Members Trips

Adventures of the Brown Shed

the adventures
of the brown shed
by Jim & Sally Viney

The Old People's Home is no longer. Our camping has now moved to unsurpassed levels of opulence and luxury. Gone are the sleepless nights of flapping canvas and wet clothes, we are now the proud owners of a Brown Shed. In the past we have been evacuated from the Bungles, flooded out of Cape Levique, nearly blown off a cliff at Barn Hill and ravaged by countless storms. As age catches up with us we felt it was time for perhaps a little more security from the weather and comfort, so hence the Brown Shed.

The camping gear you buy very much governs where you are able to go...narrow little sandy tracks beside the beach are a favourite, mainly because you know that all the big rigs are going to be stuck at the gate, all camped on top of each other, a long way from you. We have had two canvas camper trailers and there is no doubt its a great way to go camping. Retirement means you have the time for longer more extended trips, so there is a stronger possibility you are going to be faced with some inclement weather for periods of that extended trip.

Looking for a rig that is a bit more substantial than a canvas camper presents lots of challenges for the bush camper, and the biggest one is weight, you know, beer, firewood, more beer and the fact is, the bigger it is the more you can stuff inside. The sales people look at you in a strange fashion (as if it matters) when you ask how heavy is it fully loaded?

We visited camping show after camping show for 18 months searching for something that was going to suit us, always asking the same question, what does it weigh? Then one day there it was just what we wanted and we bought it there and then. I think it was the first one imported into Australia.

The Brown Shed has just returned from a 10,000 kilometre 3 month trip through the back blocks of Queensland and across the Plenty Highway to Alice and then north along the Binns Track through the Davenport ranges and on up to Top Springs. We washed off a bit of dust in Katherine and wandered up to Darwin before visiting Dundee Beach and Shady Camp on the Mary River just to see if all the crocodile stories are true.

On the way back we turned off the highway at Mataranka and went to Roper Bar and through Limmon National Park, camping at Towns River and Butterfly Gorge and on to Heartbreak Hotel at Cape Crawford, then down to the Ranken Stock route and the highway again. There are several nice camps to be had between Mt Isa and Charters Towers, and of course several spots to camp next to the beach just off the highway on your way south if your rig is not too big and too heavy.

I weighed our Brown Shed at the official weighbridge in Alice, its just off the main street going into town. It was full of everything ready for the next leg of our trip up the Binns Track....1.51 tonnes, which is only slightly heavier than the old peoples home at 950kg.

Hear are a few photos of the trip and the truly amazing country we live in just so you can keep looking forward to the day you retire and all the great people you are going to meet.


Happy camping Jim 'n Sally.















december 2014