State Rally at Manilla 20th to 22nd March 2015
The 2015 State Rally was held at Manilla Showground this year with power & water supplied to us all & it was also dog friendly. It was hosted by the Tamworth Caravan Club who did a great job with their organising of everything. Just over 100 caravans attended – Harry & Laurel Kellet & Jim & Merrilee Gorman represented our club. We arrived a few days early but the actual rally started on the Friday afternoon with the official opening supported by the Kamilaroi Aboriginal Dancers doing a Welcome Smoking Ceremony & some dancing. There was a club march past the grandstand of the visiting clubs with Merrilee & Jim proudly carrying our flag.
We had Happy Hour afterwards sitting in some cool shade…the day had been 40 degrees! Whilst sitting outside, a plate of hot/cold finger food was given to us all followed by a fruit platter. As the day closed there was the most magnificent sunset with many taking photos.
There was a small craft/ trash & treasure market on Saturday morning as well as morning tea provided for us – yummy scones with jam & cream & the cuppa of course….with more nattering. After this a talk was given on all aspects of grey water & filters. Free time after lunch – we were in easy walking distance of town – a typical small country town with good facilities and very friendly locals. The usual topic was rain – & the lack of it, things are very dry in that area. After Happy Hour we went to dinner in the pavillion at 7pm. The theme for the weekend was “Nomads” & we were invited to dress up (optional). Jim & Merrilee went dressed as gypsies & Harry & Laurel were (red) indians – complete with long black hair!! We decorated our table which looked good too. Dinner was roast beef & veg followed by apple pie & custard, Then the entertainment started – one man doing impersonations of Elvis, Roy Orbison & Johnny Cash, he was very good too & soon the tables were pushed back & people were up dancing. Another chap was handling the music & with his guitar he was singing some great songs. It was a very good evening.
Sunday for breakfast we had lashings of bacon & eggs, beans, spaghetti, sausages toast, juice, tea & coffee! Then at 10am the Disc Bowls started. Jim & Harry represented us and made it through to the second round, played well & were just pipped. Wagga Club won and they were all very excited! This went on till lunchtime & at 2pm the Flag came down & the Rally was officially closed. A few vans left but the majority got away on Monday morning.
As usual, it was good catching up with friends from the other clubs that we meet each year & discussing all that has been happening. Many clubs had been on a rally the week before & then came on to the State Rally & some were meandering home. It was a good rally, well organised and next years Rally will be held in Wagga on March 4th to 6th 2016 and we have all been invited. Lets see if our club can be well represented next year…these rallies are a lot of fun & worth attending
Written by Merrilee
Eden/Lakes Entrance Report
3 vans left Wandandian at 10 am Wednesday 11th March & headed south stoping at Ulladulla for morning tea then Moruya for lunch before heading to the Mystery Bay Camping grounds for the night.
Thursday was a leisurely drive with morning tea at the Bega Cheese Factory then Greasy Fish & Chips Lunch at Eden Wharf. The Geona Camping grounds was ½ full when we finale arrived at 3:30. The drive took longer due to road works & controlled burning of forest areas. The evening entertainment was watching the back burning operations on the adjacent hills with the fire front less than a kilometre away plus stretching for at 3 km wide.
On Friday we took the scenic route south with a side trip to Mallacoota then stoping for morning tea at Orbost. We found Orbost to be a RV friendly town with good parking. We made a lunch stop at Marlo where the Snowy River empties into the sea. Around the Marlo area on the banks of the Snowy River we spotted a few nice free camping spots some with vans already set up. More road works slowed us down for the final run to Lakes Entrance.
We booked into the Silver Sands Tourist Park for 3 days giving us time to explore the area. While at Lakes Entrance activities included a lake cruse with lunch at Metung, scenic walk at Buchan, drive to Bairnsdale Catholic Church to view the celling paintings plus the usual sightseeing around the Lakes Entrance area.
Left Lakes Entrance for the Thura River camping spot. While there we enjoyed a nice 45 minute forest walk, spotted a goanna walking down the track then cooked our evening meal over a fire.
Tuesday afternoon we pulled into the Nimmitabel caravan park which is run by the local council. Walked through the town which did not take long, the police station there is old & was about the only shop open that afternoon.
On Wednesday morning Glenn & Yvonne left for Queanbeyan to visit relatives + Tour the newest exhibits at The Australian War Memorial while Peter, Barry & Chris stayed to explore the area around Nimmitabel.
Thursday 2 vans moved to Badja Recreation Reserve Numeralla getting ready for the final legs home . Friday Barry & Chris headed home via Braidwood & Nerriga while Peter headed back to Mystery Bay for a few more days.
During the trip what was most noticeable the amount of activity just south of the border with the controlled burning & road works.
STONE THE CROWS FESTIVAL…Wagga Wagga …1 – 6th April 2015
Four caravans made it to the festival after an overnight stop at Jugiong. Merrilee & Jim, Tom & Kath, George M, & Bob B…two had power, two didn’t. Over 300 caravans & motor homes gathered at the Clay Target Shooters Ground that had very good amenities, a huge marquee for concerts etc & smaller venues for all else. There were six days of constant activities if you wished to participate in those or if you preferred you could relax and do what you wished. There was a “Daddy Day Care” – a men’s shed gathering making wooden toys & doing demonstrations. There were craft classes of all sorts for the ladies, there were seminars on all aspects of health – depression, diabetes, blood pressure & free hearing tests.
Bob took his ukulele to beginners classes daily & after his sore fingers callous up, we expect to hear some good sing-a-long tunes from him! Also key board lessons were available. Some of us went to Digital camera lessons & also played “ladder golf.” Disc bowls & petanque competitions were going on in daily heats. But best of all was the entertainment…concerts went on from 8.30am each day through to the evening concerts at 7.30pm when professional entertainers certainly entertained us! Frank Ifield was there – he doesn’t sing any more due to ill health but he told his life story supported by Wayne Horsburgh who sang his hit songs, he was very interesting. Another brilliant singer was
Jamie Way – he previously won an Elvis impersonation at Parkes…and the next night he did a show called “Pizzarotti” in incredible opera! We also had a comedian/ ventriloquist called Darren Carr, talent quests, poetry nights, all hosted by Jim Haynes – a bush poet, singer & comedian himself & a very funny man.
We had a few showers of rain but the weather in general was very pleasant. The 4 vans that did attend all want to go again next year – all being well – & we’d all recommend it to you to come along as well… it was a lot of fun! Dog friendly too.
Fill in Roving Rally
We all left Tuesday morning & had a two night stay at Naranderra Showground- $15 a night with power & water. We went to the Mitre 10 store there & saw a model train track set up high with the train & carriages going around the store above our heads! Quite an attraction. A few found the
bakery & bought pies for lunch.
Thursday we were off again, through Ardlethan – a lovely small country town where we stopped for morning tea. Found a power box in the pretty park & you can stay overnight … the power is $2 for 12 hours, free BBQ too. Then Merrilee requested a detour to Mirool where she’d been told there was a good freebie. Kath & Tom set their Navman & we found Mirool after an 8 km long dirt road! There’s not much at Mirool but they have built new amenities that include a shower, there’s a covered camp kitchen & tables & a play area for kids. Power boxes again…make a donation at the pub! Then a short hop to Ariah Park camp ground for two nights – $12 a night with power & water. That arvo we all walked up to the Bowling Club – Jim had arranged for some bowls, mats, etc to be left out & we all had a lesson in lawn bowls. Beginner Kath played well. Next day was lovely & sunny again so we had a Barby in the spotless camp kitchen. We’d done some washing too in the free washing machine. That evening we sat around a huge fire that the caretaker had lit & nattered to our fellow travellers – enjoying jaffles for tea & a laser light show that made the trees look as though they were full of ‘glow worms.’ Saturday we went through Grenfell, Goolagong to Canowindra where we were booked into the Caravan Park – a few of our members already settled in…$20 a night or $115 for the week, free washing machines again. George did well in organizing & leading our rally, thanks George.
We are finding that the smaller country towns are improving their facilities/amenities to tempt travellers to stay and things are certainly looking up for us. Far better in the country towns than on the east coast, we enjoyed the smaller towns very much.
Written by Merrilee
Canowindra Balloon Rally Report by Glenn
The rally stared a day early with 6 vans arriving at the caravan park on Saturday 11th April from midday onwards. There were a total of 10 vans when everyone arrived by the end of the week.
Telstra customers did not have any mobile phone or internet service for the first few days with one reason given was upgrading the local network; the festival was close to being can-celed due to safety reasons with the lack of communications.
With Cowra so close a few couples drove there on Sunday to explore the various sites which include the POW camp, war cemetery, the Japanese gardens & Military/Train Museum. We also found that the shopping & fuel is much cheaper there.
Over the next few days some of us were woken up by the balloons flying close to the cara-van park with many good photo opportunities right next to our vans. We had a good view as one balloon landed in the field right next to the van park. This sight encourages some mem-bers to get up early on Tuesday morning for a flight themselves. Thursday morning we were woken up by a balloon being inflated in the field but the wind changed direction & the flight was aborted.
On Thursday night the park care taker put on a BBQ dinner for all people staying there which included a number of back packers from Germany & Italy. All we needed to bring was a chair, plate & whatever you drink. The rissoles & sausages from the local butcher made a good meal, there was so much food no one went back to their vans hungry.
11 Members attended a trivia night at the local bowling club fund raising for the local school. We fielded 2 teams The Wrinkles & The Yellow Canaries. Many members won
prizes on the night especially those in The Wrinkles team who won prizes for having the lowest score and the lucky door prize plus Rick who showed off his disc bowls skill by
tossing a gold coin nearest to a bottle of Rum to win it.
Other activities during our stay included walking around the town of Canowindra looking at the old buildings or visiting the Age Of fishes Museum plus driving to other towns in the area including Molong & Orange.
Bad weather for flying kept the balloons down from Friday onwards however the light up the night event was still held with only a few couples braving the rain to go out.
Saturday happy hour was spent under cover as members keep dry & the discussions of whether to continue on or head for home. Sunday morning it was dry but rain threatening with members starting to leave from 7am with most traveling home in small groups or by themselves trying to beat the bad weathe
Stone The Crows 2016
Monday morning 9 am outside HMAS Albatross four caravans met to start the journey to Wagga Wagga and the Stone The Crows festival, there should have been five but I was delayed, but caught them all up at Oallen Ford in time for morning tea. Then it’s was onwards to Jugiong stopping at Gouldburn for lunch and fuel and arriving at the Jugiong show ground about 3 pm where we found two more of our party. then about 4 pm yet another caravan arrived now making the group so far 8 units.
As we had different arrival slots at Wagga we travelled the second part on Tuesday morning in three groups the first three with an 8 am arrival left at 6:30 am the next three including me left at 6:45 am and the third group left an hour later.
Getting in was a breeze the stewards were moving everyone into their allocated pitches pretty quickly and found ourselves pretty much sited together. After checking in at the main marquee were we received an information pack, plus our 2016 badge’s and we were able to pick up entry slips for the various completion’s. The rest of the day was spent settling in and recovering from the very early start So twelve were assembled for the start of a week’s fun and frivolity and the weather looks set far as well.
After dinner showers etc we all assembled in the main marquee to be entertained by Rodney Vincent, songs, jokes and stories some old and some new over the next two hours, a great evening to kick of the festival.
Wednesday morning saw the start of all the day time show’s talk’s and competition. After Bob had sorted out two new tyre’s for his caravan Bob Heroe & myself went off to take part in the first round of Petanque our first match was at 11:15 and apart from half hour for lunch we were at it until mid afternoon when we finally got knocked out in the quarter final, still I thought we had done well to get that far, (need a lie down now)
After dinner we all assembled again in the main marquee for the evening’s entertainment, tonight we were treated to a rendition from the Wagga Wagga City Rugby Male Voice Choir followed by Pete Denahy a talented blue grass singer/songwriter, another great evening.
Thursday, some went to the morning show others went off to a question and answer session with a local representative from Telstra. After lunch I joined in a sing-along session with my ukulele for an hour before three of us popped into town for a few supplies. The evening was the Stone The Crows Variety Show, showcasing some of the talents of the resident entertainers.
I started Good Friday by attending an Ecumenical service while others went to the morning show and the talent quest finals in the main marquee. Lorraine & Merilee went card making all morning while Glen went back to Daddy Day Care making a wooden car.
After Lunch I joined in the Ukulele/Guitar sing along in the music cawner I then went along to join some of the others for a talk “Sharing the Road with Big Truck” this due to be held in a small tent but so many people turned up it had to be hastily moved to the main marquee those that attended thought it was an interesting talk and worth the visit. That evening was the main event (not really) it was the trivia night we had two teams in THE SOUTH COAST SQUAKERS (team members Bob, George, Joan, Glen, Yvonne, Bob, Heroe, Ray and Lorraine) and THE SOUTH COAST CRUISERS (team members Jim, Merilee, Ron, Geoff, Christine) neither team won but we had a lot of fun trying.
Saturday Morning at 10:30 was the start of Ladder Golf, we had two teams, The Bomaderry Bashers (Bob, Hiroe & Bob) and Moody Blues (Chris, Doug & Lorraine) neither team won but it was a lot of fun trying. In the afternoon I joined in the sing-along session again for a bit of a rehearsal as later that afternoon the Stone The Crows ukulele collective but on an hour’s show in the main marquee.
The evening’s entertainment was THE GREAT PIZZAROTTI show.
Easter Sunday saw three teams from the South Coast assemble for the social disc bowls tournament, The Bomaderry Bashers, Meredith’s + 1 and Gorman’s +1, no one through to the final but a lot of fun anyway. After Lunch I was back at the sing-along during which Jim, one of the organizer’s came and asked us if we could open the evening show with three more song’s. So we can now add to our C.V.’s that we supported The Great Pizzarotti, although Jamie Way appeared as himself this time, still a bit of poetic license never stopped me before.
Our last full day. The grounds were open to the general public with market stalls which I think most of us paid a visit to during the morning. After lunch everyone on site gathered by the club house for the final game “The Stoning of the Crows” this basically consists of everyone taking it in turns to through three tennis balls a rather large Crow set on a pole, this was accompanied by commentary from two of the professional entertainers on site which helped along with the fun. The winner of each section (Ladies & Men) was the person who hit the crow from the furthest point I actually got through to the last ten which when you consider two or three hundred took part wasn’t bad. While all this was happening a rather enterprising stall holder came round with a large tray selling ice-cream and made a packet in about fifteen minutes flat, good on him.
That evening we were entertained by Lucky Star himself, still in good voice and singing all the old hits including “I’ve been everywhere man”
Tuesday morning we all packed up and departed on our separate journey’s, George & Joan, Bob & Heroe plus myself headed for home the others going on to different destination, I hope they are all travelling safe after a very enjoyable seven days at STONE THE CROWS than you all for you company.