Tuesday 19th August 1975

Left Sargeant’s at 7.05. Stopped at Echuca for morning tea and Lake Boga for lunch. Reached Swan Hill at approx 1.30. Stayed at Kisimul Caravan Park.

Wednesday 20th August

Left Swan Hill at 7.30. Travelled through bad headwind and dust and a little rain to  Renmark where we stopped for lunch. (Replaced fuel filter at Robinvale). Continued through wind till Euclunda and stopped for night at Christison Cara Park in Clare.

Thursday 21st August

Left Clare at 8.00. Travelled through hilly country and arrived at Port Pirie 9.15. Stayed at Pirie Caravan Park. Spent afternoon looking around and went to the pub at night.

Friday 22nd August

Left Port Pirie at 8.00. Good road from Port Augusta on.  Had a look at Iron Knob and had morning tea on side of road. Stopped for lunch at Kyancutta. Then went through patchy rain to Ceduna, huge wheat paddocks all the way.

Saturday 23rd August

Left Ceduna 6.40. Filled up at Nundroo. Travelled at speeds from 15mph to 35mph for 200 miles of rough dirt road, didn’t even see a kangaroo but saw groups of aborigines on Yalata reserve. Stopped for lunch at Nullarbor Station which is about half way of dirt road. As we went past Eucla, saw Great Australian Bite then stopped at Mundrabilla for the night at about 4.30 western central time and cleaned up the mess in the cupboards.

Sunday 24th August

Left from Mudrabilla at 7.15. Very flat uninteresting country. Had lunch at Balladonia and saw emus in the area. Countryside started to get greener and more trees. Stopped for fruit fly and quarantine check where they took our plants, spuds and onions. Had to replace valve on brake booster at Norseman where we stayed the night.

Monday 25th August

Left Norseman at 7.40. Travelled over pleasant country of bush and wildflowers, saw several emus. Arrived at Kalgoolie approx. 11.00 then did some cleaning. Collected some groceries and bought vacuum valve and wheel bearings.

Tuesday 26th August

Spent the day tidying up, washing the car and sight-seeing. Went to Hainault Gold Mines and had a guided tour of the shafts, was very interesting.

Wednesday 27th August

Left Kalgoorlie at 7.15. Much more interesting scenery, was sheep with little villages all the way. Saw a fox and more emus. Had lunch at Kellerberrin, arrived at Perth at 3.30, stopped at Swan Gardens Caravan Park.

Friday 29th August

This morning we moved the caravan to a cemented site and put the annexe up. Went for a drive into Central Swan and Greg registered at the employment office. Yesterday we went into the city and bought Father’s Day and Sallie’s Birthday presents.

Friday 5th September

Have been sightseeing, fishing and generally relaxing this week. I had the flu for three days. Greg registered at the employment bureau and got a job the next day.

Friday 12th September

Greg has been working at  Midland Smash Repairs for for a week on contract basis. I went into a lot of shops but didn’t get any ticketwriting jobs. Met Trevor and Karen this week, have seen them a couple of times.

Monday 22nd September

Very windy week, gale force winds. Had shopping spree on my birthday. Went to Perth Royal Show on Saturday. Saw grand parade, Andalusian horses; terrific display and fireworks, got home at 11.30 pm. Went to scrambles on Sunday.

Sunday 28th September

Greg to his first pay cheque this week; $341 for three weeks. Had a lot of rain this week. Saturday we went to Rottnest Island. Went on the Temaraire boat, trip took two hours. I went on an hour’s ride around the hills. Then at 1.30 we caught the old bus and toured the island for two and a half hours, beautiful beaches and countryside. Arrived home at 6.30, very tired.

Sunday 5th October

I did two ticket writing jobs during the week. On Friday night we had a look at night lights from Kings Park. Then on Saturday we had a good look through Kings Park and the Annual Wildflower Exhibition. We walked around botanic gardens. That night we went to the Claremont Speedway and had an enjoyable night. Today we are watching the Bathurst race.

Tuesday 14th October

Left on Friday at 6.00 pm and drove to Geraldton where we stayed the night. Next day we went to Kalbarri. On the way we visited the three gorges. Ross Graeme Lookout, Hawke’s Head, Z Bends and the Loop and Nature’s Window. These were beautiful and we walked all round them taking all day to see them. Had a barbecue tea then went to Red Bluff and watched the fishermen. On Sunday we explored Red Bluff, went swimming after we had gone fishing in the river, only caught two little ones and got sunburn. We went fishing off the beach on Sunday night, it was relaxing and different but we caught nothing. Monday morning we left at 8.00 and went home, stopping at Jurien Bay (out on the road) for lunch.

Monday 20th October

This weekend we went to Wanneroo and Yanchep National Park. At the Wanneroo Lion Park we saw the lions and a bit of excitement as they separated a cub from the lions. The camels, donkeys and emu were very inquisitive. We had lunch among the kangaroos and saw a tiny cub with some puppies and their handler. Then we visited Yanchep National Park and watched the hundreds of ducks and saw koalas. We had a tour of the Crystal Cave, a bit disappointing. On Sunday we spent all day a the Wanneroo Park races and had a good day.

Monday 27th October

We had a lot of variety this weekend. On Saturday we visited the El Caballo Blanco Hotel and the Bodequero Stud at Wooroloo, a very impressive Spanish complex. On arrival Ray Williams asked Greg to help him move a cart. In return we were offered a ride in the cart, pulled by a purebred, Bianca and a 1st cross horse. After several circuits of the arena Bianca played up and we had an exciting few minutes careering around the arena. We had a guided tour of the stables and paddocks which was very interesting. On Sunday we went to the Fremantle Museum and Arts Centre. The museum comprised mostly Perth and Fremantle history. On our way home we decided to go to the zoo. There were hundreds of different birds and the squirrels which scampered around everywhere were fascinating.

Monday 3rd November

We had a quiet week. On Saturday we drove to Mandurah and had a look and tried some fishing at various spots. All we caught was blowies at the bridge. Had a quiet day on Sunday, washed and polished the car.

Wednesday 12th November

Left Swan Gardens at 6.45 am with petrol situation unknown and travelled to Albany via Bunburry in good conditions, cloudy, warm and practically no traffic. No petrol problems. We stopped at Emu Point Caravan Park on the beach. Arrived at approx. 5pm.

Thursday 13th November

We spent the day touring the lookouts and other attractions which were Natural Bridge, Whaling Station, Old farm, Patrick Taylor Museum, Goal Museum and several beaches, had a busy and interesting time.

Friday 14th November

Left Alban at 7.15am. It was another good day for travelling. Saw our first live kangaroo near Jerramungup. Arrived at Esperance at about 2.30 and stopped at Bushlands Caravan Park. Visited the Pink Lake and did  a bit of shopping.

Saturday 15th November

Left Esperance at 6.00 am. We had  morning tea at Norsman, lunch at Caijuna and arrived at Mundrabilla at 6.15 pm. Another good day’s travelling. Saw a fox near Esperance, lizards and budgies further on.

Sunday 16th November

Left Mundrabilla at about 8.15 am. Short trip to Travelers’ Rest where we dust proofed the van and generally prepared to cross the Nullarbor. Very hot, humid day. At 3.00 we had a thunder storm. Had a few drinks in the bar where we were entertained by some truckies.

Monday 17th November

Left Traveler’s Rest at 4.00 am and made slow progress through rain and wet rough road. About 11.15 the van suffered a blow-out ¾ way through Yalata Mission. Had lunch there and as we set off, found the L/H brake assembly was mangled. We spent another hour fixing that on the side of a now dusty rough road. The road got worse from then on, slow going and we hit the sealed road just before Nundroo and arrived eventually at Ceduna at approx. 6.00 pm.

Tuesday 18th November

A day of cleaning and repairing. Washed the van and car, caught up on our shopping. Greg got two punctures repaired and exhaust system needed attention. Very stormy day.

Wednesday 19th November

Left Ceduna at 6.15 good travelling to Pt. Augusta where we had lunch and arrived at Port Pirie at about 2.30. Erected the annexe in the heat.

Thursday 20th November

Day of rest, did shopping. Greg got a job at Hacket’s place.

Sunday 23rd November

On Friday we had  a tour of the BHAS. On Saturday afternoon we spent a few hours at Lorna and David’s but had to return to camp to rescue and clean up after strong winds had bought down the annexe.

Monday 1st December

Had tea at Lorna and David’s on Monday night. Went fishing nearly every night during the week, only caught one decent fish. The hot weather setting in now. On Friday evening we set off to Whyalla. Stayed at the Alexander Motel. Visited Auntie Betty and Agnes and Jack. On Saturday night we had tea in the restaurant and had a  good night. Jack took Greg for a look at the steelworks and shipyard.

Thursday 11th December

Spent a couple of nights at Lorna and David’s and Jenny and Bob’s. Did a bit of fishing and swimming. Few very hot days. Spent Wednesday night carrying out a full scale attack on the ants that were doing the same to us. Wednesday night said to be the hottest in SA history.

Saturday 13th December

Friday turned out cool so we packed up and left Port Pirie at about 3.30 pm. Good trip to Adelaide but with wind and rain, arrived about 7.00 pm. Stopped at Brownhill Creek Caravan Park. On Saturday we had an hour or so in the city, went to Maineland and generally looked around.

Monday 15th December

On Sunday we went from Adelaide to Gawler. In the afternoon we drove around the Barossa Valley, bought seat covers at Nooriootpa but couldn’t see through wineries being Sunday. Monday we left Gawler at 7.30 and passed through more fruit and wine country which was very much water covered, to Swan Hill.

Tuesday 16th December

Left Swan Hill at about 7.30. Good trip to Albury, arrived at 12.30 at Noreuil Park, set up camp and visited everyone.

We spent Christmas at home, we both worked and generally prepared to trip north

Thursday 15th April 1976

Left Albury at 8.45 and arrived at Griffith at 1.00. No vacancies in the area except for the showgrounds which we shared with the trotters and the hot rodders. Set up camp and had an early  night.

Tuesday 20th April

We spent a busy and enjoyable Easter in Griffith on the Irrigation Rally, visiting Wineries, driving and eating with Godfreys, Sargeants and the Coopers. This morning we left Griffith at 8.15 and had a good trip, stopping at Forbes for lunch. Arrived at Coonabarabran at approx. 5.00.

Wednesday 21st April

Spent the day in Coonabarabran, had a look at noise in car but could find nothing wrong. We visited the Miniland Park, Mineral Museum and Observatory, all very good.

Thursday 22nd April

Left Coonabarabran at 7.15. Bad roads all morning and 60km before Boggabilla we broke a spring on right side of caravan. Limped all the way to Goondiwindi where we eventually found help at the RACQ depot. Greg had a new spring made, finished assembling it at 6.45 pm at the Goondiwindi Caravan Park.

Friday 23rd April

Left Goondiwindi at 7.30. Some beautiful scenery through Cunninghams Gap, had lunch 15 mls out of gap. Made our way through Brisbane but had to pull up when caravan wheel started billowing smoke. The brakes had packed up again. We pulled into next service station where Greg disassembled them and we went on to Mermaid Beach and stopped at Coconut Grove Caravan Park.

Monday 26th April

We spent the weekend looking around the various attractions here. Went to the bird sanctuary and fed the lorikeets, saw the auto museum and walked along the beach. Greg put brakes back together. Today we visited  Marineland which was very entertaining.

Friday 30th April

An enjoyable week, on  Tuesday we walked around the shops. Wednesday we went on a Jet Away cruise to South Stradbroke Island, it was a rainy day but quite good. Thursday had the car serviced and relaxed by the pool. Today we left Surfers at 8.20 and fought our way through heavy traffic and bad roads in Brisbane. We had a good trip the rest of the way, stopped near Nambour for lunch and Maryborough, Huntsville Caravan park the night.

Saturday 1st May

Left Maryborough at 8.00. Went over good and bad roads until we arrived at Mirriamvale where the right side caravan brakes seized causing the tire to blow out. Fixed that and had lunch from 11.00 to 12.40. Headed out again but tire went down and had to be changed again.  Arrived at Rockhamton 4.00 and set up at Boonyal Caravan park.

Saturday 8th May

Spent the week looking around the district. Visited the Caves and went to Yeppoon and walked around the beaches and fished. Went to employment office on Tuesday,  Greg found a job at Diplocks Panel Works but I had no luck. We didn’t like Boonyal Caravan Park so we drove around and decided to move to Municipal Park and arrived there at 8.30 today. Much nicer park.

Tuesday 18th May

Greg started work at Diplocks Panel Works last Monday, good modern shop. Haven’t done much at the weekends, went to the speedway, drove around the town, visited the Botanical Gardens and have been fishing quite often. Caught a few catfish.

Monday 24th May

Another quiet week, beautiful weather, 30c for a few days. Went to Mt Archer on Sunday and looked at the views over Rockhampton.

Monday 31st  May

Went to the horse races on Saturday, quite good but would have been better if we’d had some  money to spend. Just did a bit of fishing on Sunday.

Monday 7th June

We had beautiful weather this week, went to the Go Kart races on Sunday. Greg started to put the little boat together last week. Still waiting for brakes from Ballarat.

Monday 14th June

Godfreys arrived on Thursday accompanied by Lillian and Harry. On Friday and Saturday Wilma and Charlie spent a lot of time organizing their new caravan, then only two days old, between pre meal drinks that is. On Sunday the six of us toured to and around Emu Park and Yeppoon. Visited the Cooberrie Sanctuary which was very nice and naturl. We had lunch and Harry and Greg and I fished. Harry caught a nice bream and I caught a smaller one.  Today is being spent doing odd jobs and relaxing as it’s a public holiday.

Friday 18th June

Left Rockhampton 8.30 am. After Greg fitted brakes the night before. Uneventful trip, a lot of dead animals on the road. We had lunch at Lotus Creek. A mixture of good and bad roads. Arrived at Mackay at 4.00 pm but couldn’t find any vacancies. We kept going and stopped about 20 mls out at Jollymont Caravan Park.

Saturday 19th June

Left Jollymont at 8.45 am. Had an enjoyable trip through more picturesque can fields to Shute Harbour. Found Godfreys at Wanderers Caravan Park and set up camp across from them. Spent the afternoon cleaning and relaxing.

Sunday 20th June

Left at 8.15 am. To join the tour of the islands with Wilma, Charlie and Allens on the Whitsunday Wanderer. Looked at the colourful reef fish from the Hook Underwater Observatory, then to South Molle Island and Daydream. We walked around the islands, had lunch on the boat, in beautiful weather and pretty surroundings. An excellent day was had by all.

Wednesday 23rd June

Monday and Tuesday  were relaxing days. Greg and Harry spent the mornings fishing, we barbecued, relaxed and sunbaked. On Tuesday night we all walked to the pub and watched the toad races. Today Greg and Harry went fishing and came home with a dozen 1 lb mixed fish plus a 71/2 lb trevally. The also found Mum and Dad S at the Jetty who were sightseeing from their cabin at Proserpine.

Thursday 24th June

Left Shute Harbour at 8.30 am. Met Mum and Dad S at their cabin near Proserpine and again at Bowen for morning tea. We left them at Bowen and drove on to Ayr where we met Godfreys and Allens at the caravan park and had a quiet afternoon.

Friday 25th June

Left Ayr at about 9.15. A short trip to Townsville through more can fields and bad roads. Arrived at Sun City Caravan Park at 11.30 and washed the caravan and set up camp. Then went into town with Wilma and  Charlie.

Wednesday 30th June

We spent the weekend with Wilma and  Charlie, looking around town and relaxing. On Monday we went on a boat to Magnetic Island. We walked from Picnic Bay to Arcadia where we had a counter lunch at the hotel. Then we spent a couple of hours on the beach before we caught the boat back to Townsville. Mum and Dad S set up their bedroom in the annexe.

Friday 2nd July

Left Townsville at 8.45. Had morning tea on the road. The scenery slowly changed from dry gum trees to lush rainforest around Tully. The drive from Tully to Mission Beach was very pretty even though it was overcast and showery. We arrived at Mission Beach at 1.15. Stopped at Hideaway Caravan Park. Went for a walk along the beach and found a shop where we bought some barramundi and had it for tea.

Monday 5th July

On Saturday we drove into Tully where we bought a few groceries. In the afternoon we explored the beach near the Clump Point jetty. That night we all went to the caravan park dance which was quite enjoyable. On Saturday we boarded the Purtaboi and spent the day vistiting the Great Barrier Reef and the sand cays. On arrival at the reef we fished with hand lines. The boat moved to and anchored at the Beaver Reef. The coloured fish were fed and then Ulysses the giant groper did his performance. Greg joined the snorkelers and swam to the sand cay, viewing the coral. We went in the glass bottom boats. We had lunch on the sand cay and collected shells then did another tour in the glass bottom boats. Arrived home at 6.00 very pleased with what we had seen and done.

Tuesday 6th July

Left Mission Beach at 8.30 am. Went straight through to Cairns and set up camp at Coles Cairns West Caravan Park.

Friday 9th July

Bad weather, although warm it’s been very windy and cloudy. Sarges and Godfreys are here now. We’ve had a bit of a look around and done shopping.

Sunday 11th July

On Saturday we had a good look around the town. Today the six of us went for a drive up to Mossman and Pt. Douglas. We checked on some beach caravan parks for Wilma and Charlie to stay at. Visited an opal shop and I bought a pottery vase from a potter at Pt. Douglas. On the way home we were entertained by crocodiles at Hartley’s Creek. The keeper demonstrated their eating habits which was very interesting.

Saturday 17th July

Greg’s first week at work in Cairns, small panel shop but with a big turnover and Greg is kept very busy. I was asked to do some lettering on a  ski which I did also at Greg’s work. On Saturday (today) Sargeants, Godfreys, Allens, Marshalls and us boarded the train and went through lovely mountainous country, sugar canes, forest and water falls to Kuranda station. There we had morning tea and saw the famous fern covered station. Came back past Baron Falls again and through about 17 tunnels. We had a counter lunch to finish off the morning. This week has been rather bad weather, windy with a  lot of rain at night. But cleared up for us to take photos of the falls.

Sunday 25th July

Greg did one night overtime this week. We went shopping a couple of times and Sarges did a couple of trips. On Thursday Greg and I went to the Cairns show straight after work and spent the evening there. About 11.30 am Friday Greg and I headed off to Ellis Beach to spend the weekend with Wilma and Charlie. Spent the afternoon on the beach and playing chess. On Saturday and Sunday we did the same thing but Sarges and Marshalls joined  in with the barbecue on Sunday. Good quiet weekend, we slept in the panel van.

Sunday 1st August

Last Wednesday Sarges, Marshalls and I went to Ellis Beach for the afternoon with Wilma and Charlie. A quiet day on Thursday and Sarges left on Friday. On Friday night Wilma and Charlie came in and had tea with us then we went to the pictures. We collected Birdie and went to Ellis Beach after the pictures arriving there at 1.00 am. We all slept in the caravan this time. We spent our usual relaxing weekend on the beach touching up our suntans. Greg and Charlie spent a lot of time playing chess. We came home on Sunday night after a lovely day to our camp with just the two of us for the first time in about six weeks.

Monday 9th August

On Friday night we took a break between main course and sweets because we saw can being fired nearby. We drove to the scene and watched the flames and red smokey sky and the sun went down. On Saturday we drove up to Daintree then came back to Port Douglas were we had pies for lunch plus had one made to take home. I ordered a set of wine glasses to match the decanter Mother S gave me and my vase. We also threw in a line at the old wharf to fill in time and Greg caught a 3lb barramundi, which we had for tea and it was delicious. On Sunday we watched the game fishing competition weigh in and spent the afternoon in the swimming pool.

Monday 16th August

We didn’t have a very eventful weekend. Greg had a muck around with the car on Saturday morning and in the afternoon we just went for a drive and found a few nice fishing spots. On Sunday we went off about 10.00 to the creek mouth at Machins Beach and fished till about 1.00 then we went to Yorkies Knob and had lunch and came home about 3.00 for a swim and relax.

Monday 23rd August

The weather is getting humid now. Very uncomfortable. This week we called on Mary and Chris, they were very pleased to see us and made us very welcome. On Saturday we went with Greg’s workmates to the inlet where we  joined in on the boating in their racing boat. A nice afternoon except I was attacked by sand flies and have been itching since then.  On Saturday night we went to Mary and Chris’s for tea and played cards afterwards. We had  very enjoyable night. Sunday we drove up to Port Douglas to check on the pottery but no one was home. We tried a little fishing and laid on a few beaches on the way home.

Monday 30th August

On Saturday we went to Port Douglas and found out that the pottery place had closed down. That finished my idea of getting goblets. Tried fishing at Machins beach in the afternoon but no luck. On Saturday we drove over the windy road up to Lake Tinaroo where we watched the boat races and saw a boat flip over and sink, wrecking it. Left the lake about 3.00 and drove around the area, saw the Tinaroo Dam and arrived home about 5.30. Has rained this week but it’s still hot and sticky.

Sunday 5th September

We set out  about 9.15 on Saturday Morning to the Atherton Tablelands. Went to Mareeba, Atherton and stopped for lunch at Lake Eacham which was very pretty. Saw the Curtain Fig Tree also. Saw the crater, Dinner Falls, Millstream Falls and Crawfords Lookout. All were very attractive and linked by roads through lovely country and rainforests, although the road was bad in places. Camped at a park near Ravenshoe for the night. In the morning we drove to Inisfail and saw Paranela Park which was interesting but very run down. Had lunch then drove home to a very welcome swim.

Monday 13th September

Not a very eventful week. On Wednesday night we visited Mary and Chris and saw their Siamese kittens. We just relaxed around the park all weekend, went looking in town on Saturday morning.

Monday 20th September

On Friday night Mary and Chris came for tea, my Birthday, we had a great night. Greg worked on Saturday morning. That night we went to the House on the Hill for tea, but were disappointed. Sunday we drove up to Lake Tinaroo and watched the boat races with Chris and Mary then went to their place for tea. This morning I went into town and spent some of my Birthday money.

Tuesday 28th September

Greg worked on Saturday morning. We had a look at the Centenary vintage rally in the afternoon. Greg went fishing on Sunday morning and caught nothing but a mud crab. We went to Mary and Chris’s in the afternoon and played games and talked. It’s 30c most days now and very humid.

Monday 4th October

We went to Mary and Chris’s on Friday night, but due to boat problems the boys cancelled the fishing trip. We spent most of the weekend there anyway, the boys worked on the boat and Mary and I went to a fashion parade, the cat show and a street carnival.

Sunday 10th October

Arrived at Mary and Chris’s on Friday night again. We had an early night. The boys got up and set off on the fishing trip about 6.00 am on Saturday. Mary and I went shopping on Sat. morning and later we watched the opening of a monument and then watched the Centenary Cavalcade which was very spectacular. We set off again after tea and had a browse around the Fun in the Sun Carnival, watched several stage performances and the fireworks on the harbour, finishing off an interesting day. On Sunday at about 10 am Chris and Greg came home. They told us of their weekend. The weather was calm and clear and it was very hot. They slept on a sand cay which they shared with the sand crabs, who seemed to like their sleeping bags. The fish catch was not exciting (the big ones got away) but enough for all of us to have at least two meals. We had lunch at Mary and Chris’s then came home to a swim and clean up. Then fresh coral trout for tea.

Tuesday 19th October

Greg’s last week at work. We went to a barbecue at the boss’s home on Friday night. On Saturday the differential in the panel van made noises so the car was taken back to work to investigate. Saturday night we went to Mary and Chris’s to their party for us. Monday Greg worked on the car. The diff needed new bolts to get it in running order again. We had to wait for them to be flown up.

Friday 22nd October

The car part (bolt) arrived on Wednesday and the car was running again that night. We moved around to Mary and Chris’s on Thursday. Friday morning at 10.30 we left for the inland. Leaving the caravan and Birdie at Mary and Chris’s and borrowing their camping gear. It was a very hot overcast day. We had lunch at Cardwell. About 30 miles after Townsville the rain started. We drove the rest of the way in rain and some of the road was very wet indeed. Arrived at Charters Towers about 5pm and abandoned the idea of sleeping in the tent. We took and overnight van instead as it was still very wet.

Saturday 23rd October

Left Charters Towers about 7.30 and drove through very flat dry country to Julia Creek, where we had lunch. More uninteresting country after Julia Creek and a lot of stock on the  road. The road was very good most of the way. The scenery changed to rugged hills as we passed Mary Kathleen. Arrive at Mt. Isa about 4.00 and had a look around town. Chose a caravan park and set up camp overlooking the hills.

Sunday 24th October

Left Mt. Isa at 7.45 and drove into the Northern Territory. Over vast grass plains and more rugged hills. Stopped at Frewena store for lunch and a break. A very boring drive during the afternoon. We stopped at Elliot for the night.

Monday 25th October

Left Elliot about 7.30 and drove straight through to Katherine. The land was lightly timbered but still boring. Arrived at Katherine at midday and bought a few groceries. Drove out to Katherine  Gorge National Park and set up in the caravan park. We had a swim in the river then got aboard the boat for a tour. We had an enjoyable tour of one and two gorges, stopping to have a swim before returning. It rained then and some of our gear was wet when we got back.

Tuesday 26th October

Got up early and hung out my washing. We left at 7.30 and drove to Darwin. Arrived about 1pm and had a short look around town. It was very hot and humid so we just had a walk down one street and bought some groceries. Darwin is still very much damaged by the cyclone, litter everywhere and very sad looking. Then we headed back to Howard Springs and set up camp. We swam practically all afternoon in the lovely spring. In the evening we went back to the spring and watched and fed the 3ft Barramundi, tortoises and other fish by torchlight.

Wednesday 27th October

We got up early after a restless night, disturbed by a noisy buffalo feeding close to our tent in the camping reserve. Left at 7.00 am and drove down to Katherine then to Mataranka. We spent the afternoon swimming in the rainbow springs pool. During the trip we have seen a few kangaroos and lizards by the dozen including goannas. Wild horses, cattle and several herds of buffalo today.

Thursday 28th October

We got up at about 5.30 am and had swim in the warm pool. We spent the morning swimming and laying by the pool. Then had lunch in the pub. We left there at 2.30 pm and drove to Tennant Creek. Arrived at 8 pm and set up camp.

Friday 29th October

Another early morning. It rained and blew during the night. We left Tennant creek at 6.30 and drove to Alice Springs, stopped and inspected the Devil’s Marbles on the way. Got to Alice Springs at lunch time. We had a beaut counter lunch, did a bit of shopping and rested up.

Saturday 30th October

In the morning we had a bit of a clean up. Before noon we we went out to Standley Chasm, that was very pretty. Then we went to Simpson’s Gap. John Flynn’s Grave and the lookout and the telegraph station.

Sunday 31st October

Left Alice at 6.30 am. Arrived at the Rock about 11.30. We saw a flock of black cockatoos and several wedge tailed eagles. We were astounded by the huge rock. We watched it as the sun set. Then we had a good meal at the Red Sands Motel where we took a room. We saw a dingo run for the bush during our drive over the dirt road.  We stayed a the pub after tea as they had a party on.

Monday 1st November

We had breakfast in the pub then headed for the climb. After several rests and serious doubts whether we would make it, we finally arrive triumphant at the top of Ayers Rock. The view was fabulous and we signed the book then headed down again. Arriving at the bottom with blisters and wobbly knees about two hours after setting off. We went and bought ourselves well earned brag T shirts. We had a further look around the bottom of the rock, had lunch then started to drive to the Olgas 27 km away. About half the way we  struck bad corrugations on the dirt road which threatened to shake the car to pieces so we turned back and were content to watch the Olgas from a distance. Spent the rest of the afternoon in the pub and had a quiet night.

Tuesday 2nd November

We had breakfast in the pub then packed up. We joined the guided tour at 9 am and were shown  through and told about  the various caves and aboriginal paintings in them. Left Ayers Rock at 11 am and drove back to Alice, arriving at 4.30. We saw another dingo near the road today.

Wednesday 3rd November

We had a couple of hours to fill in before we left so we sought out the Guth Panorama of the Alice Springs district. We liked it very much and also Guth’s various paintings of Central Australian landscapes. We spent a few dollars and bought a set of two oil paintings by Henk Guth. Left Alice about 10.15 and hit the highway. Had lunch at Central Mt. Stuart. Came on to Barry Caves for the night.

Thursday 4th November

Another early morning. Left at 6.30 am. Stopped at Mt. Isa for brunch at 10.30. I drove from there to Hughenden. Then Greg drove till we reached Charters Towers at 7.30 pm. We saw a lot of wildlife today, emus, bustards, dingos, eagles and kangaroos. We stopped and changed a wheel before Mt Isa.

Friday 5th November

Left Charters Towers about 7 am. Stopped at Townsville for a sandwich. Drove on and it got very hot as we went north. Arrived at Cairns at 11.30 am. Had a rest before we unpacked.

Wednesday 10th November

We enjoyed Mary and Chris’s hospitality for a few days of rest. Left Cairns this morning at 7.30 am. Had to change a wheel on the way only about 40 miles out. Because the tire blew out and wore off. Had lunch at Ingam and arrived at Townsville at 3 pm.

Thursday 11th November

Left Townsville 7.30 am. Morning tea at Bowen and had lunch at Mt. Ossa where a snake slithered through the picnic area. Arrived at Mackay at 2 pm and had a swim and want shopping.

Friday 12th November

Got up to find a flat tire on the caravan so that delayed us half an hour. We left at 8 am. It was another hot day and we were worn out when we got to Rockhampton. Greg got a new tire  and we swam and went shopping.

Sunday 14th November

Left Rockhampton early and drove straight to Bundaberg. Spent the afternoon at the pool on Saturday. Today we saw the local sights, the beaches, Hummock Hill, the old homestead and the antique museum. Bundaberg is a lovely place.

Tuesday 16th November

Spent Monday down town in Bundaberg and in the afternoon we went on the Millaquin Sugar Mill and Distillary tour. It was quite interesting except for the sickly sweet molasses smell. Came to Noosa Heads today, set up camp and got groceries and swam in the pool.

Friday 19th November

We spent Wednesday swimming and sunning on the beach and exploring the shopping centres. Today we went on the coloured sands tour. Left at 9 am in the 4WD bus and drove along the 40 ml beach, stopping at various spots to look at he sands, springs and sand formations. We had lunch at the Cherry Venture then drove back along the beach, stopping at different spots. It was a good day, quite different and interesting and beautiful warm weather.

Friday 26th November

We spent this week swimming, fishing and generally just lazing around. Today we went on a tour which included the Old English Village at Flaxton, Blackhall Ranges, the Big Pineapple, the Ginger Factory at Buderim, Mooloolaba, the Fairytale Castle at Bli Bli and back along the coast. It was a very pretty trip and enjoyable.

Monday 29th November

Left Noosa Heads at 8 am. Drove through some very pretty country through Kilcoy, Esk and Toowoomba. Had to pull up just past Inglewood with a broken left spring on the caravan. So we went back to Inglewood and arranged with a blacksmith to make another one.

Wednesday 1st December

Spent Tuesday in Inglewood while the local blacksmith and Greg made a new spring. Left this morning at 5.45 and stopped for lunch at Coonabarabran and arrived here at 5 pm. Had a good trip over good roads today to Parkes.

Thursday 2nd December

Left Parkes at 7 am. Drove through lovely wheat country arriving home and went to Sargeant’s for lunch at 1 pm. Went out to the weir and set up our camp at Boathaven Caravan Park.