Muddie Wilsons OZ Lap 2014 (half lap make that)

Muddie Wilsons
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Re: Muddie Wilsons OZ Lap 2014

Unread post by Muddie Wilsons » April 29th, 2014, 8:44 pm

We hung around in Bright for a few more days to take in the numerous things to see and do. Too many to get all in one trip. About a week we spent here in a van park on the river in Porepunkah.
From here you have access to the township of Bright, Mt Buffalo on one side and Mt Beauty on the other, both having their own attractions. Even the pine logging tracks around were ample to spend a day doing some white knuckle driving, also right above the towns. I'm talking first low range and straight up. Managed to tear both my rear mud flaps off on a sharp shale rock step up that I had to reverse up to turn around on a blocked timber logging track, just 2min off the main drag.
Ended up getting some horse float rubber to fix for the drive down to Dargo.
Dargo was the next stop to try the renowned Billy Goats Bluff Track... :crazy:
WOW what a climb :eek: 45min low range, mostly 1st up and up and up, just when you think you're at the top, more up and up.
Wombat holes, some smaller step ups, but just rock and rolling literally 90% of the time as you climb.
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Muddie Wilsons
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Re: Muddie Wilsons OZ Lap 2014

Unread post by Muddie Wilsons » April 29th, 2014, 8:50 pm

still more as follows. Is there a quick way to upload these photos?
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Muddie Wilsons
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Re: Muddie Wilsons OZ Lap 2014

Unread post by Muddie Wilsons » April 29th, 2014, 8:55 pm

And a few more before we dropped out of Dargo into Sale, where we thawed out and fixed a few things; such as the second collapsed deep cycle battery, near new re-routed exhaust for the gas joining flange dropped both bolts and exhaust was hanging, left the drawers unlocked in in van and smashed the front off one drawer. This was a great sight when opening up at camp in Sale :redface:
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Muddie Wilsons
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Re: Muddie Wilsons OZ Lap 2014

Unread post by Muddie Wilsons » May 5th, 2014, 7:18 pm

After a couple days in Sale, one day too long really!! Sorry if you live in Sale! We then moved on to the Great Ocean Rd, first attempting to stay overnight near Bells Beach.
We thought for sure we would find a fair priced park to spend a few hours sleeping, and with NO free camping within a few hours we were forced to push on to another camp site called ‘Hammonds’...
...Wow what an adventure. Weaving our way through the dark on back dirt roads, camper in tow, we missed one last turn in the dark and came across a connector road that was only 100m long. Two hours later and we made in out unscathed.
What looked to be a quick connector road turned into a wet clay slippery mud rutted hell hole. Once committed down the one lane track in the dark we came across a massive rutted turn that would not let us drive our line no matter how many times we tried with the new TREDs. We tried to back out but the trailer would only follow adjacent ruts back up the hill. No way forward with the camper without scull dragging it all the way down the track. In hindsight, perhaps that is just what we should have done.
After chocking the wheels on the camper and disconnecting it half way back up the wet clay muddy track, I took the cruiser forward down the rutted track, dragging both diff and control arms through. Once through I then took the road we should have taken in the first place back around behind the camper. From here we dragged out the crappy Tigerz winch to turn the camper around to face back up the hill, pulling it across on the jockey wheel. I was sure the jockey wheel was going to snap.
As expected the Tigerz again failed me when needed with it not going into low gear. I tested it only two month ago. After pulling it up the hill in high gear with the car lights dimming under power, we could then walk the car back up the track in the dark to turn it around.
We reversed back down, reconnected, and drove back out completely unscathed, just covered in mud.
From this overnight road side stop at Hammonds we packed up and shot to Wye, just after Lorne, and before Apollo Bay. With the weather predicted to go bad for a few days we hunkered down in a Big4 caravan park with a little luxury to wait out the 4 days of crappy weather.
We tried a few outings such as the Sabine Falls walk, which was a great walk except for the leaches. And when I say leaches, we are talking hundreds. The 2 kids were fantastic in dealing with these buggers and not freaking out toooooo much. Having to stop every 30m to flick more leaches off, we made it back to the car with not one leach penetration to skin.
We then did a big day to reach the Cape Otway Lighthouse, which was fantastic. With our touring for the day covering the recent dinosaur discovery there, the first telegraph line from Cape Otway to King Island & then basically to Tasmania. Apparently it took 10 min to hear about the fall of a wicket in Sydney from Tasmania. The lighthouse was built as a target for sailors from Cape Horne rather than a keep clear signal. They just lost too many people around King Island in ship wrecks, and the cost to build on King Island was just too expensive.
From here we did the usual tourist thing and went to the Twelve Apostles. The weather was terrible and the crowds were surprising. Either way, we did the visit and took the photos, still worth seeing and with the fierce seas made for an interesting sight.
The weather was so bad driving back to Wye, the car was taking a punishment with sea winds pushing the car all over the Great Ocean Rd. We got back to the caravan park and found that the awning had been smashed by the winds and folded back over the top of the van. Massive damage to the awning, so we are now off to Adelaide to buy another $700 awning, Damn it!!!!!!!
The original will just need to be fixed when I get back to Brisbane. It appears I can buy all the bits necessary to rebuild, but I just don’t have time I don’t think.
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Muddie Wilsons
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Re: Muddie Wilsons OZ Lap 2014

Unread post by Muddie Wilsons » May 5th, 2014, 7:23 pm

Further photo attached
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Muddie Wilsons
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Re: Muddie Wilsons OZ Lap 2014

Unread post by Muddie Wilsons » May 19th, 2014, 2:57 pm

$700 awning who was I kidding. Try an insurance claim to replace at around $1400.

We got stuck in Adelaide for over a week waiting to receive the new awning. It was going to take 2 weeks to get it fixed to the van, so I just did it myself and we drove out the day after. Now I have a 4m long old awning wrapped up and tied to the roof of the van for the few months. Too good to just ditch and too costly to freight home given the length.

Spent some time around Adelaide and did the usual tourist stuff like Monarto Zoo (this was fantastic for a non profit association). We did some fishing with Kenny and got a few King George Whitings and 4 bluey crabs, pretty average day but a bit of fun. Tried with the kids in West Lakes and just spent the time feeding the fish for the next generation. I pulled the smallest hook out of my gear and it was still too big.

Went to Barossa and bought some over priced reds and visited Maggie Beer's kitchen and farm, the Missus loved it, I didn't understand!!!!!!!!!!!

We are now sitting up in the Flinders Range looking over the Peninsula, and heading off up the middle over the next few days to the rock, via Lake Eyre and the Oonadatta Track.
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Muddie Wilsons
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Re: Muddie Wilsons OZ Lap 2014

Unread post by Muddie Wilsons » May 19th, 2014, 3:03 pm

A day at Barossa doing that touristy stuff.

Did I mention we also stopped in the Grampians for a few days of bush walking?
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Muddie Wilsons
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Re: Muddie Wilsons OZ Lap 2014

Unread post by Muddie Wilsons » May 19th, 2014, 3:22 pm

Today we went for a bush walk just outside of Wilmington called Alligator Gorge, this was quite fun even if we headed in un-planned and prepared. Both Kade and I were in Thongs (DARWIN hiking boots) with no food.

Either way the Narrow Gorge walk was quite interesting. With all the overhanging rock shelves we could stop each time the showers started. Atleast the temperature was nice.
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Foo
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Re: Muddie Wilsons OZ Lap 2014

Unread post by Foo » May 25th, 2014, 4:34 pm

:thumb:

Foo

Muddie Wilsons
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Re: Muddie Wilsons OZ Lap 2014

Unread post by Muddie Wilsons » May 30th, 2014, 8:16 am

We have been out of range for the most part over the last couple weeks as we travelled through the Flinders NP and across the Oonadatta Track. We are now in Alice for a few days to fix the broken bits from the Oonadatta hammering, all due to bouncing rocks off the track. Broken torpedo tube under the van, smashed off connector and emptied water tank (great in the bush), and 10yo Waeco is playing up and may not make the trip end.

The kids loved the Flinders NP with all the fossil hunting and bashing the rocks with Dad's hammer. They thought they had a couple fossils until we bumped into a real live Geologist stuck on the side of the track with a hire car flat tyre and no jack. Repayment for helping the Wife asked him to explain to the kids that the 100kg of rock in the back of the car were not actually fossils, such a shame! :lol: They just would not believe it from the parent's mouths.
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Muddie Wilsons
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Re: Muddie Wilsons OZ Lap 2014

Unread post by Muddie Wilsons » May 30th, 2014, 8:23 am

So out of the Flinders NP and onto Maree and then along the Oonadatta Track to Marla.
Stopping at Welbourne Springs and the old rail bridge, then also William Creek were we bumped into Michael Catton (Sullivans and Winnie Doon) and Jeremy Simms (Chances and other Oz Films) where they were filming a new movie called something like 'The Last Taxi Out of Alice' something like that!
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Muddie Wilsons
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Re: Muddie Wilsons OZ Lap 2014

Unread post by Muddie Wilsons » May 30th, 2014, 8:26 am

Naturally we had to stop at the Wilson Stationmaster's Residence, they are in need of a little TLC before I could get the kids to stay the night.
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Muddie Wilsons
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Re: Muddie Wilsons OZ Lap 2014

Unread post by Muddie Wilsons » May 30th, 2014, 8:29 am

General shots along the Oonadatta Track
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Re: Muddie Wilsons OZ Lap 2014

Unread post by Muddie Wilsons » May 30th, 2014, 8:40 am

Moving right along and believe it or not, but after living in Darwin for 27 years and driving down the Stuart Hwy SOOOO many times, I never took the right turn onto Lasseter Hwy.
We stayed just out of Yulara at Camp 7 site #66 Sandy Way Rest Area, and travelled into the Uluru NP on a three day pass to see the Rock and Olgas.

We did the walk around the rock the first day, then Kade and I did it again with the Bikes the next day which was by far a more enjoyable experience. The ride around was really easy and lots of fun with all the bridges, winding tracks and whoop-de-dos along the way. When Kade and I got back to the start, we dropped the bikes and climbed to the top. Kade was a little champ and powered through passing many older struggling poms :lol: This was amazing and the top of the rock is like walking on the moon with all the craters and the shear size of this thing. :crazy: :crazy: :eek: :eek:
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Muddie Wilsons
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Re: Muddie Wilsons OZ Lap 2014

Unread post by Muddie Wilsons » May 30th, 2014, 8:44 am

Finishing off the Lasseter Hwy adventure we then hit the Olgas (Kata Tjuta) which was also an amazing place and well worth the visit. The walks were much cooler with nearly no flies once you get into the canyons.
The Valley of the Winds and Walpa Gorge were the two main walks.
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