February/March 2016

Hi Folks

Kim with snakeFebruary saw us off to Melbourne where we arrived early Monday morning on the 22nd. Our good friend Rod Mc Carthy was patiently waiting for us. We had been up since 2:30am for our 6:00am flight out of Auckland. Once Rod had located the car we piled in and headed for Kyneton where Rod and Margaret live. The weather was hot as we had been warned it would be, 40 degrees plus. Margaret was waiting for us when we arrived and we decided to take a stroll into town to do some grocery shopping and have a look around before we had some lunch. In the afternoon we popped over to see Rod and Margaret’s son, Sean, who is a professional snake handler. Check out the photos of us handling the snake and crocodile. Sean also has on hand scorpions and turrantula spiders but we didn’t handle those, no way. We had an early dinner as Rod and Margaret were heading over to Daylesford to their Set dancing class. Check out the photos of Rod, Margaret and Annette in action. On the journey back to Kyneton we spotted the largest mob of Kangaroo we had seen in all the times we had been coming to Aussie for the festivals. We got a great shot of a large buck squatting on his haunches watching our every move.

On Tuesday morning after a good night’s sleep we hooked up the caravan and made our way up to Barham. We were booked in to the Colonial Motel which is run by Gary and Sally Harmon. What great hosts these two are. Only too glad to help us with anything we required. All we can say is fantastic job guys and the pool was wonderful. Totally recommend the Colonial Motel if you are ever in Barham.

We had two days in which to relax and prepare for the festival and try to get used to the heat, we didn’t though. Did I mention that it was hot? The festival kicked off on Wednesday night with the Dance Night. This was the festivals meet and greet with entertainment by Craig Giles and Anthony Tenace. A fantastic night was had by all and a great way to start the festival. We were joined at the festival by fellow kiwis Dennis March and Craig and Katrina Adams. We looked forward to a great week of fun and dancing. Thursday night we were treated to an awesome show by Wayne Horsburgh ably supported by guitar virtuoso Bob Howe and Musical Director Greg Hooper. These guys were amazing and very professional. Singing old classic country tunes which everyone was singing along to. Other acts taking part in the festival included; JR Williams, Don Costa, Rene Diaz, expat kiwi Marie Hodson, Sharon Benjamin and it was nice to catch up with our very good friend Cameron Mason again. The Southern Cross band did and awesome job of backing all the acts during the festival and what a great bunch of guys. Thank you Johnny ( drums), Bartolo (Bass) and Anthony (Lead) hope to see you all again soon. Once again sound was professionally run by Anthony Tenace. Anthony is a top guy and we would personally like to thank him for all the help he has given us over the years. We hope to see him at the Bay of Islands Festival in the near future. Before we knew it the Finale was upon us and we were all saying our goodbyes. I’m not sure if the video of our finale skit has gone live yet. Keep an eye out for it. We had a ball doing it with the help of Raggerty Peter and Raggerty Robyn. Thank you both for being such great sports.

We hope to see everyone again in 2017 as we have made some truly great friends over the years and we thank you for your continued support. It is very much appreciated.

We finished off the festival by performing for the Monday Madness. I didn’t win a prize in the raffles again this year. I had my eye on a very nice fishing rod.

Kim, Dale & Annette MelduraOur Aussie dad, Dale, had driven across from Adelaide to spend the week with us and once we had finished the Monday Madness we were heading back to Adelaide for a few days R’n’R. This was to be done via Mildura. We headed up the river Monday arvo stopping along the way at Tooleybuc to check out the RSL, a quick stop at Boundary Bend to view the river and wild life and an overnight stop at an awesome camping ground on the banks of the Murray River in Robinsvale. What a fantastic little place it is also the site of arguably the largest windmill in the Southern hemisphere. Check out the photos. On the drive up we spotted all kinds of wildlife; Emu, Kookaburra, Kangaroos, Wallabies, Cockatoo, Willy Wag Tails and Pelicans, so many Pelicans.

Tuesday morning we left Robinsvale heading for Mildura arriving around lunch time. On the way in we spotted the paddle steamer “Melbourne” chugging up the river so we stopped at the jetty to get a closer look at this majestic old boat. What an awesome sight. Following lunch it was decided that we should see the Mildura area by air. So we headed to Mildura airport and caught up with our pilot Larry Pearson of “Pearson Aviation”. Larry took us on an amazing flight over the Mildura region. Over the Chaffey brothers original pumping station and the site of the first irrigation system constructed in Australia, weirs and locks along the Murray River and over Wentworth where the Darling and Murray Rivers converge. Check out the photos.

We then headed to Renmark where we stopped to take a look through the Olivewood property and Charles Chaffey Centre which is the site of the Chaffey Brothers Renmark home built in 1889, the museum and the site of the first olive trees planted in the area over 100 years ago. With time getting on we made our way into Adelaide arriving in the evening tired but happy and with a couple of days ahead to chill out.

Annette & Kim with Adam BrandThursday night we ventured out to the Fringe Festival and the Garden of Unearthly Delights in the city centre and decided among other things to attend the Freak Show. Check out those photos. On Friday night Dale had booked tickets for us to see Adam Brand and The Outlaws, Drew McAlister, Travis Collins, Matt Cornell and Mike Carr, who were playing in Hahndorf a cool little German settlement not far out of Adelaide. They put on an awesome show playing some classic country and rock songs. The Hahndorf Old Mill Hotel also put on a very nice buffet meal beforehand. It was a fantastic night. We were up early Saturday morning to catch a couple of races at the Clipsal 500 motor racing. We were prepared this time with ear plugs, sun block and water as it was forecast to be around 39 – 40 degrees. We checked out a couple of the car displays which they had on course. One was the “Cars from the Screen” which included two Bat Mobiles, a General Lee Charger, Herbie VW Beetle, a Back to the Future Dalorian and the Monkees wagon plus many more. The other display was Ford and Holden’s through the years which included Capris, Torana’s, Falcons and Commodores. We also checked out some of the stalls on site and picked up a few souvenirs. By mid afternoon we were done and set off for home looking forward to a lovely dip in the pool to cool down.

We had had a wonderful 2 weeks in Aussie but unfortunately it had to come to an end and on Sunday 6th March we said our goodbyes with hugs and tears and flew out of Adelaide heading for home.

On into March and on the 18th we travelled down to Mt Maunganui to entertain at the RSA. This was our first gig at an RSA in this part of the country and we were both very impressed with the whole set up. We were warmly welcomed into the club and the atmosphere was so friendly. This is a very well run RSA. We had a great night on Friday evening with many familiar faces showing up to support us. It was also nice to catch up with Ray and Esther Solomon. Ray was performing at the club on the Saturday night so we managed to pop along to enjoy some wonderful entertainment and do some dancing. Great music Ray and Ollie. We also caught up with friends Elva, George and Jill and Di and Charley. On Sunday we entertained for the Mt Maunganui RSA’s Women’s Section’s 63rd birthday which was the main reason for our trip down. A great afternoon was had by all those attending the celebrations. Thank you Kieran for inviting us to perform for you all we had a fantastic afternoon. By 4 o’clock we were packed up and heading home arriving back in Whangarei at around 10 o’clock. And that folks was February and March. Not many gigs but a lot of travel. We will be traveling once again in April as we are off down to Te Puke on Saturday the 30th to be a part of Geoff Mutton’s Charity Variety Concert to be held at The Orchard Chapel on 3 Mile Rd Te Puke so keep an eye out for details about that.


Once again take care and keep it country. Catch you somewhere soon.

Best Wishes
Annette and Kim