Brooklyn DAP Training Weekend

Cherie and Tim now have a Triton Ute so decided that it would be good to get some experience in 4wding so have joined the Mitsubishi Club with us. They have completed their theory training so the next step was the practical weekend. As they both needed a vehicle we decided that Cherie could use the Patrol.

Another very rural camping weekend just out of Urbenville in northern New South Wales, a bit of a drive from Brisbane Google Earth suggested that it would take 2hrs 15 but it was more like 3 hours. We arrived just before dark and it was very dark being just at new moon but there were plenty of gorgeous stars. Quickly set up then joined the folk who’d arrived earlier for happy hour while waiting for others to arrive, there was a few latecomers with Cherie and co being the last. They’d had a good run down and Indigo was excited to see us and happy to be camping yet again.

We had a good night with a couple of light showers but thankfully nothing too heavy and all was relatively dry in the morning. By 10am more of the trainers and trainees had arrived and were on the road, by lunchtime most had successfully completed a hill climb including stall and recover. Unfortunately one chap had inflicted some damage so his Toyota was off the road for the rest of the weekend with damage to his rear diff as well as a broken bumper.

After lunch off they went again to have more driver training and Rob decided to tag along and take some photos which left Indigo and I to snooze the afternoon away oh boy time on my own seem so long since I just had my own space – bliss. It was a short evening, we were just gathered round the fire discussing the days evens and enjoying happy hour when the rain decided to start it was fairly heavy so we all dashed off to our respective tents/caravans for dinner and channeling of the water. Thankfully we were all fine and nothing go too wet although Missy wasn’t too impressed with her wet dog bed.

Sunday started off as a clear day so there was more training including retrieving Andrews car from down the hill. While they went off on training Rob & I enjoyed Indigo’s company and the after effects of the rain. After a rounding off session from the trainers and a congratulations to the trainees all except and one other couple headed home. We stayed to enjoy lunch before a rapid pack up with a black cloud suddenly appearing on the horizon. Cherie & Tim unfortunately went home with a wet tent and Rob had lots of cleaning up in the days to follow camping although our tent was dry tarps etc were rather muddy ah the luxury of Retirement Rob.

As we arrived in Brisbane after dark there was a huge storm with lots of flash flooding so we were glad we were home to ensure there weren’t any major issues at our place.


Camping at Murphy Creek Escape

We’ve been wanting to camp here for ages and finally we had a gap in the calendar so Cherie arranged the booking. Rob and I arrived and setup camp in this large well cared for camp, the others arrived well after dark but in no time had the tent up and Indigo settled down for the night.There was a large group of scouts camping behind us so it was fingers crossed that they wouldn’t be too noisy.

Saturday was a warm one but this only made the swim in the water hole more enjoyable for Cherie & family, I was photographer while Rob relaxed back at camp minding Missy (Cherie’s Labrador). Perfect spot for Indigo to run in and out of the water. After lunch Rob and I went for a walk to explore the river and Tim also went off exploring enjoying having Rob’s bike to ride while following the railway line and taking some short cuts through farmland.

Late in the afternoon it was time to go and see the bird feeding and although Indigo wasn’t feeling the greatest even she enjoyed watching the scaly breasted & rainbow lorikeets, the galahs, pigeons and doves enjoy their dinner. Our evening was rather noisy with the scouts having their ceremony complete with a very loud lady (magpie I think she called herself) egging them on to make as much noise as they could. After they finished we were all quite exhausted so it was an early turn in.

Sunday I decided to explore the other camping area up the 4wd track, again Rob decided to stay at camp but the others joined me. It was a steep climb and my teva sandals decided to fall apart just after starting but we enjoyed our walk and thought this would be a good place to camp next time we came out here. Lovely views and definitely much quieter. Indigo isn’t too keen on walking far so appreciated that Cherie had borrowed a good deuter child pack.

We decide to head off toward Murphy Creek township then up towards the highway to Crows Nest. We stopped in at the Spring Bluff Railway Station for a nice lunch. I’m sure Indigo would love to come here again as they had a great play room and also a hill that was perfect for rolling down. After driving the highway to Hampton (much busier than when we were last up this way but figured that was about 18 years ago) we turn right to Esk then home past the dam full of water. The country out here is just so nice and lush with very healthy cattle and the farms are all looking at their best.

I decided that I would contact the owners at Murphy Creek Escape to see what their thoughts were on our disappointment on be placed near to the noisy scouts. We had a really good response, well 3 responses actually and now have a voucher from them for 4 adults to stay for 2 nights for free. A good outcome.

Camping at Lake Campfire (Maroon Dam) Feb

Camping with the 4wd club again after our USA trip is good fun. This was a camp specifically designed for meeting new members and potential members. We drove out on Friday after work to the camp at Maroon dam on the Scenic Rim such lovely countryside especially with all the rain that has been had here since November.
We were surprised at the number of people already set up but that’s the luxury of being full time retirees. No sooner had we found a flat site,and they were few, the rain came down. This soon passed and only one heavy shower during the night.

Saturday we went off for a quick paddle on the lovely clean dam plenty of healthy water weed and lovely delicate flowers, the water was super clear and we could see meters down. I was tempted to jump in and have a swim but then had second thoughts as realised I’d probably not be able to get back into the kayak.

We cadged a ride with club president John on the scenic drive with 19 in the convoy up to Governors Chair at Spicers Gap. A nice drive through some of the back roads with a combination of gravel and bitumen. Great view from the top over the Scenic Rim area then meandered back to camp.

After some relaxing we had a quick overview for all members on the do’s and don’ts within the club – as a new members weekend so this was the formal part. We also got to see a couple of the other members vehicles and Rob enjoyed seeing what they had done, as always he’s looking for new ideas.

Had a good happy hour with some sitting round the fire but that was just way too warm for me on this summers night even sitting a good 20 or so meters away we could feel the heat. Sunday morning we ventured off to the other side of the dam exploring it was a good long paddle so enjoyed relaxing in the afternoon before the drive home via the back road skirting Beaudesert.

New Blog & some Crescent Head visits


I’ve created another blog now that we are back from the US

Also finally a weekend at home to catch up on posting to my blog, since coming back from our trip we’ve had multiple camping trips which I will post about separately and also been down to Crescent Head twice. This weekend, Easter, we were planning on going away camping to Kyogle with the 4WD Club but there had been some heavy rain and more was predicted both in Brisbane and where we were heading so decided to cancel the camping.

Really don’t mind at all as it is giving us a chance to catch up round home as although Rob is currently retired there is still things that I do, yes exciting stuff like preparation for tax returns, not to mention sorting out photos etc and also things to do together where 2 pair of hands are better than one. Such as loading the ute for a trip to the Transfer Station.

So anyway here are some pics from our weekends at Tracey’s, as you can see these grandchildren are growing up super fast

Toowong to KempseyAnd looks like I’ve worked out how to add a map