About Blue Snoopy

Blue Snoopy is a 2018 Adria Altea 402PH Sports Caravan pulled by a 2012 Nissan Navara ST Dual Cab Ute.



23 – 28 January 2014 – Robertson NSW

Retirement is definitely very hard work! Every day seems to be a Friday, there are no long weekends and no one person to apply to for having a sick day away from retirement. Annual leave, well that is certainly something from the past and receiving a salary is a far distant memory. And then there are holidays, it seems that no sooner are you back from one than you are away again. However, not this time as the fact is that we have been home for a grand total of 61 days since we strayed north of Sydney in November 2013 to Norah Head.

In all fairness, December and January are not normally the best months to go away. Usually it is very hot, destinations are packed with holiday makers and their children and local businesses at many popular destinations inflate prices to take full advantage of the temporary increase in population and their bulging wallets. Last year our January trip was cancelled due to bush fires so this year we were not certain if a short trip would be a good idea.

Nevertheless, duty bound to explore our wonderful country, we replenished our food supply in the caravan, filled the water tanks, added ample supplies of liquid refreshments (would not consider dehydration an option in warm weather) and on a warm Thursday January morning, we headed south to Robertson in the Southern Highlands a short 133 kilometres from our home.

It’s probably inappropriate to write about our trip as the road south is now becoming very familiar to us and well documented in this blog. The only real item of interest was the presence of a wonderful tail wind. Yippee!!!

We were actually on the road for a little less than two hours before we arrived at our destination, the Robertson Showground which is located just to the north of the small rural town turning right off the Kagaloon Road.

The GPS co-ordinates for the entry gate to the showground are S E

The showground is actually available for general camping (documented in Wiki Camps). There are contact numbers shown inside the ground for the trustees and camping fees apply. There are reasonable toilets and hot showers plus power (a couple of 15amp outlets are said to be available and there are numerous 10amp outlets) and water outlets scattered throughout the grounds. The area is very popular for hire by groups.

As we have written in the past, we are members of a CMCA chapter. Our first experience with this group was back in May 2011 when we attended our first meeting which was also at Robertson NSW. How time flies. We have attended many chapter meetings since then and we always look forward to renewing our friendship with other members.

We were actually the third to arrive and soon found a suitable spot to setup. Unlike Sydney, there was evidence of recent rain as the ground was very soft and we soon noticed that our caravan wheels had sunk one or two centimetres into the ground. Not to worry, we were level and had the comfort of knowing that our vehicle would have no problems pulling the caravan clear on our departure.

During the course of the afternoon several other members arrived. We had arranged access to a large shed which much to our surprise included a commercial kitchen. This shed and kitchen proved very useful over the weekend.

“He” has a new toy! Being a very keen photographer, “He” was for some time aware of a particular quad copter that was designed to carry small cameras under its belly. We have a GoPro Hero 3 which is totally suitable for attachment to a quad copter.

Late last year we noticed that the price of a particular quad copter had reduced and upon investigation, we learnt that a newer version had just been released. We decided to invest in the newer version and we are now proud owners of a DJI Phantom 2 Vision quad copter. This quad copter has an inbuilt video / still camera mounted under its body and supported by a simple anti-vibration mount and also a gimbal that works in a north south orientation. The quad copter has a range of about 300 meters (further by turning a switch but that is illegal in Australia) from the transmitter, it can climb to a height well above the legal height in Australia of 400 feet and will fly in wind up to 27kph.

Courtesy of GPS technology and its inbuilt GPS receiver, it can also be setup to return to the point it departed from should it lose contact with the transmitter. It will actually land at your feet! The quad copter also transmits telemetry (speed, height, direction) and a video feed back to a separate receiver mounted on the transmitter. The separate receiver can be attached by Wi-Fi to an iPhone or Android device that you mount in a special bracket also on the transmitter. Using the iPhone or Android device, you have full control over the video or stills that the camera takes and you can even change the elevation of the camera. There are significant controls over the quality of the video and stills including shutter speed, aperture, white balance, image quality and numerous others. You can even set the camera to take a predetermined number of stills at a predetermined interval. Flight time is up to 25 minutes!

James Bond would have been proud of this technology!

This is not the right place to advertise the supplier but we are more than happy to provide further information about the quad copter plus the name of the supplier should you wish to contact us. The cost is not overly expensive.

Being conscious of the proximity of “everything” when you live in a major city, “He” had decided to wait until Robertson to put the quad copter fully through its paces. So, on overcast Friday afternoon and with a little wind blowing, the quad copter was launched and allowed to climb into the airspace over the showground oval.

Words cannot describe the feeling that you have when you see an expensive item soar into the sky and when you know that any “stuff-up” you make in piloting the craft is likely to see hard earned dollars disintegrate into thousands of pieces when it contacts the ground or obstacles in the area of your flight. Not the case with this quad copter. Take your hands off the controls and it stops dead and courtesy of GPS, remains where it stopped. Turn your back and talk to friends whilst it hovers above you, no problem!

Fortunately the quad copter returned to the ground safely and over the course of the weekend, it spent several hours in the air taking either video or still pictures of our location and the surrounds as well as entertaining the many people who were curious about the strange noise coming from the sky above. We returned home only having to replace two of the four propeller blades and that was the result of a gust of wind tipping the quad over when attempting to take off from a gravel road.

We used the shed and kitchen on the Thursday night for our happy hour and several members took advantage of being able to cook inside. Earlier we mentioned that one of the problems associated with travelling in January is normally the heat. That was not the case at Robertson with the overcast conditions and wind making our stay a little on the cool side. Fortunately we had packed a couple of vests and these were used for most of the weekend.

Friday saw several more members arrive and with rain approaching, coupled with an increase in the intensity of the wind, we retreated to the shed. Together with another couple, we headed into Robertson for tea on Friday night. We had heard of a local restaurant said to sell excellent pizza and soon we were sitting in the dining room of “Pizzas in the Mist”. The food was excellent and we are happy to recommend this restaurant. It was cold and raining when we returned to the Showground.

Saturday saw the rain disappear but not the wind. “He” was still able to fly the quad copter and learned the limitation of the device when flying in wind.

Saturday afternoon saw the arrival of a group of musicians some of who were related to one of our members. “Yellow Rock Road Band” hails from the “Gong” and individual members of the group entertained us from just after 1:00pm until 10:00pm that night. They were actually very good and enjoyed by all. The chapter will return to Robertson next year and we understand that an invitation will be made for the band to return.

Whilst we were being entertained by the band, our ladies and some male helpers prepared and served our evening meal of meat pie, mash, peas and gravy. This was followed by fruit salad with either cream or ice cream. Absolutely delicious!

The pies were obtained locally in the Robertson township (Robertson Bakery) and the collective opinion was that they taste better than the pies from the renowned Robertson Pie Shop. We suggest that you make up your own mind if visiting Robertson and try both outlets for yourself.

Sunday was Australia Day and the majority of the RV’s proudly flew Australian flags. Afternoon tea consisted of lamingtons with our coffee. We pooled food for our Sunday evening meal and once again, it was very enjoyable.

By Monday morning, only six of the fifteen attending vehicles remained. Fortunately we had three cars in the group and we were able to head to Bundanoon for lunch and then a quick look around Bundanoon and Exeter before returning to Robertson for happy hour. Those remaining shared the remaining food for the evening meal on Monday night. We actually managed to have a late night spending several hours talking to friends in their motorhome.

We returned home on Tuesday having enjoyed a wonderful weekend at a great venue and with good friends. “He” was very happy as the quad copter also returned in one piece!

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