What food to bring? Where do we meet? What happens if you break down?
You’re in the right place! You’ll find the answers to many of your questions along with information about preparing for your tag-along trip and general tid bits that might be useful. If you’ve got other questions please don’t hesitate to give us a call or pop on over to our contact page.
Some suggestions for simple but popular camping meals:
Cereals which are relatively compact. eg. Wheat biscuits, muesli, variety packs are popular with children. Long life milk, plus a little hot water on cold mornings.
Jaffles (in campfire) made with stale bread, margarine buttered on the outside. Fill with cheese, salami, left-overs from last night’s tea. Check/turn regularly and cut off the “dags”.
Bacon & eggs, canned spaghetti & cheese. Toast (using extendable-handle toasting fork).
Drinks: Long life juice cartons (1 litre), coffee, tea, hot chocolate.
Lunches (if travelling):
Fresh bread (while available) with salad, meat/cheese slices or various spreads (peanut butter, cheese spread, vegemite) for self-made sandwiches.
Dry biscuits (Vita wheat, savoy, salada) with fillings eg. small cans of tuna, salmon, sardines with various flavours, salami, cheese, salad things.
Jaffles (made the previous night) cooled, then stored in a plastic bag.
Boiled frankfurts (from breakfast time) kept warm in a thermos flask. Serve as hot dogs.
Fruit, sweet biscuits or fruit cake.
Scroggin (mixed nuts, dried fruit, smarties) in plastic bag. Handfuls only, no “picking” allowed!
Lunches (if at base camp):
Do-it-yourself pizza (pita bread with fillings cooked in foil).
Fritters (chopped vegies fried in batter).
Pancakes, damper, soup & toast, jaffles, welsh cakes
Grilled sausages/chops/steak (while available) or boiled frankfurts with boiled vegies (fresh cabbage/carrot, dehydrated peas/carrots/beans, canned corn) with potatoes wrapped in foil cooked on hot coals (turn regularly).
Fried rice: Boil rice then add pre-fried bacon/salami/egg/onion and celery/cabbage/capsicum/zucchini then fry in pan.
Stir fry: Cut up frankfurts/stras and fry with vegies as above.
Spaghetti bolognaise: Boil pasta and dehydrated vegies in large billy, drain water and add can of meat sauce. Tuna mornay, fish patties.
Canned fruits and puddings. Long life custard or cream. Pancakes, fruit damper, cake.
Banana boats (slice banana lengthwise, insert chocolate, cook in foil.
S’mores (toasted marshmallows between chocolate wheaten biscuits).
Some ideas on how all this food is best carried:
Fridge or Esky:
Frozen cartons of juice. Frozen or vacuum-sealed meat.
Casserole prepared and frozen at home in ice-cream container.
Milk in plastic bottle. Margarine.
Salad container (enough for 2 days only): tomato, lettuce, cucumber.
Vegie container: cabbage, celery, carrots, capsicum, zucchini.
Deli container: cheese (in plastic wrap), bacon, salami, stras sausage.
Eggs in double cartons or plastic (cushioned) camping egg holders.
Cereal in plastic containers. Biscuits and cakes in air-tight tins (eg. old biscuit tin).
Drink box packs protected inside wine cask boxes.
Fresh bread and fruit in bags on top (bananas last 1 day, apples 3 days, oranges 2 weeks).
Sliced bread (keeps better with newspaper wrapped around its sealed plastic bag).
Cans packed together at bottom.
S.R. flour in air-tight tin. Powdered milk.
Pre-washed and foiled potatoes. Onions in cloth bag.
Packets of rice, custard, dried vegetables, pasta etc.
“Bits & Pieces” Box:
Small plastic or metal containers with sugar, coffee, tea-bags, drinking chocolate, spreads, seasonings, and detergent.
Pots & Pans Box:
Billies and other cooking gear.
Laundry and all other odds and ends.
Preparation and meeting:
After you’ve confirmed your booking by providing contact details and a deposit payment, we will email you a Confirmation Letter.
This letter details where and when to meet and what to bring. Most day trips start from our base in Morwell, which is about 1 1/2 hours from Melbourne’s eastern suburbs. Bring a picnic lunch and a full fuel tank. We also recommend a UHF radio (a simple, cheap hand-held is ok for convoy use) and some basic recovery gear. Vehicles need to be roadworthy and mechanically sound. On longer camping trips or extended tours into remote areas we will provide more specific information on what is needed.
The Confirmation Letter also includes notification of any significant health issues we need to be aware of, and an indemnity section so that you understand the inherent risks of adventure activities. Bring your signed letter along to the start of the trip.
Frequently Asked Questions
When are they on?
Most are on the "Upcoming Tour Descriptions" page, but our schedule changes constantly and includes various "maybe" trips as well as the definite ones, so the best way to know what's available is simply to phone and give us what dates would suit you, plus any ideas of what you would enjoy on the tour. If your preferred date is free we can book you in. Alternatively we will outline what trips are already planned which may be suitable.
How do I book?
Your booking is then confirmed over the phone (with deposit) We then send a letter confirming details.
How long are they?
Most trips are either day trips, weekends or public holiday long weekends, usually starting from Morwell. (Map to find us: click here). Occasionally we run longer trips, especially during school holidays, or half-day trips and charters. We also run trips on weekdays. All this is flexible to meet your needs.
Where do they go?
There is always a balance to be found between rushing to see a lot and having time to really relax. Day trips usually visit the rugged gold-mining country north of the Latrobe Valley. Weekend trips often venture into the alpine high country beyond Licola and Dargo. Longer trips can visit more remote parts of east Gippsland, the spectacular mountains of north-eastern Victoria or the deserts of western Victoria and South Australia. Actual itineraries are continually modified during the trip to suit timing, participants' interests and prevailing weather conditions.
What times do they start and finish?
Since most customers come from Melbourne (eastern suburbs 1½ hours from Morwell) we usually aim to get started by about 9:15am, and be back onto a major highway and heading for home by 5:30~6:30pm on the last day.
Will they be suitable for tag-along beginners?
We look after people and their vehicles. As well as adjusting the itinerary, we provide guidance and training as necessary. Our leaders are equipped for just about any contingency. We also have satellite phone external communication available, and you can use our satphone for a small fee, or even less if you have your own Telstra SIM card with international roaming.
What about people with special interests?
We can make the tour as adventurous as you would like. We also assist people wanting to visit special destinations, or for photography, historic sites, gold-fossicking or ski-touring in remote areas. For families we have various activities for kids to have fun. On longer trips (eg. 5-day) we usually include a "rest day" for bushwalking, swimming, campfire cooking etc.
Is food and camping gear supplied?
For passenger tours, yes! Tag-along tours are priced on the basis that customers supply their own, however we can cater and provide equipment hire at additional cost. For some suggestions on self-catering see the "Food for 4WD Touring" page.
What accommodation options are there?
We prefer camping because it gives greatest flexibility with places to go, and because things such as campfire cooking can be a unique attraction of 4WD tours. However we also can arrange accommodation in cabins or country pubs, especially for trips in winter.
What about toilets and showers?
We call in at toilets where possible, some campsites have a "long-drop", but in the bush it's mostly taking the shovel for a walk (with our "Royal Throne" as an option)! In warm weather we often set up a hand-shower cubicle, or there's a river to swim in. Also using "baby wipes" in your tent between showers is a popular option.
How are our tours different from 4WD club trips?
We care for you and your vehicle. Our first priority is to look after your interests and enjoyment. Our leaders are experienced professionals with an intimate knowledge of the areas we visit. We believe a good tour is more than just driving, it's the great people that come and the sense of "community" that develops. Then there are all the extras such as Andrea's home-baked cookies, Ron's amazing stories and Ian's brilliant technical fixes!