.: Lin's Pages

 .: Update

18 June 2013

I have been enjoying our travels down the East Coast. It was great to visit Cairns again and Port Douglas was very pretty. I really like the place.

In Townsville it was good to go and watch the Cowboys v Bulldogs rugby league game, though there wasn't much atmosphere at the stadium. Back at the club house later I managed to meet some of the players...they were very handsome!

From there we came down to Airlie Beach, which was a really chilled out backpackers place with some good shopping. We managed to bag a really cheap bargain trip to Hamilton Island with a night's accommodation. We were so glad that we hadn't booked to go in advance as we would have been kicking ourselves at the price we would have paid.

On Hamilton Island, we had a lovely tropical bungalow and had a great time whizzing around on the golf buggies that you can hire out to explore on. I was a bit sad when we had to come back to the mainland.

We've continued our travels down to Rockhampton and on to Agnas Waters and the Town of 1770. Its been really noticeable that the caravan sites now are packed with old people mainly from the colder southern States that have come up north for the winter. Roger says that they are a bit like God's Waiting Room!

From here we will be going down to Hervey Bay and the Sunshine Coast. Roger says that we can start to look at some houses...just to get ideas!

At Paronella Park

On Hamilton Island

28 May 2013

Woops! sorry for not doing an update for a while (again!)

Darwin was great and it was good to stay in an air-conditioned hotel. I enjoyed very much the waterfalls in Litchfield National Park, and even almost went for a swim.

I enjoyed going back to Kakadu though it was very hot and steamy. The mosquitoes really got Roger, but not me! The caravan site at Jabiru, was very good. It had a resort style pool with bar and cafe, quite Mediterranean really. Though while we were enjoying a drink, the thunder storms rolled in and we got three hours of torrential rain.

We have decided not to drive down to Alice Springs, its just too far considering that we have to come all the way back the same way. We are heading for Cairns, but its a long way, it will take us 5 or 6 days to go the 3,000 kms / 1,800 miles. I'm looking forward to getting to Cairns for the sun and shopping!

In the WWII Bomb Bunker in Darwin

Termite Mound in Litchfield National Park

Why I'm Not Swimming

9 May 2013

Sorry its been a while since doing an update...

From Karijini National Park, we drove to Port Hedland and made a quick one night stop. 'Hedland' is a booming mining town and I'm glad we only stopped here for one night. We stayed in a Big4 chain caravan park and this was our most expensive site to date at $54 for the night.

From here, we did about 400 kms/240 miles to Eighty Mile Beach...I'm getting used to the long distances now. The road leading down to Eighty Mile Beach Campsite was very rough but the campervan got us there. We stayed here for two nights. I managed to top up my tan and Roger caught a small shark, which we gave away to a fellow nomad as I didn't want to eat a baby shark.

The temperature is slowly getting warmer, the gauge is often reading over the 40C mark.

We then had another long journey to Broome. I was so looking forward to visiting Broome, but the humidity and the temperature made it unbearable. We stayed at the Cable Beach Caravan Park, which on cooler days would have been good for walking to the beach and town...but not at the moment.

Cable Beach itself was lovely and the sunset beautiful. Hopefully, we will revisit here when we are back working and can more easily afford to do the camel safari and the other tours.

Last night we stayed at Fitzroy Crossing after doing a lovely relaxing cruise at Geikie Gorge. We didn't stay at the planned site but where we ended up for one night was OK. I feel now that we are getting to the real remote heart of Australia, there are lots of aboriginals about and less wine - in fact you cannot buy wine around here as its considered too strong for the indigenous population. The shops aren't permitted to sell anything over 2.7% alcohol. I just hope I have enough wine left to last me!

On Cable Beach

On the Headland at Broome

Cruising the Fitzroy River at Geikie Gorge

1 May 2013

Coral Bay was a nice stay, though the last night was spoilt a bit by a Muppet in a Winnebago parking their van less than 6 feet from the edge of our awning on the camp site.

I didn't like our next port of call, which was Exmouth, very much. The caravan site was extremely overpriced for what it was. The only saving grace was that we did have a good ANZAC Day afternoon in the town, watching Two Up being played whilst I chatted to two American soldiers. Though I did pay for all that wine the day after!

It was a very long hot drive from Exmouth to Tom Price, it took about 8 1/2 hours. That's a long time driving without air-conditioning! That night and the next morning I didn't feel very well. I think it was the heat from the long drive. The caravan site at Tom Price was again overpriced for what it was, though it was nice and quiet. We did the tour into the Rio Tinto Iron Ore Mine. At $30 for 2 1/2 hours, it was an excellent tour and good value for money, especially as it took you right in to the working mine. You couldn't have gone their on your own.

We're in Karijini National Park now, where we have bushed camped for two nights. Today we did the lovely, if rather steep and hot walk down in to the gorges and Roger went for a swim in some of the pools. Its nice here, but the flies and ants are getting a bit much now, so I will be glad to move on in the morning.

Cape Range National Park, Exmouth

Looking Down in to Circular Pool at Karijini

Taking a Rest in the Gorge

24 April 2013

After leaving Carnarvon, we stopped for two nights at Point Quobba, right on the ocean. Roger liked it but I didn't. It was very basic camping and the wind blew very strong both nights we were there, making it almost impossible to sleep.

We left Point Quobba early and Roger got his foot down to get us to Coral Bay ahead of the main time people would be looking to check in a site. At one point I'm sure we reached 110 kph! We knew it would be very busy in Coral Bay due to the school holidays, so were very pleased to get a nice shaded site right on the edge of the caravan park away from the main area with all the kids.

We've stayed here three nights and its been good to just have lazy mornings followed by an afternoon at the beach. Last night we went to the next door hotel/resort as their pub had Happy Hour on, so we could get some cheap drinks and socialise with the backpackers!

Coral Bay Beach

19 April 2013

After Monkey Mia, we went back across the peninsular to Denham, where we camped next to a lovely couple that gave us about a dozen whiteing (fish) that Roger had to scale and fillet - they tasted very nice when we BBQ'ed them. At the campsite we thought that we had one of the worse pitches when we set up, but that night the weather turned really windy and actually we ended up being quite well sheltered compared to the rest.

We've been in Carnarvon for three nights, the site is quite quiet, but it wont be in about six weeks time when the town will fill up with the Grey Nomads staying here for the winter.  We drove around the tropical plantations, which are the town's main industry. Its a bit early yet, but in a few week's time, they will be producing tomatoes, bananas and all kinds of tropical fruits.

When we went shopping to Woolworths on Wednesday, they had lamb very cheap. A $30 pack of cutlets was just $7. We found out later that day that the store had wrongly ordered 240 boxes from the suppliers when they would normally only get 24 and so they had to shift them all before they go out of date. Therefore, we have been back again yesterday and today scavenging what we can off the shelves to fill our freezer!

Roger did my root treatment with a $12.99 Nice n' Easy dye. He did a very good job and he is very happy because it saved him about $100 on me not going getting it done professionally!

At long last, today was the day that Roger caught our tea. He caught a lovely big bream after I spotted them swimming in a different area from where he was fishing off the jetty.

I'm looking forward to moving on tomorrow to Coral Bay, then Exmouth and the Ningaloo Reef area. There looks some lovely places.

Looking Around the Old Sheep Shearers' House in Denham

The Plantations in Carnarvon

Rickety Jetty in Carnarvon

15 April 2013

We had a great time in Kalbarri, its probably the best place that we have stopped so far. We did do the off-road tour out to the gorges. They were spectacular, but the flies were terrible. There were millions of them. Yuck! The caravan park was very good and we got camped next to some very nice people for a change. I was a bit sorry when we had to leave.

It was quite a long hot drive from Kalbarri to the start of the Shark Bay peninsular. Its been about 37 C now for the last few days and there doesn't seem to be any break from it.

We stayed in Nanga Bay for two nights, which was a bit run down in terms of the amenities, but it was a very nice quiet stay as there where only us and two other motor homes on the whole site both nights we were there.

From Nanga Bay, we have driven up the World Heritage Drive to Monkey Mia. On the way, we took the very bumpy road out to Red Bluff, where you can watch sharks and rays swimming in the water below.

Monkey Mia isn't quite the 'resort' that we were expected, but the beach is very nice and more importantly the dolphins are astounding. Last night, we went out on a sunset cruise. This morning, we went down to the dolphin feeding, where the wild dolphins come in under their own choice to take some food from people on the beach that are selected at random by the rangers. I was very lucky because I was selected! The dolphin just took the fish so gently out of my hand, not snapping like a dog would. It was lovely and very special.

Watching the Sharks at Red Bluff

At the Lagoon

Feeding Time

Me Having Just Given the Dolphin a Fish

 

10 April 2013

I really enjoyed our stay in Port Denison. The beach was very nice and I even went fishing with Roger, setting my rod up for the first time on the trip. I even caught more fish than Roger! We went out for a few beers and wines in Port Denison on Friday night, which was a nice treat, though the pub prices were so expensive.

We had a look round Dongara markets on Saturday, there wasn't that much there. On Sunday we moved to Geraldton, where we went around the nice air-conditioned museum in the afternoon. They had all the usually displays about the aborigines, first settlers, etc, but also a very interesting room of artefacts from the early Dutch shipwrecks on the Western Australia coast and a special display of Australia's ventures in to the Antarctic.

On a hill in Geraldton town centre is a very moving and well constructed monument to the HMAS Sydney, lost in a battle with a German ship off the coast during WWII. All 650 lives on board were lost.

We are now up in Kalbarri, where the weather is just lovely during the day (even getting a bit too hot). Its been 35 - 37 C and sunny. Though it makes it a bit warm for sleeping at night. I'm going to try to find somewhere to get my hair cut this morning, then we are going out on an organised 4x4 trip to the gorges that are too rough to get to in the campervan.

We are going to stay her a couple more days before we move on to the dolphins at Monkey Mia.

Seafront at Port Denison

HMAS Sydney Memorial

4 April 2013

It was a very special Easter staying in the Crowne Plaza in Perth for three nights. It was lovely sleeping in a proper bed and having and en-suite bathroom. We had a great day out in Fremantle on Saturday. I enjoyed the tour of the jail and the beer in the pubs afterwards. On Sunday morning we went around the Perth Mint to see their collection of gold nuggets, bars and jewellery (over $100 million worth). For security, you are not permitted to take photos inside. Then in the evening we did a cruise on the Swan River through the city. It was very nice seeing the sun go down with a wine in hand. But even better, we were treated to a show by dolphins following the boat up the river.

On Monday, we had to leave Perth, but I have really enjoyed it here. I like the atmosphere of the place, the pace of it and the weather. We did our weekly shopping, though we did have to hang around until the shops opened at 11AM with it being the bank holiday. Apparently, even a lot of supermarkets round here have only just started opening on Sundays!

We went up to Cervantes, where the beach was lovely and the weather just perfect at 30 C, though the campsite we were allocated was just on dust. I'm getting a bit fed up with others getting the good pitches.

We spent two nights in Cervantes, then drove up to Jurien Bay. The beach was lovely, but Roger got stung badly by a jellyfish whilst snorkelling, so didn't/couldn't go back in the water again after that. The caravan site at Jurien Bay was pretty awful, especially the amenity blocks. Once again we were given a dust bowl site with no outlook, whilst other that came later where given a much better position. We think that for some reason the receptionists don't like Roger when we go to check-in, so we have decided from now on that I will go in and make the booking to see if we do any better.

I had a lovely day today on the beach at Green Head and Dynamite Bay, especially when a sea lion came by to see what we were doing and probably have a laugh at Roger not catching our tea again. Tonight, we have stopped at Port Denison. I went in to the office as planned and we have got a really nice site for the van with grass and near clean amenities, so perhaps the theory of not letting Roger to go in to make the booking is the right one.

Me with Replica of 'Welcome Stranger' Nugget (but all the gold inside is real)

Perth Skyline From the Boat

At the Lookout in Cervantes

On the Jetty at Jurien Bay

 

29 March 2013

The caravan site a Guilderton was very nice, but we had a huge storm on Monday night and it was really a bit frightening. We did survive and on Tuesday drove up the coast to 'The Pinnacles' desert and rock formations area, which were very interesting.

I've managed to get a few good sessions on the beaches in Perth. Scarborough Beach, South Beach and North Fremantle have all be visited this week.

Yesterday, we visited some of Roger's ex-work colleagues. I went to try to get my hair done, but they were too busy and too expensive just before Easter. This morning we went to the lovely King's Park and had a good walk round and a nice coffee in the sunshine.

I'm a really getting a liking for Perth. It has a good atmosphere to it. Nice beaches, great weather and good shopping. The traffic and drivers are a bit crazy, but I suppose no worse than Sydney.

We are now at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, where we have treated ourselves to three nights over Easter. Its heaven to have a proper bed, bathroom and comforts for the first time in four months!

At The Pinnacles

South Perth from King's Park - Look at the Sky!

25 March 2013

At last we have arrived in Perth. It seems a really great place. Lots of shopping, beaches and things to do. I could see us living round here. But before Perth, we went out to Northam on Saturday for a meal with one of Roger's friends and their family. The Northam caravan site was bearable for a night. It must have been years since they last properly cleaned the toilets and showers - yuck! But Northam itself was good I enjoyed the meal out and the free music concert that was taking place in the park. Driving down from Northam on Sunday, we went in to the village of York, which was pretty and then the drive through the forests and hills back to Perth was also very nice.

We cannot believe how much building work and houses are going up in the suburbs around Perth. There is some really nice property and the price don't seem that bad. Definitely on the list for us to consider where to live in the future.

Today, we got some new back tyres on the campervan (boring!), whilst Roger was arranging that, I went shopping for shoes and clothes! We are going to travel a little bit north of Perth over the next few days, but then I am really looking forward to us going back in to the city and staying at the Crowne Plaza over Easter. I think I will have to smuggle some sparkling wine in to the room with us.

On the Suspension Bridge in York - Roger was shaking it

On the Beach at Guilderton - Storm Approaching!

22 March 2013

This last few days has been really nice. We have been following the shores of Geographe Bay from Cape Naturaliste to Mandurah. I really liked Busselton, where we walked to the end of the pier and did a really good cycle ride along the coastal track. Its a while since I have used my bike, but feel I'm getting quite confident on it now, especially when like this track, there's no traffic around.

The weather has picked up and I managed to get most of yesterday afternoon on the beach in Bunbury, though I didn't see of the dolphins that are supposed to be regular visitors around there.

Last night, the permanent occupants of the caravan site was 'interesting' to say the least. I think you would probably use the American expression 'Trailer Trash' to describe the ferals living on there. Their arguments in the middle of the night were just like the Jerry Springer Show.

Today, we have moved on to Mandurah. There are some really nice houses round here and the shopping was very good. We had a nice walk around the city water front area and then managed a couple of hours on the beach. Though it was quite windy.

Bunker Bay

Busselton Pier

19 March 2013

We've had a great few days in Margaret River. It was very busy with all the surf dudes. The wine and beer tour was really good and great value for money. I bought a few bottles of wine and we had plenty of beer during the day. We met back up with some of the other people on the bus back in the town for a St Patrick's night celebration. Unfortunately though, last night on the caravan site was rather unpleasant with drunken fighting until the early hours (more information on the main update page), but Roger did get us our money back this morning.

We've moved on to Yallingup, where we hope to have a much more peaceful night on the nice small beach side caravan park.

We have decided on a bit of a treat at Easter. We wanted to stay in Perth to explore the city, but all the reasonable caravan sites were already fully booked. We have decided to splash out a bit and stay at the Crowne Plaza Hotel. Its relative cheap for Perth over Easter I think because there are no business people around. It will be lovely to have a big bed and a bath!

Outside the Brewery for Beer Tasting

Beer Tasting

16 March 2013

The military museum in Albany was very interesting, but as we thought, we didn't go in the whaling museum. The weather has been pretty poor and its been better for us to keep travelling than to stop around places too long. Its hard to find things to do when the sun isn't out. We've done a couple of really nice bush camps this week including last night where we were allowed to have a camp fire. For the first time we used our camp cooking pot and cooked a casserole over the flames. It took a while, but tasted really great.

We are now in Margaret River and have booked a full day's wine tasting tour for tomorrow, which also includes a chocolate factory, breweries and cheese making. We are really looking forward to it and it will give Roger a break from driving.

Working the Gun at the Albany Museum

I Thought About Climbing It - But Didn't Have the Right Shoes On

12 March 2013

We had a tough but enjoyable walk up Castle Rock in the Porongurup National Park yesterday. Roger went out on the Sky Walk at the top, but it was too scary for me! The weather has been wet, dull and damp for the last few days and I am really hoping that the sun will come back out soon. We are now down in Albany, where we stocked up at the supermarket yesterday and we're now going to spend a few days exploring. We looked at going in the Whaling Museum, but it looks very expensive for what it is. I think we will save the money towards a wine tasting tour in Margaret River!

Roger on the Sky Walk

Balancing Rock

10 March 2013

It was good to get back to the beaches in Esperance after inland Kalgoorlie. They definitely were some of the best beaches that you could ever see. I especially liked the beaches and bays of Cape Le Grand National Park, I spent a lot of time just relaxing on them whilst Roger was fishing. At Hellfire Bay, I saw a pod of about thirty dolphins right in against the shore playing in the waves. That was very special.

Tonight, we have moved west and are semi-free camping in Fitzgerald River National Park. The camp areas here have recently been renovated and have quite decent bush toilets, so at least we wont have to put our toilet tent up! I am hoping tomorrow that this cloudy muggy weather lifts and I can get on the beach to top my tan up.

In the next week ahead it looks like we have some good places to explore with Albany coming up and then Margret River - which means more wine tasting again in the vineyards!

At Whistling Rock - Cape Le Grand National Park

Hellfire Bay

6 March 2013

We have stayed in Kalgoorlie for a few days. Today, we visited the Royal Flying Doctor base at the airport, we were given a very interesting talk by an elderly lady that had lived in the Outback most of here life and had depending on the service for her and her family's health. It was interesting to tour the hanger and see one of their planes.

Then we have been round the historic gold mining area and the up to the 'Super Pit' - the massive open cut pit that dominates Kalgoorlie. Norseman post office have confirmed that our mail has arrived, so tomorrow we can take the 400 km drive to there and on to Esperance, where we will be back by the ocean and supposedly the best beaches in Australia.

Looking for a New House?

Open Cut 'Super Pit'

Old Mines

4 March 2013

What a lot we have achieved in a week...across the Nullarbor and in to Western Australia. But first, we did have a lovely time up the western side of the Eyre Peninsular, the fresh oysters were amazing and the beaches pretty good too. We had a great night in Streaky Bay, where it was a treat to go to the pub for a few drinks.

Crossing the Nullarbor was so interesting.

The first night where we free camped about one third the way across was pretty rough due to the storms and we had to sleep with the top down on the camper, which I really don't like. But we had our first proper 'Happy Hour' with the other campers that were also staying on the same stopping point. We all huddled in to someone's caravan in the evening and had a good drinking session, swapping stories and learning about each others travels. I've been waiting for these types of camps and campers.

The next day we crossed the border in to Western Australia and lost another 2 1/2 hours on our watches due to the new time zone. Again, that night the free camp was very good and I am getting in to a good habit of giving away Roger's beer to other campers as a friendly introduction! The stars were just amazing, millions of them, not only overhead, but all the way down to the horizon, I've never seen anything like it.

Sunday was a long day, as we got delayed for about two hours at a roadhouse (petrol station) whilst Roger fixed a backpackers car. Then when we got to our planned camp at Norseman, it really wasn't very nice, we carried on about 1 1/2 hours to an alternative, that when we got there was even worse. So we carried on to Kalgoorlie, the large mining town and found a nice site. We will stay here a few days to relax. I wanted to go food sopping today, as they have a Coles and Woolworths supermarket, but its public holiday today in Western Australia and everywhere is closed, even the supermarkets. In fact, we were told that here the major supermarkets don't even open on Saturday afternoons and Sundays, even on normal weekends!

We Didn't See Any Camels

Eucla Telegraph Station Ruins

Just Nothing

26 Feb 2013

We've had a couple of very nice days on the southern end of the Eyre Peninsular, some lovely beaches in Port Lincoln National Park and Coffin Bay. We stopped at a fresh seafood warehouse in Port Lincoln and got lovely fresh oysters, mussels and tuna steaks.

I really enjoyed camping in Port Lincoln National Park and seeing the kangaroos, and especially the emus. Coffin Bay National Park was stunning and tomorrow we are certainly going to get some more fresh oysters. 

At the Top of Stamford Hill - Port Lincoln

Can You See Me on the Beach?

23 Feb 2013

Sorry its been a while since I did an update, there have been too many beaches to enjoy. This week we made our way down the Yorke Peninsular, it was very hot to start out with... 40 C when we got to Port Vincent on Sunday. From there we went down to Marion Bay and the Innes National Park, which had some stunning beaches and coast line.

Making our way up the western side of the Yorke, we stopped in Moonta, where there was some quite good shopping, especially charity and op shops...but I couldn't decide what to buy. My idea was to hold on to Port Augusta. I was looking forward to going there as we had seen it signposted when we went to Coober Pedy last year and it seemed as though it would mark the gateway to the Outback and real unknown to us. It certainly felt good seeing the signs in Port August for Darwin and Perth and even a few kilometres out of town the countryside turned to red dust and scrub. But the shopping was terrible. The shops were so depressing. The local Target store was just a heap of clothes on racks, all of which would only have suited somebody over 60 or somebody over size 16. The Big W was even worse, it was just a warehouse with pallet racking in it, so dark and badly laid out. I was quite disappointed, so much so, I had to buy a bottle of sparkling wine to cheer myself up.

Now we are on the Eyre Peninsular and the weather and beaches are fantastic. Last night we free camped right on the beach at Arno Bay and I think we will stay here tonight, so that I can spend all day on the beach again!

Sunning on the Jetty in Sowell

The beach at Arno Bay

16 Feb 2013

I had a really enjoyable time wine tasting and purchasing in McLaren Vale - that's probably the best thing about not being able to drive - I can have a drink!

The German town of Hahndorf just outside Adelaide was very interesting too. I bought a black pudding from the German butchers, but it turned out to be nothing like a Lancashire black pudding :(

Adelaide itself was very nice and some of the buildings are just so pretty. The shopping I thought was very good, more concentrated than Sydney's city centre. I could probably work here, but lunches would be an expensive time with all these shops around.

Last night we stayed in Riverton on the way up to the Clare Valley. The old man in the caravan/cabin next to our pitch on the site was so funny. At first, he got angry that we parked near them (even though that is where the site manager's told us to go) then when he found out I was from near Liverpool, he was made up as that's where his wife was originally from and wouldn't leave us alone. He was a bit strange though - like out at 6.30AM this morning in his dressing gown with a rake messing with the grass!

Wine Tasting at Hardy's McLaren Vale

13 Feb 2013

We stayed at the Big4 caravan site in Mount Gambier, which was a nice well looked after park, but as we have seen at a lot of places now, was obviously set out in the 1970's when caravans were small and the sites/pitches don't have enough room to cater for modern vans, ending up with there being very little room between you and the people camped next to you.

We went up the the Southern Ports Highway, through the small villages of Southend and Robe, the water was just an unbelieve colour of aquamarine. I managed to get some sunbathing in whist Roger went fishing, once again he failed to catch our tea!

We stayed at the nice free camp at Kingston, right on the beach. It was great apart from some unruly backpackers. As we said to each other this morning, we were young once!

I'm feeling now that we are making some real progress in to our trip. I am look forward to visiting the wineries in McLaren Vale and the Clare Valley over the next few days. Hopefully, our budget will stretch to a nice bottle of Chardy for me!

Looking Out on the Water at Southend

Southern Ports Highway Beaches

10 Feb 2013

The dinner and 'Shipwrecked' show at Flagstaff Hill in Warrnambool was really good, though the chef could have perhaps tried to cook some fresh seafood rather than just deep frying pre-packed frozen. It didn't showcase Australian 'cuisine' particularly well to the visitor! I even got to do some shopping on Saturday morning in Warrnambool for clothes...Roger has already had to buy his second pair of trainers on the trip (due to cheap Chinese made rubbish falling apart he tells me), so I thought it was my turn for a treat too.

I really enjoyed walking round the old volcano crater at Mt Eccles. The weather was perfect and there was nobody else around.

Last night was pretty terrible at the campsite in Portland due to a party going on at the camp kitchen on the caravan site until 1.30AM. It was bad that the site owners turned a blind eye to it, since there are signs up saying it must be vacated by 10PM. We are both pretty tired today as a result.

Still we went to Aldi today and I spent a lot of time doing what will be our last Aldi shop for 5 months or so, as there aren't any in South Australia, Western Australia or the Northern Territory. I never thought I would miss Aldi, but the alternatives are such a rip-off and I know the choice will be very limited in the Outback in general.

Volcano Crater Lake

Roger at the Sign in South Australia, Showing We Have a Long Way to Go!

7 Feb 2013

Yesterday we went first to Apollo Bay. Which had a lovely shallow and gentle beach, I could have stayed there all day! But after and hour or so, we moved on to the Cape Otway lighthouse and saw lots more koalas just sat in the trees enjoying the sun.

I've been to the Twelve Apostles rocks formations before, but the view, sea and weather was really good yesterday and they were very impressive. I got another hour or so at Port Campbell Beach and then we went on to the village of Peterborough and a nice caravan site next to the pub, where we just had to go in to cool off from the day's heat. We met some cyclists from Poland that have already biked it down from Darwin to raise money for brain cancer research. I can't believe how hard it must be to peddle all that gear around in the heat.

From here we will move on to Warrnambool, where we plan to do the dinner and light show at the Flag Staff Hill Museum. It reconstructs one of the 1800's shipwrecks on coast near here.

Twelve Apostles

Apollo Bay Harbour

5 Feb 2013

Saturday night was a bit scary with another bush fire very close to the caravan site. Roger worked hard helping the firemen out with the refilling of the water tanks. During the night, even though the fire was out, we didn't sleep well for worrying that it might flare up again.

We are now down on the Great Ocean Road and I am happy that we are finally heading west. I've spent the day on the beach which is just over the road from the caravan site where there are lots of koalas in the trees and lovely parrots flying around. Roger has spent the day doing his Open University studies, so I had lots of peace and quiet on the beach!

Start of the Great Ocean Road

1 Feb 2013

The night time ferry crossing wasn't too bad and the lovely fish and chips that we had in Devonport before we boarded were more than enough to see us through the night.

On Wednesday, I enjoyed looking around Bendigo and had a bit of a pamper day, getting my hair done at last and a doing bit of retail therapy. It was nice having some 'me' time.

I am really liking Echuca, where we are at the moment, especially the trip we did on the old paddle steamer yesterday. The weather was just so perfect, I could have spent the whole day on the river...with glasses of wine!

Its now our last night here at Echuca, we are going to make some headway tomorrow and hopefully get to the coast and on to the Great Ocean Road at the beginning of next week - so here's to topping my tan up again.

The Bendigo Lookout

Paddle Steamer on the Murray in Echuca

24 Jan 2013

I didn't get any oysters from the farms in St Helens as they weren't open on Sunday, so I will have to save the money for sparkling wine on Australia Day. Tuesday and Wednesday nights, I enjoyed free camping in the pub beer garden in Triabunna, though we probably spent more than a campsite would of cost over the bar each night.

We are now down  in Richmond (outside Hobart) with just a few more nights left in Tasmania before we get the boat back to Melbourne and start heading west. On Saturday, we will start the trip north from here to revisit Oatlands on Australia Day (Saturday) and then up to Devonport.

Near Wineglass Bay - but without wine

19 Jan 2013

I really enjoyed meeting our friends from Sydney when we caught up with them in Launceston on Monday night. During the day, Roger and I went round the Boags brewery tour with the beer tasting and cheese samples at the end of it. Very Nice!

The caravan site in Launceston was alright, but the other caravaners were not very friendly. I think it is because our campervan doesn't have a posh sticker calling it the 'Buckingham' or the "Jayco Sterling' on it - they think we must be riffraff!

We are now in to our last 10 days in Tasmania, which I think has come at the right time. Tasmania has been beautiful, but I think we both feel now that we are ready to get the ferry back and start making some actual progress around Australia, rather than crisscrossing the island as we now seem to be doing now.

Whilst Roger was trying to catch our tea at Bell Buoy Beach on Thursday, I enjoyed some peace and quiet to sunbathe. The weather really has picked up in the last few days.

We have now moved on to 'Bay of Fires' just north of St Helens on the east coast Tasmania. Its a really lovely area and all the camping right on the beach is free! I'm getting lots of sunbathing in. I'm looking forward to Sunday as its seafood day and I have been promised some fresh oysters from one of the nearby farms.

Suspension Bridge in Launceston

Bay of Fires Beach

13 Jan 2013

I cannot believe how quickly the weeks are going. Tonight was our 45th night since leaving Sydney!

We had a really nice time in Snug for the three nights that we stopped there. There was good shopping in Kingston and the site was very good. On Wednesday, I took the bus from the caravan site in Cambridge in to Hobart for a well earned shopping trip! I was quite surprised that I didn't spend too much. No shoes were purchased on this occasion. I have decided that I am going to treat myself to a shopping trip once a month.

We have done two free camps this week just at road side stops at Oatlands and Bracknell and I have really enjoyed them. Its nice to be with fellow nomads, rather than families with kids on a once a year holidays. Though two nights on the run is enough, as I need good showers and washing machines regularly.

On the subject of washing machines, that's probably what I am missing at the moment - my own good washing machine. The ones at the caravan sites are generally top loaders and more often than not only have cold water, so the washing comes out just the same as it went in. Perhaps I will look for proper laundrettes in towns...they might be a bit better.

With the Mangle and Washing Machine in Richmond Gaol

The River in Richmond

6 Jan 2013

We enjoyed New Year in Strahan and we were one of the few on the camp site that managed to stay up until midnight for the fireworks on TV.

I liked walking in Lake St Clair, even though it was cold and the camp sites were crammed in like sardines. The amenities were very poor also, but the scenery was very nice.

I saw that the weather was going to heat up so told Roger that we had to leave the mountains and head to the beaches. We stayed south of Hobart in a town called Franklin, that had a very interesting pub, with a guy drinking and smoking behind the bar and playing cassette music of strange Irish and folk songs.

We went down to Southport on an incredibly hot day. It was more than 41C - the hottest day ever in Hobart. That night was rather scary as we were woken by smoke from a bush fire, that as you will see on the main update page, turned out to be a false alarm from smoke drifting from elsewhere, but for a few hours it was very worrying.

For all the ladies...just to let you know that I managing to keep up with painting my nails almost every day and my first self applied hair root treatment has also been a success!

Waterfalls in Strahan

Surveyors Bay Beach

31 Dec 2012

I really enjoyed our second day of walking in the Cradle Mountain area on Saturday, the weather was much better. I wasn't very impressed with the old mining towns of Zeehan and Queenstown yesterday, they were rather run down and depressing. The free camping at Lake Burbury was very good and I felt a bit more secure knowing that there were at least a few other campers in the area, rather than being completely alone as we were last time.

We have arrived in Strahan and it looks a very pretty town to spend New Year - if the rain and mist ever goes away. We had to shop in the local IGA as it was the only 'supermarket'. The prices were very expensive compared to normal supermarkets, but we managed to do OK and I guess I will have to get use to having limited choice once we hit the more outback areas of the mainland.

If the rain goes away, I will get the washing done and then hit the pubs for some pre-New Year drinks.

Walking down from Cradle Mountain

28 Dec 2012

We've moved on now from the caravan site at Wynyard where I enjoyed spending Christmas. We are now up at Cradle Mountain, which is very cold and the busiest place we have been to so far. I'm looking forward to doing some more walking tomorrow...definitely in my winter wardrobe. The summer has gone!

Its cold at Cradle Mountain

26 Dec 2012

I enjoyed the week travelling along the north west coast of Tasmania and eventually the weather improved. We had a very good night out in Burnie on Saturday with one of Roger's ex-work friends and his wife...a nice meal followed by a bit of a dance at a 'youngsters' pub!

I managed to do a bit of Christmas shopping, but it was a bit hard on a budget and with no room to put anything.

On Christmas Eve, we went out for our traditional celebration drink and I enjoyed that very much, the Christmas Parade in Wynyard was very good and Roger's friends joined us again and were great company.

I really enjoyed my Christmas Dinner and hearing by phone and text from my friends in Australia and the UK. The weather was lovely, even better here than Sydney, but now on Boxing Day, I think it has changed a bit and I am having to get my warm clothes out again.

The Beach on Christmas Day

20 Dec 2012

We arrived in Tasmania and the boat crossing was pretty smooth, the wine did help, I'm sure. The weather since we arrived has been cold and rainy, especially yesterday when it never stopped raining all day. Though the scenery is very beautiful, when you can see it through the clouds and mist. We have managed to get a spot at a lovely camp site in the town of Wynyard over Christmas. I think so far my favourite place was the village of Penguin, where everything has a penguin theme - penguin signs, penguin shops, penguin litter bins and even the Penguin Pub! I am enjoying things, but I really hope the weather picks up for Christmas.

15 Dec 2012

I really enjoyed Phillip Island and seeing the penguins coming out of the water and up the beach to their burrows. It was something very special to witness. I haven't been very happy about the rain as it hasn't stopped for two days. The tan I built up is slowly fading and by the time we have been in Tasmania for a week, will be all but gone! My clothes supply is going very well so far and I haven't needed to go down in to my reserve boxes....though I am thinking I will need my winter supply for Tasmania. I am just hoping that the crossing tonight is smooth otherwise I will have to tap in to our savings and stay in the bar all night.

11 Dec 2012

I am really enjoying things now, I feel like I am getting on top of organising what little space in the campervan we have. I am also getting in to keeping it as clean and tidy as I can. I am still liking the campsite washing machines, where I am spending my weekly budget....much to the annoyance of Roger. I cannot believe how much I enjoyed shopping yesterday, even if it was just the food shopping at Aldi. At least I could get a few treats to eat. I really liked the rainforest at Tarra-Bulga National Park yesterday and today the beaches at Wilsons Prom have been pretty spectacular. I am working hard on my suntan...fearing that I might loose it with the weather in Tasmania next week.

8 Dec 2012

Day 8 of our trip around Oz, it’s gone so quickly I feel that now I can look forward to the next 12 months ahead.

The first couple of days I thought about what had we done and did shed a few tears. The thought of spending time in our van and not have some of the home comforts such as your own shower and toilet and friends who I’ve left behind.

It’s so easy to get into the travelling way of life; the only thing to think about is what to have for dinner and what clothes to wear.

I’ve found a new hobby, washing! ha ha, every time we stop out comes the laundry powder.

I have managed to keep on top of my nails, I think that I may have brought too many clothes as only worn a couple of sets, but won’t tell Roger.

The next week we are making our way to Melbourne to sail to Tasmania on the 15th December, I’m looking forward to spending time on Phillip Island especially to see the penguins.

19 Nov 2012

After a very productive packing weekend the end is nearly in sight!

Its our final week at work, will Friday ever arrive? I think its going to be a very long week and I will have to try my best to motivate myself.

But on the social side of things, I will be catching up with friends for lunch and also the Wednesday ladies. Our leaving party is this Saturday which should, as always, be a good night.

My ongoing concern is my packing; I’m still struggling with not having enough room for my clothes. Maybe I just need to be ruthless and leave some behind, seeing that half of the clothes I’ve only ever worn once.

If all goes to plan we should be hitting the road next Thursday, first stop will be one of the places on the coast that I've always wanted to stay at. The caravan park is situated on the beach and walking distance to the RSL Club (heaven).
 

17 Nov 2012

Well nearly all packed, just a few more things to put in. But where to put them? My space is already stuffed full!



 

.: Lin's Pages

.: Before we set off

I have waited many years for this great opportunity to travel around mainland Australia and Tasmania.

I am so looking forward to not having to get up for work at 5.45AM each day and especially not to facing the rat race of Sydney. But don’t get me wrong, I’ve enjoyed every minute working in one of the greatest cities in the world and the atmosphere it offers.

My only worry now is will all my clothes, shoes, bags and makeup fit into my two boxes that I’ve been allocated by the husband; this is going to be most stressful thing of my preparations.

As a person who every two weeks goes to get her acrylic nails and eyebrows done and every six weeks goes for a full service haircut and colour, this will be my next challenge of how to still look good on the road.

I have decided to get my beloved acrylics taken off and after my last hair appointment I will be buying and using my own hair products...but I will have my own personal hairdresser on this trip, guess who? Yes, my husband.
 

 

 

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