23rd April 2022

ZigZag Station – ANZAC Weekend

Due to the heavy rain that had been falling up north, the trip was nearly canceled the night before on a
group chat, so we waited until we all congregated at the Rupertswood General Store at 8am.

After the safety briefing and the itinerary was confirmed that we would still go it was a 90min drive to the
property with 7 vehicles and 10 members joining. Not the site we were promised but the owners requested we change due to the amount of water that had fallen.

Campsite 5 was our resting place and as everyone set up, several members had chosen the pick of the
spots with waterfront views beside the river, one member setting up on an island –
aptly named Sky Island.

It was off to collect firewood so we had hot coals for cooking and everyone was happy and the fire blaring away… this soon changed when just before 2pm when the caretaker paid us a visit to say that the pump station up river had risen by half a meter and was on it’s way downstream.

This meant that 3 campers were about to be a part of the river and quickly moved to higher ground, so we thought.

As we were enjoying happy hour at 4pm we could hear the rapids getting louder and the creek was noticeably getting higher. We were taking bids on how high it would rise, half a meter.. that’s not a lot so we just relaxed and enjoyed our beverages and nibbles around the campfire.

Within an hour the creek was getting higher and higher so another scramble to move members up to dry
sand was in progress, this 5 members, 3 of the for the secondd time! Sure enough within 45min not only were the campsites taken over with water (including Sky Island that had disappeared) but our wonderful fire was starting to go under – time to move the fire to much higher ground.

The adult kids decided it was time to have a swim and play drinking games in the creek.. That kept everyone entertained for 30min.

By 7pm, the creek had risen – from our records about 800mm and taken over half the campsite but we still had sites that were still close to the creek – One site was on a raised area with about 400mm separation and another that was desperate to keep their waterfront views were just a bit higher than that on the river bank. By 9:30pm it got the better of them and again they moved location.

We all sat around the campfire sharing stories under the dome shelter, which we were grateful for as the constant drizzle would not have been pleasant. As we went to bed, a member said, if you hear a car horn sound at 4am, you know it’s time to move again, thankfully the horn was not needed.

Sunday morning and everyone was checking the measuring sticks placed overnight to check for any further rising but the river had hit its peak.
Then we had the fun task of educating our youngest member on how to light a fire without the use of petrol, but this just turned into frustration and eventually he got the fire going.

Mid afternoon a group of us set off collect more firewood and decided that we could move the fire back to the riverbank – Fire #3 was all set, however moving the dome shelter was another educational experience.
Then came a 15 question ANZAC quiz which was entertaining with Chris the winner!

The weather held out for most of the day and evening with the occasional shower and no more
emergencies, although there was the Noodle challenge, but what happens at camp, stays at camp!.
We weren’t able to do any exploring of the lookout of gorges due to the weather but everyone had a great time away with some awesome stories to share.

All up it was a 230km round trip with most of the convoy departing about 9am.
A few members attempted to dry out their camping equipment upon returning, but mother nature had other plans and a valuable lesson that a Hills Hoist is not the best option to use when wind and water are involved.

Trip Report: Rick


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