Hope you have a cuppa ready for this one!
A group of Bayside Off-roaders attended the 38th Annual 4WD corroboree which was hosted by 4WD Queensland & based at Warwick Showgrounds this year. The motley crew started arriving Friday some getting there nice & early to set up, others just before dark or early Saturday. With a range of set up from nice & cozy caravans, camper trailers & swag. The Vane’s even having 3 generations there!
Friday evening was easy pace cooking our own meals & circled round Chis & Barb’s van having a couple of cold ones as night drew in.
With the meeting scheduled for Saturday afternoon most opted for a lazy day around camp. But Garth & myself decided to make the most of the weekend squeezing in a morning drive at ‘The Springs’ the 0730 start time was a bit delayed, maybe that was a sign for how it was going to pan out…
We headed out from Warwick in a convoy of about 16 4wd’s with a range of clubs present. Myself being a novice planned to stick as close to Garth as I could so hopefully learn from his lines. The trip was rated a medium but I was hoping I’d be ok (no driver training yet) hmm would I regret that decision…
Click edit button to change this text.
Unfortunately due to mental blank & there being no way I had time to look at the park map I can’t tell you all the tracks we did! But we headed up along ‘Main Street’ to ‘Love hill’ bypassing the Jack Off Lane (who comes up with these names?!) where we stopped as a group for some pictures.
We left along an ‘easy’ trail with me secretly wondering about my choice at the beginning of the day when I hear over the UHF ‘OK to the left is an easier track but those who want a hard one can go straight ahead & we’ll meet at the top’ although Garth chose the hard one going straight up ‘Ben’s Crack’ I thought I’d play safe & take the ‘Bald Nob’ but while I wait for the Prado infront to get to the top of the 1st part of the ‘easy’ trail over the uhf comes ‘I’m stuck!’ Now my dilemma is real – which way do I go…. last I heard from Garth was it was tough but not too bad… at least for the 1st part. So after being told to make my mind up by the Jeeps waiting behind I decide bugger it let’s go up Ben’s Crack. It was immediately obvious this was a difficult track but l thought I could see a line – but when I rounded another corner it faced me. Bloody Hell I thought, there is no way I can back track so I’m going to have to have a go. It was loose, rocky, rutted, step ups you name it. I remember just thinking at least hopefully they’ll be able to recover me! Somehow I made it, the adrenaline pumping through my body!! There is a clip of me ending up on the last part of Bald nob after which then felt tame!
For the rest of the day this set the tone, I became brave enough to follow Garth & not need to opt for any chicken tracks. Being very proud of myself being one of only 4 that managed one section, there was 2 big recoveries taking about 1 1/2 hours & the others not taking the risk.
That all meant we were pretty late back to camp & thought we’d of missed the meeting but luckily they delayed it so we could attend. Even had coffee & cake provided. Without doubt the biggest item on the agenda was about the current lift laws & operation lift.
Saturday evening was again a selection of diners being cooked & without doubt Barb’s roast pork aromas were the best. I got to see Kathleen’s pretty cool thermal cooking thingy in action which is also now on the wish list! At least I had steak but poor John was on leftovers! I learnt another valuable lesson, don’t help to do the dishes in the dark…
Luckily it wasn’t too early a start on Sunday allowing for a much needed cooked breakfast after a very cold night with a drizzle of rain through the night, luckily the rain had stopped but it was quite a fresh overcast day. We split into 3 groups for the day drive. Kathleen, Bec & myself chose Janowen Hills, with John heading off to The Springs & Garth going to Sundown.
We (Janowen Hills medium group) had been merged with the hard for the drive over & it was a pretty impressive sight I’m guessing about 25+ 4wd in convoy! We arrived after a short drive & all aired down together before splitting into 2 groups. The quarry area was pretty busy so we headed off on some easy trails to a couple of lookouts, although the weather wasn’t the best to take advantage of the view! Most of the morning was a very relaxed drive, more of maybe easy than medium. We heading back to the Office/shop area for lunch & met up with the other group. After talking to them I was glad I didn’t do the difficult one! Kathleen & Chris took the opportunity to have a chat to see how Owen was doing, also finding out about a day ‘tough tracks’ are organising out there to help out with some odd jobs around the park.
The afternoon tempo changed pretty quickly & the tracks became more interesting but Miles our leader making sure we were all capable especially Bec (on her maiden voyage) & myself as novices. We came across a climb with a step up near the camp ground & he carefully spotted us all through. Bec doing a cracking job in her stock hilux. We progressed winding our way through to a play area where I might of started getting a little carried away! Learning the Nav is way better than I am. We had Kathleens friend Tammy also providing entertainment by trying to climb the banks to take photos, but being way too steep she would slide back down 😂
We carried on through crossing the creek & several times having either an easier or more difficult track as options, with my confidence boosted I figured I’d keep with the harder ones, learning all the time about the importance of which line to choose.
Towards the end we headed back to the play area & I followed Bec along uneven undulations & I got to see how well that Hilux was able to flex even in standard trim. I tried some of the short climbs again after getting over the fear of wheel lift, egged on by hearing the others reactions when onlooking. Poor Tammy our camerawoman thought she would get a safe lift down to the bottom, alas she didn’t get one! Although she then stayed in for another up & down!!
But as all days have to come to an end we headed back to the office to air up for the journey back to camp. Although even managed a play in the servo trying to jump the diesel queue by reversing all over the forecourt. Such a child.
We headed back to a very cold camp & all started our diners over a few bevies, some heading over to watch the football & also wish Ashley (one of the organisers) a very happy birthday. The rest of us turned in early I think to get out of the cold!
Monday was an early back up for some especially as had to go to work… but had an absolutely fantastic time attending the 4wd Queensland corroboree as part of the Bayside Off-Roaders.