About this trip
Day 1 – Home to Cherrypool, Vic
Why is it the night before going camping, I am still up at 8.30 p.m. packing the last minute bits n pieces? Never mind I guess some things never change. We got up at 7 am and by the time breakfast was done and the house cleaned for Kate ( the house / Harvey sitter ) so she could just relax. In the car and on the road by 9 am heading west. A check of the weather showed that summer that still hasn’t arrived yet so in land we go as opposed to 15 degrees and showers on the coast. We headed for Cherrypool State Park where and overnight stop was planned. An easy drive with plenty of stops saw us arrive at 4.30 pm which was plenty of time to set camp, make a fire and do dinner. The camp site was nice, clean, on the edge of a reservoir and insect free. This was one to lock in the memory bank for future stops.
Day 2 – Cherrypool to Naracoorte, S.A.
A beautiful morning waking up in the fresh air at 7.00 am with the sun beaming into the Tvan and the little voice of Sam, ” Dad, I’m busting”. A great start to the morning and then the clouds started rolling in. A decision to pack camp before any rain and then take our time. We were on the road just before 9 a.m., after a quick play with the Go Pro stuck on the rear of the Tvan. We headed for Mount Gambier to take a look at the blue lake Volcano. The drive across was mostly easy going until the torrential rain hit and you could barely see in front of you. The wipers were going flat out and the country roads flooded very quickly. A morning tea break in Hamilton with French vanilla slices and hot coffees was in order. Back on the road and into Mount Gambier where it was blowing a gale on and off. Nice and warm whilst the sun was out but when the wind came in – wow it’s cold in the middle of summer. After some photos and getting lunch down its off to Naracoorte to camp in National Park. This will give us an easy morning to go explorering the prehistoric fossils in the limestone caves before heading to Robe. We set camp in the camp ground with the wind still blowing. A kick of the footy with Sam before father and son went exploring. We went down into a wet cave and had a look around and checked in for the Fossil Cave tour in the morning. It’s been about 19 years since I last visited Naracoorte and I must say the visitor centre today looks vey professional. Plenty of Rangers and an awesome display on extinct animals. The National Park camp ground was very clean and the amenities were great. Hot showers all round was in order before having an easy pasta pack with cherry tomatoes and bacon for dinner. The kids went off playing with some other children traveling with their parents. A good day all round.
Day 3 – Naracoorte to Robe, S.A.
Why is it you sleep so well when camping? An early wake up and the mandatory Coco Pops breakfast saw us at the ranger station by 9 am where we paid for our Fossil Cave tour. We had plenty of time to explore the discovery centre before heading up the road. The cave tour was amazing, very informative and highly recommend to anyone thinking of doing a cave tour. Looking at bones lying undisturbed in the ground some 250,000 years plus old from when they fell down hole in the ground only to be entombed forever. The kids thought this was awesome seeing the fossils and everyone’s imagination came alive wondering what life was like back then. After the tour we headed to the Ranger station again for some hot chips and coffee before hitting the road to Robe. There was no rush as we couldn’t check until after 2 pm. The drive across was relaxed and easy with us arriving at 2 pm. As we pulled up to the Big4 Discovery Park, Emily and Sam were in awe as there was a Carnival set up directly opposite the entrance on the foreshore. Oh it’s going to cost me I can feel. A nice unpowered grass site opposite the camp kitchen and in view of the play ground and jumping pillow was a good spot. Emily and Sam were off doing what kids do best whilst camp was set up. The weather is starting to turn and the sun is out – finally.
Days 4 -7 – Robe, S.A.
Woke to a good morning with the sun shining. We went down the street for a walk and some morning tea with a small bit of shopping. Emily chose herself some new bikini as part of her upcoming 9th birthday and I managed to find a comfortable pair of thongs. The township has changed a lot over the past 19 years from rusty fishing utes to upmarket homes and upmarket SUV’s being the common vehicle. At camp the kids continued to play on the equipment and went swimming in the pool which was a great heated indoor activity. The wind was still blowing but had eased up considerably. The weather definitely improved over the days with it getting quite warm where sunscreen was required. The carnival across the road had been introduced the night before with Emily and Sam going on their first spinning rides. Emily upon realising that it was safe has now become addicted to spinning out of control. Sam on the other hand was not a fan with the sensation of a rising stomach taking control. He did enjoy the dodgem cars though. The beach opposite the park was really nice except for the wind and one could imagine wasting a few hours at this pristine location which Kathy did. We ventured into the Little Dip National Park with the air in the tyres dropped to 18 psi and sand flag mounted on the bullbar. We drove through to the end of Little Dip along the beaches, up and over the dunes. We found a nice cliff top to take some photos of the Patrol before heading back toward Robe. We ended up helping two vehicles at different times that were bogged to axles in the beach sand. Of course they were running road pressures in their tyres so one would expect such a result. Emily and Sam loved the sand dunes and wondering whether we were going to make it over the top or not. Kathy loved the adventure of four wheeling along the sand and beaches, enjoying the scenery before having a go at driving. A new experience at driving in a not so normal environment. I think she may have the four wheel driving bug that is so easy to catch. A pub meal at the Robe Hotel was enjoyed and we learnt that because there are still so few restaurants to dine out at you really need to book in advance for a table. After playing in the dunes over a couple of days and reflecting back to when I was last in Robe it was very noticeable how erosion has taken its toll. The dunes were considerably smaller and some had gone all together. I would definitely go back to Robe again in a few years time as it is such a pleasant place to stay.
Day 8 – Robe to home
The sun is shining, the weather is warm and by far the best morning of all but of course we have to pack up and head home. Still it has been great trip and everyone has enjoyed themselves. We took our time in the morning and left the park by 10am heading for home. The drive home to home saw more coffees, cakes and plenty of breaks as we took it easy.
A safe trip was had and enjoyed by all.
Under construction – will be uploaded soon.