Friday Five Newsletter 2018.2.16

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Westprint Friday Five Friday February 16th 2018 

  He was so careful he looked both ways before crossing his t’s.

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Friday Five Books

  1. Zero Hour In Broome. $44.95. Only two copies left (this book is now out of print). Zero Hour in Broome includes much original research of academic standard, while at the same time it will appeal to a wide audience and contains many colour illustrations. The lead author, Dr Tom Lewis, OAM, has first class credentials. He is a serving naval officer in Darwin and a nationally recognised expert on the war in northern Australia. For the first time, Zero Hour in Broome examines the actions of senior officials in connection to the second most deadly air attack on Australian soil. This occurred when Zero fighters destroyed 15 flying boats at Broome, some of them packed full of women and children evacuees from Java. Sadly, they made up most of the casualties. At the same time as this horror was unfolding, other flying boats were landing safely in Exmouth Gulf, many miles to the south. So why were all of the flying boats not diverted there? This is just one of the many fascinating questions raised by this publication. The book also profiles the many different aircraft types used during the Broome operations. Other unique reference material includes a list of all of the Broome pearling luggers and their fates as a result of the “scorched earth” policy imposed by the Japanese threat. First published in 2010.

  2. From The Gulf To God Knows Where. $29.95. Charlie and Pauline Rayment wouldn’t live anywhere but the Outback. Charlie brought Pauline as a bride to ‘Kurran’, in the ranges of the Diamantina catchment. Pauline faced the wilderness while Charlie carved a property from the harsh environment. Their story typifies this new collection by Marion Houldsworth. Readers share the Outback experience at one remove; wake face-to-face with a rock-python, are sucked down in a whirlpool, trapped inside a water-tank, help a neighbour bury a dead child. They swim cattle across the flooded Burdekin, and, like Clancy of old, tail ‘twelve-fifty fats’ down the Cooper. Brumby hunts, droughts, floods and fires, even a trip by Cobb & Co. Told with compassion and humour this more than a valuable addition to the social history of the Outback. These are Australia’s stories at their liveliest and best.

  3. Cape York - Travel & Adventure Guide by Ron & Viv Moon 13th edition. Now out of print and will not be reprinted. One copy only available. $29.95 Email Jo on to order this copy.

  4. Kings In Grass Castles - DVD 2 Disc Set. $34.95. A first-class Australian historical mini series featuring Essie Davis, Ernie Dingo, Max Cullen, Tom Long and based on the best-selling memoirs of Dame Mary Durack, Kings In Grass Castles is epic drama tracing three generations of a pioneering family and their tumultuous settlement in colonial Australia. Fleeing the Irish Potato Famine of 1853, the Durack family search for a better life in a harsh land of infinite possibilities, rich with rewards ready for the taking. Led by patriarch Patsy Durack (AFI Award winner Stephen Dillane, John Adams), they set about developing the extraordinary Kimberley Region, establishing a dynamic network of sheep and cattle properties throughout the countryside. Kings In Grass Castles is an epic story of family history set against the turbulence of national pride.

  5. In The Tracks Of Old Bluey. Bobbie Buchanan. $29.95. Nat Buchanan was the first European to cross the Barkly Tablelands from east to west and first to take a large herd of breeding cattle from Queensland to the Top End of the Northern Territory. Buchanan created a droving record when he supervised 20,000 head over this route. First published 1997. This edition 2011 

Friday Forum 

Have You Seen a Bumblebee on the Australian Mainland?

Information from: Agriculture Victoria.

Bumblebees are large, hairy, social bees belonging to the family Apidae (subfamily Bombinae). Bumblebees are not native to Australia, however one species, the large earth bumblebee Bombus terrestris, has established in Tasmania.

The large earth bumblebee is black with one yellow/ochre band across the front of the thorax, and another yellow/ochre band across the abdomen. An important identifying feature of the large earth bumblebee is the tip of the abdomen, which is buff or white.

Bumblebees are not believed to occur on mainland Australia. There have been occasional reports of bumblebees in Victoria, however none of these reports have been confirmed. The large earth bumblebee has established in Tasmania but is restricted to that State. Several species of bumblebees, including the large earth bumblebee, are established in New Zealand. It is quite easy for bumblebee queens to hitch a ride to the Australian mainland on a ship or a plane.

The public in Victoria and in Queensland are being asked to report any bumblebee sightings to their DPI Call Centres:

In Victoria, phone: 136 186

In Queensland, phone: 13 25 23.

In NSW, phone 1800 084 881


Picture from the Agriculture Victoria website.  

Information – Morney to Bedourie 

We were through there about the end of August 2017 and the road was mostly good. There is a fair bit of sealed road from Windorah to the Birdsville turnoff and the rest is good gravel. From there past JC ruins to Bedourie was all pretty good dirt with a fair bit of gravel upgrades taking place but much could have happened since then, so I would suggest contacting the shire office at Bedourie for more current info. (They normally are very good at their road maintenance). I think the Westprint mob would have a contact no. Errol 

The phone number of the shire offices at Bedourie is 07 4746 1202 

I traveled the stretch from Bedourie to Monkira Station along the Diamantina Development Road in August last year (2017). I have an off-road camper trailer and found the road in good condition at that time and think it would be OK for a good caravan. I didn't travel the remaining stretch from Monkira to Morney but think if were about the same as the Western section it should be OK. The usual rider with road conditions is that they can change rapidly with weather and traffic etc. so it is still best to still check close to the time of travel to ascertain current conditions. Denis 

What’s On? 

Dalgety Show. Sunday March 4th, 2018. Dalgety Show Society welcomes all to our 74th Annual Show on the banks of the mighty Snowy River, between Cooma and Jindabyne. Dalgety was once considered as the new site for our capital city, and thank goodness it got overlooked, otherwise our merry band of volunteers would not be able to put on the best show of South East NSW! Our show is filled with everything you could want from a small country show with horse events, yard dog trials, historic cars and machinery and show rides, to seeing who takes out the top prize for the best scones in the pavilion. The day gets underway at around 7.30am with the start of the yard dog trials and runs till you have all had enough or about 4 o'clock. And while you are here, come and check out the whole area and see what makes this little part of the world so unique. Updates found on Facebook or the website. Kate.  

High Country and Beyond. Omeo region.  10th - 18th March (offering 1/2 events also). Wangaratta 4WD club is hosting the annual High Country and Beyond 4WD tagalong event. Their aims are to share a love of 4WDing and the high country, and to encourage responsible 4WDing, including care of the environment and an understanding that the tracks we travel, if cared for, can be used by others, and hopefully not closed in the future.


Guest speakers, Learn about the History of the Area, 4WD tips, Gala Dinner and more! This is no ordinary tagalong event.  It is a not-for-profit event led by those who love the High Country and designed for both beginners and experienced 4WDers. This year we are offering half events for those who can’t make it for the full event but want a taste of this great experience. 

I was so impressed by the concept that I did a bit of checking on their website. Here are a few of the tours on offer. Jo.  

4WDing Skills. Half day workshop. How to get the best out of your Four Wheel Drive in the High Country.  Ruston Black Top, Victoria Falls/Oriental Claims. Visit Victoria Falls area, home of the state’s first hydro-power scheme.

Hinnomunjie Bridge/Benambra.

Paynes hut Overnighter. Travelling from Omeo to Taylor’s crossing, then to Wombat PO, from there a spectacular hard 4WD trip up Razorback into Glen Wills with an overnight stay at Shannonvale, then a leisurely trip home to Omeo via the Blue Duck & Mount Battery track (private access only).

Moscow Villa/ Washington Winch. Visit Bushman Bill Ah Chow’s log and stone hut and continue to the historic steam powered high lead/skyline logging cableway. Great Views along the way.  Return along some med. Tracks in the Nunniong.

Wonnangatta Valley. A long trip out to the iconic Wonnangatta Station, one of Victoria’s remotest homestead and located in an absolutely superb valley.  Visit the old cemetery and learn about the pioneers, and the 100-year-old unsolved mystery.

Deddicks Trail. A trip not to be missed, visiting the iconic McKillops Bridge in its magnificent Alpine river-gorge setting. and then travelling along the incredible Deddicks Trail. There are some very steep sections and several small river crossings.

Haunted Stream. The eagerly awaited opening of this iconic Track allows us to explore the 50 + crossings of the Haunted Stream this year.   Visiting also the old town site of Stirling, Dawson city, Dog Town and Tunnel Bend.

Brumby Country. Camping out at Limestone creek, arriving in time to see the Brumby’s coming into the valley for the evening. Travelling back some of the lovely tracks of the Nuniong Plains. The Brumbys are beautiful to see in the high country, but high numbers are a problem, so we will learn about attempts to control this also. 

Wheels for the Wirraway. Fundraiser for the purchase of a Wirraway Aircraft by the Nhill Aviation Heritage Centre. Saturday Mar 10, 10-4 at the Nhill Aerodrome. Admission $20 adult, $10 child $50 family.

A stunning display of anything you can think of with wheels.

Pat and Robin Evans will be displaying their amazing collection of historical bicycles at this event. Other vehicles attending include Vintage, Veteran and Classic vehicles, Military vehicles, 4WDs, Vintage Machinery and of course aircraft have wheels.

Some of the unusual wheels contraptions that have been promised are a solar powered bicycle, a steam car, a lawn mower-vacuum cleaner, a miniature tractor, a unicycle with rider, a bicycle previously owned by a well-known AFL footballer, a display about a local who rode from Nhill to Darwin in the early part of the 20th Century and a caravan made from a converted aeroplane. A parade of vehicles will be held along with roller skating and other displays.

Catering will be available on-site and other attractions include market stalls, jumping castle and a car boot sale. 

Information Wanted - Darwin 

I previously got some useful info from you about Darwin.  July and Aug were the suggested times.  However, I see the school holidays don't finish until July 20th. I was wondering if the school holiday period up there makes much difference.  I realize that the Nomads will be there in numbers. On camp ground location: you suggested avoiding anywhere near the airport however do you have any other locations that might do the job? At this stage I will have the camp trailer and am self-supporting.  One camp area suggested is the Robbie Robbins Reserve.  It still can have aircraft noises however. Denis 

The only times I have been in Darwin during school holidays was with kids so didn’t take any notice of whether Darwin was busier than other times. Can any FFers help us out with information?  


A couple of weeks ago we offered a spreadsheet to help calculate payload. It has kept me very busy since then. If you would like a copy, please send an email to with Payload in the subject line.  

  • Thanks for this. I have used it to calculate my Territory and outback van- the sums look OK. However, I see no mention of towing SPEED. Ford limit the Territory to 90km/h with a tow load of 1600kg and 80km/h for 2300kg. I feel this should be included as a reminder to people preparing for a trip. Jim. 

  • Looks good, might be a confusion over GTM and TARE for the caravan trailer section. I believe ATM will be GTM plus towball and is a Maximum. TARE is the weight of the entire caravan axles and towball empty or as delivered. (Jayco tell me they include gas bottles to avoid issues with misrepresented towball weights). Peter. 

Holland Track 

  • Interesting to read the comments on the Holland Track condition in today’s newsletter. I travelled it in 2010 and again in November last year. Chalk and cheese. First time it was a great long weekend experience, my first “remote” trip in my own 4WD. A great drive through lovely country with just enough tricky bits to give a newbie something to think about. I have done heaps of travelling since and I was looking forward to revisiting the Holland only to be sadly disappointed. As reported, the track is very badly cut up in very many places with diversions around diversions around diversions around deep holes. Interesting the tractor travellers get the blame, anecdotal evidence to me is that it is mostly weekend warriors who think driving through muddy holes is fun. Maybe both are responsible.

    The track was “adopted” by one of the WA 4WD clubs as a project and on my first visit there were signs that they had tried to repair some of the deeper holes. This time, again anecdotally, the word was that they had pretty much given up as the project was beyond them.     

    It was sad. I won’t be going back, and I am not sure what I would say to a newcomer to travelling who wants to try it. There is still some great country to see and the wildflowers at the Hyden-Norseman road end were spectacular and there is the history. R. 

Hiking The Holland Track 

Jo Blogs continues – leaving the Holland Track and detouring along the Holland Way.

Next morning, we packed our wet tents and drove to the Hyden-Norseman Road where we will start walking again. As we were preparing to walk we met a lovely young man who turned out to be an environmental scientist checking on some rehab sites for the nearby nickel mine. He told us that we were walking through the largest area of temperate woodland in the world. Eight million acres of untouched forest. He told us to watch out for Western quolls, numbats and bandicoots, but also said we would be lucky if we saw any.

Two of our back-up crew headed into Hyden while Judy and I started walking in the other direction. Although this is supposedly an all-weather road, watching the traffic is nothing short of frightening especially the many vehicles towing (it is school holidays). We watched one vehicle go past way too fast, hit a wet patch and the trailer headed sideways up the road. Judy and I commented that it wouldn't be long before we would see someone roll over. We were surprised that the others hadn’t returned when we made camp. They arrived just as it was getting dark. Turned out that on the way into Hyden they had come across a 4WD rolled over. The three occupants were uninjured, but they had stayed to help them.

The camp was cold but no rain! This is the first night in a bit over a week. We were on the road by 8 am and walking well. The day was cool and overcast but no rain all day. The buckshot gravel has dried out and the traffic looks much safer today. Today is also John’s birthday. Not much fuss but we did find a couple of packets of liquorice allsorts to mark the occasion. Heard our first dingoes tonight.

Our routine is to get up about 6am, have breakfast and pack up camp, walking by 8am. Rodger marks out 5kms while the others drive 7kms and find a smoko spot. We arrive at the 5km mark, lean on Rodger’s 4WD, do some stretches and complain about how hard the walk is. In turn, Rodger tells us if we are walking too slow (usually) or speeding along (only when it is raining). He then tells us it is only 2kms to our stop and we need to get going again. At the 7km point we stop for 15mins and replenish water and any other supplies. We repeat this (including the grumbling and stetching) to get to our lunch spot at about 14kms. Here we generally collapse into our chairs, say that we can’t walk a step further, have some lunch, a rest and replenish water again. After an hour’s break we head off again saying how amazing we feel after sitting down for a while. Same as before for the first afternoon leg although this time we are usually slower. We also don’t complain much in this part of the day. We are too tired. After the 21km mark where we have another 15-minute break the rest of the crew go and set up camp. They will try to find something about 4-5kms away but sometimes a suitable campsite can’t be found, and we have to walk a few more kilometres. We’ve got to the stage where we can handle 25kms each day but if we have to do an extra 3 or 4kms to camp we think we are very hard done by.


Judy deciding which of the diversion tracks to take


An average size hole in the track – about 2-3 car lengths by 1 metre deep.

holland way

John Holland Way.


The Great Western Woodlands.

Friday Funnies 

What's in a photo?

The 'Kodak Moment', remember the commercial, was founded as the Eastman Kodak Company in 1888. By 1976, the company captured 90% of the market share in terms of sales for photographic films.

In the early days of photography, the 1820s, it would take several hours to actually capture a photo. So, if you ever wonder why people appear to not smile in these early days, it is because they would often pose long periods.

Today, the number of photographs clicked every 2 minutes is the same as the number of photographs clicked by human kind in the 1800s.

The first digital camera was developed in 1975 and took 23 seconds to create a photo, it was black and white, and the camera weighed 3.6kg

The first colour photograph was shot in 1861 by James Clark Maxwell.

The oldest known photograph to have a person in it was shot in Paris in 1838.

A university study concluded that the left side of a human face produces a more pleasant photograph compared to the right, they concluded that the left side has more emotional intensity.

One of the most expensive cameras ever sold is a 1923 Leica O-Series, the rare camera sold for $2.8 million

The moon has 12 Hasselblad cameras left on its surface, these cameras were exchanged for lunar rock samples to not overload the ship on its return journey to earth. 


Man who wants pretty nurse must be patient.

Lady who goes camping with man must beware of evil intent.

Man who leaps off cliff jumps to conclusion.

Man who runs in front of car gets tired, but man who runs behind car gets exhausted.

Man who eats many prunes get good run for money.

War does not determine who is right; it determines who is left.

Man who fights with wife all day get no piece at night

Man who drives like hell is bound to get there.

Wise man does not keep sledge hammer and slow computer in same room.

Man who lives in glass house should change clothes in basement. 

It’s Later Than You Think.

Funny, I’ve never noticed it before – everything is a bit further than it used to be. It’s twice as far from my place to the bus stop now, and they’ve added a hill I’ve just noticed. The buses leave sooner too, but I’ve given up running for them, because they go faster than they used to. 

Have you noticed the small print they’re using now? Newspapers especially – I have to squint to make out the words. It’s ridiculous, of course, to suggest that a person of my age needs glasses, but it’s the only way I can find out what’s going on without somebody reading it aloud to me – and even then, that isn’t much help because everybody speaks in such a low voice I can scarcely hear them. 

Times certainly are changing. The material in my clothes I notice, shrinks in different places like round the waist and round the seat. Shoelaces are so darned short they are next to impossible to reach. 

Even the weather is changing – it’s getting colder in Winter and the Summers are so much hotter than in the good old days. I guess the way they build windows now, makes draughts more severe. 

Ran into a friend the other night, she’d changed so much, she didn’t recognise me. “You’ve put on a little weight,” she said. “It’s this modern food” I said, “it seems to be so fattening”. I got to thinking about her this morning while I was dressing, and about wheat she’d said – so I looked at my reflection in the mirror. Seems they don’t use the same kind of glass in mirrors anymore, do they? 

From Philosopher’s Note Book by Russ Tyson, sent in my Mick.

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