The Snail Trail

Travelling with my home on my back and in no hurry to get anywhere


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Tassie Solos Rally 2017

This rally is the main reason I have been so slack doing my blog since ….  forever! (October last year, actually). I was the Rally Manager and all my energies and efforts were channeled towards creating a fantastic experience for our CMCA Solos Network members when we met in Campbell Town, Tasmania from 28th February to 6th March this year.

For those of you who follow my blog I’d like to explain that our Solos group are motorhomers that travel by themselves – it is not a singles club in that most of us are quite happy travelling solo and not looking for a partner. It provides a safe group of travellers that we can link up with as we journey around our beautiful country.

IMG_7341CT Rally 2017 web

Thanks to George Gatenby, Show Society member, who took this photo with his drone

It was a wonderful experience for me and I loved every minute of the planning, preparation, putting together a week long program and then seeing it come to fruition with the help of my Rally Team, some of the local residents and businesses and of course my sister, Marion who lives nearby.

We had 205 motorhomes of all shapes and sizes in attendance and about 225 people (some couples joined us as they’d heard how much fun we have at our rallies!)

The Campbell Town Showground was a great venue with big buildings and plenty of room for us all to park. It was ‘rustic’ – our main building was a 75 metre long sheep pavilion – and the smell of the sheep never really left it even with all the doors open. Here’s how I first saw it when I arrived in Tasmania in June 2016 and the Campbell Town Show was on.

Not long before our rally started the Show Society held a working bee, so this is what the pavilion looked like without the sheep!

And then we filled it up with happy Solos ready to party!

IMG_7346CT Rally 2017 web

The theme of the rally was Life is Magic so we had witches and wizards, fairies and fortune tellers dressed up for our night of Magic and Mystery.

A spit roast dinner was provided and the night kicked off with our very own witches dance that our members had learned and practised with our member/instructor Karin Kirk.

This was just one of the many things on our program. Here’s an overview of what we got up to during the week…. Programxls – At a Glance

One afternoon we had an Op Shop Fashion Parade where members unwanted clothes plus those from the local Op Shop were ‘modelled’ by some of our group. What a funny day! So much laughter even the townspeople were talking about it!

Our Skit Night showcased our talented members – or those who thought they were talented – and it was another night of laughter and friendship. Here’s our Line Dancers and our First Timers performing.

Before the main crowd arrived on the Monday we had a special dinner to thank our Volunteers and welcome our First Timers. You can’t keep a Solo seated for long when there’s dance music playing.

The local Solos Chapter, The Tassie Shearwaters, organised a great Fun Day for us.  Some of the activities were quite challenging but I’ll let the pictures tell the story.

 

Info Elaine

 

There’s a huge age range among our members and 2 of them celebrated their 80th birthdays at Campbell Town – Nev, our chief bus driver and Miss Information (or was that misinformation?), Elaine. We even found a special booth for her.

 

The local towns people were delighted with the boost to their businesses while we were in Campbell Town. Our mini bus ferried us back and forth daily to the supermarket and coffee shops and we totalled up our shopper dockets at the end of the rally and we had spent over $65,000 in town during the rally. This is a huge amount for the economy of a small town of only 700 people.

 

You can see it was full on and wouldn’t have been at all possible without our hard working volunteers and everyone who came along to have a good time. You made it happen!

Acknowledgements: Thank you to the many members who posted some of these photos on our Facebook page and I have ‘borrowed’ them to illustrate this blog. Contributors include Rosanna Grifone, Jenny McLelland, Fay Byrnes and Shannon Lightfoot.

 

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A Tourist in Tasmania: Campbell Town

While I’m staying with my sister, Marion, Campbell Town is my ‘local’ town. It’s 35kms down the road and the closest place to buy a loaf of a bread or a newspaper. It also has some great little coffee shops that are worth a visit- and an interesting history.

Campbell Town Map

The Red Bridge, which crosses the Elizabeth River, was built by convicts in 1838.

………. the famous Red Bridge. Built by convicts in the 1830s, it’s said to contain one million bricks and these days carries more than two million vehicles each year.

It’s not what you expect an old bridge in Tasmania to look like, being made of red bricks rather than the beautiful stone of say Ross or Richmond.

Adjoining the Red Bridge is Blackburn Park, which features some fabulous chain saw sculptures.

Blackburn Park is right on the edge of town and also offers a 48 hour free camp stopover just over the foot bridge.

Campbell Town is also known for its Convict Brick Trail, where families with a convict ancestor sponsored a brick to remember their history. Here’s our brick for Mary Lettice, an ancestor on my mother’s side of the family, who was transported on the Mary Anne in 1841. Her crime and punishment? Larceny – 7 years!

Convict Brick Trail, Campbell Town, Tasmania

Our ancestor, Mary Lettice

If you think Mary did it tough, what about some of these that I discovered…

Convict Brick Trail, Campbell Town, TasmaniaConvict Brick Trail, Campbell Town, TasmaniaConvict Brick Trail, Campbell Town, Tasmania

I’ve fallen asleep at the post so often I would have got life!

Being such an historic settlement there are also many lovely old buildings in Campbell Town. The Anglican Church, built in 1835, is quite magnificent, but it’s the little school house in the church grounds that I loved.

This church, which is now a private property, welcomes you to Campbell Town when travelling from Launceston.

IMG_6704Campbell Town

And here’s another couple of historic buildings in the main street.

Campbell Town, Tasmania

The Foxhunters Return

Campbell Town, Tasmania

One of the many old cottages to discover

Campbell Town has historically been a stop over on the journey from Hobart to Launceston but with a 48 hour free camp on the edge of town and a 24 hour free camp in King Street there’s no reason why you can’t stop a little longer and enjoy what this pretty little Northern Midlands town has to offer.

Free Camps, Campbell Town, Tasmania

Free Camps, Campbell Town, Tasmania


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A Tourist in Tasmania – Campbell Town Show

A couple of days after I arrived in Tasmania, Campbell Town Showgrounds was buzzing with people, horses, food stalls and ….. sheep, lots of sheep, the biggest sheep I have ever seen!

IMG_6589Campbell Town Show

These are called Corriedales and they really are huge.

Here’s a merino lined up for judging –

IMG_6592Campbell Town Show

The sheep pavilion must have been about 75 metres long but there were a few empty pens because the mainlanders couldn’t get on the boat to get their stock over here in time. Grey nomads strike again!

IMG_6587Campbell Town ShowIMG_6588Campbell Town Show

This one won’t ever feel the cold again!

IMG_6595Campbell Town Show

And being a country show highlighting sheep and wool, some people got colourfully creative!

IMG_6586Campbell Town ShowIMG_6585Campbell Town Show

Happy Campers:
There is a free camp at Campbell Town called Blackburn Park which is a pretty spot right on the edge of town. There is also a dump point available. A couple of good bakeries, an ice-creamery, IGA, and coffee shops line the main street.Campbell Town is situated on the Midland Highway about 67kms south of Launceston.