.

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2002 Travels December 18


After breakfast, set out to drive across to Bendigo, via Elmore.

It was about 125kms each way, but interesting enough, as we had not driven this route before.

Met daughter, and spent a couple of hours with her, at the Mall shops, wandering about, and drinking coffee. She was decidedly pregnant now – only a couple of months to go. It was great to see her, but all too brief, before we made our way back to Shepparton.

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2002 Travels December 17


Yet another long day of driving.

It did not have to be this way. We had told the house sitter we would not be home until 20 December, so we could have slowed down a bit!

Again, we travelled through the broad acres of the sheep/wheat belt of NSW.

Refuelled at Jerilderie – 92cpl.

At the Victorian border, the road changed from the Newell to the Goulburn Valley Highway. Since we had three nights to “spare”, I persuaded John that we should stop at Shepparton so I could try to arrange a visit with daughter. He did not want to deviate from the straight line home, with the van, but agreed we could park up in Shepparton, and do a day drive over to Bendigo, if I was able to arrange it.

We booked into the Shepparton East Caravan Park – $18 a night. Could not get into the one by the lake, where we’d stayed before. This was a nuisance, because the park was out of town and we had to drive to get to everything. Again, there were thus no pleasant walking options for me, while John napped or played on the computer – just surrounding road edges, mixing it with the traffic.

I phoned daughter and arranged to meet her for a while tomorrow, in Bendigo. They live a little way out of the city, and since her husband was home, and he and John do not mix well, we arranged a rendezvous at the shops in town.

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2002 Travels December 16


Today was another long driving day. I would really have liked to slow down just a bit, but John was focussed on home. My legs got quite crampy, sitting for long periods without a break, or any exercise, and I was sure it was not good for our circulation.

Today was my 57th birthday – and it was a lousy way to spend it, too! Hot, dry, dusty.

Refuelled at Moree – 82cpl. This seemed to still be a Qld type of price.

We passed through the broad acre farming country of central NSW, on and on, through the day. The only real area of interest was the more hilly country around Coonabarabran, with the Warrumbungles in the distance. From here on, we were on ground we’d covered before.

Refulled at the hamlet of Tomingley – 97cpl. Big difference from what we had been paying recently.

I was relieved when John decided to stop for the day at Forbes, about 4pm.

We booked into the Carapark, for $16. Did a quick set up, just for overnight, again. John immediately decided to have a nap and went soundly to sleep.

I needed some exercise, so went for a walk down the side of River Road, where the park was located. Given the name, I hoped I might come to the river, or a similarly attractive spot, but it was just a narrow road that went on much further than I could walk, so eventually retraced my way. In all, walked for about an hour and stretched out some of the kinks.

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Hitched up at Forbes

I’d hoped we might have a meal “out” – maybe a counter tea, or a take away Chinese meal, just something a little festive, but John wanted to keep Truck hitched up and we were too far from the shops to walk it in the dusk.

So, like yesterday, it was then shower, cook a basic meal and fall into bed.

I’d had much, much better birthdays – in fact, this was amongst the worst!

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2002 Travels December 15


From our very strategically located caravan park, it was very easy to get onto and take the motorway west towards Ipswich. We refuelled at Yamanto, near Ipswich – 80cpl.

From Ipswich the highway took us up through Cunningham Gap – not a part of the journey that either of us had been looking forward to, and not a way we’d been before. But it was the standard route used by trucks going south, and we figured it must be better than the climb up the Range to Toowoomba, the other alternative.

Although we climbed steadily, and the road was winding, we had no issues. I was rather reminded of the roads through the Dandenong Ranges at home, but without the really tall mountain ash trees of the forest there. It was a pleasant part of the trip, in the end. Being the weekend, the traffic was not too heavy, and there were not many trucks on the road.

Once through the Range, we were in the farming country of the southern Downs.

Negotiated the northern part of Warwick, still on the Cunningham Highway, then pressed on westwards.

We stopped at Inglewood, to have a brief visit with one of the couples we had worked with earlier in the year, at Adels Grove. I’d arranged this by phone, yesterday. Since we were going through their home town, it seemed impolite not to stop for a chat. We caught up on the doings and gossip from Adels, and entertained them with tales of our employment experiences since Adels. It was a pleasant break in the travel, but after lunch with them, we continued on.

I would happily have stopped for the day at Goondiwindi, where we would cross the border into NSW, but John wanted to extract the maximum distance from the day, so we pressed on to Moree.

There were big thunderclouds building in the western distance, as the afternoon wore on, but little rain eventuated from them, despite some trepidation on our part.

Booked into the Big 4 caravan park, for $17.50, after discount. We were told by the man who booked us in, to lock our van doors, even when we were inside, as the “local” youth (that was not quite his terminology!) would come in and snatch purses and wallets.

Despite this rather dire note, the town looked pleasant enough, as did the caravan parks.

We stayed hitched up. So there was no opportunity to have a look around the town – or to sample the artesian baths the place is known for. It was basically just shower, cook dinner and head for bed.

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2002 Travels December 14


After breakfast, we drove to the shop that was the specialist in providing clock and instrument workings for woodworkers. John bought a grandfather clock “pattern”, so he could order wood for same, in the big batch of timber that was to come from Tasmania. I had no idea where we would fit a clock that size into the house, but that was irrelevant! He also bought three instruments to make a weather station.

The lady running the shop was most impressive – very knowledgeable, and she made violas, clocks, boxes and clock kits, herself.

Then visited a chemist, so John could get Telfast for his midge bite effects.

We spent the rest of the day at the van, being itchy, and reading the weekend papers.

John spent some time on the computer, composing a Xmas letter.

The weather was lovely – a balmy afternoon and evening, which was a change from the heat we’d been experiencing, further north.