January 18, 2008 - January 20, 2008
Who: Helen, Libby, Reuben, Elly, Tom, David, Rich, Juls, Leon, Mick, Ben, Crystal, Bec
This was a major shwoobie event!
February 1, 2008 - February 3, 2008
Who: Rich, Bec, David
A relaxing "last minute" camp to Traawool. This was a no-shawoobies event! Did some blow up boating down to the bridge. Also tested out the camp oven with a delicious roast beef and some scones :)
Lake Tali Karng
February 15, 2008 - February 17, 2008
Who: Rich, David
Friday 15th February 2008
Inspired by the Internet we headed off in search of the picturesque Lake. Our search would start from Bundoora, and amazingly only 7pm which was a few hours behind schedule! We were sorted; Laptop, GPS, maps and instructions from Google Maps. Little did we know Google Maps was going to send us on the "scenic route" which actually involved 4 hours of dirt roads including several logging villages. We ended up arriving on the Wellington River at around 2am. Needless to say we didn't take long to be sound asleep.
Saturday 16th February 2008
We woke fairly early, mainly due to the fact David was in a Hammock and I was in using a swag. Pretty much as soon as the sun hit us we were roasting. The spot we had stumbled on was quite nice, on the banks of the Wellington River with tall reddish coloured mountains surrounded it. The mountains were fairly bare due to the fires which ripped through the area almost 1 year ago to the day. It was already looking to be a pretty hot day so we were eager to get as much of the hiking out the way as early as possible.
Anyway after a hearty breakfast of muesli, our jaws were well and truly warmed up from chewing and we could pack up and head up to the car park where the hike started, which was around 30kms from our camp. When we pulled up at the carpark, a guy with a riffle dressed in camouflage gear was emerging from the track we were about to walk on. After chatting to him we discovered that he was a local deer hunter who was after one particular deer, which he had photographed using motion sensing cameras. After all the delays we finally got hiking, just as about 5 car loads of people pulled up. Dave and I soon realised this was a “dinner party” hike.
The 1st section of the hike was fairly flat through knee high grass. Evidence of the fires was apparent all around us, including slow growing snow gums which had often been burnt so badly that there were no signs of regrowth. We passed “½ hour hut” and continued walking the plains through almost marshland and past a couple of small streams which are a welcome break. After about 10kms in to our 12km trip we were thinking this would be a fairly easy hike, again Dave + contours = a comment such as “it’s pretty flat” and then later bloody sore knees. It was about 2kms of pretty arduous down hill track before we hit the lake… which was just begging for us to swim in it. We had approximately ½ an hour to ourselves before the 5 carloads of people arrived. It didn't take long before we had a communal fire going and were chatting as a group. One of the guys from the group was a fisherman and had a good technique (well he caught a trout, better than I can say for myself) which involved using a float ½ full of water towing a “mudeye” behind it. After another swim and dinner we all called it a night and gave our knees a hard earned rest.
Sunday 17th February 2008
We awoke to another warm day luckily we had planned to get away reasonably early. Unfortunately we had to follow the same path back to the car, it would have been nice to take a different track home, but all of them were still closed by Parks Victoria, due to the fires/floods. We arrived back at the car at about 1pm and took the non Google prescribed route home. It was a great weekend hike… and I’m looking forward to the next adventure.
Grampians with Michael
Grampians National Park
April 25, 2008 - April 27, 2008
Who: Michael, David
Camped on the Remond Track in a bush camping area. Got busted twice by ranger for having a campfire! The rangers we spoke to weren't that keen on the new rules either.
1st ride was a nice pedal into Halls Gap for a look around the shops - and an Icecream for David. Michael was being a health freak and didn't eat any ice cream???
2nd ride was a bit more serious - to the top of Mount William. I found it a pretty hard slog, Michael powered way ahead of me but was still challenging enough for both of us! We rode to the car park about 2km from the summit. A supply of Anzac biscuits kept us going (thanks Bec!!) We then attempted to ride to the very top this part is pretty steep and was a combination of walking and riding. Once I got to the top I had a quick look around, I have been here recently so I didn't stay long (and it was cold too!) Now the fun part: the trip back down this would have been even more fun if not for the cold, it was bloody cold with the wind chill! And the head wind was bad too an one point I almost stopped... coming down the hill. I mad it to the bottom safely and pretty quick too. This is one area where the MTB with disk brakes was an advantage over the road bike. I'm sure Michael would not come down a fair bit quicker if he didn't lose his front brakes tho!
The rest of the camp was spent eating Nasi Goreng noodles and watching DVDs in the patrol due to the shitty weather.
Alpine National Park
May 22, 2008 - May 25, 2008
Who: Rich, Crystal, Juls, Libby, David, Matt and Family
Hattah Queens Birthday Long Weekend 2008
Hattah National Park
September 6, 2008 - June 9, 2008
Who: Juls, Libby, Rich Crystal, Bec, David
5hr Drive up on Friday night - Juls checked out the Rumble Strips made by Dowwwwner EDI
Saturday woke up to bird calls about 50 thousand of them. Was a great day, good weather relaxing around the campsite. 2 patrol loads full of wood collected. Went for a short walk up the sand dune to the road and saw red sand, much different to the pale sand at the camp site. Dinner was great, coz Bec cooked the best camp stew ever.
Sunday went looking for geocaches and explored the park... took the aurion for a bit of 4x4ing. Juls and libby went home for the footy - soft! Started raining Sunday night - ended up turning the campsite it mud! Had to snatch the bubble out which was no trouble for the patrol. Looked like it could have been dicey getting out of the camping area but loads of momentum and Richards rally skills got the 121 out. Rest of Monday traveling home along Murray valley highway. Checked out Swan Hill and Echuca.
At night around the campfire
A nice view of the Murray
July 11, 2008 - July 13, 2008
Who: Rich & David (Rescue Team: Juls & Libby)
So we decided to do our first true snow hike and with the dump of snow last week it was a perfect chance. We decided to go somewhere we were reasonably familiar with, keep the walking to a minimum... so we decided to head to Bluff hut that way we would be able to drive to the bottom gate and just hike the last 2kms or so up...
Little did we know how much snow we had got last week. We basically drove my friends 4x4 as far as we could (which was just before refrigerator gap) and left it there. Then came the hike to the bluff hut, which was absolutely amazing, we were the 1st people there after the fresh snow so we were making the path. Anyway after almost 5 hours of walking in snow, which got deeper and deeper (finally about 40-50cm at the bluff) we made it. The hut was great, still a bit drafty, but better than a tent. The next day we headed back along the track to the car. Luckily we met a stranger (I think his name was Johno) who was glad to be leaving with us as he had doubts about his car getting out. In the end it was our 4x4 which had the issues!! the bloody thing wouldn't start. Anyway after about an hour of trying to get it started we gave up and got a lift into Mansfield with Johno and another mate came out to help fix the 4x4.
To cut a long story short... we ended up stuck near refrigerator gap with 2 4x4, one overheating and one not starting at 9pm. In the end we got them both going.. one only after melting some snow on our camp stoves and filling up the car with water.
Report by Richard
Grampians National Park
August 1, 2008 - August 3, 2008
Who: James, Rich, Crystal, David
Headed up on Friday night. Had the usual La Porchetta dinner in Ballarat, total overload of mushrooms on the pizza! Tasted bloody good and made some good gas too!
Took a few of the dirt road to get across to the west side of the Grampians. Roads were really greasy which was fun, considerably less fun in the back though! Once we put the patrol into 4x4 it was sweet until.... thud.. we hit a wallaby :( Not a very nice thing to have happen... got out and checked the animal carked it straight away so at least it didn't suffer. Car was OK thanks to my TJM insurance policy.
We camped at Buandik campground, which was pleasant; nice and flat. Next morning was at short drive to start the walk. We had chosen to take it pretty easy, about 5km over rocky terrain to the Oasis fortress campsite. Although the walking was strenuous we had plenty of time. We arrived at the campsite early afternoon. The campsite is a large rock overhang / cave and lives up to its name complete with ferns a waterfall. I decided to go without tent and found the flattest driest spot to set up my bed. Because of the extreme cold we had not choice but light a fire. The afternoon was spent exploring the rock formations, which included a fair amount of arse sliding to get back down. We also had a go at caveman-construction; we had a pretty sweet bench seat for four set up.
Dinner was gourmet style curry, followed by pudding with custard and M&Ms. The cave was comfortable for the night, providing you didn't sleep on an embedded rock.
The walk back commenced with a nice uphill to get the heart started, follow by pretty much all downhill from there. It was a sweet morning weather wise, which allowed for some good photos. James painfully found out how slippery the rocks can be and his camera is a bit worse for ware. As was my knee by the bottom!
October 17, 2008 - October 19, 2008
Who: Mum, Ron, Helen, Libby, Juls, David
Original plan was to head up to King river area however the road were closed so Ron found a spot on Buttercup Creek, just outside Mansfield. It was a nice relaxing weekend, we did a little 4x4ing but that was not to Helen's liking, being pregnant and all. The other highlight was Ron's breakfasts and the camp oven roast.
Birthday Camping Sheepyard
November 20, 2008 - November 23, 2008
Who: Rich, Crystal, Juls, Libby, Waz, Julian, Justin, Michael, James, Reuben, Bec, David
Some of us headed up on Thursday night after work, which was wise as Friday was a beautiful day. We setup the camp site nicely, complete with the Xmas lights. After the good weather on Friday the rest of the weekend was miserable, wet and in the end windy too! (Windy is what I really hate) We had a pretty decent fire going tho so it wasn't so bad, In fact the fire was a bit of a monster. We had managed to load up Juls' trailer with some mighty big pieces of wood, the type that are so big that 5 of us struggled to lift them. The Ranger took minor exception to the size of our fire and seemed unconvinced by our excuse that we where 'drying out the wood'. The fire did keep us warm and provided ample heat to cook our camp oven pizzas. The wet conditions provided plenty of mud, which made our mounting biking adventures pretty messy and a lot of fun. Whilst the rest of us were relaxing, Waz was trying to set a record in the level of annoyance! (Last year Michael took the title) The most common subject of his drunken rambling insults was 'grip tape' and his fetishes involving it. Not content with a barrage of verbal abuse, severe physical abuse was leveled at a number of chairs, as well as giving Juls' car a 'wash'.
December 21, 2008 - December 24, 2008
Who: Juls, Rich, David
Route was: Sheepyard, King River, Lake Cobbler, Bright, Buckland River, Wonangatta, Mt Howitt, Licola