Joined June 2016
  • Day58

    Townsville Qld

    August 14, 2016 in Australia ⋅ ⛅ 25 °C

    8 weeks and 14000 kilometres..home sweet home! 💞 it was great to arrive home to the family, the house and the garden. Thank you everyone who followed us on our journey. We have a couple of future roadtrips planned and will keep everyone in the loop. Until then, take care and stay in touch.
    I am leaving you with photos of several of our home away from home setups. 💋
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  • Day56

    Longreach to Barcaldine Qld

    August 12, 2016 in Australia ⋅ ☀️ 24 °C

    As many of you would know, thanks to the power of Facebook, Haydn was treated to an hour in Paul Douglas' hydralight. He had an exhilarating time just on sunset, and got to meet...and share an intimate space with .. a man who typifies outback hospitality. We also called into see Janelle Searle, one of Haydn's nak clients, who owns Studio Exclusive. Another local, (green grocer's daughter she told me) Janelle greeted us with a big hug and genuine caring....a real kind soul.
    Back on the road again to head home...Haydn is ready to get back now and we are both looking forward to seeing the family (including Jazabel) and our friends. We could have taken the dirt road route however have decided to stay on the bitumen and go via Barcaldine and head towards Aramac before coming out at Torrens Creek.
    Barcaldine has a terrific bakery and cafe plus the Tree of Knowledge and a rich Labor Party history.
    The countryside looks green and familiar.
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  • Day56

    Windorah to Longreach QLD

    August 12, 2016 in Australia ⋅ ⛅ 12 °C

    Longreach is situated on the Thomson River, Central West Queensland. It derives its name from the 'long reach' of the Thomson. Longreach is quite the tourist hub with many visitors arriving by car and campervans.
    Haydn's work took him to Longreach regularly in the last few years and I had driven out, when Ella and Nelson were young, with one of our Thai AFS exchange visitors for a taste of the outback and to attend a wedding in Ilfracombe.
    It was great to revisit Longreach and call into a few tourist destinations such as the Qantas Founders Museum. We were very impressed with the displays and information, especially the 1944 Catalina 'flying boat', which was unveiled last year. I called in the Stockman's Hall of Fame to see "Longford", the metal horse Sue constructed with the late Tom Greer which now sits just inside the entrance.
    We ducked into see the Australian movie, Goldstone at the cinemas and wandered the shops.
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  • Day55

    Birdsville to Windorah QLD

    August 11, 2016 in Australia ⋅ ☀️ 19 °C

    We are on our homeward leg now after an amazing 8 weeks. There have been so many highlights and we feel very grateful to live in this expansive and unique country of ours. Haydn is delighted with how the FJ Cruiser has has done everything he wanted and more.
    So beautiful to see water in Lake Eyre, wildflowers in the Simpson Desert, stunning sunsets and sunrises, starlir skies, a green and lush inland area and flowing rivers...
    We've loved all the wildflowers and wildlife especially the variety of flowering plants and birds. Over 12000klms traversed... on bitumen, across water, dirt, mud, sand and rock. All manner of conditions with a special shout out to the courtesy of others on the road, acknowledging one another with a casual wave upon passing. 👍
    We had a great support base at home in Townsville plus friends and relatives looking out for us and following us on our travel blog and fb....a huge thank you. It couldn't have happened without their encouragement. Special mention to mum and dad, Ella and Nathan, and Nelson and Gabby. 💞
    (Thought I'd share some animal pics from our trip on this footprint)
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  • Day54

    Birdsville, Queensland

    August 10, 2016 in Australia ⋅ 🌬 18 °C

    Birdsville is nestled between the sands of the Simpson Desert and the gibbers of Sturt's Stony Desert. It was initially called Diamantina Crossing when Matthew Flynn built a depot there after crossing the Diamantina River and then renamed Birdsville due to the wildlife in the area. We saw some keen bird watchers taking photographs around Big Red and will be looking up some of the birds we saw on our crossing.
    Curried Camel pies, quandong pies or custard tarts with lemon myrtle are some of the local delicacies made at the bakery. Camel and horse races, the Birdsville Bash, access to the desert and outback experience are some of the draw cards which attract visitors to Birdsville. We were impressed with how attractive and tidy the town was, the generous spacing of buildings, obvious pride and genuine friendly hospitality we experienced.
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  • Day53

    Simpson Desert to Birdsville Day 4

    August 9, 2016 in Australia ⋅ 🌙 13 °C

    We awoke to a beautiful sunrise and birdsong once again...we could get used to this :) On the track by 9.30am and heading into Birdsville along the QAA Line. The last dune is the infamous Big Red, Nappanerica, given its nickname by Denis Bartell, it is the tallest dune crossed by travellers. Before we knew it we were face to face with Big Red and ready to make a run up. There are 6 or 7 tracks so Haydn chose the one which looked to be the second steepest. The track was loose and dry and we watched as another vehicle made several unsuccessful attempts. Haydn decided to give it a go without any change to the current setup. We had a small audience on top watching and encouraging us and made it to within a metre of the crest. Reversing down Haydn dropped the tyre pressure and took another run...the FJ easily nailed the dune and we were over! Yayyy!! Then it was into Birdsville for lunch and a hot shower.
    So proud of all the work Haydn did to make this dream a reality 💋. A special thanks to family and friends who helped, encouraged and supported us. 🎉
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  • Day52

    Simpson Desert Day 3

    August 8, 2016 in Australia ⋅ ⛅ 11 °C

    Overnight temperatures weren't as cold as the night before recording 5 degrees celcius just before sunrise. We were woken by a chorus of birds.
    Breaking camp, we headed back onto the French Line meeting 5 vehicles (most from the Townsville 4WD club and a couple from NT). We drove on only to have our sand flag pole sever off its mount, and in need of some repairs. Then onto Poeppel corner (corner of SA, NT, QLD), named after the surveyor who marked the border between QLD and SA in 1880, an entry in the visitor's book, several photos and on our way again.
    From Poeppel Corner we turned northward into NT, before crossing into QLD along the QAA Line for our final night. The dunes are getting larger although further apart and more traffic as vehicles enter the desert traveling east to west. We have only seen one vehicle towing a trailer, the rest have been 4WDs and motorbikes.
    We found an ideal location overlooking a swale (interdune valley) with plentiful wood for a fire and beautiful red, black and white birds and flocks of wild green budgies. The night sky has been spectacular since entering the desert! Finishing off the wine and port, we read by the fire then hit the sack with warm overnight temperatures.
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  • Day51

    Simpson Desert Day 2

    August 7, 2016 in Australia ⋅ ⛅ 22 °C

    The Simpson Desert is one of the best examples of parallel dunal desert in the world. Prevailing winds formed the longitudinal patterns of the fine sand, dunes which vary in colour and heights up to 40m high. As it is in an arid part of Australia, it's annual rainfall is around 130mm, just slightly higher than the Sahara Desert in Africa. We are extremely lucky to have timed our trip with an unusually high rain event this year meaning that there is still water in parts of the desert, and the flowers are stunning. It is hard to believe we are indeed in a desert!
    We were warned that water at Lake Tamblyn meant we could not continue on the WAA line and needed to cut across to the French line, along the Erabena Track, which we did today. From the French Line we drove to where Knolls Track intersects, and decided to drive down to see the lake. We saw the Approdinna Attora Knolls (limestone capped, flat topped hills) and what looked like several salt lakes, then came across some water but not over the road. Several cars came in the opposite direction suggesting the road was now open but without driving further it is hard to say. We pitched camp about 7 or 8 klms in on the Knolls Track.
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  • Day50

    Mt Dare into the Simpson Desert Day 1

    August 6, 2016 in Australia ⋅ ☀️ 21 °C

    In the morning we drove 70klms onto Dalhousie mound springs, before heading into the Simpson Desert. The Finke River also ends its long journey from the McDonnell Ranges (near Alice Springs) on the western edge of the Simpson Desert. Dalhousie Springs (language name: Irrwanyere) are part of the mounds which make up the outer rim of the Great Artesian Basin. The artesian water comes from deep within the earth and is estimated to be millions of years old. It was much larger than we imagined having visited Mataranka Springs in Qld and the water was a warm temperature similar to a heated pool. From here we drove 70 klms to Purni Bore where it is necessary to attach the sand flag to your vehicle.
    The Simpson Desert is 170 000 square klm expanse stretching from south east of Alice Springs NT, into SA and QLD. The first vehicle crossing was in 1962. It has 1100 rolling dunes of deep red sand and 4 - 6 different tracks or lines to choose from when traversing it. We drove until the track broke into 2 lines - the French and WAA line - we turned onto the WAA and after a couple of hours set up camp just before Lynnies Junction.
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  • Day49

    Mt Dare SA: most remote pub in Australia

    August 5, 2016 in Australia ⋅ ☀️ 25 °C

    From Oodnadatta we travelled to Mt Dare (Witjira National Park) via Hamilton Station and Eringa Waterhole to collect our satellite phone and stay overnight. On our way we were delighted to see flowering Sturt Desert Peas growing wild in the edges of the dirt road, flocks of budgerigars, finches and galahs, a bearded dragon and the odd red kangaroo or three. Mt Dare had rain (28mm) over a month ago and yet alternate routes had been carved out as sections still held water due to the clay soil and deep roadsides. We had a great cabin (brand new) and the staff were friendly and helpful. The Premium Unleaded fuel was also a bonus.Read more

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