The Young and the Restless | Tanks for the memories – Shepparton News | Dauktion

Tanks for the memories: discover a hidden gem.

I don’t know if it’s because we’re constantly reminded of how fleeting childhood is or because I was determined to make sure my kids don’t miss out after becoming a single parent, but I’m always aware of that That hidden ticking clock that’s urging me to take them out to see all the sights, learn all the history, and experience all the things before they’re out in the big world and living their own lives.

I have three boys, ages 11, 13, and 14, and as many parents of kids the same age can probably tell, they’d be happily sitting on machines from sunrise to sunset if I wasn’t taking them out of the house. few days down.

Prepared for everything: Fully equipped.

It’s a fight I sometimes don’t even have the energy for. But this is another story.

This is about the exciting adventure we had on a recent weekend getaway.

Let me take you to a little-known place in the grassy green hills of South Gippsland; a green home for more wildlife than people.

Picturesque: Patrolling the hills.

We drove inland from Toora – a seaside town about 10 minutes’ drive from better beaches further down in Port Welshpool – and began our climb into hills that are home to dozens of wombats and wallabies.

A winding scenic road – which made for plenty of photo opportunities with its picturesque views over the city and sea, its somehow charming wind farm with huge turbines that eclipsed the usually large-looking cattle below them, and an impressive and powerful fast-flowing waterfall at Agnes – eventually narrowed to an unsealed single track affair.

There was a lot of calm and serenity out there. That is, until we reached our destination in Wonyip: South Gippsland Tank Adventures.

We came to disturb the peace.

Here ex-soldier Cameron Stone has an extensive collection of military memorabilia, entertaining army histories and of course fully restored and working tanks!

Big tanks, small tanks, foreign tanks – tanks that were at war and had bullet holes to prove it.

They ranged in size from the tiny 8-ton Striker to the massive 42-ton Centurion beast.

We came to ride in tanks, but that was just the culmination of a full experience.

Our host showed us around his museum, let us take all types of ammunition (not live) and gave us an informative overview of all the military memorabilia he had collected over the years.

We had to get in and out of all sorts of tanks, raise guns, rotate turrets and imagine what it would be like to take the position of one of each tank’s four dedicated crew.

Helmets on: Play a role.

The incessant rains of late in Gippsland had caused the unsealed earth behind the shed door to be sodden several feet and churned up by the weight and movement of tank traffic.

My youngest (an experimental guy) actually made the mistake (or was he?) of stepping into the clay and lost his shoes about a foot deep in it when I uprooted him from the “quicksand” in which he was rapidly shrinking.

Our only option for a chariot in these conditions was the light Striker, which was built in the 1980s.

Cameron could fit two passengers for each run across one of the hill paddocks on its 400-acre property, so my two youngest boys headed out first to do a few laps before my oldest and I awkwardly climbed in.

My phone almost got snatched from my hand trying to capture video of one of our laps, so I quickly gave up that search, plugged in my own device (*wink wink) and held on for my life while I enjoyed the thrill of honking through the Strzelecki Ranges in the heavily armored metal machine while giggling like a loony kookaburra.

Side glances at my 14-year-old revealed a grin that spread from ear to ear on his face as well.

Cameron didn’t quite push the Striker to its limit (around 100 km/h), but we still had the ride of our lives.

Not the most comfortable way to travel, but arguably one of the funniest.

This unique attraction is certainly worth the long drive for anyone interested in military history, especially moving history, who wants to do something different.

Sure, the kids might be right back on the PlayStation when they get home, but they’ll be hijacking army tanks Grand Theft Auto or get involved call of Duty warfare and they probably look at these things in a very different light because they have heard some of the true stories behind such things.

The facts

What: Tank adventures in South Gippsland

Where: Wonyip (about 40 minutes drive from Toora, in the Strzelecki Ranges)

Number of armored vehicles: 11

Cost: $70 to $730 (our family adventure for four is $340)

Additional info: Camping available on the property.

Tips: Wear old clothes and shoes. If the weather has been wet you will likely need a 4WD to access the property. Allow 40 minutes to drive from Toora to Wonyip.


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