A Campervan Goes to Mudgee

After our recent campervan visit to Mudgee, we take a moment to reflect on the vanning experience that has now become known as the Spirit of the Van.

Do you have any caravanning or campervanning memories from your youth?

Betty-Rose: I remember a man living in a very nice caravan in the neighbours carport. I never quite understood why the caravan did not go anywhere. I used to think it would be quite good to live in a caravan, especially if it was the Barbie campervan which set the standard for luxury good times. The only other time I have done any vanning was our 2005 Tasmanian campervan road trip with the kids. We had to squash them into the top sleeping compartment. We had fun.

George: We used to own a van in England. It was called a Commer Caravanette.  Orange in colour I think.  Early ’70s.  I mainly recall  the ability to flip the back rests of the back seats to the opposite side, so that they faced the table, playing games driving along.  Certainly don’t  remember any seat belts.  Fun in the back but I am guessing driving it would have been interesting as the two front wheels were closer together than the back wheels.   Interesting design option.

Oh my, the caravanette

Oh my, the caravanette (not our actual van but similar)
Photo sourced from: http://www.holidaylettings.co.uk/rentals/canterbury/412073

Is there something in particular that attracts you the whole campervan ideal?

Betty-Rose: That comforting knowledge that there is a doona and a nice cup of tea (with the option of toast) always available. I like to imagine I am inside the watertight  Great Pink Sea Snail from the Dr Dolittle film of 1967 starring Rex Harrison as the vegetarian Dr Dolittle.

George: It is mainly about the tea.

What was the motivation for the Mudgee campervan trip?

Betty-Rose: We were on Summer holidays. George’s Dad has a Toyota Hiace campervan that is perfectly kitted out. I was keen to get out on the road and head into the great central west of NSW.

George:  Teenage son wanted to test out his new Swag, and I didn’t want to camp.

What were the highlight/s of the Mudgee campervan trip?

Betty-Rose: Some of my highlights included 1) Getting a good spot under a big shady tree by the Cudgegong River at the Mudgee Riverside and Tourist Caravan Park.  2) Walking down to the Mudgee pool to cool off and getting a $1 Icy Pole. 3) Sitting under the awning eating my dinner of tofu, potato and salad prepared by George right out of the campervan kitchen. 4) Washing the dishes in the van.

George: Driving in the slow lane was fun.  And changing gears, actually felt like I was really driving.  I did like cooking outside under the awning, drinking beer direct from the Mudgee brewery which was 200 metres from the camp site.  Funny that.

In conclusion, our Mudgee trip was a bit of a trial run just to remind us what it was all about. And what it’s all about is embracing the Spirit of the Van. We hope any of your own vanning memories or future vanning journeys are equally Van-tastic and Van-tacular.

Best regards, Betty-Rose and George

(Some further reading and inspiration: Vantastic: Retro Caravan Holidays in the Modern World by Kate Ulman)

Here are some photos encapsulating the memories that are the Spirit of the Van.

Just about to leave our little house in Little Hartley for our campervan adventure

Just about to leave our little house in Little Hartley for our campervan adventure

A very fine looking campervan

A very fine looking campervan

Only room for two to sleep in the campervan, so get that swag set-up

Only room for two to sleep in the campervan, so get that swag set-up

Campervan chef

Campervan chef

A nice cup of tea and Anzac biscuit

A nice cup of tea and Anzac biscuit

Washing up

Washing up

The $1 Icy Pole at the Mudgee pool

The $1 Icy Pole at the Mudgee pool

Dominoes by the Cudgegong River

Dominoes by the Cudgegong River

van-dominoes-river

More dominoes by the Cudgegong River

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2 responses

  1. Jan Parkinson | Reply

    Good to you all enjoying the summer weather. We have many more weeks of wintry weather here in England. How many miles to Mudgee & did you go for the w/end?

  2. Lovely to hear from you Jan. Mudgee is about 100km from Little Hartley and we went for one night when we were on our summer holiday. It was a very hot 35 degrees! Stay warm.

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