past events

Nelson weekend meet


Nelson Weekend

Vic/SA members meet at Kywong Caravan park Victoria

held on the weekend of Saturday 29th to Sunday 30th September 2007


    Paul and I decided to sneak off and head for Nelson a little earlier than planned as I was on unexpected holidays and we thought we would make the most of it.  We headed off mid morning on Thursday into a very strong head wind.  The drive over was uneventful and the time passed quickly.  We just hope the koala we passed marching up the highway looking for a new tree made it to his destination as safely as we did!

    On arriving at Kywong Caravan Park we proceeded to the small-unpowered camping area to find a non-member camper trailer on our favourite site number 7.  After much debating and taking the direction of the wind that was blowing and which direction it was likely to change to into consideration, we eventually decided on a site that hopefully was going to give us some protection.  We quickly set up in very light rain and settled down to a bite to eat and a quiet read to wait for some other early arrivals.

    Rusty and Helen with their grandchildren, Madelyn (7) and Addison (2), arrived mid afternoon in the rain.  After a bit of debating they very quickly set up their Aussie Swag, including all of the annexe area, to cater for the grandchildren.  Once they were organized we settled in under a shelter that was protected from the wind by a large clump of bushes for drinks and a few nibbles, catching up and debating whether we could light a fire or not.

    At about 6pm the wind abated and we proceeded to have a wonderful warming fire with the small amount of firewood that we had taken along.  Addison quickly pulled his little chair up to the fire to keep his hands warm.  The children were bundled off to bed soon after tea. With the cloud disappearing it turned into a beautiful moon and star lit night for a short time before rain came through sending us all scurrying off to bed for an early night.  With the wind rising and more rain we wondered what the elements could throw at us the next day!

    On rising Friday morning it was to find Rusty prowling around the campsite looking for a more protected spot.  The wind had changed direction overnight and had become gale force…. they had almost been blown away.  The September gales had arrived

    After dismantling the annexe of the Aussie Swag they hitched it up to the car.  Rusty picked up the floor part, Paul took hold of the annexe and any other bits of flapping canvas and Helen drove very carefully to their new position in a very sunny, protected corner.  Quickly re-setting up found them able to sit out in the sun where we joined them for a chat.

    During all this commotion we had a phone call from our friends Barry and Marianne to say that the weather was far too awful for them to travel on their Harley towing their camper trailer.  They would keep an eye on the weather and may be able to make it across later in the day.  Meanwhile at camp the weather was deteriorating badly…. gale force winds, rain, thunder and hail.  It was about at this stage that I was wondering whose idea it was to come to Nelson in September.  Was it the person who organized the last Victorian get together? It all seemed like a good idea back then.

    Another phone call in the afternoon to say that Barry and Marianne had attempted to come but only got a few kms from home when they were hit by hail and had turned around and gone home to try yet again the next day.

    Rosie and Dave with their CampRanger, arrived early Friday afternoon for their first get together and on our advice found a relatively sheltered site and proceeded to set up.

    Robert with his Cub arrived shortly after and decided to go it alone on the other side of the camping area.  With some assistance from Dave to put his tarp up over his trailer he soon decided that it would be safer not to considering the conditions.

    Our friends Jeannie and Stewart with their son Cameron (16) and friend Ben (16) were the next to arrive and set up their camper in super quick time. Cameron and Ben wandered off looking for a spot as far away as possible for their tent and then off fishing only to find the fish very elusive.

    Happy hour saw us all huddled under shelter in our annexe, again debating whether we could have a fire.  As I had promised Roland a welcoming fire it was decided to go ahead.  When Roland and Wally arrived just on dark with the trailer of wood, the fire was blazing and teas were being cooked, and they announced that they were staying in a Motel!  The excuse was that the hard sided, hard floored, hard roofed trailer didn’t have a fridge and the tow car was in bits!  But we all know they were really just couldn’t face the weather like the rest of us brave souls!  They didn’t stay long and rejoined Holly who was already nice and warm and dry back at the Motel.

    Saturday morning saw slightly improved conditions and Anne arriving in glorious sunshine although it was still very windy.  Helping Anne set up her borrowed tent and on lots of friendly advice from everyone it was eventually decided that it was facing the wrong way.  All hands on deck saw the tent picked up and turned around without having to dismantle it too much.

    In amongst Anne’s tent being set up someone tried to make a loaf of gluten free bread only to have it stick in the tin and be totally ruined in the process of getting it out. But Cameron and Ben quickly demolished it with butter and jam while still warm.  Another and better loaf was soon made.

    The rest of the day saw people dispersing to go for drives, watching “The Cats” demolish “Port” at the local watering hole, fishing or going for a walk.  

    With the gale force winds Addison got blown over by the wind while hunting for shells on the beach and Ben & Cameron lost the footy to the river with Stewart rescuing it later on in the canoe.

    Another night was spent around the shelter and the fire looking for some protection out of the wind and once again an early night was had by all when the wind and occasional shower became too much.

    Sunday morning we woke to slightly more conducive conditions for “Walkabout” where everyone explained why they chose the camper that they did.  Rosie and Dave appreciated the opportunity to pick up some ideas and went home with a list of things to buy or do. 

    Sunday afternoon saw most of us heading off for a cruise up the Glenelg River and a tour of the Princess Margaret Rose Caves.  With an inner ear problem I decided that a boat trip was not an option for me so we drove to the caves.  Whilst waiting for the boat to arrive we checked out the camping sites near the caves and have put this camping site on our to do list in the near future. 

    After a tough climb up the steps from the river to the cruise we all joined a guided tour of the cave.  The cave is not overly large, being long and narrow but still contained many interesting formations to look at.  Following the tour we headed back by road and the others returned via the boat to return to camp to a fire ready to warm by and to cook tea.  Roland and Wally visited again and we all caught up on the day’s happenings.

    Because Robert had not been able to set up his tarp over his trailer, his kitchen had become the table under the shelter and the fire at night.  On Sunday night Robert was busy stirring his rice when someone, when shifting a piece of wood covered in charcoal, flicked two very large bits of charcoal directly into Roberts much stirred pot.  After apologizing profusely the culprit proceeded to remove the charcoal from Roberts rice and offered some curry that was gratefully accepted. 

    Monday continued windy and saw Rusty & Helen & grandchildren depart early.  They were followed shortly after by Rosie & Dave who went away full of smiles, a big shopping list and the realization that their canvas needed a bit more seasoning.

    Anne left just before lunch, with Jeannie & Stewart mid afternoon after Cameron & Ben had tried the surf out!  Roland and Wally came and collected the remaining firewood leaving enough for us to keep warm that night.

    That left Robert and us for the final night.  On Tuesday we awoke to beautiful sunshine and the promise of a glorious warm day and headed of early to unpack and clean up at home.

    The highlight of the weekend….. finding out that all of our camper trailers and tents could stand up to whatever mother nature threw at us, the wonderful company and the smiles that still prevailed even when the going did get a bit tough. A big thank-you to Roland for the trailer of wood. Without it we wouldn’t have survived and the weekend may have ended with all of us heading home much earlier than planned. 

    Finally a big thank you to those who did tough it out.  Hosting a get together for the first time was a bit daunting but the encouragement we got from some of the old hands was very much appreciated.  It was only a small gathering in the end and it is very frustrating trying to organize a weekend when people fail to answer the icebreaker email!  But for those that did attend I hope you enjoyed it as much we did and we hope to catch up again soon not too far down the track.


Paul & Leanne








photos by Leanne


rolande & Holly's photos

robert's photos

david's photos


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