Heading to QLD, Adelaide to Hay

It’s 4am and we have hooked up our trusty MDC Camper and are heading to Queensland for a few weeks,

Our first overnight stop will be in Hay NSW.  Tony the Ironman cleverly disguised as our Holden Colarado is giving us a nice comfortable ride. We head out while its dark hoping to get to Mildura before the kids wake in the backseat, our only problem is 1 child slept for 10 minutes then kept us amused with his gibberish until we hit Renmark for a toilet stop and leg stretch, This is where we woke Hamish who had selpt the entire time.

Lachie took great delight in running up and down the fence line over a property and having the dogs follow him back and forth , once we had all stretched visited the toilet , we loaded back up for Breakfast at Mildura.

Our next stop on the journey was then Balranald where we stopped, had some lamingtons and enjoyed the information centre. This place is great, they have toilets, showers for those who free camp there, a tourist information centre, cafe, playground and some history and also the frogs , Balranald is home to the Endangered Southern bell frog and they certainly celebrate it , with frog sculptures along the main road, when we arrived there was quite a bit of works happening along the main road in so we didn’t manage to snap a pic of the frogs. The  boys enjoyed the skate park without any skates etc they jest enjoyed running up and sliding down the ramps and it kept them occupied for a while.

We then headed back to the car to start the journey through the Hay plains, we spotted emus to keep ourselves occupied. The Hay plains is pretty lacking in anything to look at, but you can always rely on a set off roadwork traffic lights set up to keep you amused .

Once in hay we stayed in the BIG4 Hay Caravan Park, its only a small park, but its clean and tidy and has all you need, the camp kitchen is clean, the tv kept the boys occupied while we cooked dinner and despite the pleas of Lachie we didn’t go for a dip in the pool.

That night we headed 17 Km’s out of Hay to the Sunset viewing area for some beautiful pictures of the sunset without interference from any lights, it was truly beautiful and of course the scene of the first accident with Lachlan getting a splinter.

 

 

 

Tanunda caravan Park

School holidays can be a bit of a drag at our house, with me not working so no spare cash coming in.  These holidays I decided to pack the camper and take the boys away for a couple of days on my own. I was a bit worried as the new camper is heavier then the old one and I wasn’t sure how I would go putting it up.  The boys were great and helped me get it up nice and quickly despite the 40 degree temperature.

I took the boys to Tanunda , we hadn’t stayed at the Discovery Park before so I thought I’d suss it out, besides the Tour down under went right past the park.

It was the best decision, we braved the heat and went and watched the riders for a couple of hours and then spent the majority of our time in the pool and water park. I even enjoyed the waterslides which meant to tears fo laughter from the kids.

We set up the camper main tent and then just a small gazebo to give us a bit of shade and it was perfect, although I got a bit frustrated with the stuff in the fold out kitchen and think there has to be a better way then getting everything in and out all the time.

It was a great little break to get out and enjoy each other and the Tour Down under, the caravan park is terrific and definitely somewhere I’d like to visit again, it had everything you need, a great camp kitchen, games room, BBQs, playground, jumping pillow, movies at night, pool and  of course the water park as well as hire karts.

 

Christmas break

We recently enjoyed a few days up at Wallaroo, South Australia in the break between Christmas and New Years.

We love going to http://www.wallarooholidaypark.com.au/  

The caravan park is right on North Beach,the beach is perfect for a swim and the perfect place for our beginner kayaking adventures, the water stays shallow for a fair way which makes it perfect for the younger kids.

We took along Tans parents and their puppy to join us on this adventure and the boys were glad we did when the temp hit 44 degrees they sought shelter in Nana and Grandads airconditioned caravan.

It was a relatively quiet trip away with the temperature being over 35 most days, we visited Kadina a couple of times and took a drive out to Moonta for Gelato, the rest of the time was spent enjoying the caravan park. The jumping pillow is always a big hit with the youngest, and of course the beach is perfect for us all even the dogs.

 

 

Now of course we are home and its time to unpack and clean out the camper, next break looks like Easter. The main big one is coming and we are super excited to be planning it.

 

 

 

Remembrance Day

Not so much of the traveling has been happening, we are still saving and planning for a nice trip in 2019.

However that doesn’t mean things aren’t crazy busy in the household, our youngest is a member of the Australian Legion Frontiersmen cadets and his duties have been keeping us busy and him.  His last big thing was remembrance day .

We headed to Semaphore to take part in a service, it was a warm day and I was super proud that he managed to get through his second service, a bit of a promise for ice-cream sure helped. It can be hard for a 10 year old to stand at attention for an hour .

We enjoyed a walk along the jetty afterwards and looked at the amazing display of poppies.

Cadets has provided us with a great lesson and learning environment and is helping him learn more about our history .

 

 

 

Planning an adventure

We are currently in planning stage for our next big adventure. Planned for the end of September 2019 .

Planning for us involves a lot of coordinating. Who will come ? Emma now at University will likely stay home which means we don’t need to book the animals in for boarding. Otherwise it’s vaccinations for the cats and a cattery which Lilly actually enjoys.  Of course there is the boy’s schools to notify and teachers to discuss any work that may need to be done.

Places to visit, overnight stays, fuel stops and of course when travelling with two boys food stops.  The kids have a say in where we should go and what they might like to see, we get them to google and look for places they mike like to visit. This helps give Hamish who has Asperger’s an idea of where we will be headed and what he can expect.

The destination of this trip is the Gold coast for hopefully 3 weeks of fun , theme parks are top of the list as well as catching up with relatives and a visit to the surf outlets.  We will be driving and taking along the camper trailer which will be home for the trip.  On the way up and back the requests so far are:

Blue mountains, Canberra and the national war museum, Melbourne and the street art, Gundagai, Tamworth maybe, Coffs Harbour and the list will continue to grow. It’s looking like at least a 6 week round trip at this stage. Stewart would love to head to Fraser island so we will see if we can manage that one financially and time wise.

So in the meantime we are fine tuning the camper trailer, which we have only used twice to date, this involves day trips to MT Crawford where we an set it up while the kids and dog explore. Lots and lots and lots of googling. Studying photos and reading reviews twice. Stewart will draw out pictures take measurements and redo it all again at least three times before any modifications are made.  I’ll be in charge of the packing and working out what we will and won’t need and where it will go. With two growing boys space is at a premium and they are both hitting growth spurts again. The days of packing the car floor up to the seat have long gone as they are filled with long legs and size 11 shoes.

I have to admit the planning can be just as fun as the trip, I secretly enjoy it, it creates conversation between everyone. The learning opportunities that we create are invaluable for both boys who have learning difficulties. Emma joins in as we discuss her flying to join us somewhere for a few days. The whole family comes together to save money and plan exciting adventures.

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sometimes it just goes wrong

It doesn’t always go to plan, and on the weekend we experienced frustration with trying to sort out a new set up.

We headed up to Chalks campground to see if we could set up a temporary tent set up with double annexes and the kids room. Well things just didn’t fit and we couldn’t figure it out. 44416397_10156100904993737_9028472395261804544_o (1)

While trying to problem solve Lachlan decided he needed me every 5 minutes despite having a ton of space and the freedom to explore. The dog tied himself up in knots on his rope. Frustration grew and since Sunday sleep has been minimal while we try to figure out in our heads what went wrong. No doubt we will be back out on the weekend because it will have gotten the better of us all.

Of course when we started to pack up before we ran out of daylight the mozzies decided to gate crash. Now these things were huge so we bundled the boys in the car with strict instructions not to open the doors and let mozzies in. Stew and I are now itching like crazy from bites.

Another reason for the do not open the door warning is due to the kids having this amazing talent of flattening my car battery every single time we go to Mt Crawford. They sit in my car with door open, music on and whatever else they feel the need to do while we start the set up. Of course it’s not like we can go to the nearest servo for a jump start. I think the best experience of flat batteries happened when we held Lachlan’s birthday at a private campground in Mt Crawford, time to go, my car wouldn’t start, Emma’s car wouldn’t start and then she got herself bogged and had to be jumpstarted again. Stew now carries a spare battery and leads when we head up.

 

He just loves being outdoors

We Came home from our recent trip to the Yorke Peninsula for 10 days. Lachlan soon sorted out getting his tent sorted out in the backyard. He found this little 2 man tent ditched in a fire pit at Mt Crawford forest and fell in love with it. Recycling at it’s best.

So here we are with a two man tent in the backyard. Each Friday night out he goes to sleep and that’s where he sleeps each weekend while he can.

I asked him why he liked sleeping in the tent so much and his reply was ” because it reminds me of camping and I love it” Perhaps full time camping isn’t such a bad idea after all, especially when he doesn’t sleep walk or wake me in the night.

I’m starting to think this could be his permanent sleeping arrangements, perhaps we could put the tent in his bedroom.

Can you tell after 10 years I’d do anything for him to go to bed at a reasonable hour and to stay there ?

 

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Who we are

I thought I’d take the time to share who we are and what makes us tick.

family

Tan that’s me. I’m the Mumma bear of the family, I work doing various jobs and roles at the one workplace and am lucky to have the ability to do some work from home, and work during school hours. My background is in horticulture and more recently training and educating and children services. Growing up my parents took myself and my brother camping often, I tagged along to scout camps as a toddler and have some fantastic memories of travelling and camping. I have a love of camping, Australia and dabble in a bit of cycling.

Stew is the Daddy Bear, he is the calm and quiet member of the family, Tan is the dreamer and Stew is the realist. Stew is an electrician by trade and works hard for the family, he has taken over as the cook of the family and is the brains behind the operation. He is the handyman and the Firestarter. Stew designs adjustments and modifications to our setup and then carries out the work. he is one handy man. Stew didn’t grow up with camping but has certainly taken to it.

 

Emma is our eldest and is currently studying at Uni which means her semesters often clash with the boys school terms and she joins us for day visits or overnight stays when camping. She also works as a kitchen hand at a local pub so gets to go camping in between shifts and uni. Emma is our dare devil and stunt man, who often comes up worse for wear, if there is an accident camping it normally involves Em. She is our animal lover and nature lover. Emma first experienced camping at 8 weeks old and loves to get away. We are starting to set Em up to camp on her own with her mates as she spreads her wings.

 

Hamish is our middle child, the eldest boy and currently the tallest in the family. He is the teenager of the family and is certainly letting us know he is a teenage boy. Hamish is the quieter of the crew, he loves to draw and is pretty good at it. He like most boys his age is a keen gamer and gives me the run down of the latest things game related. He is a keen football (soccer) player and is growing in skills and height every year. Hamish is often found reading a book when we go camping , unless he brings his best buddy his dog Crash then he can be found walking him and taking him for a run.

 

Lachlan is the baby of the family , although he has now reached double digits so doesn’t agree. he is our explorer and nature lover, he is always on the go, when camping he is off exploring and making friends, building cubbies and collecting bottle tops. Lachlan is another keen football player and has recently joined army cadets which he is really enjoying. He absolutely loves camping, hates school and would much rather run around then sit still. He is the worst sleeper . Lachie wants to know how everything works and why ? He questions everything and always keeps us on our toes.

Crash is our dog, he is a Spoodle who thinks he is a human, he loves his brothers and sister and also loves camping, he loves to keep the birds just out of the campsite. He likes to have his own camp chair around the campfire and loves all the walks he gets to go on.

Meka is our newest addition a rescue kitten. She is just about to turn one. Meka gets to come camping and walks on her harness, she is getting used to car rides and the camping life. unlike our older cat Lilly who does some sort of sideways faint when a harness is out on her and is much more comfortable at home.

 

We are often joined on our adventures by our best friend and family the sarge family and I will cover more of our McSarge adventures in future posts.

So that’s us our crazy crew

A train ride in Moonta

The McSarges ( us and our best friends) headed to Moonta to ride the Moonta mine railway with the Sarge family, Poppy and Nanny.

A few things to remember that we found out :

You no longer catch the train from the old train station, it departs opposite the old sweet shop.

The cost at the time was $12 an adult $5 a child and pre-schoolers and pets free. We discovered that there is conflicting information out there, the best site to get information is  http://www.moontatourism.org.au/attractions/tourist-railway

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We loaded up in our carts and got ready for our 40 min to 50 min train ride around the historical copper mines of Moonta. Even the Sarges family dog came for the ride

The train driver who is a volunteer gave us loads of information along the way. The kids and adults enjoyed the ride and looking at what remains from the copper mines of 1860, the mines closed down in 1923.

 

Another highlight for the kids was the toilets at the back of the museum, an old school. The building still has some original cubicles behind bars. Lachlan thought they were jail cells for naughty children. TEMPTING!!

Of course the old sweet shop across the road is a good stop, the original building was a post office. Its a tight squeeze but I think it was worth it to get my favourite rhubarb and custard lollies, although I had to share.

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