Trek 2004 – Dispatch Two

1 August

Jeff and Darriel de Pledge, Jeff Fordham and Robert Webb return to WA. Before departing we visited the Quorn Art Gallery with raffle prizes going to Steve Frew, John Parkes and Ross Smith.

Trekkers were escorted by local farmer Jack and his two sons Fletcher and Fraser out of Quorn to Bruce enroute to Peterborough. Some trekkers took a sight seeing tour of the town which was very informative before a welcome and enjoyable meal provided by the Lions Club. Two members had their photo taken with the President by the local newspaper. Peter Nunn auctioned off his special cap.

2 August

Peter and Paul Nunn, Alex Wheeler, Peter Hardy, Wendy Fordham, Janice and Keith Doel, Kim and Susan Henderson, Stan and Noreen Snook all departed for varying reasons. Before departure trekkers visited the Train Museum and Leys Museum (Dolls) both were very interesting. Morning tea was at Terowie where some trekkers were lucky enough to find coffee and cake.

News came through that Nick McLachlan whom we met at Wilpena Pound, his wife and carer had been involved in a car accident and were admitted to Coober Pedy Hospital. Next stop Morgan Caravan Park which is situated on the Murray River. Julie and Margaret Nunn and Gary Snook joined the group. We were welcomed at the local hotel for a meal in the outdoor beer garden where a fun night was had by all. The local publican played the guitar and Garry and George auctioned off various items that had been donated for our fund raising for RFD and Children’s Hospitals. Birthday greetings to Carolyn Mitchell.

3 August

From Morgan we headed to Mannum Showgrounds. Firstly we had to cross the river and what a great sight it was with the 13 orange tractors loaded onto the ferry which created quite a lot of interest from the locals. The weather was bleak and the camping area was turned into a small stream so all moved to the Caravan Park which was dry. Scraggy found a new home while in Mannum and was taken care of by some locals who offered them B and B for the three nights overlooking Mannum from above.


4 August

Most trekkers visited the Horwood Bagshaw Works and found it very interesting.


5 August

A busload of Trekkers headed for Victor Harbour and surrounding districts for the day. The Football Club put on a very enjoyable evening meal.

6 August

From Mannum we moved onto the Mt Pleasant Showground/Caravan Park which was a bit sloppy around the edges but the Tractor Trekkers are pretty tough and managed to slot into some pretty cosy spots. The scenery from Mannum to Mt Pleasant was very picturesque up hill and down dale. Some trekkers made their way to the Monarto Zoo which was very different as the animals are out in paddocks.

7 August

The famous Birdwood Motor Museum was the highlight of the day. Some trekkers found the first car or their parents’ first car which added to the interest. One of the trekkers had the misfortune of falling over and breaking a bone in her wrist. We wish you a speedy recovery Jan.

8 August

Rest day for some. Hahndorf was on the top of the list for a visit for most, some a trip to Adelaide or the Gumeracha Toy Factory which has the largest rocking horse on display in the world. While in Adelaide a pair of orange tractors was spotted parked in the Adelaide Mall between two chocolate shops, a great achievement and a night spent at the Hyatt caused a real buss. Well done trekkers.

9 August

Time to move again and the next stop was Nuriootpa Barossa Caravan Park. We were welcomed with open arms by Kirsty and her friendly team with a lovely afternoon tea and a folder of brouchers of activities to do and see around the area.

10 August

A bus trip was organised to do the local wineries and visit the local tourist places. Brendon was our tour guide, come bus driver, and he was very interesting. Some trekkers went back to Waikerie to see some more tractors that had been restored.

11 August

No the wedding didn’t happen next time…

On the road again and our guide was Peter Faint, a local farmer, who took the group to Clare via the back tracks. Many thanks Peter for a great effort.

12 August

The green and orange tee shirts could be spotted up and down the main street of Clare, shopping and mixing with the locals. The Restoration display by Graham Good was well worth a visit. A BBQ was arranged by Graham Goode’s Club at the Farm Woolshed. A beautiful spread was enjoyed by trekkers and locals. Another auction was conducted by Gary and George and Cumber spoke about the history of the Chamberlain 9G Tractor Club of WA Inc.

13 August

Trekkers headed for Melrose calling into Heinrich’s shed followed by morning tea at Gladstone, lunch at Booleroo Steam Preservation Society. Here we found a fantastic arrangement of preserved old tractors and farming gear including windmills. Eric Dagger, tour guide showed Trekkers around the Melrose Museum giving all a good insight into what happened many years ago.

A sausage sizzle was held outside Mt Remarkable Hotel amongst the rain and the wind but did not seem to deter too many people as there was hardly any standing room. The evening meal was held in the hall, followed by Square Dancing which had a few trekkers trying to work out their right footwork. Instead of the usual rug up due to the cold weather we had experienced, we now found we were doing the reverse and stripping off!! Some trekkers were very lucky to be offered a night at a B and B for the night, others returned to their campers after a great night to find their camps in a bit of a mess due to the wind and rain. All was retrieved and campers were all happy again


14 August

We left Melrose and headed for Whyalla. Under very wet and overcast conditions, we wove our way down Horrocks Pass through Port Augusta without too many problems. A visit was made to Wilmington Toy Museum where some trekkers saw a few toys that they would have had spent many hours playing with in their younger days. Our tour leader was Biggles.

A special thanks to people who led us in and out of towns, up and down hills to places of interest and also to our tail end Charlie who had to round up the strays and head them in the right direction.

15 August

At meeting time we had the Salvation Army donating money to the RFD. A couple of trekkers shifted camp in the night due to a very noisy party on the other side of the fence. We left Whyalla after a tour around the town and a photo shoot at the Mainland Shopping Centre. Our next stop was Cowell Showground. Volunteers from the Cowell Museum provided a delightful three course meal. A fun night was enjoyed by all. Gary Snook gave the locals a Cowell an insight into what we are doing. Dusty and Glen put on a great skit. Derek Henderson was wished a happy birthday from us all. Scraggy crew were lucky to win a hat trick. Special thanks to Donald McLaughlin who kept us entertained playing his piano accordion.

16 August

Sincere condolences are offered to Glen who received some bad news in the night.

A special thanks to all those farmers who came to town and took the trekkers out for a tour of their farm and a history lesson on Cowell. Some trekkers had a tour of the Oyster Farm.

17 August

As we waved goodbye to Cowell we headed to Tumby Bay. Morning tea was at Cleve and we learnt that we had missed a very big Field Day. We moved onwards to Arno Bay and Port Neill and learnt points of interest from our local man and 9G member George. Thanks also to George for organising a very interesting tour around the Eyre Peninsular.

We arrived in beautiful Tumby and some trekkers went on a tour with a difference – a sunset ride in a horse and cart with Ross and his delightful Clydesdale.

18 August

All up bright and early and headed down to the foreshore for Remembrance Day for the Vietnam Veterans. Allan Faulkner and Charlie Garner delivered a fitting service as we remembered those who had gone before us. George Bass spoke about his and fellow trekkers tour of the Oyster Farm which was escorted by Tom from the local Cowell School.

Sights visited today were Koppio Smithy Museum (a real beauty and well worth the visit) and Todd Reserve (SA water supply).

19 August

About eleven trekkers were up bright and early to go out on a Tuna Boat to see how they harvest tuna. A big thank you to George Baldwin for organising the tour which was thoroughly enjoyed by all we ventured out.

A few tractors went down to the foreshore for a couple of hours at Port Lincoln and shook their tins and sold some merchandise, while others went to a sea horse farm which was very different.

The trek has provided a great deal of interest with the South Australian communities as people are ringing up to find out when we will be in their town. Donations are still coming in from very generous people and we are also receiving goods to be auctioned. Special thanks to John Henderson, our media spokesperson, who has given us good coverage over the radio.

20 August

We left Pt Lincoln for smoko at Coffin Bay, a delightful spot by the ocean. Aquaculture seems to be very popular with plenty of oyster sheds and oyster baskets sighted. Bridle Creeper is noticed for miles along the way.

Trekkers George Bass, Marion Pierce, Carolyn Mitchell, George Baldwin, Jim Cole, Vicki and Max Smith and Hugh Campbell were interviewed on the radio by Suzy Grosner on the ABC on the highlights of the trip. While trekkers are stopped for lunch in Cummins it was observed that Margaret McLaughlin was cooking a fish feast for Donald.

More donations were given to us to auction.

Allan Faulkner gave a special talk at the local primary school of Karkoo to about 30 children to let them know why we were driving around in orange tractors.

Crops are looking good through the area.

The local Community Club put on a tasty evening meal. The hospitality by the local country people has been overwhelming and we appreciate their time and efforts. George Baldwin had his turn on the microphone and explained to the people of Lock how he became involved in the trek.

21 August

Brenda, of the Lock Sporting Community Club was noticed up very early helping to get coffee, tea and orange juice organised for the tractor trekkers while the Apex men cooked bacon and egg toasted sandwiches – delectable. Football and netball semi finals were to take place after we departed Lock.

Ian brought his big CAT tractor out of the yard for a photo shoot with out 9G’s in the main street of Lock. Ian has had to use the RFD service five times and on one occasion had to get his wife to hospital to have twins who were four months prem. They are about three now and doing well.

28kms from Lock rock fences appear and the crops have disappeared. Some trekkers were lucky enough to see a wombat. Mt Wedge was spotted in the distance – not as high as Ullaru.

Smoko was at Elliston. Venus Bay was our next destination where we caught glimpses of whales in the bay as they floated just below the surface occasionally popping a small part of them above the water.

22 August

Overnight we camped on the edge of the ocean at the Streaky Bay Caravan Park. It rained again this morning.

One of the trekkers had the misfortune to have his tractor towed to Baldwin’s repair shop for a major operation.

Lunch was at the Smokey Bay Community Club and a fabulous spread was laid before us by he local community. All monies paid for lunch was donated back to the RFD. Special thank to everyone. Photos are taken at the front of the Community Club with tractors and members of the local community.

Dinner was at the Ceduna Football Club which is again a big success. We held a monster auction which went off very well. Thanks to our auctioneer Gary who had to remove his shirt from his back as a very keen bidder wanted it. A footy tipping competition was held Eagles v Dockers – Les won, Kerry 2nd and Ken 3rd.

Thanks to George for the use of his workshop and for his fantastic tour around South Australia and to his crew Glen, Dennis, and Robert who were also very knowledgeable.

Members departing tomorrow are: South Australian crew, Julie and Margaret Nunn, Les and Toni Hammer, Jim and Faye Cole and Woody.

Special thanks to Jim, Faye, Patsy and Ross, Max and Vicki who without them this trip would not have taken place, and to Ron and Kerry Bywaters for being forward scouts and directing us to Caravan Parks when we arrived in the towns and for the binders they provided (author’s Bible).