31 Aug 2017 to date
We spent a week over Christmas 2016 south of Melbourne at Chelsea so we were close to Frans’ daughter Karyn who lives in Hampton. Christmas day was at Karyn’s place with older daughter Kym (visiting from London) and their Mum Carole with partner Alan. It was a very hot day so we stayed indoors in air conditioned comfort all day. A late lunch was followed by a very late tea during a laid back and relaxed day.
On Boxing day Karyn and Kym collected us and we went to Frankston for the annual sand sculptures exhibition, a great display of fantasy and nursery rhymes brought to life in sand.
On 27th we went in to the city with the girls and saw the fabulous Christmas characters and songs display in the Crown Casino Hotel foyer, followed by the Kylie Minogue stage costumes display at the art centre, the Myer windows Christmas story, and then met up with Carole and Alan for a Yarra River cruise followed by a very late dinner on Southbank. It rained on and off but that did not dampen the fun.
On 28th December we escaped Melbourne and travelled to the tiny village of Merton where we camped for a night at the racecourse, relishing being back in the bush after a week in the busy city. It was very warm and we don’t have power for the air-con but it is great to be away from the urban environment.
29th we travelled to Tolmie Recreation Reserve in the mountains and experienced a thunderstorm which rumbled around for several hours with heavy falls of rain all night. The next day we went to Oxley through the mountains on a narrow winding road in thick fog, almost white-out at times. We stayed at the Recreation Reserve in Oxley for 2 nights, very hot and steamy. On the 2nd day a heap of families arrived with horses to spend the night and have some fun. It is good to see kids putting their ponies through their paces and enjoying old fashioned outdoor activity.
Now it is the first day of 2017 and we are at the RV Friendly Destination of Brown Brothers winery in Milawa. We will go across the road to the cellar door and sample some wines, have some lunch, and generally start the New Year off on a relaxed note.
Well, having been very slack and not posted anything all year, it is time to do a quick summary of this year so far.
After leaving Brown Bros winery in Milawa VIC on 2nd January in very hot weather, we stayed in Gundagai, Jugiong and then on to Moss Vale showgrounds. While there we visited friends nearby and in Fig Tree (Wollongong). After that with the weather still hot and dry, we decided to head for home and air-conditioned comfort for a while.
On the way we stayed at Temora, Tooraweenah, Armidale, Kalbar and Redcliffe, arriving home 19th January after having been away for 9.5 months. It was good to be back at RV Homebase and start settling into our relaxed lifestyle there.
Of course it doesn’t take long to get itchy feet and we left on 17th April for a 10 day trip to Wandoan to join up with a big group of RV Homebase residents attending the Wandoan Show and their Anzac Day ceremony. Wandoan is a sleepy little town and the show is a small affair, but the days we spent there were fun and the boost to their economy of a herd of RV’s coming in for a few days makes it worthwhile. On the way back home with friends we stayed at Theodore and Eidsvold and travelled some back roads we had not been on before.
The next trip started on 24th May and took us first to Goomeri for the annual Pumpkin Festival. We stayed for 5 days but the festival itself is only 1 day. Frans decided to try his hand at rolling a pumpkin down Policeman’s Hill in the competition, but sadly his pumpkin failed to reach the bottom – along with what seemed like hundreds of others splattered along the road and kerbs.
After leaving Goomeri we meandered around staying at Boondooma Homestead (a Museum homestead with camping facilities), Cracow, Rolleston and then Sandstone Park so we could visit Carnarvon Gorge. While there we did a long hike to some of the gorge attractions which mostly involved trekking up lots of steps and steep ladders and crossing the creek on stepping stones many times. It was all worth it though.
From there we went to Injune, Surat and then a cattle property between Surat and St George to volunteer for a week, to do a few jobs for the owner who was recovering from surgery. We spent time painting, pruning in the garden, and a bit of tidying up around the yard. From there we travelled home via Roma, Munna Creek and then home on 18th June.
In July Bev went to England for 2 weeks for a family reunion for Mum’s 90th birthday. It was a long journey for such a short visit, but seeing Mum and all the siblings and extended family again made it worthwhile.
Now we are on another trip which started 14th August with a night at Kinbombi Falls near Goomeri, then Broadwater Camping Reserve, then on to Boondooma Homestead for the Scots in the Bush annual festival.
We travelled with 3 motorhomes and camped together. The festival was fun, with a lot of bagpipes and drums and more contemporary bands. We all had a go at the “stone throwing” (a bit like shotput) and “haggis throwing” (a sand filled piece of inner tube). Frans won the “over 70’s stone throwing” completion but there was no prize for that!
After leaving the Homestead we went to Boondooma Dam, then Jandowae, Lake Broadwater and then Jondaryan Homestead for our Southern Cross Owners’ Group annual muster. We spent 3 nights there socialising with our Southern Cross family, renewing friendships and making new friends. Then back to Lake Broadwater, Cecil Plains and now at Tara Lagoon.
This trip has seen cold nights and even some frosty early mornings, with beautiful clear sunny and warm days. It is very dry and dusty as usual for winter in this region.
Over the next week or so we will meander around staying at small towns before going back to Goomeri for an Italian Festival at Moffatdale Ridge Winery, where we will stay the night before heading home on 10th September. We are looking forward to welcoming Karyn (Frans’ Melbourne daughter) and a whale watching trip in Hervey Bay.
So for now that’s it.