Easter 2019 – Nangar NP

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It is nearly one year to the day that we packed up Myrtle the Turtle and headed off west for our big trip.

Our return back to normal lives has been pretty seemless. The kids settled straight back into school like they never left and much too our surprise, both our work places continued to function without our valuable presence (funny that!).

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We catch ourselves most days having our thoughts wonder back to some beach, fishing spot or conversation we had while travelling. They are great memories!

We have re-grouped, re-assessed and re-charged our travel batteries and are looking forward to new adventures.

To that end we were lucky to get away over Easter with great friends the Watsons (Doug, Katrina and Tilly) and the Parkers (Alison, Adam and Tom). We decided a local trip to Nangar NP was a suitable location as it was less driving and more relaxing.

Now Easter camping usually means floods, rain, sleet and snow in our experience. A good deal of time was spent reminiscing our previous fateful Easter camping excursions with awful weather the common theme.

This time we were blessed with magic blue skies and not too cool nights. It was the perfect campfire-sitting environment, as well as rum drinking weather!

We had a great time with Jack joining us for the whole weekend. It was lovely having him sitting around the fire chatting about uni, his history studies and contributing to the camp life.

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A “proud parenting moment” was Noah accepting a challenge with Dougie that he could start the fire with his old fashioned flint & steel in under 5 minutes. Third strike and 11 sec later the kindling was a flaming glow of red. Noah should have laid some $$ on the line! Mum and dad are so proud of his ability to set things on fire.

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The master fire man

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Noah enjoying the fruits of his labour.

It was so nice to get back into Myrtle. It felt so much like home and we laid inside with happy memories flooding back.

We have a few more adventures planned for this year. July sees us head out to The Big Red Bash at Birdsville and October it is “overseas” to Tasmania for a few weeks.

We have decided to keep the blog going if you are interested in continuing to follow the “smiths go west” fun.

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The bones on an unknown creature…

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The Jaffle iron got a big workout!
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Don’t look down!

 

Original song – “dive into you”

**WARNING** this post contains a shameless plug for my music 🎸😎🎙

I had a chance to play a bit of guitar on our trip.

Here is an original song “dive into you”. Written after our experience with the whale shark dive at Exmouth. Listen out for some guest vocals at the end.

While you are over at the dazmusic101 YouTube page have a listen to some of my other material.

I hope you enjoy the song as much as we had making the memories.

Listen here ➡️➡️➡️ dive into you. ⬅️⬅️⬅️

Barossa Valley – wining and dining

Barossa Valley, easy to photograph, easy to drink, easy to love!

We had quite a few reasons to be so excited getting to this part of the world. Not only had we won our Discovery Parks accommodation but we were getting closer east to home.

We have many good memories of the area from previous visits as well as family we love to see in nearby Adelaide. Helen and Daryl kindly came up for a lunch with us.

They know the area so well we were able to sit back and enjoy the day knowing we were going to see and learn something new for sure. Highlights included our pub lunch and a spectacular view from Menglers Hill Lookout.

We managed to sneak into Pindarie Wines. We had been here before two years previously and love both the wines and the cellar door.

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As we usually do, we tried to go to some vineyards that we didn’t know so well. We are rarely disappointed with this tactic and found ourselves at Bethany Wines, Yalumba and Turkey Flat Wines.

Our other not so tactical tactic is to invariably buy plenty from each. So we were well loaded by the end of the day!

We decided to end our trip with one last supper. Kaz found a place only a short walk up the road called Musque Food & Wine.

From the moment we walked in we knew this would be a very special meal. The vibe was casual and friendly and the staff were very welcoming. Kaz couldn’t resist taking some foodie shots as it was so delicious.

Of course we walked there for a reason… matching wines to go with each course! What a great night. Now onwards home to reality.

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Drifta Beer Cooler Tour…

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There is a bit of a story to this post.

We went camping with some good friends way back in Easter. My mate Matt really likes the “Drifta” range of products (and might I add… they are great!).

Anyway, somehow one of his fancy Drifta beer coolers ended up in our camper drawer and it seemed to have enjoyed the trip!

Every one of these pics was sent to him just to let him know that it is traveling ok. Needless to say he really appreciated getting multiple mms spam every time we got reception!

Don’t worry mate, next camping trip you can come and grab it! … daz

Found a few more I forgot to add!

Our Barossa Park “Discovery”

picsart_09-12-11244935879.jpgWe can’t believe how lucky we have been! We have just spent the last four days of our trip at Discovery Park (Barossa Valley).

We were fortunate to win a couple nights in a “Luxury Safari Tent” through the company’s G’DAY Rewards page. These have only just been opened at the park and look fantastic!

Of course romantic, luxury tent for two means leave the kids at home, which we just couldn’t do… athough we thought about it!

Switching into a Superior 2 Bedroom Cabin was no problem for Jacky and her team. It felt like a palace as we piled in. Chloe enjoyed the thought of the bunk bed and exclaimed “we even have a toilet!”.

We have been living in our camper trailer “Myrtle” for the last 6 months. A bathroom to do our teeth in is quite a novelty.

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The staff at Discovery Park Barossa Valley were so accommodating. They helped us store not only the kids but also poor, tired Myrtle who has had a tuff few months on the road.

We were so happy to able to stay an extra night and enjoy all that the park and local region has to offer. The kids had a long list of activities they needed to do. This was without even leaving the park:

  • Water park
  • Go carts
  • Heated pool
  • Feeding the sheep
  • Watching a TV and DVD’s
  • Recreation room
  • Treasure hunt and quiz

Kaz and I had a long list as well… Yalumba Estate, Bethany Vineyard, Pindare, Turkey Flat, Penfolds etc etc. Needless to say our fuel economy might suffer on the long run home.

This stay has been a true highlight of our trip. Staying in such luxury, meeting Jacky, Bill and the rest of the Discovery Park Barossa Valley staff as well as soaking up the ‘valley vibes has been the perfect end to our epic adventure. We are now on the final run home.

Long Days… Big K’s

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The Nullabor Plains. I have been talking up how much fun driving the “Nulla-boring” Plains is. The rest of the family are “Nulla-virgins”. What a treat they have coming!

Many childhood memories of multiple crossings have made me wish I could maybe tele-port across. Lets face it… 146.6kms of “the straightest road in Australia” is going to be hard to blog!

Well, how wrong was I. We have had a great time! After our luxury stay at Esperence it was so nice to get away from civilisation again. The change in terrain as we headed north-east from the coast reminded us of our adventures in the NT.

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Our first stop was a “free-camp” about half way along the straight. It turned out to be a little gem. Lots of space, lots of good wood and not lots of wind. This made for a nice nights sleep.

WikiCamps had a sinkhole marked in the area so out came the GPS and off Chloe and I wandered for a look. It was quite deep, we enjoyed dropping a rock or two down.

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I offered to “throw her down” but she said I needed a rope 🤔

The next day was Fathers Day and the next spot was a mere 530-odd kms away. Bunda Cliffs, right on the edge of the Great Australian Bight. We had read this spot was nice but can be windy so we were praying the weather might cut us a break.

We rolled in quite late and to our surprise found no-one else there. The wind was tame and we were hungry so we deployed Myrtle, set the fire, and settled in. Noah built a corker with wood he collected from the previous camp. It was very welcome in the cool breeze.

Kaz got some great photos of the sunset over the sheer cliffs. Chloe got too close to the cliffs and freaked us out a bit. The next day was a run back over the border for stobie poles and Golden North again!

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Dazza’s Perth Ponderings

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We have just packed up and headed out of Perth after 9 days of big-city mayhem. As Chloe shed a quiet tear on the freeway she whimpered, “I love Perth, there is so much to do!”. We all felt the same. Such a great city!

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While I was viewing the bottom of a Little Creatures pint… Kaz was viewing this!

We have managed no blog posts as we have just not stopped. Here is a run down of what I can remember…

  • Freemantle
  • The “cappuccino strip”
  • Ginos coffee shop
  • Fremantle Prison Tour
  • Little Creatures Brewery
  • Ginos coffee shop
  • The Nostalga Box
  • Kings Park
  • Botanic Gardens
  • Ginos Coffee Shop
  • The arrival of Jack
  • Maritime Museum
  • “Ovens” Submarine tour
  • Ginos Coffee Shop
  • Shipwrecks Museum
  • Monk Bar birthday dinner
  • Aquarium WA
  • WA Art Gallery
  • Ginos Coffee Shop
  • Fremantle Markets
  • SciTech
  • Swan Valley
  • Ginos Coffee
  • Ginos Coffee
  • Ginos Coffee

So you can see we were pretty busy! There were two things that were a standout for me… Ginos Coffee and Jack coming to stay for a long weekend.

We have managed to continue our coffee habit all over the country with the judicious use of our Areopress syringe but, that first hit of quality espresso sent us into a caffiene induced psychosis! We even had the lovely bus driver dropping us off outside the shop (not a designated set-down!) by the end of the week.

Continue reading “Dazza’s Perth Ponderings”