.: Lin's Pages
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
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
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 40°C 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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Working the Gun at the Albany Museum
I Thought About Climbing It - But Didn't Have the Right
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
Roger on the Sky Walk
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
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
At Whistling Rock - Cape Le Grand National Park
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'
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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 41°C - 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
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
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
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
17 Nov 2012
nearly all packed, just a few more things to put in. But
where to put them? My space is already stuffed full!