Home Forthcoming Events :: Club Members :: :: Technical
The Australian Austin A30 Club
Forthcoming Events
Club Outings
Technical Articles
Buy and Sell
Members Cars
Members Trips
Members Trips

 If the thought of a weekend away in your A30 is way too fast for you then how about doing what a friend and I did  go on a gypsy caravan!

Mel and I decided to have a "girls only weekend" and headed on down to the Otway Gypsy Wagons, just east of Colac. Graham and Penny Nowell have four "gypsy" wagons ranging from the honeymooner, two family wagons and the "deluxe" family wagon. They are basic but all you need (as long as you don't mind a bush toilet and no shower).

The only males allowed on our weekend were the two Clydesdales pulling the caravan - Mighty (a massive bay standing 18 hands tall) and Billy (a roan who measured in at 15 hands - he had a habit of resting his head on top of mine). 

 Graham showed us how to harness up and then we off we set with Penny sitting up front with us giving directions on how to "drive".  This involved sitting with your foot raised and knee bent so that you could reach the brake of the caravan and operating the reins and calling instructions to Billy and Mighty to "walk up", "steady" or "whoa".

Penny then left us with a mud-map on where we were to stop for lunch.  We soon discovered that Billy was just like a kid.  As soon as a slight incline came in sight he would fasten his pace, but because they were only to travel at walking pace, you'd rein them in and slow them down.  This was okay for a little while, but then Billy would look around to see what you were doing and then attempt to take off again!  We soon had him worked out.

The weather was perfect and the countryside just beautiful with all the wattle and wild flowers out.  So peaceful and relaxing with the only sound being the clattering of hooves and then Mighty and Billy "breaking wind" practically in our faces with us doubled up with laughter.

At around 4.30 we stopped to make camp for the night in the Barongarook State Forest.  Graeme and Penny arrive and we unharness the horses, put them on a night line, feed them and then they head off till the morning leaving us by the camp fire for the night. Fantastic!  We're supplied with a hot plate, tripod, billy and gas light and a beautiful moonlit night.

  The next morning we set off again with Graeme helping us harness up our "horsepower" all ready for another day of plodding through the beautiful countryside.  Our weekend finished at 4.30 back at Graeme and Penny's after following the mud-maps and wandering through the State Forest.  All in all we probably only covered a few kilometres the entire weekend, but what a way to go.

                                                                                                                                                                     Dianne Davie


Otway Gypsy Wagons!
Dianne Davie