For as long as I can remember, the idea of traveling around Australia in a caravan has appealed to me. I think the inspiration must stem from meeting a family in Port Macquarie as a young teen, who just lived and traveled in their caravan I was enthralled. How does it work, how do they school, where do they stay I wondered. Apparently they just fished their way from place to place. It must have been a great big prolonged adventure! Incidentally that family eventually settled in my home town and we are still very good friends.
The notion of traveling this great land of ours has not left me, I’m sure I’ve over-romanticised about it, but never-the-less I have longed to travel like this with my children. Once I actually started having children however, the time just never seemed right
until now. With Dakota turning 14 soon, his schooling will soon become a very important precursor to his HSC and adult life opportunities, therefore having time off for travel will not be an option. After his HSC he may not even be at home. If we don’t head off now, we never will be able to!
Even though now seemed like the right time and I dearly I wanted it to happen, I couldn’t quite see how. We’ve only just become settled here we have a great rental, wonderful school, awesome friends and a stable job. I left it in God’s hands what will be, will be.
Well God came through for us yet again and opened the way. Plans have begun. Some friends who need a rental for about 6 months will be renting our house while we are gone, and we will move back in when we return. It’s a perfect arrangement for both of us! So yet again, I find myself at the end of a year, packing and cleaning, cleaning and packing, and organizing frantically. This part is the hard work.
Leaving the rat race is going to be an amazing experience! Not having ongoing bills to chase after, work to keep me from the kids or a house to maintain will be such a welcome relief! I realize that life on the road isn’t free, but we do plan to free camp as much as possible to allow extra money for outings and activities. In comparison to the life of fulltime study in two degrees, almost fulltime work, being the sole parent of three children and maintaining a house, it will be a breeze!!!
The children will home school. They are extremely excited, as am I. Dakota will be starting year 9, Shay-Lee will be going into year 4 and Kalahni will be starting his Kindergarten year. Our road trip will provide many more learning experiences than the school curriculum I’m sure adventures to remember for many years to come.
The plan is: we will head off North on Christmas Eve, have Christmas with “The Macks” at Maloollaba, then stay and work in the homoeopathic first aid tent at Woodford Folk Festival for a week, then return for a week’s work back here early Jan. After that we'll head south. We’ll drive for however long we like then stay for as long as we like. I must add that I am keen to get down to Melbourne, because that’ll be where our real adventure starts. We’ve experienced most of the East Coast fairly thoroughly, and it will be nice to feel we are breaking new ground. I also want to get around to the West Coast early enough to keep North of the cold. We are traveling fairly light, and will be free-camping as much as possible so minimal winter clothes and no electricity most of the time.
I’ll do my best to keep this site updated with our most recent events, although my wireless isn’t practical for uploading a lot of data (photos), so I will have to wait until I find the Wireless hotspots around.
December 23rd 2010
Port Augusta was the first place we’d been to in eight months that wasn’t new and daunting to us. We knew where we were going and what to expect – it was kind of a weird feeling after ‘winging it’ for so long!!! The sense of familiarity was very short lived however because we were taking a new and different route back to the East Coast. The car which had served us very well had been overheating since Alice – she was really struggling up inclines and into head winds. I feared the worst, and rather than be stuck in the middle of nowhere I just wanted to be home in Lismore with a mechanic I trusted! Meanwhile, family in Shellharbour really wanted us to drop by there ‘on the way’ (about 1000kms out of the ... read more
December 22nd 2010
Leaving Darwin felt like an escape more than anything else – the heat and humidity were just so stifling, but the rain held off long enough for us to pack up. This was the first time in a few months that we were out traveling on our own again, and although we missed our friends we felt free and fantastic. Our first stop was bitter springs near Mataranka. The place is well known for the hot springs there. Mataranka was indeed gorgeous – the springs had been developed around the edges with steps and what not, but bitter springs was so much better - basically au natural. We took our goggles and snorkels and just floated downstream checking out the scenery and then walking back. It was one of my favourites! As we traveled south, the ... read more
November 17th 2010
Our first week in Darwin was a relaxed catchup week. We were tied due to our dog sitting responsibilities – but it was great to feel like we had a dog again, even if only a claytons one. We needed the catch up anyway. My plan to fly out to Bali the day the Willies got back had been squashed due to my infection – it was postponed indefinitely, and we were stuck in Darwin for the meantime. I became familiar with the nurses who would be repacking my wound (Still OUCH!), but I did manage to round up some work which was wonderful. The Smiths caught up with us while the Willies were still OS – it was good to see them again, and we did a tour of Darwin. Once the Willies got back ... read more
September 28th 2010
From Broome we traveled east with the The Willies and another family we called the MP’s. Traveling together with other families was a new concept for us, and it worked out really well. All the children had playmates, the adults had company, and the adventures were great! Our first stop was a place called ‘Telegraph Pole’ - a fitting name for a riverside camp with a telegraph pole if the middle of nowhere! Even though we had seen a big saltwater croc in Broome, this was the first time (and may be the last) we’d come across crocs in numbers so large. At night the kids and I would shine the torches into the river and count how many crocs we could see. The numbers were always 15+, many times more!!! Mostly ‘freshies’ (not non human ... read more
July 30th 2010
Leaving Cape Range National Park behind was difficult. We’d had such a great experience there, and knew that it may be one of the last opportunities to swim and snorkel before we hit Croc country. Inland we went and with a quick stop in a rest area not far from a mining town called Tom Price, we made our way to Karijini National Park. To be honest, I don’t think I’d ever heard of Karijini before this trip. I make a point of chatting to as many travelers as I can to find out where and what they thought was worthwhile, and so many people had raved about Karijini I just had to see it! Dales Gorge campground wasn’t as fantastic as I had imagined, but the gorging itself was soooo much fun! The kids had ... read more
July 4th 2010
Well, I escaped from Perth like a bat outa hell - having felt like I was there for far too long! We drove and drove until we arrived at a nice free camp not to far from Kalbarri. It felt great to be on the road again! Kalbarri was lovely, we soaked up the sunshine and swam in the sea - the first time since South Australia. Kalbarri National Park was a fantastic sight after being in the city for such a long time. One of the little treasures there was ‘Nature’s Window’ - as the name suggests it is a window carved out of the rock, complete with a gorgeous view of the Murchison River. It was so nice to spread our wings again. From Kalbarri we kept heading North and stayed in another rest ... read more
June 1st 2010
(I realise that this is long overdue - we were having a breather after a pretty intense few weeks! So here is the next bit of the story … ) We made it all the way across to Norseman - a very small town, but it signified the end of the Nullabor. I started getting really excited when my phone started beeping, messages from the past few weeks were beginning to come through. We made it, and the car kept going! Kalgoorlie was our intended destination, but the caravan park I wanted to stay at was booked out that night so we stayed at a place called Kambalda, about 50 kms East Of Kal. You can imagine my excitement when I discovered that the washing machines AND dryers were free - we hadn’t washed since Adelaide, ... read more
April 26th 2010
From the Yorke Peninsula, the plan was to head up to Port Augusta then follow the coast around the Eyre Peninsula. Mambray Creek in Mount Remarkable National Park was our first stop. Here, our National Parks pass was to shine. The campsite offered our first hot shower in a week, running water AND flushing toilets - We thought we’d hit the jackpot!!! Emus roamed the park, meandering in and out of campsites checking out who, what, when and where - we thought they were sooooo cute! (The Good) Considering we were there for a week, we had everything we needed - or so we thought. Day three, the mice realize we’re there for a while and decided to move into our campervan (The Bad). Annoying, but we can deal with it! We went and bought some ... read more
April 23rd 2010
Driving from Adelaide to the Yorke Peninsula was eerie after being in a city. The cars and people quickly dissipated into nothing - so much so that we wondered if we had missed some important memo telling people to stay indoors or something. Two towns we drove through had absolutely no-one around. We were heading for a free camp called ‘The Gap’ to rest over Easter while everything was so busy. The Gap was one of those special finds. One that doesn’t seem fantastic until you’ve given it a go. I must say that although stunningly beautiful, it wasn’t the scenery that made the gap special - it was the people. A group of local people from a place called Moonta were there, all escaping the influx of people to their pretty little town. They took ... read more
April 10th 2010
What a find!!! I have been grizzling and carrying on since we left about the ridiculous cost of camping in a National Park. Most times I just completely avoid them unless the odd free one pops up. We’ve arrived at Victor Harbour - the place where all the Adelaide yuppies holiday. It’s quite beautiful and we’d like to stay a few nights, but in accordance with my ‘Under $25 a night’ policy, it just wasn’t going to happen. To make it worse, from here to Adelaide it just gets more expensive. As a last resort I called into the National Parks and Wildlife office to find the cheapest and most convenient campsites. After about 15 minutes of discussion the lady there let me in on the best kept secret around - a National Park SA Campsite ... read more