My Tdci 130 set up


Kids first through walk. Oct 2014

Well the kids knocked over their first through walk this weekend. Nothing taxing, only 8klm return on a track with about 7 or so small 100ft ridges to go over. It was a big success and the start of a whole new era and type of adventure perhaps.

Keen participants

Track starts easily enough

But soon degrades into exposed loose rocks, unearthed tree roots, and a bit of slippery dirt here and there. It wasn’t long before we had out first trip incident. After a bit of attention and a jelly snake it was back on track.

It’s not the most exciting walk, but there is a bit of interest here and there.

Not long and we came to the creek where camp was going to be.

We went for a walk up the creek and you climb up through a hole in some rocks with a chock stone. This leads to a large swimming hole and the start point for a swim through to the next swimming hole and water slide. But we figured we would leave the swim through for another time.

We went light and simple this time. The kids don’t mind the airiness of the fly at all. I’m happy with nothing but there was chance or rain. Later they night we went down to the creek and spotted eels, frogs, catfish, and yes a snake. Thought the wife would go off but didn’t seemed rattled at all. Phew

Bit more playing in the morning before time to pack it all up and head out for some chips and a milkshake. All in all a nice simple successful though walk.


Cooma Dec 2011

Actually I got it wrong, kids have done through walk already.

Martin and I left Brisbane 6am in the rain on Christmas eve, we had no real plan, just knew we had to be in Canberra Xmas day to pick the family up from the airport.
Our destination was the highlands around Cooma, and as much camping and 4x4ing as we could muster with small kids in 3 weeks. We had 3 Defenders covering 3 decades; a Tdi 300, TD5, and a Puma. Tod was to hook up with us in a few days. A small trip of around 4500km, and the only thing that happened was the puma window mounting bolts rattled loose and the window fell down into the door. Quick fix and all good again.

Our first camp was Nimmo Plains, West of Cooma and sits around 1250m. The entry is bared by a steam perhaps 12m wide, but not quite sill height on a Defer.

Martin knew of a hut (Cessjacks) he wanted to show us. So we would do a little overnight bushwalk to it.
It’s only some 2 or 3klm and mostly flat. Huts to a kid is like finding a set of swings in the bush.

Driving on the roads through the snow grass and plains is just magic.

We picked up Tod at Cooma and headed to Numeralla, a camp site just out of Cooma by the Numeralla River. To our surprise the land owner next to the camp is a Tdi nut, 110, 130 ute, 130 HCPU, Disco 1. Not surprisingly, a real nice bloke. There are a few tracks around the place, we took a tame one and went to the Cascades for a swim.

Moving on we headed for the Snowy River. It was great following back roads and old tracks.
Martin had found an old track that said we could cross the river and continue. Trouble is farmers lock access even though they shouldn’t. So bit of a re think and off again. This farmer said the last car he saw pass was about 10 years ago.

Only ended up spending one night, camping was not the best due to a fair amount of weeds.

Never mind, off to Alexanders Hut near Bibbenluke. It’s quite mainstream here but very relaxing and peaceful if you are lucky enough to have it to yourself. We were in luck and spent two nights. Even had this unusual twilight on evening.

Visited the near by Nunnock Swamp

The decision was made to head to Delegate River. The road down to Devils Crossing said closed for some reason. Well we though best go have a look anyway.

Well the bridge was missing, some motor bikes had made it through, but no cars…..well that was until the Land Rovers showed up. Bit of spade work, little sawing here and there and we had a path. Down the side of the old crossing, along the creek a bit, up the bank and a zig and a zag, and a zig again through the trees and back on track.

Didn’t think much of Delegate River, the camp ground is ok but was busy, the river, well chocked out with some type of invasive tree.

Onto Snowy River NP. The trees are big, the elevation is high and the cloud and mist made driving through the trees quite special.
Made our way down to Jackons Crossing. Nothing difficult but it’s not often you get to drive 100m down a river.

On the other side is a private hut, but further down the river on the banks made for good camping. Tod was the only one who drove the track in the back ground. It doesn’t look it, but it’s getting close to 45°. Coming down you just hung in the seat belt. The TD5 did it happily.


Cooma Dec 2011 part 2

On the road again, and probably the best part of touring, you never know what you will find along the way.

great views

simple but crystal clear and clean swimming spots

magic places and moments

things the kids will never forget

including the big kids as well

Crikey where was I, that's right, on our way to Davies hut. We drove the Ingeegoodbee and Limstone Creek Tracks along the way. Just amazing to spend several days with the diff lock on, you just don't get that in South East Queensland.

Always time for a wave,

Davies Plain Hut, a beautiful 1240m high camp ground

I guess no trip to the high country would not be complete without a crossing of the Murray River at Tom Groggin. This was good as it washed off all the dirt and mud we had collected over the past couple weeks. Sadly it was time for Martin to head for home.

Tod and I moved onto Three Mile Dam just West of Kiandra. This was a good base to do a day trip to some huts and Blue Waterholes along Long Plain Road. All the huts have good camping.

Long Plain Hut. Maintained by the Canberra LR club, good work lads.

Cooinbil Hut

Coolamine Homestead, unfortunately no camping



Cooma Dec 2011 part 3

Blue Waterholes

Before long it was time to head for home ourselves.

Still, as we made our way to the low lands the beauty of this place was still present. Though remnants of the 2003 fires, these old snow gums make for an amazing spectacle even still.

Definitely worth a visit to the area, we all had an awesome time. Weeks upon weeks could be spent in the area. The mild weather can change rapidly so we took summer, winter, and wet garb. Parks have been great opening tracks up for the summer, however many are gated sadly, so good topo’s are a must. Also used the guide book 4wd Touring Sth Est NSW and Est Gippsland by Craig Lewis for ideas. All our Landies did what we asked of them with ease, and are basically stock except the Tdi has 33” tyres and 30% reduction gear to adjust for the tyres.


Bugger me...just came across this. I have a tear in my eye, being an expat Aussie in the USA fir so long now I forgot how beautiful and untamed our lovely country is. Once again you have evoked my wonderlust like Alby Mangles did all so long ago!!!!

Great to see an Alvey side cast again by the way!!

Cheers mate....from a Sandgroper


That's alright mate, i hope I haven't made you to homesick, and perhaps you should ponder on a trip back to the home land. Actually the reason I'm here is I'm doing homework for a trip to the US. You to live in an amazing place. I'm not sure yet if I have it right, but hoping I can achieve a back country primitive camping trip a bit like we do here. I'm a bit confused about the remoteness and scale of the land scape with population and amenities. To me it seems possible, but I get the impression remote in the US is a fair bit different to remote in Australia.

Recommended books for Overlanding


Awesome truck! Amazing photos! I have been wanting to travel to Australia for years. Incredible country out there.

Very true... kids grow up fast. Gotta take those trips while you can. Thanks for sharing.


New member
Hi Newhue I am quite interested in those under belly tanks did you make them yourself or did you buy them?


Awesome truck! Amazing photos! I have been wanting to travel to Australia for years. Incredible country out there.

Very true... kids grow up fast. Gotta take those trips while you can. Thanks for sharing.
Thanks, and I have barely scratched the surface really. But the same goes for an Australian, the world is an amazing place. I have a plan in action to build an truck to take me to the US in a few years. Actually just tonight I was discussing dreaming of a white Christmas with my daughter; and to keep practicing her roller skating because in the not to distant future she may be able to go ice skating on a frozen lake at twilight.

Hi Newhue I am quite interested in those under belly tanks did you make them yourself or did you buy them?
Daniel is his name, a fellow Sth African so you'll be right. Actually I can say that with confidence because he treats everyone the same, and has expedition adventure in his blood.
They are a bit pricy, but the convenience, flexibility, and confidence outweighs the down side quickly. I have found unless you are doing pretty hard core 4x4ing they have no effect on the cars capabilities. And then if you are doing hard core, well you may get a dint perhaps. No big deal. If it goes really really bad you have a tap to isolate the tank anyway.


Great thread Newhue - I've enjoyed reading along. You've certainly put some miles under the old Deefer in the last little while. How do you manage to arrange such good weather for your trips though? PLEASE let me in on the secret!

Great work on building the truck too. Very capable, whilst also being very basic - good attributes for an outback cruiser.

I keep going back and forth between thinking about a 110 and a 130. You're swaying me back to the 130 team at the moment! I imagine the carrying capacity of the tray is awesome. That said, we take the camper on family trips, so probably don't *need* the extra space.

Keep up the good work - I look forward to seeing where you head next.



Funny you say that Matt, people I camp with say I'm the best dude to go with because I bring good weather. Note sure about that but I have been lucky that way I guess.

Thanks for the comment on the truck, yes it's plain and a bit boring but does the job. 110 or 130? To be honest from a legal perspective I cant see how anyone can travel with a family and without a trailer and not be in a 130. 110's are worthy but if I put my family and trimmed setup into a 110 I'm over GVM by 500kg. As for Patrols and Land Cruisers with even less pay load there must be some pretty stressed chassis and componentry out there. Add speed, corrugations, wrong tyre pressures, and no wonder things break. A 130 is no longer than a Jap twin cap, they just look big because they are higher. It's the turning circle that makes them a bit of a handful, but once you get your head around it, or get good at reverse parking they are fine.

Cape York is the next day out. Aiming for 6 weeks from August but could be June as well. I'm a bit scared really of water crossings. Having killed a car due to water a Cape trip will either cure me or condemn me forever i think. The trip might even be trimmed back to just the Gulf, work is looking full for the year and it's only started.


Don't skimp on the cape! It truly as an amazing place, stunningly beautiful! I've travelled the cape, including the OTT, in an old 1982 HJ60 I just bought a few weeks before with no known history on it. No offroad gear either. It didn't have a snorkel but I had no issues, not even at Nolans Brook. Water came over the bonnet, I did have a tarp wrapped around the front.
From the pictures I'm pretty sure you're experienced enough to choose the best route through a difficult section and know how to drive your vehicle with precision.
Go for it, you'll not regret it!


yes I can do Nolan's text book style. Walk it, watch it, drop to 10 psi, tape the heater vent, car bra, have the snatch attached, coiled, and zip tied to the bbar, 2nd low with just a little go and cruise it across. It's just the god awful feeling when it grinds to a halt, with water over the bonnet, and it all starts to rush in. Having your whole current life and family in the car, and another holiday down the drain. Hundreds of kilometres from a hire car, and hopefully one big enough to fit your current life into. No hot shower, warm bed, good feed, pissed off wife, and down 50K just spooks me. I can tell you it sucks when it goes pear shaped.
But that's the down side. I've got me a good less travelled backcountry route to a degree, perhaps even better if I get the permission for access to lands I'm chasing. June the water is high, less access, but will suite work. August I'm more comfortable with, more access, but work is in the way.

The Cape has been on the radar since I was 17, guess it's about time I should bite the bullet and just do it.