Kids Travel

Ten of the Fifty Toes gives a 5 minute trip summary (#5) – Photographer and fisherman’s view

OK so this is a bit out of order but number 4 will follow next week when I get the youngest to provide input

What were your three favourite places and why?”

  1. “Cape York has to be on the list. Six weeks on the Cape was enough to have a good look around but we still didn’t see everything. The rugged tracks, and river crossings especially along the Old Telegraph Track were a fun challenge. The National Parks were beautiful and uncrowded and full of beautiful wildlife, especially the birds. For me the fishing here was highlight of the whole trip, partly because it was where the barramundi finally started getting caught but there were plenty of fish even in the dry season. The variety of habitat throughout the Cape continued right until the very tip at Pajinka. Beautiful beaches and a place where you can escape the crowds without too much difficulty”
  2. “Arnhemland impressed me from several angles. Firstly the sheer rugged and raw natural feel to it. On both our sorties into the region it was heartening to see rich aboriginal culture still thriving here and whilst we only had limited contact with people from the communities, those brief encounters were rich and very positive experiences. Watching my daughter being led to dance the Emu dance on the main arena by a local indigenous girl at the Garma festival was gorgeous. Even better was the fact that she was the first up and participated with quite a few dances. The camping was controlled by a permit system that works well despite the paperwork required to obtain permits.”
  3. “The Kimberley region in WA again provided a huge diversity of experience. Challenging driving on extremely corrugated dirt roads, particularly north of the Gibb River road, cultural glimpses into the past through some magnificent rock art sites, and uniquely refreshing waterfalls and gorges scattered through the region. The flora and fauna too is very different, the boab trees being the most obvious residents with their massively bloated trunks and relatively short spindly, outstretched branches. This was where we first encountered crocodiles in numbers, both fresh and saltwater ones.”
  4. Tasmania and Cape Levique would be very close behind these, places where we didn’t spend long enough and could easily revisit
“What was the best thing you took on the trip?”
“Probably my camera to allow me to capture glimpses that will forever remind us of the trip. Things like the air compressor and recovery tracks were essentials that we couldn’t have done without, given some of the places we visited. It was really important to make sure we could cope with any scenario as we were often travelling on our own”
“What did you miss most, or just couldn’t take with you?”
“I missed my Scuba gear the most. Given we spent a large part of the trip close to the ocean it was hard to go past places and not be able to dive. Unfortunately with the amount of gear I take diving it would have meant leaving all of the kids behind! A kayak or canoe would have served us well especially in the croc free areas. We had racks for them but just shied away from buying them. Perhaps next time I will do a lap dedicated to fishing and diving.
We didn’t physically have space to take a chainsaw, and in the end I left our axe behind to reduce weight. We coped fine without even with trees across roads – there are always other options available to you.”
“Would you do it again?”
“Yes. Probably in a different approach. I’d like to spend 1-2 months in a specific area to dig deeper and explore areas in more detail. Being on a strict budget we couldn’t do everything we wanted this time and a shorter trip would be easier to budget and plan for. Our trip was what I have christened “the reconnaissance trip” getting an idea of what is out there. With so much to see we’d have to spend years to see it all”
“How did schooling on the road go?”
“We used Sydney Distance Education Primary School. We chose not to use iPads as a large proportion of the time we had no, or limited, access to wifi or even telephone coverage. Packages of work were sent to our choice of destination (usually a post office) regularly then we would post back every fortnight. Teachers were always available for chats with the kids for those rare occasions we did have coverage. A daily routine was not possible due to the ad-hoc nature of our travelling, with days of cramming often engaged when a suitable location was found. That said we did focus on teaching times tables whilst driving along. The main challenge was keeping the kids motivated to complete assignments, particularly when other kids could be seen running around a camp, or there was a new place to explore”
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Categories: australia, Big Lap, Explore, Explore Australia, Journey Narrative, Kids Travel, Road trip, Travel, Travel Adventure | Tags: , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Ten of the Fifty Toes gives a 5 minute trip summary (#3) – Navigator’s perspective

What were your three favourite places and why?”

  1. “Hot Springs anywhere, Zebedee Springs in El Questro (WA) , Bitter Springs near Mataranka(NT), Katherine Hot Springs(NT) and Berry Hot Springs (NT), as I hate cold water and I could spend hours in these after a hot dusty drive”
  2. “Cape Range National Park because the campsite was beautifully located just above the beach on the Ningaloo Reef. The snorkelling was excellent there and the Whale Shark excursion was just offshore (though departing from Exmouth) and that was a bucket list trip. The experience with Cyclone Quang added some excitement here too.”
  3. “Broome and Cape Levique. The town of Broome surprised me with great markets and our arrival coincided with the staircase to the moon on Roebuck Bay that we saw with good friends. Fishing off the jetty was impressive to watch – seeing people catch large fish and sharks circling below. Goombaragin in Cape Levique was a great spot run by Kathleen a local indigenous lady who showed us bush tucker, how to make clapping sticks, and with her husband John shared many stories around the evening fireplace. We knew two other families with kids there so a great time was had by all. The colour of the cliffs were a gorgeous red, and we loved Middle Lagoon, a trip up to One Arm Point and the inaugural Ardi Festival.”
“What was the best thing you took on the trip?”
“My iPhone was a very useful tool doubling as camera, source of knowledge for apps such as WikiCamps that was used a lot, weather forecasts, and emails”
“What did you miss most, or just couldn’t take with you?”
“I missed all my luxuries from home, like dishwasher, washing machine (the Fifty Toes Walkabout home-made patented model just didn’t cut it) and having a bit more space would have been nice. Apart from this I really missed a regular shower. We were carrying 160 litres of water in the trailer and many of the places we visited were very dry so a shower was not a luxury we could afford. Everyone else jumped in the rivers, lakes and sea but it wasn’t very often warm enough for me”
“Would you do it again?”
“Maybe in different circumstances as the kids schooling complicated things and wasn’t easy. Maybe when they have left home or are self-sufficient that they can stay at home”
“How did schooling on the road go?”
“Difficult. We have high expectations of our kids and they just wanted to finish their work as quickly as possible without putting 100 percent effort in. A lot of friction resulted when quality control was applied and we made them redo sloppy work. Hannah had to do her Naplan test at a roadside stop with dogs sniffing around her legs, far from ideal. Due to a lack of wifi for much of the time we couldn’t access much of the online content available to us. The libraries however were an awesome resource to use when we found them.”
Categories: Adventure, australia, Australian Outback, Big Lap, Discover Australia, Explore, Explore Australia, Journey Narrative, Kids Travel, National Park, Photography, Road trip, Travel, Travel Adventure | Tags: | 1 Comment

Ten of the Fifty Toes gives a 5 minute trip summary (#2)

Time for H to give her quick recap on trip highlights:

What were your three favourite places and why?”

  1. “Trial Harbour on the West coast of Tasmania was my favourite place because I love the endangered Tasmanian Devils and this was where I saw one. I was sleeping when it tried to raid our rubbish in the campsite and Dad woke me up. They are quite rare and this was the only wild one we saw. Luckily it was a healthy one.”
  2. “The Whale sharks can be found on the Ningaloo Reef in WA. Swimming with these huge fish was my best experience of the trip as they are not very common and they are huge! The girls in the crew were pretty cool too and I’m hoping to go back on work experience one day with them”
  3. “The campsite at Cape Le grand near Esperance in WA was my other favourite place. The people there were lovely and lots of kids to play with….”
  4. “Oh and don’t forget the chocolate factory in Margaret River – all those yummy free samples and the chocolate fondue”
  5. “And winning the watermelon eating contest at the Port Lincoln Tunarama festival……”
  6. “And trying to learn the traditional dances with the indigenous clans at the Garma festival in Arnhemland”
“What was the best thing you took on the trip?”
“My diary because I used it to stick brochures in of every place we visited. I can now look back through it and remember all the places that Mum and Dad have forgotten about”
“What did you miss most, or just couldn’t take with you?”
“I missed my toys, bike and scooter. We only had limited storage space and so took very little from home. We borrowed friends bikes along the way. I also missed my school friends. We had a spare bunk bed in the trailer but not enough seats in the car to take a friend.” Editors note – although we had a 7 seater Pajero the back seat was removed for extra storage space
“Would you do it again?”
“Definitely”
“How did schooling on the road go?”
“It went pretty well even though it was very hard with all the distractions. Some of the projects were really enjoyable “
Categories: Adventure, australia, Australian Outback, Big Lap, Discover Australia, Explore, Explore Australia, Journey Narrative, Kids Travel, Road trip, Travel, Travel Adventure | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Ten of the Fifty Toes gives a 5 minute trip summary (#1)

Time for a few short interviews with the family to reflect on the trip. Starting with the kids, X up first. If anyone wants to ask a question please send a reply to the blog and it will be added.

“What were your three favourite places and why?”

  1. “Cape Le Grand National Park, WA. Our campground at Cape Le Grand was full of kids all the time we were there, and the road was safe and great for cycling around. The beach was close and the beautiful white sand and small waves made it perfect for swimming. At the end of the beach were great rocks to fish from, though we didn’t catch much. I liked the fact that there were plenty of snakes around. We found highly venomous Dugites, harmless pythons, and three other species, all around the campground. Great to watch and keep a safe distance.”
  2. “Swimming with Whale sharks on Ningaloo Reef. We took a boat from Exmouth to see the largest fish in the ocean. Our crew were fantastic, very knowledgeable about the whale sharks but also friendly and very helpful to the swimmers as we had fairly rough weather. We swam right alongside the huge fish, the largest was almost 8m long. It was very exciting.”
  3. “Gem hunting was a favourite activity we did at several places. I love to fossick and being able to dig up your own gemstones was particularly exciting as you never know what you may find. It is an addictive hobby. We found garnets on the Plenty Highway in NT, Opals in Coober Pedy in SA, sapphires near Sapphire in QLD, and thunder eggs at Mount Hay, QLD.”
“What was the best thing you took on the trip?”
“My dad gave us a pocket knife at the start of the trip and I used it until it finally broke and I was given a new one for my birthday. I used it often for whittling wood, making cubbies, cutting fishing line, and many other things. It was so useful that Dad even borrowed it quite often.”
“What did you miss most, or just couldn’t take with you?”
“I would have liked to take more books on the wildlife and gems and rocks but we only had one drawer each in the camper trailer to put everything in. More books would have meant less storage for clothes and fossicking finds!”
“Would you do it again?”
“Yes. I have already asked Dad to take me back on the road for a fossicking trip to find gemstones. Dad wants me to be a bit bigger and stronger so I can do my fair share of the digging”
“How did schooling on the road go?”
“We enrolled in Sydney Distance Education Primary School (SDEPS). Mum and Dad were our supervisors. We had to send our work back every few weeks. It was hard to finish so much work every two weeks, especially when other kids were around playing, or if there was a great new place to explore”
Categories: Adventure, Big Lap, Discover Australia, Explore Australia, Journey Narrative, Kids Travel, Road trip | Tags: , , , , , | 5 Comments

And so it ends….for now

I knew that once we crossed the border into NSW again psychologically everyone would be thinking of home, and once you do that travelling it’s hard to keep going. Across the border Amanda and I knew we could just drive home in a day, though neither of us aired it openly. We had had to kill a week getting home on a trip that would normally be done in a day. We had deliberately tried to take our minds off it by visiting people and getting to some more out of the way places but with a couple of days left it was increasingly hard to plan.

We had planned to visit Barrington Tops but some navigation errors saw us turning off towards Tom Creek, shortly after Mt Seaview, and before we knew it we were switch-backing our way, in 2WD, up a narrow unsealed road, over 1000m again. Once again the road less travelled rewarded us with magnificent views of remote farmland and national park forest but it wasn’t in the plan. At the end of the day we stopped overnight in Barrington, kicked a footie around to let off some steam and got to bed early.

Over 13 months since we had left Sydney, and 56,000km later we realised the next morning that it was time…..we couldn’t delay it any more, and with that we waved goodbye to the outback and the countryside and crawled back into the slow traffic that congests Sydney’s streets every day.

Arriving home again was a bittersweet experience. I knew Amanda needed to get back to see her family, and a fair bit of maintenance was required on the car and belongings, but it also meant the dream was over. The kids needed to invest some time re-acquainting with school friends too, so we arranged for them to attend the last two weeks.

Sydney Distance Education Primary School were fantastic with their support, understanding and flexibility with the teaching as we travelled. Often having no telephone reception for days, even weeks, created challenges but the kids teachers were always willing to adapt to our needs and this was appreciated. It wasn’t always easy as we found being on the move so often meant we didn’t get into a daily routine. Lack of that discipline made it more challenging for us and the kids.

Our Camprite trailer was a workhorse that never faltered, and with the support we got from Perth for a few minor things, on a couple of occasions, it was one less thing to worry about. Having a trailer that can be set-up and dismantled easily in under 5 minutes (I timed it) is great, particularly in adverse weather, and being able to house 2 adults and up to 4 kids in bunks off the ground (no worrying about snakes or crocs required) is something few camper trailers can provide.

The Mitsubishi Pajero did us proud too, never shying from its job to get us into remote and rough terrain, as far off the beaten track as I dared. The scratched and dented paintwork is testament to this and if anyone knows how to get rid of bulldust please let us know as even the interior has a red tint throughout.

Everyone asks “What was the favourite place?” so I might get Fifty Toes Walkabout members to answer the obvious questions in a few more blogs to follow – just in case you’re wondering, and if anyone has a burning question or two let me know and I’ll include them. Hope you enjoy the quick recap of some of the photos from some of the great places we visited.

Back home we can now start planning for the next trip, whilst looking for work, and who knows where that might be!

Categories: Adventure, australia, Big Lap, Camper Trailer, Discover Australia, Explore Australia, Journey Narrative, Kids Travel, Road trip, Sydney, Travel, Travel Adventure | Tags: , , , | 12 Comments

Werrikimbe National Park, NSW

Shortly after leaving Armidale we chanced upon a sign to the grave of Nat Buchanan who died at the age of 72 in 1901. Like we did, you are probably wondering who Nat Buchanan is, but we discovered that after arriving in Australia from Ireland in 1837, he went on to create an unrivalled reputation droving cattle. The plaque next to the grave explained all his feats and having visited some of the areas he was droving we could well appreciate the achievement.

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Apsley Falls, Oxley Wild Rivers NP

Apsley Falls, Oxley Wild Rivers NP

Driving further along the road in the Northern Tablelands another sign triggered me to turn off to the Apsley Falls. I had read about these and also was keen to see what the Oxley Wild Rivers National Park had to offer. Two sets of falls plunge some 60m into the precipitous Apsley gorge and a series of lookouts offer some amazing vantage points to watch. The water levels were low and the river disappears beneath rubble at one point re-emerging around the next bend in the gorge.

Mooraback camp is a quiet oasis that lies in Werrikimbe National Park, and adjacent to the Oxley River National Park. Classified as a Gondwanaland forest, it is the remnant of forest from the supercontinent of the same name that split into the continents that we know today. The homestead was handed over to the National Parks in 1975 and is now critical habitat to a number of endangered plants and animals, including the River Hastings mouse. This rodent was believed extinct for over 100 years until rediscovered here in the 1980s.

Reaching an altitude of up to 1200m on the drive up it was quiet a refreshing change, from the mid 30 degrees of the previous day, as temperatures dropped to a brisk 16 degrees.

Driving into the clouds we were regularly sprinkled with fine drizzle. On arrival we had choice of the 5 sites, all recently mowed luscious green patches dispersed amongst the trees. A fire-pit and supply of wood offered us probably the last opportunity to have a campfire on this adventure. As daylight vanished and everyone else disappeared into bed the forest suddenly lit up with tiny flashing lights, and for 30 minutes a display of fire flies flitted gracefully between the trees in the forest in pursuit of one another. Hannah was still awake and came to watch this magical finale to our trip with me.

From the camp there are two easy walks, one takes you through a number of habitats in the forest behind. This 15 minute walk showcased many local birds, crimson and eastern rosellas, white-eared honeyeaters, golden whistlers, rufous fantails, red-browed finches, fairy-wrens, silver-eyes, and treecreepers.

The second walk is a 5km walk that takes you around the headwaters of the Hastings river that runs towards Port Macquarie, where it finally meets the Pacific Ocean. The streams and pools abound with platypus and Xavier and I were fortunate to see a number of them in the late afternoon.

The hillsides up in this NSW alpine region abound with colour at the moment and we had fun spotting many different spring flowers, including a few different orchids. When the clouds finally cleared and the sun emerged this place was a truly tranquil gem and worth driving the additional kilometres from the main road to visit.

One last night, and time for a final episode of the “bushman’s TV”. Each episode lasts as long as your wood supply, and though often similar, are equally riveting for young and old with every viewing. The last of the kid’s houses built from firewood were sacrificed, another display from the fire flies and it was time to farewell this remote spot.

Categories: 4WD, Adventure, Animal Action, australia, Australian Outback, Big Lap, Discover Australia, Explore Australia, Journey Narrative, Kids Travel, National Park, New South Wales, NSW, Offroad, Photography, Photos, Road trip, Travel, Travel Adventure | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Armidale

Our visit to Armidale was to stay with a close family friend, but also to do a little family research. There was the added possible bonus that Hannah was hoping to ride a horse too on the property, or at least get up and personal with one or two of them.

Booloominbah, the "House on the Hill"

Booloominbah, the “House on the Hill”

Booloominbah is a huge house that is now nestled in the centre of the grounds of Armidale University. Amanda’s great great grandmother had grown up in this house and she was keen to have a close look. The grandeur imposed by the building itself indicates that pastoralist farming was a lucrative business back in the 1880s when the house was built. We trooped in and looked around the entrance, then climbed up the main staircase admiring the stained glass window, at which point a lady appeared asking us if we required assistance. When Amanda revealed her credentials we were whisked off on a tour of the entire building, pretty special as this is now the administration centre for the university.

Among the highlights were the hand-painted glass windows in the nursery depicting scenes from nursery rhymes, but also the extravagance of the dining room was astounding.

Clutching new acquired brochures we thanked our guide profusely and headed for the Saumarez homestead, where we were welcomed by an equally accommodating caretaker, despite the fact it wasn’t open. Again the family link worked, and we explored the homestead but not inside the main house which was left pretty much as it stood when Elsie White died there at the age of 90. It has since been adopted reluctantly by the National Trust (due to maintenance costs) as it is such an important piece of heritage in the region.

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With hours of exploring Amanda’s heritage behind us it was time to relax in the peaceful gardens of our host and Hannah managed to get her long-awaited ride.

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Categories: Adventure, australia, Big Lap, Discover Australia, Explore Australia, Journey Narrative, Kids Travel, New South Wales, Photos, Road trip, Travel | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Grafton and the Waterfall Highway

With the passing of the previous night’s storm the air smelt clean and fresh the next morning. The humidity crept up on us though, something we have had trouble acclimatising to in recent weeks.

With local knowledge imparted as we farewelled our hosts, we headed down to the beach, then up the road to get a good look back at Lennox Heads before heading towards Killen Falls. The water wasn’t very inviting following the previous night’s rainfall but the falls were putting on an impressive performance. Not quite as much a local spot as expected, there were plenty of people there though few dared the chilly waters. A collection of small cairns have started sprouting up opposite the falls, adding to the magic of the location. Hannah and I also snuck a quick look at Emigrant Dam while grabbing a geocache on the way out.

Birds on the deck in Grafton

Birds on the deck in Grafton

Well on the homeward leg now, our trip was becoming more of a social event than one of exploration and we headed towards Grafton where our friends “Roving Reeves”, from Perth, were staying. The kids always enjoyed catching up with their boys so it seemed an obvious stopping point for us to catch up with Tash and Stephen. An enjoyable dinner was spent on the deck, chatting and watching flocks of lorikeets, king parrots, cockatoos and galahs queueing up to eat sunflower seeds.

 

The next morning, once a thick fog had lifted from the hills around Grafton, they joined us on a drive towards Dorrigo National Park, stopping first at Dangar Falls, just off the obviously named Waterfall Highway.

A quick lunch and walk to the base of the falls at Dangar then off to the Dorrigo National Park where we wandered into the rainforest, onto the skywalk and listened to the birdsong throughout the hillside. with time once again getting away from us we bade “Roving Reeves” farewell and parted ways heading towards Armidale, via the Ebor Falls. The surrounding woodland and fields there were smothered with a thick dusting of white michaelmas daisy snow, the wonder of springtime flowers was greeting us once more in our last few days on the road.

Spring flowers around Ebor

Spring flowers around Ebor

 

Categories: Adventure, australia, Australian Outback, Big Lap, Explore Australia, Journey Narrative, Kids Travel, Natural World, New South Wales, Photography, Photos, Road trip, Travel, Travel Adventure | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Byron Bay – Australia’s eastern most point (Back to NSW)

We did it - the final compass point extremity of mainland Australia

We did it – the final compass point extremity of mainland Australia

The last challenge for us was to stand on the last of the compass points of mainland Australia. In the South, a year ago, we had hiked 40km in 2 days to South Point. In the West an arduous drive took us some 32km along a hideously corrugated sand track to Steep Point. Only a few weeks ago we had stood at the Tip, (Pajinka) on Cape York, in the North and the last challenge was Cape Byron on the East. This had to be the easiest part of our challenge. We parked car and trailer and walked 15 minutes up the hill past the lighthouse to the sign. Once again a storm threatened but on our return we hesitated on the cliffs to watch a manta ray glide past. We also witnessed a shark, eagle rays and dolphins cruisng close to the shore before we dashed to miss the rain.

 

But wait a minute I’m getting ahead of myself!! Leaving the Gold Coast we took a scenic drive inland through forests to a place called the Natural Bridge in Springbrook National Park. A short trail through forest takes you to Cave Creek that falls over a rock wall then through a cave making it a photogenic “Natural Bridge”. The river passes several plunge pools before cascading over a large log into a glowworm cave, then flows out to the forest again. The glowworms are only visible at night unfortunately when their green light fills the cave. Another feature of this part of the park are the Hoop Pines, primitive conifers that have existed for 180 million years.

Nearly home!

Nearly home!

Our itinerary was busy and as we pressed on again, then suddenly on a narrow winding country road we were confronted with a sign that grounded us. “Welcome to NSW” meant we were truly almost home. We left NSW over a year ago.

Our next stop requested by the kids was Crystal Castle in Mullumbimby. I wasn’t prepared for what greeted us, but mirth soon overtook apprehension when our guide paused for an unexpected moments meditation. The kids slurped their drinks loudly (we were lunching on the run again). I poked them in the back, half opening my eyes to see if anyone had heard but they didn’t get it and kept slurping. I hung my head for a minute in embarrassment, then let go, relaxed and enjoyed the sumptuous grounds. Giant statues of Buddha and numerous Indian gods occupy strategic positions throughout the Shambhala gardens. Enormous crystals offer healing qualities, and a world peace stupa allows one to close your eyes and pretend you are in Tibet. There is a rainforest walk, regular events, and niches where people seek tranquility for a spiritual experience. Much work and collaboration has been required to develop this place and it is well worth a visit. After a couple of hours here it was time to close the compass point challenge and Byron Bay was our next stop, unfortunately having no time to stop to see our fellow travellers “Our Roaming Home”, who started from our home suburb shortly after we left. They had seen us passing and called Amanda on the phone!

With light fading fast we headed for our camp at Lis and Greg (friends of Amanda’s brother) in Lennox Heads, put the trailer up and the deluge began. As hailstones began to rattle the roof on the house I hoped that they wouldn’t be big enough to damage the car. The kids were fascinated with them as they haven’t seen hail for a long time. Finally we sat in the house watching Malcolm Douglas episodes on TV, a rare event in the last year, until it was time to retire to bed.

 

 

Categories: Adventure, australia, Australian Outback, Big Lap, Discover Australia, Explore Australia, Journey Narrative, Kids Travel, National Park, New South Wales, Photography, Road trip, Travel, Travel Adventure | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

Leaving Fraser Island heading south

Fuel is expensive on Fraser island, as much as $2.15 a litre (a good 90 cents cheaper than back on the mainland). We had come well prepared with an additional 60l in Gerry cans, but on the day we left I was doing calculations to see whether we would need to buy some diesel to get off the island safely. It was 65km from the camp back to Hook point where the ferry left from and then almost 10km back from Inskip Point to Rainbow Beach where there was a petrol station. Taking off our confidence was high as the sand below the high water mark was not at all soft, but with a tide coming in fast the last few kilometres were challenging. We had no fuel for backtracking and chose to continue along the beach rather than take the soft inland track to the ferry. The last few kilometres are particularly soft and challenging and fuel economy plummeted, then my heart sank when we saw that the tide had reached the dead trees that litter the beach near the point. With a quick weave between trees above high water mark and a last sprint across the sand as the waves receded we made it. We didn’t want to become another Fraser Island automobile tragedy today. No cars came that way behind us on that tide.

A full capacity 80l of diesel was required at Rainbow Beach to refuel, proving our calculations may have been a little too close for comfort on this occasion.

Next stop Mitsubishi in Gympie to find out why the transmission warning light had been flashing for a week. Pacific Mitsubishi had an engineer, Tom, who generously came out of the workshop to look at the car, plugged in the diagnostic computer and told us we were stuck in 2WD due to a switch failure. Had we known this on Fraser Island we might not have been so adventurous with our exploring, but it proved the Pajero is a truly a workhorse that could conquer the sand in 2WD, never even coming close to faltering. Tom gave us top customer service – thanks very much Tom.

We pressed on to Tewantin for a couple more days with my cousin, where we walked out to Hells Gate in the national park and Amanda got to shop on Hastings street

Then it was on to the Gold Coast to catch up with a long-time friend of Amanda. Charmaine and John have a resort style pool that kept the kids busy for several days and a sizeable piece of land that Sydneysiders only dream of. The kids even got to ride John’s mower (some work had to be done to pay for our stay!).

We caught up with Amanda’s relatives too who live in the area, those we never see as often as we should, and had some quality family time with them.

 

Categories: Adventure, australia, Big Lap, Discover Australia, Explore Australia, Journey Narrative, Kids Travel, Mitsubishi, Offroad, Queensland, Road trip, Travel, Travel Adventure | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

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