Mokes Standing Still

09:56 May 31st
Starting out from Lilydale.

Jersey Caramel
Bob Higgins

Slomat
Dave, Merryn & Ryan Pullen

Green Pea
Glenn Golds

Scruffy
Allen & Jill Whatmore

Smoken
Scott Markby & Laura Piccari

Black Douglas
Doug. Williams

We were joined at the end of the first day by Yella Fella driven by Gerry Batt. Also, Richard Durance sent Purple Passion to Alice Springs on a truck and he and son Lachlan drove back with us.

10:43 May 31st
A nervous start. On the down side of Mt. Slide heading for Yea, Scott stopped first to check his smoking. Dave stopped behind and then wouldn't start. All ready to roll again at this stage.

15:13 May 31st
Fuel stop in the suburbs of Bendigo. Dave had one more problem to face for the day. The attendant mentioned that his credit card would expire today and he suddenly realised that the replacement was on the table at home with the iPod!
Bugger!!

09:53 June 1st
Underbool. Nature called Doug, so the convoy stopped. It won't be the last time.

14:54 June 1st
Lunch at Loxton, SA, was delayed while Dave's oil leak problem was explored and the decision to pull out was taken.

15:43 June 1st
A (fortunately) short stop to fix Glenn's misbehaving carburettor.

16:40 June 1st
We finally make it to Morgan to cross the (once) Mighty Murray on a punt.

Here it comes.

The ferryman can squeeze an awful lot of vehicles on this thing and the best thing is it's a free ride.

Bumper to bumper in the late afternoon sun. But it's not like peak hour in the city.

07:25 June 2nd
Our first bush camp and, as it turned out, the only one. The other camping nights were in camping parks with shower and toilet facilities. This place had none of the former (but you could wash in the creek) and a long drop version of the latter which was a 300m walk away (thank the Lord!).

8:57 June 2nd
Before we left Gerry wanted to try something private with his car and a tree.

And the Sky god sent lightning to split the tree asunder and give forth its Moke. Nothing shall stop heaven's Moke from fulfilling it's destiny.

9:27 June 2nd
We didn't see the sign the night before, but it turned out we had been camping along World's End Highway. We were glad we hadn't overshot Burra Gorge in the dark.

14:39 June 2nd
When we stopped for lunch at Hawker we met Peter and Jean who had come from Queensland in their Moke. They were looking for the South Australian mob who were on a separate but overlapping trip. As we left we found them but Peter didn't see them and headed north on his own.

16:57 June 2nd
Elsewhere Hotel, Lyndhurst, where the end of the Strezlecki Track meets the start of the Oodnadatta Track. We will have beds tonight.

07:43 June 3rd
Dawn at Lyndhurst reveals...

...the well planned features of Peter and Jean's CamperMoke.

08:52 June 3rd
Fuelled up and lined up ready to tackle the Oodnadatta Track.

10:52 June 3rd
Hallowed vehicles on hallowed turf.

11:54 June 3rd
About to leave Plane Henge and head to Lake Eyre South for lunch.

12:28 June 3rd
An unexpected but necessary stop on the way to meet the local wild life.

How can it possibly look so well fed living out here?

12:49 June 3rd
Lake Eyre South viewing point. Almost the lowest point in the country. A Moke bonnet fits a one burner stove perfectly. Actually it will fit two of them and the mudguards can also take one each.

15:36 June 3rd
Parked beside a mound spring on the way to William Creek.

17:49 June 3rd
It doesn't take long to make camp and...

...start knocking up a feed in the camp kitchen at William Creek while the dingoes howl at the sunset.

08:42 June 4th
Bring it on.

13:19 June 4th
The Pink Roadhouse at Oodnadatta for a refuel of machines and people.

16:37 June 4th
The next bit was. But we took a break in Boulder Alley about 50kms from the end to reform the convoy. It was here we discovered that Gerry was lagging because he had had a puncture. Jill and Allen had also scored a puncture in the trailer 100km back but couldn't make radio contact.

17:51 June 4th
We made it to bitumen. The Marla Roadhouse at sunset.

A later check of underneath revealed a battered muffler...

...and that the gear selector support bracket had received a serious thwack, almost splitting the exhaust. What didn't show on camera was a thumb-size crater gouged out of BD's 1/4" steel sump guard.

The engine was also somewhat in need of a clean. But doing so was banned. One week after our return it was planned that the vehicles would be displayed in the annual Mini Show in 'bush' condition.

12:37 June 5th
A morning tea stop at Marryat Siding on the way to Erldunda and BD is attacked by these monsters. It didn't take long before they learnt to keep their distance.

13:35 June 5th
The border between South Australia and Northern Territory. Jill & Allen and Gerry have gone on ahead to Erldunda to book a camp site.

17:11 June 5th
One unpowered campsite at Erldunda and eventually 11 bedded down on it...

07:35 June 6th
...including Paul and son John who had driven their Moke from Western Australia and camped out like this all the way. Dave was the 11th sleeper. He also drove from Perth, but in a Moke with a fast back hood and no side curtains!
17:46 June 7th
Black Douglas shares the setting sun with Uluru. You can see a section of the climbing track on the right side of photo.

14:23 June 8th
Five kilometres short of King's Creek Station and Bob's 25 litre tank needs a final top up.

As it turned out we should have collected firewood while we waited, because Allen only had to bring the trailer back later to around about here to get some anyway. There's only five of us because Glenn has gone on to claim the camp site.

16:15 June 8th
Pitched and ready for two nights under the Desert Oak. Later in the day Mokees Paul, John and Cos caught up and camped with us, as did others of the WA mob who had OVs (other vehicles). That night we had 15 people around the campfire singing 'Moking There & Moking Back'.

18:05 June 10th
We arrived in Alice Springs late in the afternoon for four nights in cabins. The cars were stripped of their baggage so we could leave them in town without being concerned about theft. It's illegal to drive around town with jerry cans of fuel anyway.

Stripping Black Douglas revealed how much of the Oodnadatta Track was still on board.

11:12 June 14th
Car park at the Henbury Meteorite Craters. BD has been running well since the plug change, but, as it turns out, it's actually an illusion.

11:16 June 15th
Morning tea at Cadney Park Homestead on the way to Coober Pedy. A great feed and a place to remember for future camping.

12:19 June 15th
Gerry went ahead to look for road kill for lunch - can't let the eagles get it all - but we decided not to partake.

10:20 June 16th
Camp at Coober Pedy was on gravel. There is zero grass.

09:22 June 17th
Now why would Lachlan be climbing up the town sign?

Mmm, well that answers that question. Bet it wasn't his idea.

See ya' later Coober Pedy.
From left: Jill, Allen, Gerry, Bob, Richard, Lachlan, Glenn, Scott, Douglas (with eagle above). Laura took the photo.

11:32 June 17th
Reforming the convoy beside the Stuart Highway on the way to Woomera.

13:32 June 17th
A town with a sense of humour.

We stopped here for lunch.

08:49 June 18th
The parting of the ways. Scott and Laura aren't going anywhere because Smokey has developed a hole in one of its pistons or valves. Gerry and Yella Fella are leaving early because he is turning right at Pt. Augusta and heading for Perth. Only 5 will be making the last stage of the trip back into Victoria.

11:28 June 18th
Last stop before Pt. Augusta and the end of the outback. Here we are facing the South Flinders Ranges. About 1000kms in this direction is Melbourne and the Final Five are ready to roll.

14:08 June 19th
National Motor Museum, Birdwood, South Australia.

The Final Five with a day and a half to go.

07:39 June 20th
The morning of the last day and we want to get on the road, but the cars are trapped in the back yard of the Pinnaroo Hotel where we stayed the night before and the owner is still in bed. We finished up having to bang him out of bed to open the gate and shift his vehicles. Nothing was going to stop us getting home that night.