Welcome to the blog of the Ratnieks family, Vic and Leonie. You can read about us here.


Sheep at Kendenup

Albany Trip Dec-Jan 2015

After spending Christmas in Adelaide, we decided to drive across the Nullarbor to surprise Leonie’s sisters Marie and Helen in Albany. We’ve done the trip across from Adelaide to Albany about four times now, leaving 5am and stopping just before sunset, travelling about 1450 Kms. We camped just past Madura off the highway at a marked camping spot where there were plenty of sites to choose from.


The next morning we headed off very early about 4am. You know you’re in WA at Christmas time when you pass some bright orange flowers known as WA’s Christmas Tree, or Nuytsia Floribunda. We had to stay in stealth mode so there was no texting or facebooking to be done on the journey in case we let it slip that we were on our way. We arrived at Marie and Ian’s place in Kendenup, near Mount Barker around 8:30pm. We just took pot luck that they were home. They were very surprised to say the least. Not wasting any time, Ian and I headed off to catch some marron from his dam. Marie had teased that they were eating Marron pizza on Christmas Day so the joke was ok, you want some, come and get it! We did!




Lots more to add…the story will continue later!

In the meantime, see all the photos on Google here.

View from our campsite near Dingo Hill Track, Victorian High Country

Dingo Hill Track – Alpine National Park, Victorian High Country – June 2013

One very cold night on Dingo Hill Track near Higgins Hut in the Victorian High Country

On the June long weekend in 2013, we drove to Licola and headed north up Tamboritha Road, then north west into Dingo Hill Track. We found a nice campsite just before the road crosses Shaw Creek on the hill with breathtaking views. At 7pm we knew it was going to be a cold night as the table had already frosted over and the car temperature gauge read -2C. We cooked a couple of steaks on the gas stove but the gas was struggling. Lucky we like our steaks medium rare. Even the fire was struggling so we went to bed in our Oztent RV4.

Our sleeping bags were getting old and only rated about +8C and we felt it. About midnight we both woke up to put extra clothes on, gloves and beanies. Vic’s Mount Franklin Water bottle was already frozen rock solid! Somehow we managed to fall asleep but it was a night that we’ll never forget. At one time the grim reaper knocked on our tent but we daren’t upzip it!

We were up before sunrise and stoked the fire back up which took some effort. Walking around the campsite we stood and jumped on solid frozen ice that were just puddles the night before. It must have been so close to snowing but it didn’t. The temperature gauge in the car read -7C at 7am. As tempting as it was to stay another night as the surrounding landscape was breathtaking, we decided to head on. The next weekend we bought new Black Wolf sleeping bags rated about -8C.

To see all the photos on Google, click here.