Winter escape 2016 part A

Winter escape 2016 ( North of course)

Our sojourn to the north for winter was slow in the planning because the new canopy on the Effy took a while to fit out with lighting and battery for the two Engels one a drinks fridge and the second a freezer. img_3332

We invited friends Bob and Grace to stay in our house for as long as they liked to see if they could live at RV Homebase. Bob is very keen but Gracy needed a little convincing, but apparently is now totally convinced.

We moved our van onto the hard stand the day that they arrived so they could put their van in our garage and settle into the house. It really only took the day to show them how the place works,( washing machine solar water booster etc.) while we stayed in our van.

Two days after they arrived we bid them farewell and headed off to Wandoan for a gathering organised by Pete Shadforth.

The first night was spent at the free camp at Kumbia (great spot Hot showers coin operated and power supply was also coin operated if you need it and clean toilets!) with six other couples, followed by the run to Wandoan where we camped in the Juandah Historical Site.

The camp was to give the town a boost by attending their annual show and celebrating ANZAC day with them. It was a pretty good turnout from RV Homebase with about 17 couples camped with us. We were invited to march on ANZAC day as the grey nomads.

We spent 5 nights at Wandoan and had a ball, great locals with equally good Rvers!


On the 26th we packed up and headed to Theodore pony club grounds to crank up the washing machine to clear the dirty cloths cupboard. As is the rule, the washing machine was playing up by stopping mid wash to have a rest for several minutes before continuing. Fortunately for Mavis’s sanity it miraculously healed itself under threat of discipline with very nasty words thrown at it. Washing completed!

The next stop over was the Springsure Lions Park just for the night before heading to Emerald to stock the larder with supplies that we could not get at Wandoan.

The decision was made to make for Lake Maraboon / Fairburn dam for old time sake to see if there were any familiar faces there at the van park as is generally the case during redclaw season. (redclaw are the most delectable critters and they are caught in fresh water dams see We drove past the van park entrance to have a look at the boat ramp then back to the street in front of the park to leave the van while we were to walk around the place.

While reversing the van I noticed in the mirror that we had completely lost the left hand front wheel (Bummer). Plans changed by checking into the van park to effect repairs and put the van back onto 4 wheels instead of the three remaining. Job done within a couple of hours, new wheel studs fitted and spare wheel securely fitted to the disc brake. It is a credit to Spinifex Vans that I did not even feel that the wheel had come off and the brake disc did not touch the ground, what a machine, love it! lost wheel

Another positive about checking to Maraboon Van Park was to discover that it had changed hands from Top Tourist to being privately owned. The consequence of this is shown in the major drop in tariff to $35 a night and the improvements implemented by the new owners. The park has been tastefully extended with more powered sites and unpowered camp sites. A magnificent licensed bar area serving Redclaw lager (of course) along with other beers wines spirits and cocktails all at very reasonable prices. There is a lovely covered deck area outside overlooking the lake and an inventive menu of pizzas or full meals many featuring redclaw and other yummies. They do what they call a meals on wheels run for food ordered from the bar or office direct to your van, how good is that if you don’t feel like cooking :-). Happy hour is from 4 to 6 pm $3 pots and $4 schooners of Redclaw lager (had to try a few to confirm their palatability and it is superb!:-) or any other beer on tap.

Departed Maraboon the next morning for the shopping run into Emerald then off to Theresa Creek Dam near Clermont via Sapphire and Rubyvale. Stopping for lunch in Rubyvale we bumped into neighbours from RV. Steve and Pauline were in the Rubyvale van park but not too happy with it, they weren’t allowed to use their own washing machine or shower in their van and had to pay a premium for the park showers and machines, all on top of unfriendly reception. Guess that is another badly run park off the Christmas list.

Part B to follow.


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