Friday, December 30, 2016


Anticipation peaking! The call of the open road!

Left early on boxing day, heavy traffic heading south from Brisbane. Looking like day tourist, no overloaded cars, not many caravans, campers, boats or box trailers with springs-a-straining. Picnickers getting out for the day? Not good timing on my behalf. What was I thinking?

Suspect the fuel companies are making the most of it with prices on the highway higher than what seems fair. Smaller towns down the road much cheaper. e.g. Brisbane 137c/l - Ballina 122c/l, go figure... so is this what Christmas is all about? (Oops kids my cynicism is showing)

Changed the clock along the way to Lawrence on the Clarence. Caught up with some BA volunteers before settling in the back yard of the pub for the night. Always a welcoming place to stop.

The Pacific Highway or should that be the A1-slow-way continues. New sections opening up but still lots of stop-go and go-slow sections. Motorist heading north had a 30km crawl to the Macksville bridge, unbelievable!

This bridge will be gone soon. The car ferry next?

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Maintenance issues.

I'm always amazed at what you can learn from the Internet. It all comes down to using the right words in the search criteria.

My motorhome, a Winnebago Explorer 2784, on a Workhorse P-32 coach chassis was exhibiting several problems that started happening all about the same time:
- transmission shuttle shifting (erratic gear changing when none was required)
- ABS brake indicator coming on randomly then going out
- the engine faltering occasionally whilst starting or driving down the highway.

My first mistake: Looking at the individual systems instead of a holistic view. I thought it would be logical to take the vehicle to the different specialist starting with the transmission and then the brake guy. Neither used their scan tool to check for electronic trouble codes. A thousand or so kms later and the issues were coming back with a vengeance.

So back to the auto transmission specialist and this time they read and clear half a dozen trouble codes using the scan tool. Some of the codes supported their diagnosis of speed sensor failure. A move forward I thought. But again the vehicle did not fail whilst they test drove so I was asked to test drive the motorhome with the manager on board to see that I was happy. Well, initially all was good but almost back to the workshop and the motorhome just stopped like the ignition had been turned off. It was decided collectively that we needed an auto-electrician. It took the auto-elec less than half an hour to bypass the ignition switch with a simple toggle switch. Discussions with him regarding the wider issues suggested the switch was the culprit. The switch appears to not have been providing stable voltage and current to the main computer, all the time anyway.

So I go on-line looking to source a new switch from the states. During the search, I come across details of what it means when multiple codes come up on the scan tool, the codes as in my exact case. The ignition switch! There is even an aftermarket wiring/relay kit available that stops the excessive current from going through said switch and cooking it. Damn, a known problem! Well, known in the states anyway where these vehicles are far more common.

The moral of this story? What, besides buyer beware when buying an exotic vehicle that has limited support in this country. Don't ignore anything. Don't expect others to look beyond the obvious. Do your homework. Ask questions, ask the Google God.

The offending ignition switch.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Moore Park Beach

Moore Park Beach is a lovely quiet spot about 15km north-east of Bundaberg.

The tourism industry would have you believe for anything turtle you need to be at Mon Repos. I've been there and yes it's worth the visit. But it can be a bit full on and busy if you get your timing wrong. At Moore Park Beach if you're out-and-about at the right time you can have your own self-guide, private, eco-tour and watch turtles come ashore and lay. Or if you're like me, you can choose to stay in bed and see where they were in the early morning, before the incoming tide covers their tracks.

Fresh -probably just missed seeing her.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Emu Park

Must be Christmas. It's Saturday morning and the main street of Emu Park is alive with stalls selling all sorts of stuff, Christmas stuff. Families with young kids are loving it. Walked about took some pics, interesting little place.

Lots of people out and about. Seems a social and active community. Or is it just today and the market atmosphere? Won't know as I'm off tomorrow. There are midges and they have me in their sights.

Singing ship, what da?

Nice strong breeze and it was singing when I was there!

Nice view of the Keppels.

Sunday, December 4, 2016


Yeppoon a busy beach town. Picturesque. Wide sandy beach, excellent for beach cricket at low tide. Not the best if you are a boatie and don't know how to read a tide table.

Stayed at a beachside CP. Swam, walked the beach and rode the bike into town, nice. Nice cool breeze too.

Better to swim at high tide -less walking involved.

High and dry. Twice a day for hours at a time.

Saturday, December 3, 2016


Originally it was to be 'just a few days' but it ended up being nearly two weeks. Lots to do and interesting. Arrived at the Brahman bull stud just in time to watch beasts being sorted in the yards and loaded onto a double-deck, triple-trailer, road-train. If only they knew the selection criteria was based on behaviour. Quieter gets to stay and live longer.

My first impression was Brahmans are dumb flighty animals and you need to stay well clear, well not true. I came away, days later, believing its all about the way you handle them. They are actually intelligent and their bad behaviour seems to be about not knowing what's going on, not done it before, what's expected of them or trying to make it happen too quickly. Softly softly catchee monkey, appears to be the way.

Our daily routine: driving around the 4000 acres, checking paddocks and dams for water, supplementary feed and cataloging the newborn calves. Some days moving herds from one paddock to another based on the available feed. Always something needs doing. Always something else waiting on the to-do list.

Ultimately, it was the forecast weather that set my wheels in motion. Heatwave! Time to hit the coast and enjoy a sea breeze and maybe swim in the briny. Thanks to the bovine whispers C&D for the experience.

To market to market to get a fat cow...

Inquisitive critters.

Mother nature needs a hand.

Move over let me drive.

His sperm is worth bottling. Bags not me!

Bulls in the home paddock, me walking to lunch. Slowly.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Hervey Bay

Hervey Bay

Don't know what to say. Stayed here for 5 days this time and have stopped extensively several times before. I suppose it's the bike paths that make it attractive, a great way to get around. Along the foreshore from the boat harbour at Urangan all the way to Point Vernon, about 15km. Or if you prefer from the now 850m long pier to the shopping centre at Pialba, and beyond, via a dedicated bike/ped path through the burbs. The path of the old rail line from the pier into town, possibly?

Stayed mostly at a CP in the marina district, older but quiet. No good reviews on-line. Most comment about it being in urgent need of an update. But I'm just here for the power, water and being able to leave the MH unattended while I get out and about adding to my street-art photographic collection.

Ever wonder what your plaque would say?

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Tin Can Bay

Tin Can Bay

Another easy drive. Booked into the Kingfisher CP right in the middle of town. Worth the money for the location, shade, and power, me thinks. Talking with the new owners, just 12 months into it, and still enthusiastic and enjoying the lifestyle. Quiet time right now. Time to relax before the silly season.

Tin Can Bay formally Wallu? What da! What's in a name -Shakespeare. How many tourist would come to Wallu to see the dolphins? Surely less. Tin Can Bay sounds far more exotic. The place makes me think of my time in Papua New Guinea. Like PNG it appears to have more than it's fair share of escapees from the mainstream, mis-fits, and dropouts. Nothing against them, just an observation, just sayin'...

Good spot for cycling. A path extends from Norman Point, near where they feed the dolphins that attract the OS tourist, and along The Esplanade to Crab Creek at Toolara. Toolara is a quiet and picturesque area having a nice coffee shop with water views. Hot and humid today but there's usually a sea breeze happening, nice.

Not lots of choice in Tin Can Bay but most of the essentials are here or not all that far away at Cooloola Bay.  

The TCB Yacht Club -great view

Thursday, November 10, 2016


Planning is harder when you don't have a plan! Knowing how long and how far makes it easier to decide what will be needed. Anyway, the main thing is to get going and what you don't have you probably don't really need, right?

Leisurely mid-morning departure heading north on the Bruce Hwy. Just ~80km to Kandanga. Weather: hot, dry and windy. Hilly closing on Kandanga. A good test for the MH's transmission, brakes, cooling system -all passed. Camped in the center of town, a grassy lot with plenty of shade, a popular free camp. Noted that re-construction of the pub, burnt down December last year, has started. Also worked out what all those strange shapes are on the side of the road and in other unexpected places.

A travel plan starts to firm up based on the weather forecast for the coming days. Hot and getting hotter, the coast is looking good. I know just the spot -the last visit was over four years ago. Nice having a plan.

Click on photos to enlarge


Saturday, October 8, 2016

Cotton Tree

October already and I'm still here at Cotton Tree, but been doing stuff.

Like nibbling away at a few improvements to the unit whilst I have the motorhome stored at my sister's new investment property nearby. The trusty motorhome has required a bit of attention by way of the transmission and brake servicing. And of course a road safety check -required for heavy vehicles each year. Unfortunately, she was damaged during the testing procedure so some more mucking about for that.

The weather has warmed and it's a good time for being out and about. SUPing on the river, walking, bike riding and climbing mountains. It's a great place to be, with lots to do, if you have to stop in one place for a while.

New Day.

Old Day.

Climbing Mt Ngungun with the girls.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Cotton Tree -a photo collection

You may well ask -where have you been? You may then ask -what happened between Magnetic Island and Cotton Tree? Both fair questions. The truth is all of a sudden I was over it! Several reasons and one of them -the trusty motorhome's transmission was needing some attention. So here one minute, gone the next. And a severe case of destination fixation finds me back in Cotton Tree.

So for some reasons why I choose Cotton Tree as my go-to place -click this link.

Or copy/paste:

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Magnetic Island

Magnetic Island, again. First time walked, then riding the push bike and now hiring a scooter. The scooter around Maggie is the best fun you can have sitting down. Admittedly there's not lots of road to travel but the hills, beaches, bays and views make it very entertaining and the scooters are just sooo much fun.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Townsville - Dam Fine Rally

Another year -another Dam Fine Rally. The same format every year but still just a bit interesting. A Trade Day during the rally provides some interesting displays and talks on all things motorhome and touring. But the best bit is the weather and tripping in-and-about Townsville.

335 -vehicles of all sorts

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Home Hill

I'm sitting here at Home Hill reflecting on the humidity and how hot and uncomfortable it felt yesterday when it was just 28deg. Listening to the radio the announcer reads the weather and temperatures for the various regional towns around Australia. I noted that not one town or city in NSW or Victoria, daytime maximum, was going to reach our last night's overnight temperature, about 20deg. Some even struggling to get to double figures. Now that explains all the caravans and MHs clogging the roads and free camps in FNQ.

So for you, dear reader suffering the cold, these photos -you will need to guess where they were taken :)        
(A hint start looking just north of the 24th parallel) 

Thursday, June 23, 2016

The Leap and Eimeo

Back to the coast, via Sarina and then Mackay. Noticed just how much warmer the nights are, +10 then some, nice. But the downside is all the people and all the traffic. Stopped overnight at The Leap Hotel for State Of Origin and had a look-see (or should that be a look-sea) at Eimeo Pub, interesting. The Leap should check out the Eimeo Hotel's website to see how effective marketing is achieved!

On toward Bowen. Bowen is usually avoided by motorhomers because the local council is so unwelcoming. But Chook gave me a heads up on a free camp on the way into town. Otherwise, I would drive on without stopping at Bowen.

Visitor for breakfast - Funnel Creek.

Yep got that one...

Early morning creepy hollow - Nah Funnel Creek!

Eimeo Hotel - nice view from the alfresco dining. 

Monday, June 20, 2016

Marlborough - Funnel Creek

Stayed in the back yard of the Marlborough Hotel for two nights because of the rain, reading. A brilliant day after the rain and decided to drive the Old Bruce Hwy -now called the Marlborough Salina Rd. The highway was re-aligned back in 1982 to the coast side of the Connors and Broadsound Ranges. Having driven the New Bruce on the coastal side many times I found it a good change and far more scenic. But be warned the road, even though fully sealed, lacks maintenance and undulates severely in some sections.

Back in 2001, the two councils Rockhampton and Mackay and the '56 Olympic Commemorative Group established an interesting roadside memorial. Farther down the road I stopped for a quiet night at Funnel Creek -a stunning spot at the bridge crossing.

Olympic memorial

The view from the memorial across the road.

Funnel Creek a great place to stop.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Gin Gin and Calliope River

Late start, easy drive. A bit farther than yesterday, 180km on to Gin Gin. Camped up just north of town at the Gin Gin rest area on the Gin Gin Creek. Lots of caravans, motorhomes and whizzbangers here. It's a bit noisy being on the edge of town where the trucks are either slowing into, or accelerating out of, town.

Gin Gin maximises it's geographical location, being about half way between Brisbane and Rockhampton, on the Bruce Hwy. The town has many trucking facilities, motels, food outlets and pubs. The main street pays homage to the motor vehicle with a wide main and extensive parking all the way through the town.

Next day on to Calliope River rest area, 165km. The Calliope flows on to 
Gladstone and into the Coral sea. The rest area is a lovely spot but it's getting very popular.

Gin Gin Rest Area.

Calliope River Rest Area - south side

Calliope River Rest Area - north side