Sam – Grampians Part 1

When we arrived at the Grampians we had dinner with Dad’s friends from Mt Gambier, Adam, Lisa and baby Isla. The next day we went out to brunch with them.


After they left, James and I went to the park over the road. We had lots of fun playing on the swings. The day after that we did the 10 kilometre Pinnacle walk. On the way up I spotted an Echidna. At the top of the Pinnacle walk you got to walk out on a spear of rock. It was a v-e-r-y long way down.


The next day we went abseiling off a 15 m drop. Dad went first and I volunteered to go next. After I had got over my nerves I took my first steps over the edge…

(To be continued . . .)

Sam – Clare

As you may remember from the Wilmington post, we decided to go to the ‘Hobbies Alive’ festival in Clare. When we arrived we grabbed a sausage sandwich from the local Cub Scouts. After that we headed over to see the people from the Wilmington Toy Museum. Opposite their collection someone was building a road over a mound of dirt with remote-controlled earth moving equipment.


Then someone advised us to go and have a look in a big shed to see some small model cars and trains. In the first room there were lots of model plains and jeeps. In the second room there were lots of scale model trains on a ginormous rail circuit.


We spent lots of time watching them and they even had a tunnel with viewing windows. Next we went outside and I got to drive a mini steam tractor which was awesome.


Then we headed over to a nearby lake and saw a 3 m long submarine. We all thought it was remote-controlled until dad took a zoomed up photo and there turned out to be a man inside driving it!


After we did that, we rode on a small steam train around Melrose Park. We even got to go through a short tunnel. Overall I had a great time.


I have been writing this from the forrest near Dean. The temperature is even perfect, 5 degrees at night and getting up to 30 in the day time. Congratulations to my school classmate Charlie in his swimming events!

Sam – Wilmington

Toy Museum:

We were searching for a puppet museum in a small town called Wilmington. But first we stumbled across a toy museum. It had lots of old toys from the 1950’s to the 1990’s.

We saw the original make of Thunderbird 2 as well as some Meccano, Lego, cars, trucks, boats and a Barbie doll van with lots of naked Barbies inside. After that, the owners took us out to see their collection of old Willies jeeps and Land Rovers. They also advised that we go to the Clare hobbies festival, ‘Hobbies Alive’.

Puppet Museum:

We left the toy museum and continued our search for the puppet museum. A little way down the road, we saw a sign outside a big shed saying ‘Puppet Museum’. We entered and the first puppet I saw was Harry Potter! The owner greeted us and explained about he and his wife’s passion for collection puppets.

After putting our gold coin donation in the donations box, he took us inside the room with the puppet collection. Here is a list of some of the different puppets. Harry Potter, the Cookie Monster, Freddo Frog, Big Bird, Geoff Tracy, a Golliwog, Merlin, some Muppet puppets, Shrek, a fall apart skeleton puppet, B1 and B2, Little Red Riding Hood, the Three Little Pigs, some boxing puppets and a gazillion Punch and Judys.

Goodbye from Sam.

Sam – Coober Pedy

On our way to Coober Pedy we saw lots of solar cars. These were part of The Solar Challenge – a race from Darwin to Adelaide where teams build a solar car and see who’s solar car is the fastest.  The teams came from all over the world to compete in this amazing challenge!  The first I saw was on the back of a flat-bed truck.  It had broken down 12 km out of Darwin! :(  We saw lots of them at the checkpoint in town as well as at our caravan park.


When we arrived we set up and went out to dinner in an underground restaurant.  The man who owned the place came over for a chat and showed us some of his opals.  The next day we all went noodling.  You walk along the ground and look for sparkly stuff.  I found one good piece and Dad had a good idea that there would be more opals under the sorting table where people had dropped them.DSC_5693

DSC02665The landscape for about 50km around Coober Pedy was littered with Mullouch heaps and dotted with shafts and danger signs.DSC02663

Someone obviously had the same great mind as I do for Coober Pedy reminds me of Tattooine (from Star Wars) with everyone living underground, soaring temperatures and barren desert for 100s of km in every direction.  There was also other space junk scattered around their yard.

Goodbye all you lucky Novocastrians living in the perfect climate.


Sam – Uluru

After we arrived at Uluru we set up and then went to see Grandma and Grandpa and relax in the air-conditioning since it was 40 degrees outside!  The next day we did the Mulga walk and visited the cultural centre.


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The next day we went out to Kata Tjuta and walked 5km in 37 degree heat and there is something you should know – 37 degrees and 5km walks don’t mix!  By the end more than half the family was in a very bad mood at how Dad seemed to be wearing an air-conditioned suit.  He never minds what temp it is!!

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After all that heat we decided to ride the 9km around the rock in the early morning!  I spotted a Thorny Devil by the side of the track!. Dad took a photo of him from the top and he blended in really well.

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On the last full day at Uluru we did a dot art workshop.  I thought that it was good fun and I am very proud of my work!  Maybe I could teach you about dot painting when we get home. Later that night we to a buffet.  It had massive seafood platters with lots of meat and soups as well.  My favourite part was the desserts!  They had lemon tarts, chocolate panacota, cheese cake, opera slice, cream brulle, flourless orange cake and best of all a chocolate fountain with bits of fruit to dip in it.  It was the best dinner on the whole trip so far!!


Bye from Sam.