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
  • Day1

    Day 1 - Brisbane

    January 4, 2019 in Australia ⋅ ☀️ 28 °C

    We stayed overnight at a motel opposite the Cruise Terminal, and they gave a complimentary lift to the dock this morning.

    Embarkation was very smooth, and we were onboard and sitting down for lunch at Waterfront restaurant by noon. Beautiful 3 course meal with wine all inclusive...we will return many times to this one I'm sure.

    Had a bit of a walk around the ship, booked dinner at the specialty restaurants for the first three nights, and then settled in to the adults only Oasis Pool deck at the stern. Met a few people including a couple from Ingham who knew Tony Panzenbock.

    Had dinner tonight at Angelos Italian Restaurant...very swish then caught the show at the Marquee. Had a few more drinks at various bars around the ship before retreating to bed as Marg was a bit seasick.
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  • Day353

    Trip Stats

    November 25, 2017 in Australia ⋅ ⛅ 31 °C

    We have been asked about costs & budgets for a round Australia trip, so here goes...

    We were able to stick to our budget of $600 per week. Some weeks went way over if we had big ticket expense items like swimming with whale sharks, cruises, tours etc, and some weeks we spent less, but over all it worked out pretty much spot on the $600 pw mark.

    The whole trip cost $30,000 which included fuel, accomodation, food & spending money. We had 122 stops, mostly at low cost farms, stations, showgrounds, free camps, private properties, national parks and the occasional caravan park.


    Fuel $7045
    Accomodation $6436

    Average accomodation cost $17.20 per night.

    Distance travelled.
    Car 41510 kms
    Van 24969 kms

    Ave fuel consumption 13.5 l/100kms
    Dearest fuel $1.98 Kings Canyon
    Cheapest fuel $1.13 Home Hill

    Favourite Places

    Cape Range National Park - Ningaloo Reef WA
    Karijini National Park WA
    Esperance - Lucky Bay WA
    Sapphire Coast NSW
    Broome - Cable Beach WA
    Flinders Ranges SA
    Adelaide Hills SA
    Great Ocean Road VIC
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  • Day353


    November 25, 2017 in Australia ⋅ ⛅ 31 °C

    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

  • Day352


    November 24, 2017 in Australia ⋅ ⛅ 29 °C

    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.Read more

  • Day344


    November 16, 2017 in Australia ⋅ ⛅ 26 °C

    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


    November 13, 2017 in Australia ⋅ ☀️ 16 °C

    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


    November 11, 2017 in Australia ⋅ ☀️ 26 °C

    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.
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