Big Red Bash wrap up

Well there is another trip done and dusted, 4,838 km driven across 3 states over 16 days! ….. ok so yes we know we didn’t quite keep the blogs up to date while we are away, but we will do a recap of each day now that we are home and have more time and internet connection! But in the meantime, below is a quick recap of the whole trip to get you excited!

This was one of our shorter trips, only 2 weeks away, but as usual we still managed to pack alot into that time!

The main purpose of the trip was to visit The Big Red Bash, the worlds most remote music festival … and what an awesome, fun filled couple of days that was! They say once you visit you’ll go back again and that’s so true, we are all hooked! The bands, the people, the volunteers, the atmosphere … it was all awesome. Probably by far the best run event we have ever been to.

Although the bash was our main reason for travel, we wanted to make a mini holiday out of it too. We’ve been to Birdsville before and also to most places we visited, but it was still great. We stopped in at Cameron Corner again (where the borders of NSW/SA/QLD meet) and also stopped off at Haddon Corner for the first time (where the borders of QLD/SA meet).

We got our history on visiting some of the sites connected to Burke & Wills …. Burkes grave and Dig Tree to name a couple and we finally visited the Birdsville Hotel and went inside to have a beer (we’ve previously been to Birdsville but didn’t go to the pub, who does that! 😆)

Camel Racing 🐪 yes, we finally went to a camel racing meet, and not just any old camel racing, the ‘Melbounre Cup of Camel Racing’!  We spent 3 days camping at the race course and watching the Boulia Camel Races.

We went on a sunset dinner river cruise on the Thompson River in Longreach, attended an Outback Show at the Australian Stockman’s Hall of Fame, we saw the ‘big bogan’ in Nyngan and the ‘big billy’ in Trangie. We touched a dinosaur bone fossil at Winton and visited the site of the first Qantas plane crash in Tambo. We dropped into little country towns to support and show the love and bought heaps of souvenirs we probably don’t need!

Now to our good mate Stewy, so glad we got to experience our first bash together! Many of you would know that we travel quite a bit with Stewy and his daughter, they love this as much as us! And great to have Jackson along this time aswell! Glad you all made it home safely and we will see you on Fraser Island at Christmas!

It was great to catch up at the bash with Jim & Jackie who came along with us to Cape York last year, hope you enjoyed the bash and have a safe and enjoyable remainder of your trip.

The bash was the place to be and it was great to also run into Matt from Cub Campers again too, hope you enjoyed the rest of your trip, and following along on ours! We will see you soon to arrange our new awning!

Randomly running into one of Shelly’s old high school friends at the Birdsville Hotel (and at the bash and the races!), was great into see you Virginia and meet your family, enjoy the rest of your travels.

Jay and Sallie, our camping neighbours for a couple of nights in Longreach, it was great to meet you both (pj’s and all!), may catch up again one day.

To the guy who works in Target in Longreach, you are hilarious … really bad jokes, but hilarious! And to the people at the Wyandra Post & General Store, thank you for accommodating Shelly’s request for pepper even though you were allergic to it (who knew!) and thanks for opening our eyes to Mac n Cheese Smiths Chips (again, who knew!) …. hope you found your Spaghetti Bol chips! Also great briefly chatting with the caretaker of the Gladstone Hotel in Wyandra, good to hear a little about the community and the hotel.

And lastly, to our other friends, Lauren, Liam and the kids and Leah & Brendan who were meant to be coming to the bash and both didn’t make it for various reasons, hopefully we can all do it again next year!!

All the dust, the smoke, everything smelling like a campfire, the lack of showers and toilets, the cold, the flies …. we wouldn’t trade it for the world. To sit at camp and stare up at the stars, to share a beer with friends or total strangers, to meet the locals and share stories with other travellers, the laughs, the adventure and the memories …. this is life 💕

Oh and to share it with all of you guys too, we love it and glad we could take you along on the journey!

Check out all the stats below ⬇️⬇️⬇️

THE STATS
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🔸4,838 km
🔸travelled across 3 states 
🔸16 days
🔸Total Fuel $1,290
🔸most expensive fuel $1.90/L for Diesel at Innamincka

🔸$210 total accomodation 
(1 x night hotel $160, 2 x nights caravan park $30, 2 x nights low cost camps $20, rest free camping or included in BRB/Camel Races tickets)

MINOR INCIDENTS
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🔸Windscreen chip
🔸Lost reflector off camper
🔸Tear in the awning off the camper
🔸Changed tyre on the camper 
🔸Kangaroo splatter incident 

WHAT WE LEARNT
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🔸It’s really exciting when you initially hear and see someone whip cracking …. it gets really annoying when that’s all you hear all day and night for a few days!
🔸‘Shelly GPS’ has nearly 100% accuracy, ‘George GPS’ is crap!
🔸It’s a game of luck when driving in Longreach …. cross streets have no ‘Give Way’ or ‘Stop’ signs! Oh and to it make it even harder to navigate, the power poles are situated right in the middle of street!
🔸Baby wipes really are your best friend when showers are few and far between (well we knew this one already!)
🔸If you look at a tyre before you leave home and think ‘we really should change that before we go’ ….. you probably should!!
🔸Be very wary of all dead kangaroos on the road! 
🔸You very quickly learn to be open about your toilet trips at the bash …. more on this later, but ‘one scoop per poop’ is the saying in Bashville!💩 
🔸We already knew it, but WikiCamps is awesome! We always find the best free camps using this app … if you aren’t already using it, you really should be!

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Cameron Corner

After leaving camp around 8.30am we started our drive towards Cameron Corner. We had a brief stop after being flagged down by a young couple in an old Prado who needed some help. George checked a few things and then jump started the car to get them going again.

Next we stopped in at Tibooburra to refuel, grab some food and take a photo of the whaleboat …. an exact replica of the one Charles Sturt took along with him on his expedition.

Just before entering Cameron Corner you pass through the world’s longest fence, known as The Dingo/Wild Dog Fence. This fence stretches over an area of about 5,500 km …. now that’s a long fence!

The fence is there to protect sheep graziers and their livestock on the southern side of the fence from wild dogs and dingoes. The fence is constantly monitored and maintained/repaired by workers who are employed full time to keep it in order.

After passing through the fence you arrive a Cameron Corner, the place where NSW, Queensland and South Australia meet. John Cameron, a NSW Lands Department Surveyor, led the first survey party along the NSW/QLD border between 1879 and 1881. In 1880, upon arriving at the corner, Cameron erected a wooden boundary post with the inscription “LAT29” and “Cameron”. This original post is on display at the National Parks & Wildlife Service office in Tibooburra and a new post was erected at the location at Cameron Corner.

Other than ‘the post’ and being able to say you stood at the meeting point of 3 states, there isn’t really much else at Cameron Corner, it’s literally smack bang in the middle of nowhere! There is the Corner Store, which sells meals, fuel, souvenirs etc and of course it’s licenced so you can grab yourself a beer … which we did!

Back in 2014 we took the trek out to Cameron Corner to spend New Years Eve there. This was quite a fun night and we were actually surprised at the amount of people that turned up! We even ended up meeting a group who lived in the suburb next to us! Where else can you celebrate New Years Eve three times in one night ….. in 3 different states! Fenn & Cheryl, the owners of the Corner Store, put on a great night with games and entertainment and even fireworks. We will definitely be back for this again one year.

New Years Eve 2014 with Fenn, the owner of The Corner Store …. Shelly singing as usual!

The Corner Store was original established by Sandy Nall, an ex-Vietnam Vet. Apparently he had camped out there for a few weeks and after noticing how many cars drove past he came up with the idea of establishing a business out there. The original Corner Store was first opened in 1989. There is a memorial for Sandy under the flagpole out the front of the store.

Interesting fact, the store itself is located on the Queensland side of the border, but the telephone number has a South Australian prefix of 08 and it has a NSW postal address!

A unique New Year’s Eve celebration

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This was something we had always wanted to do, to celebrate New Year’s Eve at Cameron Corner.  Many people may not even know where Cameron Corner is, so let me explain so that you know why this was such a unique experience.

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Our little lizard friend we tried to save from the middle of the road, he was not a happy little boy!

Cameron Corner is located at the border of NSW, SA & QLD.  This unique location means that you can celebrate New Years Eve three times due to the differing time zones, how cool is that!  So while everyone else around the country celebrated once, we welcomed in 2015 THREE times!

Our journey started on boxing day as we headed out to Dubbo and then on to White Cliffs, Broken Hill & Silverton, Tibooburra, Cameron Corner, Bourke & Lightning Ridge.  We were travelling with a group of 3 cars, 6 adults and 2 children – all of which, except us, had never done any outback travel, so everyone was excited about what lay ahead.IMG_4714

After a few days of exploring the surrounding areas, 31st December had arrived and we were off to Cameron Corner.

We left Tibooburra early for the relatively short drive to Cameron Corner, we wanted to arrive early and set up camp before it got too hot.

The roads during that part of our journey were more red and sandy than the previous days as we headed closer to the Strzlecki Desert.

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The Dog Fence

We drove through the Sturt National Park and along the dog fence, passing through the dog fence at Cameron Corner.

We arrived at Cameron Corner around 11am (but gained an hour as the store is located in Qld so it was only l0am!).

image2We arrived and went to the corner store to pay for our camping and have a quick drink at the bar.

Camping was $10 per night, with $5 of that going to the Royal Flying Doctors Service.

With the $5, they rolled it up with a tack in it and you have to throw it up for it to stick on the roof! Believe me, this is not as easy as it sounds …… although the owners make it look easy!IMG_4596

After setting up camp we went for a drive around the property and then took a drive back to Fort Grey campground and had some lunch there.  We then headed back to Cameron Corner via the Queensland side and the Fortville Gate.

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You can even play a game of golf while at Cameron Corner, as you cross over the borders in the three states!  Another pretty unique experience, but it was a little too hot for us to undertake on this visit!

It was nice to be in the air conditioning of the car as the temperatures were in the mid 40’s (it was 31 degrees at 9.30am!).  IMG_4577Yes it was hot, but the temperatures were a lot lower than what we were expecting and had prepared for.  We had been told to expect around 50 degrees at that time of year, so we were very lucky.  Also there was a slight breeze which helped, especially at night.

IMG_4590After lunch we drove through an area which was completely filled with kangaroos and lots of babies aswell. Some of these guys were huge and although we have seen so many kangaroos the last few days, we haven’t seen this many together. When we got back to camp, we were talking to the store owners and they said that there is absolutely no water around and most of these poor guys will be dead in the next few months. Guess that’s the sad reality of outback life, really made you think.

So by early afternoon we were back at camp and the area was starting to fill up, with more people still arriving.  We had camped in the non-powered side, so we were all fairly spread out, but the powered area on the opposite side of the store was pretty full.  IMG_4637

The festivities started in the early afternoon with games of horse shoe toss, mini golf etc. We took a wander around and met some of the other campers, even met some from a few suburbs away from us!

Everyone was in party mode, there was music and laughter all around, while people wandered around the camp sharing a drink and a chat with each other.

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The real party started around 10.30pm (or 11.30 pm Sydney time). Everyone started to make their way up to the ‘corner post’ where the owners had set up tables, chairs and music. We all headed up with drinks, glow sticks and sparklers!  The ground was marked with lines in the sand so we all knew which ‘state’ we had to be in!

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The first celebration was in NSW, we had the countdown and then everyone celebrated with each other as we brought in the new year!  We then waited for our next countdown!

IMG_46661/2 hour later we all walked over to South Australia and had yet another countdown and celebration!  And when I say we ‘walked to South Australia’, I mean we literally walked about 1 meter and crossed over the marked line in the sand!

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Celebrating with Fenn, the owner of the Corner Store

There was plenty of music,  singing, drinking and laughs to fill in the time in between.

Finally it was Queensland’s turn, so we all jumped over the line in the sand into Queensland for our final New Year’s Eve celebrations for 2014.

The celebration was was finished off with a small fireworks display, not quite Sydney harbour standard, but we’d never seen fireworks in the middle of the outback before!  What a fun night.  The owners sure know how to make this a fun and unique experience!

We were all in bed around 2am and up again at 6.30am to pack up camp! Not a great deal of sleep ….. the music blaring and talking, laughing and screaming all night didn’t help things either, but hey it was New Year’s Eve so what do you expect!! Must say that things were a lot quieter in the morning!

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George standing in SA and Shelly standing in NSW!

What a great night, such a unique experience and such a great bunch of people. We estimate there would have been around 70 people there.  We will definitely be back again!  It’s one of those things we are glad we could tick off our bucket list, highly recommend people experience this at least once in their lifetime!

To view our short video Click here

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