The Shifting Spanners

Its finally time for a Gap Year! After 33 years of working we have decided to bite the bullet, hitch up the van and do the Big Lap of Australia.
Living in: Cairns City, Australia

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  • Day316

    Had a very busy week workwise, so stayed at a caravan park at Elliston on the Eyre Peninsula. Not a lot to see here, but managed to finish early one afternoon and did the The Great Ocean Tourist Drive. Lots of bays, beaches and clifftop lookouts with some large sculptures thrown in.

    This area is very exposed, and has large swings in temperatures...maximum of 18° one day, followed by 32° the next when the northerlies swung in.Read more

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  • Day313

    After stocking up at Ceduna for a couple of nights, (we had to throw out or cook any fruit n veg at the South Australia checkpoint), we headed down the Eyre Peninsula to Streaky Bay. Opted to stay on a 3 night deal at a new caravan park right on the beach. This is one of the best parks I've seen with huge sites, fantastic ablution blocks, camp kitchen and games room.

    We did a few loop drives around the area, visiting secluded beaches, bays and rock pools. Loved Point Labatt where we saw several sea lions sunbaking on the beach below.

    Great to have some warmer weather. 11-31°
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  • Day310

    We did the Nullarbor in 4 days stopping at 3 free camps along the way. The highlight was the Head of Bight where we were lucky to catch several Southern Right Whales and their calves chilling in the warm waters. This was also a great vantage point to view the Bunda cliffs which were spectacular.

    We had an eventful drive across the Nullarbor, with average temps of 9-25°, one day of 39°, and a howling tailwind (luckily), which helped the fuel consumption. On the day of the 39°, we stopped at 4pm and set up camp, only to have someone knock on the door telling us that the authorities had advised everyone to move on as a bushfire was heading our way! That meant a hasty pack up, another 2 hours drive and a very long day...Read more

  • Day305

    Wow! Stayed 2 nights at Cape Le Grand Beach campground where we checked out the famous Lucky Bay. Had pretty lousy weather, so it wasn't it's usually self, but beautiful nonetheless. Very white sand and blue water with National Parks surrounding the many bays and beaches in the area. True to form a kangaroo hopped on to the beach at Lucky Bay to say gday whilst we were there.

    We also checked out Hellfire Bay, Thistle Cove and even climbed Frenchman Peak. This was a bit more challenging than expected, but a great view from the top. There was a huge cavern at the summit which was formed by the ocean thousands of years ago, and had openings at each side of the mountain so you could see through it...amazing!

    Drizzly and cold 6-19°
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  • Day302

    What a beautiful spot! We stayed 6 nights at a farm just outside Esperance which had toilets and shower, and happy hour on the deck every afternoon. Tom, the owner, is a butcher so we bought some organic meat off him (already vacuum sealed) for our trip across the Nullarbor.

    I worked 3 days from the van, while we had great 4G coverage. The Great Ocean Drive was the highlight of Esperance. Absolutely beautiful coastline, beaches and bays all with bright blue water and very white sand. Also visited the Pink Lake and Stonehenge - an exact replica of the original in the UK.

    Very cold at times 7-22°
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  • Day297

    We decided to take the 4 hour detour north to see Wave Rock. Stayed at a tiny town called Varley, which is about an hour south of the rock where the residents supply a fantastic free camp complete with toilet, dump point, camp kitchen and even power.

    Wave Rock was a lot smaller than expected, and really don't know if it was worth the long drive, but checked it off the list nonetheless.

  • Day295

    We had to take a detour inland through the Stirling Ranges to get here from Albany because the highway was flooded near Wellstead. Stayed 2 nights at Tozer's Bush Camp just outside Bremer Bay. A great camp with toilets, showers and a beaut communal room/camp kitchen complete with fire place which kept us warm. Fantastic wildflowers here surrounding our van...some of the best we've seen in WA!

    Just a nice little beachside fishing village with lots of beaut bays and beaches. Usually lots of whales around but we didn't spot any this time.

    Much better weather although still cold...7-16°
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  • Day292

    What a beautiful place! We stayed 4 nights at Albany and were lucky to have 2 days of sunshine before the weather turned foul and it was extremely windy and rainy.

    While the weather was good we checked out the Natural Bridge, the Gap, the historic whaling station, blow holes, the National Anzac Centre and the Desert Mounted Corps memorial. The National Anzac Centre was awesome and we spent many hours here.

    We hunkered down in the van for the following 2 days as the weather closed in. We even had to close the van roof as the wind was damaging the poptop and forcing rain inside.

    Very cold...temperature 6-14°
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  • Day289

    We decided to stay 2 nights in a powered site at Coalmine Beach near Walpole as the weather has turned wet and cold. We had the heater going overnight and I was able to get some work done as well.

    Walpole is famous for it's Tall Trees - the Tingle trees. We did the Valley of the Giants drive and checked them out as well as Circular Pool, Conspicuous Cliff, and Walpole jetty.

    Showers and cold 7-16°Read more

  • Day288

    We're getting some rainy and windy weather so had a relaxing 3 days at Sid's Campground ($10pn) outside Northcliffe. Had some work to do, so took the chance to get that sorted as well. Fantastic campground with hot showers, toilets and camp kitchen complete with fire place.

    Did a day trip and checked out the Bicentennial, and Gloucester tall trees, the Cascades and Pemberton area. Beautiful lush areas that reminded us of the southern Atherton Tablelands.

    Temperature 8- 21°
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  • Day283

    Stayed 5 nights at a private property ($12 pn) just outside Bussleton. We checked out Margaret River and some great wineries from here including Voyager Estate, Vasse Felix and Woody Nook. Also visited Yallingup, Dunsborough, and Eagle Bay where we had lunch at the brewery.

    Temperature 9-22°

  • Day278

    Had a fantastic 3 night stay at this beautiful 100 acre property. Jenny is a real farm girl and was breaking in some horses while we were there which was great to see. We also watched them being branded (with liquid nitrogen). She also had a stallion and a couple of mares in a paddock doing their thing 😉, and a pet sheep who had twin lambs at 48 hours old which were very cute.

    We checked out Harvey and Bunbury from here, and drove through the beautiful Ferguson Valley to check out "Gnomesville"...home to over 7000 gnomes.

    Had the choofer firing and cooked up a few dampers. Jenny put in a request for a fruit damper which turned out pretty well.

    Loved our stay here, and left with some farm eggs and a couple of bags of firewood!

    Cold at times 6-22°
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