Our Australian Adventures

Joined July 2017Living in: Singleton, Australia
  • Day50

    Home!

    September 29, 2017 in Australia

    After a restless night with a refrigerator truck parking close by for the night, we were up at 7.45am and on the road by 8.30am. With a stop for fuel and a quick stop at the workshop on the way, we were home in around three hours. The girls were very excited when they realised we were in Hexham and over the moon when they saw the Singleton sign.

    After spending a few minutes with the animals we got the car and van unpacked and started washing. The house was spotless and everything was taken care of by Joe's niece who house sat for us and looked after all our animals while we were away.

    Over the next couple of weeks I hope to put all my numbers together but at the moment we have travelled 12,604km over 50 days and I've taken about 5500 photos!

    It has been the most amazing, incredible journey to places I only ever dreamed I would see and experience. Our little girls have learned and seen so much and Joe has loved all but the really long driving days. It has been an experience we will remember always. And one that has inspired many trips to come. But for now we're all really glad to be back. There really is no place like home.

    (Photos are of our spot for our last night and our bags of dirt/sand from every place we've stayed throughout our First Australian Adventure)
    Read more

  • Explore, what other travelers do in:
  • Day49

    Driving to Talawahl Creek Rest Area

    September 28, 2017 in Australia

    We packed up and headed off towards home, no planned overnight stop point. Just playing it by ear.

    We left Byron Bay a little after 9.30am and headed towards our only planned stop a pre organised look at another bird aviary that has a lot to do with Black Cockatoos. Casuarina Parrot Gardens is 20 minutes west of Grafton. We stopped for a bite of lunch in the way.

    When we arrived we were able to wander around and take a good look at the avian themselves. The property in sloped and the aviaries are built to suit which is what we have been looking at ideas of how to do successfully. Noddy and her late husband Neville built a beautiful collection of Black Cockatoos, Macaws and Amazons among other birds (and dogs). We spent about an hour and a half looking and talking to Noddy and getting some great ideas!

    We hit the road, very tempted to push through to get home but decided to stop before dinner. As we went through Coffs Harbour the girls were very excited to see the Big Banana but there was nowhere for south bound traffic to stop so we kept going.

    We decided to stop at the Talawahl Creek Rest Area just south of Taree. We arrived at 6pm and jumped in the van, quick showers and chicken wraps for dinner followed by Legend of the Gardians (DVD) and Brave (DVD) then hopefully a good night sleep!

    We're all looking forward to getting home in the morning! Should be about a 2 1/2 hour drive!!
    Read more

  • Day48

    Byron Bay

    September 27, 2017 in Australia

    Joey's famous pancake breakfast was the order of the day this morning along with some lazing around while we waited for it to warm up a little. We headed into town around 11.30am to go to the most easterly point of Australia.

    Byron is beautiful but the holiday traffic is unbelievable! I'd love to come back when it isn't school holidays to have a good look around. What should've been a 6 - 7 minute drive to the lighthouse took about half an hour and it was a miracle we managed to get a park for $8. There doesn't appear to be any free parking other than Woolworths in Byron Bay which we did not expect.

    We weren't out of the car two minutes when we spotted 3 whales very close to the shore. We watched them for about 10 minutes before walking up to the lighthouse then towards the most eastern point. There were a lot of people. We had to wait to take photos at the point along with many others but the view was breathtaking. We made our was back to the cafe but decided against it for lunch and continued back into town. We drove to the main beach hoping for a park (which there wasn't) but managed to pull up long enough to grab some photos of a whale playing off shore with its fluke in the air.

    Eventually we found a park close to where we were yesterday (1 hour only, $4) and we had a look in a few shops then decided to head back to the van for lunch. The girls went for one last swim and play in the water park while Joe and I relaxed and looked at the map to head home. As the afternoon cooled off I got the girls out of the pool and they pointed out a huge lizard by the water.

    We decided to do takeaway for dinner and headed into town. Joe decided on Indian, which was a hell of a lot hotter than the 'mild' he was expecting while the girls and I got sushi. We went into an amazing crystal shop called Soul Life while we waited. The girls got a couple of little things before we headed back to the van to eat.

    Byron has been beautiful and I really hope we come back one day when it's not school holidays.
    Read more

  • Day47

    Driving to Byron Bay

    September 26, 2017 in Australia

    We said our goodbyes to my cousin and headed off around 9.30am. Nothing much to say but your average freeway drive although there are an awful lot of roadworks happening behind the Gold Coast. The kids were very excited to see Dreamworld, Movie World and Wet 'n' Wild as we went past. We will have to bite the bullet and take them one day.

    After about 2 hours we crossed the border into NSW and we all started talking about home but we were still looking forward to Byron Bay.

    In three hours we were there. It really wasn't much of a driving day. We were on site and set up by 1pm. The girls couldn't move fast enough to get in the van, in their swimmers and in the water park! And it was apparently pretty cold but they were in there for an hour. We had lunch and the girls worked on their blogs and just chilled out for a while before hopping in the car and going in search of pins!

    Byron Bay is beautiful! The main town area has a real market feel to it. The girls instantly went about playing spot the Hippy then moved onto trying to work out exactly what a Hippy is. We found the Information centre and got the girls pins then went for a wander around a few of the shops. So much to look at here! We grabbed what was hopefully the last grocery run for the trip and made our way back to the van for dinner.

    The girls have finished their blogs and are watching a movie while Joe and I relax outside. It's the coolest evening we've seen in a while so I suspect will be in with the girls before too long.
    Read more

  • Day46

    Caloundra Day Three

    September 25, 2017 in Australia

    After a morning catching up with my cousins and the girls riding around on their ripsticks and scooter we had lunch and decided to attempt the beach despite the wind.

    We drove down to Shelly Beach and wandered down over the rocks but the wind really was to strong to enjoy it down there so we decided to head out to Strawberry Fields and let the girls pick their own strawberries. Getting out of the car there was the most delicious sweetness in the air. We went in and got containers and headed to the open picking field and let the girls at it. They had fun apart from being a little competitive about the size of their strawberries and Paige had to understand that she could only pick the ripe ones.

    The only cost is the strawberries picked at $11 per kilo. We ended up with $14 of strawberries which I thought was pretty good. Then headed back into Caloundra to grab some extra meat for dinner before heading back to the van.

    We had cheese and biscuits with my cousins before Joe cooked us all a very nice BBQ and a couple of drinks with strawberries and chocolate for dessert! We love it up here. It's so easy to just sit back and relax. And I've loved catching up with my family.

    Driving again tomorrow. Not too many driving days to go and we'll be home but first Byron Bay!
    Read more

  • Day45

    Caloundra to Rosewood

    September 24, 2017 in Australia

    After a quiet morning we took a drive into town to look for some Caloundra pins to add to the girls collection. As we arrived in the Main Street we found a market in full swing. We spent a good couple of hours walking around, looking at the stalls and shops. We found some pins for the girls and bought half a kilo of blueberries for $8 and enjoyed some really good Sushi for lunch before heading back to the van.

    We all shared a quick fruit salad, gathered up a few things and set off just after 1pm on the two hour trip to a bird aviary I'd tracked down that specialises in Black Cockatoos, something we have spent a lot of time looking into in recent months. We had planned on visiting a large public aviary in Maleny Botanical Gardens but decided we would get a lot more out of the Rosewood Parrot Gardens (not a public aviary but a private collection).

    What an afternoon! Barry and his wife Julie took us around the majority of their 250+ aviaries and 650+ birds. Such an amazing set up with all the subspecies of black Cockatoos we have. Nearly double the number I had learned there was. We were amazed and learned so much! After looking around the aviaries we were invited to look in their baby room. Such a professional set up with so many babies either in incubators or in cages waiting for their next feed. All in perfect health and so affectionate, and sooo loud! It was such an educational experience that we all really enjoyed including the girls. We bought a copy of Julie's Black Cockatoo book and headed back towards Caloundra, 3 hours after arriving, and we could've easily spent twice as long.

    We found a Coffee Club open for dinner about half way home and got back to the van before 9pm. Got the girls into bed and had a quick look through Julie's book before we crashed too!
    Read more

  • Day44

    Caloundra

    September 23, 2017 in Australia

    Again not to much to write about. We spent the morning working on the van and car. Joe did an oil change on the car and I cleaned up the van and got the washing through. We also spent some time look at Aviaries in the area to visit and found a great one to visit tomorrow.

    After lunch we went for a drive around the beaches. The wind had picked up so we decided against hopping out. We dropped into a chemist and got me something a little stronger for my Midge bites. It turns out they had a bit of a buffet out of me at Airlie, and I don't react well. Then we grabbed some groceries (quite a bit more than was on the list) and headed back. Joey cooked BBQ and we watched a movie with the girls whom I am about to chase into bed!Read more

  • Day43

    Driving to Caloundra

    September 22, 2017 in Australia

    We were ready to leave at 8am; just in time for for the coffee van to have their doughnuts ready much to Lara's delight! After the girls ate their doughnuts and we had a chat to a long term travelling couple parked next to us we were off to the Bundaberg Rum Distillery two hours down the road. It was an easy drive with a lot more red dirt on in the landscape then we were expecting.

    We had a good look around (it's a shame we don't drink rum) and picked up a couple of orders from home and continued towards Caloundra. This is the part of the trip Paige has been very excited about! She has wanted to come back to the Sunshine Coast since our last trip two years ago. We stopped at a garage at Maryborough for fuel, tyre check and some lunch and arrived and my Aunt and Uncles house around 3.30pm.

    After a lovely greeting from my cousin and getting one neighbour to move their car we managed to squeeze the van into the driveway in one go, right before the rain set in for the night. Doug was seriously impressed! While we were setting up Doug made us both a much appreciated cuppa!

    Quick and easy toasted sandwiches for dinner as Doug went to work and an evening of board games to the sound of rain on the caravan roof. Not a bad way to end the day at all!
    Read more

  • Day42

    Driving to Boyne River Rest Stop

    September 21, 2017 in Australia

    Not too much to say but another big driving day. We headed out of Airlie Beach just after 9am and managed 5 hours driving with only one quick toilet stop before we took a half an hour break for lunch. The girls were good and pretty much just watched DVD's and did some school work.

    We drove through a lot more cane field areas which gave way to cattle paddocks and fewer palm trees. We crossed the Tropic of Capricorn for the second time this trip as we passed through Rockhampton. Unfortunately I wasn't quick enough grab a photo but the crossing is much more impressive than the little sign outside Alice Springs!

    After being slowed down by a lot of roadworks, we got to the rest stop around 5pm. Lara was very excited when she saw a sign in the bathroom saying the coffee truck that will be here in the morning will also have doughnuts! Hmmmm We'll have dinner then an evening of games and an early night before what will hopefully be the last of our really big driving days for the trip.
    Read more

  • Day41

    Looking around Airlie Beach

    September 20, 2017 in Australia

    We woke up to a beautifully sunny morning. The girls went to the petting zoo feeding at 10am and were able to bottle feed a lamb and calf. They weren't as interested in the ducks and chickens. Then we went to have a look around.

    We drove into Airlie and parked near the Lagoon and walked along the Bicentennial walk along the beach with a view of the stunning Whitsunday blue water and the many yachts mored off shore and then through the Main Street. We had a look in a souvenir shop and bought some dresses and pins then stopped for lunch at the Sidewalk Cafe which was really good!

    We went back down to the Lagoon and sat in a little patch of shade we found while the girls went for a swim. We later found out that the Lagoon was only reopened three weeks ago after the damage from cyclone Debbie forced its closure. You can still see from the state of the trees and the amount of construction fencing throughout the area. I can only imagine what it looked like six months ago.

    We dropped into Best and Less to grab a new sun shirt and swimmers for Lara so obviously that meant they both needed t'shirts, shorts and a dress as well. We ducked into Woolworths to grab a couple of things and headed back to the van.

    The girls headed to the pool one last time and Joe and I sat and chilled out for a little while, trying not to think too much about packing up for the driving day tomorrow. We had quick and easy hotdogs for dinner before the kids headed to the free outdoor movie and we started packing up. Looking forward to an early night!
    Read more

Never miss updates of Our Australian Adventures with our app:

FindPenguins for iOS FindPenguins for Android