Our Waratah Trip By Kira and Ken

Our team member Ken and his daughter Kira took a trip in the Warath this school holidays…here is an account from both sides!

Our Waratah Trip, By Kira
On the 21st of September my dad and I headed off in to the big wide world in the Waratah. We didn’t have much of a plan we were just sort of winging it and hoping for the best… After a long drive we ended up in castle rock caravan site, I swear this was the biggest camper I have ever been in and it was perfect for the tip that was about to be held .

The beds were pretty comfy and before long it was morning. Sleeping in the same bed as your dad isn’t much fun especially when he snores like no other and wakes up at 6am each morning. I was hungry and tired but dad ended up bribing me into climbing Pyramid Rock with the promise of phone reception! The climb was amazing it was like nothing I had ever seen before and as promised the all mighty phone reception. That was probably one of my best memories, along with climbing Bald Rock (also had phone reception), the massive chicken parma I got from a little pub in Tenterfield, kicking the footy with dad when we stopped for lunch,  fighting over what movie to watch each night, the beauty of a warm shower.

The Bunnoo Bunnoo waterfalls (totally rad), dad letting me chop the fire wood (my new talent) and lighting all the fires each night. Other highlights included laughing at the looks we got from people on our travels, the diesel heater making our cool nights much warmer, the intense wars between dad and I in backgammon and cards (at one stage we started speaking in French), having to get out of the camper because we were going down a steep bank and I was freaking out….and let’s not forget the lovely old people at McDonalds that thought I was homeless and offered to buy me some food!

All in all it was a amazing trip and I would do it 100 times over, but I must admit I did miss WiFi and a nice warm (not dad infested) bed.

Our Waratah Trip, By Ken
Hold the phone, stop the emails it’s time to go camping or should I say ‘glamping’, in the Horizon 4×4 Waratah. Also to the horror of my daughter Kira for the most part away from mobile & internet service. Let’s keep that one a secret until we get there.
As the vehicle was all dressed up like the top of a pizza we certainly turned some heads. The Idea was to stay disconnected from power for the whole 6 nights & just have the vehicle’s alternator & the solar panels to keep our batteries fed.

I booked the Castle Rock national park for the first 3 nights & then we would just see where the mood would take us.
What a great way to see the country sitting up high in the Mercedes Benz, wind in our hair, oh and did I mention I was not allowed to play any of my CD’s? All Kira’s  for the whole 6 days. Rap, Hip Hop & some words that I did not know my precious little 14 year old knew!
Cruising at 100km per hour had the vehicle humming along at just under 2½ thousand rev’s. 12.5 Lt per 100 km,  not bad for the 3.0lt Turbo Diesel.

We settled into Castle rock camp area after kicking the footy down on the river in Tenterfield. As we were rooughing it we would have to watch movies on the laptop. Even though we did not have any mains power the mighty Waratah had a power inverter so we could run smaller 240 volt appliances while sitting in a remote area. When we woke up the following morning it was -1 yes -1 outside and 5 degrees inside. No worries mate the Waratah has a diesel heater! In around 15 minutes we had the inside of the vehicle sitting at a respectable 18 degrees. I love camping…
Time for breaky, Oh that’s right we have the portable BBQ. How posh is that. We climbed the pyramid rock which was not for the faint hearted after breakfast. What a great view amd with reception we had to sit there for a while as Kira caught up with her friend on Facebook.
After the 3 hour return climb, we gathered up some firewood & kicked back for some backgammon, dinner and toasting a few marshmallows on the fire. So this is why people buy motor homes from us.

A few days of much the same we decided to start the engine and see where the front of the Merc would take us. We headed in the direction of Bald Rock. On the way we saw a turn off to Bunnoo Bunnoo Falls. 18km of dirt road…perfect. Locked the vehicle into 4×4, just because I could and set off down this corrugated road. What a treat, at the end the falls where wonderful with lovely rock pools at the top. Great spot to go if you don’t mind your vehicle getting covered in dirt. Don’t worry just the outside, the door seals worked well so I can now say that the door rubbers keep the dust out well. (red dirt I can’t comment on as this was just your run of the mill dust).
On the way down this road we spotted a camping area called Cypress Campground. School holidays and not a soul there. What a great spot to camp. Plenty of firewood and more marshmallows…a man could get used to this.

The following day we headed off to Glen Innes, More rap music, fitting in so well with the country side. Kira was not impressed with my rap moves. You know when you think you still have it and your daughter reminds you that you lost it years ago.

Just outside of Glenn Innes heading towards Grafton there is a free camping destination called the Mann River nature reserve (how aussie is that), so had to go there. This was 13km of dirt road, sounds good, starting to realize that the dirt roads keep the people away . This spot is a purla, grass (yes that’s right grass) right on the river, kangaroo’s everywhere. Clear skies, another great night for the pink and white balls roasted on a stick (think I’m starting to get a sweet tooth.) There was a couple that were at the same destination. He came over in the morning to have a look at the vehicle. As the road down to this spot was very steep he mentioned that he would have rather been driving the Waratah down to this spot than towing his van. As luck would have it I just happened to have a few brochures that I could pass onto him. Not sure if he wanted it but what sort of salesman would I be if I didn’t try.

Anyway that was the last night in the Waratah, we had plenty of water for the 6 nights. Didn’t shower every day but that’s camping isn’t it. What a great holiday….Thanks Clay.

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Boonoo Boonoo Falls:

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Castle Rock:

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The Waratah:

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