Thursday, December 5, 2013

Another step closer

As we plan and prepare for our trip around Oz, there have been a few milestones what’ve made us sit up and realise that our dream is getting closer and closer each day.

Today another milestone was reached when we took possession of our new car. After our Landcruiser was stolen back in May we’ve been ‘umming” and ‘ahhing’ what would be a good replacement vehicle. Lots of options and scenarios were considered but for what we wanted to do, we chose the new Holden Colorado crew cab.
After a bit of a delay with the dealer the family was very excited as we were handed the keys of our flash new “Red Wagon”. Piling the family in we quickly took it for its maiden voyage and the excitement of accessorising now begins.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Father's Day

I’m very fortunate to have a loving family but I often spend Father’s Day on the road taking my daughter home after a weekend visit. That’s the life and I’m accepting of that, but this year I wanted something different.

We decided instead of the kids buying me Father’s Day gifts etc that we’d spend that money on a weekend camping out at Bathurst. We headed out Saturday morning stopping at various caches and events along the way. Arriving in town by mid-afternoon we found our accommodation and settled in, the kids played on the jumping castle I found a few local caches.

Saturday night we headed out on the town where we attended a local geocaching event. We enjoyed a nice dinner and good company before heading back to our van for a few relaxing drinks.

Sunday (Father’s Day) was a most enjoyable day. It started with a scrumptious breakfast, followed by a visit to Mount Panorama where we had a nice picnic lunch, a few laps of the circuit and a couple of caches before it was time to head for home. Dropping A.j off at Lithgow and not having spent the majority of the day in the car was so much more relaxing.

Thank you to loving family for much nicer way to spend Father’s Day.  

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Our kids and their sport

As proud parents, all we ever ask of our kids is that they try and do their best at whatever they apply themselves to. On the sporting arena our kids have taken to sports dominated by their gender. Sam is heavily involved with dancing while Ethan loves his soccer and athletics.

Since returning to dancing this year, Sam has been improving tenfold and this year has been a member of a dance troop which has competed in many dance estidfords. Her hard efforts have been rewarded with a 2nd placing at one particular estidford.

Ethan is once again heavily involved in his soccer. He played indoor throughout the summer months and then quickly made the transition to outdoor soccer where he once again plays for Figtree. As an U8 the boys now have goalies, take throw-in and corner kicks, all of which Ethan has taken in his stride. Ethan with his lightning speed has fitted well into the right wing position and has scored a mountain of goals. He’s also been picked to play in a development squad which gives talented boys an opportunity to shine…. In both forms of the game he’s shown great potential.

On the athletics field both kids attended their school athletics carnival and while Sam enjoyed the experience and did her best, it was Ethan’s athleticism that shone through. He finished the day with a 2nd in the 100 & 200m race and 1st in the 400m race and equal 1st in the discus. This achievement was enough for him to secure U8 age champion and a place on the team heading to the zone athletics carnival in August.

Once again we are very proud of our children’s efforts.

Friday, May 24, 2013


Nothing ever prepares you for the early morning wake up call. Your heart sinks as you expect it to be family ringing with bad news. You can imagine my surprise when I answered the phone at 4am on the 24th May with the voice saying “its Constable so-n-so from Lake Illawarra Police”, he asked us various questions about our 4WD and its whereabouts. He went on to say that it was currently on fire at Dunmore.

Our Landcruiser had been stolen from out the front of our house, used a ATM ram-raid at a Kiama hotel before being ditched and burnt out….. Just great.

At first light we headed down to Swamp Rd in Dunmore where a most depressing site awaited us. Our 80 series Landcruiser was gutted, what was more depressing was the personal items that I’d lost. The glove box and console had so much trivial junk that is worthless to most and then there was the back of the car, only the weekend before I’d coordinated a 4WD course for SES and most of my recovery gear and 4x4 accessories were still in the car.

Thanks to the low-life scum who stole our car, justice will catch up with you one day.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

School holidays in FN NSW

School holidays coincided with my birthday this year so we thought it’d be nice to take the kids for weeks holiday to my parents place at Lennox Head. The timing of the trip worked well and we were able to take Aj with us.

Getting an early start and with improved road conditions on the Pacific Hwy we made good time and by lunchtime we’d arrived in Lennox Head allowing us to have a relaxing afternoon.

Over the following days we caught up with friends at a local geocaching event, found a heap of local caches and took in a few tourist locations before heading up to Ipswich to catch with my sister and her family. Our latest family addition, Blade (niece – son) had grown so much since we’d seen him. They are so cute in those early years of development.

The highlight of our week-long holiday other than celebrating my birthday with family was our time at Wet n Wild on the Gold Coast. The kids couldn't care how cold it was and with wetsuits on we made the most of our day at the theme park. We tried nearly every ride on many occasion returned for a 2nd and 3rd go.

Unfortunately our holiday came to an end all too quickly and we were soon heading out west to drop Aj back at home, but not before an overnight stay at Gunnedah.

Once again, the Bere’s have enjoyed a memorable week on the far north coast of NSW.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Weekend in Thredbo

As we headed off on our weekend to the Snowy Mountains we were still kicking ourselves at what “such a great deal” we’d scored. 3 nights in a Thredbo lodge for a ridiculously cheap price. So you can imagine our excitement to be heading away for the weekend. It’d been many years since I’d been there and the rest of the family had never been.

Getting away on the Friday, the drive seemed to take longer than anticipated but I think that was due more to the excitement of what lay ahead. As we passed through Canberra and Cooma the rolling hills gave way to steep sided mountains. Unfortunately at this time of year there was no snow to be seen but the mountains looked inviting for what we had planned.
Just on dusk we arrived at the Gunyang Ski Lodge in Thredbo, seeing the lodge carpark empty excited us even more. Could we have the place to ourselves? We quickly opened the front door and felt the warmth and comfort generated by heated floors and numerous heaters throughout the house. We quickly settled in enjoying the creature comforts of this 6 bedroom lodge.

Saturday dawned with clear chilly skies and the promise that today we’d walk to the top of Australia. By mid-morning we were sitting 4 abreast on the chairlift which jettisoned us to the start of the summit walking track. With enthusiasm we set off on our 6.5km trek to the top of Mt Kosciusko. The walk was fairly demanding on our kids and had to stop numerous times for a rest. The closer we got, the more the weather seem to take a turn for the worse. Ethan was really struggling and just before Rawson’s Pass the heavens opened, sending rain and hail our way. The clouds and thunderstorms rolled in and we made a quick dash for the nearby toilet block for shelter. It was here that we made the decision that Leonie and Ethan would turn back while Sam and I would continue to the summit. A mere 800m later the 2 of us were atop of the highest point in Australia….. It felt exhilarating and a sense of achievement.
Sunday dawned with the same clear skies and once again we took advantage of the great weather by taking the kids on the toboggan rides and another ride up the chairlift. With Thredbo experiencing perfect autumn days the area was packed with hundreds of mountain bikers all keen to experience the downhill action. Wanting to see more, we jumped in the car after lunch and headed to the nearby ski fields of Perisher Valley and Smiggins Hole. By contrast these areas were like ghost towns but both offered the beauty of mountain streams and barren grasslands. Late in the afternoon as we headed back to Thredbo we stopped by a local winery which specialised in schnapps. Leonie took a liking to many of their products but we settled a beautiful butterscotch schnapp. Once back in Thredbo the kids hit the aquatic centre where they played on the waterslides and pool while I took a walk around the streets of Thredbo, in particular I visited the site of the 1997 landslide where a plaque and a manicured terrace is a reminded of this tragedy.

After another cosy night in our majestic lodge, Monday dawned with the realisation that we were heading home today. Our 3 day get-away had gone so quickly. This area offered so much in both summer and winter and we vowed to come back. As we headed out of the mountainous area we took the time to have a look around Jindabyne and Cooma.
The weekend had been so rewarding and a lot of fun for our whole family.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Festive Season 12-13

It really is a joyous time of year and one that we always spend with family. This year all of Leonie’s family came together at her brother’s place on the Sunshine Coast. It’d been a few years since we’d been to their place for Christmas so we were looking forward to our holiday.

We got an early jump on the holiday traffic by leaving a day early. After picking the kids up from Grandmas we headed up the pacific Highway, the usual traffic jams were encountered around the various roadwork sites, but overall it was a good run up to my parents at Lennox Head.

The following day we drove the remaining few hours to the Sunshine Coast. After a warm welcome we were soon setup in our caravan enjoying the spoils of being in the holiday mode. Over the following days the rest of the extended family arrived taking our numbers to 20 people under the one roof.

As Christmas Eve approached the gifts under the tree and the excitement grew. Our kids couldn’t wait and as Christmas dawned the kids were awake at 5am anxious to open their presents. By mid-morning presents were open and we’d polished off a hearty breakfast. Lunch and dinner seemed to blend into one as we consumed a feast of seafood, meats and salads. The day concluded with us relaxing on the veranda.

The following days were more of the same with plenty of food, drink and relaxation consumed. Eventually we packed up and made our way down the coast to my sister’s place at Ipswich. It was here that we caught up with my family and celebrated a belated Christmas, which saw the kids spoilt even more.

We decided to take the kids to ‘Wet n Wild’ one day. By 10am the park was absolutely packed and thoughts of turning round soon gave way to a fun day in the water. A late afternoon thunderstorm temporarily closed the park but it also reduced the crowds allowing the remainder of the day to be queue free. By days end, the kids were totally exhausted and we’d had a great family day out.

After celebrating Dad’s birthday with him it was time to head for home and chose to travel inland. We stopped at Tamworth for 2 nights where we celebrate New Year’s, Tamworth style. The caravan park put on a Country music night complete with band and travellers revelling in the festive spirit.

Regrettably for us, we spent a very hot New Year’s Day travelling home. Our 2 week getaway had come to an end all too quickly and it was time to return to work. Once again we’d enjoyed a memorable festive period.