Back from the Bush

Submitted: Friday, Apr 16, 2004 at 21:10
ThreadID: 12122 Views:2744 Replies:12 FollowUps:14
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We left Longreach at midday on Wednesday and got home about 5pm in chilly Melbourne on Friday night. A fantastic two weeks away and travelled a lot of kilometres. Thought that I would give a brief summation of it all and some of the issues it has raised for me.

Drove from Melbourne to Berri on the Friday and visited Mr and Mrs Des Lexik. They looked after us terribly well and thought that next holiday we could spend the two weeks with them. There is a lot to see around that area and will have to return. Nice breakfast too..... Had a gander at the slight creases he put on the Landcruiser - whoops - was not going to mention those..... All this free with Exploroz membership card!

Drove from there up towards Hawker and managed to stop for a lunch with Willem. Treat was ice-cream with prickly pear juice - a winner with the kids. The a tour of the locale and stopped at the art show and voted "splat" number one painting. Terrific to take it all in knowing it was free with Exploroz membership!

Drove on up to Maree - took a flight out to "Lake Eyre and the Maree Man." Cost us $330 for 2 adults and 3 kids but the Lake Eyre we saw was just a white blob in the distance and could not see any water. Was a good experience all the same. Birdsville track was great - stayed at Kalamurina station and enjoyed our time there but could have spent longer looking around. Nice camp site on the water but turning around got a little stuck in the sand and had to let the tyres down - bogged is too strong a word.

At Birdsville - they were ready and waiting. Ruth and Ian greeted us with big passionate kisses and hugs - thought it was a local custom but I now think it was the flies and the heat. Exploroz card works very well there - fantastic meal we had on the first night and lots of laughter and socialising. Mrs Al's Little Desert pictures were a favourite! Stayed three days in Birdsville and managed to avoid getting flyblown despite there being 300 flies per person. Pesty and the lovely 'Mrs not at all Pesty' were there and had fun touring around with them. Managed to catch lots of yabbies with Ruth's left over road kill that the German tourists couldn't eat. Ruth also supplies yummy dips for our gigantic bowl of yabbies. Also in Birdsville bumped into a family with the mum called Debbie who was at the Dimboola caravan park the same time as us on the Little Desert weekend - she remembered us as the "internet mob." They were travelling for nine months. Jen helped the daughter with her Japanese stuff.

Drove up to Boulia and managed to get to get to see Cuttaburra Crossing thanks to Paul the local Birdsville Policeman who made some calls and allowed us to go through there despite the road being closed. As it was closed we stopped for a while and enjoyed the thousands of Pelicans and birds with little babies in tow just near the road - very special.

Bob Y suggested we go to Boulia and enjoyed the Min min centre and the storey about the lights. Went to Diamantina Lakes and had a fish but no luck. It was around 40C and there were 1 million flies making it hard to eat. At sunset the flies went to bed and there were a million bugs to take there place. Even the night was damn hot but we had to sleep under the sheets as all night long bugs crashed into our bodies and faces driving me even crazier.

Bob Y put us onto some fantastic places and it was sensational camping - few bugs and campfire and water views. Went fossicking for opal and found some beaut bits so off to Bunnings tomorrow for Araldite to make a ring - clear nail polish, araldite and cheap ring to glue the opal to - will look sensational. Bob also told us to go to Lark Quarry and Old Cork - Lark Quarry was sensational and dinner on the footpath at Winton from the Tatts pub was great. Waltzing Matilda Centre was also great.

Then onto the Stockmans hall of fame at Longreach - you could spend a couple of days there if you had the time; and tour of the Qantas 747 - was fantastic. Listened to country music half the way home. Pulled up to toilet the kids and a business man on the Hume pulled up in his new shiny BMW and I was pouring diesel into this filthy Landcruiser with a camper on the back. Me with about ten days growth and hair every which way and country music blaring out from the radio - I wish I could have read his mind. lol lol.

Free coffee and cake with Karen on the way home to top it off and a bit of a gander at her Kanga - wish we had one of our own - didn't even have to get out my exploroz card.

Thanks to all the people that have made our holiday such a terrific event. This Exploroz thing is such a marvellous thing - it was sensational meeting all these friendly people who put themselves out so much for people like us who they don't really know. It just about brings a tear to my eye to remember everyones kindness and friendship and the pleasure it has brought us - thanks to all.

This post could go on for so much longer - we did so many things. Note of warning - Birdsville info centre does not take your exploroz discount card!

My questions - camping is so much easier with a campertrailer - we borrowed one for this trip - an O'Brien's deluxe family camper and it was great. Having the kids sleep in the camper cramped my style a little so I am not thinking that they might be better in a tent and us in a smaller camper - Jen wants a Tvan. Also my Engel fridge worked fine but it had trouble keeping things frozen and I was wondering if the voltage might drop in the run across and to the back of the car and it might work better with heavier duty wire. Also my Opposite Lock wheel carrier has developed a bit of a lean and I am thinking of turfing it and getting a Kaymar rear step bumper and wheel carrier. Everything else worked fine though.

So there you go - my brief summation - lucky you weren't in the car with me ey?

Andrew
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Reply By: Member - Al & Mrs Al (Vic) - Friday, Apr 16, 2004 at 21:26

Friday, Apr 16, 2004 at 21:26
Hi Andrew

sounds like fun, glad my pics were a "hit"...[groan]..."the internet mob" it could be have been worse I guess, looking foward to the bugs [not] and I don't want to know about what type of style was cramped....ahahahhahahahha

amazing what you can get when you flash that EO membership card...must try it out too soon...and agreed Mr and Mrs Lexic do a great breakfast and are fantastic hosts.....

glad you had a great time, and are back safely

Lyn [aka you know who!]
AnswerID: 54615

Reply By: Des Lexic - Friday, Apr 16, 2004 at 21:59

Friday, Apr 16, 2004 at 21:59
Greay Story Andrew. Hope to here more later.
AnswerID: 54619

Follow Up By: Member - Andrew & Jen (Melb) - Saturday, Apr 17, 2004 at 11:17

Saturday, Apr 17, 2004 at 11:17
You want to hear more - thought that I might have bored the socks off everyone by now. Thanks again for your part in it!
Cheers
Andrew
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Reply By: Member - Pesty (SA) - Friday, Apr 16, 2004 at 22:13

Friday, Apr 16, 2004 at 22:13
Great summary sounds like we should have stayed with you for the fortnight.
Hot trip home without a/c 40deg at mungerannie. Stayed at Clayton wetlands on the way back and had a spa for breakfast FANTASTIC. Definately on my future list for overnight stays.
Had a good time at Coffins Bay cold, wet, and no flies, sounds like a holiday in Melbourne !! Got bad news when back in phone range and had to come back to Whyalla on easter monday for a funeral of a dear family friend, not a very good way to finish a great holiday.

Thanks Andrew and Jen enjoyed your company.

Cheers Steve and Glenda
AnswerID: 54624

Follow Up By: Member - Andrew & Jen (Melb) - Saturday, Apr 17, 2004 at 11:19

Saturday, Apr 17, 2004 at 11:19
Hi Steve and Glenda
Was great to do stuff with you in Birdsville and you would have had a great two weeks if you were able to stay with us. Sorry to hear about your bad news - thanks for those Yabbie nets!
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Reply By: Glenn D - Friday, Apr 16, 2004 at 22:23

Friday, Apr 16, 2004 at 22:23
Hi Andrew & Jen ,
You have just talked me into joining before we go aruond Australia. If you think your fridge isnt up to speed a long way away you could try using thicker cable!
Glenn.
AnswerID: 54628

Reply By: John - Friday, Apr 16, 2004 at 23:49

Friday, Apr 16, 2004 at 23:49
Hi Andrew & Jen
Good to see you home safe.
That rear wheel carrier was falling off on the LD trip I watched it all the way down border track, lucky it survived the big trip.

Catch you soon.

Kind Regards
John
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Reply By: Member- Peter & Mrs Peter, Lez - Saturday, Apr 17, 2004 at 00:08

Saturday, Apr 17, 2004 at 00:08
Welcome back, sounds like you all had a great trip. Good to hear. Jen has good taste, wouldn't mind a T Van myself, look nice and compact. Was looking at the opposite lock wheel carrier today, maybe i'll give it a miss.

Cheers Peter & Lez
AnswerID: 54649

Follow Up By: Member - Andrew & Jen (Melb) - Saturday, Apr 17, 2004 at 19:34

Saturday, Apr 17, 2004 at 19:34
Hi Peter and Lez
We sent you a member message on the Wednesday before we left Birdsville and then heard on the Exploroz grapevine that you had made it to Birdsville. Would have loved to have seen you guys - how did you go in the secret fishing hole?
Andrew
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Follow Up By: Member- Peter & Mrs Peter, Lez - Saturday, Apr 17, 2004 at 21:53

Saturday, Apr 17, 2004 at 21:53
Howdy Andrew and Jen,
We left home before we got youre message. Heading in different direction anyway. Wasn't planning on ending up in Birdsville, just ended up that way. The secret fishing hole was quiet on the fishing front but very relaxing and peaceful. Sitting in the shade with a nice breeze was really refreshing.

Cheers Peter and Lez
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Reply By: Member - Toonfish - Saturday, Apr 17, 2004 at 00:30

Saturday, Apr 17, 2004 at 00:30
Great to hear you were all welcome everywhere and the car and the obrien camper went well too!
so wheres our yabbies?

and a pic of your bog hmmmmmmm!

catch ya
AnswerID: 54650

Follow Up By: Member - Pesty (SA) - Saturday, Apr 17, 2004 at 00:35

Saturday, Apr 17, 2004 at 00:35
Toonfish
I believe that there is no evidence as the photgrapher was given a shovel instead and told to shutup and dig. Terrible way to treat HER wasnt it!!! LOL

Cheers Steve
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Reply By: Member - Toonfish - Saturday, Apr 17, 2004 at 00:40

Saturday, Apr 17, 2004 at 00:40
probably some choice japanese words to confuse him then lol

tsk! tsk!
AnswerID: 54652

Follow Up By: Member - Andrew & Jen (Melb) - Saturday, Apr 17, 2004 at 11:21

Saturday, Apr 17, 2004 at 11:21
My choice Japanese words are Toyota, Nissan, sushi, Mr Bishi, Honda, Yamaha....Andrew
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Reply By: Member - Andrew R (VIC) - Saturday, Apr 17, 2004 at 09:41

Saturday, Apr 17, 2004 at 09:41
Well done guys,
sounds like a fantastic trip and a lot of great hospitality along the way.

As current owner of a Tvan and an ex-owner of an O'briens, I would have to say kick the kids out into a good touring tent and buy a Tvan. We haven't looked back.

Andrew, you are welcome to have a look at our set up when ever you like.
AnswerID: 54664

Follow Up By: Member - Andrew & Jen (Melb) - Saturday, Apr 17, 2004 at 11:22

Saturday, Apr 17, 2004 at 11:22
Have pretty much come to that conclusion - would love to have a look at your set up oneday.
Andrew
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Follow Up By: Member - Pesty (SA) - Saturday, Apr 17, 2004 at 11:47

Saturday, Apr 17, 2004 at 11:47
Andrew and Jen
Just a thought about your ideas on camping accom., if you have a tent and camper do you think that the camper floor needs to be big enough to sleep the kids on a night when you are travelling and just need a quick stopover or a wet night to save putting up 2 tents so to speak, I dont think the tvan floor area is big enough. The oz tent is the quickest tent and also gives you a awning but still has to be put up. Another thought is 2 oztents put up together and this gives you 2 seperate sleeping areas and a good awning area to shelter under and then just have a off road trailer to help with your carrying capacity.
I think there are about 10,000 different setups to choose from so have fun.

Just my thoughts Cheers Steve
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Follow Up By: Member - Geoff & Karen - Saturday, Apr 17, 2004 at 14:23

Saturday, Apr 17, 2004 at 14:23
Pesty, when Andrew & Jen called in here for morning tea, they were a bit dissapointed you hadn't done more about the fly and bug situation up there. LOL LOL LOL LOL. Lets hope by July when we do a very similar trip like Andrew & Jen have just done, all the flies & bugs will be gone...........
I hope we have just as much fun as they have had.
Karen & Geoff
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FollowupID: 316336

Reply By: Member - Glenn(VIC) - Saturday, Apr 17, 2004 at 11:07

Saturday, Apr 17, 2004 at 11:07
Hi Andrew and Jen,

Great to hear you had a great trip and didn't give EO a bad name. Looking forward to seeing all the photos. It sounds like you were spoilt a fair bit, but that what outback oz is all about.

Cheers

AnswerID: 54668

Follow Up By: Member - Andrew & Jen (Melb) - Saturday, Apr 17, 2004 at 11:24

Saturday, Apr 17, 2004 at 11:24
Spoilt more than a fair bit...... the help and interest and advice and friendship has been extraordinary
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FollowupID: 316329

Reply By: Member - Geoff & Karen - Saturday, Apr 17, 2004 at 14:25

Saturday, Apr 17, 2004 at 14:25
mmmmmmmmmm 10 past 9, thats not to bad I suppose. That should have given you time to unpack the car............LOL
Guess who!
AnswerID: 54680

Follow Up By: Member - Andrew & Jen (Melb) - Saturday, Apr 17, 2004 at 16:02

Saturday, Apr 17, 2004 at 16:02
What about my answer to post 12112 about "home yet" That was answered at 6.18pm which was even better. Can't unpack while having withdrawals from my ADSL.
Andrew
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Reply By: Willem - Saturday, Apr 17, 2004 at 18:23

Saturday, Apr 17, 2004 at 18:23
Glad to year you made it home safely and that your trip was a great experience.

I am busy prepping the truck and Uncle and I will leave on Thursday for an east and north trip and I will try out my Exploroz card! I wonder if it works in Melbourne?

Mr Des Lexik and his CEO dropped in this morning for a cuppa and MORE NUTS on their way to the Flinders for a week.

It is good to make so many friends by way of this site and to socialise together with the same interests at heart.

Regards
AnswerID: 54704

Follow Up By: Member - Andrew & Jen (Melb) - Saturday, Apr 17, 2004 at 19:21

Saturday, Apr 17, 2004 at 19:21
Are you heading to Melbourne - I think not but when you do be sure to bring it with you for a free coffee at Macca's.
Have a good trip.
Andrew
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FollowupID: 316371

Follow Up By: Willem - Saturday, Apr 17, 2004 at 19:26

Saturday, Apr 17, 2004 at 19:26
Coffee????????? Is that I my card will buy me...I was thinking more of dinner at the Casino...hahahahaha
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FollowupID: 316373

Follow Up By: Member - Andrew & Jen (Melb) - Saturday, Apr 17, 2004 at 19:30

Saturday, Apr 17, 2004 at 19:30
I can take my thermos into the casino and we can sit on the banks of the Yarra in our beanies and scarves and have a nice coffee and roasted nuts.
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FollowupID: 316378

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