By Jasmine Brown & Jacquie Colhoun

Day 1 (Thursday)
There is a saying “even the best -laid plans can go awry!” this was the case for the Colhoun’s who were heading down to Coffs Harbour to spend some time with Family (Sunday before Easter) and then heading up to the Red Neck Farm Stay over Easter. Our whammy was a new family member arriving 10 weeks early on the 23rd of March, so JMa was on duty to look after her brothers whilst Mummy and Daddy went to the hospital. 
QLD 4x4 Club Easter Trip
great family fun on the farm.

Once they settled into a routine and went back home to Laidley, Craig and I decided to work the Monday and Tuesday before Easter and head to Coffs on Wednesday arriving late in the afternoon and spending one day with family and getting our grocery shopping! Thursday morning we relaxed a little arranged with Col & Joy to meet them (even these plans changed!), caught up with Kylie (Mrs Redneck) at her shop and made our way to Glenreagh. We were the first to arrive (Col & Joy having to refuel and do some shopping themselves, there was also a comment and photo of sleeping ugly “Master C” still being asleep at 10am!). Col & Joy arrived followed by Wayne (Mr Redneck) and then Annemarie & Steven mid-afternoon. Craig thought the paddock grass was a little long and needed slashing, so Wayne bought the tractor down did a couple of laps and then handed over to Clay to give it a go! Clay had a great time but if the stragglers left behind are anything to go by the needs to be checked before putting the lawnmower away at home…

After we had set up our camps, Col, Craig (in their GU’s) & Wayne (with Tractor) went for some wood arriving back with a nice big log being towed behind the tractor. I was deposited in what looked like a good communal spot for a fire and Col proceeded to cut it up with the chainsaw (no need for Ollie’s special saw…yet).

Dinner and a few drinks around the fire were enjoyed, and we were looking forward to the rest of the group to arrive on Friday.  

Day 2 (Friday):

Rise and shine! Well, the sun wasn’t even out yet when I woke up, but anyway, we would have to set off soon for our five-hour drive to Coffs Harbour. And by ‘we’ I mean Harley Colhoun and the Brown’s (Ross, Yah and kids), as most of the people had driven up there a day earlier (Colhoun’s, Steven and Annamarie, Ashton’s, Don and family) or earlier that morning (Ollie).

On the trip going southbound, it was pretty clear of traffic, so we reached Coffs Harbour in five-or so hours, with a couple of coffee and toilet breaks.

By the time we arrived, Ollie was set up in his camper trailer, there was breakfast brewing on the fire, people riding horses and people just waking up. Although I had only just woken up myself, so I rubbed my eyes and set up our camp with everyone else. As Clay drove his car around camp, Peirce rode his motorbike in the fields away from camp, although you could still hear it from a mile away. So, I decided to join the fun, and I somehow drove Dad’s car without crashing it. Just after that, everyone decided to go for a drive, so I continued to drive along with  everyone. It was a pleasant drive as we climbed hills, twisted and turned, went down a steep hill (which I am still proud of driving), closed gates and watched Craig get recovered from a mudslide from when he took a wrong turn. Peirce’s motorbike also stopped working but soon got it functioning again. All-in-all, the kids had a great time driving until we came to a public road.

Not much longer after that, we had to go for another drive to get some wood, where I volunteered to drive again. Heaps of wood was collected especially in the back of the ute, although it didn’t have as much left in it after it went up the hill with the tailgate down. So, after closing the tailgate and replacing the wood, we chained up another tree to Col’s Patrol to drag back to camp and burn.

Splitting the wood of both the axe and the logs was fun, but the moon had quickly risen above our heads, so we settled down for dinner. For dinner, the “Queensland 4x4 Camp” shared around some Zoodles (Zucchini and Carrot noodles) and Chicken Bolognaise, Sticky-rice with Chicken and Pawpaw Salad and Gnocchi as well as melted marshmallows. Soon everyone settled down, had a look at the constellations and retired to catch some “Z’s”.

Day 3 (Saturday):

In the morning, everyone took their own time waking up and found that yesterday’s log had collapsed in the fire. After breakfast, we packed up and got ready for the ‘jam-packed’ day ahead. It started with an easy 4x4 trip which I think was just to collect sticks off the track until Dad found some loose and busted up bolts on his exhaust that had let one of the joints come apart. But within a couple of minutes, 

we were back in four wheels collecting more sticks.

Our Drive commenced from the front gate of Wayne & Kylies, and we headed the back way to Dorrigo. We did a nice forest drive which took longer than planned by Jacquie (timing based on the main road to Dorrigo rather than the more scenic bush route with a couple of fallen trees to be moved!). Or first official stop was the Dangar Falls with some photos taken at the lookout and then a nice (slippery if not careful) walk down to the falls for a look and some more photos. From here we made our way to the National Park Skywalk where we walked to the end of the skywalk and grabbed some photos, some ended up having lunch at the Skywalk Café, others made lunch in the park area, and some even went for another walk along a track followed by lunch. We then made our way towards Coffs Harbour via Waterfall way and stopped at one of the lovely waterfalls for photos. We drove through Bellingen and had to give the Never Never Creek a miss and made our way towards Coffs Harbour.

As the Colhoun’s went to see relatives, everyone had some free time to enjoy themselves.

Steve and Annamarie went off as well, as did Col and Dad as they got groceries and bits for Ross’s car. The kids and the remaining adults went to the Big Banana. At the Big Banana, the kids bought some tickets to go on Toboggan and The Giant Slide, which was AWESOME!!! Adding on to the fun, everyone helped themselves to bananas, ice-creams and drinks. And don’t forget walking in the Big Banana and the happy snaps. After a couple hours of fun, it was time to head back with the groceries and the spare parts from Dad’s previous car failure and meet the whole crew at the Coffs Harbour marina for some Fish and Chips.

Fish and Chips at the Coffs Marina could have been a bit cramped, but we managed to make it work! Pricing was a bit expensive, after dinner we had a quick walk along the marina break wall and then headed back to our Redneck Farm stay for fire, marshmallows and drinks.

Day 4 (Sunday):
It was a nice slow start to the morning. Others had brekky whilst Ross adjusted his car parts and others bathed in the creek. Craig, Col, Ross and Jasmine went to collect some more firewood but came back not long after to relax at camp.

Around 11am, the convoy and the farm owners set off on a little trip to the nearby and abandoned train station. No one had any problems getting there besides one of the farm owners got parked in on the railway track, so we decided to have a quick morning tea. Some people ventured off to try and find the old railway tunnel, but with no luck finding it, the crew packed up and drove off to find another 4x4 track.

Our luck for finding new things was getting worse. We tried several tracks to go 4wdiving but with no success. Several tracks were blocked by logs, and others were too overgrown, although we did eventually find a track. Further and further down the track we went with seven cars all up, venturing up and down the hill, until we came to a dilemma, the track was overgrown with lantana. One car got through, but the brand new Colorado didn’t want to charge through the lantana with his flash paintwork, so Craig informed us to head back. Everyone else besides the one car that goes through went to turn around and go back, although not everyone had the room, so some had to reverse the 4wd track. The cars all assembled back near the track past the old train station, and soon the convoy was making our way back to camp.

Once the crew was back at camp, the kids made their way to the creek to go on the flying fox, whilst the adults dug into happy hour. By the time the kids had got back, the fire had been lit, with some very special wood structure engineering. A hollow of wood had been placed in a wider, hollow piece of wood creating a chimney so the flame could engulf the inside. The bottom of the wood was supported by smaller pieces of wood to open up ventilation through the bottom. After a while, the wood structure collapsed with great coals to make a camp oven dinner and have a lesson on roasting the perfect marshmallows. The last night at Coffs Harbour ended with a couple of laughs and a great dinner.

Day 5 (Monday):
It was a fairly early rise as today was the last day for the most of us. Breakfast was served in front of the fire as people started to pack up gradually. The kids brushed their teeth before heading to the flying fox near the dam. The flying fox was huge as it stretched across the top of the hill, over top of the dam and ended at the bottom of the hill where the dogs chased the person on the flying fox. Clay was the first to go on and then Ross and Jasmine but the shackle needing some grease before having another turn. The smaller kids had a turn but started closer to the end. It was a great memento before we left. One of the farm boys drove Pierce’s motorbike, but didn’t see the wire gate and hit it at full speed; he was very lucky to get away with just a few scratches. Luckily, he was unscarred, and everyone made their way back to camp to finish the last of the packing.

Everyone packed at their own pace and left at their own pace after saying their goodbye’s. In the end, the Browns were the last to leave for that day as the Ashtons and Fowlers were to stay another night. So, we said our goodbyes and thank you’s to everyone left, before we started our late and long trip back to Brisbane.

Thank you everyone one who read Jacquie and Jasmine’s Report. I really want to thank Jacquie for helping me out with this trip report again, and I also want to thank everyone else who helped edit. I want also say a very special thank you to the Redneck Farm owners as they took great care of us.

Post note from Jacquie: Thank you, Jasmine, for writing another great report, you do a great job and they are always a pleasure to read. My highlight of the trip was watching you, Clay and Pierce driving your parent's cars on the property and knowing we have another generation of 4WDers getting ready to participate in trips in the not too distant future. I would also like to extend our warmest thanks to our friends, Kylie and

Wayne, for again allowing us to share our love for the Coffs Coast by generously opening up their farm and allowing our club to stay for a second Easter.