Friday, April 30, 2010

21 again

Its become a bit of a tradition that each Anzac day (my birthday) that we go 4x4ing for the day. I couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate my birthday that with family, friends, in the bush, 4x4ing.

This year we headed down towards Yalwal with the plan to camp overnight and make a 2-day trip of it. A good number of cars all from SES had gathered. A long weekend ensured there were plenty of other people with the same idea.

As the day unfolded we found plenty of fun tracks to play on, along with a bit of mud to play in. Our day was occasionally interrupted by the odd shower of rain but that just added to the fun on the tracks. Most of the afternoon was spent playing on the steps at Wombat Flat.

Late in the afternoon we pushed deeper into the bush where we found a great, surprisingly empty camping spot. Tents were soon set-up and a fire was lit. As darkness fell everyone cooked up their twist on a camping dinner. As the fire roared, the camp chairs gathered around, the stories started and the port flowed, then to my surprise a yummy birthday cake was shared by all, “what a great way to spend an evening”.

Sunday started out crisp and cool, a heavy fog filled the valley, but as the sun gathered warmth a beautiful day unfolded. We were soon off exploring more tracks, our mission today was the renowned 6th Stage hill climb and it wasn’t long before we were at the bottom of this gnarly climb. Recent rains had the top surface still very slippery and beyond our level of expertise. However that didn’t stop us walking most of the track to check out huge rock steps.

Eventually it was time to head for home. Another great 4x4ing trip had come to an end. Thanks to those who shared the weekend with me.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Easter Holidays

As part of the Easter school holidays we headed off on a 10-day trip around southern NSW. With the van in tow we made our way to Wagga Wagga for 4-day caching event. (see Oz mega Event)

After leaving Wagga we headed north up the Olympic Hwy through the towns of Junee and Cootamundra, all the time being blasted with a locust plague that was buffeting the area. We moved onto Young where we spent a night.

The next day we headed further inland to Grenfell, where took time out to have a quick look around the historic town. We arrived in Forbes where we had lunch while the kids burnt off some energy in a nearby park. Just as we were leaving town we spotted the sale yards were operating. Wanting to educate the kids we stopped and had a look around the various pens. We saw the dogs mustering the sheep around the small pens and the loading of the sheep onto the large transporters. The kids were fascinated and enthralled by the whole experience.

By late afternoon we’d arrived in Parkes and after setting up camp we headed out to “The Dish” which provided another source of information for the kids.

On the road again the following morning and we were heading to Dubbo, but not before a visit to the Peak Hill Gold mine. This open cut mine was amazing and while the kids thought it was just a hole in the ground, Leonie and I were very interested in the associated history. Moving on and we were soon in Dubbo where we met up with AJ. We’d opted for 2 nights here and on our second day we took in the sights of Dubbo Zoo, all by bike. We all thoroughly enjoyed the fun of pedalling around to see the various animals.

the next day and we were once again on the road and were now heading towards home. A short detour and we were at the Borenore Karst, which is a small underground cave. Here we explored the cave and took in the local Earthcache. The kids absolutely loved the underground experience.

After lunch we moved on, we were soon in Orange where we checked out Leonie’s childhood home. Pressing on, we passed through Bathurst and onto Sunny Corner where we’d decided to spend out last night camped out in the bush. Once again the kids loved the fun of being outdoors and in nature. That night we had a campfire and toasted marshmallows.

As with everything, our holiday had come to end. 10 days of touring central NSW was a lot of fun.