held over the Labour Day long weekend
7th to 9th of March 2009
Location: The Maritz
Bend campsite is located approximately 160 Km north of Melbourne and 25 km south
of Shepparton in the Toolamba State Forrest also known as the Cemetery Bend
From the first
arrival on Thursday, the weather was perfect - very warm and sunny with an
occasional light breeze until the last campers departed on Tuesday.
With each day topping out at around 30 degrees the river was a pleasant
reprieve, for swimming, paddling, playing or just sitting beside with a cool
ubiquitous Sulphur Crested Cockatoos made their presence known at dawn and dusk.
The odd Koala was noticeable to the discerning explorer along with the odd
sheep. Much to everyone's surprise a baby Murray Cod was hooked in the river,
kissed and returned.
popular happy hour materialized each afternoon around the beach side fire and
progressed into some delicious smelling dinners, with roasts of lamb, pork and
chicken along with BBQ's of lamb, steak, sausages with all the usual trimmings
at various times.
The post dinner activities included a useless gadget competition which was won
by Lindsay and Sandy for their “corkscrew dog restraint”. Apparently a new born
puppy attached to a lead would pull it out of the ground. An honorable mention
was awarded to Mike and Shez for their hi-tech multi frequency bug repellent
device. It certainly won the least cost effective gadget category. A mozzie bit
Mike while he was exhibiting it.
The after dinner activities on each night included port tasting, conducted by
Dale, chair stabilization demonstrations by Dr Dave, snoring while awake
demonstrations from Paul Mac and Pedders, interrupted by common sense from Paul
S who was summarily excluded from the Mens club for 24 hours.
Walkabout was held on Sunday morning with a lot of interest shown by both our
new members, and old at the various setups, innovations. Emily did a sterling
job in the absence of Dale and Karen. Well done Jez! Dad's beer supply would of
course be hidden in the fridge...who would have thought?..thanks Dale (Hic) A
key feature of walkabout was the instantaneous hot water service Paul Mac had
installed. If good looks alone produced hot water we would all have been
showering in it. We'll all be waiting with soap and towels at Easter!
Sunday afternoon saw a few bargain shoppers head into Mooroopna to visit the SPC
Ardmona factory store. At the same time an excursion ventured to the Balaclava
mine at Whroo south of Rushworth. The Menzies Hotel in Melbourne is one of the
many landmarks resulting from the gold extracted from the mine. The cemetery and
Aboriginal water hole were additional items of interest. The trek to the old
paddling machine and cyanide vats took a wrong turn when neither of the Daves or
Emily could figure out which way was up. (Yes one Dave is a Geographer!).
Luckily the Mighty Volvo was able to show the Subaru Forrester how to traverse
culverts, former bogs, fallen saplings and various other hazards to ultimately
return to civilized road construction.
Thanks: To Robert
for acting as stand in host when I had to pop into Shepparton for a prior
engagement on Friday night. Imagine my delight when I returned at midnight to
find all around the fire having completed their setups along the river.
David Pederick and Sue Leavold
In Approximate order of arrival:-
& Alana - Pedders X Trail
Dr Dave -
CUB Supamatic LX
Karen Emily, Nick & Jeremy - Dingo
Annie Pioneer Onyx
Shez – Ultimate
Leanne – Ultimate
Jeannie & Liam - Ultimate
Jill – Tent
Liz – Tvan (New Member)
Sue – Hard Floor – anon
Sandra - Sunwagon
Errey l'escargot (New Member)
Simone & Joel – Leeden Trailer & Tent
Outback Camper – Newell (New Member)
A selection of photos by Robert Martin can be seen at
More photos by Dave Bulman can be seen at