Archive for category Nomads

Inverloch 13-15/5

This is our last little trip away before the big one. The last time we’ll catch up with the Nomads before the Xmas Rally too.

We’d been saying to the kids for a while now that they should get a friend to come along on some of the rallies.  Blake has had a few friends come along, but this was Hannah’s first time to have a friend over and she brought along Abby.  Blake also wanted to bring his friend Blake along too, so we took 4 kids with us … to rainy, cold Inverloch.

And what a rainy, cold Inverloch it was!  We arrived in the dark and had the usual setup of the van to do and also a tent.  This was to be the boys quarters for the weekend … both their first nights in a tent.  They picked a great night for it! We managed to snap a tent pole even with 4 of us trying to hold the tent still. Thats how windy and pleasant it was. Typically I didn’t have my tool kit with me, so had to borrow some gaffer tape from uncle Max and that was enough to hold the pole together. Fingers crossed!

The Big 4 at Inverloch has a huge camp kitchen and we occupied that until 11pm.  It was very cozy in there and it was a great place to watch Geelong snatch victory from Collingwood in the last minutes.

The boys were keen to go sleep in the tent since it was a bit of a novelty.  The winds were ferocious and the rain was verging on hail a lot of the time.  I checked on them a few times during the night and they hadn’t floated away.  They were fairly well protected from the wind though.  They had a wind break on 2 sides and the en suite and van on the other.  Ideal spot for them.  They reckon that they had a better nights sleep than the rest of us … but I don’t know how.  The van was a-rocking all night and anything loose outside was banging and crashing until dawn.  Not much sleep for anybody.

Needless to say, we were all early risers … apart from Hannah.  A quick breakfast had the kids desperate for a swim in the pool.  The pool area was fantastic and they had it all to themselves.

Saturday saw us wondering what to do, so I suggested that we check out some of the local geocaches.  We logged a DNF on one and Blake found another one with ease.  A great little walk from the campsite up to a lookout and return.

View from the lookout

They thought it was cold

The view heading back to camp

Flowers next to the van

A short walk


We got back to camp just in time to head out to lunch at the Esplanade Hotel.  All the boxes were ticked.  Well priced meals that were really yummy.  A good spot and plenty to keep the kids occupied.  Kellie scored a Tandoori chicken pizza while I had a Sweet Chilli Chicken Wrap.  The kids had Parma’s and Nuggets.  Abby’s first Parma and she loved it.  I dunno where she put it, but she almost finished the lot!

The weather wasn’t really flash, so we spent the afternoon back in the camp kitchen discussing the upcoming travels.  It seems like most of the Nomads have some serious trips planned and it will be Xmas before we’re all once again sitting down for a chat.

Note the kids in the background all playing together nicely ... or is that plotting mischief?

Evil little girls!

Saturday nights dinner saw Kellie give me specific instructions to cook 12 sausages only.  Of course that meant that I put about 30 on the barbie.  Abby was keen to do tong duty and cooked all the snags to perfection.  They ended up being Sunday lunch as well!  We all said our goodbyes and retired fairly early.  The kids had occupied themselves with movies and iPods and were fairly well tuckered out.  The girls had befriended Fred’s granddaughter and were watching Gulliver’s travels in the van after dinner.  Once that was finished we were all soon quickly in bed and asleep.  A much quieter night weather wise on Saturday and we all slept well.

The scenic route home got us back by 1pm with no fuss.  The kids were SILENT and watching DVD’s or playing iPods all the way, both ways.  Parents today have simply got it too easy.  Thanks to the GPS in the back they can even answer the question “Are we there, yet?” without having to say the words.

Lake Waranga

Posted from Address not found.

Well … it was going to be Bonnie Doon for Easter.  The caravan park up there managed to ‘lose’ our booking.  Probably because they figured they could make more money by having regular guests, instead of discounted Nomads.

Ahh well … when the drought returns and they need the business I don’t reckon we’ll be paying them a visit then either!

Lake Waranga Caravan Park.
Waranga Beach Road
Waranga Shores.  A couple of minutes North of Rushworth.

[gmap photo=”true” photo_icon=”thumbnail” file=”__UPLOAD__/2011/04/Track110421.gpx”]

23 of us made the trip away for Easter. I found this park to be a pleasant surprise. I confess to having low expectations, for no particular reason.
Being Easter by the lake I expected to be greeted at sunrise each morning by the sound of V8 boats on the water. Not so! The boat ramp was a short trip from the park and the water around the park is too shallow for boats to be in too close.
A caravan park at Easter is supposed to be full of yobs up until 5am singing karaoke … there wasn’t much of that either … unless the Nomads were the yobs.
The days were sunny, the nights were cold, as were the beers. The park owner thought it would be a great idea to have a few cockies screech at all hours and also a rooster to wake us up each morning. I’m struggling to find anything else to pick on…

Thursday 3pm saw me sneak out of work early only to be stuck in the crush of traffic. Only the bit between the Eastern and the Ring Road gave us any grief. Turning from Bulleen Road into Manningham Road was complete gridlock until Rosanna Road. That 1km section took 40 minutes. Everywhere else was smooth sailing.

This being the first real stretch of the Prado’s legs with the van on the back I was pretty happy with it.  It’s similar to the Rexton with a dead spot between 80 & 100, but its easier to manage and punch through it to get to the 100.  I did find myself fiddling with the gears continuously to assist the engine though.  Having a direct gearbox instead of a rubberband means that you can react to what the engine is doing much better.  I prefer it anyway … although the Rexton does seem to do it just as easy without all the faffing about.  The Rex seems to be happy in 5th and quickly drop to 4th if needed whereas the Prado has to be manually put in 4th (and the manual says leave it in 4th all the time) every time there’s a slight hill.  I’ll leave the gearbox alone for the trip to Inverloch as I would for the Rex and see how it goes.

On the Friday we didn’t do much of anything. The serenity was only broken by the continuous ringing of Rob’s phone by Danielle checking up on him. I swear he only got 1 beer in on Friday.

Saturday we went in to Shepparton for a bit of a squizz after visiting the market in the morning. I wanted to grab some stuff from Bunnings and we had a great lunch at the RSL. $9 mains and they were great. Hardly anybody there either.

Sunday saw me ripping apart the car and fitting a CB and some wiring for a dual battery setup and an Anderson plug. That took much longer than expected as there’s just not much room to hide anything in the Prado.

Monday we just hung around the park mostly. The kids borrowed a kayak from Di and had a paddle. Their technique meant that the slight breeze was determining their direction and they were quickly over it. Hannah took the excuse for a swim though. I went and found a geocache and stumbled across a fire observation tower that could be climbed.

Being close to sunset and having a magnificent view from up there (since there’s no other hills around) I went back and grabbed Sue, Kellie & Hannah and took them back to the lookout. We missed the sunset by about a minute.

Blake, Hannah, Kellie & Sam were keen to make the journey again for sunrise, Tuesday … although only Sam & Blake made it out of bed! We got up there with plenty of time before the sunrise … Blake’s first. Great view, but man it’s cold up there.

An uneventful trip home. Stopped at an SES driver reviver as I had a hankering for coffee. Another short stop for lunch. No traffic hassles at all, even though we were expecting the worst. Seemed like everybody got stuck around the Westgate/Bolte and that smoothed everything out everywhere else.

Balnarring 11/2/2011 – 13/2/2011

Ahhhh, Balnarring. All of 30kms from home. Yet it still qualifies as a weekend away. It worked out really well since Blake had an important engagement on the Saturday that he was still able to attend.

Balnarring is located due South of Frankston and is easily found by following Coolart Rd.

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Creswick – 21/1 – 26/1/2011

Well I’m posting this from Creswick. We’re the last ones left – that doesn’t happen often.
It’s Australia day today and the world was washed clean here after some gentle rain overnight.

We had 9 vans here for this rally and we took up sites 41-52 … we pretty much had the run of the place. We we’re a short distance to the amenities, but exercise never hurt anybody … unless you count slipping over while sprinting in the rain whilst busting for a wee…

Attendees at this rally were Tony & Lynne, Billy & Diedre, Alan & Sandy, Lloyd, Kitty & Lucky, Dave, Char & Jarmie, Fred & Rita, Brenda & Ian, Sue, Max & Sam and Anthony, Kellie, Blake, Hannah & Poppie. Since we were close to home for a few members we also had drop-ins from Jan & Pete, Judith & Peter, Danielle, Robert, Taylor, Shaolin & Damon.

The weather was lovely without being too hot from Friday, when most had arrived, until Sunday, when most left. There’s not much evidence of the floods here. The caravan park dodged a bullet … despite being on the banks of the creek the only casualty was the spa. Had the water gone only a smidgen higher then it would have encroached on the park proper, starting with the managers house. The lake behind the park is overfull, but the water is contained. Apparently they trained here for the 1956 Olympic diving as the lake is over 30m deep. There’s still a massive diving board here, but the water is currently too murky to even think about jumping in.

As far as Creswick goes, we didn’t find too much to do. Relaxing and having a chat is good. There’s plenty of history to be found though. We can recommend the local take-away which was quick and capable. Pizza’s, fish and chips, etc … they’ve got you covered. Creswick used to have a population of 40,000 with over a hundred pubs. Considering there’s only 2 pubs left out of those hundred and neither pub is capable of providing dinner for large groups … like 2 or more people … If those are the best 2 pubs remaining then it’s easy to see why the population has dropped to 3,000.

Managed to get the family out on Saturday/Sunday to do a few Geocaches. These never fail to turn up the most interestng places to discover. Old mines, unmarked walking trails, secluded billabongs, the locals secret swimming spot … the caches around here had all that and more.

I snuck off on Sunday night about 11:30 to head home for work on the Monday. The traffic was certainly better at that time. I was home by 1:15. Back up to Creswick on Tuesday night to find only our solitary van left on the grass. A rare quiet night in the van before heading home again about 11am Wednesday.

All up, a great weekend away in a Jayco.


Toora – August 13-15, 2010

Posted from Toora, Victoria, Australia.

Toora is always cold, wet and windy.   

Didn’t notice the weather that much on Friday night as the park has a great “Nomads club room” complete with pool table, table tennis, foosball and other games.   

It also has the all-important TV to watch the Friday night game and the even more important coonara to keep us warm well into the wee hours. The lights went out at 11pm, but a few stayers persistently hung around trying to get to the bottom of the muscat cask … unsuccessfully.

We fluked it and got a great day on Saturday.  Not too cold, too wet or windy.

There’s a bit of a hill and lookout at the back of the park, so Poppie and I climbed up the top to check it out after brekky.  

The dominating feature around the Toora skyline is the local windfarm. There’s quite a few of them scattered about the place.  Did I mention Toora is windy?  

Headed off for a bit of a look around after brekky to try and find some of the local geocaches and see what else was on offer.  There’s a big hill just out of town, overlooking all the surroundings.  We stopped there to find the first cache of the day and Alan, Sandy, Dave and Char turned up while having an explore too.   

Blake and Hannah at Agnes falls

We all decided to continue on for a bit and check out Agnes Falls … one of the tallest in Victoria.  

Managed to snap this one of Blake and Hannah at the falls pretending that they can stand each other.  

The walk to the falls and subsequent fruitless search of the area had made us hungry and thirsty. As if by magic, Sue called up to say that lunch was at the Toora pub … see you shortly.

Lunch was great … no complaints heard, and there was plenty to choose from on the menu.  

Back to the park for the AGM at 3pm and then a lazy afternoon reading and watching TV. We were going to go over to the rec room again that night, but Blake and Hannah wanted to watch a movie and have a quiet one.

Blake said that, “We’d all been sociable enough last night to last the whole weekend!”, so popcorn and movies it was.

A reasonably early start to Sunday (for me anyway) saw us on the road about 11ish. It was supposed to be cold, wet and windy all the way home so I had anticipated a slow trip, but we made good time as the weather was co-operating.

Managed to get a couple more geocaches on the way back, including Kel being first to find one of them.

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