Happy New Year to all

Mavis and I wish everyone a great 2013.
Ours is planned to be the best ever. We hope to be leaving in March on our next adventure and not returning until October or November.
We head home to Bris vegas from Bermagui NSW on or about the 4th of January for some minor car preparations (the van is already to roll apart from a visual and lube underneath). We spent Christmas in Bermi with Mavis’s eldest son and his family and the newest Great Grand son.

The trip from Brisbane to Bermagui was fantastic. Mavis’s Sister & Bro in-law picked up their new Spinifex caravan and camped with us at Lawnton Show ground for three days to make sure that all was well with their new baby before heading for their home at Hat Head NSW.
Monday the 10th December we left with them and free camped at Whiporie General Store ( see http://www.caravancaravan.com.au/entity/whiporie-general-store-rest-area/nsw ) so they could see how the van worked without 240 volt power. We would thoroughly recommend this free camp. The owners of the shop are great people.
We stuck to all the back roads and the Brother in law discovered how good it is to explore and take your time instead of racing from A to B.
A couple of day’s was spent at Hat Head just checking through the new van and enjoying the serenity Open-mouthed smile.

Thursday the 13th we left Hat Head heading for Copeland Reserve just west of Gloucester NSW.

We had picked up a bag full of super sweet corn on the cob from a farm after leaving Hat Head and Mavis cooked it all up after getting to Copeland Reserve. Thursday nights dinner consisted of corn on the cob smothered in butter yummmmo, all low fat lo GI and low everything else of course.

Friday was a lazy day of reading and relaxing with a nice walk thrown in just for a change of pace.

Saturday we went back into the general store in the little village of Copeland and asked how the road to Scone was. It crossed over the mountains through the Barrington Tops National Park (http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/nationalparks/parkhome.aspx?id=n0002 ). It was sign posted not suitable for caravans,but we have found in the past that with a little local knowledge some unsuitable for caravan roads are ok for our rig. This turned out to be the case on this road, we were told that it was very steep and mostly dirt and not to attempt it after rain. With this information we set off to cross the Great Dividing Range for the umpteenth time during our travels.

Steep was right, a lot of the distance was done in low range 4 wheel drive both up hill and down with a lot of down hill done in low first gear to save the brakes. There was about 50 kms of corrugated dirt road which was made most pleasurable by the superb scenery that we encountered on the way.

Passing through Scone after picking up fuel we headed to Merriwa to camp for a couple of nights in their caravan park and do some washing and pick up supplies. Merriwa is not a lucky place for us as the first visit was to repair the blown motor in our old Nissan Patrol. The second visit was with a damaged fuel pump in our current tow tug the Toyota Land cruiser. This latest visit was also to prove that the place is not a jinks and we did prove it,nothing happened 🙂

Washing done we headed off for Lithgow in the Blue Mountains to catch up with Joe McInnes the gentleman that invented and makes the McHitch (http://mchitch.com.au/ ) that we have fitted to our caravan. We camped at Lake Lyell just out of Lithgow but unfortunately it was too cold and windy to put the kayak in the lake.

While in Lithgow we put the tow tug into Toyota to have all the oils serviced, a task that would take me days was done by them before midday while we browsed the shops in town.

Wednesday we left Lake Lyell and travelled the scenic route (as usual) via Oberon &Taralga on the way to Warrie rest area just past Goulburn. Must say that the scenery was again just superb on this another mountainous part of our trip.

Thursday 20th we headed off towards Bermagui which was to be our final destination for Christmas and New Year.

After over nighting at Warrie Rest area we headed to Braidwood

( http://www.visitbraidwood.com.au/ ) a magic old historic town which is not to be missed if you are in the area.

The decision was made to take the road to Araluen then the 35km dirt road to Moruya on the coast. This road is again marked as not suitable for caravans but we had done it years ago with our old van and looked forward to the wonderful scenery along this route.

We were not disappointed, the beautiful Deua National park (http://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/deua-national-park ) and river were a picture to behold.

I would not recommend this run to the faint hearted nor to those with on road vans. Four wheel drive is essential as it was also on the Barrington Tops section of our trip. This road becomes very narrow,winding and steep in places and there are a few areas that the sides have washed out leaving just enough width for the van.

After getting to Moruya we turned South on the Pacific Highway bound for Bermagui.