Has anyone stayed at Cooinda in the last 32 years

Submitted: Wednesday, May 09, 2007 at 23:28
ThreadID: 45287 Views:2667 Replies:7 FollowUps:0
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I went to Cooinda today as part of a tour and spoke with Ernie.

Ernie has been travelling from Springwood in NSW to Cooinda since 1975, He has parked his van in the same spot each time.

Ernie worked with my Dad in NSW 50 years ago, my Dad came to Darwin after cyclone Tracy and the family soon followed.

I remember when my dad rang Ernie and said you must come up here fishing, Ernie hasn't missed a year since.

Ernie has a 1963 model Valiant Royale C/van that has out lasted 2 V8 Holdens and done near 700000 miles, he has towed this thing around Oz for 32 years .

Today I was sad, as Ernie can't understand today's traveller, As he said once apon a time you would pull up if you saw someone on the side of the road , it was either they were in trouble or they had the billy on.

Today it seems everyone wants to keep to them selves, If you have ever been to Cooinda you have probably met Ernie as he used to help the camp ground manager, but today at 89 he is now not needed for the first time in 32 years, I feel his pain.

If you come to Kakadu and stay at Cooinda this year look him up and say hello, you won't be disappointed.

Cheers Steve.
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Reply By: Diver1 - Thursday, May 10, 2007 at 05:33

Thursday, May 10, 2007 at 05:33
What a bloke....and caravan!!

His type of person is always needed....reminds us that we need to be a little more open to the people we see out there instead of just keeping to ourselves...

hope there i ernies out there!!

Laura
AnswerID: 238991

Reply By: Member - extfilm (NSW) - Thursday, May 10, 2007 at 06:39

Thursday, May 10, 2007 at 06:39
I have lost count at how many people I have stopped for and helped out.
I have stopped for 2 seperate group of aboriginals.
Have towed a hire cruiser 30k after the driver put the fan through the radiator down in Kosci.
Helped a family at poepel when their gas tank fell out their car.
helped a guy with a cracked front diff in the simpson.
I will always stop when on outback roads.
AnswerID: 238994

Reply By: Member - Oldplodder (QLD) - Thursday, May 10, 2007 at 07:59

Thursday, May 10, 2007 at 07:59
Always try and stop.
Met some great people.
Few have stopped for me, didn't need much help but appreciate the concern.

Always talk to people at camp spots. Learn something every time. Hopefully pass on a bit of info too.

Best way to go.
AnswerID: 239007

Reply By: Willem - Thursday, May 10, 2007 at 08:03

Thursday, May 10, 2007 at 08:03
Ahhh Cooinda

We used to drop in to Tom and Judy Opitz behind the pub and sink multiple White Cans. Probably met Ernie there too.

A favourite trick at the Jim Jim Pub was to stand on a bar stool and stop the ceiling fan with your head.

We were silly buggers then...lol

Cheers
AnswerID: 239009

Reply By: ads_gu - Thursday, May 10, 2007 at 11:48

Thursday, May 10, 2007 at 11:48
Poor old fella,
Last time I was there was in 1983.. I remember it because we were listening to the radio from a camp next door to us when Australia came across the line in the America's Cup. I was 12 at the time.
I also remember that we got bugger all fish that trip.. Too much weed
AnswerID: 239055

Reply By: obee - Thursday, May 10, 2007 at 19:01

Thursday, May 10, 2007 at 19:01
I have stopped at least three times for aboriginals and I will stop for anyone except those idiots who stand there no shoes no shirt and look like they dont care anyway. I mean there was always a broken down car involved. I even gave a tube away and one time a heap of oil for a motor that was blowing it out the top; but hitchhikers these days I give them a miss. Had too many that turned out to be drongos.

Owen
AnswerID: 239113

Reply By: Member - vivien C (VIC) - Thursday, May 10, 2007 at 19:11

Thursday, May 10, 2007 at 19:11
Steve,

Ernie sounds like a good bloke....and it's sad to think that the camp manager today can't see the value for him and for Ernie, to let him continue to help out. I bet he gives a lot of good advice and happiness to the people he talks to each day.

We always stop to help out even though you sometimes just get the wave that says "she's ok mate". That's the Australian way and I think it's still alive and kicking.

Cooinda always reminds me of our first trip to the NT back in 1989. We were such novices back then and it felt like we were on the biggest adventure. That feeling has never left!!

Hope to get back up there soon and maybe have a yarn to Ernie.

Viv
AnswerID: 239115

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