Drone On!

The Wallaby Track: Lionel discovers drones, meets old friends, and even solves water woes in his motorhome.

drone on
Camping on the Gwydir River.

Drones seem to be the current ‘in thing’ – my friend, Rob Tudor, has one and took some great aerial shots of  camping by the side of the lovely Gwydir River at Bingara, NSW, while waiting to attend the 11th national muster of the Australian Caravan Club.

ACC member Rob Tudor and Judy.

It was my pleasure to make the presentation at the AGM that saw Rob being made a life member of the ACC in recognition of his sterling work as a director and webmaster for more than 10 years. Rob joins me and another three life members whose service has been recognised by the club.


The property next door to us is for sale and the real estate agent was taking pictures of it with a drone recently when he flew it into a tree on our property and had to get our permission to come on to our place to retrieve it!

Drone shot of Lionel’s place.

He took some great shots of our place as a thank-you – only trouble is that I now want a couple of extra storeys built on my house so I can sit up there and soak in the wonderful view that includes Lake Lonsdale and the Grampians.


It’s a bit early to make plans for next year but with the 12th national muster being held in Denmark, I have been working out a few mileages to see what route I would take. Okay – that had you thinking I was off to Scandinavia but I’m talking about Denmark in Western Australia and the choice is to go there as part of a round-Oz trip or to go north for the winter as usual and then go across to Western Australia and back.

Surprisingly the mileage works out to be pretty much the same so the circular route is quite attractive.

Many years ago, on one of our around-Australia trips, I bought custard tarts from the little cake shop on the highway in Denmark and they were among the best I’d ever tasted. I even wrote about them in my book, The Big One. On another trip that included Denmark, my co-pilot, Paul, was salivating at the thought of those great tarts. Would you believe it was the only day that year that they hadn’t baked any?

When I returned to Denmark some years later, I found the shop had burnt down – some locals suggested something about insurance but I won’t mention that. There’s a cake shop in a new shopping precinct and they had some very good custart tarts – I bought two and emailed my friend Paul to say I’d eaten mine and was about to scoff his!


On my way home from the muster I made Peak Hill Caravan Park, NSW, my first night stop. Imagine my surprise to find my Tasmanian mate, Bernie, had already arrived there and was staying three days. He hadn’t planned to be there but it was great and of course we went out to dinner. There were prawns in the special fried rice, prawns in the sweet and sour prawns and prawns in the satay king prawns. Good job we both love prawns!

Leyton, who owns the park with his wife. Pauline, told us we were in time for the daily afternoon treat of scones with jam and cream. Yum!

A cut-out of an article I wrote about the park just after Leyton and Pauline took over many years ago is still on the laundry wall. Bernie and I were both pleased to find the park gives a discount for single travellers – and ACC members also get a special deal.


The flow from Yemmy‘s shower head had always been a bit weak so I took out the in-line filter and it improved greatly. My glee about this was short lived as one day after I finished a warm – if short – shower, the pump stopped working. I traced it to the pressure switch as it worked when the switch was bypassed. I rigged it to get home by leaving it permanently connected and controlled its use by turning it on and off with its switch that’s fortunately conveniently located on a switchboard inside.

Once home I ratted the pressure switch from a pump that had previously failed, swapped it over and – hey presto – I now have water again.


We had a most interesting speaker at out Bingara muster: Phil Murray, one of Gelignite Jack Murray’s sons. He told us what it was like growing up with Jack as his dad.

Phil has written a book about his dad’s exploits, including winning the famous Redex Trial of 1954. The Redex Trials were tough as in those days most of the roads used were unsealed and rough. Jack won that year’s event without losing a single point!

Dick Smith, who wrote the foreword, says it’s one of the best books he’s read in years and, of course, I had to buy a signed copy from Phil.

Jack got his nickname from his liking of tossing exploding sticks of gelignite around during the Redex Trials, proving what a larrican he was.

See you down the track.