The time has come to hit the road again and finally leave Margaret river. Trying to remember our routine of packing the van up for when we moved from place to place took a few days, but we soon slipped into it.
We had a few recommended places to see and stay, our first was Parry’s Beach. A cute little spot and very busy, we managed to camp in the overflow parking. We arrived late afternoon and had enough time to get a little bit of a surf in. The following day we drove out to a little spot called Boat Harbour, not home, but nearly as pretty. A beautiful little bay and only a handful of people, if that. We didn’t spend much time there, however given more and a little warmer weather, it would be an ideal place to hang out, swim or fish.
We thought once school had gone back that it would be quieter in camps, incorrect, arriving at Cosy Corner, a beautiful little free camp, we were greeted with a sign saying “camp full”. After some sweet talking by Cam, he’s pretty good at that, the camp manager found us a spot up the back. Another beautiful bay, they’re everywhere down there. Unfortunately we were unable to visit the amazing Elephant Rocks due to maintenance on the road.
Driving out the following day, we met another traveling family with a daughter Rylee, a similar age to the girls and their son Nash 5, they too were heading in the same direction as us and had a time schedule similar, so we exchanged phone numbers in the chance that we may meet up again on the road.
We caught up with friends in Cheynes Beach, yet another beautiful bay east of Albany. We had a couple of nights stay, before arriving in Esperance for 5 days.
With our tour guide leading the way, Grom and Bib from Lord Howe Island (friends we’d also met in Darwin), they took us on the scenic route, past the iconic Pink Lake that is no longer pink???? Then made sure that Cam was aware that the nudist beach was coming up, we couldn’t see any white pointers from afar, so kept driving around to explore more of the coast. The water colour was beautiful and the scenery was every bit equal, we couldn’t wait to have some time down there.
Our next destination to see was Lucky Bay, another beautiful bay with amazing beaches and scenery. Unfortunately for Sprout though another National Park so a day stuck in the van for him.😂
We made contact with our new found friends, Craig , Nat, Rylee and Nash who were staying there, and headed up via the beach, around a 20km beach drive that cut travel time down by almost half and was very scenic. The weather wasn’t 100% but that made it all the better for when we climbed Frenchman’s Peak. We pulled up in the car park and looked to the top, a little daunting, as it was quite steep. At some stages I was clambering up the face of it on hands and knees, it was well worth it though, the view was amazing. All the kids did a great job getting up and back down.
We were unlucky and didn’t get to see any of the iconic kangaroo’s that regularly visit the beach at Lucky Bay, which was a shame. Cam and Craig took the kids for a surf though while Nat and I had relax on the beach, keeping an eye out though, as there was a sign saying there had been a recent shark sighting the day before!
Again there were some beautiful bays in the area, but time was getting away and we had to get back to Sprout. We traveled back along the beach, a little more churned up from all the days traffic, which made it a little harder to travel along, no open drinks on this drive.
Craig, Nat, Rylee and Nash came in the following day and we all headed to Twilight Beach. We had quite a few trips down to that particular beach, it was perfect for the girls and the waves were ideal on one particular day, even I got in for a swim and Sprout as well, only up to his belly though.😂
Next we we headed off to Kalgoorlie for a couple of nights. Not sure what I was expecting of this mining town, but it was way more than what I thought it would be. The Super Pit was huge, even Sprout would’ve been impressed with the hole that was dug. We went out to Hannan’s mine and self toured around, checking out the machinery and then at the end tried our luck at panning for gold and gem’s. Now I did find 2 pieces, unfortunately they weren’t big enough and disappeared of the lid of my mug, hence I did not make my fortune. Rylee however found some slightly bigger specks and everyone found some gems.
We caught up with some old friends that are now living in Kalgoorlie, Kent, Alison O’Halloran and their family. Treating ourselves with a beautiful counter meal at their local pub, the best value for money meal ever. It was great to catch up and thanks again for letting us park up in your front yard. Over all we really enjoyed Kalgoorlie and was pleasantly surprised by how nice the town is, it has some really classic old pubs and buildings.
Well here we go, ready to cross the Nullarbor. I was pretty excited, as we hear so much about this vast stretch of land. My thoughts on it was, a long stretch of bitchumen with km’s of nothing, how wrong I was. If you have to get across there in a rush it would be a drag, however we had planned at least 4 days and it was perfect. There were lots of things to see, the road houses were historic and were worth a look at. The Bunda Cliffs were unbelievable, you wouldn’t want to slip, the stop at Eucla and trip down to the old telegraph station was worth a look. The station itself was 3 parts gone, with some structure still standing. We took the walk out to the old jetty that was worth a look as well.
We were surprised at the amount of caves to check out for much of the trip across the Nullarbor as well.
We finally made it to the S.A. boarder and a big shock to the system as it was a 2 1/2 hr time change forward, dinner was late for quite a few days and some late starts also.
We had done the Nullarbor with no hiccups, it was way better than what I expected and it was great to have company along the way with our other traveling family.
South Australia, we’re impressed with what you have to offer. Definitely wasn’t expecting it be as nice as we found it to be.
Checking out Cactus Beach was a tease, Cam still unable to paddle with his injury, left him sitting on shore, watching the perfect surf with disappointment, a good excuse to have a boys trip one day in the future or “me time” as Craig would say.
Penong, which was back up the road, had one of the largest windmills in Australia on display, it was quite fascinating to see the different varieties on display and a bit of education for the kids.
Our next long stay was at Perlubie Beach and as we had heard it was a very popular spot, we camped just up the road so we could get an early arrival in hope of scoring a shelter and luck would have it, we managed to grab one to share. The vans were stretched nearly half way along the bay. The water was like a bath and it was a beautiful spot to camp.
We all got to go out in the dinghy for a fish, some of us had luck and some like myself didn’t. Squid and King George Whiting were on the menu for a few nights, a tasty feast for the next few days, we even added some Razor Fish to the menu one night. It reminded me of a scallop without the row, it reminded Cam of bait!😂
Swimming, fishing, paddle boarding, soccer on the beach, afternoon beers watching the sun go down or just general chilling, a little something for everyone. Another beach I’d visit again in a flash.
With news of the great toilet paper debacle starting to unfold, we started to wonder what we had missed, as we hadn’t seen the news, being carefree at the time we thought “she’ll be right mate.”
We restocked at Streaky Bay and continued onto Tractor Beach, where Cam, Craig, Andy, Ilueka and Rylee went for a snorkel and gathered a couple nights feed, Abalone was on the menu and a big fish that Andy had speared, we were living like kings and queen’s, well dietary wise at least.
We parted ways with Andy and Emily to make our way to Port Lincoln, free camping as much as we could and sight seeing along the way. We visited Murphy’s Haystacks, and also found a little pig farm that was quite cute and interesting.
Still slightly unaware of what was happening in the world we called into called in Port Lincoln for supplies and a quick visit to Makybe Diva then dawdled on our way up the Eyre Peninsula, we hadn’t been watching t.v. and reception wasn’t always the best, therefore social media was hit and miss.
We sadly parted ways with the Atkinson’s, it was great traveling with them and we’ll never forget the 5 hour card game of 500, I hope the next time we see you we’d have brushed up on our game, I’ll bring the port 🥃.
We had ummmed and arghhhed about going down the Yorke Peninsula and thinking we had time to fill in as our sailing back to Tassie was still a couple of weeks away, we headed down and free camped at a council RV friendly site at Moonta. Moonta was an old copper mining town, with awesome old historic homes and self guided tours of the old copper mines. We jumped on our bikes and toured around, it was quite interesting to see. We really liked it here and after meeting another traveling family (or Craig and Cam would say “their next victim”😂) who coincidentally knew some good friends of ours we stayed another night to have a few drinks around the fire pit, well that was until the fire brigade pulled up in their big truck to tell us to put it out, “I told you Cam you weren’t allowed”😏
Catching blue swimmer crabs was also a highlight for us while we were in South Oz, lots of fun and a good feed too.
We moved on further down the Peninsula to Burners Beach then around to Marion Bay for a night and did a day trip around Innes National Park, before heading back up the coast to Adelaide.
Friends had told us about a cheap RV friendly stop in St Kilda (Adelaide), the best Park I’d ever seen. The flying fox was a little scary, it nearly flung Ilueka off at the end 😳. The slides pretty cool and hairy to ride but we gave them a go also.
I caught up with another old school friend Leonie and her partner, it’s been great being able to see all our friends and family along the way. We headed into the city and walked around the city of churches, we even snuck into mass to show the girls. In fear of the walls falling in we left in tack.
We visited the Botanical gardens in Adelaide which were amazing and Cam done a tour of the Coopers brewery while we there too.
News of Corona was getting a little more serious and we were starting to get a little concerned at this stage as we had heard on the rumour mill, they were going to shut the boarder into Tassie and we wouldn’t be able to sail home ☹️. We plugged along to Mt Gambier for a couple of days. We had previously been here, but we sure did miss a few scenic sites that time, we made sure we didn’t this time. Mt Gambier is known for all it’s sink holes and the Blue Lake that feeds the towns water supply. The gardens were beautiful and lush, Marcee said she’d like to be a rabbit in them 😝.
The last stretch to go and we crossed into the state of Victoria, a sigh of relief with things going on, we weren’t to far away from home.
Portland, Port Fairy, Warrnambool down to Port Campbell, we still had 10 days until our sailing, but it was at the Twelve Apostles we heard the news that if we got on the boat any later than the Thursday night sailing we’d have to self isolate for the 14 days, which would be difficult in a caravan as we couldn’t move back into our house for another 10 days, so it was then we decided to high tail it to Melbourne to the boat. The web site said there were no sailings available and the we couldn’t get through on the phone so we had to hope that there’d be a cancellation and we could get on.
Well old sweet talker Cam, worked his magic again and with a cheer of excitement, we were getting on the boat that night, car, caravan and even Sprout.
Finally we were home, all be it, mind you though at the mother in-laws for two weeks as our house was still unavailable!😫😂
After 2 years of being on the road we had made it, safe and sound. It’s been great, especially in these horrible times. The saddest part is not being able to catch up with friends and family like we had hoped, it’s been hard for the girls as they’d been dying to see everyone, but soon though we hope.
So thank you to all our family and friends, new and old for putting us up along the way, we are in debt to you all. Thanks for the great friends we made from the beginning to the end, from Australia to Japan and thank you to my family, Cam, Ilueka, Marcee and Sprout for making beautiful memories along the way, I will treasure them for ever xo 😘