Onwards to Broken Hill

Lightning Ridge – Broken Hill

We left Lightning Ridge and head towards Louth  and stayed at a free camp on the western side of the river. Bloody Cold this time of year. We then headed to a little farm stay called Nelia Gaari which was beautiful and will stay at again.
We set up camp out at the Broken Hill Racecourse and would recommend it to anyone looking for affordable unpowered/powered campsites with amenities. We even had lush green grass 😜 spoilt!

The first day in Broken Hill we checked out the sights of the town. The miners monument on top of the big mollock heap was a good reminder of how tough it must have been mining back in day! The list contains the name, age, and cause of death. Hundreds of people have died working in the mines over the years, which brought about unions in Australia, to try and improve working conditions. Did you know that the mining company BHP was started at Broken Hill, and stands for Broken Hill Proprietary?!
In the afternoon, we couldn’t go past having a look at the ‘big picture’ at the Silver City Mint and having a soda spider at Bells Milk bar.

Silverton was a great day out. Stopping into the Daydream Mine for a tour with Boss, which we all found really interesting, and then treated with fresh scones straight out of the wood fire oven, yum!
We drove out to the Mundi Mundi Plains and had a picnic lunch at the Reservoir, which use to supply water to Broken Hill and Silverton.
Next stop was the Mad Max 2 museum which was definitely a highlight and then a cold one at the Silverton Hotel- where Mel successfully completed the ‘Silverton challenge’.
Finishing off our big day at the Living Desert and Sculptures, right on sunset.. Amazing!! #Drifta #snowpeak #camping #4wding #silvertonhotel

Litchfield National Park

LITCHFIELD NATIONAL PARK
This place has so much to do for everyone, we struggled to choose what we wanted to check out this time.. Everything looked and sounded amazing!
We decided to start at Bamboo creek, where there was an abandoned Tin Mine which was still active until the 1950’s. The ground just sparkled in the sunlight with tin speckled through most of the rocks.
We then went with the Cascades.. ‘A 4km energetic walk, only for the adventurous’! 😀 A walk that is definitely worth it.. We had our own little Oasis at the Curtain Falls. Our little adventurers got so many compliments with how well they did, making it all the way to the top. It’s classed as a moderate-difficult walk so they did awesome.
We squeezed in a swim at the beautiful Wangi Falls, which is a pretty crowded tourist spot as it isn’t a very big walk from the carpark to the Falls and most tour groups stop in there.
Yesterday we took the ‘4wd only’ track to the Suprise Creek Falls to escape the tour groups. It’s a 27km rocky/sandy track with a few little creek crossings and one longer river crossing. This was probably our favourite spot in Litchfield.. Waterfalls flowing into 2 big Rockpools that were so deep, noone could touch the bottom (even the guys jumping from the higher rocks). There was an eerie feeling at one stage, with not knowing exactly what was living down below us (especially when your husband jokes about seeing something beneath you) but that feeling went pretty quickly! (Don’t worry, I returned the ‘joke’ with a swim under water and grab to his foot 😂) The kids had a ball jumping off the rocks into the pools.. Big kids too 😉
The termite mounds along this track were unbelievably big.. Some getting to at least 5 metres high! There was also the ‘magnetic termite mounds’ along the way that we found really interesting. They are all built about 2 meters high but fairy thin and all aligned north-south to minimise the exposure to the sun. It looked like a graveyard with the mounds resembling headstones.
We also stopped into the Blyth Homestead along this track, which was built in 1928 and the home to the Sargent family with their 14 kids. An interesting stop showing the tough conditions faced by the pioneers in remote areas.
We finished the day off with 139 stairs to the Florence Falls.. A pretty spectacular double waterfall. This one is another popular spot but perfect if you go late in the afternoon like us and miss the crowds!
Today we are heading for Katherine Gorge with a lunch stop at Edith Falls. We are loving all this swimming, before heading back south to the freezing cold

Longreach to Mt Isa

Another big day on the road!
Lunch stop at Winton, Qld.
Did you know… that Winton is the place Banjo Patterson wrote Waltzing Matilda and first performed it, in 1895?! 25 years later, Winton became the birthplace of QANTAS when it was registered as a company. And also, the Winton Shire was where the 1st official dinosaur discovery was made- a fossilised footprint, with the same site revealing a stampede with over 3,300 footprints.. Wow!
So much history in such a little town 😊 We enjoyed checking it all out. The kids loved spotting the dinosaur feet scattered throughout the town.
We also stopped in for a cold one at the Walkabout Creek Hotel, the pub that was made famous in the Crocodile Dundee movies 😊 Next stop Mount Isa!

Lightning Ridge to Longreach

Image

Today we set off for 5 weeks on the road… Yep, that’s right! 5 whole weeks!! Woohoo! Heading up into Queensland, over to the Northern Territory, up to Darwin and back down, with a detour into Birdsville for the Big Red Bash!! We are so looking forward to this adventure, one we have all been excited to go on for months.

We crossed the border into Queensland just 70km from Lightning Ridge, at Hebel. Had a nice lunch stop and play at the park by the Balonne River at St George and then onto Mitchell, where we pulled up to stay for our first night. We enjoyed a great meal at the Courthouse Hotel to celebrate Mel’s Birthday! Then headed back to the Major Mitchell caravan park, where we had set up camp.
The next morning we awoke to a freezing 1 degree. It was definitely hard to leave our nice warm beds, but the excitement of moving on to our next destination got us up and going pretty quick.

We had a fairly big day on the road today… 613km to Longreach. A few of the towns we drove through were Mungallala, Morven (we picked up the most delicious and freshest bread at the grocer here), Augathella, Tambo, Blackall and Barcaldine.
We couldn’t believe our eyes when we were heading out of Mungallala, we came around a corner to find a motorhome pulled over but still taking up half of our lane. With their hazard lights flashing, we pulled up next to them to see if they were ok, only to find the male driver standing there for a pee break!! All we could do was laugh… Hahaha Touro’s huh?!

We arrived in Longreach just before dusk. Spotting the Qantas boeing 747 (i don’t think you could miss it) as we drove in. We thought we would check out the ‘free camping’ not far out of town, only to find out it was Caravan, camper trailers and Motorhomes ONLY! What the?! It was packed full of just those… caravan city! So we headed back into town to the Longreach Tourist Park. Which turned out great anyway, with lots of our own space for the kids to run around in (much needed after spending the day in the car) and excellent amenities.

Leaving Lightning Ridge

 

11407231_1614773362141840_4335140799934646124_n

Crossing the border at Hebel

 

Mitchell is at Mitchell

Mitchell is at Mitchell

10659270_1615100272109149_4715568635018921960_n

First morning at Mitchell 1 Degree Celcius

First morning at Mitchell 1 Degree Celcius

 

Augathalla

Augathella

 

Thats a huge plane - Qantas

Thats a huge plane – Qantas

 

Sun setting over Longreach

Sun rising over Longreach

Birdsville and the BIG RED BASH

The McCabe Mob has arrived in Birdsville.. Woohoo! We rocked in yesterday after staying the night at Vaughn Johnson Lookout, between Boulia and Bedourie and what a view we had.. All to ourselves Now we are loving life out at Big Red.. Ready for the Big Red Bash to start.

BIG RED BASH.. Rockin the Simpson Desert!
I don’t think there are enough words to describe this weekend! It’s something you just have to experience for yourself.. Unreal! We have all had a ball, it’s so family friendly.
This was only it’s 3rd year with 3000 tickets (400 kids) being sold online and more at the gate, compared to last year’s crowd of just 700.
We had travelled close to 8000km without any car issues.. 1st night inBirdsville we woke to a flat tyre and then 200km from Birdsville to Quilpie we have had another one! Thank goodness we realised both were going down while stopped and for the awesome people’s help, travelling with us!
Can’t believe we are coming close to the end of our amazing trip 😞.. Day 33.
650km today to Quilpie (300km on dirt) so a fairly big day on the road but we’ve had some great people to travel with in our convoy, so it hasn’t been too bad!
I broke the news to the kids that we only had a couple of days until we are back home, Milli’s response was the best! “Are we going to our REAL home mum?!!” 😂
We have had a ‘few’ homes in the past 5 weeks 😜 I just love that our kids love travelling and camping as much as we do 😁

Countdown is on!

How good is it when you finally get to start a real count down to something! Less than two weeks to go and we are heading on a 5 week camping trip from NSW, up into QLD, across to NT and back via the Big Red Bash at Birdsville.

We just did a quick weekend away to Inverell for a tester to see what we have and don’t have, or better yet what we don’t need. The Patrol was pretty loaded on the roof with the 30sec Tent, swag, 20lt jerry, 25lt water, chairs and the top box. In the rear we have the 50lt Waeco, two hard tubs – one for staple foods and the other for cooking stuff, A camp oven and the ‘The Wedge’ bbq is there along with the 12 volt oven. All the clothes and sleeping bags for a family of 5 had not been put in yet but should fit ok. 

wpid-dsc_1512.jpg

Orange, NSW

Last year we heard about there being snow at Orange, NSW. So we decided to travel down and see if we were lucky enough to be there when it snowed. We found a nice 2 bedroom unit next to a pub that did meals and was fairly central. We wanted to go to Mount Canobolas and also head out to Ophir, where one of the first gold rushes were, so we could have a crack at panning.

On the first day we headed out to Mt Canobolas and parked near the top. It was quite nice at the car park, but the road to the top was closed due to ice on it. We rugged up and started to walk up. As we were walking we started to see ice/snow on the edges of the road which got us excited. A bit further on and we had snot running out of our noses it was that cold haha. There was icy snow everywhere and the kids loved playing in it. We had a rough attempt at making a snow man. This was the coldest place we had ever been to. It was very windy up top and it felt like there was clouds blowing past us. When the cold got too much, we started to descend and on our way back down the hill it actually started to snow! Very light snow but it was nice to close your eyes and feel it lightly land on your face.

The next day we headed out to Ophir, which is only a short drive out of Orange. It was a beautiful spot, nice and green with plenty of shady spots to stop and have lunch. There were heaps of little of tracks where you can go off and explore. Keep an eye out for people’s active mines, there should be signs that say ‘keep out active mining’ so you shouldn’t have any issues.

We had a crack at panning and found lots of iron stone and a few specks of gold but nothing to write home about. The kids just like playing in the dirt and exploring, throwing rocks into the water and all of us just being together.

Good times 🙂 Mitch

 

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.

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.
image

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.
image

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

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.