April 2013 around aus trip in the planning

Planning a trip and need some advice? Here's your place
emjan
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Joined: November 5th, 2012, 4:59 pm
Location: Alice Springs, NT

Re: April 2013 around aus trip in the planning

Unread post by emjan » April 3rd, 2014, 9:32 pm

We can't take away the rear support poles away from the rear bow or else the bow won't keep its shape and will sag. We thought about hosing itdown except the zippers are tight enough without any further shrinkage. Really, at this stage, it doesn't matter how much we adjust the front centre n rear bows.....one way or the other....it doesn't make any difference to the sag.

It was very reassuring to read you'd had the same issues TLC60S, for a while we thought it was something we had/n't done, but after trying everything we n cub can think of to lift that door side wall we have to conclude it's a design issue imho. Pretty relieved we had some 8lb fishing line on board even though the rods haven't see H2O for several mths.

Which cub model do you have?
Born again 4WD-er. 08 Navara D40 spain

TLC60S
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Joined: June 17th, 2012, 8:36 pm
Location: Londonderry, NSW

Re: April 2013 around aus trip in the planning

Unread post by TLC60S » April 3rd, 2014, 11:16 pm

Hi emjan
Mine is a 2000 model Supermatic Drover I have had since new . It's on the second canvas , 3rd set of suspension & 5th set of tyres all worn down although the last set was helped out by a bent axle.
I have taken it to every state in Australia including on the Spirit Of Tasmania 3 for a tour of Tassie . My biggest trip to date which wont be broken anytime soon was a 14 month 43000 plus Ks trip around Australia which included towing up the entire length of The Capes Tele track doing gunshot. Your unofficial home town of Alice I been there twice last time I took mum & her sister My auntie to see the rock & their cousin who owns Aileron Station which they say is in Alice . There is a picture of it in 4wd Action issue 211 on page 239 about my trip report in epic adventures.
Cheers TLC60S

emjan
Been here a while
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Joined: November 5th, 2012, 4:59 pm
Location: Alice Springs, NT

Re: April 2013 around aus trip in the planning

Unread post by emjan » April 13th, 2014, 6:23 pm

Great travelling! And you certainly have put your CT through its paces. Good it's held up so well even with all the work & servicing you've done.

After massive rain & humidity here this week we've had a bit of shrinkage & are about to lose another zipper. Nothing much we can do about it & thank goodness there will still be another 3 to use.

The rain was so heavy the Todd flowed for about 2-3 days which was magic. I think Wayne appreciated my persistance with putting up the tarp as a tropical roof a few weeks ago, it saved us & kept us dry. We were camping on a rise so pretty much stayed dried, but amazing how the humidity can make things undercover so wet.

Haven't done much touring this weekend, have done a job application for Wayne up here & a casual one for me when we go home for a month in June. Pretty glad we have kept the OzPig. I take back all the bad things I've said about it in the past. Sure it isn't as good as a camp fire but at least it's a fire especially for a cold night & I was appreciative of the warmth & great baked potatoes it did for us last night. It's still a pain & labour intensive to have to chop timber small enough but I think we'll keep it regardless.

After 5 months without a tenant we finally have a new one so the financial stress of mortgages, rent, car loans, insurance and everyday living expenses on one wage won't be so intimidating. We're planning some new stuff for the car....eventually....a new UHF aerial to replace the loose one that's a year old, a rhino bar for some extra lights, & probably a new battery as the old one's quite a few years old and starting to sound a bit tired. Glad we have the mini jump starter for just in case. Would like to get a inside roof console & start rearranging equipment & switches in the cabin. A 2nd air compressor would be great leaving the small one for the lockers, yeah, yeah, I know, dream on! But it's a dream.
Born again 4WD-er. 08 Navara D40 spain

emjan
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Joined: November 5th, 2012, 4:59 pm
Location: Alice Springs, NT

Re: April 2013 around aus trip in the planning

Unread post by emjan » August 21st, 2014, 8:46 pm

Three months later than expected we're a couple a weeks off hitting the tracks for home in Vic for a few weeks catching up with friends & family. Fourteen months in Alice......camping.....has not always been enjoyable. It was a long summer & now we have the freezing cold mornings of winter. Locals say it will be a very hot summer this year because of the large number of below zero mornings. I'm certainly not looking forward to another summer camping.

We've started our sorting, packing and planning for the journey. We plan to leave Alice 5/9, head along the Plenty Highway through to Boulia, Longreach, Abercrombie, & head down to Sydney via the Mitchell Hwy. We need to be in Sydney by the 8-9/9 to deliver the Camper Trailer to Cub to discuss & have repaired some problems that have arisen since we bought it.
We'll then drive down to Colac Vic where we'll set up camp, attend to any matters with our house, do some gardening, shopping, & see our family & friends after 14 mths of being away.

We're planning on leaving Vic around 22/9, drive via Balmoral, Horsham & head up to Mildura & then decide whether to travel home to Alice via the Birdsville or Strezlecki track, through to see more friends in Mt Isa, Tennant Creek & back to Alice.

My contract here ends 13/11 but the job I'm working only has funding for another week because the funding hasn't filtered through to us yet so it's all up in the air as to what's happening after that. I have a couple of remote posting applications in the pipeline so not sure what's going to happen there.

The gold detecting here has been a no go-er. We've been to so many areas around Alice & there hasn't even been a snifter of gold. I began to wonder if there was something wrong with Wayne's GPX4500 but a couple we met in the caravan park had thoroughly combed the area along the Garden Track from Stuart Hwy through to Arltunga without any luck. They've gone up to Tennant Creek to try their luck there. We think there has been gold here but only in small pockets which may have been detected out. Back in Vic we're going to hire the new Minelab 2300 for a few days as we've heard some great things about it.

Other than that, maybe it's time to start looking for work in WA.....Kalgoorlie...Geraldton....a change would be good, only so much red dust that I can cope with here.
Born again 4WD-er. 08 Navara D40 spain

TLC60S
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Re: April 2013 around aus trip in the planning

Unread post by TLC60S » August 22nd, 2014, 12:23 am

Hi emjan
I bet your glad to be on the road again.
I give you 1 month after leaving Alice & you will be missing the Outback even in Summer.
Don't know why Wayne couldn't find any gold , didn't he jump the fence at The Garnite Mines :lol: Actually going by the pictures you posted from around Alice you did discover gold just not the kind to make you rich.
Cheers TLC60S

fordrangabeard
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Re: April 2013 around aus trip in the planning

Unread post by fordrangabeard » August 22nd, 2014, 10:52 am

Hi Emjan
Absolutely loved reading your trip report makes my 3 week trip to coral bay in september look like a weekend getaway. Would like to thank you for taking your time to share everything, has given me alot of ideas and looking forward to reading much more.

emjan
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Joined: November 5th, 2012, 4:59 pm
Location: Alice Springs, NT

Re: April 2013 around aus trip in the planning

Unread post by emjan » August 23rd, 2014, 12:23 pm

So true TLC60S, it has been a trip & adventure full of things never expected, breathtaking beauty, wonderful experiences. I bet by the time we hit Sydney we'll be missing Alice! The things I love about the NT are the remoteness, beauty, wildness, that it attracts an abundance of "wild & unusual" people, That you can be as feral as you like without it impacting on anyone. But saying all that, you also have to have a reverence bordering on religious for the environment, it's spiritual & sacred. The most we generally have to worry about is if we have enough firewood to keep us warm & to cook on.

You rarely see the cops except outside a bottle shop to check you're ID ("yeah, yeah", Wayne'll say, "I'm over the age of 18"). A booze bus will generally pull up 10 or so drivers at once over the limit. The unearthly howl of dingos, the soft nightly call of the Morpork owl, the overfriendly bower birds, delightful chatter of the babbler families, the hundred or so flock of red tailed black cockies we saw near the mud tank near the Binns Track/Plenty Hwy. The snakes, lizards, perenties....It's spectacular country.

The disadvantage here is the exhorbitant cost of living, narrow spectrum of shopping alternatives, international tourists (some are ok), poor range of services, low employment options. You either buy it here or online....and then there's Australia Post.

We think the gold is long gone from around Arltunga. There could be other areas but some are very difficult to access. We have the google earth gold maps software which shows us all the areas that were historically mined for gold. Harts Range doesn't rate a mention as the records of the gold mining there were destroyed in a fire moons ago. We still relish opportunities to get the detector out for a wave about & I love all the different gems we pick up along the way. My daughter in Melb does jewellry-making so a lot of my stones go to her. Did you ever see Bush Tucker Man's DVD on Lassiter's Reef? He thinks it's around Arltunga, that Lassiter needed to reverse his presumed reef area.

Settling back in Vic is definitely NOT on the agenda, even the summers up here are beautiful because there is mostly little humidity. Still need a couple of fans overnight to keep cool & no skin contact with the other half, 30C+ at 1am? No problems. The below zero mornings have been very chilly & a little fan heater warms it up enough for me to get dressed for work. have to have some comforts.

Fordrangabeard, glad you like my ramblings, never underestimate 3 weeks away, better than a weekend & a taste of bigger things to come.

The advice I would offer to people hitting the road indefinitely is first think about work options, not many can live without regular income. Harder to get work if over 45-50yrs. First aid & advance life support certs, responsible serving of alcohol cert, hospitality experience, MR-HR licence, a trade cert ie carpenter, mechanic (but these often come with the requirement for a full tool kit which is impractical when you're travelling - esp chippy). Wayne's doing nightfill at Woolies. Awful hours but the money helps.

So keep planning your short trips as they'll be the organisation backbone for the big trip you'll no doubt be doing down the track
Born again 4WD-er. 08 Navara D40 spain

emjan
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Location: Alice Springs, NT

Re: April 2013 around aus trip in the planning

Unread post by emjan » August 23rd, 2014, 12:27 pm

petunia???? that was meant to be 3 weeks!!!
Born again 4WD-er. 08 Navara D40 spain

emjan
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Joined: November 5th, 2012, 4:59 pm
Location: Alice Springs, NT

Re: April 2013 around aus trip in the planning

Unread post by emjan » September 11th, 2014, 9:42 am

We left Alice Springs last Friday & drove for 5 days til we got to Sydney, free camping down the Stuart Hwy when we were too tired to keep driving, found some great spots to open out the camper trailer & cook on open fire. NT & SA have the most ferocious weeds I have ever known with the most vicious, tenacious, painful seedpods I've ever been inflicted with. Impossible to let dogs out in these areas without them getting covered & having them embedded in their paws. But we did eventually find some open clay pan areas that were weed free in parts.

We got to Port Augusta on Sunday, lovely to smell sea air after 15 mths in the desert. We drove through Peterborough along the Barrier Hwy through to Wilcannia for the night. The thing we noticed was how much diesel the normally economoical Nav was chewing through, barely getting 300kms to the 80L tank. We'd been filling up at the yellow & green fuel providers but it wasn't til we got to Nyngan & filled up at an independent we started getting 550-600 L per tank that we realised there must've been a big problem with the fuel we'd been buying. We haven't looked back since with further fuel purchases.

We arrived in Sydney at Cub, North Rocks on Tuesday lunchtime, thanks to the Hema6 taking us via Bells Line Of Road...spectacular but extremely windy with twists & turns...very slow steep mountain climbs.

After dropping the camper trailer off & reloading the car with tent etc we headed out to Lake Lyall near Lithgow, an idyllic camping ground that cost $20 per night, 20c per min for showers......on a good day. We set up our tent, mattress, bedding, the cloud cover looked a bit sus though. 1.30am I was dragging Wayne out of the tent to get in the car as a massive thunderstorm hit. Bedding, everything saturated at the edges, then the squally wind & rain storm hit. At 3am we wrapped the tent in the 5x8mt tarp, put the car awning up over the tent & soaking wet snuggled back into bed til 8am when we were woken by a glorious sunny morning. The wind was still gusty & unpleasant & the spot we had been directed to camp in very exposed to the elements. We packed up camp, headed back to Bathurst, found a pet friendly motel, washed all our wet bedding. Have to say the Bathurst Explorers Motel accom was great, really friendly management, & it was the best shower I'd had for 15 mths since being on the road & staying in Caravan Parks with shared facilities.

Really like Bathurst...friendly people, historic houses, Mt Panorama, great shopping....compared to Alice Springs. So here we are watching telly with the heater on. Love it, such luxury! We're going to head out later to do a bit of shopping & then go up to do a 50km/hr lap on Mt Panorama. We're pretty much over driving around for the moment as the 5 day drive was quite stressful but we survived each other.

We have decided we will not do the Stuart again, the Oodnadatta took us 2 days & brought us out at Quorn & we think it was much shorter than the Stuart which took us down to Port Augusta. That whole stretch from the NT border to the Port was mind numbingly boring.

We head back to Sydney tomorrow, then drive down to Vic for a 10 day sojourn with family, where we will hopefully find a free camping spot at Meredith Park near Colac. It'll be good to catch up with fam n friends
Born again 4WD-er. 08 Navara D40 spain

TLC60S
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Re: April 2013 around aus trip in the planning

Unread post by TLC60S » September 11th, 2014, 10:53 am

Hi emjan
The 4WD Action boys latest video had them camping up at Lake Lyell. Sorry the wheather wasn't good for you while you were there, but you have to have these bad nights camping in a tent so you can appreciate the camper trailer more.
Let us know how you went with Cub. Pita I have to work for a living , I could have shown you guys around plus this week the Cruiser in getting work done cause it has some back lass in the transfer case. On top of this I had to cancel next weekends trip to Kanangra Walls to Silent Creek via the Kowmung River Firetrail cause my niece's wedding which I have been given the opportunity to give her away. The wedding is not til October but the bucks party kicks off on the Saturday.

Cheers TLC60S

emjan
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Joined: November 5th, 2012, 4:59 pm
Location: Alice Springs, NT

Re: April 2013 around aus trip in the planning

Unread post by emjan » September 11th, 2014, 1:55 pm

No, I do not need bad weather to appreciate the CT, lol, and it was a shame we couldn't stay on at Lake Lyell but the weather was too dismal, to these desert bums at least, well used to the warmer weather up north, must've got soft that we couldn't put up with thunderstorms, wet bedding, squalls & a cold wind. We were looking forward to dusting off the fishing gear but it wasn't to be this time. Think we'll pack it away when we get back to Colac, just no use for it up in Alice & it's one extra bit of cargo to pack that we could do without.

Wow, sounds like a loonnnnngggg bucks party!!!

Loving Bathurst! We did the Mt Panorama circuit this morning in the Nav, great fun as diesel-head Wayne got the ol girl up to speed around the bends, glad there weren't any speed cameras around. Speaking of which, can't believe how many we've encountered travelling in & out of Sydney!

Bet you're looking forward to getting the Cruiser back, like being without your right hand
Born again 4WD-er. 08 Navara D40 spain

TLC60S
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Re: April 2013 around aus trip in the planning

Unread post by TLC60S » September 12th, 2014, 12:02 am

Hi emjan
Being from Victoria I thought you guys would be use to the cold wet wheather after having warm wheather :D Remember being told by a Victorian once while I was in Melbourne " If you don't like the wheather just wait an hour cause you can get all 4 seasons in one day in Victoria"
The bucks party starting at 10am apperently with go-carting then off to a big BBQ then clubbing for the night.
How did Wayne go coming off McPhillamy Park on his decent from the top , did he reach anywhere near the speeds of the touring cars through those bends before the straight ! Still can't believe how they reach the speeds they do after driving it myself.
The Crusier went in Monday was meant to get it back tomorrow but now Tuesday cause when preparing the rear diff for the locker found it needs some bushes which had to be ordered in. I can't wait to get it back but not why you may think, they gave me a Citroen van that I'm grateful for them to supply me with while mine is getting the work done but what would ever posses anyone to buy one of these thing have got me . The road noise from the back is absolutely deafening & as for the pedals when you go to put your foot on the clutch it is so close to the excellerator pedal you press both.

Cheers TLC60S

emjan
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Joined: November 5th, 2012, 4:59 pm
Location: Alice Springs, NT

Re: April 2013 around aus trip in the planning

Unread post by emjan » September 16th, 2014, 12:29 pm

Re Vic weather...yeah, you'd think we'd be used to it but we're pretty glad we brought our thermals with us, especially as the CP we're staying at won't let us light our ozpig & it's damn freezing! Even too cold to have a beer!! But it is still a gorgeous place & it's good to be home & catching up with friends. Heading up to Melb on Fri for more catching up & meet all the new grandies, see my son who's been away in the Philippines for the last 8 years, meet his wife, see my girls, friends....no it will be great. We're heading back to Alice from Mon, calling in to see Wayne's son in Terang on the way.

I guess the one thing that's disappointed me is the way we'd gone to the trouble of alerting friends & family well beforehand of our arrival in Colac & the number that were busy doing other stuff. I mean it WAS only 4200kms we'd travelled to get there, no major stuff. When we were told "next time" I said there wouldn't be a next time until we move back home permanently, a journey like that is very expensive, lonnnggg & stressful. We didn't expect friends to drop everything for us but a small portion of their time would've been nice for a catch up. Thems the breaks.

On the other hand, we've got the Nav in to our fantastic mechanic, Darryl, here in Colac needing 3 doors repaired (front two have to be opened from the outside), some attention to a squeaky fan & the clutch having a moan when it's cold in 1st. Thursday we have some of our mods looked at by the 4wd place here, esp the Ark Pack, which we call our white elephant, hopefully a new AGM or GEL batt will hold the charge better than the lead acid marine battery in it at the moment.

We're planning to be back on the road by Mon 22/9 and go by the gold bearing areas in Vic & NSW for a bit of detecting, having to be back in Alice by 3/10. Looking forward to warmer weather.

Wayne got up to about 80-90k's on the bends, pretty good for a lifted 4wd.

I remember with the 95 peugeot 306 how close the pedals were together, just glad I didn't have big feet.
Born again 4WD-er. 08 Navara D40 spain

TLC60S
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Re: April 2013 around aus trip in the planning

Unread post by TLC60S » September 17th, 2014, 12:40 am

Hi emjan
About your friends being busy I guess life goes on & it reminds me of the song "Cat In The Cradle".

Where has Wayne got plans for gold detecting in NSW ! Are you going to stop at Hill End which is where the Largest gold specimen was discovered in Australia weighing 286kg.Not that far up the road via Dixon Long Point Road is Ophir which has an excellent camping area on Summer Hill Creek. Ophir is Australia's first payable gold field. Still chances of finding gold in the area for the novice. I could come & show you guys around if I know in a bit of advance when you would be in the area.

Cheers TLC60S

emjan
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Joined: November 5th, 2012, 4:59 pm
Location: Alice Springs, NT

Re: April 2013 around aus trip in the planning

Unread post by emjan » September 28th, 2014, 12:27 pm

Well we're laid up here in Broken Hill for the weekend with no usable spare tyre after a little detour along the Menindee Wilcannia track...not worthy of being called a road. Pretty hard going in parts & a bit reminiscent of the Oddnadatta track conditions. It taught Wayne a valuable lesson though that driving aired down on such hard, gutted, corrugated conditions & he should've watched his speed. Yep, a puncture, our first in 40,000k's on these Coopers ST Max, a small tear in the side wall probably from one of the sharp rocky sections we encountered. The reason I'm mentioning this, as embarrassing it is for this to happen when he should've known better (& no, there was no front end nagging from yours truly), was that one of the things we hadn't thought of: would the manufacturers jack that came with the Nav be able to do its job after our having previously lifted the car? and the answer was, barely. The springs were so tough that the car lifted but not the wheel & the sandy roadside conditions hampered our efforts. Eventually though he got the wheel changed & we have to wait until tomorrow for the tyre centre here to open so we can get a replacement....and a more suitable jack. We found little things like carrying various sizes of small blocks of wood helpful for bolstering the jack, as well as lifting the back legs of the camper trailer on uneven ground.

If you're thinking a high lift jack may have been the answer we'd have to say no it wouldn't be in this situation. There's really nowhere to put a jack except under the rear axle. We tried the chassis but that began to bend under the weight of the load.

It was a sobering experience. Turns out we were about 500mts from the nearest house but it could've been 500kms. Pretty glad we've got the sat phone, UHF & PLB. Hopefully we'll be on our way to Milparinka & Tibooburra tomorrow, and further on to Innaminka, Bedourie & Boulia before heading home to Alice along the Plenty Highway.

Don't know if we'll go for these Coopers again. Even though we've done some very hard k's on them I would've expected more than the 50,000k's we're likely to get out of them before we need to replace them. Would love some feedback from others experiences. We'd be looking at the 50/50's, not full muddies which wear too quickly in the NT on the hot roads
Born again 4WD-er. 08 Navara D40 spain

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