1994 Western Star 5964 NEDKLY

I was very fortunate to be able to photograph this beautiful Ned Kelly themed 1994 Western Star 5964 prime mover (tractor unit) while I was in Tamworth, NSW, Australia recently. The truck is owned by Andrew “Scuzzy” McSweeney of ScuzzTrans Container Transport in Brisbane, Queensland and is used daily on the docks at the Port of Brisbane shifting containers on and off the wharf.

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NEDKLY and Wickham Freight Lines’ special Jayne Denham trailer. Jayne is sponsored by both ScuzzTrans and Wickham Freight Lines
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NEDKLY outside Tamworth Hyundai in Marius Street

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Some of Ned’s mural work
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Rear bar, lights, exhausts and mural

Tamworth Country Music Festival

At the moment, the largest festival dedicated to country music in the southern hemisphere is happening. The Tamworth Country Music Festival is held in January every year and attracts visitors from across the world….

The Big Golden Guitar – January 2012

The highlight of the festival is the Country Music Cavalcade – the Cavalcade is a parade showcasing singers who are singing songs from the artist who is being featured. In 2014, the Cavalcade featured the late Slim Dusty….

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Adam Harvey – brand ambassador for the Volkswagen Amarok. 2014 Country Music Cavalcade
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The most amazing Dianne Lindsay – Dianne is the daughter of the late Reg Lindsay and Heather McKean (the sister of Slim Dusty’s wife, Joy). Country Music Cavalcade 2014
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Doug McIntyre – 2014 Country Music Cavalcade

I will be in Tamworth on Saturday – stay tuned for a new blog entry for this year!

As a closer, I will be featuring this song from Adam Harvey – this is the latest single from Adam’s latest album, Harvey’s Bar… The Backyard Sessions. This song is called Harvey’s
Backyard Bar:

Langley’s Coaches Fleet Profile – Scania K320IB/Higer A30 TV7681

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Langley’s Coaches Scania K320IB/Higer A30 TV7681

Today I want to feature the largest 2 axle coach in the Langley’s fleet. This Scania K320IB is a 57 seat charter coach – featuring a Chinese built Higer A30 body, this is a fairly versatile vehicle for all small-medium charters and any local work.

A Day On The Green Trip Review

Yesterday (31/10/2015) saw me and a group of people make our way over to Mudgee, NSW, Australia for A Day On The Green. Although the day was drab and dismal, the rain held off and we all had a great time!

We left Dubbo a little later than usual because of the weather – but that delay was more than made up for with the coach we had…. we had TV4407 (1988 Denning Decker 92 Turbo – in this case, the 92 Turbo in this coach was a 8V92TA DDEC). Arrived a bit before 2:30pm and had to park… easier said than done on a wet field! Ended up heading down to the coach parking – we stopped for a moment and our coach slid down the grass. Got into the venue and went to sit down and realised I’d taken someone else’s chair – luckily I found the right owner!

Music started and we all got dancing – I didn’t drink as I am on new medication and I did not want to risk getting drowsy and missing the show…. I almost fell over a few times as it was! We enjoyed music from Mark Seymour, Pseudo Echo, Moving Pictures, James Reyne and Icehouse. The highlight for me was Icehouse – they were terrific! It was worth the $160 I spent to go and see an amazing concert!

I left the venue at around 9:20pm and headed back out to our coach – I met up with Adam, our coach captain, who was talking to an old colleague of his who still works for Ogden’s. I got introduced to him and, for the life of me, I couldn’t work out who it was…. I only figured it out after he told me about his project with the New South Wales Rural Fire Service Heritage division. I worked out it was a friend of mine on Facebook – mind you, I was so tired I got home and went straight to bed!

All in all, a great day and night and amazing music!

Coach Travel I have done

Hi folks! I had a thought today – I want to share some of my expansive coach travel “resume” with you all…. here it is! I will include vehicle details where I remember…

Coach trip 1 was with Ogden’s Coaches Dubbo. Brooks & Dunn, Sydney, May 2009. Mercedes-Benz O500RF-3, TV3908. I had brought myself this trip as a self-bought birthday present.
Each of the trips below were with Langley’s Coaches Dubbo.
Coach trip 2: Temora Aviation Museum, June 2011. Mitsubishi Rosa Deluxe, 5157MO. My first trip with Langley’s – and it sure as hell wasn’t the last!
Coach trip 3: Tamworth Country Music Festival, January 2012. Denning Landseer Super Decker, TV5580. My first trip to the mecca of country music in Australia – I had a ball and have done this trip twice after!

Denning Landseer Super Decker TV5580
Denning Landseer Super Decker TV5580

Coach trip 4: Canberra, March 2012. Scania K470EB 6×2*4, TV5594. This trip was to a Daniel O’Donnell concert at the National Convention Centre in Canberra. I was the youngest out of 46 people on the coach!

Scania K470EB 6x2*4 TV5594 outside the Quality Hotel Dickson
Scania K470EB 6×2*4 TV5594 outside the Quality Hotel Dickson

Coach trip 4: Tamworth Country Music Festival, January 2013. Scania K470EB 6×2*4, TV5594. Second trip to Tamworth. Had fun as this was quite a small group this year!
Coach trip 5: Tamworth Country Music Festival, January 2014. Scania K470EB 6×2*4, TV5594. Third trip to Tamworth…. had a little larger group than 2013…..

Scania K470EB 6x2*4 TV5594 - the first rear-steer coach sold in Australia
Scania K470EB 6×2*4 TV5594 – the first rear-steer coach sold in Australia

Coach trip 6: A Day on The Green, Mudgee, NSW, Australia, October 2014. Scania K94IB, TV7519. First time at this concert – had a ball! The highlight for me was seeing 5000 people singing along with Troy Cassar-Daley to an iconic Australian truck song, Lights On The Hill. It didn’t matter if they were country fans or not – they all sang along! See the video below for the original!

If you want to look up any particulars on the coaches mentioned in this blog, you can use this website: Bus Australia – you use the search function in the fourth box along on the top of the home page. Simply type the registration number (the number starting with TV) into the white search box – the Registration radio button is the default selection for searching – then press Enter!

Update – and apologies……

The last week has been rather hectic – I apologise to those I have promised blog entries and updates….

Just recently, I booked a coach trip to Mudgee, NSW, Australia with Langley’s Coaches of Dubbo for one of Australia’s leading concert series, A Day On The Green – I went last year (Jimmy Barnes, Troy Cassar-Daley, The Living End, Dan and Dan and Mahalia Barnes and The Soulmates) and had a ball… this year sees me going again… this year’s performers at Mudgee are below:

Today, I have booked another coach trip (again with Langley’s) to Tamworth for the annual Country Music Festival. I’ve been before and absolutely loved every minute of the trip…. some pics from the trip are below:

I will be travelling to both events in luxury with Langley’s Coaches Dubbo. If you want to know more about their business and any upcoming tours, you can get in touch with Langley’s in one of five ways:
Phone: 68828977 (02 68828977 outside NSW)
Web: http://www.langleyscoaches.com.au/
Email: contact@langleyscoaches.com.au
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Langleys-Coaches-454268784637824/timeline/
Office: 5 Depot Road West Dubbo, NSW, 2830 (soon to relocate to 4 Janalli Road West Dubbo)

Scania K470EB 6x2*4 TV5594 - the first rear-steer coach sold in Australia
Scania K470EB 6×2*4 TV5594 – the first rear-steer coach sold in Australia

Here is a brief walkaround of TV5594:

Coffs Harbour 2015 and a birthday I will never forget

This year saw me travelling to Coffs Harbour during May – this trip coincided with my 30th birthday and what a birthday it was! Here is a day-by-day review for this trip:

Day 1: Monday May 4 – Travelling Day: Left Dubbo at 0630 (on Qantaslink flight QF2037 – Bombardier Q300, seat 2C) arriving in Sydney at 0745. 3 and a half hour transiting time at Sydney Airport then boarded Qantaslink flight QF2108 (Bombardier Q400, seat 19D) at 1100 for the onward flight to Coffs Harbour. Arrived in Coffs Harbour a little before 1300. Found my shuttle bus and headed for my accommodation. Arrived and checked in – then off to Park Beach Plaza to do some shopping for some important supplies – rest of the day free to relax and refresh before the next day’s happenings.

Day 2: Tuesday May 5 – Dolphin Marine Magic: Day one of several days at Dolphin Marine Magic. This day used my free pass which I received with my animal adoption package.

Bucky and Zippy - Dolphin Marine Magic
Bucky and Zippy – Dolphin Marine Magic

Day 3: Wednesday May 6 – Relaxation Day: Was very fortunate to be able to meet up with a friend of mine and his amazing canine companion (and a selection of their friends) for a coffee date (not once but twice – second one coming up a little further down the post). Tex and Bundy live up in the Coffs Harbour area and Tex invited me to a weekly coffee date and chat. Spent the most amazing 3 hours with them…..

Tex & Bundy Charity Fundraisers - Harbour Drive, Coffs Harbour
Tex & Bundy Charity Fundraisers – Harbour Drive, Coffs Harbour

Day 4: Thursday May 7 – Dolphin Marine Magic and my birthday: Woke up this morning with excitement…. today was the day of my previously booked and paid for (A$195) dolphin experience at Dolphin Marine Magic. Headed up to Urban Espresso Lounge for breakfast as I needed to pick up a wetsuit from Jetty Dive which is just nearby. I picked up my wetsuit and headed back down to Dolphin Marine Magic. Arrived there to hand in my paperwork (which I had filled out for my Shallow¬† Dolphin Experience), only to be told there was some amazing news at the bookings counter. I walked over to the bookings counter and handed my paperwork to the lady there – she then issued my wristbands for my in-water encounter. I looked at the wristband on my left wrist – it was orange instead of purple/pink (the colour of the Shallow Experience wristband) – it was only then I was told that my Shallow Dolphin Experience had been upgraded to the top-level Ultimate Dolphin Swim (valued at A$370). It took me a moment to take in what I had just been told – I got to get photos of all my land and water based interactions taken all morning and videos of my amazing in-water animal interactions. I also got to meet the CEO of Dolphin Marine Magic, Paige Sinclair – it was only then I found out which of the dolphins we were going to interact with…. and wasn’t I in for a surprise! During our pre-encounter brief, we were told we were going to interact with Calamity – Paige gave me a hint that it wasn’t Calamity…. I looked out to the pool and saw it was Bella, not Calamity. Only after I had looked, the Marine Mammal Specialist who took us through the brief realised it was indeed Bella. Then it was time to get into the water – I was a little apprehensive as I had never done this experience before but once in the water, I was fine. I had the most memorable and magic day with the animals – a birthday so special I will never forget it!

Seal Hugs - myself and Rocky
Seal Hugs – myself and Rocky
Seal Kisses - Me and Rocky
Seal Kisses – Me and Rocky
Double Dolphin Hug with Bucky and Zippy
Double Dolphin Hug with Bucky and Zippy
Dolphin Kiss - me and Bucky
Dolphin Kiss – me and Bucky
Feeding Zippy during the Marine Magic Presentation
Feeding Zippy during the Marine Magic Presentation
Hand push with Bella
Hand push with Bella
Water fight with Bella
Water fight with Bella
Me and Bella - hugging
Me and Bella – hugging

Day 5: Friday May 8 – Dolphin Marine Magic: Second day in a row – got a annual pass as part of my present the day prior so I got to use that instead of paying for each day’s admission. I had so much fun photographing the animals I never got to photograph on my birthday

My gorgeous friend, Bella
My gorgeous friend, Bella
CHART is a dedicated animal rescue service being co-ordinated by Dolphin Marine Magic in conjunction with the National Parks and Wildlife Service and local vets. Their aim is to build a dedicated animal triage hospital on the grounds of Dolphin Marine Magic
CHART is a dedicated animal rescue service being co-ordinated by Dolphin Marine Magic in conjunction with the National Parks and Wildlife Service and local vets. Their aim is to build a dedicated animal triage hospital on the grounds of Dolphin Marine Magic
A special bond between trainer and animals
A special bond between trainer and animals

Day 6: Saturday May 9 – Relaxation day: Took a day off to head over to the central business district and look around then a day of washing.

Day 7: Sunday May 10 – Harbourside Markets, A1 Coffs Coast Tours and Dolphin Marine Magic: Had a day to head over to the Harbourside Markets and have a look. While I was there, I decided to do a 30 minute escorted Harley ride with David “Laarz” Laarhoven and the team from A1 Coffs Coast Tours. After that, I decided to do another quick visit to Dolphin Marine Magic on the way back to my accommodation.

First time sitting on a Harley - and this beaut FLHX Street Glide took me on my 30 minute tour
First time sitting on a Harley – and this beaut FLHX Street Glide took me on my 30 minute tour
Another trainer/dolphin oment
Another trainer/animal moment

Day 8: Monday May 11 – Dolphin Marine Magic: I love this place so bad I could not stay away! This day was another photo day – to get more photos I missed from previous days….

Embarrassed seal....
Embarrassed seal….
Showing husbandry procedures
Showing husbandry procedures
Simply gorgeous
Simply gorgeous

Day 9: Tuesday May 12 – tour of the Coffs Harbour region: Today saw me touring around the Coffs Harbour region with a few of my fellow accommodation guests. Really enjoyed this as you don’t get to do these at all.

Our little tour group outside the Big Banana
Our little tour group outside the Big Banana
Looking down from Sealy Lookout in the Bruxner Flora Reserve
Looking down from Sealy Lookout in the Bruxner Flora Reserve
Park Beach from Sealy Lookout
Park Beach from Sealy Lookout
Kangaroo on the Moonee Beach Headland
Kangaroo on the Moonee Beach Headland

Day 10: Wednesday May 13 – Second coffee date (twice over): Coffee date time again…. both at my mate’s main haunt in Coffs Harbour and a quaint little cafe up in Nana Glen called the Idle In Cafe. Tex took me up on his amazing Moto Guzzi Stelvio motorbike

Day 11: Thursday May 14 – Last day and Dolphin Marine Magic: Sadly, this was my last day in Coffs Harbour. I decided to check out of my accommodation and head down to Dolphin Marine Magic for one last look…. got to get a couple more photos for all times sake!

Alert Seal - the trainers were doing a training exercise prior to the Marine Discovery Presentation
Alert Seal – the trainers were doing a training exercise prior to the Marine Discovery Presentation
Marine Discovery Presentation - Dolphin Feed
Marine Discovery Presentation – Dolphin Feed

Overall, the 11 days I spent in Coffs Harbour were amazing…. would I do it all over again? Yes I would – but I would try to stay for a fortnight to be able to do all the things I want to do because I still missed out on things…..