KIWI TREK, SOUTH ISLAND, N.Z. 2014

Day 1:  February 19.  Christchurch to Amberley.  The New Zealand Vintage Machinery Club kindly hosted our group for breakfast at their great facilities.  This was our opportunity to meet Clare Wilkinson from the Child Cancer Foundation of NZ and finalize arrangements about our fundraising along the trek. The local TV attended and conducted interviews, highlighting the work of the foundation with a child named Eddie and his mum Roxanne being filmed, and another young cancer survivor Cosmo attending with his Mum. After this great start to the day, our group headed to Kaiapoi for a quick look at the interesting ‘M.V. Tuhoe’, a link with the history of the area, then continued on to the home of NZ tractor enthusiasts Graeme and Helen at Flaxton, where a light lunch wasprovided.  Much interest was shown in the group of 16 tractors as they headed to Amberley for the overnight stop.  Dinner had been arranged by the Mayor, Winton Dalley, at the local Rugby Club, with a wonderful meal provided by the Broomfield Primary School.

Day 2: February 20.  Amberley to Hanmer Springs.  The convoy left the overnight accommodation at 9.00am and headed north.  First stop was at the Amberley Council, then to visit the children at the Broomfield School.  Kids always love the big orange tractors and were enthusiastic to have them visit.  Next stop was at the Hawarden War Memorial Park Hall, before continuing through the picturesque hilly country to Hurunui Village for the lunch stop.  Two vehicles from the trek stopped to catch up with a group of excited youngsters, just about to leave their weekly playgroup at Medbury Hall, before joining the rest of the trekkers for a delicious lunch and a quick look at the oldest pub in New Zealand and a very novel wine cave where the temperature keeps at a steady 12 degrees. The afternoon run meandered around the countryside to Culverden and Waiau before taking a local road back to Hanmer Springs.  Mayor Dalley had again arranged for us to have a group dinner, this time at the fantastic Hanmer Springs Spa where we enjoyed a great meal at the Spa Café overlooking the many thermal pools. The afternoon run meandered around the countryside to Culverden and Waiau before taking a local road back to Hanmer Springs.  Mayor Dalley had again arranged for us to have a group dinner, this time at the fantastic Hanmer Springs Spa where we enjoyed a great meal at the Spa Café overlooking the many thermal pools.

Day 3:  February 21.  Hanmer Springs to Blenheim.  The main group of tractors set off from Hanmer Springs by 8.00am heading for Molesworth Station.  Meanwhile most of the New Zealand contingent and the motor homes remained behind so that repairs could be carried out to one of the NZ group’s trailer.  Hanmer Springs is a very pretty town and it was good to have a bit of extra time to look around, before heading off together at 10.45am.   The early birds made good time through the station and arrived into Blenheim by 4.00pm, while the stragglers camped overnight at the Hodder Bridge with great views across the river bed, arriving into Blenheim around 11.00am.   The Molesworth Station covers an enormous tract of land, very mountainous with the river never far away from the narrow winding track.  Magnificent views can be seen around every corner.  Along the way, the Acheron Accommodation house (from 1862) and the Molesworth Cob Cottage have been maintained in pretty good condition and made for interesting viewing.

Day 4:  February 22.  This was a designated ‘rest day’ and a chance to catch up after the long drive the previous day.

Day 5:  February 23.  Blenheim to Havelock.  The trek wound its way into Picton mid morning and enjoyed good response to enthusiastic ‘bucket shaking’ from the locals.  We have a star ‘shaker’ in Steve, who was able to relieve most people of some of their loose change in the main street, with his beautifully restored 9G as the main attraction.   The Marlborough Sounds provide such a fantastic vista and watching the ferries come into the Picton Harbour was an added bonus.  The day being perfect for sight-seeing, it was a great experience to take the winding road from Picton to Havelock, via some very pretty little bays.

Day 6:  February 24.  Havelock to Nelson. The old moral ‘that if you want something done properly, do it yourself’ became evident yesterday when a new motor, assembled in one of our tractors by ‘professionals’ developed a serious internal condition.  The tractor in question had to be retired from the Trek but the owners continued the trek adventure travelling with other members of the group.  Despite this setback, many of the group enjoyed the local mussels at Havelock – a real delicacy.   From Havelock it was an easy run around the mountains, before the decision was made to deviate from Delorus Bridge to Okiwi Bay, another very beautiful expanse of water flowing into the Croisilles Harbour.  Along the way the hillsides are covered with pine trees and pastures being enjoyed by very healthy farm animals.  After enjoying the lunch break at Okiwi, we all headed to Nelson where the trekkers enjoyed a visit to the WOW Classic Car Museum before heading to the overnight camp.

Day 7:  February 25.  Nelson to Murchison.  The press came to film the crew and the trators leaving the Kiwi Park at Nelson on another bright sunny day, before we headed to Wakefield for a special morning tea organized at Higgins Park.  Most of the tractors managed to miss the turn-off and it looked like a lot of morning tea for not many people, but eventually everyone turned up for a delicious range of home-baked goodies.  The members of the Nelson Vintage Engine and Machinery Club loved showing us their special tractors and trucks including a 1917 Ruggles & Parsons tractor, one of only three known to have survived after being shipped from America to this area and used for farming in the local district for many years.   A detour to Lake Rotoiti was a very pleasant stopover – a lovely lake and mountains with eels and ducks in plentiful supply.  Then it was time for the run into Murchison through the pine plantation country, again very picturesque, for our stop-over at the Kiwi Park.

Day 8:  February 26.  Murchison to Greymouth.  This morning we had to bid a sad farewell to three of our New Zealand friends and their tractors – Bruce, Graeme and Geoff.  These members of our trek had to return to their respective working lives, but will catch up with us again at Methven at the end of our trek.  With the remaining 11 tractors, we headed south to Westport through the Buller Gorge with the river always close by.  Thanks to the generosity of the people we met along the way, we had collected quite a healthy sum from donations and this was an opportunity to bank these funds to add to the total raised.  After lunch at Westport, the tractors backtracked to Highway 6 for the run down to the coast to visit the fantastic Pancake Rocks at Punakaiki, a truly memorable experience. All tractors and supports were available at the Kiwi Park in Greymouth to meet with a local lady, Margaret Woollett, who had arranged for us to meet two young people, Tasja and Flynn from the area who have suffered from cancers and are currently doing well.  This was an opportunity to have a one on one connection with the people who are helped by the Child Cancer Foundation of New Zealand.

Day 9: February 27Greymouth to Franz Josef.  After the normal morning get-together, we all headed to Hokitika for shopping, then on to visit the sock museum and factory – it was amazing to see a sock come off a fully automated machine.  Next we visited the Westland Industrial Heritage Park where the enthusiastic club members have restored a great variety of machines of different types – from a huge engine capable of running a whole saw mill to a beautifully restored fire engine and even a carriage capable of carrying several people with four horses pulling it.  At any one time, their team has five different restorations in progress.   The lunch stop was at the small town of Ross where the local primary school children came to visit and were most enthusiastic about climbing into and admiring the ‘fantastic orange tractors’.  The children contributed to our cause with a ceremonial placing of coins into one of our blue collection buckets.  By then it was time for the run to Franz Joseph where we enjoyed a visit to the West Coast Wildlife Centre, home of the Rowi, New Zealand’s rarest kiwi.

Day 10: February 28 – Franz Josef to Haast.  The forecast showers came overnight and we all awoke to a rather damp looking day, but could not complain after such beautiful weather all along the way.  Being in glacier country, it was time to have a look at these natural wonders.  Despite the overcast conditions, the scenery was still spectacular and enjoyed by all members of the group.  The lunch stop was at the Salmon Farm, then the trekkers made the most of the improved weather conditions to have a good look around the area, including short detours to many of the very photographic bays.

Day 11: March 1 – Franz Josef to Wanaka.  This was to be a day of sightseeing with picture perfect views everywhere one looked.  Each waterfall has its own character and the walks to and from these attractions are through lovely dense rain-forest.  The main attraction of the day was the Blue Pools on Highway 6 heading into Wanaka, before the run around the lakes into the town which was absolutely spectacular.  Aren’t we lucky to have our digital cameras these days – we are ‘snap-happy trekkers’!  

 Day 12: March 2 – Wanaka to Cromwell.  The group had a couple of hours to spend in Wanaka before heading off, and this proved to be a busy time.  There was a market-place down close to the waterfront, and three tractors managed to park among the stall-holders and take turns in rattling tins, with very successful results.  Then it was off through the countryside to the old pub at Cardrona – a wonderful old building of stone with a picturesque façade which looks as though it came out of a different time in history.  The internal fittings of the hotel are also of antique style and the rose gardens really delightful.  

  The run down the zig-zag road was interesting, but needed lots of concentration from the drivers.  The lunch stop in Arrowtown was a pleasant break, then it was off to the Highlands Motorsport Park for a spin around the almost new race track, a real bonus for the tractor drivers arranged by Steve Day.  We just had time to book into the Cromwell Top 10 Park before an arranged visit to the local Heritage Club for a meet and greet, and an opportunity to thank Roger Mahan personally for his donation of special caps.  

 Day 13: March 3 – Cromwell to Kingston.  The Nevis Track Experience!  Everyone knows that the Chamberlain 9G Tractor is a real work-horse and that Club trekkers are real adventurers, but no-one expected the day we experienced.   The convoy set off in lovely conditions to drive the Nevis Track out of Cromwell after a quick look at the old Cromwell township.  As we ascended the mountains the views downhill were always changing but ever beautiful.  Then we had a light sprinkling of snow and the whole area turned into a fairyland.  The track was good and we were all buoyant when we stopped for lunch, just so happy to have experienced such beauty.  Unfortunately the track deteriorated after lunch and so did the weather, with a severe snow storm coming in, reducing the vision considerably.  Paul’s tractor took the opportunity to have a flat tyre which needed pumping up regularly along the way – lucky these trekkers are well prepared for such emergencies.  By the time the first tractors came down off the mountain, it was extremely cold and miserable and it was some time before the other tractors arrived, having left three support vehicles on the mountain, it being just too dangerous to attempt to bring them down in the slippery conditions.  A good dinner at the Kingston restaurant was an opportunity to swap tales of experiencing a snow storm on the Nevis Track.

ON THE NEVIS TRACK – A DAY TO REMEMBER

 Day 14: March 4 – Kingston to Te Anau.  First priority of the day was to retrieve the three vehicles still on the mountain – two RVs and the Bass’s caravan.  This was achieved without further difficulty and the trekkers spent a relatively quiet day after all the dramas yesterday.  The drive to Te Anau was through lovely snowcaps and farmlands, before booking in at the Kiwi Park and busy booking tickets for a visit to Doubtful Sound the following day.  In the late afternoon, the group was invited to the Fiordland Vintage Machinery Museum where their President, Brian Risk, arranged a dinner for us of freshly hunted venison which was quite delicious.  This was a really enjoyable visit with the members of their club and an opportunity to see their collection of well restored farm tractors, machinery and numerous items of past era common day implements.

  Day 15: March 5 – Sight-seeing day.  Most of the trekkers took the opportunity to visit Doubtful Sound while there was an extra day at Te Anau.  The Real Journeys coach collected 21 of the group at 7.00am for the drive to the 8.00am start of the tour.  Fortunately the day was promising to be fine – a real bonus, after very wet conditions over previous days.  The tour commenced with a cruise across Lake Manapouri, then another coach trip to a much larger cruise boat which took us deep into Doubtful Sound.  By this time, all the clouds had blown away and we were lucky enough to see the Sound in all its splendour, plus a couple of pods of dolphins and lots of fur seals near the passage to the Tasman Sea.  They must have known we were coming, as one of the waterfalls was named ‘Chamberlain Falls’ and the boat was inched very close to the rocky face of the mountain, with evidently 200 mtrs of water under the keel.   Several hours later, and many photos to show for the wonderful vision of the Sound on a lovely sunny day, it was time to head back across Lake Manapouri and to be delivered back to our Kiwi Park accommodation

 Day 16:  March 6 – Te Anau to Tuatapere.  The weather could not have been more different to the previous day when we had headed to Doubtful Sound under clearing blue skies.  By comparison, this morning was shrouded in mist until around 9.30am, and remained overcast for the rest of the day.  Not too many plans had been made for the day, a sure way of having lots of extras added!  The first planned activity was a morning tea stop at the Monowai Power Station where the group was given a very interesting insight into the history and running of this facility.  By lunch time, we had arrived at the Clifden Bridge, now closed to traffic but well worth stopping to see.  Just up the road from the bridge was the Blackmount School where we were lucky enough to see a group of children making patterns with PVC glue and soapflakes – looked like good fun.   Because there was not a long drive to the overnight stop, it was suggested that we take a detour out to near Winton to see the Church of the Dolls – an amazing collection of beautifully dressed dolls and doll houses.  The ladies could not have all the fun, so the next stop was to see a beautifully restored collection of many models of tractors!   The Lions Club of Tuatapere had offered to put on a BBQ dinner for our group, so we all headed to a large shed where a great spread was laid out for our enjoyment and to help in our fund-raising efforts.  This was a most enjoyable evening.  

Day 17 :  March 7th – Tuatepere to Invercargill.  The trekkers departed Tuatapere under cloudy skies – some members took a quick look at stops along the coast and three tractors called in to the Riverton Childcare and the Riverton Primary School where the children were just so excited to see the big orange machines and many vied for turns to hop in for a closer look.  A wonderful morning tea was enjoyed at the heritage machinery group’s facilities in Thornbury, before heading to Bluff, the most southerly point of the New Zealand mainland.   The ‘boys’ of the group had been anxiously awaiting the opportunity to visit Hayes Hardware store in Invercargill to see the ‘Fastest Indian’, the motor-bike made famous by H J (Burt) Munro when he broke many land speed records on it in NZ and at the Bonneville Salt Flats in the USA, and this was a really top place to visit, with all sorts of interesting machines, one made from scrap materials which actually runs and we were able to see it chugging out a small amount of smoke – too much would set off the fire alarms!   Still on the old conveyance trail, we visited Richardson’s Truck Museum – a fantastic array of beautifully restored trucks, old signs and the occasional old petrol pump – a great place to visit.  This had been a day of contrasts with something for everyone.

 Day 18: March 8th – Invercargill to Millers Flat.  It was time to say farewell to our newest Club members, Helmut and Noi, who had joined us as part of their holiday in NZ from Thailand.  The tractors headed down to Oreti Beach, very close to our overnight campsite, for a photo opportunity.  This is a recognized road and quite safe for travel at low tide.  Lucky for all of us, our kind hosts at the Beach Road Holiday Park at Otatara, Gerry and Sharon, presented us with enough freshly baked chocolate muffins to give each person a treat for morning tea when we stopped at Edendale.  We had arranged to meet Karen, the representative of the Child Cancer Foundation, at Gore which became our lunch stop and an opportunity for members to rattle their buckets in the streets.     Next on the agenda was a visit to the West Otago Heritage Museum, kindly arranged by Roger Mahan.  The main street of town became a maze of tractors and motorbikes – a club celebrating their 40th Anniversary we were told.  Once they had moved on, it was our chance to see the Museum’s fine collection of very old tractors and memorabilia and to partake in an enjoyable afternoon tea.  Once back on the road, the countryside became even more beautiful, with the Blue Mountains and the ever green, rolling hills.

 Day 19: March 9th – Millers Flat to Ranfurly.   First stop of the day was a photo-shoot on the very unusual bridge at Millers Flat.  Then it was a leisurely amble along to Roxburgh where the group pretty much took over the town on a quiet Sunday morning, all keen to sample the famous ‘Jimmy’s Pies’ we had been told about.  The factory was closed, but the tearooms had good stocks and they did not disappoint!   The track up and over the mountains was just spectacular and never threatened the vehicles or drivers.  Only one ford had to be crossed on the way to Lake Onslow Hydro Dam.  This is very hilly country with quite unusually shaped gullies.  The sheep and cattle climb up the high mountains with no evident problem, while the farmed deer are seen more on the river flats.  All the team members were into Ranfurly by 3.00pm for an early relaxing afternoon.

Day 20: March 10th – Ranfurly to Kurow.   The group headed up to Dansey Pass after morning tea at Naseby.  Our New Zealand enthusiast Ray headed for home from Dansey after spending some days with us.  The historic hotel at the Pass was in a very lovely setting and well worth the visit before we continued along a very windy track into Duntroon for lunch.  The run into Kurow was timed so that the tractors could make a run down the main street, then a couple of tractors visited the children at the local primary school – always a hit with the kids.  Viv had recommended that the trekkers visit Lake Blenmore, the largest in a line of very picturesque lakes north-west of Kurow.  With the azure blue of the lakes and the trees just showing their autumn colours, this was a particularly relaxing outing.   We were pleased to catch up with the area representative for the Child Cancer Foundation, Elaine Horn, who, along with the local community members, had arranged a BBQ meal for our group and other interested locals as well as Sarah from the local press.  This was a very well presented and received meal and another very enjoyable occasion. .

Day 21: March 11th – Kurow to Fairlie.  Sarah from the ‘Outback Magazine’ followed the tractors out of town taking lots of photos for one of their articles.  Then after the trip through the Hakataramea Pass and through the Mackenzie Region, we came across a sign reading ‘Chamberlain Road’, but we must have blinked and missed the village of the same name!  Then it was a short drive into Fairlie with the tractors being photographed along the way by the local paper and Ron being interviewed by telephone to go with the photos.   The two night stay in Fairlie provided an opportunity for the group members to visit some of the beauty spots in the area and catch up with housekeeping and last minute shopping before heading to Methvyn for the final two days of the trek

  Day 22: March 12th – Lay day at Fairlie.  This was a rare opportunity to go separate ways to take in the very beautiful scenery in the area around Fairlie.  A good few of the group found their way to Lake Tepako, others to Twizel and some to the coast at Timaro, while some just took advantage of the day to prepare for the end of the trek in a few days’ time.  One could spend several days in this area and not see it all.   As an almost end of trek event, the Eastern Branch invited all the trekkers to a BBQ at the Pinewood Motels where the tractor crews had their accommodation.  This was a real feast with fresh salmon cooked to perfection and lots of other great food – a good night was had by all, wound up by Brenda’s rendition of a NZ version of the old 9G song.

Day 23: March 13th – Fairlie to Methven via Geraldine.  This morning the trekkers were invited to visit Roger Mahan’s property to see his collection of machinery and enjoy his panoramic views across the countryside to the mountains in the far distance.  Fortunately it turned out to be a fairly clear day.  Next stop was to visit the Geraldine Vintage Car & Machinery Club Museum which lived up to it’s reputation for having many rare and interesting modes of travel – cars, motorbikes, tractors – even an undertaker’s side-car complete with coffin!  Some of our group was lucky enough to visit a local couple’s very beautiful garden along the way.     The Methven showgrounds had arranged space for our tractors and motor homes and the Vintage Club hosted us to a very enjoyable evening complete with a roast dinner and desert, slides on various tractors with their history and even a slide-show on trekking to Everest and a talk on kite flying.  All up a great night and an opportunity for both Neville and Ron to extend thanks not only to this club, but also to all those who have helped this Kiwi Trek 2014 become a reality.  

 Day 24: March 14th – Lay day at Methven.  All of the New Zealand COG members who have joined us in Methven and some of the Australian contingent headed up the track to the Mt Hutt Ski-fields.  The first part of the way was deceptively easy over sealed road but the last 14 klms became increasingly steep as we headed up the hill.  It did not pay to look down around some of the bends – it was a very long way to the bottom!  We stopped at ‘Rocky’, the huge rock which ran down the hill into a home in Christchurch in 2011 and has since been moved to a location overlooking the city from the track.  The NZ Ski Company paid $50,000 to the earthquake appeal and had it transported up to its current site.  Then it was an even steeper run to the top where we were given an informative talk by the manager of the site.  Even without snow, this is a very impressive place to visit – we were surprised to learn that all staff members make the journey up the hill each day, with some staff being employed all year around.   Having successfully made it back down the hill, we visited the Rakaia Gorge where some members of the vintage machinery group brought lunch – a welcome stopover at a very picturesque place.  For the last evening of the trek, some members of the group visited a restaurant in town, while others had a BBQ and ‘pretend’ campfire at the campsite – all good fun.

Day 25: March 15th. The day of the long-awaited Methven Show.  The weather did not look too promising early on, but the rain stayed away and eventually the sun came out on a colourful arena of horses and their various jumps etc and the grounds teemed with food stalls and a variety of goods for display and sale.  The tractors were proudly lined up in the area adjacent to the showgrounds with several COG (Chamberlain Owners Group) members bringing their tractors to join in the fun and boosting the numbers of Chamberlains to 20.  Once all the steam engines were lined up behind the tractors, there was the opportunity to be taken up in a cherry picker to get a birds eye view of the line-up for a most unusual photo opportunity.   The Grand Parade was considerably delayed, so the Australian contingent was given a run around the park before heading to Christchurch.  The New Zealand boys joined in the main parade, along with the steam engines, and both Les and Dick were given the opportunity to join with the owners on rather different engines.   Our members were joined by a cancer survivor’s father, John Heward and his daughter Sophie who successfully rattled the buckets for a final fling at boosting our fund-raising efforts.   There was a very touching get-together just before the tractors lined up to depart.  Brenda gave a NZ version of ‘Now is the Hour’ bringing a tear to quite a few eyes.  After 25 days of trekking together, the ‘KIWI TREK – SOUTH ISLAND NZ2014’ was deemed an enjoyable success.  The weather had mostly treated us kindly and the people we met along the way generous in their hosting of functions and in their donations to our chosen charity for this event

 

MARCH 15TH  –  THE END OF THE KIWI 2014 TREK   MARCH 15TH  –  

  And in conclusion ………………….    The Chamberlain 9G Tractor Club of WA Inc would especially like to extend our thanks to the North and South Island Chamberlain owners who have participated in this trek. They have instilled a local flavour into the event and have been great ambassadors for this beautiful country.  We have enjoyed their company immensely and look forward to continued relationships. Thanks also to the members of the Child Cancer Foundation of NZ for allowing us to use our trek to raise much needed funds for those children who have been affected by cancer in New Zealand.  We are pleased and proud of our final collections total of $14,950.60, which when added to Steve Day’s own total of $3044.44 gave us a total well in excess of our expectations. 

Thanks to Kerry Bywaters for all the information           

Tall Timbers Trek 2013. 11th – 31st Oct.

People headed for Lake Towering W.A. from down south, N.S.W one couple flying in other was already on the road, Perth and Cardup. The O’Neill’s arrived the day before to enjoy some quite time beside the Lake

Day 1. 

Camp sites were set up on the edge of the Lake, caravan is owned by a local farmer. Very keen spot for water skiers who visit quite often Some intrepid skiers were at it from 6.30am to 6.30pm. Used to do that once but way to hard now. Cedars daughter Lisa, Enzo children Josh,Mitchell and Rosie along with Ben, Trish Jack, Lizzy and Ava. First for them all camping together. Elke and Roger from N.S.W. arrived in their mobile home they had picked up in Perth. Warrick and two of his N.S.W. friends arrived  also. The night was enjoyed by all by the camp fire.

Day 2. 

Before leaving lots of children went for a ride in the tractors much to their enjoyment. Allan welcomed everybody and we set off. Past the old Moodiarup Hall with the front door marking of the 1982 floods, over 1m up. Into Kojonup to camp the night. Met up with Gail and Paul from Perth here. Off to ‘Kodja Place’which is an award-winning tourism spot in Kojonup. Tour guide Jack did a very good job of explaining everything to us from early history to present day He also makes beautiful damper,jam and cream and billy tea which we could not resist. Kojonup has quite a bit of history and is well worth finding out about from ‘Kodja Place’, Heritage Rose Maze, Brigadier Arnold William Potts DSO OBE Kokoda Track Memorial, military Barracks Museum, Kojonup Spring and Elverds Cottage. Look these up when next in Kojonup well worth the visit. Last stop for the day was a train ride, but once again the ladies put on scones jam and cream, Committee and local Rotarians joined us on the ride, was funny to see a committee member had to get out and stop the traffic for the train to cross over the road. Dick and Barbara had joined us also so Dick had a go at stopping the traffic. After getting back Ned gave a very interesting talk about how the tourist train got started. Finally back at park which the owner had lit a huge campfire for us.

Day 3. 

1st stop Genstock Artificial Breeding/Fleece Testing Centre, Liz welcomed us and was extremely interested in the 9G’S. They run Genstock 40%sheep/60% crop on the farm. Comprehensive fleece testing service to yield micron and comfort factors of the very fine, super fine wool for the Italian market. after looking at this complex we were taken to their home where there was more scones jam and cream, along with a beautiful view, just gorgeous Time to move this time to Stuart’s farm along with his 3 dogs. He owns a granite quarry among other things. Has quite a few large projects on the go. Huge granite work shed going up, tractors lined up for us to look at, down the back was a wood splitter and circular saw mill that he planes to have in running order one day. Then we followed him to his quarry, WOW what a sight all granite, granite everywhere.Amazing how he cuts it into 5mx 20m x 20m. A huge piece granite among other things is going to be used for the ANZAC Interpretive Centre at Mt Clarence Albany W.A. for Anzac Centenary 2015. Stuart asked for tractors to be parked at edge of quarry for photo shoot. moved along to camping spot which had mossies that seemed to carry you away, so big. The young families moved on as mossies were to bad for the children. Roger gave us an interesting talk about his and Elke’s hometown Dubbo.

Day 4. 

Departed Lake Poorracup area early to get away from the mossies which were just as bad in the morning, lots of orchids were found here though. arrived at Lake Poorracup which is a salt lake beautiful clear water. Dick and Barbara used to water ski here, in there younger days. Children enjoyed the water and Sue had made Enzo a birthday cake which we had on the lakes edge where we had parked the tractors. Driving through Karri Forrest was hard to visualize the early settlers there. Came across a windy muddy track which the tractors could get through but no way for the mobile homes. Tractors made it worse for everybody else but there was no turning around area so had to fill the holes in with branches etc with a lot of vocal support we got them through but the 2 utes and caravan cleared a way around and came up the paddock. Local farmer came along on quad bike to see what we we had done he would not have known there was a lot of farmers in this group but never said a word when he came back. Arrived at Ocean Beach Caravan Park for the night. At 6.30pm Vicki came from the Denmark St. Johns Ambulance Centre and gave us a demo on using our defibrillator the club has purchased. Lets hope we never have to use it but it talks you through the whole process anyway. Also here was Kerry and Ron, Perth, along with Bruce and Joan, from N.S.W. who had come from Esperance where they had attended John and Maggie’s, son’s funeral.

Day 5. 

No rush as only had 40 kms to go, so it was ice creams all round to start the day off. An extremely high hill gave Faulky’s 9g a headache as the new van is much heavier than the old one. Scenery divine with magnificent homes, some with views 180 degrees. Somerset Hill winery next stop wine tasting and interesting talk on how it was all started. Peacefull Bay Caravan Park presented us with strong winds and rough seas. Sue and David joined us from Ongerup joined us.

Day 6. 

Leisurely day as the deep-sea fishing had to be put off due to rough seas. Ladies did a casual work around village and beach, A few members went to Paul and Eve’s Marron Farm, we learnt how they are farmed and processed, bumpy ride on back of ute driving around the dams but fun. We pulled up nets that he had put in for us. They are fed dog cubes anything to small thrown back along with females. Marlene and Jim have a cottage here so joined us for the day also, they organised in the local Progress Association Hall an evening of fish dinner fresh fish nothing better than fresh.

Day 7. 

Warrick left us today, Jim and Marlene said goodbye wishing us all the best for the rest of Trek. Valley of the Giants next,then lunch at Walpole Bakery. Early evening arrived at Walpole Wilderness Retreat warmly welcomed by Graeme Rhonda and Annette having several hours socializing.

Day 8.

Jetty early for our boat cruise for 2 1/2 hrs, Gary was very informative energetic and humorous commentator. Gary gave us a history of the world according to Walpole.Stopped on the dunes for some energetic people to climb the some beautiful lemon cake his Mother makes and cuppa. One island we passed is full of quokkas they are tolerant to 1080. Ben Trish and children left for home in Perth.

Day 9. 

Soft rain overnight Then onto Fernbrook Falls. Very wet and slippery roads now. Falls flowing very well. Lisa left us now also didn’t want to go through another night with a wet tent and young children. Dick explained the Karri foresters collect seeds from mature trees so hundreds of seeds are sow again

Day 10. 

Northcliffe Hotel for lunch, Sue Armstrong’s, great-grandfather built this hotel in the 1950’s with a vision that the town would prosper. Northcliffe Museum was well worth the visit. At Windy Harbour we had a large hut and wood fire for nibbles and drink,s as it was raining very heavy hut soon filled up with water, so had a abandon it to our vans. Rained all night very heavy and very strong winds.

Day 11. 

Water everywhere. one way in one way out water on each side of road was flowing very swiftly and almost to top of road. Headed for Point D’Entrecasteau braving the rain to veiw natures window. Limstone and granite around here. No whales to be seen. Brockmans Saw Pits next stop discovered in 1972 by forest workers, the saw pit is one of the best preserved of many which remain in the bush nearby. Brockman family first began running cattle in the Karri country in 1861, the old homestead is still standing.Work in saw pits was hard tedius and very poorly paid In 1822 an official price for pit-saw planks was 7/6d per 100 feet. Then off to Pemberton Caravan Park, where Brenda Bar joined us, local hotel gave us a room upstairs for our evening meal where we said goodbye to Roger and Elke as they had to head off to Perth.

Day 12.

Pemberton Saw Mill Tour, timber is cut up using latest technology computers and lasers, approx 40 people are employed here. Then on the Pemberton train,through the forest over old bridges almost to Northcliffe but last bridge is considered to dangerous to cross.

Day 13. 

Said goodbye to Roger and Elke, first stop Diamond Tree for cuppa, nobody did the complete climb but pretended we did. During 1837 to 1952 eight tree ladders were built for fire watch throughout the southern forests.Met up with a representative from CSBP who stopped for a chat. His son had quite a lot of cancer treatment at Princess Margaret children’s Hospital but sadly passed away so he gave us a donation. Manjimup next stop King Jarrah Tree, estimated age is 500yrs, 2.6 diameter and 45 meters high, now that’s a tree. 10 trekkers joined hands around it so you would have some idea how big it is. Manjimup Steam Museum is set in beautiful gardens, where there is a fly wheel, 5m diameter, which ran a steam engine from years gone by. Headed off to Wine and Truffle Co Deborah gave us a very interesting talk along with slides all about truffles. Dogs are trained to find them in the ground. Arrived at Fonty’s Pool Caravan Park mid evening said goodbye to Brenda as she went off to see friends on her way home.

Day 14. 

One Tree Bridge stop is where a tree 3.6m diameter was felled and had fallen across a creek, so was made into a bridge but its a long time since used. The Four Aces are trees that have grown through the remains of a tree felled.They are 6m apart 40m high and have grown in a straight row. Lunch a Sue’s Bridge where there is great camping spots. Alexandra Bridge for the night but 2 couples went ahead to Augusta.

Day 15. 

Augusta Caravan Park overlooks Hardy Inlet on the Blackwood River. Kerrys great-grandfather Captain James Turner bought the land that is now the caravan park and surrounds A fig tree planted by the Turner family in the 1830’s still stands in the park today. A cruise on Miss Flinders at 2pm up the Blackwood River which by the way is 400 kms long originates at Lake Dumbeleyung, but we only went to the other side of Molloy Island. We saw a pod of dolphins playing around. Evening meal at local fish and chip shop.

Day 16. 

Three tractors went to Cape Leeuwin Light house at  8.30am for a photo shoot right next to it special permission. Two ladies one from N.S.W. other Qld were trapped to take a ride in the tractors. Visited the Men’s Shed and have a membership of 150 to use machines you have to have a creditation. Back to local bakery for lunch Then off to Caves Road Tourist Drive through pictureque thick forest parallel to the ocean at times. Boranup Gallery next stop but had to be careful as there are cyclist in races down in this area for 3 days. Lake cave huge hole but they now have walk ways down to the bottom only 3 ladies made the walk. Along to Prevelly beach road but no parking for everybody so into Margaret River, very busy place. Onto Cowaramup is home to the black and white cows, it’s not who let the dogs out it’s who let the cows out. So very real looking. Taunton Farm Holiday Park for the night lovely spot.

Day 17. 

Relaxing day for all Kerry and Helen counted the collection tins. everybody had an early night. Ron and Marion Ness drove there tractor over to see us, nice meeting up for a few hours

Day 18. 

Pat our bus driver met us at main office early.First stop And Sharp’s Vintage Collection in Busselton,awe inspiring collection. A 1923 Rugby in mint condition was the first to drive along the Bussell Bypass when it opened. 28 vehicles and 10 tractors but lots o other things as well. Head off to Cape Naturaliste through back roads as Pat explained the local area. pointed out the Holy Mile, which developers want now as these places are on waterfront land. To the lighthouse at Cape Naturaliste built in 1903 out of local stone. Next Sugar Loaf Rock which is not to far from shore. Onto Happs Winery wine tasting and lovely pottery which the whole family make. Bootleg Brewery for lunch, at last a beer. Sonia Abbott, Royal Flying Doctor Service Fundraising Co-ordinater Joined us and gave a very informative talk, she was presented with 2 very generous donated cheques. Allan’s birthday today and Barbara’s on 2nd November were celebrated with a delicious mud cake. Allan’s Dad and partner also joined us fro lunch. Onto Vasse Virgin Natural Soap Factory, family owned business producing products for people with dermatitis and excesma. Other olive products are also available. Gabrielle’s Chocolate Factory where it is made from worlds finest cacao beans.Listened to a talk then sampled the chocolate. Margaret River Silk Farm, very different business in this area.Grow mulberry trees and cultivate silk worms to produce home grown silk.Silk cocoons are sent to Cambodia where it is processed and blended with there silk which makes it viable for both countries. each cocoon produces 180m approx. of silk. Was nice being driven around for the day.

Day 19. 

Photo shoot in front of old church and hall which are being restored. Cowaramup where Cedar brought a cow thank god it was only a small one, suppose he could have put a bigger one on the top of tractor. Another bakery so get morning tea everybody. Headed off to Nannup, shops for the ladies op shop antique shops coffee shops etc.Another photo shoot for local rag, in a side street but it got very busy as the tractors where parked across the road. Allan found a blacksmiths shop and local wood shop, handmade. Off to Ballinup by the river beautiful drive, stopped at Old Cheese Factory, sadly no longer a coffee shop there but we did spend money there so much to look at. Another evening around a camp fire.

Day 20.

Carolyn David and Sue departed today as they had other commitments Local shops don’t open here till 10am Had to fill in time so we got to Mumbalup Hotel for lunch, but when we got there no lunch there had been a death in the cooks family so no cook. Went to nearby dam where some people were water skiing. Onto Wellington dam but stopped at Gnomesville over 3,000 gnomes here and growing. We added to them Cedar had been carring 6 gnomes under his seat, hopeing they had no broken, which his daughter Lisa had organised and painted 9g orange. so we signed them and found a spot to put them. Camped at Wellington Dam

Day 21. 

Cedar and Allan left this morning work beckoned them, the small group left went on to Dardanup Heritage Museum. what a well laid out Museum, Barry was invited to have a ride on a Super 70 K45 and modified common knocker motor 3 cylinder.from the shed. Dick and Bruce followed. Tractor train for people that cant walk to far and after a while you need to catch it this is so big a place. All enjoyed lunch in restaurant. Now to Harvey, Margaret and Richards place, what a collection of Massey Ferguson’s here some restored some in the process, plus old cars etc, They supplied a BBQ tea with some local made sausages etc and a BBQ brekkie next morning, what lovely people. Last evening together so Thanked Dick and Barbara for a very well organised Trek We all enjoyed a wonderful time over 3 weeks with camaraderie, lush green scenery majestic wildflowers. full dams. running creeks and extremely friendly helpful people Big Thanks to all who helped us, donated money for RFDS, organised meals in anyway, but once again

Thanks to Dick and Barbara for organizing the Trek. GREAT JOB

Tall Timbers Trek 2013 cont.

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Ron Denny Collectables

Ron Denny Collectables

1st camp out but the mossies where unbelievable

1st camp out but the mossies where unbelievable

Orchids everywhere different ones,don't know the name

Orchids everywhere different ones,don’t know the name

Lake Poorarecup

Lake Poorarecup

We drove down to the waters edge

We drove down to the waters edge

There were dirt roads

There were dirt roads

Sandy roads and wildflowers

Sandy roads and wildflowers

Wet patches to go through

Wet patches to go through

Trees that had fallen to remove

Trees that had fallen to remove

Deeper pot holes with water

Deeper pot holes with water

More water to cross

More water to cross

MUCH deeper holes in the road that had to be filled in

MUCH deeper holes in the road that had to be filled in

Some took to the bush to go around

Some took to the bush to go around

Tall trees is what we came to see

Tall trees is what we came to see

More tall trees

More tall trees

Heading into Peaceful Bay

Heading into Peaceful Bay

Out to Peaceful Bay Gap

Out to Peaceful Bay Gap

Peaceful Bay, beatutiful

Peaceful Bay, beatutiful

Road back from gap. Paul and Gayle in ute

Road back from gap. Paul and Gayle in ute

Then off to the beach road

Then off to the beach road

Close to the beach but decided notto go that way

Close to the beach but decided nottot go that way

Coming out from the beach luckily we went first

Coming out from the beach luckily we went first

Getting towed out

Paul and Gayle getting towed out

Seafood BBQ was put on for us in local hall Peaceful Bay

Seafood BBQ was put on for us in local hall Peaceful Bay