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To Warooka and Back.

Posted by on in The Upgrade
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To Wooruka and back


The Beginning

After acquiring a masher from my last road trip to Bendigo, it was time to find a Boiler.   I did the usual scouting on the internet and after thinking there might be a shortage of cheap dairy vats on the market, I came across a gumtree advertisement.   It was from a brewery in Yorke Pennisula who  had a lot of ex-dairy gear which could useful.  After much umm’ing and ahhh’ing,  I decided to buy some kegs, a Milk Pasteuriser, Heat Exchanger and anything else that would fit on our transport.

The main issue I had was with the size of the pasteuriser, would it be cheaper to pay for a transport company or to do it myself.  A transport company was about $1000 to Melbourne and probably half as much again to get it to the brewery location.  Could I do it myself with a trailer?  Then it dawned on me, time for another ROAD TRIP. 

So I called Stu (best mate & brewery supporter)  and  laid out the rough idea I had, before I had finished my spiel he was in.  After much to’ing and fro’ing, will the vat fit in the trailer?; which car will we take?; should we take a truck instead?. In the end, Max (Stu’s Step-Dad) lent us his new, comfy, shiny ute and tandem trailer.  A million thanks to Max because I don’t know many people who would lend out their new ute to go on a 2000km road trip


The Middle

Google estimates a driving time of 11hours 12 mins, so I thought it best we do it over the weekend and take Monday off, so we could fit some fishing in.  A great plan, but in the end we had to do it in two nights.  The plan was to leave at 4am Saturday morning and return to Stratford by Sunday night. 


So its 4am and I thought, as a memento of the start of our trip, we should take a picture of the ute at the start of our adventure.  Just as I was getting in the car, a divvy van (police car) races up, cuts us off and both cops storm out of the car towards us.  I look around, thinking it’s for someone else behind us.  Then realisation hits and I wind the window down “What are you doing?”  “Err Driving a car”  “Is this your car?” “Ahh...” What am I going to say - No officer, we are stealing it so we can travel 2,000kms to pick up dairy equipment so we can make some moonshine...  Funny thing is, I never got past “Ahh...”, they never asked for our identification or the name of the actually owner of the vehicle.  I appreciate the fodder for this story though.

 The begining

Cape Yorke was sparce and very desolate.  We were surprised at how many old abandoned  buildings there were.  Many seemed as if they were built around of the turn of the century (I mean 1900, not 14 years ago).

 Near the borderNear the border

Near the South Australian Border

Myself near border

The seller of the equipment had told us that there is good fishing N of Warooka, so we headed up to Point Turton.  Cape Yorke was desolate but Point Turton was not, it looked like a busy holiday town.  We went out to the pier to see if the fish were biting but all we saw was some unhappy fisherman, we cut our losses and went to the local fish n chip shop for lunch. 

 At Point Turton

Point Turton

We got a call from the seller saying that they were ready to load the equipment which meant we were on.  We made our way to the property which seemed like the middle of nowhere, it was actually 15mins away from Warooka. 


It came time to load stuff onto the trailer and ute and I realised I was “as useful an ashtray on a motorbike” from a lack of sleep.   Luckily I had Stu who was doing all the practical thinking, otherwise  I would have loaded the vat on my head. 

One skill which I still haven’t mastered 100% yet is reversing a trailer, after a few tries and Stu and the seller having a good chuckle at my expense I managed to reverse it.  As I get out the seller lets me know with a grin that the bush I was about to step on was a highly poisonous plant.  Not something I want to be doing in the middle of nowhere.  To its credit it was a pretty bush.

It’s about 6pm and we are loaded up, everything ratcheted down and ready to go.  We head back to Warooka, park the ute and get settled.  We make our way to the pub order some food, mingle with some local patrons, and try and finish a SA beer. 

 At the Warooka Pub / Motel

We head back to the motel room and as we are about to fall asleep Stu says these exact words “bloody fridge is keeping me up.”  I say to him “EXPLETIVE just go to  sleep.”  Well he couldn’t so we unplug the fridge.   After our short snooze we arise for our long trip home, I put by comfortable trackies on and am ready for some driving.  Stu puts his on, and after a dozen of expletives he realises they were soaking wet.   “What the,” we thought.   Then we figured it out, the fridge / freezer had defrosted and his trackies had conveniently mopped up the mess.  I lent Stu my trackies and I had to use my jeans again….


The End


And so the trip home begins…..

 At the Border again

At the border again

Stu is exhausted, probably from doing all the thinking when we loaded up the day before, and was not able to drive.   I’m driving in the dead of the night and out of the blue a great big ugly kangaroo jumps out, that’s when we decided driving at 70 km/h would be a good idea.  As daylight starts we put pedal to the metal, well as much as the law would allow us.    We get to and then through Adelaide with no drama, even get through to the border with no drama.   5 minutes into VIC the boiler breaks through the pallet and was on a massive lean, almost like the leaning tower of Pisa.

The excessive amount of bouncing from the terrible Victorian roads had enabled the boiler to break through.  From then we had to stop every 100kms to check that the straps were securely fastened and the boiler was not going to bounce off.  The last thing we wanted was a boiler on the middle of the road with no way to put it back.

We arrived in Melbourne and then finally our last stop, Stratford.   It was a long and tiring trip but well worth it, for the things I bought but also being able to spend three days with a good mate.


 Current resting spot of Vats

Current resting spot of Vats




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Guest Monday, 19 April 2021