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Our Trip So Far

Discussion in 'Camping Australia' started by Rocky, May 22, 2011.

  1. Rocky

    Rocky Well-Known Member

    Hello KombiClubbers

    As some of you are aware, we are off on an adventure around the countryside.... currently heading up the West Coast, so here is a brief update and a link to more info for those interested enough.

    Trip started in Lakes Entrance, Vic... Began with the install of a nice new engine which has given us the power boost desired and allowed us to comfortably tow a small trailer full of our stuff, wasnt full so we of course got some more stuff....

    Had a few days in and around Melbourne and Geelong, with the help of Doc, got a few carby issues sorted and then made a straight run to Adelaide. This part doesnt really feel like a holiday as we do it a lot travelling between families, so normally just make one stop in Penola, where we try one or two wineries and stay the night.

    On to Adelaide, where Cartek did a great job of setting up the new carbies and we had a great time catching up with family before setting off with our new found power....
    Back to Vic - Mildura - to get the final part of rear seat compliance, then on to Burra for a Cornish Pasty!
    Next stop Port Augusta - locked in behind the prison fence for the night before moving on to beautiful Tumby Bay to stay with some good friends for a night.
    Next was a trip through Port Lincoln and on to Coffin Bay - the first on the list of places to spend more time on the next trip around!
    Up the coast through Elliston was next and on to Ceduna for a final break before the Nullarbor, then some super straight roads broken up by side trips on corrugations to see some stunning coastal locations like Cactus Beach and Fowlers Bay...
    Got sick of that, so made a mad dash for Esperance where we holed up for Easter and upgraded the solar setup, so now we have no reliance on power or driving. The problem here was that the initial 60W on top of the van was just enough to hang in there for a few days, but not to recover.... but we like shady camp sites, so the poor old panel just wasnt cutting it. Another 120W of portable power is more than enough!
    Esperance moved on to Porongorup and Pemberton - where we had a wonderful dinner with a convoy from the VW club of WA following their hosting of the National Bug In, great bunch of people and now has us torn between Bus Stop and Bug In for next Easter......
    Back to Denmark to see friends then, this whole area is certainly down for an extended stay next time around!
    Margaret River was next, lightouses, Caves, Wineries, Breweries, Diving, Beaches..... mmmmmmmm
    After that up to Fremantle, had a bit of work done on the Kombi here, so rented a house for a few days.... Main thing was that those horrible corrigations had caused a dodgy breather hose to split, a horrible feeling as I was so happy with sourcing that hose in the first place, this prevented us from filling up from half way across the nullarbor to Fremantle, and made us very thankful that we dont smoke. The only other trouble we have had was the Speedo Cable failed, so I have now installed a new one.
    Freo departure and back to the kombi bed saw us head to Cervantes and the Pinnacles Desert - a must see on the way North, not much time is needed, but is worth it!
    From there to Kalbarri, a beautiful spot on the Murchison River with spectacular gorges, awesome cliffs and a beautiful river...
    Nest stop was Denham (Monkey Mia) where we had a very relaxing time, had some awesome weather and then some truly terrible weather, but loved it all the same, Shell Beach was a highlight.
    So now we find ourselves in Coral Bay, just had a great day of Snorkelling and relaxing and headed for a lot more over the next week, then up to Exmouth and some more snorkelling/diving....

    We are keeping a bit of a blog/diary at this link -http://www.travelpod.com/travel-blog/kateandchris/5/tpod.html

    Hopefully, if anyone was interested enough to trawl through that, you are sort of up to speed on our travels....

  2. Alpal

    Alpal Moderator Staff Member

    Melbourne Bend of Islands
    Did the sprint across to the West many years ago and visited most of the places mentioned. Think we need to do it again. Sounds great.
  3. peace_fam

    peace_fam Member

    Mount Martha
    Just spent a couple of hours reading your blog on travelpod. Looks like a great trip. Thanks for sharing, l'll certainly keep following it to help keep spot in mind when i travel. Has travelling with the dogs been a problem? i'd love to take mine too.:)
  4. 68BUS

    68BUS Well-Known Member

    I had a look as well. The photos show up lovely country. Good to see the dogs are a must take as well. My boy would be coming as well if I went.

    Are you going the whole way around?
  5. mish13

    mish13 Well-Known Member

    Gold Coast "Parkwood"
    Great to hear from you both, I will ear mark your blog to read tonight. I cant believe you are doing all this with two large dogs and flying out to work in-between.
    What a life and what an experience.
    I take it the sailing adventure has been put on the back burner?
    Adrian finally after all these years put a for sale sign on the boat yesterday. We don't use it and as you know boats need to be used and always need maintenance.
    Have fun on the rest of your travels and I cant wait to see the whale sharks.
    I was just thinking you should write a dog travel book in your spare time :D You must know all the friendly places you can stay with dogs by now.
  6. 68BUS

    68BUS Well-Known Member

    HaHa, I was looking at the photos thinking how nice it would be to travel with small dogs. It is not fun trying to talk people into letting us stay when they ask how big your dog is and you have to say he is 50kg but lazy and real friendly:umm:
  7. Rocky

    Rocky Well-Known Member

    The dogs have been great, they have simply meant it costs us a little more at times and we have to plan a bit more at times. We used kennels near Margaret River so we could go diving and into National Parks, yesterday we paid a backpacker to sit at our CP site with the dogs while we went snorkelling. Park Rules always say that the dogs must be on a lead, so sometimes we leave the in the car for an hour or two, but any longer or on hot days we wont do that.....

    Yeah, the Pups cant be left behind, they are our family!, we are going up to Darwin, then down to Alice, then maybe turn left and head to QLD coast or maybe head South again....

    Whale Sharks are the main reason we came this way around, so they had better be good! We are certainly taking notes about the doggy places, found the most awesome dog friendly beach ever!

    Funny, we describe ours as elderly and lazy, but still we have some trouble! The funny thing is, at the parks, the big dogs are always lazy and quiet, the rat dogs make all the noise! More often than not, it is the small dogs off the leads, tormenting the big dogs....

    I hope that answers a few questions, as far as the dogs go, kennels are easy, but for us, the best option for a few hours has been Backpackers. When we get to a town, we check out the backpackers noticeboards and put up a note offering $$ for dog sitting and the phone never stops ringing so we then have to go remove the notes! Has been easy money for them, cheap help for us so we keep using this method...
  8. jennifer lane

    jennifer lane Member

    Caiguna R/House Nullabor
    Hi Chris and Kate,sounds like your trip is all good,if yous come into dampier please stop in an say hi ,i,m the brekkie chef at dampier mermaid hotel.your dogs r most welcome 2 join yous 4 coffee on our balcony.best veiws in wa 4 a brekkie room cheers jeni.
  9. 68BUS

    68BUS Well-Known Member

    If you get to Brissy, let us know.
    And genius idea with the dog sitting.
  10. Rocky

    Rocky Well-Known Member

    Hi Jenni,
    Funnily enough, we know the Mermaid well, had plenty of beers there, mostly because of the courtesy bus that comes down to the ships when they are in! Was going to come down and get a pic of the Kombi in front of the Mermaid in any case!
    See you next week!
    Cheers, Chris
  11. Rocky

    Rocky Well-Known Member

    Now In Adelaide

    Just a quick update of our whereabouts...

    We were planning to stay in Darwin a little longer, then go across to Cairns, but with no AC for sleeping in the back of the bus, we made the executive decision to run down to Adelaide to get back into those cool nights.

    We had a great trip down, saw a couple of kombis on the highway, plenty of solar racers on their way North too. In Alice Springs we met some local kombi friendly guys who became our dog sitters too, great people and a very welcome chance meeting. THis allowed us to get out to the West Macdonnel ranges where we got special treatment with an awesome camp site, given by kombi friendly camp hosts from Arrarat, I am sure some of you Victorian members would have met these guys and there blue lowlight!

    Below is a link to a blog of our trip so far, I will put this in my signature soon too.

    So anyway, we are in Adelaide now, except that we are both away at work, but we will be sort of based in Adelaide and Victoria between now and Christmas time.


  12. Syncro27

    Syncro27 Well-Known Member

    Terrigal, NSW Central Coast
    You two just have the best life ever!

    Very jealous.
  13. 68BUS

    68BUS Well-Known Member

    Awww Come on, sleeping in Northern Australia win a tin can through summer. You guys have no sense of adventure.

    Sound like a good break, no the van is all set up and you know how to live in it, you'll be able to long weekends on the cheap whenever you want.
  14. Rocky

    Rocky Well-Known Member

    Call us soft if you like, feel a bit that way, but what the heck - I sleep all night through now! We can even handle to touch each other occasionally now we're back down South!

    One of the big bonuses for us is exactly that we now have the set up for life and know it inside-out, so there are no excuses for not getting out there....

    Funnily enough, we may be based way up North all too soon.... more on that when and if it happens, but it will be a comfy stopping off point for kombis in the years to come, with local knowledge coming free of course, possibly with a few beers thrown in :p
  15. cbus

    cbus Well-Known Member

    sunshine coast
    Yeah. Darwin in december is no fun in a kombi. Everythings damp and too hot/humid to sleep. The toy fans are essential
    good move . glad youre stil enjoying the freedom:)

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