Our members travel all over this great country, from the remote areas of northern and western Australia to the closer areas of the Flinders Ranges, Border Track in the Ngarkat Conservation park, the Murray river, Eyre Peninsula, and all parts in-between. Trip durations vary depending on the destination, but can be as short as a single day to a longer one taking two to three months. Come and join us in the company of experienced travellers and enjoy the great scenery and fantastic company.
Pyrhenees 7 – 10th April 2023
On a wet Good Friday afternoon 9 vehicles assembled at various times at the Elmhurst Recreation Reserve for a rundown on activities planned for the Easter weekend.
Saturday morning we packed our picnic lunches and met in the shelter for a briefing by Jeff and Eric. There were 10 vehicles wishing to tackle the tracks so we split into two groups of five. We departed camp at 9:30 am and headed to Grazing Right Road where we were instantly climbing through magnificent tall gums. In drizzle and increasing fog we stopped at Mugwamp Hut for a brief comfort stop, this was a nice secluded camping area with a hut and toilets.
Lots of granite boulders hugged the sides of the next tracks along with deep holes and gnarly rock steps before we stopped to look at the Mt Cole reservoir. A brief shower dampened our lunch stop at Chinamans Camp Ground.
Following lunch we continued on Chinaman Road before turning up the very slippery Chinaman Link Track. Here we were all sliding and drifting in and over the ruts, but we all successfully reached the Mt Cole gravel road. Our next stop included a walk to the Red Rock hang glider launch area for amazing views over the plains below. We continued to the top of Ben Nevis where the fire, TV and communication towers and picnic area were. Another short path took us to incredible views over the surrounding peaks, bushland and fields. From here we turned onto McGuiness track another very slippery red clay track that Jeff our leader managed to slide down and bottom out behind a hump. The winch was engaged to drag him over and out before the rest of us followed successfully. To finish the day we stopped to chop and load some logs for the night’s campfire. We arrived back at camp at around 4pm very satisfied with the day.
We woke on Sunday morning to find Easter Bunny had delivered eggs to all campers. Some of us enjoyed hot cross buns for breakfast before meeting in the shed for a group photo. We left camp at 9:35am this morning and headed out the same way as yesterday turning into Pumpkin Point track. The track was slippery due to the overnight rain. We skirted cleared farming land until we climbed some steep, slippery tracks and enjoyed magnificent views. After a slippery climb then an equally slippery descent to the valley floor where we stopped at Smiths Bridge camp ground for morning tea.
We negotiated more tracks, and on a couple of occasions had to stop and clear fallen trees that were blocking our path. We reached the Mount Lonarch fire tower at 770m but as it was raining and the cloud and fog had closed in we did not get out of the cars. Ben Major Trig Point was our lunch spot and here we spotted a wedge tail eagle soaring above us. After lunch the track was quite wet and boggy in places so the cars were again performing crab like manoeuvres. Following afternoon tea a young man appeared and said he was stuck at the top of the mountain in a Nissan X Trail. The steep track was impassable and his car could not be brought down this side of the mountain. It was decided a couple of cars would try and find another track up the other side where the winches may help retrieve the car. The search to find another track up the other side was in vain as the tracks tried either came to dead ends or were impossible to negotiate, however with the removal of trees, the deflating of back tyres and some physical effort the X Trail was freed from the log it was stuck on. This intrepid Scottish traveller was then able to drive out the way he had come in and consider how very fortunate he was to find expert help around 3pm on Easter Sunday afternoon!
Tonight we gathered at the campfire and thanked the Otway members for organizing another amazing weekend on the tracks of the Pyrenees. Their knowledge and support was very much appreciated.
Douglas Scrub 11 – 13th March 2023
Weather: Picture Perfect.
Arriving at the Ken Maguire Gate at 2pm, with all anticipating a well organised weekend and a promise of fun, games, food & drink, we were not to be disappointed.
After setting up camp we headed over with our chairs, drinks & nibbles for our Happy Hour.
John had organised a 10-question quiz based on the year 1979. We all put our thinking caps on and answered what questions we could. Happy Hour concluded and we all went to organise our dinner.
The sun had set, and we enjoyed the company over a few drinks before retiring to bed.
Sunday morning we made our way onto the oval to commence the games which started at 9.30a.m.
1st Game consisted of 4 buckets attached to wood with a plumbing bracket. Rope was distanced a few metres away. We could score with 3 bean bags (1point) and 2 tennis balls (2 points). With 4 members lined up it was who could score the mostpoints. If there was more than 1 person they went into a knockout round till there was a winner.
Game 2 was a version of Beer Pong but without the beer. 6 cups were placed in a triangular shape with 1 cup at the front (1 point) 2 cups behind (2points) and 3 cups behind (3Points)
Husband and wife teams played off against each other, then those winners played off till there was an out-right winner.
Game 3 Was football in the net. Members lined up and the best of 4 attempts had to get the football into the net any way they liked. Boy there were some funny positions and ways of getting the ball into the net. There was a woman’s competition and a men’s competition so there were 2 winners eventually after a couple of knockout rounds.
Game 4 Frisbeeing with a set of 4 frisbees with holes in the centre. We all lined up to try and place a frisbee over the cones. Out of 19 people only 1 person got 1 frisbee on the cone in their 1st shot. Outright winner.
With all games completed in suitable time. It was time for lunch.
Our afternoon was free to do whatever we wanted. Some members went orienteering, others rested, some of the members prepared or finished off their desserts for dinner and some partook in a wine tasting over at the Belvedere.
We had our Happy Hour at about 4pm with discussions on how the orienteering went and what every-body did with their leisure time.
We were asked to bring our plates for mains and cutlery for entrée (spoon & fork), mains (fork & knife) & desserts (spoon & fork). We were also to BYO Alcohol/glasses.
Dressed in our finest attire we headed to the shed at 6.30pm to be received for a candle lit dinner.
John then announced the menu for the evening: Entrée was Prawn Cocktail, Mains were Pork, Turkey and Lamb, Vegetables with Potatoes, Carrots and Peas. Condiments of Mint, Cranberry and Apple Sauces, Gravy and Salt and Pepper were provided.
Entrée was served out to us, after which we tucked into the main course.
7 Desserts were then bought in and displayed and each member had to let their fellow members know the name of their dessert and what it contained. Desserts were then divided and given out to share between husband-and-wife couples.
There was lots of laughs and chatter over the table.
Then it was time for John to announce the WINNERS of all the categories
The prize winners were:
1979 Quiz – Craig
Bean Bag & Balls – Colin
Beer Pong – Jeff
Ball into net (men) – Brian
Ball into net (women) – Aileen
Frisbees – Helen
Attire – Jeanene
Desserts – Helen
Non-Prize Additional Games:
Orienteering – Mike & Renee
Frsbees (Distance) – Mike
Monday morning arrived, and after a few cuppas we were leisurely packing up and heading for home.
Thank You Maddie and John for a well organised and fun weekend.
Morgan 4 – 6th November 2022
The Nissan Patrol Club and Mitsubishi Club held their annual Morgan Quarry trip. This year was special, being the 10th Anniversary. Most participants had arrived soon after 12.30pm Friday with Happy Hour at 4pm. The forecast for the weekend was warm and plenty of sun
On Saturday morning, the clubs congregated at the Boat Ramp at 9am before heading to the Morgan Quarry. Once there, the clubs broke into groups comprising the Mitsubishi Club, NPC Members. After a while the members from the quarry were back for lunch after which some returned to the quarry while others did a Mystery Tour which took us around the area to the northeast of Morgan. The highlight of the afternoon was a stop at the Bryan Creek Historical Lookout. The rains we have encountered this year were evident on the scenic drive, as everything was greener and more verdant than previous years. There was a vast difference from the lookout from last year. Plenty of water was visible.
Then it was back to camp for everyone to enjoy another happy hour before preparing for the evening meal at the Terminus Hotel where fifty-four members and visitors enjoyed their meal celebrated our 10 years at Morgan together, sharing a cake and a couple of speeches.
After dinner, the festivities continued into the late evening back at the campsite.
Sunday was an even warmer day, with some trip participants headed back into the Quarry for a bit more education and familiarization, returning at midday and returning to the caravan park where most people were then packing to leave although a few members stayed on for an extra day or two,
What a fantastic weekend. The interclub friendship of 54 members of the Nissan Patrol Club & the Mitsubishi 4WD Club is to be commended.
Clare Valley September 30th – October 3rd
This weekend John and Maddie took a convoy of 9 cars, 18 members on a 2 day drive through country roads off the main highway in the surrounding area of Clare
We Visited the Waterloo Windfarm, Clare Valley Rocks, Neagles Rock Lookout, Blue Gum, Brooks Lookout and Bungaree Hill for a photo showing the spectacular carpet of Canola Fields in all their splendor as well as breathtaking views of plains from several lookouts. Lunch was at the famous Magpie and Stump in Mintaro and was delicious. Our picnic lunch on Sunday was under a Cork Oak Tree in Clare.
John also gave us some points of interest of the local areas we visited. History and Heritage was abundant with buildings, houses and information signs.
A visit to the local Claymore Winery Sunday after returning to camp for a drink to finish the day with some members also purchasing bottles for taking home.
We had a fire pit and Happy Hour each night with our hosts Michael and Hayley from Clare Valley Caravan & Cabin Park
The incredible weather made it so much better. The sun is good medicine. Long weekend, friends, good food and sunshine.
Thank you to our trip leaders for an amazing weekend. We came, we saw, we ate, we drank and above all experienced the beauty of Clare and surrounds.
Border Track September 9 – 11th, 2022
We headed to Pinnaroo on Friday 9th September 2022 arriving just on dusk. Enjoyed a delicious meal of dumplings, fried rice and Taiwan salt & pepper chicken at Demi’s Kitchen. Several couples stayed in Pinnaroo as it was wet & cold but others made it to camp 17km from Pinnaroo.
After leaving Pinnaroo on Saturday and driving along a dirt road that was very muddy and extremely slippery in places, to the point where at one stage we were driving down the road sideways we met at the start of the Border Track! It was a great drive over the sand dunes through mallee and beautiful spring wild flowers and wattles. We drove 60km today with the track firm due to the recent rain until we reached Red Bluff camp where we set up for the night. Enjoyed tea cooked in camp ovens in the coals before retiring early as it was cold.
Sunday we packed up camp and headed through Ngarkat Conservation Park to the South Boundary Track on the otherside of the Bordertown to Pinnaroo Road. The rain filled muddy holes along this track soon captured a victim with the lead car firmly bogged! We required a winch with the aid of a second vehicle as an anchor to free the car. Unfortunately the front tyre of the vehicle broke its bead in the process. There were plenty of kangaroos out enjoying the day. With the delays in retrieving the bogged vehicle and changing tyres we did not complete the whole itinery today but headed out of the park to air up and chip the mud from the wheel arches. Back on the bitumen we stopped in Coonalpyn for a delicious late lunch of jaffles and waffles.
A great weekend away completing another iconic 4×4 track!
Aileen & Rod (NPC 388)
Peake June 17 – 19th 2022
That’s a wrap for Peake 2022 involving the Nissan Patrol Club SA & Mitsubishi 4WD. Tracks, sand dunes, mobile recovery, campfires, a camp oven meal and dessert. We wined & dined under the stars and created great memories till the next time. So much fun. Bring on 2023!
Dorado Downs May 13 – 16th 2022
Little Desert Easter 2022
Douglas Scrub = Blewitt Springs 12 -4th March 2022
We all made our way up to Douglas Scrub on Friday afternoon.
John and Maddie met us at the Ken Maguire Gate and gave us directions to the campsite.
After everyone arriving John handed out information consisting of a map and pamphlet of Douglas Scrub. We were required to QR in, so a COVID safe environment was maintained.
Douglas Scrub is a 27-acre natural heritage scrub, which we were welcome to walk around, keeping to the designated tracks. We had powered sites, exceptionally clean amenities which included showers and toilets.
After setting up camp we all enjoyed a Happy Hour together. John read out the Safety Briefing Sheet and asked for any questions about the weekend and thanked everybody for attending.
Our first night we all enjoyed a meal at the Vale Hotel in McLaren Vale. The meals were excellent, and they had an extensive menu to choose from.
After dinner we returned to camp, some members retiring to bed, while others enjoyed a chit chat and cuppa before making it a night.
Saturday morning, after breakfast with cars packed John and Maddie led the group out for a leisurely drive with Jeff & Jeanene as Tail End Charlie. (TC).
We headed up some back roads, some of which were dirt and bitumen and made our way to Mount Bold Reservoir, which is the largest reservoir in South Australia. We walked along the dam wall observing the water being pumped from the River Murray and the natural inflow for storage. The visitor area had information plaques for us to look at and take photos.
Heading into Clarendon was our morning tea stop. Most of us headed for the bakery (a Nissan Tradition) and then found a nice spot to enjoy our cuppa and cake. A beautiful small town where the General Store is reputed to be the oldest in South Australia still operating in its original building. It was here that Maddie and I purchased a bunch of beautiful fresh Proteas that had been delivered that morning.
Making our way to Scotts Creek Conservation Park. Members then decided to do the loop walk around the ruins of Almanda Mine. Silver and Copper were mined here, and a chimney was visible.
We all enjoyed lunch in the township of Meadows in the Battungah Park. After lunch we made our way to the Mount Bold Reservoir Reserve. A 2km return walk on the Wedgetail Trak took us to the new lookout and viewing platform which gave us a panoramic view of Mount Bold and surrounds. The water level was exceptionally low. More opportunities for some great photos. We then travelled up to Toops Hill Road and viewed a great lookout point, then made our way back to camp. Some spectacular views, and dusty tracks made this a fantastic day out.
Day 1 Trip was 115km in total.
Happy Hour was enjoyed by all. This followed into dinner, and we sat round talking about the days outing and as the night progressed we headed to bed.
Sunday morning awoke, breakfast and cars packed up ready for day 2.
Jeff and Jeanene led this trip, with John and Maddie as Tail End Charlie. (TC)
Jeff & Jeanene had organised a little surprise for us all. Jeff handed out an Observations list which consisted of 16 different questions about the day’s trip. We were to keep our eyes out and try and locate all 16 questions and place our answers on the sheet.
Leaving the campground our first stop was at Myponga for morning tea, Members visited the local Myponga markets as well as the local Bakery, where a few of the Observations answers were located. We then made our way to the Myponga Reservoir which is fed by the Myponga River. Photos were taken here and a few more clues for our Observation sheet.
Heading off we made our way to Myponga Beach which had a beautiful little beach, which was a hive of activity of people swimming, kayaking, and stand-up paddle boarding (SUP). Boats being moved by tractors which allowed them to enter (slip) into the water. A few members ventured on to the foreshore while the rest of us took in the fresh sea air and enjoyed the view.
Back to our cars we headed for Normanville for lunch. Some of us decided fish and chips from the kiosk at Normanville was a great idea. The place was extremely busy with a lot of the public taking in the advantage of a perfect sunny day and being the long weekend.
Travelling over some scenic views of Yankalilla, Normanville, and Victor Harbour with back roads, we encountered places we had never seen.
It was now time to head back to camp again.
Day 2 Trip was 177km in total.
Happy hour again was enjoyed by all members. Jeff and Jeanene then went through the Observations sheet with us and all members putting up their hands with hopefully the right answers. Some were right and some were wrong. A few laughs later we all received a few chocolates for our effort.
Dinner was followed by Carmen baking a chocolate cake for Colin’s birthday. We all enjoyed a piece of cake with chocolates and some fresh figs. Another group get together as this is our final night before retiring to bed.
Monday morning was pack and head for home. We traversed some beautiful country, saw lots of Easter Lillies, had plenty of great photo opportunities, lots of dust, tasty food & genuine fun and made some memories together.
The 2022 AUSTRALIA DAY – Murbko 26 – 30th January 2022 January
This year due to the public holiday being in the middle of the week I think contributed to a drop in our normal numbers but I am sure those who were there all enjoyed it. Seven (7) club member vehicles with caravans were on site at some time during the period 26th Jan to 30th Jan with five (5) Kyaks and one (1) canoe. Weather was fairly warm with a couple of days where we had thunder storms going around us, but one night we did have the thunder and lightning with a bit of rain over the top.Happy hours were well attended by all with the normal get together deserts and fun stories. The lagoon water level was about 30cm above normal & quite warm with most having a few dips. The fishing competition was run with only 5 competitors.Marina & Alan Langer, John & Maddie Day and Brian Cook with only a total of six fish caught. Jim Byfield did catch a few yabbies and there was a bit of paddling by most up & down the creek and the lagoon. Thanks to all who attended and I hope we can make a good weekend of it next year.
Mount Compass Weekend 1 – 3 October 2021
Mount Compass is a beautiful small town in South Australia, in the Mount Lofty Ranges, 60km from Adelaide, and north of Victor Harbor. It is a small community traditionally supported by farming. Market gardens and dairies have proved very lucrative in the area as well as wineries and cafes within easy reach.
We all made our way up on Friday afternoon to the Mount Compass Caravan Park. This Park is quiet, secluded and has clean amenities with a well-equipped Camp Kitchen including fridge, stove, microwave, toaster, coffee machine washing up facilities, a pizza oven, and large tables and chairs for patrons to use. The gardens are well maintained with bushes of coloured Proteas.
Dinner was booked for 7pm at Mount Compass Hotel (Tavern)
We enjoyed our first meal together, with a few drinks and then headed back to camp.
Saturday morning at 9.30am we met on the road just outside the caravan park for our first adventure, all ready for some serious fun. John and Maddie were Trip Leaders and Dave and Helen Richards Tail End Charlie. There were 8 vehicles in total.
We travelled though the backroads with spectacular views of the natural beauty of this region from Mt. Magnificent, Kuitpo Forest to the vineyards of McLaren Vale which have some of the world’s oldest grapevines, to the coast.
We enjoyed a coffee at Pruners Hut, a little wine tasting for members, with a few cartons of Rose being delivered out to 4WD boots. Ceramic pots which were locally made were quite a popular buy.
We then headed to Hugo Winery where Don the owner gave us an informative talk and insight of his wines. Tastings were complimented with a Ploughman’s Platter shared by 2. These platters were freshly made and consisted of Cheeses (Vintage Cheddar & Camembert), Olives, Semidried Tomatoes, Ham, Mini Cucumbers Salami, Jamato Relish, Crackers & Toasted Bread.
We sat under the vines enjoying the perfect sunny day. Members had the opportunity to purchase wine and relishes.
It was a wonderful day. On our return drive back to camp we included a walk to Hindmarsh Falls, after which it was time to head back to camp taking in all the spectacular views on the dirt tracks.
We sat around for a Happy Hour, relaxed. We were ready to unwind and enjoy listening to Shaun Coghlan a singer/writer who sang songs from various artists and included his own Mount Compass Caravan Park song. Shaun entertained us for about 1 and a half hours. We all had tea and returned to the fire that Peter had set up.
Sunday we headed to Mosquito Hill with John O’Daly as Tail End Charlie. The views of Goolwa, Lake Alexandrina, and Currency Creek. Morning Tea was at Goolwa, some choosing to visit the markets, others had coffee and cake and remainder of members enjoying the atmosphere of the township.
We were extremely fortunate to take a photo of the fully loaded Steam Ranger which was making its pilgrimage to Goolwa. We then made our way to the Lions Park Currency Creek for a picnic lunch, visiting the old stone road bridge, railway viaduct and Currency Creek.
The rest of the afternoon was driving through fords, farms, and conservation parks, even passing over the Finnis River. Returning to Mount Compass, members refuelled cars, bought fresh bread and supplies.
Another lovely day with water, sun, and misty showers.
We all congregated into the camp kitchen for Happy Hour as severe weather was setting in. Lots of chatter, drinks and nibblies kept us going for well over 2 hours. We returned to our caravans for dinner and made it a night as it was cold and wet.
Monday morning, we awoke to rain, hail, and sun. It was time to pack up and head home.
Ghost Mushroom Weekend 12-14th June 2021
On Friday 11th June nine vehicles and vans belonging to members of the Nissan Patrol Club met at Lake Leake near Glencoe in the South East for the Queen’s Birthday long weekend. Lake Leake is situated 36km from Mt Gambier and is a lake within an extinct volcano, a quiet spot with boat ramp, covered pavilion with BBQ and flushing toilets. The camping area is maintained by volunteers and has a donation box.
On Saturday we visited the National Trust operated Woolshed at Glencoe. This is a historical, heritage listed, 36 stand, sheep shearing shed built in 1863 by brothers Edward and Robert Leake. We also visited Mt Gambier, “Scroll Queen” shop, Little Blue Lake and Ewens Ponds as well as a 4WD track in Douglas Point Conservation Park.
Saturday night we went to explore Ghost Mushroom Lane. We met our guide for the night who told us all about the luminous fungi that can be found growing on decaying plant material, such as stumps left behind following pine tree harvest. We walked into the pine forest and found an expansive area of mushrooms that glowed creamy white in the dark as a result of what is called bio-luminescence.
Sunday we headed to Carpenter Rocks and the 4WD track in the Canunda National Park. This was a firm undulating track running behind the sand hills between the ocean and Lake Bonney all the way to Millicent, a total of 36km.
An enjoyable weekend in the South East of our great state.
Deep Creek 21 – 23 May 2021
Our first working weekend for this year began as they all do with lunch at the Yankalilla Bakery on Friday, from where we moved to Trig campground on our usual sites
Numbers were slightly down, mainly due to a busy club schedule and some late withdrawals from sickness, nine campers stayed the weekend and three members ventured down on the Saturday
We met Coral the ranger at Blowhole Beach on Saturday morning and spent the day continuing our work removing the dreaded Sea Spurge from both sides of the creek.
The difference we have made is substantial and very obvious to those who ventured here 5 years ago, the area east of the creek has been revegetated and protected by fencing, apart from minor regrowth it is Sea Spurge free. The western side of the creek is a work in progress with still more to do, but still a very real improvement and something for the club to be proud of.
Dorado Downs 14 – 16th May 2021
COMBINED WITH THE MITSUBISHI CLUB
Nissan Patrol Club Members attending: Helen and Dave Richards (Leaders), John and Maddie Day, Bill Smith, Lisa Patterson and Phil Stanley, Bill Condie, Allan and Marina Langer, Geoff and Marie Dalitz, Jeanene and Jeffrey Schapel,
Nissan Patrol Club members met on Friday 14th May 2021 at 9.30am at the Tailem Bend Shell Service Station. We were led to Dorado Downs via a scenic route along dirt roads by Col Price from the Mitsubishi Club. On arrival we found a spot to camp keeping in mind that more members from both clubs were still coming and a lot had caravans. The Nissan Patrol Club had 8 cars with 14 members and the Mitsubishi Club had 19 cars with 27 members. After setting up we all relaxed around a camp fire until it started to rain. To make use of the wonderful coals Helen made damper and managed to ensure everyone had a serve.
We started our sand driving on Saturday at 9am. Mitsubishi members were split in three groups with their leaders assisting them with driving techniques and familiarisation of sand driving. Nissan members accompanied by 5 Mitsubishi members were led by Helen and Dave along the eastern side of Dorado Downs. Members tried to get up one of the steep tracks and unfortunately did not quite make it. Eventually Martin and Eddy, father and son team from the Mitsubishi Club, showed us how it’s done. They had an Isuzu Dmax and Suzuki Vitara respectively. As we were back for early lunch some of us went out again for a short drive on which we caught up with Mitsubishi members attempting to drive up a steep track with the use of max tracks at the top.
After lunch Bill Condie took us along tracks on the top of the dunes with a wonderful view over Dorado Downs and their tracks. We ended up on top of the track everyone attempted in the morning. Martin and Eddy swapped cars and attempted it again with success. In the evening we all again relaxed around a huge camp fire. It needed to be as there were many people seeking warmth.
At the meeting on Sunday morning everyone sang happy birthday to Dave Richards. Some opted to go out driving again ably led by Bill Condie, while others started packing up. The Mitsubishi Club explored the area used by our group on Saturday. As we arrived at one of the steep tracks, Bill tried first to drive up and was successful after a couple of tries, amazing what choosing a different gear makes. Everyone had a go and was successful. As Marina was driving that day she proved that by sheer determination and complete focus on the job success can be had with advice on what gear to use and what to do. The Adrenalin level was very high. Jeanene also successfully drove up on her first attempt and showed Jeff how it is done. Eddie from the Mitsubishi Club demonstrated how a Vitara can scale these dunes in reverse. We had two more steep climbs on soft sand tracks and everyone made it. After that it was time to head back to camp and pack up. It was interesting to note that the automatics in the group scaled most dunes without any problem.
We thank everyone for their leadership and a wonderful fun weekend.
Allan video recorded some of the most spectacular hill climbing efforts and interviewed apprehensive drivers before their climbing attempts. We look forward to seeing the video at a future club meeting.
Marina Langer243 & Jeanene Schapel 31
Lorella Springs 8 – 30th May 2021
Otways Easter 2021
5 vehicles (all Nissan Patrols as it happened!) traveled to Victoria to join with the Otways 4X4 club to explore tracks in the Otways National Park.
The weather was perfect, and everyone enjoyed the challenges of the tracks and the fun and good times around camp fires at night.
Morgan October 30th – November 1st
This was a joint trip between Nissan Patrol Club and Mitsubishi Club. The event was very well attended, probably because after the lockdowns and travel restrictions due to Covid-19, everyone was ready to bust out.
On Saturday morning, we congregated at the Boat Ramp at 9am before heading to the Morgan Quarry. There were 14 NPC vehicles and Mitsi Club had 13. Once there, we broke into groups comprising the Mitsi Club, NPC Members and finally visitors to NPC (Graham and Aiden) who undertook vehicle familiarization exercises with Dave.
Phil lead the NPC Members group consisting of 11 vehicles to the southern end of the quarry where highlights included a creek crossing (dry) and a section with 4 gnarly hillclimbs for members to try. This was where Paul wrangled with a vicious tree stump as he descended one of the tracks. Unfortunately the outcome was Stump 1, Paul 0 with the stump leaving a nasty mark down the passenger side of his vehicle. Most of the participants were happy to just toodle along the tracks. There was also a bit of ‘free time’ in the main quarry section before we exited at lunchtime.
Lunch was a brief affair back at the campsite then Mitsi’s Colin and Derek lead a group each on a two-part ‘Mystery Tour’. The first part was across the ferry and consisted of a very quick tour around the Morgan Conservation Park past the Morgan Lagoons. We then headed back across the ferry, luckily all 8 vehicles made it onto a single ferry on both trips. The second part was a tour around the area to the north east of Morgan. The highlight of the afternoon was a stop at the Bryan Creek Historical Lookout.
Then it was back to camp for everyone to prepare for the evening meal at the pub. Being Halloween, some of the NPC members went to great lengths to look the part. We were joined for dinner by 4 hideous witches sporting dark eye makeup and gross warty noses! Oops, the noses weren’t fake!
John, being one of the ugly witches, had brought along lollies (wrapped in honour of Covid-19) to distribute to trip participants and also to a few wary members of the public.
Sunday was an even warmer day and some trip participants headed back into the Quarry for a bit more of a challenging drive. Again, we broke into groups with Colin and Derek leading two Mitsi groups and Paul taking the lead for NPC members, consisting of 5 vehicles.
Paul lead us to the northern end of the quarry where we managed to find the old railway line. Firstly we checked out a tunnel on foot which passes under the railway line. We then found a suitable track across the creek line and up onto the railway line. We took that as far as we could go to the north east, then turned back as far as we could go along the railway line to the south west. Leaving the railway line, we then headed back to the north east and found the creek bed that runs alongside the railway line. We got some good pictures of the 5 NPC vehicles snaking along the creek bed. We continued to play around in that area finding some reasonable new challenges for our NPC Visitors, who are newbies to four wheel driving. They took on all the challenges with gusto and did an impressive job for first-timers.
We finished up in the quarry at midday and returned to the caravan park where most people were then packing to leave. A big shout out to the Morgan Riverside Caravan Park for gracing trip participants with a late checkout time of 1pm (usually 10am). This allowed members to come to the quarry in the morning if they wished.
A few members stayed on for an extra day or two, lucky things!
A special mention to Helen and Dave for organizing the trip, especially Helen who had the extra drama associated with Covid-19 restrictions, with things changing a number of times during the months prior to the on-again, off-again trip. NPC Participants – Paul & Sara, Jim & Pauline, John & Maddie, Wayne & Dallas, Bob & Trish, John & Lorraine, Rod & Aileen, Tony & Chris, Dave & Helen, Bill, Phil & Lisa, Craig and visitors Bill, Graham & Aiden.
Morgan 1st – 3rd November 2019
Deep Creek 18 – 20th October 2019
As is now normal procedure, a group of participants met at the Yankalilla Bakery for lunch on the Friday at around noon. Wayne & Dallas, Jeff & Jeanene, Brian & Judy, John & Maddie, and Rod, had a hearty meal before undertaking the remainder of the journey to Deep Creek Conservation Park. Upon arriving it was time to set up the caravans and then have coffee and nibbles for happy hour. Ranger Simon arrived and the necessary paperwork was exchanged, followed by a short briefing about safety and the tasks for the weekend. Then it was time for the evening meal, followed by some time sitting under Wayne’s awning as it was rather cool and breezy, and then into bed.
Next morning (Saturday) everyone was up (some earlier than others) and Jim & Pauline joined us, having driven form Adelaide. After breakfast we all headed to Blowhole Beach to attack the remaining sea spurge. It was nice to see that the area we first concentrated on some years ago had very little evidence of regrowth, and so this time we concentrated our efforts across the creek in the sand and a little way up the hill. Lunch was had around noon, work on the area continued after lunch and we eventually dragged ourselves up the hill to the cars around 3:30pm. John and Maddie had a small drama with their car on the way back which required application of Wayne’s mechanical skills, but eventually we were all back at camp. Jim & Pauline headed home and we all had tea, followed by some happy time sitting around a lovely fire.
Sunday morning following breakfast we went back to Blowhole Beach after seeing John and Maddie’s car and caravan transferred to Yankalilla by a friendly RAA contractor. This time we worked near the carpark cutting and dabbing cotton bush which the ranger had identified for us. Apparently this bush attracts Monarch butterflies, which tend to displace the native butterflies, and is therefore not wanted. At around 12:30 we joined two other groups who had also been working nearby on the cotton bush at Cobblers for a lunch of sandwiches and bun, very kindly provided by the Rangers.
Finally it was time to pack up and make the trip home, after another successful weekend of volunteering and socialising.
Octoberfest Merna Mora 4 – 7th October 2019
Peake June 14 – 16th 2019
The trip this year was an interclub event with the Mitsubishi Club. The weekend itinery set aside time for both driving techniques and social enjoyment along with an afternoon of car games.
A group of 22 cars and 35 people joined in what was a fantastic weekend away.
A meet and greet around the campfire on Friday evening followed dinner and on Saturday morning we were split into social and techniques driving groups. The tracks were heavy and challenging as there had been a lot of rain during the week.
Saturday afternoon the planned car games included Egg on the Cone where the driver stops as close to the egg sitting on a traffic cone without touching it as possible.
Tonight 6 camp ovens sitting over coals roasted our dinner while we sat around the fire enjoying drinks and exchanging tales of the days driving.
Sunday we headed out again to have more fun on the tracks before packing up and heading back home. This was another wonderful weekend at Peake.
Deep Creek 25 – 26th May 2019
On Saturday 25th May 13 members of the club met at Deep Creek Conservation Park for a working bee. Some members arrived late Friday afternoon to stay for the weekend but others were day trippers.
The ranger led us to our appointed work-place for the day where we removed an old fence to allow the kangaroos to move freely around. Bolt cutters, pliers and claw hammers were supplied and members had their own tools as well. Two safety hazard signs were placed, before we began the tedious task of removing barb wire and flat wire, rolling it up and placing it by the trees for the ranger to pick up later. We managed to remove 200 metres of fencing in 4 hours with a break for lunch as well.
Later in the day we headed to Blowhole Beach where previously we have worked on the control of Sea Spurge and weeds. We could see we have made an impact with our volunteering work.
Birdwood Mill 18-19th May 2019
Have had an amazing weekend away with the Nissan Patrol Club of SA.
We were Celebrating 4×4, as well as Roothy donating his Milo 1 to the Birdwood Motor Museum.
We rekindled great friendships, made damper, wined & dined as well as showcased the best way of camping in the best possible display.
Pyrenees Easter 19-22nd April 2019
Dorado Downs 5 – 7th April 2019
The Nissan Patrol Club of SA was invited by the Mitsubishi 4WD Club SA to a Familiarisation/Social Weekend at Dorado Downs including Puppy Springs. These are private properties located approx 2 hours south east of Adelaide and consist mainly of sand driving tracks.
28 members and 16 cars arrived during Friday afternoon in warm and dusty conditions. A couple of drinks around the camp fire were enjoyed as we waited for all to arrive.
On Saturday morning after the safety briefing and rundown on what was going to happen over the weekend we split into 2 groups.
The tracks were quite steep and undulating in parts and were narrow with overhanging branches, which had us constantly stopping to do some track maintenance to avoid damage to our vehicles. The sand was so soft and felt like talcum powder. A few became bogged and Max Trax and recovery strap were needed to retrieve vehicles. This was a great opportunity for members to see a recovery strap demonstration.
After lunch we headed out to Hey Hill for more adventures. Several vehicles attempted the steep tracks but unsuccessful were all of them but moving on we found the tracks were a lot wider.
An enjoyable weekend was enjoyed by all with a fellow 4 x 4 club.
Bartagunyah 8 – 11th March 2019
Morgan – Training and Social weekend 2 – 4th November 2018