Murchison (Off Road Adventure)

Trip Leader: Guy and Wendy Lehmann

When: 21st April 2011

Location:   Murchison WA


Thursday morning six vehicles met at Muchea and headed off to the Murchison Offroad Adventure Park at 8.30am.

We planned to stop and Eneabba for morno’s, but Martin and Karen’s daughter was on the bus heading down from Geraldton and we happened to come across the bus at its stop at the Half Way Mill so we pulled in there and made that our break and Martin, Karen and Locky got to catch up with Sarah and baby Alexus.

Some of us fuelled up at Dongara and the rest carried on to Northampton where we all caught up again and had lunch in the park. Last time we were there, the service station had really nice home made pies and pasties, so I thought we would give them a try this trip. Our mouths were watering as we approached Northampton, only to find that the service station we wanted had closed down, so we had to settle for chips and Mrs Macs at the other servo in town.

Just before we reached the Kalbarri turnoff we met Jan and Rodger on their way down. They were coming into the MOA with us but were looking for some extra fuel. After fuelling at Binnu, they came back and joined us on the journey into the MOA.

We were allocated a magnificent camp site on the edge of the river. After all the floods that have been through there, the river had had a really good flush out, so the water was flowing, nice and clean and the bottom was  sandy, not slimy.

There was a lot of time spent over the weekend swimming in the river. The MOA also had lots of free facilities available (kayaks to use in river, pony rides and buggy rides for the kids and archery).

Friday was set as a day out of the cars to relax around the campsite and swim in the river. We had a couple of people arriving on Friday as well. Just before lunch time Guy and Wendy, and Martin and Karen and Locky decided to go into the Homestead to check out what the 4WD event was all about and check where we could go without running into them. We didn’t want to get caught in the middle of the rally!

On the way in we were going past the Plaskool Track which we drove over on our last visit and the competition cars were racing on it. We saw one car go flying through the air and stop and we thought this looked pretty exciting. Unfortunately it was the last car for that section of the event, so we thought that we would watch the next section of the event in the afternoon after lunch. We went back to camp to see if anyone else wanted to join us and went back into the Homestead. The Playskool Track had been washed out quite severely from the floods and was now not suitable for our vehicles to tackle, as was the case for a lot of the other tracks including the Dingo’s Run which I think most of us were hoping to complete this trip as time ran out last time and we had to cut it short.

The event was running late in the afternoon, so we went for a drive around the obstacle course, played some archery and then decided to go back to camp for more swimming and happy hour or two.

Saturday morning we left camp at about 8.30am to watch the 4WD cars event at the Super Bowl. We had no idea where we were going, but followed on behind some of the other vehicles heading out there, it took about half an hour. At the Super Bowl the spectators stood at the top of a ridge and watched the cars do a time trail around an obstacle course of man made and natural challenges. We were quite a distance of the cars where we were.

It was almost lunch time when all the cars had completed their turn and it was getting quite hot, so guess what, we want back to camp for another swim!

In the evening the 4WD cars were racing through the mud course, so we all had an early dinner and at 7.00pm went to the mud. This was a lot of fun, dodging the water and mud splashing up along the side of the track. The area was all lit up and very well done.

All vehicles were ready for an easy 10 AM start for look around the park.
Participants were: Guy and Wendy Leeman (trip leaders), Michael and Marion, Bob and Bridget, Roger and Jan, David and Tracey, Glenn, Martin, Karen and Lockey, Bob Terese Christie and Sharon and George as Tail end Charlie – seven vehicles in total.
We left our camp and headed west along river road to the MOA headquarters, on the way tyres were let down to suit the road conditions. On arrival we just missed the awards for the weekend off road challenge that was staged on Easter Friday and Saturday. Twelve vehicles started and only five vehicles were still running at the last challenge at the mud pit.

The first challenge was a river crossing to get to the ˜Mate verses Mate” play area. The water was about 400mm deep and 20 meters wide a good start to the trip. We passed ˜Big Balls Ridge, Mullhollow Track and Wilderness Ridge to name but a few places. After 30 kms we arrived at the site where we had late morning tea and some vehicles had a go at the very undulating parallel tracks. Dust flew and wheels danced in the air and a few creaks, groans and bangs from underneath the vehicles. We then moved on another 500m to the quarry for similar antics where some vehicles were stressed even more, in a safe manner of course!
At 12:30 we decided to head back to camp via a second river crossing which was east of our campsite. This involved driving back towards the homestead and veering left before the first river crossing. We travelled between a main fence line and the river passing our camp but on the wrong side of the river. We stopped, waved and tooted to the happy stay behind campers and headed off again via Ghost Gum Alley and Screaming Winch Hill in an easterly direction in search of the river crossing.
The river crossing was not too far along where the Dampier to Bunbury gas pipeline crossed the river. We were greeted with a riverbed and in/out ramps of cement sand bags, an easy crossing of about 500mm in the middle. On this occasion two of the vehicles were driven by Christine and Sharon Gig…….. beaming with big smiles….. success with ease!
We arrived back at camp at 14:00 for a quick lunch, beer and a long swim. This was an entertaining adventure with lots of different challenges for all. Thanks Guy and Wendy for a great rip.
Glenn Bignell.

Monday – Another Day In Heaven

Some were up with the sun. Others went swimming and forgot to take their glasses off, so the hunt was on. Glen came to the rescue and found the missing glasses for Martin which Martin was very pleased. 10 o’clock was a drive down to the old camp site for morning tea and a talk on days gone by. We then went for a drive to Hells Pass to do some of the obstacle courses done by the M O A group the day be for. We did 6 of the runs with Malcolm trying to make a seveth one. He be come stuck. Guy being the man he is pulled Malcolm out backwards. After this a quiet trip home along the rivers edge with a stop for a nice beer at the watering hole. A quiet afternoon was had by all.
The toilet ran out of flushing water so Bob, big bob filled up the tank from the river. In the evening an enjoyable time with Bobs girls, Christine and Sharon lighting the camp fire which was enjoyed by all.

Tuesday most of us packed up and headed for home at our own leisure. Michael, Malcolm, Trish and Glenn stayed until a bit later in the day and were then heading to Ballinyoo Bridge (on the Carnarvon/Mullewa Road) to camp for a couple of days.

This was a truly relaxing weekend with a perfect camp ground to chill out in. If the 4WD event is on again next year, we think we will head back there and spend the two days seriously watching the event now that we know exactly when it is on and how it runs.


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