Past Events

Mount Buangor weekend

mount buangor state park, victoria
2009 Melbourne Cup long weekend at Middle Creek Camping Area

“I go to Nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in tune once more” – John Burroughs

Middle Creek Camping Area is in the Mount Buangor State Park, approximately 15 km west of Beaufort, a small town located in an agricultural-pastoral area 165 km NW of Melbourne on the Western Highway. This was the beautiful setting for the Victorian Melbourne Cup Weekend meet over the first weekend in November. The park contains a variety of flora and fauna and several camping areas, the biggest of which is Middle Creek. It’s a huge cleared area in the forest, with good shelter if needed, and pit toilets. When Doug and I decided to host this weekend meet we expected to have a good number attending, but as the poll on the website kept going up and up, we secretly hoped that it wouldn’t go too high. Cup Weekend in Victoria is always a popular time to get away, and we hoped we would all fit in.

We left early on Friday morning, braving the traffic to make our way through suburban Melbourne and head out the Western Highway towards Ballarat. Some of our fellow campers were arriving the night before us, and we got a call from Leanne and Paul to say “Hurry up and get here, it’s filling up fast!!!!” We arrived just before lunch and were met by a small group who had spread themselves out and tried to claim spots for the 20 or so camper trailers or tents still to come. As the afternoon passed, more people arrived and the camp ground was getting busy. Not too busy to be uncomfortable though and we all enjoyed spending the beautiful afternoon setting up and watching others do the same. We had arranged for a delivery of firewood and the dependable Ross duly arriving during the afternoon to dump a large load of lovely dry wood beside the fire area, and we proceeded to get the first fire of the weekend going. With the pile of firewood we had to get through we thought we could keep the fire going 24/7, and after everyone had had their dinner and cleaned up, the usual gathering around the campfire meant that the weekend had commenced in earnest. We thought we were going to be in for a storm later in the evening as we had a few flashes of lightening and rolls of thunder, but the splashes of rain didn’t come to much and quickly passed. Apparently Melbourne copped the storm after it by-passed us, so we were lucky. And one by one, quietly (well, some of us!!) we all disappeared to bed.

Saturday morning was bright and sunny, the start of a lovely day. The remaining members began to arrive around 9am and slowly trickled in over the course of the day. Some of our group got off to an active start and headed off for a walk up to the waterfall, while others took their time over a leisurely breakfast. Some went into nearby Beaufort to see what the town had to offer (which included a trip to the local winery!). I don’t know if it was just the long weekend, or if the good weather was also responsible, but the Western Highway was very busy that Saturday morning, and while we were in Beaufort, Doug and I were concerned that all this holiday traffic was headed to Middle Creek. We needn’t have worried, because although it was busy, we still had plenty of room and weren’t camped on top of each other. Robert was even so kind as to reserve a prime spot for Paul, who arrived on Saturday afternoon. It’s that kind of selfless behaviour that makes being a member of this group such a pleasure!!
As the afternoon shadows lengthened, nibbles came out, and we, again, did our best to get through the enormous pile of firewood. After dinner, there was general merriment and the evening finished with a group of die-hards round the fire. Let it be known that the writer did manage to find her way back to her camper in the dark, contrary to popular belief!!

It was a cool, misty morning that greeted the campers as they gradually appeared after a good night’s sleep. It was a perfect morning for a group of “happy campers” to set off for a walk, whistling as they went! Although it hadn’t really been planned, there were several requests for a walkabout, where people could give an outline of their set-up and others could gain ideas and thoughts for the future. It was especially good for the new members of the group who hadn’t experienced a meet before to have a chance to look around and poke their noses in others campers. It was a shame that some of our number had to leave so early, after only arriving the day before, but we were very happy that Lee and Chris took time out of their busy weekend to stop by for a night. We hope they’ll join us again. By lunch time the sun had come out again and the day was warming up nicely. We had a special evening planned, and therefore there was preparation necessary and the camp was a hive of activity in the afternoon - although there was still time for a few to catch a “nanny nap” or just have a relaxing chat in the sun. One of the planned activities for the weekend was a “Pot Luck Supper” on Sunday evening, where people brought a contribution to a communal table and we all shared some time and a meal together. With thoughts of Melbourne’s Longest Lunch in mind, we went for Camping’s Longest Dinner, where all the tables were joined in a chain and we all sat down to a candle-lit feast. What a spread we had, with everything from beautiful nibbles before dinner to a wide range of mains, including stews, chilli, fried rice, chicken wings, and Lindsay’s “road kill special” to name but a few. Dinner was finished with some wonderful chocy creations and a cake. We were a bit worried when we thought of this dinner, thinking that it could be a bit of a disaster, but how wrong we were – it was a delight and I think everyone enjoyed spending time together. As the cleaning up got underway, the fire was ramped up to full and we all gathered round to the end the night in the best way we know how.

We couldn’t believe how lucky we were – the weather turned on another great day on Monday. Hmmmm, what to do? Breakfast was followed by some intrepid campers heading off for a tour in the Grampians and others deciding it was all too hard and opening the paper. Others had to face the task of packing up and heading off – something that always proves entertaining for those sitting back and watching!! Mount Buangor State Park has several interesting tracks and things to see, so Doug and I thought it would be a good idea to see who was interested in a small 4WD trip up the hill to see what we could see. So I did a quick run round all the campers to see who was “in”, and while chatting to Lindsay and Sandra, we discovered that Lindsay had a guide book to the tracks in the area. We were more than happy to delegate the lead to someone with detailed information and at 11am eight vehicles left in convoy packed with lots of happy travellers. One group in our convoy was in a 2WD and as we left the campground, they turned right while the rest of us went left, with instructions to meet further up at the next picnic area. Now, far be it for me to cast doubt as to the reliability of our leader, but after a short while, and many curious comments over the radios it was decided we were lost!! Well, not really lost, but somehow, we’d managed to stray onto a circular walking track.


Now, picture this, 7 cars on a rough, single lane, overgrown track (remember the Commodore was waiting for us at the next picnic ground). There was no room for turning round and so the decision was reached to carry on. All well and good but………there was a bit of an obstacle - a fairly large tree over the road. It’s OK though, cause Doug had his chainsaw in the car. Well to be more accurate, he had Barbie’s chainsaw in the car, but it eventually did the job. With the combined efforts of all the big, strong men, the tree was cut and then dragged out of the way so we could all carry on. Until the next one. And the next one. By that time, it was thought to be easier to take a very off road route through the forest to go round the tree than try and cut another one out of the way. We were very nearly back to the start of the loop and ready to take up where we should have gone in the first place, when we were met with another problem. Up in front of us, stuck firmly in the mud, was an on-coming Landcruiser. Thankfully there was enough room for us to creep past him, and pull into the nearby picnic area. Dale and Karen in the Commodore had long ago given us up for lost and taken off on their own travels. Ron stayed on to help get the Cruiser out while the rest of us enjoyed the surroundings and had an impromptu lunch stop. When we left that morning, we only expected to be gone an hour or so, so not many had brought lunch with them. It had taken us about 2 hours to get to this point – about 2km from where we started. It’s amazing what you can put together out of the supplies in the back of the car when you have to.


At this point, by popular vote, Lindsay was sacked as group leader, and Paul took over. When Ron re-joined us, we were on the road again and we then spent a very pleasant afternoon travelling up to the lookout at Mount Buangor and round to look at the dam. We had all enjoyed our little adventure so much but when Lindsay and his family decided to take a back route into Beaufort, surprisingly, no one put their hand up to go with them. We wound our way back down the mountain and back to camp by 3.30pm, and all decided it was one of the best days we’d had in a long time. Round the fire that night Lindsay revealed that he had another look at his book and discovered it was published in 1976 – and back then, the track did go where he took us. Guess what he’s getting for Christmas??

Sadly Tuesday came before we knew it, and for most of us, that meant packing up and heading for home. There were a few of the group lucky enough to be able to stay longer. The morning passed quietly and slowly campers were folded and cars packed. It took ages to say all the goodbyes and promises to see each other at the next meet.

We always have such a good time when we attend Campertrailer Group meets, and this one was no exception. The people come from all walks of life, and all parts of the state – in Barry and Michelle’s case, from interstate – and we all enjoy the company, the scenery and the time to relax. Doug and I want to thank everyone that helped make the weekend what it was – too many of you to name – it was a pleasure to host.

Just to finish, here’s a quick quiz for those who attended. How much do you remember?

  • Who doesn’t like sitting round a pilot light?

  • Who gave us moving house to spend a night with us?

  •  Who showed that women could 4WD with the best of them?

  •  Who wouldn’t go to the loo without the Glen 20?

  • Who’s now got the nickname “Hot Lips”?

  • Who shot himself with the kids rocket?

  • Who’s missing the hair on her forearms and why?

  • What were the names of the 5 dwarfs?

  • Who’s Nigel No Friends?

  • Who wanted to see Jill’s shower tent topless?

  • Who suffered from uneven ground syndrome and fell off her stool?

  • Who kept the best fireplace to himself?

  • Who made himself popular with his generator (I dream of a Genie!!!)

  • Who likes green chops?

  • Who spent most of Monday folding up two shower tents?

  • Which younger member got himself a new girlfriend?

  • Which former publican can’t pour himself a beer?

  • Who’s the Dancing Queen?

  • Who’s Maureen and does she really exist?

    There were lots of other great memories, but as the old saying goes, “What happens on camp, stays on camp!”



Doug and Jeannie
Gary (dropped by for a visit)
Paul and Leanne
Erin and Peter
Jill and Gary
David and Lena
Rob and Eve and Ann
Dale and Karen and Nick and Jez (broken collar bone and all)
Chris and Lee and friends
Lindsay and Sandra
Wayne and Tania and Braeden and Jordan
Jason and Rachel and Darcy and Alana
Andrew and Sharon (it’s fun, honest) and Arielle
David and Jane and Serena
Barry and Michelle





photos Jeannie >>>>>




















photos Jill >>>>>






photos Robert >>>>>