Our Mole Station (Tenterfield) camping experience + our first day on the caravan road trip to Uralla…

(Article by Greg)

For over 21 years, Ron and Bet (Julz Mum and Dad – “the outlaws” ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) have a family tradition at Easter time.  Most of Julz brothers family and life long friends, Carol and Gordon, all camp on a 6000 acres farm outside of Tenterfield called “Mole Station” (owned by a family of third generation cattle farmers). 

 
(L to R) Carol, Zila, Julz, Gordon, Eliza, Natalie, Ron and Bet.

After our fossicking adventure, it was the place that we hooked up with Bet and Ron, along with Gypsy (their English Springer 6 year old dog) and the caravan.  After leaving our wonderful host, Amanda, in Inverell, we drove 2 hours on more  dirt roads to arrive on Easter Monday morning at 9.30am at Mole Station – in a beaut spot in a paddock by a creek.  

  

 We only stayed the one night at Mole Station, however, it was our first sleep in the caravan, which is our home now for three months. I suppose one can laugh at the adjustments and new experiences for us city types in the bush.

(Beware – dodgey nude showering in makeshift shower at Mole Station ๐Ÿ˜œโœŒ๏ธ)

  
But the good news was the chance to relax ……

  

Tuesday saw us leave Mole Station and share the driving down to a small rural town of Uralla. This is our camp for tonight before we head off to our next destination in the morning.  We all got to share in driving the van – quite a load at 5 tonnes and over 45 feet/ 13.7 mtres (car and van size).

  
  
  The Van and vehicle.  5 tonnes.

  
Meet Gypsy – our travelling companion 

Mining magnates we are not – our fossicking fantasy…

   

  

  

    

  

   Fossicking – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fossicking?wprov=sfsi1

(Article by Julz)

Saturday…….We stayed the night with Vicki and Tracey, our Airbnb friends in Warwick. What a wonderful place they have, extremely quiet and restful. We talk to them about fossicking, and they advised us of the ‘Rock Swap’ at the Warwick Showgrounds – off we go!  We arrive at the Showgrounds early and explore all the experienced fossickers wares. We go inside the pavillion and meet a professional crystal merchant named Tony. We are attracted to some pyrite, a crystal that has amazing alien cube shapes protruding from it. Tony shows us a video of the excavation of this wonderful crystal from the earth – and guess where it is mined? Northern Spain, where we will be in July/August, therefore, we will be adding this to our explorations of Spain! Very exciting! He also tells us his favourite fossicking place is Torrington – off we go to Torrington! 

 Edit 
To our delight, there was an Easter show at their Community Hall- we met the ‘salt of the earth’ community – a really humbling experience. We drove onwards to the national park, the iload’s first encounter of dirt roads and it excelled. As the place was deserted, we decided to have a small walk and with rain on the horizon, and a fear of being caught on a wet muddy road, journeyed forward to our next stop, Inverell.

  

  
Sunday ……Today is the day for our first foray into fossicking. We are staying in Inverell for two nights with a lovely lady, Amanda, who we found through Air Bnb.

Amanda took us out to a local indigenous walk, Nhinta Karra Kara track.  A tastefully and respectful walk through a very special bush walk.

   
 Our first stop is the visitors centre to find the local fossicking areas.  We decided to go on the cheap to Stannifer Creek.  We take out our buckets, tools and newly acquired gear and head off into the creek bed.   It is dry, because of the lack of rain in many months. Being the novices we are, we pick up everything that is unusual or pretty.  We find the tiniest slither of Peridot and some minute quartz crystals.  We think to ourselves, “we have hit pay dirt and this will cover our adventure costs” (heehee).   

   

   
Our next stop is Tingha Sands, where we pay $10 each and meet the “super” Dot.  We explain we are virgin fossickers, and she takes us under her wing. Dot and her husband started the business 16 years ago and they encourage fossickers to sort through the leftovers once they’ve extracted their sand. Again, we become excited with every little ‘pretty’, however, Dot comes to our rescue and shows us the ropes of what to do. She also comes out fossicking with us and gives us her findings, as well as a butter container of what she has collected over the last week. What a legend!

    

Our road trip begins

Great start at 7am getting on the road this morning to visit Julz Uncle Jim and Auntie Marge in Toowoomba (2 hours drive out of Brisbane).

We were given an Aussie hat by our new found friends, Pete and Bradie Barton, to help us along the way.  Hence the pic below with Julz joining the new look (everyone will want a stylish butterfly cork hanging hat – replacing the traditional corks) ๐Ÿ˜‰

  
  (Above) – Auntie Marge, Julz and Uncle Jim in Toowoomba-  easter bonnets perhaps??  ๐Ÿ˜œ

(Below – wtf??) 

  
 
(Above – this is Julz other Uncle Lex – he also lives out Toowoomba way).  A few family catch ups – great to be in the moment.

So, day one ends at an Air Bnb in Warwick before we get set to experience fossicking  tomorrow at  Glen Innes.  Look out sapphires – “beginners luck” is coming your way ….  

Hello world ~ our seven month adventure

Hello world ~ our seven month adventure

With one week to go, 29th March 2016, before we start our trip across Australia, it is great to reflect what got us here in the first place.

Julz (my life long partner) and I were running our own business, Dandelyon Gifts, a homewares and gift store in West End, Brisbane, for five years when we stopped to smell the roses, back in October 2014, and realised we wanted to do something different with our lives.
Our three kids had grown and flown, two down in Sydney, my Mum, brother and Dad all passed away and we realised that – “life is too short” and we needed to plan a world trip away.  To explore places we only dreamed about, like Petra in Jordan (Julz actually dreamt about it) and Egypt, always a fascination of mine, particularly the Mystery Schools, Art, Esoteric, Spiritual constructs and Ageless Wisdom.
So, here we are, in mid March 2016 – about to start on a caravan trip around Australia (our home country) with Julz parents, Ron and Bet, (the outlaws) in a caravan.  This should be a whole new experience for all of us, even though Ron (88) and Bet (80) have already visited many places across Australia, but never the Nullabor Plains or Perth to Broome. Never with their daughter, Julz and their son-in law.  So, here we are!

It is a true adventure just to arrive to this day.  Trying to sell the business, fully renovate our home to bring in some tenants whilst we see the world for seven months, down-size all our home stuff (many dump trips and thank you Gumtree, Garage Sales etc) we finally start to sell the excess cars a week from departing.  We have filled the two rooms with two great tenants and now to fill the upstairs house.  We just wish it was easier, alas, not in this lifetime.  We tried to sell our business early 2015, however, after many false starts, we saw the lease until the end of November and sold everything off – to clear the decks!

We are about to document our three months across Australia and share the highlights, pics and so on.  We get back, heading south and up across the top and over, in end of June 2016.  Then, Julz and I leave for four months to UK, Europe, Egypt, Jordan, USA and Canada.
This is the longest we have ever been away from home – this is our GAP YEAR!

and boy, are we excited!!!