Posts Tagged With: Pajero

Albany and surrounds

After Skippy Rock we arrived late at Normans Beach in Two Peoples Bay (the other person being Betty) to grab the last spot in the campsite. Amanda came face to face with the biggest Dugite we have encountered yet. At almost 2m long we witnessed it hot in pursuit of a big black skink, chasing it up a tree. When the skink could go no further it leapt out from about 3-4m, belly-flopped onto the ground and scampered off. The snake exited the tree equally ungracefully and chased after it, as we all took a big step back to watch the action unfold before us.

With little camping close to Albany we drove to a cute little place, appropriately named Cosy Corner and ensconced ourselves for a few days to explore the area. We enjoyed Albany, visiting a few times, for library work with kids, shopping and a bit of geocaching and exploring. A nice sized town, big enough to have all we needed but not too big to get lost in. Xavier became the expert in finding nano-sized geocaches though we were beaten by one near the Opera house.

Fishing was pretty quiet along the beach despite the fact the salmon run is due any day. We checked out nearby West Cape Howe national park to see if the fishing was better there but despite the numbers of fishermen it was still a bit quiet at Shelley Beach. I noticed a 4WD track into the park that proved quite  challenging, but we were rewarded with magnificent vertical black granite cliffs at West Cape Howe. Being late in the day the family didn’t want to risk going further in the sand – they still don’t have faith in the trusty Pajero, even after 4 months.

As a cyclone bore down on the north west coast of WA we started getting a bit of rain. We drove around Torndirrup National Park near Albany, and some brief intermissions of sun allowed the kids to enjoy the azure waters of the beaches in Whaler Bay. Salmon Rocks, rather appropriately, had yielded two monster salmon for one fisherman, and we watched another battle a large eagle ray to the beach where it snapped his line. The old whaling station nestles into the end of the peninsula with a large whaling ship on display for exploration. In Frenchmans Bay, we drove to a bird hide to try and add a few new birds to my list (buff banded rail was the only one) and catch a geocache. Luckily for a guy down there we showed up and got his car started for him in a very quiet street. Another attraction there were the blowholes that, despite a small swell, roared periodically, giving everyone a bit of a scare the first time they went off. Throw big swell and water into the mix and they would be quite an impressive spectacle. The natural arch was closed unfortunately.

At night we got frequent visits from an oversize bandicoot and Cosy Corner was a popular venue for the kids with hideouts abounding in the bush.

Categories: Adventure, australia, Australian Outback, Beach, Big Lap, Camper Trailer, Discover Australia, Explore Australia, Journey Narrative, Kids Travel, National Park, Natural World, Photography, Travel, Travel Adventure, West Australia | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Port Augusta and car conundrums

Ever since our car was serviced at Portside Mitsubishi the fuel consumption has gone from 15l / 100km to 17-20l / 100km.

We stopped at Port Augusta for a check up. The pre-filter had worked a treat and air filter was as good as new, so I had the fuel filter checked. Port Augusta Mitsubishi were excellent, provided us a loan car to visit Wadlata cultural centre while they had a look. The told us that the software had been upgraded (thanks Portside Mitsubishi for warning us) that results in degradation in fuel consumption. It wasn’t good to hear that it was not reversible either. I’m sure they could change a chip somewhere! Despite cleaning the oil filter fuel consumption still remains much poorer than previously. Anyone got any thoughts on this.

Nevertheless the Wadlata centre was very interesting covering aboriginal heritage and dreamtime stories in South Australia, through to the early explorers, Sturt, Eyre, and co, then on to more modern developments such as the European pioneer farmers, pushing the overland telegraph line and rail development, even through to modern mining. We spent several hours digesting it all and it was very hands on for the kids.

Categories: australia, Car, Journey Narrative, Kids Travel, Mitsubishi, South Australia | Tags: , , , , | 5 Comments

Brachina Gorge, Flinders Ranges

We took the dirt road through Bunyeroo Gorge to the middle of Brachina Gorge, stopped at a couple of the lookouts then entered Brachina Gorge. The gorge is a geological showcase for many rock formations/types over 130 million years from 620+million years to 500 millions ago over a 20km drive. In 2004 a new geological period, the Edicarian, was determined based on fossil beds found in the gorge, that documented many primitive life forms not previously documented (we’d seen these in the museum in Adelaide). We camped nearby at the Trezona campground by the river. Once unhitched from the trailer we explored the gorge and found the recent rains had washed away sections of road, nothing the Pajero couldn’t handle fortunately. The highlight for the kids was Youngoona waterhole where they found enough water to submerse themselves and cool off, catch the enormous tadpoles and watch the birdlife that congregates around the river. My favourite was the rainbow bee-eater, but there were also kingfishers and nests in the cliff that looked like swifts or swallows – anyone who can identify please let us know. Wedgetail eagles frequent the gorges in abundance too.

The morning brought Xavier scampering up from the riverbed with a bat roosting in a curled piece of tree bark.

As we drove out of the gorge we found a mob of yellow footed rock wallabies, the cutest we have seen yet with their hooped tails.

Categories: 4WD, Adventure, Animal Action, australia, Australian Outback, Big Lap, Discover Australia, Explore Australia, Journey Narrative, Kids Travel, National Park, Offroad, Photography, South Australia, Travel, Travel Adventure, Walks | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Huonville to the end of the road

From Huonville we drove through Franklin and Geeveston and shortly afterwards the road became gravel once more. We passed through a few sleepy settlements, Lune River, Ida Bay, and Moss Glen before entering the campgrounds at Cockle Creek. This is the furthest south you can drive in Australia. Crossing the bridge into the National Park the road turns North for a kilometre then ends. A short walk takes you to an impressive sculpture of a Southern Right Whale. From here if you want to walk further south you can, but we took the short walk to Fisher Point, where the ruins of a cottage mark the point where a pilot used to reside. Back at Camp the Roaring Forties blew their best and showed us how bleak the weather can be.  The fresh oysters from the rocks were as large as I have ever seen and they tasted beautiful. Whilst there the winds blew, it rained and then the glimpses of sun we got showcased what a fabulous place the whole area of Recherche Bay is. It was still cold though, barely reaching 17 degrees during the day.

Categories: Australian Outback, Beach, Camper Trailer, Car, Discover Australia, Explore Australia, Journey Narrative, Kids Travel, Location, Mitsubishi, National Park, Photography, TAS, Tasmania, Travel, Travel Adventure, Walks | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Jeffery’s Track to Huonville

We had a seemingly easy drive planned for today after the swim in Lake St.Clair but I had spotted a “short cut”! Just another minor road preventing the need to go into Hobart and out again. Where the dirt started at either end the following message greets all drivers. This would test how well equipped we were, and we could always turn back if required. It was only 15km from Lachlan to Crabtree.

Jefferys Track Sign

Jefferys Track Sign

It was dry and initial indications showed that this track was used by offroad enthusiasts, with some serious sections branching off the main track. The Pajero ploughed on and the Camprite camper trailer followed obediently. Then we reached the following section :

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The challenge was the first hole. The obvious route looked the best but if we couldn’t make it there was no option to winch out. Everyone evacuated the car except me, despite Oscar and Hannah’s requests to remain. The car might have made it but with the camper trailer behind it just fell short so a hasty reverse was required. The only option was a winch assisted one to the right of the track, and fortunately for me with Amanda having seizures up the road, two local lads, Tom and Paddy turned up on dirt bikes offering assistance. Having heard or seen us drive past they had followed for a bit of entertainment I suspect. Apparently they hadn’t been able to get through the previous week due to equipment breakage.

With winch attached it took a couple of attempts to get the car through and onto the second hole which by comparison was much easier. The Falken Wild Peaks traction was good and the Pajero performed immaculately. Thanks Tom and Paddy – it would have taken much longer without the local knowledge.

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From there on in there was an interesting very steep rocky climb, then 10-15 minutes descent down similar. I would have been keen to wait and watch the 4WD coming the other way without winch. Hopefully he turned around.

Categories: 4WD, Australian Outback, Camper Trailer, Car, Discover Australia, Explore Australia, Journey Narrative, Kids Travel, Location, Mitsubishi, Offroad, Photography, TAS, Tasmania, Travel, Travel Adventure, Tyres | Tags: , , , , , | 5 Comments

The Tasmanian Devil hunt heats up

After a quick trip up to Cape Grim, where we saw lots of diary and wind farms, we headed over to the west coast in search of Tasmanian Devils. Xavier’s class has challenged him to see 10 Tassie Devils. In the last 15-20 years this poor animals population has plummeted by over 80% due to the facial cancer that is spread by contact between individuals so this is a particularly hard one.

Not ones to give up easily we headed towards the northern end of the Tarkine at Arthur River, the last bastion of the population where the disease hasn’t spread to yet (though it is feared it is only a couple of years away). The Parks and Wildlife rangers in the Arthur-Pieman Conservation Area visitor information centre there were fantastic, with such a detailed knowledge of the area and extraordinary capability and patience with the kids. We got information from where to find burrowing crayfish to how to make craft from kelp as aboriginal women used to do.

We moved into the camp area recommended to have Tassie Devil sightings. Good news – very few other campers so Amanda promised she would cook up a very meaty dinner, hoping the smell would lure them in.

Before that we visited the edge of the world to throw a stone into the water. There is no land to the west between here and South America. Walking along the beach, where massive tree trunks lie scattered amongst the rocks, Xavier found some footprints in the sand – could they be a Tassie Devils? Make your own mind up but we thought they looked like they could be.

As dusk approached, dark shapes appeared on the edges of the campground but these were just the browsing Pademelons moving in on the grass. As daylight failed we pulled out torches and waited, then when we could wait any longer we actively scoured the entire campsite spotting only numerous Pademelon and Tawny Frogmouths. Disheartened we went to bed knowing we still had another day!

Categories: Animal Action, Australian Outback, Journey Narrative, Kids Travel, Location, Mitsubishi, National Park, Photography, TAS, Tasmania, Travel, Travel Adventure | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Tasmania adventure begins

The Spirit of Tasmania has whisked us safely across the Bass Strait from Melbourne and we find ourselves camping in a little village resembling something out of a remote corner of the Mediterranean. A relatively short drive from the ferry found us in a camp spot that fronts the shoreline, where the water colour is brilliant pale blue and the houses in the village are all painted blue to match. Photos don’t do it justice but the area we drove around locally is very photogenic, with flower farms (daffodils, tulips, pyrethrum daisies, lighthouses, craggy cliff-faces. We even found a tree stump with a snow white and seven dwarves sitting on it beside the road. We also encountered our first big icon today – The Big Penguin in a town called Penguin.

Categories: Australian Outback, Beach, Camper Trailer, Journey Narrative, Location, Mitsubishi, National Park, Photography, TAS, Travel, Travel Adventure | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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