WOOLGOOLGAOFFROAD.....about me

I started Woolgoolga offroad back in the early nineties, after moving north of Coffs Harbour. Not only do love medium to hard days, l also love getting out and exploring our wonderful north coast with it's array of rainforest, long stretching beachs and our awesome views. Several times a year we venture afar for camping trips, and depending on our work schedules it determines on how far we go.

The best feature we have, here at Coffs Harbour, is that it is the closest spot on the east coast where the great dividing range meets the pacific ocean. So this means, we lock our hubs in when we turn off the highway, cant get better than that !

Over the last few years i have been lucky enough to have competed in various competitons, with various degrees of success. Travelled extensively in and around the north coast, west to the Olgas, The Flinders, Ayres Rock, Kings Canyon around the simpson desert and to the centre of Austraila.We have traversed through and around several deserts that include- The Simpson, Strezlecki, The Stony just to name a few.

The idea of my blog is to highlight the travels where I go and what is happening in my 4wd and camping world.


I always hear people from our generation saying "Ahh, living the dream" when they are doing something out of the ordinary - for example: sipping cocktails in a spa at a fancy resort or perhaps they post "living the dream" as the caption beneath a photo of them moving into their new $500,000+ mansion-esque home they have just mortgaged their life away for. At first I was confused by how simple my ambitions were. All I wanted was to live in a caravan and be able to spend as much time enjoying the outdoors with a partner ( anyone out there ??) and my daughter, surrounded by friends and without my partner having to be at work all the time.

So for me, this became my simple dream. I find myself having those "Ahh living the dream" moments when I am sitting in a natural hot spring with my partner and daughter and maybe a few friends around too , drinking a beer, and maybe ten feet away from a crocodile inhabited river. Now all I need to do is to work out which way I shall turn at the roundabout at the end of the street.

Another passion of mine is photography, i have a host of albums on my Facebook page so   jump across to my page and browse my photo albums of places where I have been, explored and discovered. We are lucky enough to live here on the Coffs Coast, so there is always plenty of places to get out to take advantage of any weather conditions that may arise. I will also be writing about personal experiences and more.

Or another alternative is to take time and check out this online publication, great for those soft roaders 

http://issuu.com/coffscoast/docs/coffscoasttouringtrailsfinalissuu

And yes I know I post a lot of pics, but dont they say a picture tells a story ??
Anyone keen for a trip ?

Make sure you add me on facebook too !!!
https://www.facebook.com/woolgoolgaoffroad
Kev
woopi4x4@bigpond.net.au











CULLENDORE STATION

Cullendore is in the heart of granite country where unique borders sit quietly weathering away. This is a secluded station where you travel nearly 3 km from the front gate just to office, and then some to the many camp grounds around the property. To welcome you when you arrive, Stuart, Wendy and their son Matt go all out in typical country style to show you around, help in any way and answer any questions. Matt does a great job suppling firewood if you need some and will even deliver it to your campsite. A property map with named tracks and an information sheet is provided when you book and gives you all the relevant information.
Cullendore is a 4000 acre working cattle station, yet the owners have set aside nearly half for outdoor activities from camping, mountain bike riding, canoeing, bushwalking and has nearly 20 km of 4wd tracks located on the property. Now don’t come here expecting twin diff locked kind of tracks as this isn’t a 4wd park. The trails here are only to explore this expansive property.
Some tracks you will need to engage 4wd so you don’t do any damage, wether it be heading down to the Maryland River for a swim or heading out to the Lookout for the most stunning views into the distance. The owners have spent the past three years getting this property up and running with pristine campsites in several locations, installing flushing toilets and hot showers and with the popularity of this hidden gem they are soon opening more secluded camps with facilities.












THE GORGE STATION...nthrn nsw

Want a quick isolated camping getaway ?

The Gorge Station is located 75km north west from Grafton, northern NSW. This working cattle station lies on the banks of the upper reaches of the Clarence River with 10kms of river frontage. Hidden in various mountain range shadows, surrounded by National Parks and several State forests it is a hidden getaway that is unspoilt, yet is ever changing from yearly floods that demands respect from the huge catchment area above. This isolated camping destination provides home to a host of flora and fauna within its boundaries. This region has a large and secluded wilderness area with a rugged and scenic river system that provides a habitat for an extensive bird and animal population. It has limited facilities so you need to be well-equipped.

CAMPING & THINGS TO DO
With nearly 10kms of river frontage there are a host of camping spots, from secluded areas to large sections where small groups can hold up, there is also the option to hire ‘’The Cabin”, for those who desire a few small luxury’s. The campsites have either river access or river views, yet are set in a way where they are well enough away from your camping neighbours for privacy. There are several portable toilets at several camping locations, hot showers and flushing toilets are located at the Gorge Homestead. The owner provides a great service supplying a general waste bin at most camping locations as well as a ‘bucket’, where food scraps are placed for his pet pig- Freezer !!. A new addition to camping locations are the new and improved portable fire drums, as well as a daily supply of fire wood. The kids will love this place as there are plenty of opportunities to explore this unspoilt environment from camping, fishing, 4wding and bushwalking, photography and just getting back to nature. They can catch turtles, skim rocks across the river and the Gorge is dog friendly.

https://woolgoolgaoffroad.blogspot.com.au/search/label/GORGE%20STATION












GUNDABOOKA NATIONAL PARK

Huge thanks to Camper Trailer Australia magazine. Current issue 103- travel destination on Gundabooka National Park just south of Bourke in western NSW. This is one of those places where I just want to go back to. Great camping within the park or on the Darling and a host of things to do. At only $8.95 CTA magazine is great value.
Out now !!!









VIPER CAMPER TRAILER by Predator


Well by now you've all seen I got rid of my last trailer due to well…mmm…..its gone anyway. 
So after searching the market for something different and something that suits my needs, I have found it !!!!….New on the market- and yep imported from China but rebuilt here using much stronger and studier components. 
Predator Campers out of Melbourne do 4 campers at the moment, but i grabbed a Viper II. Its taken some 5 months to get mine landed here, but finally picked it up last week. 
Basically its a roof top tent and awning on a tough little trailer. Simple and easy.  


Impressed with towing the little bugger so far, weighing in at a measly 750 kg dry- GVM is 1900kg in NSW. I drove from Taree-Canberra- Wagga, then back Wagga -Canberra-Taree, used an extra $14 in diesel on the way back, so I was pretty happy with that. This is one trailer that you could def tow over the high country, up the cape and do any beach without getting stuck. Its only 3.5 metres long but the storage inside is great. I honestly don't know how we will fill it all up !!!!!

It comes fully kitted out with all you need. Awning comes with walls, tent comes with wall and floor kit, Smev 2 burner stove all plumbed in, 65 litre water tank, LED lights, 12 v power through out the trailer, anderson plug, 100 amp AGM battery, stainless sink with electric pump, HD suspension ( king springs, shocks and trailing arms ), gal chassis and trailing arm- the list goes on. I ran spanners over it today and could count on one hand just how many bolts or screws needed nipping up. Talking about nuts and bolts. Except for several on the suspension, all other nuts, bolts and screws are stainless !!!……AND they use nylock nuts also…great piece of mind. 

MY LIKES….
…everything is simple and easy
…no poles to set up or to carry in the trailer
…all storage areas fully carpeted--NEATLY !!!
…decent hinges on all doors
…self supporting kitchen
…neat and tidy wiring, water and gas lines
…decent suspension- def over rated 
…water meter and easy to use fill point on top of trailer
…solid tent pegs and ropes
….if anything parts need replacing- they are readily available
…oversize stone guard with top supporting bracket for strength
…comes with a soft solar panel kit that plugs straight into the rear
…powder coated finish.
…solid doors and decent handles with same key locks
…even get a spare parts bag with extra pegs, awning parts and spanners

An update on the first big trip for the viper....we did around 5,000km, i would estimate 80% on either dirt, gibber or sand with a little water thrown in and I am suitably impressed. 

Towing the little bugger was a breeze and it was very easy to forget it was behind the cruiser. I normally go from Coffs to Bourke on my fuel in the cruiser alone - but towing the viper I did the same k's on the same fuel, and even on the sand-rock-dirt no notable difference in economy or power=loss. On the way back yesterday l fuelled up in Collarenebri went to Coffs via Grafton and then down to Taree on the same fuel with the viper behind me !!!!....

So the big question was what issues i had when we were away...

…..took a night or two to get used to the 90mm mattress,
.....a few stone chips and sand rash underneath
.....ummmmm thats it !!!!!!

What did I like about it…

....ease of set up... ( around 4min for the tent, foxwing and the kettle on )
...ease of pack up
...compact design
...towing 

So after several weeks in the outback towing the Viper- i am pretty impressed. As you've seen I have added a Fox-wing awning to make for a little more under cover area. These things are great, easy to setup, if theres no breeze i don't use the ropes, and when you add a side wall it gives a little more privacy. The fox wing bolted straight on with no modification at all, and i moved it all the way to the front - this way it covers the kitchen and all the way around to the back door. 

Kitchen works well, the Smev stove is a great thing to use- it’s only a two burner but thats all you need. Water pump is very quiet and doesn't pulsate or come on during the night as it tries to pressurise. And because the kitchen is self supporting there is no annoying leg to swing down or to adjust when you set up on un even ground.

There is a LED strip above the kitchen hidden on a door- but by adding a light above ( i use an ARB fluro ) for heaps more light under the awning. Since this trip I have added several external waterproof 12V outlets and have run strip lighting inside the tent. 

What else ....i found there was heaps of storage in the bins and drawers, l was going to add a drop down shelf somewhere but found there is enough room on the box of the trailer to stand things as you cook instead of putting them away all the time. Normally there are no poles to carry ( but with the fox wing i now have 4 alloy ones ), the front box as the storage area goes all the way through to the other side allowing for longer items.

I ended up covering the area between the tent and the box with some 2mm chequer plate with a rubber strip at the top on three sides. On the back, i put a 50mm rubber strip from the bottom up- this allows me to slide in tables or other flat items. 


Congratulations Predator Campers……..Every thing just works !!!!!…..














TO THE CORNER AND BACK...Currawinya National Park

You quite often hear travellers quote, "the journey is more important than the destination ", and on a recent trip we certainly can lay claim to this travellers quote. Midway along The Dowling Track which runs between Bourke in western NSW and then north to Quilpie in Queensland's outback, there is a pretty special National Park with a host of natural and man made features. Currawinya National Park offers stunning landscapes, a vast lake system and is the home of the endangered Bilby. 

Located just 20 km north of Hungerford in outback Queensland, you really need to be self sufficient with all of your camping, water and food supplies. The settlement of Hungerford is just that- several house and the old pub are all that remain here. Supplies are next to none here at Hungerford, the nearest centre is 170km north east to Cunnamulla or south 220km to Bourke, so be very prepared with all supplies and there is definatly no phone service here. 

Camping in the park along the banks of the Paroo river system under shady eucalptys and red river gums gives a whole different meaning of relaxing. There are very basic facilities here that include flushing toilets and a very rustic toilet block near the old shearers shed. From fishing, watching resident wildlife from emus, a host of birdlife, several species of kangaroos and wild pigs it is easy to lose a day or two around the camp. 

For the more adventurous you can explore Currawinya's unusual lake system to the west, where Lake Numalla is fresh water and literally only 5km away Lake Wyara is salt water. Researchers have found that the water here can be up to 10 times salty as the ocean. Both these lakes are a haven for waterbirds, from coastal dwellers to inland varieties there are often thousands of birds here at any one time. Currawinya is also home of the Bilby, and within the park in a 'secret' location, an electrified Bilby compound has been setup to keep natural predators away. Funded by public donations the breeding program is keeping these desert Bandicoots alive. 

Located in the northern end of the park are the ruins of the old Caiwarro Homestead built in the late 1880's, it is possible to wander amongst the ruins of several buildings, machinery and gardens that once stood proud in this vast and remote area. The old shearers shed that is located 2km inside the parks entry towards the camping area has several information boards where you can gather helpful info and also wander through the shed letting your mind wander trying to imagine the hardship that was endured out here in this very remote location. 

For those wanting another day out in the park, a 15km drive to the west will see you exploring a natural wonder called 'the Granites". These huge granite boulders have stood the test of time where the surrounding landscape has weathered away from the effects of wind and rain over millions of years. The views from the top of these rock formations across the vast tree lined plains are nothing short of spectacular. 


The roads within the park are recommended for 4wds only, as maintenance is irregular and with corrugations that can make your fillings fall out and several rough stoney creek crossings a well setup 4wd should be at home out here. This is true outback country. At times it can be extremely harsh with long vivid red sand based roads cutting their way past mulga, huge prehistoric gums and low scrubland, yet when the rains come- billabongs and wetlands come alive with an array of birdlife and their own eco system and with this brings the flow on effect with larger animals such as goats, dingos and other feral animals. The joys of the outback !!