From Christine and Graeme about their latest Vanning Adventure
In May 2022 we headed north from Adelaide in our VW T6 LWB 4 Motion Achtung Nature Lover Campervan, planning to drive up the Birdsville Track into Queensland. But plans changed when heavy rains closed the Track, along with many other dirt or gravel roads in western Queensland. So we ended up sticking to the bitumen, driving via Broken Hill to Lightning Ridge and on to Carnarvon Gorge. We managed one walk through the spectacular gorge before torrential rain set in, flooding the causeway and locking us into the campground for five days! Our van remained cosy and dry inside.
Eventually, we were able to head north and west to Winton in the heart of the dinosaur country. We had pre-booked for a night of Opera Under the Stars at the Australian Age of Dinosaurs, which we were thrilled to finally get to on time. We also checked out dinosaur museums and sites of interest in Hughenden and Richmond. It was amazing to get up so close to dinosaur bones and other fossils.
As we were already so far north we thought it would be good to see the Gulf of Carpentaria. We drove up to Karumba where we soaked up the sun and dined out on fresh barramundi. We then headed east along the Savannah Way, which was quite an experience as it is mostly a single lane of bitumen. When one of the numerous 53-metre-long road trains approaches, other vehicles have to take to the gravel shoulder to pass safely. Along the way, we visited Cobbold Gorge with its exciting glass walkway and the underground lava tubes at Undarra Experience.
We went gem fossicking in a couple of places, hoping to make our fortune. A full-time fossicker we met near Mt Surprise said his most valuable find was a sapphire worth $30,000. Our little bag of pretty pebbles is probably not worth much in comparison!
We took our inflatable kayak on the trip, originally hoping to paddle on Cooper Creek, but eventually paddled on Lake Dunn near Aramac, which was pure fun! We have a bike rack attached to the back of the van that can hold an extra wheel, the kayak, or firewood.
As usual, one of us in particular, packed too many clothes, with the occasional washing day creating a colourful sight! Otherwise, our supplies and cooking worked well, with food from home plus restocking locally. We cook with a combination of an induction hotplate, an outdoor LPG gas ring and an open fire whenever possible.
This six-week trip was the longest so far in our Achtung campervan and we couldn’t be happier with its performance. It handled rough roads and creek crossings just as well as sealed roads. We’ve done a few shorter trips since this trip, but plan on a longer interstate excursion in the spring.
Christine and Graeme
If you want to read more about their previous adventures then check this out!
Check out other photos from us here.