Days 22, 23: Canberra to Trakka

yaralumla bay

Breakfast at Yaralumla Bay.

Wednesday: Unfortunately that leak from the main hatch didn’t go away, so we organised to come back to Trakka for them to take another look at it. From Canberra to Sydney was just a transfer. Both of us are fighting a cold today and not feeling flash. We drove a few hours, rested a few hours, drove some more, rested some more and arrived at Trakka about 7pm where we spent the night.
There was another Jabiru here when we arrived, with a couple staying the night in it. Allan and Keiran are from the Sunshine Coast and have brought their Jabiru down for its annual service. We had a chat with them and look forward to meeting up with them to do some trips together in the future.

Thursday: Well it’s nighttime now and we’re still here. The leak is complicated, but looks like it’s fixed now – just need to stay here overnight to make sure it cures.

Day 13: Umina to Wingello SF

We arrived at Trakka showrooms soon after opening time where they took Priscilla straight in for her repairs. The leaking window and mirror were fixed (mirror replaced with tinted perspex – more practical for our purposes) but the leak in the main hatch couldn’t be replicated. We left after lunch, after buying two Duvalays from them. A Duvalay is a fancy sleeping bag. It has two sheet ‘pockets’ once of which fits a memory foam base, and the top fits a doona, joined together at the base and along one side. We’ve read very good reviews of them and they are convenient and easy to make up.

From the Trakka Showrooms we took the motorway to bypass Sydney, heading towards Bowral. Around Bowral and Mossvale is very pretty, lush, rolling hills with lovely old homes on big properties with massive, manicured gardens – old money!

That evening we spent in the Wingello State Forest, a mature pine forest. We shared a massive area with 2 or 3 others – a quiet night, not disturbed by the many wombats here.

Day 1: Mt Kuring Gai to Umina Beach

Weather: drizzling on and off; pleasant temperature
Distance: 54K

We timed our arrival at Trakka for just after opening – too excited to delay longer. Wow our campervan is BEAUTIFUL – big, looks tough, but oh so gorgeous – just my unbiased opinion!

Martin at Trakka did the handover. These are complicated machines! You can see more details of our Jabiru in the ‘Our Gear’ page (when Steve does the write up).

the handover

She’s OURS!

About 1pm we were ready to leave. I drove her out with Steve chief navigator. Driving her is so easy, and comfortable. Loved it!
Our first night is just down the road at Umina Beach. Due to it being school holidays the caravan park was packed – hoards of pre-adolescent children riding bikes and scooters everywhere. With the benefit of reversing cameras parking was easy, and all children are still alive!
That’s it!! Set-up complete!

Though difficult to do we left the Jabiru to go for a long, brisk walk on the beach. This bay is quite beautiful with a lovely beach, great for swimming and in the strong winds we were having, the kite surfers were fantastic to watch. Despite those strong winds the campsite is quite well protected. This would be a lovely place to camp outside school holidays (for those without children!).

Back ‘home’ now for our first meal and a restful night in our new baby.



Preparations – the day before

The long awaited day is nearly here and we have to get to Sydney. We had friends take us to the train at Caboolture, then onto the airtrain to the airport and a flight to Sydney. Our luggage consisted of a backpack each with our clothes and two large suitcases containing a bare minimum kit to outfit the campervan enough to last us a week to drive her home. We had bedding and saucepans and a kettle and grocery items and even a cooked meal for the first night.

It has been 6 months since we ordered our Mercedes Benz 4×4 Sprinter campervan conversion to a Jabiru by Trakka, and I’ve just about worn the brochure out studying it and dreaming of adventures to come (as all friends who’ve been anywhere near me in the last 6 months can attest to!).  She’s been ready for us to collect since mid-December, however due to a business trip to Montreal, then on to Qatar and Berlin where our first two grandbabies were born (happy dance) we’ve only been back in Australia for 3 days.

Tonight we’re at the Meriton Apartments in Sydney, ready to catch the train to Mt Kuring Gai to Trakka’s factory and showrooms first thing in the morning.

Bulahdelah to Jenolan Caves

Early start this morning. Headed south on the highway looking for a nice spot to stop for breakfast. Port Stephens seemed promising and a place we wanted to see anyway, so the little township of Karuah in the bay provided us with the perfect location. Karuah is noted to be a quiet place to get away from it all, with fishing and oyster farming being the major industries. We cooked our bacon and eggs on the barbeque at the foreshore watching the pelicans following the oyster farmers in to their sheds with great anticipation, and a retired couple catching bream from the jetty.

The harbour.

The harbour.

I felt we should support the local industry so a dozen of the most delicious, plump oysters found their way into our fridge – pity Steve doesn’t eat oysters (wink!). Karuah is a delightful little place.
Click here to see some more photos of Karuah.

You may recall that our tickets to the Opera in the Caves were a gift from Nick and Kim who read in an earlier ‘chronicle’ how much we had previously enjoyed the opera in the caves. Well … Nick and Kim take note of what I’m going to write about now just in case you’re looking for your next gift for us – we’d be happy to combine Mothers Day and Fathers Day gifts for this one (maybe even birthdays and Christmas too)!

Seeing as how we had to skirt around Sydney to get to the Blue Mountains we decided to pop into Trakka to take a look at their motorhomes. We’re keen to purchase a motorhome to continue our cruisin’ in and have narrowed it down to either the Trakka or the Horizon. Martin Poate the General Manager at Trakka showed us the Jabiru 4×4 – I’m definitely in love! Anyway no decisions yet until we see the Horizon. (Stay tuned Nick and Kim!)

So, onward and upward, and upward, and upward as we climbed the Blue Mountains. Our plan is to return to Katoomba to camp this weekend and do some of the Blue Mountains walks – but the weather isn’t looking promising. I was surprised how brown everywhere was – they sure need rain up here. When you reach Katoomba you feel like you should be at the Caves, but it’s still another hour’s drive, and the road is very windy, tight hairpin bends and narrow in places. They close the road for a couple of hours from around 11am for the coaches exclusive use. Good idea – I wouldn’t like to meet one of those big buses on that road.

Caves House, our accommodation for the next two nights is delightful. Oldy worldy – but more about that tomorrow. It was a long day today and we were both grateful to arrive and get settled into our room before adjourning to the lounge bar for a gin and tonic.