What interesting things have you found whilst travelling?

Submitted: Thursday, Oct 23, 2014 at 14:17
ThreadID: 109906 Views:2588 Replies:19 FollowUps:21
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Seeing Muzbry's recent post got me thinking that it would be interesting to hear about what you lot have found on your travels.

We've haven't found all that much in 40(ish) years of outback travel - odd bits of camping gear, some tools, cutlery, a water bag, camel skull and a lady who couldn't fold up her pup-up shower tent and had been storing it on her campervan bed since leaving home.
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Reply By: Krooznalong - Thursday, Oct 23, 2014 at 14:18

Thursday, Oct 23, 2014 at 14:18
Oh - wish I could edit - should obviously be What, not What's. Grrr
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Reply By: Member - Duncan W (WA) - Thursday, Oct 23, 2014 at 15:49

Thursday, Oct 23, 2014 at 15:49
Two of the odd things we encountered on our Simpson Desert crossing in July.



A few years back I found a perfectly good steel Jerry can on the Anne Beadell Hwy just west of Bishop Riley's Pulpit.

Found a gympie in the bush once where we were pitching our tent could have sworn we were the first to pick this area to camp in as it was well off the beaten track.

Cheers

Dunc
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Follow Up By: Krooznalong - Thursday, Oct 23, 2014 at 15:52

Thursday, Oct 23, 2014 at 15:52
Good stuff Dunc.
I'm assuming a "gympie" is regional term as I've never heard of it before. Please enlighten an east coaster!
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Follow Up By: Member - Duncan W (WA) - Thursday, Oct 23, 2014 at 16:47

Thursday, Oct 23, 2014 at 16:47
Gympie or lump hammer. Short handle and a decent size of metal on the head. Used with a bolster or cold chisel usually.

Cheers

Dunc
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Follow Up By: Member - lancie49 - Thursday, Oct 23, 2014 at 19:47

Thursday, Oct 23, 2014 at 19:47
Mash hammer ??
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Follow Up By: AlbyNSW - Thursday, Oct 23, 2014 at 20:03

Thursday, Oct 23, 2014 at 20:03
On the east coast in the building industry I have only ever heard them called a Lump hammer
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Follow Up By: Ron N - Saturday, Oct 25, 2014 at 17:47

Saturday, Oct 25, 2014 at 17:47
Always known as a gympie to me, here in the West. Might be a local Western Australian nickname.
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Follow Up By: snow - Saturday, Oct 25, 2014 at 20:58

Saturday, Oct 25, 2014 at 20:58
Working as a Labrador some 30 years ago in Brisbane I found both references of Gympie and lump hammer as equally common. May have been a result of the itinerant nature f the workforce but from memory we were by and large Queenslanders.
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Follow Up By: Member - Nutta - Sunday, Oct 26, 2014 at 09:13

Sunday, Oct 26, 2014 at 09:13
Well i had to google gympie hammer and they exist!
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Follow Up By: Member - Duncan W (WA) - Sunday, Oct 26, 2014 at 11:59

Sunday, Oct 26, 2014 at 11:59
And they are the best tool I've found for putting in tent pegs.

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Follow Up By: Member - Andrew & Jen - Sunday, Oct 26, 2014 at 17:09

Sunday, Oct 26, 2014 at 17:09
Snow, are you saying that you worked as a sniffer dog in Customs 30 years ago? ROTFL
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Follow Up By: MARIC - Sunday, Oct 26, 2014 at 23:39

Sunday, Oct 26, 2014 at 23:39
Also fondly known as knockometer:-)
It is only when you see mosquito land on your testicles that you find another way to solve problems without violence

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Follow Up By: Member - Scott M (NSW) - Monday, Oct 27, 2014 at 08:43

Monday, Oct 27, 2014 at 08:43
or in the Navy as an MPT or FBH .... multipurpose tool.
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Follow Up By: snow - Monday, Oct 27, 2014 at 10:30

Monday, Oct 27, 2014 at 10:30
Hehe A & J, nothing quite so glamorous I'm afraid. I was a labourer (labrador).
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Follow Up By: Member - Andrew & Jen - Monday, Oct 27, 2014 at 13:37

Monday, Oct 27, 2014 at 13:37
G'day Snow

The other alternative was a guide dog :-)

I am finally coming around to checking my sms, email and posts before I click OK as I find auto text is becoming ever more pervasive!

As far as lump hammers go, we used to check pavement compaction before OK-ing sealing with geo hammers. But one of my area supervisors, a man of some 23 stone, used to carry a lump hammer. The look on a council foreman's face when he saw what was going to used to "test" his pavement was something to behold :-)

Cheers
Andrew
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Reply By: The Landy - Thursday, Oct 23, 2014 at 17:04

Thursday, Oct 23, 2014 at 17:04
Great people and adventure...!

Well, they are the things that come to mind, and what we look for.

Cheers, Baz - The Landy
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Reply By: MactrolPod - Thursday, Oct 23, 2014 at 17:10

Thursday, Oct 23, 2014 at 17:10
Not me, but a fellow traveller found a treg hitch in the middle of the road in the Flinders. He went looking for the owner in nearby camp site with no luck.
Two days later he blew a tyre so headed into Hawker for a replacement and the bloke already at the counter was placing an order for a treg. Odd but true.
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Reply By: snow - Thursday, Oct 23, 2014 at 17:35

Thursday, Oct 23, 2014 at 17:35
Pulled off the road up past Cooktown to check a tyre and found a pair of binos just off the edge of the road. Looked rather old, german made from memory.

Found a spare wheel/tyre from a varacan down near Brunswick Heads. I know it was off a c'van because I had watched it come loose while following the van. No amount of tooting or waving was going to stop the driver (although likely thought I was harassing him). Anyway it came adrift and bounced clean in front of my vehicle and over the top and off the road. I retrieved it and caught up with the van but he still wasn't stopping. We pulled up and I ended up leaving it at a servo in case he retraced his steps. Nah, at 17 odd wasn't bright enough to catch his number plate (!!).

Somewhere in CQ pulled up a track looking for an out of way place to sleep in the car the night and settling on what appeared an isolated spot found a plastic plate complete with cutlery &... the remains of a boar's head. Go figure! I did debate at that point whether to move on or not haha.

Same scenario late one evening on the Qld coast down a sandy track & heading into the scrub to see a man about a hoirse spotted something in a hole dug in the sand, something had caught my eye, turned out to be a camera and some personal effects half buried.

Countless things really...even a couple of smelly backpackers up near Proserpine hehe.

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Reply By: racinrob - Thursday, Oct 23, 2014 at 17:56

Thursday, Oct 23, 2014 at 17:56
Yes, last year in southern Queensland we camped beside as almost dried up billabong, my bride was having a look around and spied what looked like the stock of a gun in the mud, I retrieved it and found it was a sawn off DB shotgun in very good condition, it hadn't been there long. Further investigation turned up a nice .22 Remington without bolt. We decided to turn them into the nearest Police Station which it turned out was only open 2 hours on Tuesdays !!! To save drama, travelling with an illegal firearm etc we dumped them the next deep river crossing

Rob.
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Reply By: Member - batsy - Thursday, Oct 23, 2014 at 18:12

Thursday, Oct 23, 2014 at 18:12

Came across this near Poeppel Corner in the Simpson.
It was complete with all safety gear & in good condition
Every day vertical above ground is a bonus.

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Follow Up By: snow - Friday, Oct 24, 2014 at 11:06

Friday, Oct 24, 2014 at 11:06
Musta been a hell of a tide eh
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Reply By: Member - Beatit (QLD) - Thursday, Oct 23, 2014 at 19:59

Thursday, Oct 23, 2014 at 19:59


Found this croc in the Towns River and not a Zoo in sight.
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Follow Up By: OBJ - Friday, Oct 24, 2014 at 08:24

Friday, Oct 24, 2014 at 08:24
I hope you put it back where you found it.
OBJ
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Follow Up By: Member - Beatit (QLD) - Friday, Oct 24, 2014 at 12:48

Friday, Oct 24, 2014 at 12:48
Tend to leave them where I find them.
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Reply By: AlbyNSW - Thursday, Oct 23, 2014 at 20:18

Thursday, Oct 23, 2014 at 20:18
Earlier this year we found a fully loaded wallet on a track in the Oodnadatta region. We were able to get the owners address from his licence but did not have any phone numbers to contact him. One of travellers in our party lived in Melbourne about 15 minutes from them so he took it home with him.
When he returned the wallet to the owner he went on to say that he had been up to Uluru and took some souvenir rocks ignoring the warning that it will bring you bad luck if you did so, he said from that day on he had nothing but trouble and bad luck and losing his wallet was the last straw and promptly threw the rocks out the window.
He said his life turned to normality after that and having his wallet returned intact was further testament to that

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Follow Up By: Member - Duncan W (WA) - Thursday, Oct 23, 2014 at 20:35

Thursday, Oct 23, 2014 at 20:35
Alby the first time we went to the "Rock" I took some photos in areas that were culturally sensitive (bit ignorant back then about such matters). Anyway I was just walking normally and over sand when I suddenly get this pain in the sole of my foot. Man did it give me curry to walk on it. It took about 10 days before I could walk on it normally again. I always said that the Spirit of the Rock was seeking retribution on me.

Cheers

Dunc
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Follow Up By: Ron N - Saturday, Oct 25, 2014 at 18:41

Saturday, Oct 25, 2014 at 18:41
Despite having travelled many thousands of kms around Australia over more than 45 yrs, I've never found anyones personal possessions, far from home. However, one night about 12-14 years ago, my wife and I decided to go for a walk around the block to get some exercise, and also because it was a pleasant Summers night.

Only about 200M from home, I spotted a wallet and picked it up. It had over $900 in it! - plus a number of payslips and the blokes details.
His workplace and name was on his payslips, but there was no MDL or other info that would give a clue as to how to contact him.

As his workplace was only about 4kms away, and near my workshop, I dropped in to the business (a cabinet works) during the next day and asked to see the gentleman. When I produced his wallet, he was certainly a very relieved bloke. He explained he'd been helping a mate shift furniture, and it must have dropped out while he was lugging the furniture around.
To say he was glad to get it back would be an understatement, I reckon he'd decided he'd never see it again.
I think what made it worse was, he didn't know exactly where he'd lost it.
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Reply By: Member - Will 76 Series - Thursday, Oct 23, 2014 at 21:46

Thursday, Oct 23, 2014 at 21:46
Last year travelling across the Simpson we crossed a dune and a spade shovel was right next to the road upright with the evidence of recent recovery. They had obviously recovered the vehicle but left their shovel. I took the shovel and we call it Simmo, part of the family now.
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Reply By: AlbyNSW - Friday, Oct 24, 2014 at 06:17

Friday, Oct 24, 2014 at 06:17
I found my own tent poles LOL

In 2010 we were setting up camp in the Simpson desert only for my teenage son to realise he had left his tent poles on the ground at our previous nights campsite near Cordillo Downs.
Out comes my backup emergency tent for him to use the rest of the trip ( good onya dad)

2011 headed out through the same area and we found his tent poles still lying on the ground where he left them
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Reply By: MUZBRY- Life member(Vic) - Friday, Oct 24, 2014 at 07:30

Friday, Oct 24, 2014 at 07:30
Gday Kroozn
After finding the 'Bocce" balls i came across the tail gate of a 6x4 trailer, so I jammed it into the soft sand on the side of the road, then told the barperson at Menindie pub where it was. So if you have lost your tailgate , its 58 k north of Menindie on the East side of the Darling ..
Muzbry
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Reply By: Athol W1 - Friday, Oct 24, 2014 at 10:18

Friday, Oct 24, 2014 at 10:18
In 2004 we were coming out from Purnalulu NP and found a camp oven in the middle of the road, followed about 1k later by folding chairs, and later by a fully stocked tool box, there were a number of other items also that were apparently from the same vehicle strewn over a distance of about 15km. Near the highway we come across a family towing a box trailer with the tailgate open, we did send them back about 1.5 hours drive for them to collect their 'lost' gear.
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Reply By: Rainman WA - Friday, Oct 24, 2014 at 12:37

Friday, Oct 24, 2014 at 12:37
Found this old can in a rubbish tip on the Talawana Track near the Len Beadell marker while heading to Rudall River. Its not too clear, but stamped on the bottom is Exp Jul 7 1939. The day I found it was.... 7th July 2009. I didn't even know expiry dates were used back then?

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Follow Up By: Member - Beatit (QLD) - Friday, Oct 24, 2014 at 12:47

Friday, Oct 24, 2014 at 12:47
So has this become your "lucky" can? The dates are just spooky!
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Reply By: Bob Y. - Qld - Friday, Oct 24, 2014 at 17:39

Friday, Oct 24, 2014 at 17:39
Krooz,

I've found quite a few items over the years, and probably lost a number too. :-)

In 2003, I found this lovely couple, bogged on, or should that be "in", the Diamantina River Road, in Diamantina Lakes N/P. Case of travelling too soon after some rain, and the wrong tyres.



After I towed them out, they plied me with a bottle of wine and some fruit, and the next day called in at home and gave the wife more goodies. Think they were really relieved to see me rock up. The next photo is only a few hundred metres away from the above, and can be a trap for young players too.



On other occasions, at this same spot, I found an aluminium table, tent pegs and other "stuff" after someone had been bogged, and had either forgotten all this stuff, or had "spat the dummy" and just wanted out of there. :-)

Good post Krooz,

Bob

Seen it all, Done it all.
Can't remember most of it.

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Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Friday, Oct 24, 2014 at 22:55

Friday, Oct 24, 2014 at 22:55
Back in late '60's, we were travelling along the then unsealed Victoria H'way, about 40 kms west of Timber Creek, on our way down the Victoria River, to cut coolibah posts and rails for a couple of days.

Saw something unusual in the middle of the road, and when we pulled up, it was numerous cartons of fresh milk. Must have fallen out of a fridge van during the night. Most of the cartons were still cool, so we loaded on the sealed ones, and had enough fresh milk for a couple of hours.

Bob

Seen it all, Done it all.
Can't remember most of it.

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Reply By: SDG - Friday, Oct 24, 2014 at 21:12

Friday, Oct 24, 2014 at 21:12
Many years back before I got my drivers license, I use to travel around as far as I could (had to me home by dark) by pushbike.
Often use to travel to the local lake, usually with a fishing rod. One day on one of these trips laying back waiting for a bite, I noticed something glittering at the edge of the water. Closer inspection it was a pistol round. next to it was a few more. By the time I had collected them all, I had over 120 odd, rounds. All of them 38's.
To me that looked different. They had flat projectiles instead of the normal rounded.
Handed them into the local copshop, who had a weird look on his face when I dropped a bag of rounds on the desk.

Turns out they were practice rounds supplied to the police for their target practice.


I kept a couple as souvineers, as a kid would. lol
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Reply By: Motherhen - Friday, Oct 24, 2014 at 22:30

Friday, Oct 24, 2014 at 22:30
Years ago we were heading towards Exmouth when we saw a few planks of deal alongside the road so my scavenger husband stopped and we picked them up. A bit further along there was more, as we realised it was a broken folding camping table. It looked fixable and we needed a camping table.

Very soon after this we turned off to take the scenic Charles Knife road. On our return down the track, I wanted to stop at a vantage point where there was a pull off to take a photo. There was a Troopy parked in the bay, so we stopped on our side of the track. My husband went across towards them and the lady came to my side with her camera. They looked at their roof rack. He exclaimed “We’ve lost our table” in a shocked tone “No you haven’t” my husband replied “Yes we have, it was on the roof rack. We’ve had it for years” “You have NOT lost it” my husband re-iterated.

Simultaneously the lady and I had a similar conversation. “We’ve lost our table” she said unhappily “No you haven’t” I replied “Yes we have, it was on the roof rack. It was my mother’s table. We’ve taken it camping for years” “You have NOT lost it” I reassured her.

Each of them must have thought we were nutty until we opened the back of our Cruiser and returned their broken table, much to their relief and delight. They had come onto the bitumen road from the rough station tracks, and were only on it for a few kilometres, and that was where the table had come off. They had at first taken the Shothole Canyon drive further north of the Charles Knife drive, and were heading back to go bush again. The chance of us finding the table then meeting the owners on that scenic drive must be pretty long odds.




Motherhen

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Reply By: Greenant - Saturday, Oct 25, 2014 at 09:15

Saturday, Oct 25, 2014 at 09:15
This is about what I left not found. back in about 2000 while on a trip to Bathurst Bay I found an old Telstra phone at the original Kalpower Station ruins which I took along with us. About a week later after leaving Bathurst Bay some of our group stayed on for a few more days. On a small bypass around a boggy section of the track I nailed the phone to a tree that you had to negotiate around with a note written on the top of a beer carton with marker pen to our fellow travellers to phone me at the Cooktown RSL after 6.00pm. I have often wondered what other travellers would have thought seeing a phone nailed to a tree in the middle of nowhere.

Greenant
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Reply By: Ron N - Saturday, Oct 25, 2014 at 18:27

Saturday, Oct 25, 2014 at 18:27
In July 1969, I took my 15 mth old HK Holden ute and a mate, and drove Perth-Darwin-Alice Springs-Adelaide-Perth - in one month (and with a fair few detours along the way).
Somewhere about halfway between Erldunda and Kulgera, around midday, we stripped the fibre timing gear in the motor. We had plenty of tools and supplies - but no timing gear. There was absolutely nothing between Alice Springs and Coober Pedy back then.

We waited for a few hours and a truckie driving an old cabover E.R.F. pulling a tandem semi-trailer rolled up from the direction of Alice Springs. He was doing an Adelaide-Darwin run and return.
After some discussion we all came to the opinion that Adelaide would probably be the nearest source of a timing gear, so leaving my mate with the ute, I hitched a lift with the truckie - who drove all night, non-stop.

The old E.R.F. was flat out at about 60kmh, like most Pommy trucks of the 50's and 60's era, and the major thing I recall about that trip was the truckie winding the old ERF up to full speed for a few kms, then backing off the pedal and going down through a heap of gears to bash our way through creek crossings, then up out the other side and up through the cogs again for a few more miles - only to repeat the whole exercise about 100 times that night.

We pulled into Coober Pedy at 7:00AM the next morning, after covering about 450kms in 15 hrs. The truckie said to me, "While I order some brekky, walk up to the end of town and see that bloke with the new shed, he's a mechanic who has just moved into town. You just might get lucky, you never know".
I walked up to what was about the only new above-ground building in town, out of about half a dozen buildings in the whole town.
I walked into the shed and my heart sank. It was basically just a nearly-bare new shed. A nice shed, nonetheless, but it was obvious the bloke was still setting up in business.

I approached the shed owner and said, with some trepidation, "G'day mate, you wouldn't happen to have a new timing gear for a Holden red motor, would you?
He thought for a second, and said, "I believe I do!"

He walked over to the corner of the shed where there was a solitary 44 gallon (200L) drum with the top cut out of it. He reached inside that (nearly empty) drum, fossicked around the few boxes that occupied the bottom of the drum - and pulled out a new timing gear for a Holden red motor!!

To say I was chuffed was the understatement of the week. I went back to the roadhouse, had brekky with the truckie, tried to offer him money for the lift, which he refused - and we shook hands and we parted ways.
I gathered up some fresh food supplies and went out on the road to hitch a lift North again.
First ride was on the back of an Aboriginal community truck! That was interesting, sitting on the back with 20 of the "locals" as they passed flagons around to swig on - and of course, offering me a swig as well! Naturally, I declined, and they didn't seem offended.

The truck only took me about 80kms North before they turned off to the West.
I sat on the road for an hour or two and a bloke in a little sedan rolled up and gave me a lift.
He was on his way to the Alice and he dropped me off at the ute, where a very relieved mate was very glad to see me!

We set to and removed the stripped timing gear and refitted the new one, with some difficulty, as you're supposed to remove the motor to do so. We managed to fit it O.K., although we failed to get a good seal between the timing cover and the sump and we ended up with an oil leak there. Nonetheless, we were on our way!

Of all the things I've found in my travels - finding a new timing gear for a Holden red motor in a place like Coober Pedy in 1969, rates as amongst one of the best things I've ever found!
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Follow Up By: snow - Saturday, Oct 25, 2014 at 21:12

Saturday, Oct 25, 2014 at 21:12
Ron you did well mate! Yep those bloody fibre timing gears, I blew one on my HZ ute in around '84 just in sundown South of Innisfail.
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