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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  • Day353

    We made it! Can't believe it's over, but it was the absolute trip of a lifetime. Fantastic to see the family again. We've noticed they've all matured into very capable young ladies.

    Lindsay and Simon moved out of home a few weeks ago, so we had a BBQ at their place which is just around the corner. They look very happy. With Ashleigh and Jay moving into Ashleigh's townhouse in the next few weeks and Georgie moving away to university in February, the house will seem very roomy after 12 months in a caravan!Read more

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  • Day352

    We bought a car! I made an offer on this Mazda MX5 from Brisbane, and the owner gave me first option on it until we arrived. Great car! Marg took it for her first drive with the top down and got whistled at! 😂

    Stayed at Riverside Convention Centre ($20) which had a huge open field so plently of room to have both cars with us overnight.

  • Day350

    Stayed at the same free camp on the banks of the Calliope River as we did a year earlier on the way south...top spot! Had to get the laptop out and do some work for a few hours which was a pain after a long days drive.

  • Day344

    We parked the van up at Maurie's place again (thanks Maurie) and spent a week with Mum, Coral and Yvonne. Had a great birthday lunch at Pacific Golf Club with the family including Kath, Jess and Wil.

    Marg and I had drinks and dinner with Alex and had a great night...just like old times.

  • Day341

    Had a couple of nights at the Millmerran Showground on the way in to Brisbane Town. Plenty of 4G coverage here, so was able to get some work done.

    Marg was able to get her hair cut & coloured in town whilst I slaved away...not sure I came out in front. 😉

  • Day339

    Just an overnight stop at Narrabri showground on the way back to sunny Qld. Did a slight detour on the way to visit Siding Spring Observatory near Coonabarabran. There's nowhere to park with caravans up there, so we had to detach the van and leave it in a parking area down the road. (complete with hitch lock and wheel clamp).

    Siding Springs is Australia's premier observatory and is located atop a mountain affording beautiful views of the area. Heaps of telescopes up here doing all sorts of research of the southern skies...very interesting.Read more

  • Day338

    Called in to the Yass free camp again for a couple of nights, on the way through to Dubbo. We were lucky enough to get the same spot on the river...beautiful!.

    Stayed 4 nights at a private property at Dubbo (Donation only). Spent an entire day at the Western Plains Zoo which was fantastic! This one is more like an African Safari where you drive around the 6km circuit in your own car (or golf buggy, bikes etc). Great to see the animals with acres to roam around in.

    Had plenty of work, so didn't get to see much else...

    A lot warmer 11-28°
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  • Day332

    We had a great few days in Canberra. Parked the van at the Exhibition grounds (best & cheapest in Canberra) and went straight to Parliament House where we did a free tour, followed by a trip up Telstra Tower.

    We found Canberra very easy to drive around. Incredibly good infrastructure and the new light rail will be another great addition to the city.

    Great to catch up with Terry, Stephanie and the boys who were kind enough to spend the day with us showing us the sights. We did a cruise on Lake Burley Griffin, lunch at the National Library, followed by visits to ADFA, RMC and the Aboretum. Finished the day with dinner and drinks at their place...Awesome!

    Spent a whole day at the War Memorial...could have spent another day really... a fantastic memorial! We stayed for the Last Post at 5pm which was very moving...

    Great weather 7-22°
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  • Day329

    We decided to stop at a free camp at Yass so we only had a short drive in to Canberra and could make the most of our first day there. The camp at Yass was so good we ended up staying 2 nights. We had prime position on the river with our own resident duck who Marg hand fed...he even slept under our van.

    Did a bit of shopping in town, washed the car and
    van and generally got ourselves organised for our stay in Canberra.

    Temperature 5-20°
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  • Day327

    We left Berri in SA, drove through Victoria and ended up in Hay NSW all in the same day! Stayed 2 nights free camping at Hay Services Club. Great spot and the only one's here. Had a great chinese dinner at the club and chilled out before we drive towards Canberra.

    Temperature 7-21°