The Inland Cafe, Tamworth

G’day guys another post from us and I’d like to let everyone know about a Cafe we went to in Tamworth, NSW recently.  The Inland Cafe is situated at 407 Peel St Tamworth.  It is owned and operated by two sisters who are fantastic! This place is amazeballs for families. They have 3 sitting areas, their staff are helpful, and the food is beautiful! Click HERE to view their Facebook page and give them a like! Or even better next time your in Tamworth go and have a feed!

Getting sick while camping

So yesterday our little boy fell off a monkey bar type thing and I heard that sound when he landed that was different to all the other falls. The cry he let out told us straight away that this was different!
We are camping at Tamworth while the patrol was at ARB getting a lot of work done, so the last few days we had been walking everywhere.

We decided to have a counter lunch as it was midday and we were standing out the front when Levi and Milli started to play on these bars,  I was on the phone to ARB at the time trying to organise a loaner as ARB needed the patrol for the rest of the day and the start of Thursday.  That’s when it happened.  I heard that ‘sickening thud’ and picked him up, he was holding his arm and I knew it had to be broken.  He calmed down after a little while and had been bugging us to eat before he fell. We asked him whether he wanted lunch before going to Hospital and he agreed to lunch as he was starving.  The poor little bugger struggled to eat,  so I scoffed mine down and went to get the loaner.

We arrived at the ED at 1300 and were given a bed straightaway.  Pain relief came but took a while to get it under control.  Had some x-rays fairly quick as well.  At 1930 the orthopaedic surgeon finally came and he was admitted at 2030.
So I did the mad rush back to camp and got some things and tag teamed Mel with Charli and Milli.
The surgeon told us Levi should be first cab of the rank in the morning.  After a very sleepless night in the ward we were up and ready at 0700, the surgeon came in at 0800 and said that Levi is being pushed back due to two emergency c-sections, an appendicitis and another fracture similar to his.

At 1730 this afternoon the nurses came to wheel him into theatres. 27 hours after we arrived at hospital. Sometimes I don’t get why it takes so, it is probably just me being a worried parent, we could have driven to Sydney! And the thought did cross my mind.
Anyway I realise they get busy but this is a big city and we were at a major trauma hospital!
Anyway rant over and he was being seen to!
Update – Levi has come out and has a huge cast on. Doing well but was struggling with the weight of the cast on his arm. After two days though you wouldn’t even know he had hurt himself. Already overcoming most activities of daily living with one arm. He is a pretty tough 6 yr old I reckon.

Nindigully Pub, QLD

How good is the Nindigully pub?! The Nindigully pub is Queensland’s oldest hotel, located 500kms west of Brisbane on the banks of the Moonie River. The best thing about this place is the fact you can camp for FREE! Mel and I have camped here numerous times as it’s one of the closest locations to Lightning Ridge that offers toilets, showers ,firepits, a pub and fishing.

There are plenty of shaded trees to camp near, they also have placed table and chairs along the river bank with fire pits and a concrete walkway that leads to the pub.

Fishing has been a bit rough the times we have been there. We have only ever caught carp, a pest that has to be destroyed and not put back in the river but is easy to catch. The kids love it, this is where they first started to learn how to cast a fishing rod.

During the hotter months it is quieter but the beer tastes alot better. The cooler months see a heap of grey nomads and people like us.

The toilet and shower facilities are ok. There is a toilet block at the top of the camp area, but you’ll need to make sure you take some extra toilet paper just in case. The showers are behind the pub and are basic, but allow you to freshen up. Just a tip, it is better to go in the morning and definitely before the afternoon rush, that way you don’t have to walk past all the patrons having a coldie.

The outdoor area at the pub is awesome and has a large grassed area with a half a dozen sheltered areas. There is a small play area with swings and a cubby for the kids. Inside the pub is just what you’d expect from an iconic outback pub. There are old hats and memorabilia hanging around and the staff are mainly backpackers.
The meals are ok and priced accordingly. They have some of the biggest burgers in Australia, One named “The Roadtrain” gives you a bit of an idea. I mean, the bun is around two inches thick it would definitely feed a family of 5 easy. The buns are supplied by the one and only ‘St George Bakery’ (A great pit stop to feed your face, my fav is the assortment of pies).

The importance of carrying your recovery gear

Gday guys! I thought I’d write about the importance of carrying your recovery gear with you at all times. In my experience, this is the type of equipment that you shouldn’t leave home without. I’m talking traction aids (and I’m going to say Maxtrax, as they are the only ones I have used and highly recommend), snatch straps, rated shackles. Traction Aids are designed to go near or under your tyres so when your wheels start to spin forward they ‘grab’ to the aid instead of spinning in the mud or sand.

Another part of owning recovery gear is knowing how to use it in a safe and practical manner. My mates over at the Australian Offroad Academy have countless years in training and assessment and will teach anyone how to use your 4wd and recovery gear. Check them out at www.australianoffroadacademy.com.au Mel and I have both done a 4wd training course through them and highly recommended it. They are not just trainers they are also 4wd enthusiasts.

We have used our recovery gear pretty extensively. Most recently we went on a little weekender to Lake Keepit, NSW, just outside of Tamworth. We weren’t planning on doing any 4wding but I thought i’ll keep the MaxTrax in the kit just in case. We headed down to the water’s edge with the camper trailer in tow. As I started to turn around and head back up the bank, I realised that something was going wrong. We were 5 metres away from the water’s edge heading back up the bank, when we started to bog down instantly and came to a lurching complete stop. Mel was already out of the Patrol telling me where to put the camper and the look on her face was of pure hilarity. I thought we must be close to stuck so I engaged 4wd and nothing, just wheel spin. This is the biggest ‘no no’ in a recovery as you just get yourself into deeper trouble. I asked Mel what was going on and she said that I better get out and have a look.  This is what I was faced with.

As you can see the trailer had hit a sink hole. Once the patrol drove over the spot it must’ve stirred up the water and created a quicksand type of mush, not only stuck but suctioned to it as well. We didn’t really have many options available to us, it was about 4pm (36’C) and the sun was going down. We grabbed out the shovel and started to dig and dig and dig.

I grabbed the MaxTrax and put it under the trailer tyres and the rear patrol tyres. One go and we were out. If I didn’t have the traction aids then I would have been digging for a lot longer. I would have had to drop the tyre pressures and keep going until we were free. Wanna see the video?

The next day we returned home from a swim and found another car had suffered the same fate, although this car had kept on trying to get out and had gotten himself bogged up to his axles. Again with the MaxTrax we dug around his tyres and put them into place. I thought I’d attach the snatch strap and pull him up due to being in so deep. Payment for such a recovery is beer and always welcome.

About an hour later another car came to grief about 50mt from where this photo was taken and if I figure out how to attach videos I’ll attach them later.

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Watch the video

Another time we needed the MaxTrax was on our first visit to Fraser Island. We had just spent a few hours at Lake Mackenzie and were returning back to Cathedrals, some 2 hour drive. On the way back there is a section of track that is one way and very dry sand. A car got stuck.  We were around the 15th car back so we waited a little while to see what was going on. After about 25mins in the direct sun and with Mel and the 3 kids in the car, I got out and started to walk up the path to see what was happening. A bloke walking back said there was heaps of people assisting and they should be out soon. So I thought I would go back and wait with Mel and the kids.  Another 20mins went by and it was really starting to get hot now. I started to walk down to the car that was stuck. When I got there, there were around 20 people standing around and another car that had become stuck trying to help the first car out. 1488019_10151860577020036_115766612_n1554488_10151860576970036_1013114453_n

There was only one shovel and a lot of people telling other people what to do. So I asked if anyone had traction aids, and everyone said ‘what?’. I walked back to our car and grabbed our maxtrax, shovel and tyre pressure gauge. When I got back to the car I asked who the owner was and his wife pointed him out. I asked him what his tyre pressures were, he replied “30psi”. I asked if I could help and show him how to use the tyre deflator and gauge. I explained how the tyres flatten out and when in such soft sand and bogged, the best thing to do is firstly lower your pressures. Then I explained how the maxtraxs worked and proceeded to get some guys to dig around the tyres so I could put the traxs in. Within 15mins and on the first attempt with the maxtrax and right tyre pressures he was out and off up the track. Then we just did the same thing with the originally bogged car and both were on their way. By the time the cars were all gone and it was our turn to drive it was an hour and half later. If I didn’t have my MaxTrax then I don’t know how long we would have been waiting for.

Another occasion we tried to use them was when my best mate, Matty and I went out for a wheel. We came around a corner and couldn’t see the bog hole as it was covered with leaves. Matty’s Pajero went straight down and he wasn’t going anywhere. We tried the MaxTrax but we were just spinning on them. This is not good as it strips the lugs and wreaks the traction. We then got out the snatch strap and pulled him out fairly easily.

First blog post!

So this is my first ever blog post. I am not pretending to be an excellent writer, or blogger or journalist because i’m not. Just having a go.

My name is Mitch McCabe and the most important thing in my life are my wife and kids!  We love to travel, 4wd, camp, fish, hunt, boating and all things outdoors!

Our travels started off with a humble beginning when we walked into Rays Outdoors and spent $2000! We purchased a tent, sleeping bags and cheap cooking stuff. Now there’s nothing wrong with buying cheaper stuff as long as it performs the job.

We have both always enjoyed anything outdoors from an early age. The first McCabe Mob, (my Mum and Dad and two younger brothers) use to go camping at South West Rocks for the summer school holidays. As we enjoyed camping and the outdoors, we kept investing and upgrading.  Loving the outdoors is an investment. As a family of five we are investing in our children’s life, their experiences, their future!  You can spend very little or a tonne of cash on life experiences!  We are in between I guess.

We have a standard 2013 patrol with snorkel and full ARB alloy roof cage. We went with the alloy because you can carry more in the roof. We have a camper trailer and it has done around 20000kms now, including a trip to Fraser Island, up and down the Mid North Coast of Nsw and Outback Queensland.
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Here is a picture of the camper at Swr at Xmas with my mum,  bro,  and pop.

We have big plans in the pipe line with the patrol,  like getting a 2 inch lift, duel battery system,  steel Bullbar and winch,  and some other little mod cons on the inside.
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Here is a pic of the patrol beside both of my younger brothers rigs.

So there is a little bit of info to get this blog started.  I’ll be trying to check in with new comments and stories see where this ends up! By the way, Mel has input too, she finds all my grammar, spelling and puncuation punctuation mistakes (hahaha) I’ll see how long it takes her to find that.  Mitch

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