This was a slightly bitter sweet trip. The original plan for these holidays WAS to do the Darling River Run. However the continual floods along the whole Murray / Darling Basin, meant that it was wise to postpone that particular trip.
This decision was made early in the planning process, which gave us time to look at other options. I had committed to riding in the ‘Mont 24‘ Mountain bike race. This was held in the East Kowen forest, just outside of Canberra, so this would be our destination for the first 3 nights of the trip.
Imagine large open grassy fields, next to a pine forest filled with mountain bike singletrack, filled with about 4000 people, all camping, and you’ll get a bit of an idea what it was like. Most people packed up on the Sunday afternoon after the race finished (in the rain) to leave us as one of about 20 campers remaining on Sunday evening.
Monday morning was a quick pack up, before we were back on the road to our next destination. Our good friends the Muddles would meet us at Merry Beach Caravan Resort – a place that came highly recommended by my parents.
We weren’t disappointed. Absolute beachfront campsites, well protected from southerly winds – a real treat. The kids had a ball playing on the beach, and we even managed to MOSTLY keep the Trackabout Camper Trailer free of sand. The highlights had to be the friendly local wildlife. Firstly, the Possums, who always seemed to be sneaking up behind Heidi whenever she least expected it, much to the amusement of the rest of us.
More though, were our early morning visitors. Each morning the kids woke early and joined us up on our bed to watch the sun rising over the Pacific Ocean, at the same time, wild Kangaroos grazed the grass only metres from the front of our tent. We all thought this was pretty special!
Our 3 nights here were very pleasant, and just flew by. Washing done, water tank (very slowly) topped up, and it was time to be on the move again. Indeed this trip was a first for us in that we didn’t stay in the one place for the duration of our trip. Three different campsites within a week gave us an opportunity to hone our setup / pack away skills and technique.
The plan for Thursday was to follow a 4WD track that was ‘Easy / Suitable for Soft Roaders’ into the Morton National Park to the Yadboro State Forest and a free camping site there for a couple of nights.
After a couple of small water crossings along the banks for the Clyde River, we climbed a steepish little hill to reach the Trig at Mogood – a sensational lookout with 360 degree views. We stopped here to give the kids a break for lunch and enjoy the views. Here are a few of the photos…
From here the ‘soft roader’ suitable 4WD track became distinctly UN-soft roader- suitable! Low range was engaged, first gear selected as we trundled gently over the other side of the hill. Lucas thought the following section was great… “up, up, DOWN!” we would say as the front of the car fell away yet again over another rise, thankful for his 6 point harness no doubt!
At one point along this road we came around a corner and saw the next 3-400 metres of road ahead of us. From where we sat it looked like a near vertical climb! I reassured Rach “don’t worry honey, it is one of those hills that looks much steeper from here than it really is…” – although perhaps that was for my own benefit!
Eventually we emerged onto the main forest road again, and very shortly after arrived at our next campsite. Yadboro forest campsite is a great grassy area with a number of sites. We quickly set up, had a quiet dinner then headed to bed relatively early.
We had planned to stay here for two nights, but the prospect of impending rain helped us to decide to pack up a day early and head home – satisfied that we’d had a fantastic time, and didn’t really want to pack up a wet camper trailer.
So, while it wasn’t the Darling River, we nevertheless had a great 7 nights away in our camper to bring our total to 28 nights. I think we’ve got our money’s worth so far!