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Blue Snoopy is a 2012 Nova Vita Caravan pulled by a 2012 Nissan Navara ST Dual Cab Ute.

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13 April to 22 April 2014 – Wagga Wagga and “Stone The Crows” Festival

During the Easter period twelve months ago we attended the inaugural Stone the Crows Festival at Wagga Wagga.  We enjoyed the festival so much that we booked for 2014 as soon as we were able to do so.  We also volunteered to help at the festival.   Whilst the festival starts on the Thursday before Easter, we were asked to arrive early.

Sunday – 13 April 2014

We decided to head to the free camp at Jugiong which is approximately 326 kilometres south west from Sydney.   The remainder of the trip to Wagga Wagga would only be 120k’s which would take us less than two hours on Monday morning.  We also planned to meet friends who were attending Stone the Crows at the overnight stop.

We planned to leave Sydney at 9:00am but were ready to leave at 8:45am.  As we left the driveway, we noticed that our rear facing camera was not working.  Thirty minutes later and after checking all of the camera connections (except the connection behind the dash) “he” swapped cables to enable the rear facing camera but at the expense of the camera we use for reverse parking. Sydney traffic was kind to us and after a short leg on the M4 to Homebush, we were heading south via Centenary Drive, the Hume Highway, Stacey Street and finally the M5 before again joining the Hume Highway at Liverpool.

The trip to Mittagong was into a direct head wind but we received relief with the wind after our stop at Sutton Forest for morning tea.  We refuelled at Yass and arrived at Jugiong just after 2:00pm. The countryside is absolutely vibrant and showing the benefits of recent rainfall.  We cannot remember the country being so green.  We did not see any road kill during our drive south.

The Jugiong camp site is massive, has toilets and is a very popular overnight stop.  Our friends arrived about an hour after us.  We enjoyed happy hour and shared an evening meal with our friends.  During the afternoon “He” flew the quad copter and obtained some nice vision of Jugiong.

Monday – 14 April 2014

After a very pleasant night for sleeping, we awoke to an absolute stunning morning.

Planning to leave by 9:00am, we were actually away just after 8:30am. Following behind our friends, we had a leisurely trip to Wagga Wagga arriving at the site for Stone the Crows just after 10:00am.

As requested, we were placed onto powered sites where we quickly established what would be our camp site for the next week. The festival was held at the ACTA National Shooting Grounds which is located close to the Sturt Highway on the eastern side of Wagga Wagga.

The grounds are massive and were very wet when we arrived. With no one around, “He” took the opportunity to photograph the entire site with the quad copter.

Part of the afternoon was also spent helping where possible with the setup of the site prior to the arrival of the 400 RV’s on the coming Thursday.

Tuesday – 15 April & Wednesday – 16 April 2014

Both days were fine and we started to watch the ground dry during the quite warm days.

Together with our friends, we spent the majority of both days assisting with the setup and also attending happy hours and meetings to discuss our involvement in the festival.  We shared evening cooking duties with our friends and were able to sit and enjoy their company.

“He” continued to fly the quad copter taking both stills and video of the site as the attendees started to arrive.  We also managed trips into Wagga Wagga for shopping and also visited the recently opened Masters store.  We had a good view of the eclipse of the moon on Tuesday night.

Photographs have been taken and if reasonable, will be posted on this site.

Thursday – 17 April 2014

“His” day started at 6:45am when, with one of our friends, we left to go to the original site for the festival, the Wagga Wagga Showgrounds.  We were tasked with informing any attendee arriving at that site that the venue had been changed.  We spent three hours at the gate and only had to redirect a single RV.

Thursday was the general arrival day for attendees and the queue to enter the site was probably close to a kilometre long when we returned.  Thanks to having a 4WD, we were able to cross a muddy paddock and enter the site via a side entrance.

“He” spent some time helping with the placement of vehicles onto their camping sites.  Whilst this was happening, “She” was fully occupied with the duties of assisting with the registration process of the new arrivals. “She” spent the majority of the afternoon with registrations whilst “He” was involved with the setup of the area that would house all of the evening performances.

“He” has the job of operating a video camera that will be used to project the evening performances onto a large screen so those at the rear of the hall can clearly see the stage. “He” took more video and stills during the afternoon and the site now looks close to being fully occupied.

We both attended the opening ceremony which also doubled as a happy hour.  We continued happy hour once we returned to our camp site with more friends who arrived during the day. After hot showers in the caravan, we had an early night in bed after what was a very exhausting day.

Friday – 18 April 2014

Today was the first full day of the festival and we set the alarm for 6:00am so we could be early for the morning show which starts at 8:00am.  We managed front row seats and took video footage of a couple of the acts.  One of the attendees writes a progressive poem during the festival and we intend to record every day and then possibly offer a DVD for sale next year with the proceeds going to the festival charities.

“She” spent a large amount of the day helping at the information desk and “He” continued using the quad copter to photograph the festival site.  “He” also took a large number of photographs that will be given to the festival organisers.

We had an extended happy hour before attending a trivia night.  Our group came equal fifth out of forty groups.  The temperature during the night is dropping and winter is fast approaching.

Saturday- 19 April 2014

Once again we were up at 6:00am to allow sufficient time for breakfast and the walk to the venue for the morning show.  Again we sat at the front and took video of several performances.

We went into Wagga Wagga for groceries.  After returning we caught up with some friends from the Australian Caravan Club.

We both had jobs at the evening concert so the afternoon was spent showering and preparing for an early evening meal.

“He” was asked if some of the aerial pictures could be made available for purchase and naturally agreed with the net sale proceeds going to local charities.  A hasty trip was made to a part of the ground that had not been photographed and pictures were taken with the quad.  The quality of the pictures taken by the DJI Phantom is nothing short of sensational.

After tea we both headed to the main marquee where “He” was responsible for operating a camera to project the concert onto a large screen and “She” was an usher.

The evening show was very enjoyable with comedian, Darren Carr being the main act. It was cold when we returned to the caravan.

Sunday – 20 April 2014

We have noticed a slow drop in the air temperature and we were told that the temperature at 7:00am today was 4 degrees but it felt like 2.  Lucky we were up at 6:00am?

Today started with the morning show.  Immediately following the show, “She” spent time working on the Information Desk while “He” returned to the caravan to prepare for a seminar that “He” had agreed to deliver.

After finalising the presentation, “He” decided to fly the quad copter and attempt to go high enough to capture the entire site with a single picture.  After the initial launch of the quad, it was noticed that the quad would not hold its position correctly.  The quad was rebooted and launched again.  This time it held its position so a climb command was input and the quad was taken to about 400 feet above ground level.  One picture was taken before the quad started to spin when it was expected to hold its position.  The quad was landed immediately.  Several minutes later, “He” was informed that farmers had been ringing the ABC asking why their GPS devices in farm machinery were malfunctioning.  The answer, solar flares.  Apparently there was higher than normal solar flare activity and that activity was disrupting the GPS satellites.  Hopefully that was the reason that the quad was doing strange things.

The seminar went well with about 50 attending.  Several asked questions but most were interested in the quad copter and aerial photography.  After the seminar, “He” also spoke about photography as part of the Caravan & Motorhome Magazine presentation.

We did not have time for happy hour as immediately following our evening meal, we both headed to the main marquee where “He” was again responsible for operating a camera to project the talent quest onto the large screen.

Very tired, we went to bed immediately after returning from the concert.

Monday – 21 April 2014

This was the final day of the festival and the day when the festival was open to the public.  It was also market day.

We attended the final morning show and then spent time looking at the various market stores.

After lunch we both competed in the signature event, stoning of the crows, where you have to hit a metal crow with a tennis ball.  Three misses and you are out.  We both lost in the first round.

We did attend a happy hour today before purchasing potatoes for our evening meal.

The final show of the festival was for the presentation of the various awards and concluded with a performance from country singer, Amber Lawrence.

22 April 2014 – Stone the Crows

We decided that we would spend another day at the STC site and assist with the general clean-up and also to burn a DVD for the organisers containing the photographs we had taken including the aerial pictures from the quad copter that has been offered for sale.

We slept in until 7:00am and really had a very slow start for the day. “He” had to go to Officeworks to purchase DVD’s as he had bought CD’s with us rather than the DVD’s and there was not sufficient free space for the photographs on the CD.

That job done, “He” helped with the removal of stakes used to protect parts of the site from vehicular traffic. Final job was to pick up portable shelters that we had erected on the day we arrived.

We had a lazy afternoon (actually a very long happy hour) before we joined the other helpers for happy hour and a provided evening meal in the club house. We had a lovely chicken salad with great company.

With reluctance we said our goodbyes before returning to the caravan to prepare for our departure tomorrow.

1 comment to 13 April to 22 April 2014 – Wagga Wagga and “Stone The Crows” Festival

  • Thanks for a great “rap” guys. Be in touch for next year in due course. Have sent a link to WW Council and tourism people plus of course the other two male crows.
    Hugs and thanks again
    Chrissy

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