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Over the Easter weekend, 18th to 21st April, I staged the 10th Australian Four Wheel Drive Gathering at Dungog in rural New South Wales, about 3 hours north north west of Sydney, Australia. The Gathering is a biennial event and has been held now in all states of Australia and The Northern Territory. This year the event was held at the Dungog Showground and was attended by 80 4WD drivers from most parts of the country. There were people from Western Australia, The Northern Territory, Queensland, Victoria and New South Wales. There had been a lot of rain in the area up to the weekend but the fine weather came and we had the best weekend. The purpose of the Gathering is to get together with four wheel drivers to make new friends and to renew old friendships. We raise money over the weekend through various activities for the Royal Flying Doctor Service.

We gathered at the Showground to camp for the weekend on Thursday night and Friday morning. On Friday two trips were organised, one was the Fosterton Loop, a scenic drive around Dungog and the other was Trevor Tops Road, which takes in scenic forest roads around the area.

Friday night was our formal welcome and plans were outlined for the weekend. On Saturday a combination of Friday’s trips were carried out for those people that did not get a chance to go on Friday. Also a group were taken to a local winery called Camyr Allyn at Gresford about an hour west of Dungog and also to Gresford billy cart derby and markets. There was also trip to Stroud and Gloucester and some forest roads.

On Saturday afternoon we had a demonstration of 4WD recovery equipment and how to use it. We then had a demonstration of vacuum sealing equipment. On Saturday night we sat down to a sumptuous meal, a lucky door prize drawing and were then entertained by a duet of two entertainers called “The Grumpy Old Men”.

Sunday morning saw a trip to Terrible Billy Track east of Dungog and another to Chichester Dam and the State Forest loop. A group were also taken to a local olive grove called Bunna Bunoo where we had tour of the processing plant. Later on Sunday we were given a demonstration of safe chainsaw usage. On Sunday night we had a guest speaker who presented a talk on the disputed border between South Australia and Victoria. After that we had an auction to sell merchandise kindly donated by our sponsors. I would like to thank those people that bought items at the auction.

Monday morning saw us sit down to breakfast, breaking camp, saying our farewells and setting off for home.

I would like to acknowledge the following people and companies for their contribution to making the weekend a success:
My organising committee: Barry Vines, Joyce Hollins, Peter Glendinning, Bev Hockley, Jim Collis and Jim Davey.

Trip Leaders: Col, Rhonda, Rachel & Rebekkah Crowther – Ipswich 4WD Club, Steve & Joan O’Brien – Newcastle and Districts 4WD Club and Ken & Yvonne McDonald – Central Coast 4WD Club.

Contributors: Dungog Shire Council, Dungog Showground & Recreation Reserve Management Committee, Chris Newbold, Caterforce, Clever Products, 4WD NSW & ACT, “The Grumpy Old Men”, JohnTurbill & crew and John & Bev Deckert.

Sponsors: ARB New South Wales, TJM Hunter -NSW , Freshield – Victoria, Independent Trailers – Canberra, Peterson House Winery – Hunter Valley, Westprint Heritage Maps – Victoria, Camyr Allyn Winery – Gresford and Bunna Bunoo Olive Grove – Vacy.

For more photos and videos, visit our website at www.4wdgathering.org.au

Regards
Bruce Close
Event Co-Ordinator

 

Temporary closure of Lavis Lane 4WD track for upgrade.

The Lavis Lane 4WD access to Stockton Beach in the Aboriginal owned Worimi Conservation Lands north of Newcastle will be temporarily closed from 3 February 2014 until 23 March 2014, to allow for the completion of a major upgrade to the popular access.

Worimi Conservation Lands Chairperson Ms Petrice Manton said that the $300,000 upgrade is expected to take 7 weeks to complete from 3 February 2014 until 23 March 2014.

Ms Manton said “During this time the Lavis Lane access will be closed to all vehicles and pedestrians, to allow for the construction work to be completed as safely, quickly and efficiently as possible.

“We have tried to pick a time between school holidays that minimises the impact on visitors, and apologise for any inconvenience this temporary closure causes.

“Visitors will still be able to access Stockton Beach via the alternate Gan Gan 4WD entry at Anna Bay, however must also return to exit the beach via this access.

“This also means that visitors will need to be particularly mindful of tides during the closure, and allow enough time to return to the Gan Gan exit, as there will be no opportunity to exit the park from the southern end.

“WCL Recreational Vehicle Area permit holders can still access the RVA by floating their conditionally registered vehicles along the beach from the Gan Gan 4WD access.

“Visitors are reminded that the use of conditionally registered vehicles such as quad bikes, trikes and motor bikes are restricted to the designated RVA only”, said Ms. Manton.

Ms Manton added “The upgrade will include the realignment of the Lavis Lane road, the sealing of a section of the road, and improvements to the carpark including signage.

“These improvements build on the $1.5m of visitor access improvements already completed at WCL by the Board of Management, and further demonstrates the boards’ commitment to providing and maintaining visitor access to the Worimi Conservation Lands” said Ms Manton

Worimi Conservation Lands Board of Management
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