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Tales of the travels, trials and triumphs as we explore Australia in a converted bus

Motorhome Travels - March 2006


Firstly - welcome to the new website design. I thought that a new beginning deserved a fresh new look. At this stage much of the content is the same as the old site but I have plans...
If you happen to discover any broken links or errors please let me know (Thanks Morgan).

We were treated to a surprise visit from Brandon and Denise this week - Brandon is an old friend from my days at Baycorp. It was really good to catch up with all the news - lots has happened in the last three years.

Well we finally made it out of Perth today. At about 11am this morning we hit the highway and headed south. The first stop was our storage unit at Rockingham. One of our scuba tanks failed its yearly test so we went to fetch one of the two we had left in storage. Unfortunately - both of the spare tanks from storage also failed their tests - that's three tanks failed in one month! Still, they had served us well - two of them were over 30 years old!

So, not 24 hours into our new budget we ended up having to buy two new scuba tanks - still, I am sure the diving in WA will be worth it.

We are going to stop here in Rockingham for the night and upload the new site - it will be a big upload and will take a while. Tomorrow we might just have to try out the new tanks on the local reef.

The new stove was fitted last Saturday as planned and despite taking all day - it ended up being quite a reasonable cost to get the cabinet work altered to fit the new smaller stove.



Its 7am and we are parked at Canal Rocks just south of Yallingup (see map below - click for larger version)

What a spectacular coast line! We have spent the last few days hopping from bay to bay, swimming and snorkelling.

On Saturday we decided to take dive on the famous Busselton Jetty. We enquired at the local dive shop and the cost (if you have all of your own gear) for the boat ride to the far end of the jetty is $40 each! We thought this was a bit expensive for a 5 minute boat ride.

Gavin on Busselton Jetty, WA - [Click for a Larger Image]
Gavin on Busselton Jetty, WA

We hired a small boat for four hours (ended up costing $30 total...long story) and enjoyed a leisurely dive on the jetty followed by a bit of a zip around the jetty. The dive was great - very relaxing and extremely colourful. There was an abundance of fish life and the soft corals were very photogenic.  We took a number of great photos before I noticed that there was an increasing amount of moisture INSIDE the camera housing. Fortunately, by the time we finished the dive there was not enough water inside the housing to cause any damage to the camera - I'll have to look into that!

Yesterday we were parked at a place called the sugarloaf - it looked like a great place to snorkel with a spear to catch some lunch. After just 5 minutes in the clear water we had three good sized fish - these made a very tasty lunch. Later in the afternoon we went into the water again without the spear for a bit of a look around. When I spotted a large grey shape out of the corner of my eye, I very nearly soiled my wetsuit as a large burst of adrenaline hit the blood supply! It turned out to be just a large ray, but I did spend much of the remainder of the swim looking over my shoulder.

Many thanks to everybody who has written to comment on and correct errors with the new site - it is much appreciated.  I have republished the existing content from the old articles section of the web (now found under 'Motorhoming')  - I will update and add to this over the next few weeks. I have also added a link to the home page of the Murray Darlings CMCA chapter http://members.dodo.com.au/~waynejay/ - Have a look, it is a well constructed and very interesting site.



After three weeks of travelling and enjoying the South West coast we have decided that we like it here.

Cape Leeuwin Light House, WA - [Click for a Larger Image]
Cape Leeuwin Light
House, WA

It is a fantastic piece of coast line and seems to be fairly motorhome friendly. There are lots of places where a small or large motorhome can park up for a day or two right on the coast. We travelled south along the coast as far as Cape Leeuwin and visited the lighthouse there, then turned inland to explore the Blackwood River. We briefly visited this area when we first arrived in WA and thought it has lots of potential for hiding away for a week or two. We were not disappointed - the place is a independent campers delight! there are dozens of really nice places along the river where a motorhome (or tent for that matter) can hide away and remain undisturbed for days if not weeks. We found a great spot very close to the river at a place called 'River View'. The only drama was when it came time to leave and I discovered a major difference between the new turbo charged Isuzu engine and the old Bedford one... the climb out of our camp at the river was quite steep and there was almost no room for manoeuvring at the bottom. This would have been no problem for the old Bedford - she had so much low-down torque and was geared so low in first gear, she would pull our 12 tons almost vertically if asked. The new engine is a different beast altogether. She has many more horsepower than the old Bedford, but these horses only wake up when the turbo charger kicks in at about 1800 revs. From a standing start the Isuzu has about half the pulling power of the Bedford. Now this is not a good thing to discover when parked at the bottom of a very steep track! To cut a long story short, I managed to get enough of a run up to get the turbo charger working in first gear to pull us out - it was however an interesting learning experience - we will think about this before heading down an incline like this again. 

From the Blackwood River we headed back to Perth to sort a few things out before heading north (finally!).  

As I write this, we have just arrived in New Norcia - a couple of hundred km's north of Perth. -This looks like fascinating place - a whole town owned and operated by a Spanish  Monastery. We are going to explore this area for a few days. I will tell you all about it in the next update!


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