Kiama Show

Yesterday, we got the dogs minded for the day at the local Greencross Vet, we then headed off for a day at the Kiama Show. I imagine that having the dogs looked after for a day feels a little bit like parents who are having their children babysat and finally get to taste a little bit of freedom. It was around 35 degrees and the sky was clear, so the sun licked our skins and let us feel it’s heat. If you think you have no “inner child” left, spend a sunny day at your local show, if that doesn’t find the child in you again… nothing will.

We walked past a big RM Williams truck and into the show. First we watched, the very entertaining and very manly sport of wood chopping. Then saw some horse dressage and some farm animals. The Kiama showgrounds are right on the beach, so you can enjoy the show and the sea all at the same time.

Here’s where the child starts to come out… snow cones, add ANY and AS MUCH sticky, sweet, cordial like, flavor as you desire. There was grape, cola, raspberry, lemon-lime, creamy soda, only to name the few that we poured on and there is nothing like sweet, sugary, icy treats when it is hot. We got Ben a Dagwood Dog and I got a waffle and topped it off with what everyone ‘really’ goes to the show for… show bags!

We had to turn into adults again to go to the pub and play pool and have a few beers then went collect the dogs. Little did we know that ‘child’ was going to come back again as soon as we got back to the camper and we started going through the show bags we’d chosen. From Redskins to Fizz Wizz’s to Warheads and popping candy… oh my god, these things don’t only bring smiles to kids faces. Powdery sweet sherbet, sticky red lollies and sour, face screwing candy… yum!

Still Hanging in Shellharbour

We’ve been in Shellharbour for almost a week now and we are settling in okay. Yesterday was Australia Day and the park here was alive with kids playing in the quiet streets and Aussie flags proudly displayed on almost every tent, caravan and camper. Everyone was cheerful and the smell of barbecues mixed with the salty sea was in the air. It turned out to be a good day, Ben sat back in his camp chair and drank Corona’s for most of it and I had a few with him and then a bit of wine. We finished it off with a nice barbecue with steak, flathead tails and homemade chips. Australia Day has always meant a lot to us but this year, because we are traveling around Australia and trying to learn and see everything we can see… it seems to mean more.

The park here has pizza night on Wednesday and Saturday nights, they have an outdoor pizza oven and you just make your own pizzas and then take it over to the pizza oven and cook them. Then sit at the benches and have dinner with everyone. It is good fun and we’ll probably do it again on Saturday. Pizza’s, especially homemade ones, are a great feed, fairly cheap and there is always enough left for lunch the next day.

Ben has found a job not far from here laying bricks, he starts Monday. If it works out ok, then we could be in Shellharbour for a few more weeks. We’ll build up the bank account again and then head North.

We have met a few couples in the park here and are still keeping in contact with a family we met at Regatta Point as they live near Wollongong, which isn’t far from here. Over the last two days we have spent a bit of time with a man who has travelled to Australia from New Hampshire. He has family here and has made the track over to Australia with his wife a few times. He was an entertaining guy, his stories about hold cold London is and how bad the traffic is there kept us amused for a while. The last two days haven’t been too hot (only early to mid 20’s) yet it was still too hot for him to be out of his air conditioning for too long.

Killalea State Park

Killalea State Park is an old farm that they have turned into a state park. There is a beach there that the surfers call The Farm, it’s a gorgeous piece of beach and much loved by surfers… have a look at the pictures.

Robertson and Belmore Falls

Robertson is about 40 to 50 minutes drive from Shellharbour, you drive into the National Park and through the mountain pass to get there. It is a stunning drive through the forest and past the sheer rock faces. It is a small, wooden town but has a reputation for having the best pies in New South Wales. We stopped at the Famous Pie Shop for lunch, which was pretty good. We visited Robertson again today, not for pies, although we did get some while we were there, we detoured out to Belmore Falls. The falls were really pretty, thin, long drops of water into pools among thickly growing forest and tall rock faces.

We hope all our friends and family back home had an awesome Australia Day! We miss you all.

Shellharbour, NSW

Yesterday, we left beautiful Bermi and made the 4 hour track to a place called Shellharbour after a strong recommendation to come here from some people we met at Regatta Point. The thing about Shellharbour is that it is still coastal and it’s still beautiful and although it is a little busier that what we would like there is a lot of construction going on here including housing estates, a new marina and a big block shed (at the park we are staying at). We hope that Ben will find some work here and we will be able to build up the finances again before we move on. At this stage we are booked here for 10 days but if there is work to be done we may stay longer.

Shellharbour is about 15 minutes from Wollongong and about an hour from Sydney. The park here is located conveniently, there is a pub and the main street within walking distance and even closer is the local pool, which is outdoors, located right on the rocky shore of the ocean and is free.

As we walked Chev and Brock down the main street and peered into the cafes and shops lining it, I thought, how lucky are these dogs? How many dogs have gotten dirty in Cobram, waded in the pristine shallows at Mallacoota, chased the waves at Eden, been given free meat and dog biscuits at Regatta Point and walked the streets of Shellharbour with their owners? They are both very happy boys at the moment.

Looking to the left from my chair I can see the blue ocean and you can hear it as it crashes on the rocks the white water recede and bubbles back into the blue. You could see this endless motion even more closely when we went to the nearby town of Kiama today and looked at a popular attraction called The Blowhole. For those of you who haven’t seen one before it’s where the force of the waves pushes through a tunnel in the rock and then sprays out of an opening toward the sky. The rougher the waves are, the bigger the spray. It’s amazing how sea water shooting into the air by natural force gets people ‘oooing and arhhing’. It does give you a good perspective of the force and strength of nature, even when it’s not really trying. There is a rock pool just down the pathway from The Blowhole, they have made it into natural swimming pool, with concrete stair access and a shower and toilet block. It looked inviting but there was too many people in there today, maybe we’ll go back on a quieter day.

The coast is a constant reminder of how small we are, there is the rock edge and then the ocean, which is bigger than any imagination and then the sky, not to mention the atmosphere and the rest of the solar system and whatever is beyond that. Humans are small and weak compared to all of that.

Ben is happy because we have a belly full of fresh prawns from the wharf, he has a cold Wild Turkey in his hand and the weather is warm. There isn’t much better for lunch than good, local Aussie prawns with seafood sauce. Warning… stay away from the imported ones, they’re taste is ruined by the salt brine they soak them in. You can definitely tell the difference.

Things I thought of and had to remember:

  • Pack up and set up days are the least fun
  • You know you are travelling around Australia when you leave your thongs in the sun for five minutes and then the soles of your feet burn when you put them back on
  • Smile even when you don’t feel like it, you’re in a better place that lots of other people
  • The best type of sleep comes with fresh air, a careless mind and the sound of the ocean easing your thought

Beautiful Bermagui

Goodbye Merimbula, Hello Bermagui

Our last night in Merimbula was a fun one. After spending the morning doing the famous Merimbula Board Walk we headed back, packed up what we could and then went to the Lakeside Hotel for dinner. We won a seafood tray in the raffle and played lots of games of pool with the locals. Some of the locals were very keen for us to stay, telling us where more permanent accommodation was available and suggesting where we could work.

We also met Luc and Mark, two guys from Melbourne who do a lot of four wheel driving and were in Merimbula holidaying with their families. These guys were great, maybe we’ll see them again one day on our four wheel drive adventures.

Bermagui (written 14/1/17)

When we drove in to Bermagui we had a feeling we were going to like this place. The feeling was instant… Was it the green hill we parked on overlooking the choppy, blue, open ocean? Or the Cartlon Draft truck with four beautiful Clydesdale’s that greeted us on our arrival?  Or the warm, salty air that filled our lungs and the big game boats that got Ben’s fishing cogs turning as we walked around the wharf and its cafes? Or Blue Water… some man made but sea fed rock swimming pools we looked at? I don’t know whether it was just one of these things or a combination of all of them but there is just ‘something’ about this place.

We drove into Regatta Point Holiday Park, which is where we will stay for the next week. Our powered site is set back a little from the others but we can still see the beautiful lake and the blue hazy mountain that overlooks the water like a protector of some sorts. The park is in an amazing spot.

When Ben awoke this morning, he said to me, “Did I tell you I love this place?” He had told me this last night as we drank whiskey and enjoyed prawns that we had won the night before. He had also told me this when we walked the wharf and when we visited Blue Water. If we can find jobs here, a week here is not going to cut it. We’d love to stay longer.

 

Still in Bermagui…

Technically we only have a couple of days left in Bermagui but the chances of us staying a little longer are high at the moment. We have been out to see Camel Rock and the amazingly clear Wallaga Lake, which is fed by the sea and has a reputation for being a good swimming spot but also good for catching good flathead, whiting and other desirable finned friends. We’ve been fishing off the jetty in the holiday park most nights and picked up a couple of good sized dusky flathead. We met Bushy, one of Ben’s fishing idols as he works at Bermi Bait and Tackle and Ben was lucky enough to get a photo with him and some good fishing tips. We then waded in the stunning shallows in Bermagui and Ben flicked around some of Bushy’s soft plastics. Ben has gone out on a charter boat today to do some reef fishing so hopefully he has a brilliant day.

Our poor Chevy boy has injured his throat and possibly hurt his neck whilst playing with a stick… he’s in recovery at the moment and we are keeping a close eye on him. Hopefully he’ll come good over the next few days. New rule – no more sticks!

We went to Tilba Tilba and Central Tilba yesterday, this was a highly recommended spot to visit from our good friend Al who we met at Jingelic. Stepping into Tilba is literally like stepping back in time, the town was built in 1880 and the wooden shops with the old fashioned windows and doors still stand and function today. The ABC Cheese Factory is probably the towns greatest attraction with a good selection of cheeses, honey and sauces to taste and purchase.

 

Can You See The Camel?

This is Camel Rock… one of the most popular sites to see here. Do you think it looks like a camel?

Merimbula & Surrounds

We’ve been staying at Merimbula now for the last 5 nights and we have 2 nights left before we head up Bermagui way.

Merimbula

We have been staying at Merimbula Lake Holiday Park. It is really nice here, the owners are very friendly and the park is tidy and well managed. The facilities are clean and always available for use.

Ben and I both visited Merimbula when we were young on family holidays but one of the first things we noticed driving into town was that this wasn’t the Merimbula we remembered. There are more shops, boutiques and cafes and there is more traffic. It’s still a nice place but is much busier than we had expected. The fact that it is holiday season definitely doesn’t help. I have no doubts that at non-peak times of the year it would all settle again.

We’ve had a quick look at Bar Beach and Merimbula Wharf, which were both busy but nice and popped into town a couple of times but otherwise we’ve tried to stay out of the thick of it.

Oaklands Brewery

Just out of Merimbula there is Oaklands Brewery a rustic style but upper class brewery / cafe / hobby farm / nursery. The bar itself is really nice and the beer is definitely worth a taste or two.

Wheelers Seafood

One night we had an awesome seafood dinner at Wheeler’s, which is a really popular seafood restaurant on the outskirts of Merimbula. Staff there were great and the seafood platter was impressive and very satisfying.

We had never really got into mussels and oysters before but we had both at Wheeler’s and we were actually surprised how pleasant they were.

Tathra

Tathra is a really nice coastal town not far from Merimbula. We have fished off Tathra Wharf a couple of times now. Last night we fished there from around 6:30pm until midnight, I spent most of the time jigging for squid and Ben had his light rod catching small yellow tail and tailor for live bait. There have been a few king-fish caught in the last couple of days off the wharf and we thought we’d try and get one for our freezer. Ben was rigging his bigger rods up with the live bait and after waiting a couple of hours his biggest rod got a serious hit. It ran for a bit with the line and as Ben tried to gain some ground on the fish, it broke through the 80lb leader he had on the rod. It was a big fish… but we’ll never know how big or what type of fish it was.

Wallagoot Lake & Prawning

Wallagoot Lake is a beautiful salt water lake surrounded by national park. The waters are clear and full of aquatic life. The sand is clean and it is the perfect spot to relax, walk on the beach and soak up the true beauty of nature. We visited Wallagoot twice, once to have a look during the day and once at night. Our night time visit was inspired by locals telling us that it is a good spot to go prawning and that a lot had been caught out of there over the last few days. So, we got a prawn net and took our lights and our bucket. We put our rock shoes on and entered the dark, shallow water in light rain to see if we could spot and capture some delicious prawns.

We saw many glows of small orange eyes and walked around in the dark waters for over an hour. The torches we were using lit up the crystal clear, warm waters very well. There were heaps of crabs, a couple of eels, tiny fish, some squid and I even saw a baby cuttlefish. By the end of our prawning escapade Ben was really getting the hang of the net kick and scoop action and we ended up with enough prawns to fill a small bag and provide us with some good bait when we need it.

Tura Beach

Tura Beach is a lovely spot close to Merimbula, the rocks there are a popular but treacherous looking fishing spot. As you walk through the bush to get down to the rocks you start to notice the true beauty of the area. The long grey trunks that almost create a tunnel for you to walk through and the grey, sandy ground sporting roots that make natural steps. The cliffs are high and the rocks are an amazing deep red colour.

Bega

Bega seems to be the largest town that is close to here. It has all the major stores you need. We have visited there a couple of times. Today we went there to get our car antenna replaced (after it was stolen in Tumbarumba) at the local 4×4 specialists. We had lunch at the Grand Hotel as they offered $9 asian style lunches, which were okay for the price. We may return there later on tonight to enter in the local poker competition.

We visited the Bega Cheese Factory yesterday and had a nice lunch, a milkshake and of course, tasted the cheese. No doubts an essential part of being a tourist in Bega and worth the effort.

For your entertainment, I have included some amusing photos of us and the dogs from when we were at Scrubby Creek where poker games and alcohol was kept us amused… most of the time.

 

 

 

 

Scrubby Creek

Hi everyone, we are currently on a two night stop at Scrubby Creek, which is a convenient road side rest area not far from Eden. The rest area lies on the edge of a state forest so it is okay to have dogs here and there are long drop toilets, which look fairly new and a skip bin. It seems to be a popular short stay for a lot of people. Yesterday, we arrived here around 9am and at that time the rest area was empty. By lunch time, there were a few extra people and by night fall the rest area was almost full. It is now 10:30am the next morning and most of the people are gone again but if last night is anything to go by I would expect it to fill again before dark tonight. As Ben said, I guess ‘free camp’ speaks everyone’s language.

There are flat spots to park caravans or camper trailers and fire areas, some with hot plates for cooking. There are also some nice wooden picnic benches. It is a really good, free spot to get off the road for a while, eat, sleep and then leave. You are in the forest but the main road runs along side it so there is traffic noise but this is of little concern if your only staying temporarily and it saves you from tracking too far into the bush before you can rest. If you listen past the cars, you can still hear the bell birds (one of my favorite sounds) and other cheeps and chatters from the bush.

There isn’t much to do here and we have decided not to leave the rest area to go exploring because there are too many people coming and going to be confident that our things won’t get touched. So, yesterday we cooked a nice meal, beef stir fry with fried rice and then sat near the fire for a couple of games of poker and a couple of quiet beers. I lost both games and so I’ll be on drinks duty for Ben over the next couple of days. Tomorrow morning we’ll pack up our basic set up and move on to Merimbula.

A Reflection on Our Time at Wallagaraugh River Retreat

Written 3/2/17

By the time we leave here tomorrow we would have been here at Wallagaragh River Retreat for 15 nights. During this time we have seen a few things, we have had time prior to Christmas where the camp was pretty quiet, time over Christmas, then we had time over New Year’s when our friends Sally and Anthony and their two boys came to visit and now time after New Year’s.

Firstly, let’s talk about the camp site… this place is a whole new ball game for Ben and I. We are used to bush camping and so having rules, people close to us, people managing the place and a toilet and shower block is unusual and at first some of these things were concerning. We have settled in here now and met some lovely people. There are a few regulars from the same area in Melbourne that we are from who are very nice. Then there is Jen and Phil from Wombyn (about 30 minutes from here) and Joan and David from Cook Town. We hope to see both of these couples again on our travels.

There is no doubts that this is a unique spot, the salty river here is different to anything else we have experienced and although it is very shallow in the part of the river we are camping on, other parts are stunning. The pale brown water and bushy banks branch off as you get closer to Gipsy Point and there is an array of sandy spots, rocky spots and reedy spots along the shores. Ben has managed to catch a black bream (released), an eel (released) and two dusky flathead (eaten) in the river. We have seen a little bit of wildlife here including lots of roos, a wombat, an emu, quite a few lace monitors, bearded dragons, swans, ducks and Ben even saw a red-bellied black snake in the camp ground.

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The visit from Sally and Anthony was a huge effort on their part with the boys but it was wonderful to see them. Sitting around chatting with them made me think about all the nights we spent at their house or at ours on a Friday night eating good food and having a few drinks and a chat. Thanks so much for coming up, it was great to have good friends about, especially on New Years Eve.

Ben and Anthony went fishing off Bastian Point at Mallacoota a couple of days ago and caught a beautiful 18kg Mako shark. We sat with Sal and Anth and little Archer and Isaac and enjoyed homemade fish and chips that night at the campsite. We also have some in the freezer, which will provide quite a few more feeds for Ben and I yet. On that trip he also caught a nice gummy shark, which was released because they already had more than enough of a feed with the Mako in the boat. They also kept a couple of pike for bait and released a wrasse and a barracoota.

We have done day trips numerous places around here including Eden, Pambula, Mallacoota, Quarantine Bay, Boydtown, Genoa and Gipsy Point. Wallagaraugh has been a good base camp for all of that.

We are keen to move on tomorrow to a small campsite called Scubby Creek, which is between Genoa and Eden. This will be a two night stop only as we are due in Merimbula on January 6th. Surf, sand and sun… here we come.

Genoa, Eden, Mallacoota and Pambula

Here are some of the latest photos we have taken of our bull bar bothers, the Man From Snowy River museum and the surrounding coastal towns we have been visiting. This area has a strong history of whaling and we learnt that Ben Boyd was an important figure around here in the age of the explorers from an old wharfie we met in the Pambula Pub.

We are enjoying this area, the beaches are beautiful and the water is a unique aqua and almost completely clear in the shallows. The dogs are getting lots of runs on the beaches, so they are happy.

Happiness is:

  • Sand between your toes
  • Warm, clear, salty water
  • Fresh mussels
  • Putting around in the tinny trolling for fish
  • Satisfying food in the evenings
  • Waking up to birds chirping and a river running right outside the camper
  • Discovering new places
  • Meeting lovely people

We have come to know David and Joan who are from Cook Town in Queensland, they have travelled extensively and have given us some maps and great pointers on where to go when we get up North. We’ll definitely be getting their contact details before we leave here.

 

A Bush Christmas

Christmas Day for us was different, the hustle and bustle of visiting family and eating was gone but we could still hear it on the other end of the phone and we called everyone to say Merry Christmas. It was good to chat to our parents, brothers and sisters and our close friends.

We got out our ham and made our glaze and cooked honey glazed ham in the Ziggy. We chopped apples and made an apple crumble. We had a few drinks with David and Joan and another couple we met in the park. It’s lovely here and we have no regrets about going on this trip but if we said we didn’t miss seeing our family and friends back home at this time of year, we’d be lying.

We’re looking forward to seeing Sally and Anthony and boys for New Years who have got out of their way to see us again before we get too far away. You guys are awesome! While we were out in the tinny today and discovered that it is only a five minute boat ride to where they are staying at Gipsy Point. Ben navigated through the shallows really well and we got out into the deeper water at Gipsy Point easily.

We are also looking forward to catching up with Nick and Alana and their little bub from Jingellic, we are planning to see them again somewhere on the Central Coast of New South Wales around the start of February.

Bull Bar Bothers and a Long Drive to Genoa

The last week has been pretty eventful. We went to get into the Prado one morning while we were still in Jingellic and noticed that the rear vision mirror had fallen off the windscreen. After some deliberation we decided that we would need to find some mirror glue to put it back on.

Negative – We had to drive back to sleepy Corryong to get it.

Positive – We got to see the Man From Snowy River Museum while we were there.

The museum wasn’t large but I found it interesting and wasn’t a bad way to spend $5 per head and an hour or so. Ben would have preferred to spend his $5 on beer.

One the way back to Jingellic, we could hear a grinding sound when we hit a bump in the road. ‘That’s strange…’ we thought and so Ben stopped the car, we got out and checked everything and to our surprise everything looked okay. We got back in the car, heard the noise again and then before we knew it the car was jagging to the left hand side of the road and skidding. We got out again, one side of the bull bar had dropped and was rubbing on the tyre. After a couple of attempts to drive carefully, it happened again, this time it had dropped down onto both wheels and had jagged the car onto the wrong side of the road. Luckily Ben is experienced and keeps a calm level head in these sorts of situations. After being stopped by the bull bar a couple of times and then trying a couple of different methods of tying the bull bar back on with tension straps, Ben eventually found a way that held it enough for us to drive slowly back to Jingellic.

Negatives – The bull bar fell off. We had planned to take two days to get to Genoa and do an overnight stop but because we had to fix the bull bar it pushed us back a day and crammed the long trip to Genoa into one day.

Positives – We didn’t get hurt. The tyres survived. We had made friends with Alan the local mechanic who was very good and helped Ben to reattach the bull bar properly. It happened at a time when we weren’t towing the camper. We got to spend one extra night in beautiful Jingellic.

Alan was wonderful and we are very thankful for his help. Our last night in Jingellic was a good one. We went to Nick and Alanna’s house for a barbeque and got to have a few drinks with everyone we’d become friends with in Jingellic before leaving.

The track to Genoa the next day was a long one. We passed over the Snowy Mountains, which was a stunning drive. As we were chatting away Ben happened to say… ‘When I was speaking with the locals they said to watch out for brumby’s up here.” He’d barely finished his sentence when two brumbies appeared on the side of the road. We drove around them carefully then saw a few more as we drove. We drove past Merimbula and Pambula then Eden and finally after around seven and a half hours arrived at Wallanaugh River Retreat.

The river here is really nice but a little bit shallower than we were expecting and we are about a 40 minute drive from Mallacoota. Ben has caught a small black bream and an eel so far. We had a good day yesterday, walking on the pristine Mallacoota beaches and fishing on the jetty. Today, we are enjoying the beautiful town of Eden.

Here’s some pictures of the winery we worked at and our side step puncture and Bluff Falls (read the last post for info on this). I’ll add some new pictures of the broken bull bar and of Mallacoota, Eden and Genoa soon. Merry Christmas all!

We are looking forward to our honey glazed ham and apple crumble at Christmas and seeing our friends Sally and Anthony and their boys for New Year’s.

The Vineyards and Bluff Falls

Well, it’s Rosewood Rodeo day! We are pretty excited to check out the local rodeo tonight. Unfortunately we only have a couple more days at Jingellic, on Monday we will leave to make the trek down to Genoa.

We have spent three days this week working at Tumbarumba Wines Estate.  Our job has been to lift the wires that the vines grow along to the next hooks up and to trim all of the dead and unwanted branches and leaves off the hard woody stems of the vines. Ben did most of the lifting of the wires, I attempted to do this on the first day but some of them were too high and tough for me to do and so after that I stuck to pruning.

Working in the vineyards isn’t mentally stimulating but it is physical work and the first two days we worked were sunny and hot so this made it harder. Being a bricky, Ben coped with the winery work really well and actually showed the vineyard owner, Garry, up with his speed. I actually didn’t mind working outdoors but it was tiring and my legs are pretty sore from all of the bending and walking. When you’re working in a row of vines, they seem endless until you look up and see only a few more sections in front of you. At the end of each row, you feel satisfied. I have to admit that looking down the row once you have finished does put a little smile on your face. We never thought we’d know or even care about what the difference between an un-pruned and pruned grape vine was but you know what they say… you learn something new everyday.

Garry is a lovely man and working in his vineyards was a good experience. The $800 cash we earned will certainly help us on our way, he also gave us two free cases of wine, which was a nice gesture and a really good reference to help us find more work. We have made friends with a few people here at Jingellic Reserve. There is Alan, the local mechanic, he is camping here with his daughter Abigail at the moment and as Alan enjoys a beer and a chat Ben has been getting along with him well. They have been fishing on the bank with us of an evening and Abi happened to catch a really nice cod the night before last (about 64cm). Ben has caught two nice cod (about 30 – 35cm) in the last few of nights as well. We have also been chatting to Nick, who is the chef in the hotel here. He is a nice guy who also loves a beer, four wheel driving and camping. Country people are different to the ones in the city and the surburbs, they are interested chatting to new people and always say hello or give a friendly nod as you go by. We are getting to know a few locals here and we both like the ‘vibe’ of this place.

We had a day off from the vineyards and went to Bluff Falls. We did a few kilometers of walking there and they were amazing. The falls are wide and lighter than the Paddy’s River Falls that we saw last week. There are a few rock pools you can paddle in and the water is clean and very cold. We took the four wheel drive track to get to Bluff Falls, it was narrow but we bumped our way through the bush fairly well until we ran over a decent sized branch and it punched a hole through the sidestep on the Prado. We heard the noise but didn’t realise that the branch had damaged the car until we attempted to get out and examine a part of the track. When Ben couldn’t open his driver side door, that’s when we realised something was wrong. The side step was pushed far enough up to stop the door from opening. A 50mm hole in the side step, a tyre iron, a bit of DIY panel beating and some tech screws later… and the Prado is ready to go again. Ahhh, the perks of four wheel driving. Sorry, only one photo at the moment, internet reception is not so good here, will upload more soon.

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