And we are off. After a frantic last week of packing and planning, we really pushed it to the last minute. Wow! What a whirlwind the last week has been. It was tight but we got there in the end due to the help we received from our family and friends!! As much as it was hectic and at times people suggested ‘why don’t you leave the next day’, setting the date to leave and locking it in was a must. We would forever be fixing things, planning, packing, testing things out; at the end of the day as long as you have done the basic maintenance checks on the car and van, have a range of tools & spares, packed everything properly and securely that is all that matters. Everything else can be sorted out on the road if needed … I hope so anyway.
So here is a basic run down of our last week in preparing to leave:
Work on the Caravan
- Bearings on the Caravan replaced for good measure (Big thanks to my mate Andy for his help and letting us use his workshop for a lot of the below works)
- Replaced the vans 12V battery
- Add on the bike rack (Cheers Dad for sorting that)
- Annex side wall built to fit (Grandma & Granddad came through with the goods here)
Upgrades on the Troopy:
- Electric brakes installed for van
- UHF antenna upgrade
- 4G antenna for increased phone coverage
- Installed additional caravan mirrors (I cheaped out here and they are not great but they do the job – add to the wish list a set of Clearview mirrors)
- High lift rack & Shovel fixed to roof rack (Kindly donated from our mate Brinan, cheers big fella)
- Installed recovery points
- Curtains have been cut and sewn to size, to be fitted on the trip (Thanks to my mother in law Cindy for her great skills in getting this finished)
- Mattress & Covers cut to size (you’ll see the sweet setup shortly!!)
- BRAND NEW CF50 Waeco (Thanks to Cindy & Simon for their BCF gift card that went a long way to help us buy this and leave the big old rusty CF110 back at home)
Holly has also been packing up our entire house. In a last minute change of plans we have rented our entire house out to a family which has meant we had to pack everything up except the large furniture. She has done a great job getting everything sorted in such a short period of time and now everything is done and we have said goodbye to our house there is no turning back now!
We finally left at 9:50am Thursday morning, with a small hiccup of the troopy not starting (I had just run the battery flat with the compressor…), we thought how funny our false start would be later on. But onward and upwards, heading south on the M1 from Beenleigh we took the coast highway – Holly had fallen asleep by Nerang. We had our very first lunch stop at Maclean lookout – South West from Evans head.
From Mclean Lookout we only had 2 hours until our first camp, the drive and view was great, such green grassy hills and some very fat cattle. Passing through Coffs Harbour and then heading right down waterfall way, 20minutes in is us right now, Roses camping ground on the Bellingen River. We thought to stop here as it is on the way to Ebor falls, it’s free and we won’t have to take the curvy, hilly road up the range with the caravan. Plan is to just take the troopy for a day trip.
So here we are, time to set up, and we failed on the annex! We did do some practise runs but should have paid a bit more attention… We definitely looked liked first timers, laughing wondering what we did so wrong. Of course we got there in the end, set up our site, cracked a beer and could only find 1 cooler, WHAAT? Thankfully I had stashed another one somewhere in the car. We were so glad to finally sit down and enjoy this experience and realise that we are actually doing this. Our camp chairs are out, watching over the Bellingen river and the lush green trees, I take a seat in the camp chair to realise that it was already broken. Too funny! Still useable but we will see how long for.
So now we are sorted, excited about the journey ahead, fire is on, camp oven is cooking away and we have just cracked a bottle of champagne that we were gifted for our wedding, what a life!
Current Location: Roses camping ground, Thora, NSW
Cost =** GOLD COIN DONATION! ** / Max Stay = 48hrs/ Facilities = Toilet, Park Benches, Fire BBQ’s
Travelled From: Buccan, QLD
Distance Travelled: 422 kilometres
Next Stop: South West Rocks, NSW