Two-way Troopy (Micalong Creek)

Before Christmas, we took a weekend break in the Wee Jasper Valley, about an hour from Yass or Canberra.

We stayed in a lovely cottage on Wee Jasper Station, with long views of the steep valley and the Goodradigbee River. (Photos in coming posts)

But we couldn’t play it soft all weekend with the wine and cheese. So one afternoon we headed out for a fish and, on another, for a picnic.

So, the Troopy is a dual-purpose wonder machine!

At Micalong Reserve, the creek was running very high and fast after the recent rain. We had a chat to the ranger when he came along. He told us the creek has brown trout and 3 weeks before someone had caught one about ‘yea’ long, holding his fingers  about 25 cm apart. But it was too hot, and fast, to catch anything now.

Micalong Creek, near Wee Jasper, New South Wales, Australia

Micalong tumbling along


Well that was ok, we’d ‘prepared one earlier’ and thoroughly enjoyed our picnic of smoked salmon cutlets with cherry tomatoes, mixed leaf salad and aioli.  ¤


The village of Wee Jasper (New South Wales, Australia) is located about an hour from south Canberra via Uriarra Crossing, or an hour from Yass via Wee Jasper Rd. Both roads are tarred.

Billy Grace Reserve and Micalong Creek Reserve are campgrounds in the Wee Jasper valley on Nottingham Rd. For directions and information see the Wee Jasper Reserves Trust website:


Holden (‘Aussie icons’ series)

Bailey's Garage, Yass Street, Gunning, New South Wales, AustraliaGrowing up, there were two types of people. Those that loved Ford and those that loved Holden. And ne’er the twain shall meet!

It was a matter of personal and family pride, like a clan war, who was the winner at the Mount Panorama car race held every October long weekend, at Bathurst (New South Wales).

Bailey's Garage, Yass Street, Gunning, New South Wales, Australia

Holden Wall of Fame, Gunning, New South Wales


So here’s my tribute to a great Aussie icon, The Holden, of which everyone has a fond tale to tell, or two …

I remember sliding across the bench seats going around the corners. Holding on to the ‘Jesus strap’. Seatbelts, what seatbelts!

A column-shift, of course! Big steering wheel with finger grooves.

AM Radio… if you were lucky!

Everyone squashed into the back seat to go to The Lake to swim. 

Windows rolled down for the breeze, if you got the door you controlled the ‘free air’.

The solid-sounding, heavy thud of the door. The boot that always had one smelly sports shoe and a football, no matter whose car it was.

Duco colours that you could find in a pencil set, no metallic this, pearl that. Chrome wherever possible and it always gleamed!

Bailey's Garage, Yass Street, Gunning, New South Wales, Australia

A Holden haven

(For a great photo of a line-up of old Holdens out the front of Bailey’s Garage, Gunning, see also

FE-HR Holden Owners Club ACT, Gunning Garage and Picnic run, post 2 Aug 2012)


There was a well-known advertising jingle for Holden in the mid 1970s. (It was apparently based on the Chevrolet jingle, by General Motors.) It went like this:

We love football, meat pies, kangaroos and Holden cars. (Repeat over and over)

There they go together underneath the Southern stars,

Football and meat pies, kangaroos and Holden cars.

And just about every kid I knew did sing it … over and over!  ♦


Aussie icons series 

– To mark Australia Day, on January 26, my posts this week feature good old Aussie icons.

Photos taken 11 December 2013 – coincidentally, the day before General Motors announced that Holden, the golden light of the Australian automotive identity, will be closing its car plants in Victoria and South Australia by 2017. A sad day! See the news report at ‘Holden to end car manufacturing in Australia and import cars’, December 12, 2013.

Gunning, New South Wales, Australia

Bailey’s Garage, Yass St, Gunning, New South Wales, Australia,

Established 1/8/1945  – []

‘Opposite the Court House [in Gunning] is Bailey’s Garage, which originated with Frank Bailey during the First World War…  Numerous electrical items were also sold such as radiolas, refrigerators, hecla household appliances as well as Speedwell bicycles. The garage was purchased by Vern Southwell.’  []

‘Baileys Garage Pty Ltd (company name registered 24 April 1950) is a long established Holden dealership and mechanical repair business that has also operated school buses since the 1950s. It has been owned by the [Southwell] family since at least the early-1980s and is currently managed by Craig [Southwell].’  []

Moo mobile! (‘One Shot Wonders’)

A cow car by any other name.

How udder-ly amazing.

Moo Mobile, paddock on Marked Tree Road, near Gundaroo, New South Wales, Australia

Moo Mobile out to pasture, near Gundaroo village, NSW

Well, we were out for a Sunday drive back in May and there she was – The Moo Mobile – just out in the middle of a paddock! As you do!

Got no idea why. …Well, why not?

Has to be the quirkiest thing we’ve seen while driving around.

And now I have the words of the Woody Guthrie song going around in my head:

‘Take you riding in my [cow] car. Take you riding in my [cow] car…’

and with the second verse engine noises going ‘moo-moo’. Help!


For the wonderful, full experience you can enjoy the song on YouTube. Show your kids!

But be warned: it’ll get stuck in your head. My apologies in advance.

RIDING IN MY CAR by Woody Guthrie, illustrated by Scott Menchin

And feel free to add your own cow puns below. Here’s to a fun 2014!

CC  ♦


‘One Shot Wonders’ series

How to find The Moo Mobile:

S35° 00.845′ E149° 17.779′

Near Gundaroo village, New South Wales, Australia – 273.3km SW from Sydney, 37.2km NNE from Canberra [Google Maps]

– From the main street of Gundaroo (Cork Street), turn right into Rosamel Street.

– Continue on to Marked Tree Road. The Moo Mobile is on the left, about 2km down the road.

All tar road to this point.

Gundaroo village, New South Wales, Australia

Gundaroo, ‘Visit Yass Valley’ (on-line),

Welcome to Gundaroo“, webpage by Graeme Challinor