Finally, the day arrived. The first day of our 5 month caravan-camping adventure. All we had to do was pack the van, do a few last minute things around the house and hand the keys to our housesitter. ETD 10am!
We started off planning and neatly packing things into spaces we guessed would be handy. One busted sewer pipe discovery and other unexpected house things saw time ticking away at a rapid pace. Our sedate, calm packing turned into rushed chaos. The kids would ask, “Mum, where should I put this?” and my reply was usually, “Anywhere! Just get it in the van!”
At around 2.30pm we hit the road and were on our way to Graham & Maureen’s farm near Gin Gin. The turn off from the highway is a tricky one. It had just gotten dark, we missed the sign, a truck was up our butt and we had nowhere to turn around.
It could have been our first night of free camping! Luckily Graham came out to meet us in Gin Gin and guide us back in the dark.
Being fairly new to this whole caravan thing, towing the van in the dark on narrow, winding, dirt roads, biting the dust from Graham’s ute, made me a little anxious. Did I mention, I haven’t towed the van yet? Or done a towing course for that matter. I’m thankful Craig was driving.
The kids loved hanging out on the farm. Cuddling dogs, feeding the sheep, alpacas and cows, and chasing chickens. It was also a real treat to scrape the animal turds off the bottom of their shoes before we hit the road again. Didn’t need that smell in the car for the next 5 hours!
Onwards to Cania Gorge. I love these long road trips as there is a lot of beauty in the everyday. Seas of flowing grasses, the slow motion arc of water from a giant sprinkler, the dense foliage of sugar cane plantations, cows dotted over the hills, a V formation of birds silhouetted against a sunset. Enough wax lyrical, you’ll all think I’ve gone soft!
The Mulgildie Bunyip is looking a little worse for wear with it’s missing eye and weathered appearance. You can not miss it as you drive towards the town and the story of the Bunyip is interesting. The Bunyip is a large mythical creature from Aboriginal mythology, said to lurk in swamps, billabongs, creeks, riverbeds, and waterholes. The origin of the word bunyip has been traced to the Wemba-Wemba or Wergaia language of Aboriginal people of South-Eastern Australia. However, the bunyip appears to have formed part of traditional Aboriginal beliefs and stories throughout Australia, although its name varied according to tribal nomenclature.
Monto was our lunch stop and celebrates it’s history by recognising their first doctor to the area. 23 year old Doctor Joyce Wharton, arrived in the area in 1926. The roads were notoriously boggy and trapped many motor vehicles. Dr Wharton often rode her sulky to visit patients. Many of the local townships around here celebrate their history with this type of sculpture but this was the first one I saw that celebrated a woman’s contribution.
Ever tried to think of a business name? It’s usually pretty difficult to come up with something awesome. Not for these guys, and it can pretty much be applied to any business. Just add the word ‘stuff’ to your core business. Social Media Stuff, Physio Stuff, Book Stuff, Wine Stuff, it can be used endlessly. Marketing genius!
The Big 4 at Cania Gorge is a children’s paradise! Jumping pillows, a water park, lots of places to ride your bike and most importantly, other kids. The park was pretty quiet as school holidays had just ended and the only other families were up from NSW. We’ve been to Cania Gorge before and explored most of the tracks. We didn’t go for any walks this time as it was really just an overnight stop to break up the drive to our next destination. The kids got to burn off a heap of energy and we got to organise all the ‘dumped’ items we packed.
While I love Facebook, those who aren’t on it have asked me to send photos or write a blog. Okay it’s only my parents who aren’t on Facebook. I figured it’d be easier to blog and share to Facebook, than email. Now that I’ve written all of this guff, I’m not so sure! I’ve penned most of this while we travelled the same road out of Cania Gorge. “Tribute” by Tenacious D hit the playlist in the car and I had to sign off for a family sing a long.
We are in Emerald right now, staying at my sister’s place and enjoying time with family, so I’m signing off for now.