Inaugural SW Loop Trip - including Hyden-Norseman road

Tuesday, Sep 17, 2013 at 00:00

Member - LG__ (WA)

This is my very first blog - ever! Be Gentle :)

We used to have multiple offspring along on our tent based camping trips but they are growing up and are happy doing their own things these days - therefore we can have our first child free holiday in 20 years :)

As a disability/carer couple, we have to ensure that camp can be completely set up and pulled down by one person only if necessary... the biggest disadvantage of not having the teens/adults with us.

South West Loop Trip

It all started when I was googling new places to camp for the weekend. I stumbled upon the ExplorOz website and spent a lot of happy time browsing the many different pages. Then I saw IT !!!

A photo by Tim HJ61 of the Breakaways out on the Hyden-Norseman Road.
It looked like chocolate cake drizzled in icing. No way, it has to be photoshopped!

I had no peace for weeks. I HAVE to see it for myself, in real life ...
and while I'm at it I can visit a lot of other places I've never seen :)

The plan is to travel from Bunbury -> Wagin -> Lakes Grace & King -> Hyden -> The Breakaways -> Norseman -> Salmon Gums -> Esperance -> Cape Arid NP -> return Westward along the coast to Albany -> Mt Barker -> Bunbury

We will be traveling in our (new to us) 2003 V6 Jackaroo and our accommodation will be in the form of an Oztent RV4.

The tent was purchased just a few weeks ago purely because I CAN put it up, and pack it away again by myself. The first night we set it up it had to cope with a mongrel of a storm. We emerged in the morning warm and dry.

Since we won't be taking the trailer with 5 tonne of gear to cope for a scout troop sized crowd, we have had to cull our equipment down to fit in and on the vehicle only.
To save space, we will be using air mattresses, instead of our usual stretcher camp beds (and using a cut down zimmer frame to help us get up from ground level) along with some sleeping bags.

We started modifying the vehicle by adding roof racks, and a weldmesh platform to take the long tent.

Works in progress include a storage drawer system in the rear of the wagon, and a flat floor where the 2nd row seats usually reside.

More to follow...

More modifications and the jigsaw practice begins ... we won't bolt anything into permanent position until we make sure everything will fit where we want it to go :)

Excitement is building! Nearly everything is prepared for our trip.

Got the new tyres and window tinting done.

The Hema Navigator and I are starting to come to an amicable understanding... I didn't throw it out the window on our picnic trip to Wellington Dam the other day :) We've got it connecting to a wireless camera now as well - so the bush should be safe if I am doing the reversing ;)

The dual battery system is handling the Waeco fridge beautifully.
Just waiting for some merit/accessory plugs for the other bits and bobs - LED strip lights, worklight etc.

After a week of crappy weather, I finally did a practice pack of the vehicle this arvo - except for the roof rack stuff. Almost perfect!
A bit of anti-slip matting will take care of a few rattles that I can't ignore (gas stove!) and what that doesn't fix will find a new home up top ;)

Chief has put together a repair and recovery kit which will get us out of most situations (touch wood) and we have upgraded the communications to Next G mobile phone and narrowband UHF. That should do for the semi-civilized areas we will be visiting.

Life IS Good! No matter how much manure you have to deal with - it's all just fertiliser ;)
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