Our Friends Arrive


Hi there,

When last we left you we were enjoying a relaxing Christmas at Wynyard.  The first of our friends arrived on Boxing day and we began the next part of our adventure together.  Our plan for today was to snake our way westward towards Stanley in order to climb “The Nut” a must do for any tourist who is fit enough to make the steep walk up the track that zigzags its way to the top of the volcanic plug that forms the aptly named “Nut”. Off course for those not quite fit enough there is always the chair lift.

Table Cape Fossil Walk

We were blessed with a magnificent sunny day and ventured out bright an early to pick our way across the north west coast towards Stanley and the Nut.  Kit was very excited to have some friends to hang around with rather than a couple of old timers like us.  Our first stop was at Table Cape to explore the coastline at low tide and look at the fossils found everywhere in the rock formations.  The harsh winds and conditions here have worked their magic on the rough coastline to expose the many thousands of fossilised sea creatures that lived here millions of years ago.  We clambered over the rocks and found thousands of shells exposed in the wind and water worn rocks that had fallen from the cliff face.

A short drive west from Table Cape we found Rocky Cape National Park, another pristine wilderness with rugged cliffs and crystal clear waters lapping white sandy beaches or pounding sheer orange and grey cliffs.

 

The problem we are finding with Tasmania, if you can call it a problem is at every turn you find another beautiful vista to explore…….6 weeks will not be enough.

Rocky Cape with The Nut in the background

Today was not a bush walking day it was a day for exploring so we drove our cars up to the top of lookouts and then back down to beaches and at every turn we were greeted with yet another photo opportunity.  This beautiful countryside lends itself to many a photo buff.  I think anyone could come away with some fantastic “happy snaps” that would be worthy of any publication.  The young and older alike explored short tracks and rocky crags to their heart’s content.  The light breeze kept the suns burning rays to a comfortable level, however we were careful to cover up with sunscreen, hats and sunnies.

 

We left Rocky Cape and headed towards Stanley, we could have stopped at many more scenic vistas as these but we were on a mission to climb that Nut and check out a free camp we were thinking of stopping at.  So off we headed westward to Stanley.

 

Before our trek to the top, we decided to have a picnic lunch in the park at the western side of The Nut.  We sat on the lush green lawn and watched the local surfers ride the smooth blue waves with a light breeze keeping the temperature bearable and us keeping a hand on our picnic so it would not blow away.

View of the Chair Lift and beyond

Rested, fed and watered we headed back up to the base of The Nut to begin our climb to the top and a walk around the plateau.  Pete and Josh decided to go the way of the Chair Lift so Judi, Dave, Lauren, Kit and I headed off up the steep track to the top.  I was the least fit of the group so I brought up the rear and left the younger and fitter ones to head off at their own pace.  We huffed and puffed up each section of the zigzag track only to be greeted with a new and exciting view of the township of Stanley and the surrounding countryside.  What beauty this area of Tasmania has to offer.  You just seem to inhale the wonders of nature here, you can’t help but turn into a “Greenie” the fresh air and invigorating breeze just fills your whole body with energy.

I took my time to make sure I made it to the top.  This is not a walk I would recommend for anyone without a reasonable level of fitness, I would also recommend not being a hero, take your time and enjoy the experience, the chair lift is available so use it, there is plenty of walking to do at the top.  Either way you get to the top you will be rewarded with some of the most breathtaking scenery.  We walked the 2km track around the plateau and took in all that was on offer on such a beautiful sunny summers day.

Dave heading back down the hillside

 

I think we all ended up with a bit too much sun today but it was worth it.  We returned home as travellers and explorers should exhausted and happy with some more new memories for future campfire stories.

 

Until next time

 

Live the Moment

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Christmas at Wynyard

23 – 26 December 2011

Wynyard Christmas Eve Parade

We arrived at Devonport before 7am and were lucky to be the first car off the ferry and through customs, where we were searched for contra-ban (fruit and vegetables are not permitted to be taken into Tasmania).  Fair enough – they have plenty of beautiful and healthy fruit and veg here and they do not need any stray bugs.  We were looking forward to stocking up on lots of Tasmanian produce anyhow.  All over with little trouble and we are off to McDonalds on the other side of the harbour for brekkie…….

Coffee and muffin, top up on the fuel, and we were driving down the road westward towards Wynyard.  Our plan was to follow the coast road and stop along the way taking our time to view all the small towns along the coast to Wynyard.  We travelled through pretty little coastal vistas such as Turners Beach, Ulverstone, Penguin with it’s big penguins everywhere and on to Burnie for a stop at the Makers Workshop for a look around and another coffee.  This time a good coffee and a freshly made raspberry and white chocolate muffin. Heaven!!!!

We meandered up the coast and arrived at Wynyard in the early afternoon.  Set up on our en-suite site which was to be our home for the next 7 nights and had a relaxing stroll across the road to explore a bit of the windswept beach.  The park we stayed in was Leisureville Holiday Centre across the road from the beach.  Beaches here are quite rocky but you can find places to swim and plenty of good snorkeling.  Check with the Tourist Information Centres or ask a local for the safest places to go.  It was a nicely laid out park with good facilities including an indoor heated pool.  The staff were typical of the friendly and helpful folk we have been meeting so far in Tasmania.  The en-suite site was a bit difficult to get onto due to the location of the road but it was just like having your own private entrance once set up so the small amount of juggling to get onto the site was well worth it.  Again the Managers and Staff did their utmost to make this as easy as possible.

The next morning we were up reasonably early to do our food shopping in town for Christmas, found a great local butcher and fruit and veggies shop, oh, and a bakery that made the most amazing boiled fruit cakes.  If you are looking for good home-style bakery we would highly recommend Bakers 13 Dozen, they operate out of Launceston, but we found this outlet at Wynyard.  Our experience with folk here so far has been most enjoyable.  Everyone is very friendly and laid back which is a big dose of what we need for our holiday.  Don’t get me wrong, customer service is wonderful.  It is a pleasure to meet so many smiling happy people.

Christmas Day we had a Lamb Roast on the Webber Q with all the trimmings and sat around as you do with happy hearts and full bellys.  It was our

Peter and the Christmas Setting

first Christmas away from the rest of our family and it did seem a little strange.  Kit said it did not really seem like Christmas but it was OK.

 

Table Cape Lighthouse

Boxing day we went for a short drive up to Table Cape and the Light House for a bit of an explore whilst we waited for our friends, Judi, Dave and their two teenage children to arrive.  To our enjoyment the poppies were still in bloom and we took many photos of poppies, lighthouse and the beautiful coastline.

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20th – 22nd December 2011

20 December 2011

This morning we said goodbye to our friends as they headed off to Melbourne and planned our next couple of days. A brief walk around town and a bit of retail therapy saw Kit and I with a new dress each. Car Bingo is always present and we found a Christmas tree taller than Dave to add to our list.

We spent some time in the Wangaratta tourist information centre and collected a few brochures. There’s plenty of things to do here, for any level of activity. For those who are energetic, some wonderful bike trails are available to follow and you can even hire a bike with a basket and find your way around the gastronomic delights of the region. You can chose from wineries, berry farms, honey, mustard and plenty of food to keep you interested. All within an easy bike ride of your accommodation. Or for the more adventurous you can cycle your way around over 60 kilometers of dedicated bike trails to Beechworth and beyond.  There’s also plenty of history in the area with the famous Ned Kelly stories and Glenrowen nearby.

We made our selection and decided on a short drive up to Milawa where we tasted some incredible mustards at Milawa Mustards, settled on a Hot Honey mustard and off course a Bourbon mustard as well as a Blue Ox Rasberry and Vanilla Bean Jam.  From here it was a short hop down the road to Brown Brothers Winery for a tasting.  Peter is loving the fact I do not drink anymore and he has a permanent designated driver so he was able to taste all the wines on offer with comfort.  He selected a couple of wines that were cellar door only and we packed our wines in with our mustards and headed back to the caravan park for the evening.  A good day was had by all.

21 December 2001

Another beautiful sunny day and we are up and ready to explore more of the Wangaratta region.  Today we have decided to drive up to Beechworth to tase some honey and have a look around the town.  The Beechworth Honey shop is well worth a visit if you have any interest in honey or the importance of bees to our food supply. We sampled more than 20 types of honey from the huge selection and also enjoyed some Sparkling Honey and Ginger Nectar and also Honey and Lemon nectar.  Most refereshing on a hot day.  The educational tour was excellent and easy for children to view.  The family have gone to great effort to appeal to a wide audience.  A visit to Beechworth Honey is a must for all honey lovers.

 

A stroll around the towship of Beechworth and we visited the Beechworth Gold store, for those who have deep pockets, they also have items for all and Kit found a couple of nice gifts for some of her school friends.  We lunched at one of the many cafes and headed down the other end of town to look at some of the historic buildings.  To our enjoyment we were able to visit the local Telegraph station and Kit was able to send a telegram home to her sister.

22 December 2011

We awoke  today to more sun and packed up to make the trip to Melbourne for our boat ride on the Spirit of Tasmania over to Devonport.  A pretty uneventfull trip with a lovely picnic lunch stop at Shepparton where we were joined by a family of Kookaburras.  The drive into Melbourne was a bit stressfull with the van in tow as our GPS was telling us to turn but there were so many turns we missed the right one and had to drive around the docks for a bit.  Finally found our way and parked down the road for about  an hour or so before embarkation.  Had to wait in line for an extra 45 minutes as there was another ship in dock that was leaving.  The consolation of this and having a van in tow was we ended up almost last on but first off at the other end.

Parked the car, found our cabin and settled in for the night sail.  The bistro meal on board was reasonably priced and had plenty of choices.  The crossing was pretty calm and even though we didn’t sleep that well it was nice to have our own cabin with ensuite.  Up at 5:00am showered, dressed and ready to dissembark for the start of our Tasmania adventure.

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And We’re Off

 19 December 2011

We left home just a tad late, around 6am in cool drizzle and travelled south. The weather became worse the farther south we headed and remained miserable pretty much until we crossed the NSW Victorian border. Our first stop was the big Merino at Goulburn for a refuel, quick coffee and pie break at Trappers Bakery. Anyone who travels down this way knows of Trappers, a must stop for great food and coffee. There is also a McDonalds, Subway and a Café in the Service Station along with some accommodation, but we were just here for the fuel and food. We left here refreshed and ready to tackle the intermittent rain for another couple of hours. Our plan was to head for Holbrook for our lunch stop and have a quick look at the submarine.
To bring you up to speed our trip to Tasmania is not just for us we are actually holidaying with another 3 families, however we are not spending the whole time altogether. The others are currently spending time with other family members in different parts of the country. One group are at Bendalong on the NSW south coast, another have gone on to Melbourne for Christmas with relatives and the others are off to Adelaide for Christmas with their family so we are scattered across the better part of three states. Our plan is to all meet up at Cradle Mountain for New Year’s Eve.
Anyhow, back to our first day……. It was a fairly easy drive, albeit a bit wet, and we arrived at Holbrook in time for lunch, parked, and what should we see but a rig that looked very similar to our friends Jodi and Mark who are heading over to Adelaide. It was them. We thought they were going over the Hay Plains so had not expected to see them at all. What a great surprise! It was also a good one as Jodi had set us a task. She created a “Car Bingo” game to keep the kids (both big and small) entertained as we are travelling and we needed advice regarding some of the rules. Rules were clarified, a good chat had over freshly brewed coffee to compliment our wraps for lunch. Rested and fed once more we parted company from our friends with wishes for a Merry Christmas and a brief discussion with their two little ones about if Santa will be able to find them over in South Australia.
Travelling farther south the weather started to clear up a little with some blue sky attempting to show through. By the time we crossed the border we were in almost full sunshine and passing comments about sunny Victoria. The scenery became more pleasant due to the fact we could now see a much greater distance and we immediately noticed the improved quality of the roads. We stopped briefly at the roadside rest area at Chiltern to dispose of our last few apples as you are not supposed to take fresh fruit and vegetables into Victoria from NSW, something to do with fruit fly and other bugs. What a pretty little spot this rest area was, lovely trees and plenty of parking for cars, vans and even trucks. It was very well laid out with reasonable amenities and a good number of picnic tables and seating. There was even a short 15 minute bush walk you could do if you felt so inclined.
We left Chiltern rest area for our final leg of the day to Wangaratta. Our plan was to spend three nights at the North Cedars Big 4 Caravan Park in Wangaratta and take some time to have a look around the area before our ferry ride over to Tasmania on Thursday night. North Cedars is on the main road heading from the North into Wangaratta between the rail line and the river. We found the location very peaceful and the sound of the trains no trouble. The park itself was ranked 4 Star by Big 4 in the 2011 directory and whilst the amenities were not brand new they were very clean and well kept. We found the staff most helpful and friendly. All in all this was a great base from which to explore the wider region of the Wangaratta area.
To our excitement our friends Judi and Dave and their children arrived here to spend the night on their way down to Melbourne for Christmas so we enjoyed a few drinks and steaks before settling in for a well earned sleep.

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Look out Tasmania…..Here we come!!!!

OMG tomorrow we leave for our caravan trip to Tasmania!!!!!!!!!

The boat from Melbourne was booked months ago.  We also booked our first week’s accommodation in Wynyard.  Christmas in Wynyard.  We are spoiling ourselves for this one, an ensuite site so no shareing woohoo!!!!! Now do we decorate the van?  Do we put up a tree? Where will we fit all that along with the fishing rods, beach chairs, camping table, bar-b-q, portable fridge, tools, safety gear, clothes, firstaid kit, cameras, computer, books, maps, movies……..do we really need to take movies?????  Well it might rain and we might be cabin(caravan) bound for a couple of days?????  Oh my mind is swimming.  No TV!!!  I am not having TV in the van this time we do not need it.   A couple of movies will be all we need.  After busy days bush walking, sight seeing and exploring we will be too tired to worry about TV so can just sleep….. Anyone would think we had never travelled before.

We were so organised a month or two ago, now, maybe not so….. or maybe we are and just feel like we are not.  Why is it that we all get like this just before a big trip….adventure?  From past experience I know we have packed more than we need but you never know we might need it so just in case pack it!  Clothes – being Tasmania we need to pack for all seasons so layers, you can never go wrong with layers, at least you can peal them off if it gets hot and add more if it gets cold.  Plus we will need a few nice things if we go out somewhere, and shoes!! Joggers, hiking boots, shower shoes, sandles, flats, heels…… now you are going too far. How many pairs of shoes do we each need.  Pete will have 3 pairs at the most, Kit and I not so sure.

Pete wants to depart our humble abode at the reasonable hour of say 5:30am to beat the peak hour mayhem of Sydney.  How blessed we are that we live on the southern side of the city and will get out really quickly.  So glad we are heading south.  North takes about 1.5 hours of driving just to reach the other side of the city before we even get going and you know what they say “Stop, Revive Survive” every 2 hours…….we would never get there.

Anyhow, we are packed the van is hooked up…….. well we are nearly packed just a few bits and peices to go…. I hope we haven’t forgotten anything.  Was thinking this morning we should do some extentions to the van so we can fit more stuff in.

Packing!!!!!!

Our home for the next 6 weeks will be our old reliable Royal Flair Van Royce.  We bought our van back in 2000 for our trip around Oz and it has done us proud.  Because we had a 4 year old at the time we went for the family layout with double bed at one end and double bunks at the other with the kitchen in the centre.  It has worked a treat so far.  Our 4 year old is now 14 and we have temporarily removed the top bunk for more space.  We are considering updating soon to a van for the two of us to retire in.  But that will come later.  First things first… Lets get on with the trip at hand.  Our plan is to have breakfast and a fuel break at Goulbourn then on to Wangaratta, Victoria for a couple of nights before embarking on the Spirit of Tasmania for our sail over to the beautiful State of Tasmania.

Will keep you posted on our adventures so check back in a couple of days to see how we are going and if we got away Ok on Monday morning…….

Cheers for now

Kim, Pete & Kit

 

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Mini Nomad Tour of Australia – April to September 2003

Part 1 Sydney to Alice Springs

By Kit Age 6

Port Macquarie to Dubbo

We left Sydney and travelled to Port Macquarie for a quick visit with some friends.  I went for a ride with my friend, Lyndal on her horse called Arden.      From Port Macquarie we travelled to Dubbo where we visited the Western Plains Zoo.  At the zoo we saw a baby black rhino that was 12 weeks old.  He was soooo cute!

 

 

 

We drove for a long timefrom Dubbo all the way to Broken Hill.  It took nearly all day….

 

We went to all these places, I got a bit confused. This is Mundi Mundi Plains.  It looks very big.  Everything out here is big…..

 

 

 

 

 

While in Broken Hill we visited many different places.  Mum & Dad took me to Silverton where we parked our car  next to Mad Max’s Car.     We visited the vegemite painter, Peter Browne’s Studio.  He wasn’t there at the time.  We also visited the Royal Flying Doctor Service and Pro Hart’s Gallery.  We went to the Geocentre , where I saw some interesting rocks and some fantastic artworks made from solid silver.

 

 

 

From Broken Hill we travelled through Peterborough down to Wilpena Pound where we made some new friends.  We went for a long drive through the Flinders Ranges with our new friends.  We talked to each other on the CB radio.  We hiked up to a look out that we could look at the pound from.  It was very beautiful.  Dad and I climbed up a waterfall and looked at some aboriginal rock carvings.  There was only a few pools of water.  The rocks were very smooth.  The picture is of an aboriginal carving at the base of the lookout we climbed to inside Wilpena Pound.  It was very cold at night so we had a camp fire and toasted marshmallows.  It was minus 2 degrees Celsius when we got up in the morning.

 

 

We left Wilpena Pound and after getting supplies at Port Augusta, headed for  Coober Pedy where we stayed for three nights.  Most of the buildings are underground.  We went to an underground church and a house that three ladies dug out by hand. It took them 10 years to finish the house. They even had an indoor swimming pool.  We went for a drive along part of the dog fence.  It was built to stop the Dingos in the north coming down to eat the sheep the farmers were grazing in the south.  The fence is over 5,000km long.  We drove through the Breakaways.  This is an Aboriginal and local council joint National Park project to preserve some of the natural land in the area.

This day we went “noodling”.  This means looking for Opal. We didn’t find any but it was fun getting dusty on the mullock heaps.

 

 

 

 

Uluru

We travelled from Coober Pedy to Ayres Rock.  This is a picture of Uluru (Ayres Rock). It is the biggest rock in the world.  It is very important to the Aboriginies and they do not want people to climb it.  We went for a walk around part of Uluru and took some pictures where it was allowed to do so.  There was one part of Uluru we could touch and climb in.  It was like a great big wave.  We did not walk very far because it was getting late.  It is 9km to walk around the base of Uluru.

The next day we went for a walk in the Valley of the Winds at Kata Tjuta (The Olgas).  Kata Tjuta means many heads.  It was about 7½km round the valley and up the hills.  We saw lots of birds and flowers.  The hills or “heads” were so big.  We climbed up very high in some parts.

 

Kings Canyon

The next day we took our Caravan to Kings Canyon.  It was a very pretty place.  We had a fantastic view from our caravan site looking towards the canyon.  We got up early the next morning and did the rim walk.  It was a 6km walk with a 500m climb almost straight up at the beginning.  We took it slow.  Mum and Dad said it was well worth it.  The views were fantastic.

 

 

 

Simpson's Gap

We left Kings Canyon and headed back to the main highway so we could get to Alice Springs.  We used Alice Springs as a base to explore some of the local area and the West MacDonnell Ranges.  Here we visited the Desert Park where I learnt lots about the native wildlife and also got my first taste of bush tucker…..bush tomato did not taste much like tomato….  We also visited Standley Chasm , Simpson’s Gap, and Ellery Creek Big Hole.

Mum and Dad have now decided there is too much to see and we need a bit of a rest so I get to stay here at Alice Springs for a whole week, plus Mum says I must catch up on some school work.  My teacher has given Mum some work for me to do and I have to mail it back to her.

Until next time

Kit (Mini Nomad)

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Welcome to Not So Grey Nomads

Hi and Welcome!!!!

Kings Canyon NT 2004

Please allow us to introduce ourselves.  We are an average Aussie family who love to experience life in the great outdoors.  We may love the great outdoors but we also love our creature comforts so we always overcater, oversupply and plan for every possible contingency.  Plans do not always come to fruition and as such we have had a few adventures.  Our older two kids no longer wish to travel with us unless it’s five star and we are paying so we have set off on a few expeditions with just our youngest who is now 14 years old.  Kit  started her adventures at the age of 2 and her biggest adventure was when she was in her 6th year and we managed to take six months to travel over 25,000 and have a quick look at a few places around this magnificent country of ours.

We are not sure exactly where this blog will take us, however we are sure there will be some adventures along the way.  We will spend some time bringing you up to date from 4 to 14 and also give you a few tips, tricks and reviews of things that worked and things that didn’t for us.

For now welcome and thank you for visiting our blog.

Kim, Pete and Kit

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