Thursday, June 25, 2009

Girls Arrive

The rest of the family arived safely leaving Melbourne @ 15deg arriving 3.5 hrs later @ 28deg. So they noticed the chang whereas we had time to adjust. Done the shopping to stock up for the next 9 days on the cape. The plan tonight is to go on the dinner cruise to see Cairns from the water.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

All Fixed

Drained the fuel and filled up with diesel - all good the truck is running as smooth as usual no sign of any problems. A very expensive lapse of concentration.


Well today isn't going according to plan. (Not that we had one). Went to get fuel and thoughtlessly picjed up the wrong pump and put unleaded in. Fortunately I realised early enough before I started the engine but not before putting 160ltrs in. So after calling Big Red for help he came to tow me to a service mechanic nearby - much to Big Red's amusement as now he has a photo of his 100 towing my 200. Anyway we've emptied the Aux Tank but it will take a bit more fiddling to empty the main tank. So Little One and I have gone for a look around on foot.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


We made it! Long drive today. We chose to stay on the black top so that meant Longreach, Winton, Hughenden, Townsville, Cairns. About 1,100ks. The truck had its best day @ around 16.5l/100k.

Pizza for tea then an early night.

Charters Towers

The tropical weather has already got to the Little One. She nearly bounced off her chair with excitement at the sight of a big yellow M. Having lunch @ 2:20pm Still have 500ish ks to go.

Leaving longreach

7.15am leaving longreach

Monday, June 22, 2009

Day At Longreach

After pancake breakfast went to Qantas museum. Got to sit in the piolrt seat of a 747-200-B - Cool. Then went to see a well trained flock of sheep get rounded up by sheep dogs at the Stockmans Hall Of Fame. Finshed by getting some awesome sunset photos and typical country town chinese.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Road Fauna

Although uneventful from a safety point of view we did see some fauna. Surprisingly few kangaroos (alive - numerous ex-alive ones after loosing a confrontation with a road train), quite a number of emus, 1 tortise, 3 eagles next to the road and 1 echidna. Not to mention some very large road trains includin a double B-double.


Arrived in Longreach after an uneventful trip - apart from a stopp about 25kms out to take heaps of photos of a magnificent sunset.


12:30pm Lunch and inspection of rain making cannons from 1902
Leaving bourke 7.43am

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Hilston 1.50pm.


On site at Bourke. Great trip up. Easy run. Road conditions excellent. Used 220ltrs of fuel. Paid 133cpl.

Swan Hill

Got away at 5:02am done 320ks. Little One is catching up with Bri. Looking for a bakery for a light brekkie snack.
5:02am rolling out.

Friday, June 19, 2009

A Special Mention

I have been reminded by she who shall remain nameless that although much of the actual trip planning has fallen to me, none of the plans would have any hope of being realised without the support and hard work of my wife of 22.5ish years. Mrs Gazza has done all the booking of campsites and side adventures, packing and preparing food etc.. Often an unrecognised and under appreciated role - so here I pay tribute to a wonderful person without whom we'd still be thinking about it.

Thanks Hon!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Nearly Ready

Respooled the winch today and decided to change the trailer wiring from 7pin round to 12 pin flat. The Kaymar Bar has a slot for a flat plug so I thought I'd use it - The 12 pins will also let me consolidate the Anderson Plug into the larger Aux pins. I've left the Anderson plug on for now - will tackle that after the trip.

Also put water in the trailer and filled 2 jerry cans of water too - We'll use that for drinking - nothing like Melbourne water for drinking.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Trip Planning - Maps

Thought I'd post a bit on how I do the trip planning.

I use a few online tools like.
Google Earth
Google Maps
BP has a good site for planning fuel stops. (Handy 'cause I have a BP fuel card)

I also use a spreadsheet I created in Google Docs - With this I calculate travel times and fuel usage (using kph and l/100k estimates based on known driving conditions and experience using the truck)

Then I plan the trip in more detail using OziExplorer setting up routes etc.. This can loaded on the Car PC and/or Windows Mobile Smart phones.

As an aside - Google Earth is great for creating maps in OziExplorer because GE has gps co-ordinates in the application.

Here is the Google map of the trip:

View Cape York Trip in a larger map