James – Mildura

After Peterbough we headed to Mildura.  On the way there were heaps of small towns and some of them were called Terowie, Burra, Saddleworth, Eududa, Morgan, Renmark and my favourite Monash.  Monash was my favourite because it had a really cool adventure playground/park.  It had a big maze with a slide in the middle. It also had two wonky towers that you climbed up in, on ladders. The two towers were joined together by a walkway. On one of the two towers there was a chain bridge leading to a sandpit. Unfortunately the pool next to the playground wasn’t free as it was stinking hot. We could only stay at this awesome adventure playground for an hour as we still had a way to drive that day.

The awesome playground at Monash.

At the end of the way to drive we found our destination: Merbein Common on the Murray River. I can’t believe that the other side of the river was NSW. We had a busy time here because;

1) The car needed a pink slip,

2) We visited NSW for a day to go to the Perry Sandhills and visit the PS Ruby (a paddle steamer) at the junction of the Murray and Darling Rivers, turning into the Murray Darling River.IMG_3484_fixed


3) I swam in the Murray River and we made an awesome city with our monster trucks, we used the bucket while we were playing but it somehow started to float down the Murray River so I had to strip into my boxers to go and get it! Luckily this was not the NT so there were no crocodiles in the river.


4) We went to the library and to K-mart and bought monster trucks on special. Next we went to the Grampians.


New monster truck being tested out at Perry Sand Hills.


By from James.

James – The rest of south Australia.

After our first stop in South Australia, Cobber Pedy, next stop was the famous Flinders Ranges and Wilpena pound. We met Eric and Michelle Wilkes who are dad’s friends at Wilpena pound. We actually stayed about 17km out of the pound at Rawnsley Park Station. That night we had dinner with Eric and Michelle. We had gnocchi bolognese and for dessert we had chocolate brownies!

The next day we had a quick swim before Eric and dad departed to do a walk up one of the higher mountains of Wilpena pound. Four hours later mum decided that dad and Eric had been gone for a bit too long so she turned on the radio but before she could speak dad spoke and he said “Kristen, Kristen” and mum replied “Yes”.  Dad then said “Eric has sprained his ankle very badly, so can you please get the ice pack from the fridge and take it to the camp freezer”.  Mum asked us to do that job because our bikes were down so we whizzed down the hill to the camp kitchen to put the ice packs in the freezer.  After we did that Sam went back to the caravan and I went down another hill super fast to Eric’s cabin just in time to see Dad and Eric arrive home.


This is the view from St’ Mary’s Peak.

A few days later Dad, Mum, Sam and I climbed the tallest mountain in Wilpena Pound which is only one kilometre shorter than the highest mountain in Australia.  There were great views from the top because it was 1171 m above sea level.

On our way to Melrose we stopped in at Wilmington to try to find a puppet museum but before that we found a toy museum which the whole family liked except for Mum.  Dad liked the Willies jeep and the Land Rovers. That’s weird? This is not an Army jeep Museum this is a toy museum.  This is just it’s name – it actually is a pretty much has everything museum.  It has slot cars, model trains and Thunderbird toys.  The thing I liked the most was that they had repaired two of the 1980’s Willies Jeeps so much so that they could start successfully and drive successfully.

And now for the Puppet Museum!!  Luckily the puppet museum was not too far away from the toy museum so we could walk there.  I reckon it’s funny when you have to ring a doorbell eleven times before a person opens the door, but anyway that’s what happened to us.  After he let us in he told us a bit of the history of how he and his wife started collecting puppets just after they retired.  They also told us that they had collected puppets for about 15 years!  They had over 1000 puppets and they get them by the gold coin donations that you have to put in to see a tour of the puppets. They had puppets for  “Over the hedge”,  Shrek, some Boxing puppets, Punch and Judy and 1000 Muppet puppets! Then we headed on to Melrose.

Then we drove south to a place called Melrose and we stayed next to a footie field and some sheds. This was lucky because it rained and we got play Lego for the whole next day in the shed because it was forecast to hail.  Luckily it didn’t actually hail at Melrose but it did hail at Port Augusta and Port Pirie.  Firstly I did not know what hail was so I had to ask mum and dad.  The information that they gave me was very interesting.  They said hail forms when two storm fronts crash into each other and when you go up it gets colder so the water in the cloud freezes and then the little balls of ice fall to the ground as hail.

After Melrose we were going to Peterborough but we decided to detour because the people from the Toy museum told about a toy festival in Clare called ‘Hobbies Alive’.  So we went to ‘hobbies alive’ and some people from Melbourne came up with some remote-controlled earth moving equipment to make a road over a dirt mound.


We also saw a man inside a three metre long submarine.


  We were lucky enough to also get a ride on a miniature steam train that went at about 10 km/hr.


 We also got to ride on a steam powered tracker that was also miniature.


Last we saw the people from the Toy Museum and he had made his own little remote-controlled 4WD.  He decided to interfere with the earth moving equipment, unluckily his 4WD didn’t have enough traction to climb up the dirt mound, but on the up side it did have its own miniature centre differential lock.


Next he advised us to go and see inside a shed that other people had pack with models of all shapes and sizes.  The models in the first room were mainly of cars and planes and in the next room there were model train tracks with lots of remote-controlled model trains.  The track was very long and it had a tunnel on one side and a train yard on the other.

Next mum went shopping and then we headed off to Peterborough also known as Steamtown.  At the caravan park there was a really good playground.  It was really cool because it was big and it had lots of play equipment that was really fun to play on!  The next day we went to Steamtown Heritage Rail Centre S.A.  Firstly we went on a tour around the centre which was very interesting. We saw heapes of black steam engines.


It has the only working 3 gauge turntable in the world!  The reason they built Steamtown in Peterborough and not somewhere else in SA  was because five railways all met in Peterborough.  That night we watched the supposedly awesome sound and light show that was actually pretty lame because it just was a documentary with pretty rubbish sound quality and at the end of the show different coloured lights came on for each of the engines and a smoke machine came on.

We also went up Magnetic Hill backwards.

Magnetic hill

Bye from James.DSC_6178

James – Coober Pedy

We left Ayers Rock and drove to Coober Pedy, the Opal capital of the world.  Firstly we went to the Visitor information centre to see what the attractions were and which caravan park to stay in.  After we set up we went to a kangaroo feeding centre where we fed them banana chips and wasabi peas.DSC_5701

Next we went to the Breakaways.  I bet they were the only hills for 100 miles!  We came back from the Breakaways to do some fossicking in the fossicking pits.  We went out to dinner in an underground restaurant.  The owner of the restaurant gave us free ice cream and he gave mum and dad two cups of wine.DSC_5693

The camp kitchen in the caravan park that we were staying at was really good because it had two ovens, two microwaves, two sets of four gas burners, two hot plates, three taps, a TV and four sets of eight seater tables !!

I really wish we could have stayed at the underground campsite but we couldn’t because we have a caravan and it is only for tents.

After Coober Pedy we went to lake Eyre which is a salt lake.  We tried to ride our bikes on it but it had a layer of mud under the salt and we got stuck.


Bye from James for now!

James – Uluru

After Kings Canyon we went to Uluru and we met Grandma and Grandpa there.  Luckily they were in an apartment so most of the time we were at Uluru we just relaxed at their apartment and watched TV, but that wasn’t the only thing we did.  We did heaps of bush walks and we rode around the base of Uluru itself and one of the days we went out to Kata Tjuta and did two walks.

Uluru DSC_5025

Kata Tjuta DSC_4526

The worse thing we had to do was get up at 5 o’clock on the dot every morning we were there.  The best thing we did was going out to a buffet dinner that had a chocolate fountain! It had an excellent selection of seafood, meats and salad.  It also had rice, pork belly, biscuits and lots of different types of cheese.  For dessert they had ice-cream, lemon tarts, chocolate panacotta and opera slice. The lollies, marshmallows, rock melon, pineapple and honey-dew melon were the things you dipped into the chocolate fountain.  That night I went to bed at 10 o’clock.  It the best dinner I’ve had in my life.

Bye for now, James!

James – Macdonnell Ranges

I liked Trephina Gorge because one night mum and I went out on a walk called Panorama walk to watch the sun go down and the milky way come up!  I came back to find dad fire twirling which is when dad makes sparks go everywhere to take photos of!!  The sad thing was that one of the biggest sparks landed on my favourite pair of boxer shorts and made them catch on fire.

After Trephina gorge we went to Ellery Creek Big Hole.  The reason that I liked this place was that we made an AWESOME monster truck city on the bank and a monster truck town on an island.  Unluckily the water 17.8 degrees Celsius so I thought I was going to freeze to death !!!!  The good thing was I met some kids in a canoe.  The canoe had a blow up dolphin that was being towed behind the canoe.  I rode on the dolphin for the first bit but not for long because I fell off it , ha, ha, ha!!  A few minutes more of paddling around and we heard the words “BIRTHDAY CAKE” so one kid got off the canoe and raced us to the island where only canoes could go.  One of our friends was with us in the canoe and the other one was clambering along the rock wall.  Who will win . . . (dun dun dunt) . we did!  When we got to the island we got offered free BIRTHDAY CAKE.

After Ellery Creek we went to Orminston Gorge.  After we set up dad got the boogie boards down and we rushed down to the water hole as fast as we could because it was stinking hot.  After we got back from the beautiful Pound walk the next morning we borrowed an inflatable dingy from Nick the kiosk man.  So we used the boat for exploring and occasionally towing each other behind the boat.

DSC_1912Yours sincerely,