The Big Lap


The Big Lap

The O'Rourke family travelling Australia in our Jayco Swan.

Oceania » Australia June 18th 2019

My brother lives in a shouse* in the rainforest. They drive an old 80s series Landcruiser called Migaloo and cassowaries frequent their backyard. Their son’s bike was made from a mixture of three from the tip shop and within minutes he can be riding it along the beach with Dunk Island in the background. They can’t afford a yearly skiing trip or ocean cruise but can be cruising down the Hull River spotting crocs and catching Mangrove Jacks within 10 minutes. To my brother and his family possessions need only be basic enough to continue to enjoy the place where you live. It’s a lesson many families (including us) can overlook amongst the doldrums of everyday life and keeping up with the Joneses next door. He has lived in the Mission Beach area for most of ... read more
My brother Trav hard at work
Hanging with the cousins
Hull River

Oceania » Australia » Queensland » Townsville May 30th 2019

We stayed with a friend in Townsville who showed us a picture of a queue people edging along a tiny ridge approaching the peak of Everest. It can take up to two months to acclimatise enough to attempt a climb the summit. Climbers arrive at base camp, trek to the first level then back down again, up two levels then back to base camp. The body needs time to adjust to the altitude and new environment it finds itself in. We’re not climbing Everest but we are still going through a period of adjustment. The boys fight with each other every morning. It’s become like some sort of ritual. Wake up, bicker, eat breakfast, get on with the day. They niggle each other over trivial matters like a couple of old grumpy kangaroos. At first Jason ... read more
Caravan life
All our possessions
Pizza night

Oceania » Australia » Queensland » Sunshine Coast May 24th 2019

Catalyst – a person or thing that precipitates an event. We’ve always talked about taking the boys on a lap of Australia. I did it with my family when I was four and Jason and I had done it in sections over the years before kids. 2020 was going to be the year we set off to coincide with Jason’s long service leave. That was until a series of events set the wheels in motion just a bit faster than we had originally planned. With the passing of both of my parents in just over two years we were ready. What were we waiting for. Life is too bloody short to sit around talking about ideas and ideals. My mum passed away in December last year after battling for nearly two years with a blood disorder ... read more
Gorge walk

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Coromandel » Thames January 17th 2009

We only had a couple of night stop over in New Zealand as our round the world trip has to fly through Auckland. Not to say we didn't really want to stop there, we were just a bit exhausted, low on funds and had both already been to New Zealand, Jason to Auckland as well. Not to let the opportunity to see something else pass we decided to escape the city and head up to check out the Coromandel Peninsula. Hired a car and stayed a couple of nights in a very funky old retro caravan near Thames. Did a couple of driving excursions around the peninsula, a few walks to check out the huge Kari trees, and a hot soak at hot water beach. On our last day we went further south to see the ... read more
Our Retro Van for the night
you've got mail
abandoned mine shaft

Oceania » Australia November 30th 2008

It was nice to be back on home soil for a while, with a whirlwind tour of most of the big island undertaken in the 6 weeks or so we had. Started back in Perth where our travels had all began. Had a great week with Gleeson's, the kids having grown up so much since we left almost 2 years prior. Got to enjoy the lovely Perth beaches once again, the water is still freezing though, and see the demolition zone that was Fortescue street residence. Next stop was Melbourne for a catch up with Fay and a road trip up to Nyah West for the day. Spent a night across at Castlemaine with Brendan, Jane and the kids before travelling across to see Terry and Gill. Back to Fay's for one last night then back ... read more
The chef
xmas at the farm
walking around Mission

Asia » Singapore November 29th 2008

By the time we got to Singapore our energy levels were low and our tourist enthusiasm was waning significantly. By now we had been on the road for almost 6months and were very ready to get home to visit family and friends. Subsequently we didn't really do any justice to what Singapore can offer. The humidity was killing us and the place seemed to be just one big shopping centre. Having not worked for so long, and with another month or two of travel still to go, our finances didn't really allow Kirst to let loose in the many shopping malls, although we were very grateful for the a/c and some respite from the outside weather! We managed to wander about the city seeing a few sights and different areas including China markets and little India, ... read more
Our hotel....
World's largest foutain
Flashy xmas tree in flashy shopping mall

Africa » South Africa November 23rd 2008

Our final country on our African adventure. We crossed the border into South Africa from Botswana on yet another long driving day. Had to limit our fluid intake today as toilet stops would be limited to major towns due to the risk of truck-jacking! We were happy to hold on! Drove through some spectacular scenery on our way to Blyde Gorge. Almost remeniscent of driving through Hammersley Range in Western Australia. Set up our tents for the very last time at a camp ground on Blyde Gorge. We took a lovely walk to see the Gorge at sunset with beautiful colours standing out in the last light of the day. Pity we forgot to take the camera...have that one down in memory only now! The next day was spent calling in at various viewpoints to see ... read more
Amazing Blyde Gorge
The last time

Africa » Botswana November 17th 2008

The debauchery from the previous night in Vic Falls did not leave us in good shape for our first day in Botswana with a 7am departure and all of 2hrs sleep under our belts. Today was the first day with our new truck and tour leader, the other truck would follow a similiar path for a bit but with an extra day up their sleeves for Chobe and the delta and then continue across to Cape town. So after some final farewells to our great guides Matt, Pete and Nick and all the people staying behind we managed to leave close to on time miraculously! The day was to be a huge day including a long drive, a boat cruise and an afternoon game drive. We crossed into Botswana in the morning which was uneventful apart ... read more
Road closed, all hands on deck
Big bully
Chobe River

Africa » Zimbabwe » Victoria Falls November 14th 2008

Unbelievable is the right word to sum up our experience of Zimbabwe, for both the right and the wrong reasons. To form a complete opinion on what is going on in Zimbabwe would be crazy, considering our VERY brief and limited time and experience of the country. Our time in Zimbabwe was restricted to spending time in the now quite deserted tourist resort of Vic Falls. What we certainly did notice was the complete disparity between each side of the border, the change almost surreal in how distinct it was. From the debauchery of the previous night in Livingstone, the border crossing was one of the most arduous we have ever experienced and Jason was having flashbacks to the Laos/Cambodia border crossing (see appropriate entry as that's a whole other story!). We were told to bite ... read more
Getting strapped in
No fuel today...or tomorrow
Party time in Vic Falls

Africa » Zambia » Livingstone November 11th 2008

We had a long wait at the border into Zambia and entertained the locals with our attempts to keep ourselves entertained playing charades. We camped the night at a farmhouse campsite and sampled our first Mosi beer…the Zambian original. Two more driving days and many snacks later we arrived at Livingstone just on the Zimbabwian border after a night in Lusaka. Highlights included Zebras wandering around our campsite near Lusaka and spotting a giant Flatty Spider thanks to our ever-enthusiastic tour leader, Mat. We were getting used to the long driving days by now and had developed a real appreciation for the vastness of the continent. Days on the truck were spent reading, sleeping and playing cards with our ‘tour family’. On route we did our outfit swap for our fancy dress river cruise party which ... read more
Dress ups!
The tarzan set
BIG rain spider

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