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2011 Muster

The 2011 Muster was set in a spacious area with fantastic 180 degree views of the crystal clear waters and abundant birdlife of Somerset Dam. Some of us took advantage of this perfect setting and came earlier whilst several had a simple day trip to enjoy the peaceful surroundings and to have an opportunity to check out the Southern Cross family.

Most people spent their time socialising and making new friends under the marquee in the central area of the campsite. Day activities included; walks along the water’s edge, catching up with old friends, some fishing, visiting the local town of Kilcoy, a winery tour for lunch, and several happy hours.

As the sun set things really started to pick up the pace. The campfire was stoked and Geoff aka (Santa Clause) broke out his interesting collection of musical instruments and handed them out to everyone. Happy hour went into full swing, along with the singing and laughter. Many jokes, poems and catchy old time merry melodies were sung and everyone continued the spirit of fun and friendship late into the night.

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Early on Saturday morning South East Queensland was hit with a heavy storm that unfortunately didn’t spare us. The wind flattened other camper’s tents and the rain flooded sites, lightning took out the power and things were looking pretty grim for a little while. Once the rain eased everyone came out of hiding to say good morning and inspect the damage. Thankfully our entire group came out un-damaged, except one awning that bore the brunt of the wind. Thankfully the well known champion of the awning world (Bob the Awning man) was with us and it was fixed in around 10 minutes.

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After a few hours the beautiful Queensland sun broke through the clouds and shone upon the site once more. A couple of stock whips were brought out and we had a whip cracking competition. Bob and Jenny handed out their special blended coffee samples along with Awning Man stubby coolers. After lunch I heard someone ask, “What time was it”?  “Happy hour” seemed to always be the reply from the crowd. People socialised and relaxed with snacks and dips once again around the central area marquee. Everybody handed in their poems and stories to be judged. We formed a large circle and each person read their creations out loud for all to hear. The prize for best yarn was a New Wallabies Rugby Esky kindly donated by The Awning Man. All entrants were handed a bottle of wine for their fantastic effort and wonderful stories (Read Winning Yarn Here). Our founding father Barry stood up and said a few welcoming words then Geoff started to play his trusty banjo which set the mood for the rest of the evening.

More people turned up to join in the festivities and to sing along with the newly formed symphony orchestra. Happy hour again was in full swing. Kids with torches from the neighbouring sites were asked to find and bring back a mutton bird and a rabbit so Mel could make a pie.

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Sunday morning rose but a couple of sore heads didn’t. The aroma of the complimentary BBQ breakfast was wafting through the site. Nothing seems to smell better than bacon, eggs and coffee on a crisp morning. Stephen from Site Zero (our website) put forward a proposition for Southern Cross owners to communicate with each other out on the road. It was unanimously voted in as a great idea and Mel and Chris Jones were then nominated as El Presidentas for the new “Southern Cross Owners group”.

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A decision was then made to test out a local winery that was recommended to us, a convoy of Utes was formed to make the trip. We tested several nice drops and we had a beautiful lunch. Our hats were off to the two ladies that managed to feed our crowd even when the power went off. The meals were worth the wait and all agreed. The neighbour in his tiger moth, painted like the famous ‘red baron’, circled the winery, made a couple of low passes, roles and turns overhead then disappeared over the hill.

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We ventured back to the camp where we said goodbye to a couple of people that had to get back into the grind of work for Monday morning. Many stayed to relax and once again someone asked “Is it happy hour yet”?

Monday morning saw several vans packing for the trip home, but still some decided to stay and take in the serenity for a few more days.

All agreed that the event was a success and it should be promoted every year. Now with the newly formed contact group, I am sure there will now be many mini-musters out there in this great southern land.

Looking forward to seeing you all next year.

Southern Cross Caravans.