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Life on a Bike interview by Indefinite Leave

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Would you pack all your worldly possessions into a bag and hop on a Motorbike and go circumnavigate the world?

No?

Our friends Ken and Carol have…..twice!!!

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Dakar Rally finish Cairo Africa 2000

Just 2 weeks after I met Adele in 1987 I met her friends Ken and Carol and immediately liked them for their chilled personalities and sense of fun and adventure. Adele and Carol had worked together and were already good friends when I came on the scene.

In 2015, before we set off on our Australian road trip, we were able to catch up with Ken & Carol as they had a flying visit back to Brisbane. Over dinner at our place they shared some incredible stories and adventures we could only dream of.

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Kakadu National Park, NT 1985

Recently they were back in Brisbane and we would talk often on Facebook. During one of these conversations it was then when I realised I had to share their story with you too. You can see their blog at https://www.facebook.com/Life-On-A-Bike-291982764336402/

 

IL. How do you live on a Motorbike?

The most difficult thing is being minimalistic especially for ladies. Carol has had practice being a backpacker before we met. We carry most things other folks have in 4 wheeled vehicles just smaller, lighter and less of.

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Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia 2009

IL. How long have you been travelling on your Motorbike?

BC (Before Carol) I had been doing this since the mid seventies. We met in 1983 and left in 01/1985 for our ride around Australia and New Zealand as a precursor to our world travels.

First Around the World was 03/1997 to 06/2001. 4 years two months later we arrived home after promising we’d be back in 18 months or two years at the outside.

Our second commenced 09/2007 and is a ride in progress. Now in year ten, we thought it would be done and dusted in seven.

IL. How many countries have you been to?

We get asked this question a lot, do a count then promptly forget it. I’ll have to check but roughly around 80 odd. Need to keep some sort of record but we tend not to be counters. LOL.

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Hand in the Desert, Chile 2010

IL. What model Motorbike do you ride?

1981 BMW R80G/S with a Paris Dakar tank (large). It’s a bit like grandad’s axe. Most bits have been changed, some new, some used. It’s a simple bike and easily fixed. I do most of the maintenance and the range of parts available around the world still amazes me.

IL. What possesses someone to want to travel the word living on a Motorbike? You must be very adventurous and have a good dose of crazy thrown in 😉

As crazy as it may sound you would be amazed how many people are doing this right now and also how many people have done it in the past. When Carol and I first met she was already an international traveller (backpacker). I was the motorcyclist quite happy to plod around in our backyard (Australia). Our passions combined and this is where we ended up.
Crazy is an interesting word. We look at our lives as being quite normal. We feel a lot of envy sometimes because of our life style, but work hard at encouraging folks to have a go. It really isn’t rocket science. We are not particularly brave and tend not to tackle difficult countries. With the internet, research is easy and there are so many people out there willing to assist. On our ride back to Australia in 2000/2001 we were already planning the 2nd Around The World and how it would work. The variance not factored in is how slow we are travelling, dedicating more time to each country. Plus we are at the time in our lives when we lose family members. Unexpectedly, I lost my brother to leukaemia and Carol’s Dad passed away a short time later. These ‘pauses’ in our journey make us more determined to achieve the dream and ride on. Carol’s father was most enthusiastic in his dying days for us to continue our journey.

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Karakoram Highway, Pakistan 2000

IL. What do you do for shelter, showers, amenities, cooking?

We have a ‘comfort zone’ which is applied as best we can. We rarely free camp as Carol enjoys a toilet and shower as I do. In cheaper countries hard roofed accommodation is cheaper than a tent site (campgrounds) which quite often in these countries, do not exist. Cheap hotels, hostels, pensions, cabanas, motels, hotels, Airbnb’s will work for us. More expensive countries we will camp i.e. Europe/UK. Campground facilities in Western countries work well for us and prices are similar to hard roofed digs in cheaper countries. Weather will often dictate accommodation. We have camped (and ridden) in storms, hail, snow, sleet but hard roofs are the better option.

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Natures Window, Murchison Gorge WA 1985

IL. What do you carry with you?

You don’t have enough space for the list.. 😉 😉
Tent, sleeping bags, sleeping mats, aluminium stools, First Aid Kit, umbrellas, 2 x 6 litre MSR water bladders. Our ‘house’ fits in the 60 litre top box.

We each have a pannier (50 l) for clothes and personnel items. Clothes are minimal as we generally live in our bike gear. Everything is light weight, wash and wear. 3 shirts, 1 long pants, 1 shorts, silk/wool thermals, 3 grundies, 3 socks, pocket size spray jacket. Bike boots, walking shoes + thongs/slip-ons. Electric jacket which doubles as a going out jacket. We need to cover four seasons. Laundry is done frequently usually by hand.

Computers are in Carol’s case and chargers are in mine. This is the nemesis of travelling these days. Crazy number of chargers.

Tank bag is the kitchen. 5 litre folding tub, single burner Coleman petrol stove, two mugs, two pots, one pan, cutlery, Vegemite, honey, coffee, tea, sugar, powdered milk, spices, tuna, pasta, rice, although cous cous when available, is taking over from pasta and rice.

Basic spares and tools are scattered around the bike in plastic tubes (5) and an aluminium box (1). We fix our own punctures (tubes), service and tune the bike. Marvellous the people you meet on the road these days.

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Puncture repair, Brazil 2009

IL. Do you always feel safe?

Yes.. 99.9% of the time. In foreign lands where there is always the unknown we ask our hosts and locals the do’s and don’ts like, ‘is it safe to walk the streets at night’. Different rules apply to tourists and locals.

IL. I remember you telling us the story of riding through Mexico I think from memory and drug barons with weapons demanded you stop. Can you briefly relate that story?

The Drug Cartel story turned out to be different to what we thought. An experienced motorcycle traveller from Texas who travels to Mexico several times a year asked us if we had ever been challenged by the Cartels while riding. Reply was negative but he kindly forewarned us that it could happen but not to worry. Remain calm and answer the questions truthfully. On a highway, apparently little used (GPS’s and maps don’t show this), we were stopped. Three young men with machine guns, pistols and bullet proof vests inquired ‘where from’, ‘where to’, and ‘why’ then, finally, ‘do we enjoy Mexico’? We have flip-up helmets plus we removed our gloves indicating we were going nowhere. No issues, handshakes all around and a “bienviaje”. Discussions later with our experienced Texas rider, revealed that our new Mexican friends were not Cartel but possibly vigilantes fighting against the drug barons. We do not know, but, although the experience was disturbing we remained very calm and friendly and felt we were in no real danger. Our Spanish is/was very limited but the leader of the trio’s English was excellent thinking he had spent some time in the USA. This experience did not detract from the great times we had in Mexico and cannot express enough how much we love traveling in this country.

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Cuba 2014

IL. How much does it cost you to live each week?

Hahahaha.. This is another question we get asked a lot. We all have different levels of comfort so this is always a hard one. We have friends who are surprised at our costs. They do it way cheaper, especially solo guys who free camp. We have friends whose budget is way more as they don’t camp or cook. It’s all about how you travel.

Currently we are based in the UK and living on around $3,000 per month but that being said we generally have a surplus at the end of the Northern summer which provides enough for an return airfare to Australia. Accommodation and fuel costs affect us but last summer we caught up with a lot of travellers from Europe/UK who had stayed with us in Australia plus met on the road which substantially reduced our accommodation costs. This year we will be paying our way so to speak. Camping will be the norm plus supermarket food and self catering. Bring on the fine weather. In South and Central America things were much cheaper and our budget dropped accordingly. We had the same budget in North America as here but covered way more kilometres. Weather was more conducive to camping also.

Another contributing factor is sight seeing costs. Have no idea what this will come to this time in Europe. Apparently these are quite expensive so will need to choose carefully. There are only so many castles we can see.

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Closed bridge-pedestrian stairs, Nicaragua 2010

IL. What are some of your favourite places you have been to?

You don’t have enough space ..again!!!

There are a dozen places in Sth America we could name. Some are the tourist sites and some are just pleasant places few people visit. We could ride Sth America again, take another three years and 100,000 kms and find more fantastic places. Antarctica was also a huge hit with us. If you were to do a cruise and you don’t like cruises go to Antarctica. This place is special, like another planet.

We have literally thousands of pictures and when reviewing, memories are triggered to all these wonderful places.

Ushuaia, Torres del Paine, Machu Picchu, Iguazu Falls, Kuelap, Galapagos, travelling on the Amazon River – Brazil to Peru, Bourda Cricket Ground in Georgetown, Salar de Uyuni, Riding the ‘Che’ route in Bolivia, mountains of Peru, mountain passes between Chile and Argentina, following the Dakar Rally in 2009 and 2010, Gold museum in Bogota.

This is just in Sth America… Mark these spots on your Sth American map, link them up with a line then see what Google has to say about them.. 😁 We follow several travellers and their destinations trigger many memories plus show us places we never even got close to..So much more out there.

We could highlight so many more places around the world… then..there are the people. Unique experiences that are one off’s and never likely to be repeated and others where we have made friends for life. Some we do not speak their language and they don’t speak ours. Hurdles we work around.

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St Basils, Moscow 2015

IL. Why do you love to travel?

This is a difficult question. We were asked this one (several times) in front of a class room full of Namibian school children in 2000.

Our emphasis on ‘it’s all about meeting the people’ which for us is definitely the most important aspect. Site seeing is the bonus but the people are what it is all about.

This reply however, did not satisfy.

We were with another Australian couple who were doing a similar ride. We both struggled to answer. None of our answers satisfied this teenage student. Replies like, to see the scenery, animals, people, travel the roads, camp, taste the foods etc did not meet his expectations. He even asked were we raising money for a charity. He could not understand why we spent money on travel when everything could be gotten from books, television, internet, movies, zoos. Maybe it was because of the poverty they lived in and to see affluent white folks traveling was a bit of an issue.

My final reply, almost in frustration as he continued to raise his hand and ask the same question… was ‘because it is in my “blood” to travel, to explore, to experience, to meet, to speak, to see for myself.’ This appeared to please him or perhaps he heard the frustration in my voice caused by his persistence.

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Unloading bike, Cuba 2014

IL. How long will you continue for?

My quote when it comes to travel is “The first step is always the most difficult.” The second most difficult thing … is “stopping”.

We have a dream to finish this RTW (Round The World) which will take us perhaps another 2-3 years then it will be a slow ride around Australia back to Brisbane. This is not set in stone however. Flexibility is the key.

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Ghengis Khan, Monglia 2015

IL. What is your best tip for other travellers?

Traveling like we do is not for everyone. If you have a desire to travel, test your boundaries. Family ties are a huge influence. Children, grandchildren, ageing parents.

Have friends who only do 3 monthly journeys as home sickness is a serious issue. Have seen some of the most hardened travellers succumb to home sickness. Nothing wrong with that.

Be flexible with your plans. We chase the perpetually cool summer with minimal rain. Avoid cold winters although we have been caught out. Summers in some countries are cold. Carol is the weather watcher and navigator. Our route is generally planned around a weather pattern. Amazing how many Northern hemisphere folks forget the seasons are reversed after you cross the equator. If you’re looking for a white winter that’s fine but it doesn’t work for us on the bike.. 😉

The internet is your greatest friend. Information is at your fingertips and there are websites and people out there very willing to help with your plans. Amazing the number of single women of all Nationalities now riding solo around the world on motorcycles.

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Road to Exmouth WA 1985

On a final note here is that famous quote from Mark Twain.

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.”

Cheers Ken and Carol

Thank you for sharing your story with us Ken and Carol and continued safe travel with Life on a Bike :)

Safe travels

Kev & Adele

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Email: hockeys@indefiniteleave.com.au

 

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Our 18 months Budget to Travel Australia by Indefinite Leave

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Welcome to our third expenses report for Indefinite Leave, having previously provided details after 7.5 months which you can read here – http://indefiniteleave.com.au/much-cost-trip/
and 12 months which you can review here – http://indefiniteleave.com.au/12-months-costs-expenses-travelling-australia/

This third comprehensive report is after completing 18 months around Oz and we have broken it down to provide a 6 monthly comparison, percentage of expense, some averages plus a total amount.

We left Brisbane February 1st 2016 and went North in our 8m Winnebago Esperance Motorhome. It’s a 3L Turbo Diesel and we don’t tow any vehicles. This Expenses report covers from the day we left until end of July 2017.

The changes over 18 months are really intriguing. The longer we travel the cheaper it gets. Experience definitely plays a major part.

Each 6 month period our costs have reduced. Since our 12 month mark, the time frame most people do their big lap for, we have seen a significant drop in costs. This potentially means for some travelling Oz, maybe they are finishing just as they become most skilled at travelling on a budget? Or maybe we’re just slow…… :)

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It is important to read this report carefully. We really do include every single dollar we spend. Everything is included, nothing is missed!!

Usually when we produce our report we do get feedback that we have spent a lot. It’s true, we have.

We always planned to see as much as we could on this trip and that included doing tours and seeing many of the tourist spots. When we left we didn’t think we’d have another opportunity to see Australia again, it wasn’t our plan. It was to be a one-off two and half year adventure and then go back home. That has changed now but that was the original plan. It’s also important to note that if a dollar comes out of our account or wallet we record it, no exceptions, so comparing our report to others might be misleading. So yes, we have spent a lot but we sure have experienced a bloody lot too.

For the record, the only things we don’t include are our mortgage payments which are covered by our tenant and our Motorhome loan repayments. Also our Phones and Telstra Wifi dongle are not in our expenses.

Kevin has 2 phones, 1 personal phone, an iPhone 6s with Vodafone at $40 per month which provides free calls and texts plus 12gig of data and 1 for his business with Telstra, an iPhone 7, which costs $95 per month and provides 12gig of data. Adele has her Samsung 8 with Telstra at $145 per month which provides 25gig of data. The Telstra wifi dongle is a Nighthawk which costs $70 per month and provides 20gig of data.

Therefore we have 57gig of Telstra data and another 12gig with Vodafone at a cost of $310 per month with Telstra and $40 per month with Vodafone. We don’t record the phones as they are business related expenses paid by our Company.

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Wallaman Falls, Nth Qld

As you can see it costs us a fortune to run our business plus the travel blog but it has reduced a lot from when we started our trip. Most of that data is used in uploading videos to YouTube and our Social Media and if you are following us at Indefinite Leave you will have seen our YouTube channel where we now have over 150 videos of every Campground, Free Camp, Caravan Park, Rest Area and Pub Stay across the country. We do that entirely to help other travellers plan their adventure.
https://www.youtube.com/c/indefiniteleave.

Also, we are 3 adults and our son Matt is 24yo, so if you are a couple only, you need to consider there’s probably an extra 30% of our costs which would be attributed to having Matt with us. Matt pays his way by keeping the fridge and freezer full of fresh fish and squid :).

We love having Matt with us and to share this experience with him is incredibly special.

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Krys the croc, Normanton Qld

Throughout our 18 month trip we have:

• Replaced all 6 Tyres on the Motorhome

• Completed 3 full services on the Motorhome

• Had radiator replaced plus coolant sensor, coolant tank and 1 windscreen plus had another windscreen repaired.

• Have had the awning, air conditioner and roof hatch replaced under insurance.

• Said goodbye to our beautiful dog MACKS as her arthritis became too bad.

• Completed 45,112kms, visiting every State and Territory except NSW and ACT.

Our Favourite places have been:
Kev – Karijini National Park, Uluru, Quobba
Adele – Natures Window in Kalbarri National Park, Tasmania, Uluru.
Matt – Bruny Island, Darwin, Litchfield National Park

Best things to do:
Kev – swim with Humpback Whales in Exmouth, snorkel at Quobba, Horizontal Falls, Margaret River, swim with Seals in Portland Vic
Adele – Dubbo Zoo, Horizontal Falls, Pennicott Tasman Island cruise, swim with Humpback Whales at Exmouth
Matt – fishing Kangaroo Island, fishing Darwin, Territory Day Darwin, BuleyRockpools

We have flown home to Brisbane 4 times since we left, from Mackay, Darwin, Perth and Adelaide. Flight and taxi costs are included in the report.

Number of Boat Trips = 10 – Lady Musgrave Island, Great Keppel Island, Airlie Beach x 3, Horizontal Falls, Rottnest Island, Tamar River, Tasman Island, Bruny Island
Number of Ferry trips = 6 – Fraser Island, Magnetic Island, Daintree River, Sorrento, Spirit of Tasmania, Bruny Island
Plane trips = 6 – To home and back Mackay, Darwin, Perth and Adelaide. Also Cairns and Broome for adventure.
Fishing Charters = 5 – Airlie Beach x 2, Mission Beach, Broome and Karumba

States covered – All except NSW.

Our 20 favouriteLow cost Campgrounds are all here – http://indefiniteleave.com.au/20-best-free-low-cost-camping-grounds-australia/
Our 13 favourite Free Camps are all here – http://indefiniteleave.com.au/13-best-free-camps-australia/

Funniest moments – Adele sand boarding at Sandy Cape in WA and getting down low which generated so much speed she ended up in the bushes – https://youtu.be/BcilkWaEAsU

This was almost matched by her excitement of catching a big Salmon at Spring Beach in Tasmania – https://youtu.be/WEi7lszApxI

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Corella Dam, Qld

Ok now on to the expenses.

Groceries $17,664.36

First 6 months = $4673.79
Second 6 months = $7370.23
Third 6 months = $5620.34

The middle 6 months was our longest period of time on the road at 179 days. This was when we were in Western Australia where food costs are generally higher.

Whilst it’s easy to think it’s irrelevant, as we have to eat whether we are at home or on the road, the difference is what we pay. At home you know your local grocery stores and where the best buys are. The prices remain relatively consistent and you can easily budget your food costs week to week.
When travelling Australia you don’t know the best local supermarkets and sometimes they’re not available. Sometimes you pay higher prices to access necessities quickly or you may find fantastic markets where you can buy some groceries at great prices.

Then of course prices do vary, sometimes quite significantly, depending where in the country you are. Therefore costs when travelling can be different to your normal costs at home.

$981.35 Average Grocery cost per month
Groceries are 16.7% of overall costs.

Takeaways $2,610.37

First 6 months = $518.77
Second 6 months = $1544.42
Third 6 months = $868.32

We don’t eat a lot of takeaway, I’m surprised we even spend this much. We do like to drop in to Maccas occasionally for a Frozen Coke and ice cream cone lol.

Takeaway is 2.5% of overall costs

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Walkabout Creek Hotel with “that” knife, McKinlay, Qld

Drinks $2,694.15

First 6 months = $602.55
Second 6 months = $1,294.90
Third 6 months = $796.70

This is our drinks cost when not dining and not takeaways.

Drinks are 2.5% of overall costs

Dining out $6,391.69

First 6 months = $3255.52
Second 6 months = $2,304.37
Third 6 months = $831.80

The more we have travelled the more we enjoy our own cooking. We love cooking on the campfire and creating our own meals. A benefit of having a Motorhome is our kitchen is with us everywhere we go. A lot of this cost would be with the wineries we have visited.

Dining out is 6% of overall costs

Alcohol $3,964.98

First 6 months = $1,370.46
Second 6 months = $1,524.46
Third 6 months = $1,070.06

Alcohol is our bottle shop purchases. We have cut back alcohol costs when we discovered some good cheap wines, I buy my Cider by the carton, I’m back to Original Bundaberg Rum and Matt is buying his own beer again in this last 6 month period.

We are known to enjoy Happy Hour :)

Alcohol is 3.6% of overall costs

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Island Cocktails , North Queensland

Accommodation $12,763.43

First 6 months = $6,880.70
Second 6 months = $4,572.63
Third 6 months = $831.80

Average per night First 6 months = $36.41
Average per night Second 6 months = $30.87
Average per night Third 6 months = $7.62

Following is First 6 months – second 6 months – third 6 months = total
CaravanParks 153 – 102 – 13 = 268
Free Camps 2 – 21 – 64 = 87
Campgrounds 6 – 9 – 43 = 58
Relatives or Family 0 – 39 – 43 = 82
Pub stays 0 – 2 – 8 = 10
Ship 0 – 1 – 1 = 2
Golf Clubs 0 – 3 – 0 = 3
Station stays 3 – 1 – 0 = 4

Nights on the road
First 6 months = 164 nights
Second 6 months = 179 nights
Third 6 months = 172 nights

Our costs to stay has been our biggest change, we now almost exclusively Free camp. We also find the longer we travel the more new friends we make and sometimes are offered places to stay.

We sure have learnt a lot since that first 6 months travelling however it was summer and very hot so not sure even now we would do much different. We sure appreciated air conditioning at night and a pool during the day over those first 6 months.

In the last 6 months accommodation has only been 5.6% of overall costs

Our most expensive stay was Lake Argyle at $61.60 per night.

Accommodation is 12.1% of our overall costs

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Ormiston Gorge, West McDonnell Ranges NT

Fuel $10,249.73

First 6 months = $2,020.99
Second 6 months = $4,346.66
Third 6 months = $3,882.08

The middle month was NT to WA and down the WA coastline, travelling long distances and driving into a headwind. Some days I thought I could almost watch the fuel gauge go down.

The third month included coming up the middle of Oz. More big driving days with long stretches in between towns.

Most expensive fuel was Kings Station at Kings Canyon at 198.9c/l
Cheapest fuel was at the start of our trip, Curra and Bargara at 99.9c/l
Our average cost per litre of fuel is 133.9c

Cost per month for fuel is $610.61.

Fuel is 9.7% of our overall costs

Vehicle Expenses $$11,271.47

First 6 months = $3,483.17
Second 6 months = $5,600.71
Third 6 months = $2,187.59

Our first service in Cairns, in the first 6 months period, was expensive and included a new Coolant Sensor and Coolant Tank.
Our second service in Perth found we had a leaking radiator and it wasn’t repairable so we had to completely replace it. A chip in the windscreen also cracked and it needed to be replaced.

Vehicle expenses are 10.7% of our overall costs

Speedometre 81,769

We started our trip at 36,657 on the speedo and have now completed 45,112kms in 18 months.

We have been to every state and territory except NSW and ACT.

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Fitzroy Island, off Cairns Qld

Entertainment $15,928.31

First 6 months = $8,258.41
Second 6 months = $5,733.90
Third 6 months = $1,936.00

This is another area of our expenses that has been slashed. The first part of our trip included the Whitsundays, Cairns and Darwin where there were so many big ticket items to experience.
The second 6 months included Lake Argyle, Horizontal Falls and a fishing charter in Broome.
We found as we got to the bottom of Oz there weren’t such big tour expenses.

That first 6 months gave us so many memories which we will never forget. 3 weeks in the Whitsundays was amazing.

Our biggest Entertainment expense has been Horizontal Falls which cost $1706.90 for just Adele and Kevin.
Reef Sleep in the Whitsundays is our second biggest cost at $1366.10 for all 3 of us.
You can read all about Reef Sleep here – http://indefiniteleave.com.au/us-swag-pontoon-lot-water/

In the last 6 months Entertainment has been only 8.3% of costs.

Entertainment is 15.1% of our overall costs

Travel $6,389.43

First 6 months = $1,752.84
Second 6 months = $3,064.50
Third 6 months = $1,572.09

This is our costs to fly home 4 times plus our return trip on the Spirit of Tasmania. It also includes our return trip to Kangaroo Island plus ferry trips to Bruny Island and the Sorrento Ferry in Victoria.

Travel is 6% of our overall costs

Gas $590.66

First 6 months = $122.98
Second 6 months = $165.84
Third 6 months = $301.84

We have 2 x 4kg bottles and mostly we fill them at any BCF around the country. Most BCF stores cost $13.99.
I don’t know exactly but believe we get about 9-10 days out of a bottle.

Our gas cost has significantly increased as we now almost exclusively free camp. Still, it’s a very very inexpensive cost.

Gas is less than 1% of our overall costs

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Hemingway’s Brewery, Port Douglas Qld

Medical $1,275.54

First 6 months = $412.71
Second 6 months = $449.72
Third 6 months = $413.11

Since leaving Brisbane February 2016, I don’t recall any of us having a cold or flu. One of the many aspects we love about road travel is you don’t get the bugs and viruses we did back home.

Medical is 1% of our overall costs

Vet $3,456.68

First 6 months = $928.53
Second 6 months = $2,084.77
Third 6 months = $443.38

For the first 16 months we travelled with our beautiful Golden Retriever MACKS.

You can read about us Travelling Australia with MACKS here – http://indefiniteleave.com.au/travelling-australia-dog-macks/

Just prior to Christmas 2016 she contracted Geriatric Vestibular Disease and spent 6 nights at the amazing Lincoln Veterinary Centre, Port Lincoln on a drip and being fed and cared for. The care they provided her was First Class and the bill we received was much less than we expected. https://www.lincolnvet.com.au/

Sadly in July whilst in Darwin we had to make the decision to let her go and you can read my tribute to her here – http://indefiniteleave.com.au/tribute-best-dog-ever-known/

As much as it’s so much easier travelling without a pet, we miss her everyday.

Vet is 3.3% of our overall costs

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Australian Age of Dinosaurs, Winton Qld

Dog Sitting $959

First 6 months = $928.53
Second 6 months = $2,084.77
Third 6 months = $0

We had no further dog sitting costs from our 12 month report.

We always used Mad Paws wherever possible to look after MACKS when visiting National Parks or flying home to Brisbane to visit. We found them fantastic wherever we used them. https://www.madpaws.com.au/

Dog sitting is less than 1% of our overall costs

Adele’s nails $769

First 6 months = $270
Second 6 months = $229
Third 6 months = $270

What can I say!!

I am to blame after all, it was my idea all those years ago for Adele to have her nails done and now she loves them. It’s a small cost that keeps Adele happy and that’s what matters most isn’t it?

Their current colour is purple.

Adele’s nails are less than 1% of our overall costs

Hair and Beauty $250.90

First 6 months = $0
Second 6 months = $184
Third 6 months = $66.90

Adele does her own hair and Kevin’s too. A quick Number 3 and Kevin’s is done in minutes.

Hair and Beauty is hardly a blip on the radar of our overall costs. Phew, reckon I dodge a bullet there……

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Swinging for our Anniversary this year

Taxis $645.66

First 6 months = $327.59
Second 6 months = $221.00
Third 6 months = $97.07

Taxi costs have mostly been taking us to the airport and back again on return.

Taxis are less than 1% of our overall costs

Clothes $2,118.97

First 6 months = $1,149.84
Second 6 months = $785.67
Third 6 months = $183.46

We spent our first 12 months in hot or warm weather but once we reached Tasmania we quickly needed some more warm clothes. Otherwise there’s been some swimwear and new thongs required, presents bought at Christmas etc. We also had some Indefinite Leave branded caps and shirts done for us too.

Clothes are 2% of our overall costs

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Matt’s 3 big Queenies off the beach in Darwin, NT

Fishing $1,896.83

First 6 months = $912.83
Second 6 months = $307.13
Third 6 months = $676.25

Between the 3 of us we carry 10 rods and 9 reels and all the gear to match. For tackle, mostly we use metal slices and squid jigs. We carry lots of extra fishing gear we don’t need.

Also included in fishing costs is a Spear, Spear Gun, new Wetsuit and Opera house pots for Red Claw that we have bought along the way.

Fishing is 1.8% of our overall costs

Laundry $667

First 6 months = $298
Second 6 months = $195
Third 6 months = $174

We use Laundromats mostly now to do our washing. We can’t receive receipts from Laundromats and this is an estimated figure.

Laundry is less than 1% of our overall costs

Photo13
Sand Pumping Jetty at Southport, Gold Coast Qld

Photography $695.95

First 6 months = $0
Second 6 months = $695.95
Third 6 months = $0

A new lens, backup battery and lens hoods make up this cost.

Photography is less than 1% of our overall costs

National Parks $250

First 6 months = $0
Second 6 months = $142
Third 6 months = $108

We have been in National Parks all around the country and as you can see it’s a very tiny cost of the overall trip. Pay the cost to enter Kakadu and Uluru and enjoy it, they really aren’t that expensive in the overall scheme of things.

National Parks are a non existent expense of our overall costs

Miscellaneous $1,978.41

First 6 months = $442.93
Second 6 months = $980.65
Third 6 months = $554.83

Misc items have included gifts, hardware required, toilet chemicals and all sorts of odd small things over the course of 18 months.

Miscellaneous is 1.9% of our overall costs

Photo14
Sunrise at Crab Claw Island Resort, Bynoe Harbour NT

This leaves our final cost tally’s.

First 6 months = $38,217.63 at an average cost per week of $1,469.91
Second 6 months = $44,221.51 at an average cost per week of $1,700.83
Third 6 months = $23,363.92 at an average cost per week of $898.61

Our total overall expenditure is $105,803.06

Our total average cost per week is $1,339.28

We have experienced so many amazing memories that we will cherish forever. It’s been worth every cent, we have no regrets.

Hope this helps you, if you have any questions feel free to ask or message us anytime.

Safe travels,

Kevin & Adele Hockey
Indefinite Leave

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Wallaman Falls has the Wow factor

wallaman

When we left Brisbane in February 2016 and headed north, one of our must see places we had marked was Wallaman Falls, 49kms west of Ingham in North Queensland. It is the highest permanent single drop waterfall in Australia and we were really looking forward to seeing it.

As we came through North Queensland the weather was bleak, overcast, wet and we were advised against doing it in the Motorhome so we didn’t end up seeing it. With a second opportunity 18 months later we weren’t going to miss it this time but as we came down the Highway we passed bush fires just north of Ingham and the region was under a smoke haze. Again the opportunity looked unlikely however after staying the night at Ingham we awoke to a clear morning and no obvious signs of smoke filled haze covering the skies. We quickly packed up and made our way out to the range.

Photo_1

The first 20kms approx. was an easy drive at 80-100kmh until the next 5 kms where cows take over and make the road and grassed edges their home. Some move off the road quickly whilst others are in no rush so we had to take it slowly and stop when necessary.

The following 15kms is steep winding road around the mountain. We did it comfortably in our 8 metre Winnebago Esperance Motorhome in the dry conditions. We’ve driven much worse Ranges such as the Gillies Range from Atherton to Gordonvale near Cairns, the Daintree and the Lyell Highway in the South West of Tasmania through Queenstown to Strahan. Those made this seem pretty easy.

Photo_2
Wallaman Falls from lookout above

A sign at the bottom of the range says it is unsuitable for Trucks, Buses, Caravans and Trailers. I figured we didn’t fit any of those categories and nothing was stopping us now. There were some tight bends and narrow road but we made it to the lookout 15kms from the top and stopped to admire and absorb the stunning views.

A short drive further around the range and we were at the top. From here the last 5-10kms was fairly straight road mostly 60-70kmh. Lots of signs saying to watch for Cassowaries which may cross the road with one sign saying don’t exit your vehicle. Cassowaries are known to be aggressive at times although that didn’t stop Adele last year at Mission Beach when she got close up for some photos.

Photo_3

From Ingham it was about an hours drive to Wallaman Falls.

We found the carpark and it’s a very short walk to see the incredible Waterfalls from above. There are 3 view points each providing stunning views to this beautiful waterfall flowing over the edge into the 20 metre deep pool below.

Photo_4

Once we completed our photos and selfies and admired the Falls it was time to decide if we would walk to the bottom of the Gorge. Adele was talking herself out of it fast and with signs saying it was very steep, needing a certain fitness level and notifying us that people had in fact died attempting to walk this path to the base, I must admit I had plenty of doubts also. We decided to check out the Gorge Lookout which was just 400 metres away at the top of the walk down and decide from there.

photo_5

The Gorge was equally as impressive and spectacular and it just seemed to be drawing me to it. It seemed natural that I had to explore all that there was to see about Wallaman Falls and with that I began the walk. Adele quickly followed deciding to start and see how she went.

All up it is a 4km round trip from the Top lookout to the bottom and back again. Signs varied but mostly stated it to be a minimum 2 hour walk with one sign saying 2-3 hours.

Photo_6
Part of the path to the base of the Fall

The journey down began and we knew immediately this was going to be a challenge for us. There is a chain rail to the side to assist those climbing up.

As we left the very top I noticed a young girl who had just arrived back after obviously doing the track. She was covered in sweat so I knew immediately we were in for some hard work.

The first section is bitumen but gets quite steep. From there it’s a dirt track, the first part steep but generally ok. Then it gets rough and the further down you go it seems to get worse. We walked sideways between two rocks which only offered a narrow path, climbed over fallen trees across the path, stumbled over rock outcrops and stealthed along narrow edges but luckily didn’t have to ward off any snakes unlike the German travellers we met at the base of the falls.

Photo_7

They told us how they came across a big black snake on the path. They jumped up and down in the hope that the vibrations would scare it off but it didn’t work. They threw some rocks near to the snake, not to hit it but just close enough to get it to move but that too was in vain, this guy wasn’t moving. So last resort was they threw a stone at it. This time it moved along but they waited a few minutes just to make sure it was long gone into the bushes before taking off along the track again.

Photo_8

It took us 40 minutes to reach the base of the Falls and when we did, it was seriously worth it. Wallaman Falls from below was majestic.

We could feel its power and were amazed by it’s beauty.

Once we were finished at the base it was time to trek our way back to the top. With an expected minimum 2 hour return and knowing what we had in store I guessed it would be an hour and 15 minutes to make our way back up.

Photo_9
Let’s do it again…….

We started our walk and took a few rests and one stop to replace the battery in the Go Pro. All up we stopped 6 times on our ascent and it took us just 50 minutes. At one stage I figured I’d try to take Adele’s mind off the challenges of the walk and get her mind thinking about something else so I asked about our dinner plans. Adele muttered something inaudible back and so I asked again. Once more I couldn’t understand the answer so I asked a third time. Her response left me in no doubt of her thoughts. “Stop asking me questions” she demaned, “I can’t breath, my chest is in pain, I can’t talk and we’re having Kangaroo”.

That was the end of that discussion and any other attempts!!

Photo_10
Maybe not haha

We didn’t see any Cassowaries but we did see lots more cows on the way out again. We had to stop in the middle of the road and this time a cow didn’t want to move. It seemed friendly and inquisitive and eventually came over to the Motorhome and began to look at itself in my side mirror. I put my window down and it began to lick my hand and was happy for a pat. The most amazing and incredibly experience. Every other cow we’ve seen moves away if you get close.

Photo_11

Wallaman Falls is a genuinely stunning natural wonder and definitely worth any challenges in getting there and seeing it in all it’s awe.

Remember to take with you:

• Good walking shoes
• Plenty of water
• A good camera
• Sunscreen
• Bathers and a towel if you want to swim in the pool at the base
• A hat
• Sunglasses
• Insect repellant, although we didn’t and had no issues but it is rainforest.

When deciding to walk consider:

• Your fitness level
• The temperature. It was August 2017 and only around 27c the day we went.
• Time of day, don’t leave it too late
• If you are doing it on your own let others know when you expect to be back
• Allow 3 hours all up, we spent a good hour at the base

Have you been to Wallaman Falls?

Tell us about your memories there.

Safe Travels

Kevin & Adele
Indefinite Leave

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Our 13 Best Free Camps in Australia

bestfreecamp

In 18 months around Australia we have found some fantastic free places to camp.

For us, we love the ocean and therefore most of our best places are overlooking a beach. This tells you just how special our #1 favourite place is, as it couldn’t be any further from the ocean if you tried.

There are many free camps around Oz but sometimes you pull up and are just blown away with how amazing it is. Friendly people, extraordinary views, fun activities the location provides or the sunrises and sunsets that welcome you or complete another magnificent day on the road in this incredible country we get to call home.

We all have our own perceptions of what that is for us, the following 13 places are the ones that have appealed the most to us from what we have seen so far.

No doubt we will continue to add to the list over time.

For clarity, we consider Free camps as totally free and are not campgrounds, Pub stays or other organized locations. Free camps mostly have no or limited facilities.

There are no designated sites at Free camps and no powered options. Usually you are expected to be self contained with your own toilets and showers, the capability of carrying your own water, and storing your grey and black water.

All 13 are completely free, at the time of writing there was no charge to stay.

Kingston SE RV stay has been removed as it will have a charge as at October 2017.

1 - Seven Mile Beach
Seven Mile Beach, WA

13. 7 Mile Beach WA

Location: South of Geraldton, WA

About: A simple free camp spot with no facilities but lots of beach and amazing sunsets every night. A short few kms from the Highway.

YouTube: https://youtu.be/AyBicHrnhdM

Cost: Free

Max nights stay: 72 hours

Toilets: No

Showers: No

Potable water: No

Pet Friendly: Yes

Dump point: No

Free Wifi: No

Telstra coverage: Yes

2 - Cliff Head
Cliff Head Campground, WA

12. Cliff Head Campground

Location: near Arrowsmith, WA

About: Cliff Head has 3 free camp grounds, Cliff Head South, Cliff Head North which looks fantastic and this one which is in the middle. We chose this one as it had more space and good protection from the wind.

A beautiful beach with great sunsets and the campground has plenty of room to move.

When we were there new toilets had just been installed.

YouTube: https://youtu.be/71WRACdqIxg

Cost: Free

Max nights stay: 72 hours

Toilets: Yes

Showers: No

Potable water: No

Pet Friendly: Yes

Dump point: No

Free Wifi: No

Telstra coverage: Yes

3 - Babinda
Babinda RV Stay, Qld

11. Babinda RV stay

Location: North Queensland

About: This is a brilliant Free campground in North Queensland providing all the facilities you would need. A new shower block provide great hot showers for $2, there’s a separate toilet block, good water and a dump point.

Beside the campground is a great shallow creek perfect to lay in and relax.

Lots of space and plenty of good level space to park. Best facilities of any Free camp we’ve seen in Oz.

YouTube: https://youtu.be/I8Ju2MezaI8

Cost: Free

Max nights stay: 72 hours

Toilets: Yes

Showers: Yes, $2

Potable water: Yes

Pet Friendly: Yes

Dump point: Yes

Free Wifi: No

Telstra coverage: Yes. Also Vodafone and Optus.

4 - Brown Bay
Brown Bay, SA

10. Brown Bay, Port MacDonnell

Location: East of Port MacDonnell, South Australia

About: The opportunity to park with an extraordinary view directly from our Motorhome gets this one into our Top 10 Free Camps.

There is a bitumen car park with designated spaces perfect for staying the night however there is also a track to the beach and it leads to an awesome space to park right on the beachfront.

The beach is very popular with local surfers and you can swim and fish the day away or just absorb the fantastic views.

YouTube: https://youtu.be/3a2gcDfqztI

Cost: Free

Max nights stay: 24 hours

Toilets: Yes

Showers: Yes, outdoor cold shower

Potable water: No but water is available back in town at Port MacDonnell

Pet Friendly: Yes

Dump point: No

Free Wifi: No

Telstra coverage: Yes

5 - Garden Island
Garden Island, Clarence Point Tasmania

9. Garden Island

Location: Clarence Point, Tasmania

About: Located just north of Beaconsfield in Tasmania this is a great Free camp in the middle of the River Tamar.
If you like fishing you will love it here and we saw Seals playing in the River right in front of us.
Enjoy the views directly across the river to the town of George Town during the day and see big ships sail on by.
There are no amenities so bring plenty of water with you.

YouTube: https://youtu.be/puWpqsGSpVE

Cost: Free

Max nights stay: Unlimited

Toilets: No

Showers: No

Potable water: No

Pet Friendly: Yes

Dump point: No

Free Wifi: No

Telstra coverage: Yes

6 - Lake MacIntosh
Lake Mackintosh, Tasmania

8. Lake Mackintosh

Location: Mackintosh Dam, Tasmania

About: Not far from Cradle Mountain is Lake Mackintosh, a very beautiful lake where even Darryl Kerrigan would be pleased with the serenity.
We built a fire and enjoyed the incredible views, peace and tranquility.

YouTube: https://youtu.be/GhktiivXg_E

Cost: Free

Max nights stay: Unlimited

Toilets: No

Showers: No

Potable water: Yes

Pet Friendly: Yes

Dump point: No

Free Wifi: No

Telstra coverage: Yes

7 - Robe jetty
Robe, SA

7. Robe Jetty

Location: Robe, South Australia

About: This is not well noted as an official free camp site however the information centre in town made us aware of it’s availability. We further heard that it is known to be ok to free camp here.

It is used as a turning circle for vehicles so we stayed back out of the way to allow the traffic to easily use the area.

Swim, snorkel and fish from the beach or jetty. Only 5 minutes to the town centre.

YouTube: https://youtu.be/3IbygOXImfc

Cost: Free

Max nights stay: No limit

Toilets: No

Showers: No

Potable water: No, we accessed water from the park nearby next to the BBQ’s.

Pet Friendly: Yes

Dump point: No but one is available in town approx. 5 minutes away

Free Wifi: No

Telstra coverage: Yes

8 - Kangaroo Island StokesStokes Bay, Kangaroo Island

9 - Kangaroo Island Vivonne
Vivonne Bay, Kangaroo Island

6. Kangaroo Island, almost anywhere you want to stay but Stokes Bay was great.

Location: Kangaroo Island, South Australia

About: The cost to travel to KI turns many people away so the island doesn’t have the issues of mainland Australia and at this point, whilst all the information provided to travellers consists of the caravan parks and campgrounds, we found there were almost no “no camping” signs on the island and no rangers to wake you early in the morning asking you to move. We spent 12 nights parked wherever we could find the most stunning location and there were many.

We were generally able to find water and arrange for access to a dump point. From one corner of the island to the furthest point is approx. a max 1.5 to 2 hours drive.

We really enjoyed Kingscote Jetty, Stokes Bay, Vivienne Bay, Pennington Bay

YouTube: Stokes Bay – https://youtu.be/ndTU1iy15cc
Vivonne Bay – https://youtu.be/APrbzKsoXRw
American River – https://youtu.be/SNWhzh0Bdi4

Cost: Free

Max nights stay: No limit

Toilets: No

Showers: No

Potable water: No

Pet Friendly: Yes

Dump point: At Penneshaw and Parndana

Free Wifi: No

Telstra coverage: Only at Kingscote and Penneshaw

10 - Corella Dam1 11 - Corella Dam2
Corella Dam, Qld

5. Corella Dam

Location: Between Cloncurry and Mt Isa, Queensland

About: A fantastic free camp 50kms west from Cloncurry in Queensland. Easy short dirt road in, lots of space and if you’re lucky you might get a spot on the dam. Lots of Red Claw and you’ll also be visited by lots of cows.

An amazing free camp which fully deserves our Top 5 spot.

YouTube: https://youtu.be/hbcNx1Tabfs

Cost: Free

Max nights stay: No limit

Toilets: No

Showers: No

Potable water: No

Pet Friendly: Yes

Dump point: No

Free Wifi: No

Telstra coverage: Very limited

12 - Bay of Fires
Bay of Fires, Tasmania

4. Bay of Fires

Location: North East coast of Tasmania

About: The Bay of Fires Campground in Tasmania provides a fantastic free camp on one of Australia’s most spectacular beaches. Located just out of the town of St Helens where you can access everything you need for your time there.

Be sure to wake early to witness the spectacular Sunrise each morning from the beach.

YouTube: https://youtu.be/5fYV4IuSmLc

Cost: Free

Max nights stay: No limit

Toilets: Yes

Showers: No

Potable water: No

Pet Friendly: Yes

Dump point: No

Free Wifi: No

Telstra coverage: Very limited

13 - Gregory River
Gregory River, Gregory Qld

3. Gregory River

Location: Gregory, North Queensland

About: A magnificent location with a campground above the river or you can free camp beside the river.
Simply relax and enjoy the amazing scenery and the opportunity to float down the river.
This is a popular spot for those travelling on to Adels Grove and Lawn Hill National Park.

YouTube: https://youtu.be/d95fBExnR5Q

Cost: Free

Max nights stay: No limit

Toilets: No, but free toilets are walking distance away in town of Gregory

Showers: No, but free showers are walking distance away in town of Gregory

Potable water: No, but water is available walking distance away in Gregory

Pet Friendly: Yes

Dump point: No but dump point is available close by in town

Free Wifi: No

Telstra coverage: No

14 - Portland
Swimming with Seals at Portland, Victoria

2. Henty Park Campground

Location: Portland, Victoria

About: A superb Free camp and fantastic small town. We loved our stay here and spent almost a week in Portland (we left after 3 nights, was 72 hours, and came back for 2 more). We highly recommend the Seal by Sea tour at nearby Cape Bridgewater. There is so much to see and do in town.
You can surf, swim, snorkel and fish as much as you want. Take the time and explore this great little town.
The campground provides great level, grassed space to park. The Ranger came around each day but was friendly and fair.

YouTube: https://youtu.be/e5llKV3Dykg

Cost: Free

Max nights stay:Now 48 hours

Toilets: Yes

Showers: Available at Pool complex next door for $2

Potable water: Yes

Pet Friendly: Yes

Dump point: Yes

Free Wifi: No

Telstra coverage: Yes, plus Optus and Vodafone

15 - Uluru
Uluru Ayres Rock, NT

1. Uluru By Sunrise

Location: Uluru/ Ayres Rock, Northern Territory

About: Everything about going to Uluru is expensive, except this little piece of paradise. Located 10kms before Yulara you can enjoy spectacular views of Uluru, see incredible sunrises and amazing sunsets.

At night you can cook on an open fire and take in the scenery of the stars glistening in the night sky.

YouTube: https://youtu.be/OWE4gW5Eyi8

Cost: Free

Max nights stay: Unlimited

Toilets: No

Showers: No

Potable water: No. Water is available from the service station in town

Pet Friendly: Yes

Dump point: No, but there is one toward Yulara on the right heading in to town.

Free Wifi: No

Telstra coverage: Yes although I found Vodafone worked even better in Uluru

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yTravelblog Interview by Indefinite Leave

ytravel

When we began planning our “around Australia” adventure in January 2015 we spent a lot of time researching where we would go, what we wanted to see and how we should travel.

We found lots of avenues for great information like caravan shows, books and other people but undoubtedly online and social media gave us a lot of information. It was here I found Craig and Caz Makepeace from yTravelblog and we began following their adventure around Australia, chatting to them at times and asking questions. They, as much as anyone, inspired our blog, Indefinite Leave.

As we travel Australia now we still use their website as a reference. Often I will do a search on their website of a location and read their tips of places to go and things to see. Their website blog is such an excellent resource tool.

1 - meet yTravel
Meeting up with Craig, Caz and Kalyra from yTravelblog

Before we left on our trip we had the pleasure of meeting them on the Gold Coast. They are so down to earth and happily answered all our questions. They told us so much about their trip and lots of stories including how one minute they were in Tom Price in Western Australian wearing shorts, t-shirt and thongs when they received an invite to the White House in America. A week later they were wearing entirely different outfits and experiencing an incredible bloggers event at the home of the President. More about it here – https://www.ytravelblog.com/visit-the-white-house/

They have an incredible worldwide following with approx. 54,000 followers on Facebook, almost 44,000 on Instagram, 49,000 followers on Twitter plus over 4 million followers on Pinterest. Their website at www.ytravelblog.com recently smashed all their records and is a leading worldwide travel blog.

We have continued to stay in touch and watched as they set about planning an amazing adventure of road tripping around the US for 3 years.

Recently I contacted Craig and Caz who with their daughters Kalyra and Savannah are just a few months in to their incredible journey around the US called America Unplugged and asked them about their trip and to reminisce a little with us about their adventure around Oz and they gave us some brilliant tips about travelling and road trips with children.

You can follow their journey on their website at www.ytravelblog.com or on Facebook at https://web.facebook.com/yTravelBlog

Read on and enjoy our interview with Craig and Caz from yTravelblog.

2 - Oahu Hawaii
Kalyra and Savannah at the beach in Oahu, Hawaii

You are currently just starting an audacious adventure around the US called America Unplugged. How did that come about?

Having lived in the US for 4 years previously via jobs before our blogging days, we fell in love with the country and the people, and the travel opportunities. From a diversity standpoint, the US can’t be beaten. The incredible National Parks and wildlife, the mountains, the coastal regions, the range of food and music scene, the craft beer scene, the sports, the many varied cities, the classic road trips – there’s something for everyone and we always wanted to come back (never wanted to leave actually).

It’s just a great road trip destination and for us with young kids, road trips are the most practical way to travel. We always wanted to explore the US more in depth with our kids, and from a blogging and business perspective, it opens us up to a ton of new content creation, new business opportunities and new markets. When you run a travel blog, the problem is you need to travel to get new content, and we love travelling in the US, so win/win!

We’re calling our road trip America Unplugged, which is all about discovering the Real America. We plan to travel through all 50 states and unplug the hidden secrets, to go beyond the flashing neon lights of Vegas, Hollywood Boulevard and the skyscrapers of NYC. Sure, we still plan on doing all the touristy stuff, but it’s about going deeper and finding out what Americans love about America? What makes America the beautiful?

3 - grand-ole-opry
In Nashville, Tennessee

Was the process challenging to get approvals for the trip?

Yes, it was challenging, but now that we’ve been through it we’re sure it’s going to be totally be worth it.

We recently got approved for a 3 year 01 business visa which was quite the process and took us over 12 months using an immigration lawyer based here in the states. To get this visa you have to prove you are at the top of your field and have been featured in major news outlets including TV, radio, newspapers, and have won industry awards.

Basically, we had to prove that we are “extraordinary in the field of travel blogging”. Each of our applications was over 500 pages long, lol.

America is huge with so much to see and do. How much are you hoping to cover?

Eventually, we plan to visit all 50 states, but how long we spend in each state will vary depending on what it has to offer and our interests. The tricky part is being in the right state at the right time, because it is so varied it’s hard to be in each location at the optimal time of year, and some states you could visit in all four seasons! But we’ve got at least three years to explore so are confident of hitting all of our goals.

4 - waikiki-beach-things-to-do-in-waikiki-with-kids
The girls on Waikiki Beach, Hawaii

What are you travelling in?

At the moment we are road tripping in our minivan, a Kia Sedona, and staying in a variety of accommodation options from hotels, apartments, Airbnb’s, friend’s homes and plan to do camping trips throughout this summer. We’ll probably travel like this the rest of 2017 and explore the east coast whilst using our apartment in Raleigh, North Carolina as a base.

We’ll go away for 2-3 weeks then come back to Raleigh for 1-2 weeks and get work done.

But next year for the west coast we are hoping to travel in some type of motorhome or RV.

How long have you been travelling?

We kicked off this US trip on March 20th with two weeks in Hawaii before heading to North Carolina. We also recently had one month in Tennessee exploring Nashville, Memphis, Knoxville and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

We’ve always loved travel and traveled as kids with our own families, but I guess our serious travel as adults started way back in 1997 for Caz when she moved to London to teach after graduating university, and I started traveling post my football career and once we got married in 2002 we headed off on a 5 year working honeymoon living and traveling in Bangkok, Dublin, and the USA.

5 - Dales-Gorge-Karijini-National-Park-1
Dales Gorge Campground, Karijini National Park WA

yTravelblog is clearly Australia’s number 1 travel blog. What has been integral to your success?

We’ve been fortunate to create a lifestyle around our love of travel, and we’ve been at this blogging game for over 7 years now so longevity has definitely helped. I think sharing useful content that people want to read and share is important, not just inspirational stuff but informational, most people are inspired to travel but they struggle with finding the money and knowing how to plan a trip and the logistics of travel.

In the early years we were very active on social media and put ourselves out there, and were also very active offline attending events and conferences and networking with others. We’ve slowed down on the social content side of things these days, putting more of a focus on blog content and video, content that has a long-term shelf life.

The other thing is that we’ve travelled solo, as a couple, and now as a family so can talk to many different demographics and a range of people come to our site for tips and advice.

6 - Karijini
Caz in Karijini National Park, WA

The 4 of you completed an 18 month trip around Australia. How do you look back on that time?

For the most part is was amazing. To explore our own backyard as a family was priceless. Our motto is “accumulate memories, not just possessions” so that adventure definitely ticked that box and we’re forever grateful we can always look back on that quality time together as one of our greatest adventures.

It did come with its challenges though. Traveling full-time with two young kids can be hard enough, but when you throw in there running a full-time business and homeschooling and internet challenges, weather challenges and equipment challenges there are some days when you wonder why are we doing this?!

If we had our time again, we wouldn’t travel in a camper trailer as they are too time-consuming to set up and take down and become exhausting over time, and when you are time poor we’d much rather have a caravan or motorhome with less hassle plus more storage. And we would spend more time in fewer destinations – moving every couple of days is also exhausting.

7 - Broome
Riding the Camels on Cable Beach in Broome WA

What were some of your best memories of your Oz trip?

Our favourite town was Broome. We spent 5 weeks there and didn’t want to leave. It has this country town by the sea feel to it and the colours are just amazing – the turquoise water against the red earth and green mangroves, plus the boab trees and incredible sunsets and what’s not to like.

Karijini National Park was another highlight. Not a lot of travellers go there but again the colours and the waterholes were stunning.

Uluru in the Outback was special. We didn’t visit at the best time, we had four days in a row of over 40 degrees which was brutal, not to mention the FLIES, but heading into the red centre is something I hope all travellers get a chance to experience. Sure we have amazing beaches, but the Outback is the real heart of Australia.

As for cities, we loved Melbourne. The cafe scene, the sports, the many different pockets of culture, and the food. Yeah, the weather is frustrating but there’s a great vibe to the city and always something going on.

8 - Karijini-1
Kalyra and Savannah in Karijini National Park, WA

Your daughter Kalyra and Savannah also travel with you, do they enjoy the lifestyle?

Most of the time. They’re 9 and 5 and so act like 9 and 5 and miss their friends and family back home, as we do. But they both have adventurous spirits like us and like to see and meet other people from various backgrounds. When they act up we always threaten them with full-time school but at this stage of their lives they prefer this travelling lifestyle.

How are you educating them as far as school work as you travel?

On our trip around Australia, they were enrolled in a school at Surrey Hills Sydney through a distance education program, and once a month they would send out a packet of materials from the curriculum and we would teach to that.

Over here in the states, we’ll do homeschooling on the road. We’re focused on keeping up with their reading and writing, and maths, but most of their learning comes from life experiences through travel. We’re fortunate that Caroline is a former primary school teacher and she is experienced in the levels they need to maintain, what’s important from a learning perspective and social perspective.

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Visiting the “home” of country music in Tennessee

Any tips for other families travelling with young children?

Slow down and take more in. Don’t fall into the trap of wanting to do and see everything as that just leads to exhaustion and stress and the need for a holiday to recover from your holiday.

The three keys to solve are tiredness, hunger, and boredom! If you can overcome those, that goes a long way to a memorable trip.

And the other thing is to involve them as much as possible in the planning process. Sit down as a family and discuss what interests and type of holiday you’d all like to have. Try and find the balance between adult stuff and kid stuff, and if everyone gets to do something they love then that also plays a role in a successful trip.

We also think road trips are the most practical way to travel with young kids – you just have so much more flexibility with a car, you can stop when you want to stop, change direction, carry more gear, and enjoy the journey as much as the destination.

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Diamond Head crater walk in Waikiki, Hawaii

What do you love about travelling?

The time freedom, the variety of every day and not having a routine. It just takes you away from the normalcy of life and the excitement and anticipation of what’s around the corner.

It’s also the people you meet. Some of our most memorable trips haven’t been because of the destination, but the people we’ve met and the memories we’ve shared.

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What’s your best travel tip?

Don’t want everything to be like it is at home, otherwise what’s the point? And again, SLOW DOWN and take more in, it doesn’t have to be the amazing race.

Thank you to Craig, Caroline, Kalyra and Savannah. Great advice, thoughts and ideas.

If you would like to be as inspired as we were by a family who are one of the best travel bloggers in the world you can follow them here:

Website: http://www.yTravelBlog.com 
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/yTravelBlog/
Instagram: http://instagram.com/ytravelblog
Pinterest: http://Pinterest.com/ytravelblog
Twitter: http://twitter.com/ytravelblog
YouTube: http://youtube.com/ytravelblog

Safe travels around America to our friends at yTravel blog.

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Things to See and Do in Top End Darwin, Northern Territory

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Darwin in the Northern Territory (NT) is home to some of Australia’s most incredible natural and iconic landmarks and has fantastic Things to See and Do.

Even without taking into account Uluru, Kings Canyon or West MacDonnell Ranges, the spectacular and historical locations of the NT have left us completely in awe.

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Sunset at Territory Day in Darwin 2017

Darwin maintains its place in Australia’s history through events such as the attack by the Japanese in WW2 and Cyclone Tracy which devastated the city in December 1974. Despite these disasters Darwin has rebounded and is now a winter getaway for travelling southerners and International tourists.

The opportunities to see Salt Water crocodiles in their natural habitat and fishing for the big elusive Barrimundi are tourism drawcards for Darwin and the Northern Territory. July 2016 was our first time here and we loved it so much we came back for 6 weeks in June and July 2017

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Litchfield National Park, near Darwin

Here are our tips of places not to miss when you visit the Top End in Darwin.

Territory Day in Darwin is a must. It’s the celebration of the Northern Territory gaining its place in it’s own right here in Australia and is the only day in the NT where anyone can buy and let off fireworks. It’s the only place in Australia that allows public to let off fireworks.

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Territory Day Fireworks in Darwin are truly spectacular

There are some conditions to their purchase and use but it’s so much fun and seriously amazing to watch.
The fireworks can only be purchased on the day, July 1st.
Fireworks can only be let off between 6pm until 11pm.
Fines of $1250 apply to letting off fireworks outside these time periods.

Mindil Beach is the place to be in Darwin for Territory Day. We watched Killing Heidi and Pete Murray perform in concert before a fantastic fireworks bonanza took place on the water in front of us. The Markets are open and all this with an amazing sunset display.

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Right next to the stage for Killing Heidi concert at Territory Day Darwin 2017. They were superb.

This year in 2017, we shared the beach with 15,000 others for a great night.

The Casino let off fireworks all night and we could see an incredible fireworks display happening at East Point from our vantage point at Mindil Beach.

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Dinner with friends Ash, Amy and baby Ripley

Never one to pass up a dinner invitation we had 2 nights out with friends and both were fantastic value with incredible sunset views. We met friends for dinner at the Darwin Sailing Club where the Beers and Ciders were great, the food was good but it was the Sunset that stole the show. A fire in the distance provided a perfect haze which completely enhanced the sunset’s effects.

www.dwnsail.com.au
https://www.facebook.com/TheDarwinSailingClub/
Atkins Drive, Fannie Bay
08 8981 1700

The Trailer Boat Club next door to the Sailing Club is another great place for a meal. They have excellent value dinner and drinks and you can relax under the Darwin winter skies and stay cool in the breezes directly off the ocean. Enjoy the sunsets that will leave you breathless.

https://www.facebook.com/Darwintrailerboatclub
8 Atkins Drive, Fannie Bay
P: 08 8981 6749

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The Trailer Boat Club was a great place to enjoy dinner with friends from home who were visiting Darwin


Seafood on Cullen
at Cullen Bay is an enormous smorgasbord with a huge range of delicious food for $40 per person. This is the best smorgasbord I’ve been to in many years. It’s also located directly on the beach with amazing sunset views to enjoy with your dinner.

You’ll need to arrive very early or book to get the best seats in the house though, it’s always busy here.

www.facebook.com/seafoodoncullen

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The Road Kill Cafe at Mindil Markets in Darwin

An evening out at the Mindil Markets at Mindil Beach is a must whenever you visit Darwin. There’s an incredible array of stalls and so much choice for food. There’s also plenty of entertainment and once the sun begins to set the beach right behind the markets becomes a sea of faces ready to watch another incredible sunset.

There’s heaps of parking and lots of stalls. Make sure you visit the Mindil Markets.

www.mindil.com.au

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Chilling out at Stokes Hill Wharf

Stokes Hill Wharf was our first night out when we were in Darwin. We sat on the wharf edge watching the boats as they went by, the big fish that swam below and as the sun set we had front row seats to seeing day turn to night. Darwin was quickly becoming a location we were falling in love with.

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The Darwin Wave Pool is very popular

The Wave Pool and Darwin Lagoon were close by at Stokes Hill Wharf and we made sure we enjoyed a swim. It was a public holiday and plenty of locals were enjoying another fantastic winter day in Darwin.

The lagoon is safe to swim and there’s floating pontoons and balls to climb on and enjoy as well.

The Wave Pool is $7 per day
The Floating Pontoons are $15 per hour

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Inside the Darwin Military Musuem

The Darwin Military Museum is fascinating. It recounts the war times for which Darwin was at the coal face.

The Theatrette provides raw live video of the day Darwin was bombed by the same Japanese forces that attacked Pearl Harbour. Did you know more bombs were dropped on Darwin than Pearl Harbour?

Inside are Timelines, details, photos and videos, interactive displays and so much information.

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Outside, there are many artifacts and equipment from WWII including canons, vehicles, bunkers, weaponry and lots more.

The Darwin Military Museum is an ideal place to visit to learn more about the history of when war came to our Country.

Cost to visit is
$18 Adults
$8 Children 5-16 years old
Free Children under 5 years old

www.darwinmilitarymuseum.com.au

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The Underground Oil Storage Tunnels in Darwin

Near Stokes Wharf is the Underground Oil Storage Tunnels where it was planned to store oil during the war period. After many issues, by the time the tunnels were ready the war was over but it’s a fascinating insight into those times with a lot of information.

We enjoyed our visit here and reading all about when the war came to our shores here in Australia.

$8 Adults
$7 Seniors
www.waterfront.nt.gov.au/darwin-waterfront-precinct/history/world-war-ii-tunnells/

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Entering Kakadu

A visit to Darwin has to include one of Australia’s most iconic and historical locations of Kakadu. Give yourself 3-5 nights and spend time exploring this amazing region.

There are so many highlights to discover in Kakadu including:

Fogg Dam
Adelaide River Jumping Croc Cruise. Meet big bad Brutus with a missing leg thanks to a fight with a Bull shark
Bark Hut. Enjoy lunch and a drink and meet the Emus and animals.
Window on the Wetlands. Check out the amazing informative display and head upstairs for the awesome view out over the wetlands of Kakadu.
Corroboree Park Tavern. See Buffalo, Crocs, pigs, kangaroos and more
Cahills Crossing. Access from Kakadu to Ahnem Land. If it’s flooded, forget it. Watch as the Barrimundi try to cross the shallow waters from one side to the other and Salt Water crocodiles wait for their meal on the other side. No swimming!!
Ubirr. Incredible art work on the rocks here at Ubirr. Climb to the top for incredible views –https://youtu.be/9DHT1Zq1IO0

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Standing on top of Ubirr

Jabiru. The main township of Kakadu.
Crocodile Hotel. From above the Hotel forms the shape of a crocodile. Enter the foyer and see the incredible aboriginal artworks.
Yellow River Water Cruises. Discover these amazing wetlands teaming with wildlife.
Gunlom Falls. A generally safe location to swim with magnificent naturally formed infinity pool.
Jim Jim Falls. An amazing plunge waterfall which falls into a pool below. It is registered on the Australian National Heritage List

These are just a few of the many amazing places to see in Kakadu.

Also take a closer look at the incredible termite mounds, which are such a common part of the landscape.

You will need a National Parks pass to enter Kakadu.

Cost to enter Kakadu
$40 per adult
$20 per child 5-15 years old
Free for children 0-4 years old
$100 family pass
Northern Territory residents are free
Tickets provide access throughout the Dry Season 1st April – 31st October.
* prices as at 2017

www.kakadu.com.au

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Florence Falls in Litchfield National Park

Litchfield National Park is nearby to Kakadu and provides an entirely different experience.

With great swimming holes and fantastic waterfalls Litchfield is perfect for swimming but it’s still important to remain croc aware.

Magnetic Termite Mounds. The magnetic termite mounds are unique to the area. You will notice they all face North/ South direction to provide the best shelter from the harsh climatic conditions. These mounds hide an amazing and complex engineering design under the clay. This clay is also so rock hard it has been broken down and used to build homes.

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Buley Rockholes, Litchfield National Park

Buhley Rockholes are a cascading water flow over the rocks, in and out of small but deep rock pools. It’s a very popular and fun location for cooling off in the top end.
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Florence Falls. After a walk along the track looking down into the valley below we took a walk down 135 steps to access Florence Falls. This was our favourite location in Litchfield NP. An incredibly beautiful and tranquil location to swim and have lots of fun.

Wangi Falls, another ideal swimming hole with flowing waterfalls. It was closed the day we were there but if you can, take a walk to the lookout above.

Litchfield is truly fabulous with so much fun things to see and do. We don’t compare it to Kakadu, these are two very different locations and both are exceptional.

Read more about Kakadu and Litchfield National Parks here –http://indefiniteleave.com.au/kakadu-litchfield-national-park-motorhome/
We recommend staying at the Florence Falls Campground in Litchfield – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OvKZ1E-ytrw

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The amazing Katherine Gorge

Katherine is a 3 hour drive south of Darwin and is the turnoff from the Stuart Highway in the Northern Territory to head west to Western Australia.
Katherine is also home to Katherine Gorge which is best seen by tour or kayak, we chose the 3 Gorge tour.

Katherine Gorge is made up of 11 Gorge’s of which 8 are accessible. Most common however are the first 3 which remain the easiest to access. Tour guides can really make or break a tour and we were lucky this day to have Chris as our guide, he was funny, informative and provided fantastic insights via his own aboriginal heritage.

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Swimming in Katherine Gorge

The tour guides explained the aboriginal art in the rocks which were thousands of years old. From the first Gorge we made our way further by boat to another Gorge and were taken past amazing cliff face formations, caves, sandy beaches and on to the third Gorge on our tour.

We saw fresh water crocodiles throughout the Gorge so when it came time for a swim some were reluctant but not us. The opportunity to swim in Katherine Gorge doesn’t happen every day so we made the most of the fresh cool waters.

Visiting Katherine Gorge is an incredible experience you won’t forget.

Tour cost $129 – Adults
$63.50 – Children

www.nitmiluktours.com.au

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Bitter Springs, Mataranka

Mataranka is best known for Bitter Springs, a slow flowing river of hot thermal springs with a constant temperature of over 30 degrees Celsius.

Take a pool noodle with you and float for a few hundred metres downstream enjoying the crystal clear, warm waters. Be warned, the walk back can seem quite cool after your warm “bath” in the hot springs.

The Thermal Pools are further upstream and provide two pools to relax and enjoy. These natural springs have crystal clear waters and are a warm temperature all year round.

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Race Slides at Palmerston Waterpark, awesome fun.

Palmerston is an outer suburb of Darwin and has a fantastic free Water Park. There are small wading pools for the kids and a giant waterslide for those a little bigger. We had a great time racing to the bottom on the waterslide.

My Tip: Keep the front of your mat up to increase your speed, keep your elbows tucked in and hold on.

The waterpark is closed on Tuesdays. The slides open at 2pm.

More details and opening times here – https://nt.gov.au/leisure/sport/find-a-sports-facility/palmerston-water-park

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Leanyer Waterpark is fantastic

Leanyer is home to another Free water park in Darwin. This one has a pool, fun park and 3 big water slides.

The Leanyer Recreation Park is about 10kms east from Darwin and offers great fun for all the family. Lifeguards are on duty at all times, there’s lots of shade and area to enjoy a picnic lunch.

Leanyer Recreation Park is closed on Mondays.

More details and opening times here – https://nt.gov.au/leisure/sport/find-a-sports-facility/leanyer-recreation-park

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Sunset at Nightcliff Jetty, Darwin

Nightcliff Jetty is a perfect place to cast a line, enjoy dinner or view another magnificent Darwin sunset.

Matt caught a few squid and no doubt we will go back for more. You can buy fish and chips from the food vans or utilise the BBQ’s in the park to enjoy dinner or a Sunday lunch. The Nightcliff pool is an easy walking distance away too.

This was our chill place, where we would go to relax. For this reason it’s where we went and sat for hours immediately after we had MACKS put to sleep. We sat here for hours, reflecting, shedding lots of tears and consoling each other. For us, it was the perfect place.

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Swimming in Berry Springs

Berry Springs is just 57kms from Darwin and only 38kms from Palmerston and is a genuine must see.

A small waterfall of beautiful clear spring waters flow into a big open pool.

It is generally safe to swim at Berry Springs during the dry season with more precautions to be taken during the big wet.
* Late July 2017, Berry Springs has just been closed for 5 days due to a 1.6m Saltwater Crocodile being spotted.

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Under the waterfall in Berry Springs

Take a noodle with you and use the current flow from the waterfall to take you downstream to the big pool perfect for cooling off.

Enjoy lunch at the BBQ’s and many tables available. Have some chocolate covered mango ice cream from the kiosk or home made creamy passionfruit ice cream, both are ideal on a warm day in the Top End.

You ‘ll really enjoy a visit to Berry Springs and you only need a few hours from Darwin.

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The view of the beach from the deck at Crab Claw Island Resort

Crab Claw Island Resort is a short hour and a half drive west of Darwin through Berry Springs. The last 15kms is dirt road but it’s well graded and a really easy drive regardless if you are in a Motorhome or Caravan.

This is a fairly remote region so don’t expect 5 stars. This is a perfect location if you like to relax by the beach with a cocktail and love fishing.

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Sunrise from the beach at Crab Claw Island Resort

There are 2 pools plus a great restaurant and bar overlooking Bynoe Harbour. You can hire a boat for half a day or a full day and explore the area by water and go crabbing and fishing. Wallabies, Peacocks and Scrub Turkeys have all come wandering through our campsite.

Don’t enter the ocean waters here, there can be big crocs and big sharks very near the shore. In fact, we saw both just a short cast of our line into the water. Stay on the beach and you’ll be safe.

The Resort campground is surrounded by mangroves so make sure you bring your insect spray.

www.crabclawisland.com.au
https://www.facebook.com/CrabClawIslandResort/

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Dundee Beach

Dundee Beach is a 45 minute drive further past Crab Claw Island Resort. This is a very small fishing town which is very popular with boaties. Offshore are a number of reefs and perfect fishing environments.

The beach is beautiful and the sunsets spectacular. Dundee Lodge is located right at the beach and offers accommodation as well as pub meals and drinks to enjoy for lunch.

The road to Dundee Beach is fully sealed and an easy drive from Darwin.

 

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Matt with one of his hauls of Queenies

Looking for a great location to go fishing?
The fishing in Darwin is superb. Directly from the beach at East Point Matt has caught Queenfish, Mackerel, GT’s and more.

Matt fished sunrise and sunset and flicked silver metal lures. Low tide is best as it allows you to get out past the rocks, but beware of the fast incoming tide.

If you have a boat or can access one the offshore fishing is sensational with many reefs located all around the harbour.

What do you love about Darwin?

Tell us in the comments section below.

Thanks
Kevin & Adele
Indefinite Leave

Facebook: www.facebook.com/indefiniteleave

Website: www.indefiniteleave.com

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Email: hockeys@indefiniteleave.com.au

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Travelling Australia is far More than just Adventures

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It normal to start off on your adventures of travelling Australia with big beady wide eyes looking for the sights, thinking of the places you will go and the incredible things you will see. You will be expecting to see amazing beaches, massive Gorges, climb mountains, swim, play and meet some wild animals.

But you probably don’t realise all of what is in store for you.

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When you leave to Road Trip around Oz be ready to challenge all the ways you currently think.

This life takes you on a journey beyond the sightseeing and adventures. It will challenge you in ways you never expected.

Lets take a look at how the experience of your trip may change you.

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• You will learn a different perspective of life. To live life for an extended period of time in a small confined space, lots will change.

• It will change the way you feel about your possessions. You really don’t need all that “stuff” you think you do when at home.

• You will make so many friends, some new friends with personalities you may not have befriended if you were home. That’s one way you’ll know you’ve grown.

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• You will experience so much kindness.

• You will realise, regardless what the media portrays, good people are the majority.

• You will learn new skills.

• You will have the time of your life.

• You’ll come face to face with big, wild, dangerous Australian animals you’ve had nightmares about and you’ll surprise yourself with how close you’ll get and survive.

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• Your relationships will likely face new challenges but you’ll face them together.

• You’ll realise your children only ever really wanted one gift from you…….your time.

• Stress will leave you so quickly.

• Happy Hour will start much earlier.

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• You’ll learn to budget better than ever before.

• You’ll discover places you’d never imagined.

• You’ll be amazed at the simple pleasures of a sunrise and sunset and the beauty of stars at night.

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• You’ll fall in love with new places, new things and new people. Mine is a 4yo girl named Millie. She is so gorgeous and her parents Jason and Denise are now valued friends.

• To drive around Australia challenges your body, mind and soul far more than you imagined.

• You’ll come across people with all sorts of talents, skills, crazy stories and abilities to entertain.

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• The adventures create so many lifetime memories.

• It’s an escape far from life as you know it.

• Discover more than just a country. Discover a new you. You’ll be wiser, kinder, more grateful, more aware and your family will be richer for the experiences you share.

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• You’ll meet some people over and over. Maybe you’ll find such great new friends you will travel together for months.

• Wonderful people you have just met will invite you to come and stay in their homes

• You will cross oceans and deserts, mountains and caves and each will leave you inspired, amazed and yearning for more

• You may never go home

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Don’t live life to be happy, live life to be exhilarated.

You deserve everything life can offer you.

Has travelling changed you?

Tell us how it has effected you in the comments section below.

Safe Travels.

Kevin & Adele
Indefinite Leave

Facebook: www.facebook.com/indefiniteleave

Instagram: Indefinite_leave

Website: www.indefiniteleave.com

YouTube: www.youtube.com/c/indefiniteleave

Twitter: IndefiniteLeav3

Email: hockeys@indefiniteleave.com.au

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A Tribute to MACKS the Best Dog I’ve ever known

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If you’ve ever owned a dog and grown to love it then you’ll understand the devastation we are feeling. We  just made the decision that it was time to let our 15 and a half year old, incredibly beautiful Golden Retriever, be relieved from the challenges and difficulty of her arthritis and uselessness of her back legs.

Our sons were just 7 and 9 when MACKS joined our family in January 2002. To put that in perspective, in January 2002
Ansett was still flying in Australia,
Kelly Clarkson won the first series of American Idol and
Sanyo released the first ever mobile phone with a camera built in.

MACKS has been with us a long time.

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MACKS as a puppy

There hasn’t been much time in my life that I can remember not having a 4 legged mate. Rusty was my first dog growing up and once Adele and I married I brought Snowy home from the markets unbeknown to Adele. I remember arriving back with our van loaded with the furniture I used to make and sell back in those days. It was fully loaded and I asked Adele to open the sliding door and help unload. As she pulled out a box there was this little white ball of fluff. Adele wasn’t fussed on dogs but from that day on she was sold. Snowy lasted until he was 9 and a half and died just a month after moving into our current home.

It took us a full 12 months before we got over losing him and came to the conclusion it was time to find another “Man’s Best Friend”. We spent weeks searching, looking specifically at Golden Retrievers.

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A very young MACKS.

MACKS came from a home at Narangba in Brisbane. I’ve always felt she found us, not we found her. There was an instant connection, we were in love the moment we saw her. She was only weeks old and it was hard having to wait until she was 8 weeks old to bring her home with us.

Her name is all our initials because we are hopeless with coming up with names but it turned out to be perfect. Whenever someone asked what is her name we would say “MACKS, but it’s spelt with all our initials”.
Matthew
Adele
Cameron
Kevin
Snowy, our previous dog.

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Running on the beach near Dunsborough WA. Only 1 foot on the sand.

Each time we would get to explain her name it gave us a sense of pride and positioned her as being a paramount part of our family.

With 2 young boys the yard always had a tennis ball about and MACKS liked to chew them to bits. She also learnt to chase the ball and bring it back, I’d throw a ball and this was how it went.

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First throw, bounds away running after the ball and brings it back
Second throw, runs to the ball, picks it up, brings it back
Third throw, jogs to the ball, picks it up, walks halfway back, gets distracted by the smell of a flower or a passing butterfly, stops for a moment and then brings the ball back.

Fourth throw, jogs to the ball, looks at it, sniffs around, picks up the ball, slowly walks about some more. I have to call her and encourage her, where’s the ball MACKS, good girl, bring the ball. Slowly she’d bring back the ball.
Fifth throw, wanders off towards the ball, does a pee in the corner, has a wander around, picks up the ball, drops it again, looks around some more, picks up the ball, sits down and begins to chew it. I go over and grab the ball.

Sixth throw, she would look at me, look at the ball, look back at me as if to say, You keep throwing it so you go get it……..
And that was that.
Time for me to pour a drink.

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Flooded waters in the park at home always provided MACKS a lot of fun

I had 2 rules with MACKS. No jumping, no licking.

Given I had a Real Estate career at the time I mostly wore black pants and her white hair would cling to my trousers or her sometimes muddy paws would make a mess of my clothes, so jumping up wasn’t allowed.
The other one was licking, I really don’t like dogs that lick. Have you seen what your dog licks with their tongue. That thing wasn’t coming anywhere near me.

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She just loved chasing sticks in the water.

Now Golden Retrievers are known for being a little dopey, it’s part of their charm, but they are so easy to train. Want to train a Golden Retriever, just use food.
Confirmation of a good act, just provide a biscuit.
A negative act is a firm No and no rewards.
Pretty bloody easy.
MACKS was no different, so easy to train.

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Adele and MACKS on her last time at the beach at Lee Point in Darwin

While I was MACKS master and she knew that, it was always clear Adele and her had a special bond. It’s a girl thing. MACKS was always a very gentle dog, kind, affectionate and eager to please. Her beautiful nature gelled perfectly with Adele and when she was young, if she saw Adele and I hug she would bark and glare with an anxious look of concern. She was definitely in protection mode. She may have known her place in the pecking order but I certainly knew mine too.

Our home in Brisbane backs onto a park and when we lost our last dog Snowy due to heartworm we chose to bury her in the backyard at the gate to the park to symbolise her role in protecting the property. It was intended MACKS would be buried on the opposite side of the gate entrance.

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Like all Golden Retrievers, MACKS loved the beach

We didn’t expect MACKS would last this long. Golden Retrievers are prone to cancer and often lose that battle somewhere between 11-13 years of age. Luckily when MACKS got cancer we caught it in time and it was successfully cut out. Still she seemed to be slowing down in the last year or two at home so when we were asked when are you leaving on your Trip around Australia our answer was “after MACKS is gone”.

As months passed by and MACKS was still with us we quickly had to come up with Plan B. If we took her with us though, she wouldn’t get to be buried at home. As I thought about it I figured what better way for her to go then by spending whatever time she had left in close proximity to us and she could have endless swims at the beach. It was obvious she had to come with us, I knew she was going to love it.

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MACKS at Rainbow Beach, Qld

Our first stop was Rainbow Beach and wow, she instinctively knew what she wanted. She had never been to a surf beach ever. We had taken her to creeks and rivers a few times but never to surf and when she saw the sand and the ocean she began dragging me with so much excitement.

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Her absolute love, passion and enthusiasm for the beach never waned, right up until her last Saturday, when she dragged her failing hind legs across the sand until she made it to the water.

It was sad to watch and it was then that I knew her time had come. It was time for me to face the agony of letting go of the most beautiful, courageous, loving animal I’d had the privilege to meet.

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Everyone has always loved MACKS. She is so popular.

Each time she was dog sat, our greatest concern was they might not give her back. On numerous occasions we were asked, can I keep her?

In Agnes Water we had to cancel a dog sitter as our neighbor at the Caravan Park insisted they had to look after her for the day. The couple took her to the beach and fed her steak while we went on the Lady Musgrave Island tour.

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On the lounge during a storm

MACKS didn’t like loud noises. Storms and fireworks would make her frantic. She knew she wasn’t allowed on the lounge on our back deck but that’s where we’d find her if there was thunder about. One New Years Eve we were out and received a very late night call to say our dog was out and had been found by someone. She had burst her way out and gone to visit neighbours down the street where she felt safe with people around. Again, they loved her.

There’s just so many stories of people’s affection of MACKS to tell.

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At Port Lincoln Vet with Geriatric Vestibular Disease

The dose she had of Geriatric Vestibular Disease just before Christmas last year really aged her. She no longer looked like a young puppy after that. It was a harrowing time and we are quite amazed she has lasted a further 6 months.

I woke up in the morning and got out of bed. As MACKS would always do, she figured that meant it was time for her to be fed. She tried to get to her feet and immediately crashed to the floor with a thud. Further attempts she made to stand up were in vain, she couldn’t move and within a minute she knew she was in trouble. She trembled in fear, a look of terror was in her eyes. I held her head as her eyes looked at me so scared. None of us knew what was happening, I just tried to keep her calm.

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Recovering at caravan park in Port Lincoln

We were in Ceduna in South Australia and there were no vets in town. We googled and found the closest vet was an hour away in Streaky Bay. We quickly packed everything and took off, Adele in the back with MACKS all the way. I looked in the mirror a few times to see the tears streaming down Adele’s face. Adele thought she’d had a stroke.

We arrived in Streaky Bay and drove straight to the Vet, we were so relieved MACKS was still alive. To our horror we found a note on the door, the clinic was only open a few days a month, we would need to drive another 4 hours to Port Lincoln. We filled with fuel and asked if there was another Vet closer but they told us that’s where they have to go too.

What a nightmare.

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MACKS enjoying the beach at Moonta SA

For 4 more hours we drove all the way to Port Lincoln where we came across what must be the best Vet Clinic in Australia. They were amazing. Immediately they diagnosed her with Geriatric Vestibular Disease and put her on a drip. For the next 6 days she was cared for by the Vet staff and force fed water and food. We visited as much as we could.

After 6 days she wasn’t responding but clearly we could tell she liked our visits. It was decided she might respond to being with us and back in familiar surroundings. The Vet said it was the most severe case they had ever seen. We took her back on the Monday and we would attempt to force feed her but she just fought back. She hated it!!

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MACKS in the flooded creek with our son Cameron

On the Wednesday we went back to the Vet to let them know we hadn’t had any luck and it was decided that if she hadn’t begun to eat and drink by Friday we would need to “consider her options”. We all knew what that meant.

One suggestion they provided was to sweeten her water with a little cordial and it was the first thing we did when we got back. My next thought was instead of providing her nice food like chicken and meat, go for what she knew as a treat. I was having some biscuits and dip and knew how much she loves them so I offered her a chicken crimpy biscuit. It was a winner!!

Saved by a Chicken Crimpy!!

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She then drank some cordial and that night enjoyed some of our roast dinner. We were delirious with excitement. In the morning it was our scrambled bacon and eggs which got shared. She was back on the road to recovery and the Friday deadline was thwarted.

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Even though she was so sick, being in the water at Moonta made her so happy

It took weeks to recover. We left Port Lincoln to Moonta and the next time we took her for a swim she fell over and ended up upside down under the water. I had to quickly grab her. It happened 2 more times but we knew each time to be close by and we were right beside her. Slowly she got her balance back but ultimately it had taken a big toll. Life for MACKS just got that little tougher with each day from that moment on.

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We all ate on the floor together for her last dinner

Her last 24 hours we tried to make as special as possible. We cooked for 4 that night, she ate what we ate and then we sat on the floor and ate dinner with her. We ended up sharing parts of our meals with her as well. She had a feast.

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Bathed and drying in the sun

We gave her a bath the next morning and got her spotlessly clean. Then we sat together in the sun, letting her dry out. MACKS was no fan of the bright sunlight so I put my sunglasses on her. Then we decided she would wear my Indefinite Leave cap, to symbolise she would always be with us on our adventures no matter what.

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Ice creams all round

Next it was a trip to Maccas. Debbie has been following us since the beginning of our trip and had fallen in love with MACKS as she had an identical Golden Retriever herself. A photo of us at an ice cream shop in Robe brought a comment from Debbie, did we buy MACKS one too? We had never thought of her having an ice cream, so her last morning was a trip to Maccas for an ice cream cone.

She wasn’t sure of it at first, she sniffed it but I think she thought she’d get in trouble if she took it. I kept offering it to her and then when I said, it’s ok have it MACKS, she took a lick and she loved it. She licked it down to the cone and then I put it on the ground and she swallowed it. She was so excited.

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It was almost time to make the Vet appointment but Adele had noticed a park with a lake and fountain close by and she decided she wanted some last photos there. At first MACKS trembled from the sound of the fountain and water propelled into the air. She was so gentle natured and scared easily. We took lots of photos, gave her hugs and kisses and she was the brightest we had seen her in awhile. All these treats and being near water gave her zest once again but her legs were struggling as bad as ever. We had to carry her back to the Motorhome.

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For the rest of the afternoon we sat at Nightcliff Jetty in Darwin and let the tears flow.

I’ve never loved an animal this much. She really was one of a kind.

We will always miss you MACKS and we will always remember you.

Love always,
Matthew
Adele
Cameron
Kevin
Snowy

Indefinite Leave

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Our 21 Best Free or Low Cost Campgrounds in Australia

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Accommodation when travelling around Australia comes in many forms. Caravan Parks, Showgrounds, Campgrounds, Station Stays, Pubs and Free camps are all options for somewhere to stay overnight and depending on many circumstances our needs will vary.

For those set up and comfortable with Free and Low Cost camping when travelling we have put together our favourite places so far to stay in Australia.

In the heat of the Top End we would usually opt for powered options however the bottom half of Oz opened up many places to stay that don’t have to cost much at all.

We will continue to update this list as we keep finding more places to add. They will always be available in full at our YouTube Channel at www.youtube/c/indefiniteleave.

# Nov 2017 update.
With the recent closure of our previous Number 1 campground “Uluru by Sunrise” we have updated this list. We have also introduced 2 new campgrounds, Sandstone Park at #4 and Lara Wetlands at #12 and increased it from our Best 20 to 21. Hope you enjoy our list.

 

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Mount Gambier Showgrounds, SA

21. Mt Gambier Showgrounds

Location: Mt Gambier, South Australia

About: The Mt Gambier Showgrounds are located on the edge of the city and provides good grassed sites and full amenities. It is also walking distance to the Sinkhole.
$20 deposit for Key to amenities block.

YouTube:                   https://youtu.be/62hMyhl7Kik

Cost:                            $22 powered, $15 unpowered, $3 extra adult

Max nights stay:        No limit

Toilets:                        Yes

Showers:                    Yes

Potable water:           Yes

Pet Friendly:              Yes

Dump point:              Yes, cost $5 if not staying at the showgrounds

Powered sites:           Yes

Unpowered sites:      Yes

Free Wifi:                   No

Telstra coverage:       Yes

 

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Spring Bay Hotel, Triabunna Tasmania

20. Spring Bay Hotel

Location:Triabunna, east coast of Tasmania

About: Basic pub campground, grassed area, pay at the bar as you arrive.
Also a free camp opposite on the corner.
There’s a very popular fish and chips van next to the hotel, the pub restaurant is good by all reports and Triabunna is the gateway to Maria Island.

YouTube:                   https://youtu.be/EnCiZdQRJR4

Cost:                            $2 donation per night

Max nights stay:        7 days

Toilets:                        No

Showers:                    No

Potable water:           No

Pet Friendly:              Yes

Dump point:              No, but one is located within a few minutes drive

Powered sites:           No

Unpowered sites:      Yes

Free Wifi:                   No

Telstra coverage:       Yes

 

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Hobart from atop Mount Wellington

19. Hobart Showgrounds

Location: Hobart, Tasmania

About:Approx 15 minutes drive from the city of Hobart, there are various sites, some grassed and other on stones. Can get very busy in peak times. Call to book during peak season.

YouTube:                   https://youtu.be/R57UdGEyx7E

Cost:                            $25 powered site or $21 for CMCA members, $20 unpowered

Max nights stay:        No lmit

Toilets:                        Yes

Showers:                    Yes, $1 for 5 minutes

Potable water:           Yes

Pet Friendly:              Yes

Dump point:              Yes

Powered sites:           Yes

Unpowered sites:      Yes

Free Wifi:                   Yes, we were close to Bunnings and were able to tap into their free wifi although it was slow

Telstra coverage:       Yes

 

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Chapman River at Ante Chamber Bay campgrounds, Kangaroo Island SA

18. Ante Chamber Bay Campgrounds

Location: Kangaroo Island, South Australia

About: A beautiful river front campground. Access is by a dirt road which was reasonable condition when we were there.

YouTube:                   https://youtu.be/Bie7jawDYQ8

Cost:                            $15 per night

Max nights stay:        No limit

Toilets:                        Yes

Showers:                    No

Potable water:           No

Pet Friendly:              Yes

Dump point:              No

Powered sites:           No

Unpowered sites:      Yes

Free Wifi:                   No

Telstra coverage:       Yes, only just

 

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Gordon Recreation Reserve, Tasmania

17. Gordon Recreational Reserve

Location: Three Hut Point, Gordon Tasmania

About: Whilst we didn’t stay here it looked such a perfect location we did stop to take a look around. This would make a great place to stop for a few nights.

YouTube:                   https://youtu.be/s-Gve_xCeqM

Cost:                            $5 per night honest box

Max nights stay:        No limit

Toilets:                        Yes

Showers:                    No

Potable water:           No

Pet Friendly:              Yes

Dump point:              Yes

Powered sites:           No

Unpowered sites:      Yes

Free Wifi:                   No

Telstra coverage:       Yes

 

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Amazing 1770, Qld

16. Workmans Campground

Location: Agnes Water near 1770 in Queensland.

About: We didn’t stop here but did take a look around and it’s a good campground close to the beach and town of Agnes Water.

Cost:                            $9 per person per night

Max nights stay:        No limit

Toilets:                        Yes

Showers:                    Yes, cold outdoor shower

Potable water:           Yes

Pet Friendly:              Yes

Dump point:              No

Powered sites:           No

Unpowered sites:      Yes

Free Wifi:                   No

Telstra coverage:       Yes

 

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Banka Banka Station, NT

15. Banka Banka Station

Location: North of the Three Ways in Northern Territory

About: Great overnight stay as you head north from the Three Ways to Darwin. There’s Donkeys and Camels, a unique bar, fire pit which the owner fires up each night. Yarns are told, marshmallows burnt and in the morning a stunning sunrise to the East.

YouTube:                   https://youtu.be/OhefDO88gUw

Cost:                            $20 per night for 2 adults unpowered

Max nights stay:        No limit

Toilets:                        Yes

Showers:                    Yes

Potable water:           Yes

Pet Friendly:              Yes

Dump point:              Yes

Powered sites:           No

Unpowered sites:      Yes

Free Wifi:                   No

Telstra coverage:       No

 

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Cliff Head Campground, WA

14. Cliff Head Campground

Location: South of Geraldton, Western Australia

About:There is 3 campgrounds, Cliff Head North, Cliff Head South, we chose the middle one which is simply Cliff Head as it is larger and accommodated both us and our friends we were travelling with. Cliff Head North looks amazing.

YouTube:                   https://youtu.be/71WRACdqIxg

Cost:                            Free

Max nights stay:        72 hours

Toilets:                        Yes

Showers:                    No

Potable water:           No

Pet Friendly:              Yes

Dump point:              No

Powered sites:           No

Unpowered sites:      Yes

Free Wifi:                   No

Telstra coverage:       Yes

 

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View to the Stanley Nut from our camp site, Tasmania

13. Stanley Tasmania

Location: At Stanley in the North West of Tasmania

About: Located at the entrance to the Golf Course and looking out over the ocean, this is a fabulous campground in a beautiful location.

YouTube:                   https://youtu.be/Dl8Et13vhyk

Cost:                            $8 per night

Max nights stay:        7 nights

Toilets:                        No

Showers:                    No

Potable water:           Yes

Pet Friendly:              Yes

Dump point:              No but there is one very close by.

Powered sites:           No

Unpowered sites:      Yes

Free Wifi:                   No

Telstra coverage:       Yes

 

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Lara Wetlands, Qld

12. Lara Wetlands, Patrick Qld

Location: Lara Wetlands is a cattle station approx 30kms south of Barcaldine and 80kms north of Blackall in Queensland.

About: Lara Wetlands is a beautiful, relaxing waterhole on a cattle station just 30kms south of Barcaldine in Qld.

It has many features including a hot artesian spa, kayaks for use on the wetland and fire pits on each site. Lara Wetlands is where you go to relax and do very little except read a book and chill with an amazing scenery and spectacular sunrise and sunset each day.

YouTube:                   https://youtu.be/bhNfCONeaj0

Cost:                            $10 per person per night

Max nights stay:        No limit

Toilets:                        Yes

Showers:                    Yes

Potable water:           Yes

Pet Friendly:              Yes

Dump point:              Yes

Powered sites:           No

Unpowered sites:      Yes

Free Wifi:                   No

Telstra coverage:       No phone coverage

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Whalebone Campground

11. Whalebone Campground Shark Bay, Western Australia

Location: 15 kms south of Denham

About: I loved our time here at Whalebone Campground. A 24 hour stay, they allowed us to extend for a second night but not beyond. We were able to leave for a short time and then come back for another 48 hours. Caught Squire at night from the beach.

YouTube:                   https://youtu.be/cNslqZE9q_w

Cost:                            $15 per night

Max nights stay:        2 nights

Toilets:                        No

Showers:                    No

Potable water:           No, there is a water station in Denham

Pet Friendly:              Yes

Dump point:              No, there is one on left hand side as you arrive at Denham

Powered sites:           No

Unpowered sites:      Yes

Free Wifi:                   No

Telstra coverage:       Yes but very limited

 

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Cassowary Coast Campground, Mission Beach

10. Cassowary Coast Regional Council Campground Mission Beach

Location: Mission Beach, North Queensland

About: Located directly beside the beach, Powered and unpowered sites, old amenities. Al about location.

YouTube:                   https://youtu.be/am1lfMRd-xw

Cost:                            $21 per night unpowered, $25 powered, $3 for extra adult

Max nights stay:        No limit

Toilets:                        Yes

Showers:                    Yes

Potable water:           Yes

Pet Friendly:              Yes

Dump point:              No

Powered sites:           Yes

Unpowered sites:      Yes

Free Wifi:                   No

Telstra coverage:       Yes

 

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Portland Harbour, Vic

9. Henty Park Campground

Location: Portland Victoria

About: Loved our time in Portland and this great relaxing campground helped us enjoy our stay. Completely free and offering great facilities. Level grassed sites, friendly ranger and located at the Cable Tram station.

Since we stayed it has reduced from 72 hour stay to 48 hours. This Free campground is under much pressure from the local Caravan Parks and we need to ensure we respect it, keep it clean and tidy and it wouldn’t hurt to do as we did and notify the Council of what you spent in town during your stay.

YouTube:                   https://youtu.be/e5llKV3Dykg

Cost:                            Free

Max nights stay:        48 hours

Toilets:                        Yes

Showers:                    No

Potable water:           Yes

Pet Friendly:              Yes

Dump point:              Yes

Powered sites:           No

Unpowered sites:      Yes

Free Wifi:                   No

Telstra coverage:       Yes

 

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8. Bay of Fires Tasmania

Location:North-East coast of Tasmania

About:Very popular campground in a beautiful beachside setting. St Helens is 20-30 mins away with dump point, water, groceries, fuel, gas etc.

YouTube:                   https://youtu.be/5fYV4IuSmLc

Cost:                            Free

Max nights stay:        No limit

Toilets:                        Yes

Showers:                    No

Potable water:           No

Pet Friendly:             Yes

Dump point:              No

Powered sites:           No

Unpowered sites:      Yes

Free Wifi:                   No

Telstra coverage:       Yes but only in certain spots.

 

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Barn Hill Station

7. Barn Hill Station

Location: approx. 1 hour drive south of Broome, Western Australia

About: Fabulous Campground on a Cattle Station with 200 sites. 10kms of dirt road to access but easily done even in our Motorhome. They even have a lawn bowls green. It has a very rustic charm, the stars shine bright at night and they make 8 loaves of bread, home made sausage rolls and lamingtons each day for purchase. It is very busy in peak times of June and July.

YouTube:                   https://youtu.be/XO1ujTjFv4E

Cost:                            $25 unpowered for 2 adults or $32 powered

Max nights stay:        Nil

Toilets:                        Yes

Showers:                    Yes

Potable water:           Yes

Pet Friendly:              Yes

Dump point:              Yes

Powered sites:           Yes but power can be limited source, comes from solar

Unpowered sites:      Yes

Free Wifi:                   No

Telstra coverage:       Yes

 

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Beach at Osprey

6. Osprey Campground

Location: Cape Range National Park, near Exmouth Western Australia

About: We weren’t able to stay here as we had our dog with us but we took a look around and the location is incredible. Very clean and tidy.

Cost:                            $10 per adult per night

Max nights stay:        No limit

Toilets:                        Yes

Showers:                    No

Potable water:           No, water available at info centre a few kms away

Pet Friendly:              No

Dump point:              No, one is just a few kms up the road at info centre

Powered sites:           No

Unpowered sites:      Yes

Free Wifi:                   No

Telstra coverage:       N0

 

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Happy Hour at Quobba, WA

5. Quobba Campground

Location: approx. 50kms north of Carnarvon, Western Australia

About: Located around the corner from the Carnarvon Blowholes, the campground offers some of Australia’s best snorkeling. The coral is amazing and there’s lots of fish of many species, Turtles, Rays and Reef Sharks. We also enjoyed fresh oysters directly from the rocks at low tide.

The campground is right on the beach, some with views and others protected by the dunes.

YouTube:                   https://youtu.be/x4a0vYJm7Ak

Cost:                            $11 per person per night, kids under 16 free

Max nights stay:        No limit

Toilets:                        Yes

Showers:                    No

Potable water:           No

Pet Friendly:              Yes

Dump point:              Yes

Powered sites:           No

Unpowered sites:      Yes

Free Wifi:                   No

Telstra coverage:       No

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Sandstone Park Campground, Carnarvon Gorge Qld

4. Sandstone Park, Carnarvon Gorge Qld

Location: Carnarvon Gorge is located in the Carnarvon National Park approx. 600kms north west of Brisbane and 200kms south of Emerald.

About: This is a new campground which only opened in 2017 and fast became extremely popular with the travelling public. It’s astounding 360 degree views are incredible. The facilities are fantastic and the sites are big. There’s plenty of access to firewood and did I mention the incredible views!!

Do yourself an enormous favour and make sure you visit Sandstone Park at Carnarvon Gorge

Watch this video of Kevin with Olivia, the owner of Sandstone Park Campground, as they trek their way up Boolimba Bluff. – https://youtu.be/wRVMIbOSL8w

YouTube:                   https://youtu.be/DTmneeEwmpQ

Cost:                            $20 per night

Max nights stay:        No Limit

Toilets:                        Yes

Showers:                    No

Potable water:           No

Pet Friendly:              Yes

Dump point:              Yes

Powered sites:           No

Unpowered sites:      Yes

Free Wifi:                   No

Telstra coverage:       No phone coverage. Some Wifi available at Info centre café.

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Sandy Cape overlooking the campground

3. Sandy Cape Campground

Location: 10 kms north of Jurien Bay, Western Australia

About:This place is Fun, Fun, Fun. Grab a sand board and race down the dunes. Fishing, swimming, boating, so much fun to be had. There are BBQ’s available and the sky at night lights up with the stars.
While we were there a great coffee can was available making Burgers, Hot Dogs, Coffees, shakes and more.

Watch the hilarious footage of Adele sand boarding here – https://youtu.be/BcilkWaEAsU

YouTube:                   https://youtu.be/Qru0AUdjCNs

Cost:                            $15 per night

Max nights stay:        No Limit

Toilets:                        Yes

Showers:                    No

Potable water:           No

Pet Friendly:              Yes

Dump point:              Yes

Powered sites:           No

Unpowered sites:      Yes

Free Wifi:                   No

Telstra coverage:       No, unless you climb up onto the dunes.

 

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Lucky Bay Campground, just amazing!!

2. Lucky Bay Campground

Location: Cape Le Grand National Park, Western Australia

About: Located in the incredible Cape Le Grand National Park near Esperance on the south coast of Western Australia, this is a very special place where the kangaroos come into your site or meet you on the beach to say hello. The views are scintillating and the experience is not to be missed.

Our Tip, select site number 12.

YouTube:                   https://youtu.be/ELFgZgdLMls

Cost:                            $10 per Adult per night, children over 6 are $2.20. Seniors $6.60 per night

Max nights stay:        No limit

Toilets:                        Yes

Showers:                    Yes

Potable water:           Yes

Pet Friendly:             No

Dump point:              No

Powered sites:           No

Unpowered sites:      Yes

Free Wifi:                   No

Telstra coverage:       No

 

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Rapid Bay Campground

1.Rapid Bay Campground

Location: 1.5 hours south of Adelaide

About: As Darryl Kernigan’s bumbling Lawyer once said, “it’s the vibe” and Rapid Bay gives great vibes.

This is a fantastic campground, so peaceful, so stunning and a great place to relax, swim, snorkel and go fishing. It gets very busy at peak times.
The original Jetty here was destroyed in a storm and a new Jetty costing $3.8m was recently built to replace it.
Divers come from afar to dive here looking for a rare Sea Dragon, only found in these waters.

YouTube:                   https://youtu.be/O9wgn_NeahQ

Cost:                            $7 per person per night

Max nights stay:        Nil

Toilets:                        Yes

Showers:                    No

Potable water:           Yes, sign says it’s not but it’s trucked in from Adelaide

Pet Friendly:              Yes

Dump point:              No. Yankalilla is 24kms away and has dump point, fuel, groceries, gas etc.

Powered sites:           No

Unpowered sites:      Yes

Free Wifi:                   N0

Telstra coverage:       Yes

 

We know we haven’t seen them all, tell us about your favourite Free or Low Coast campground?

Thanks
Kevin & Adele
Indefinite Leave

Facebook: www.facebook.com/indefiniteleave

Website: www.indefiniteleave.com

YouTube: www.youtube.com/c/indefiniteleave

Instagram: Indefinite_leave

Twitter: IndefiniteLeav3

Email: hockeys@indefiniteleave.com.au

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The Best of Broome, Western Australia

broome

The Kimberley region in the north of Western Australia is home to Broome, the areas largest and most popular township.

During winter in the peak season the population trebles as tourists flock to Broome to enjoy the beaches and laidback lifestyle during the dry and warm weather. Tourists fly in from all over Australia and International guests are also able to fly direct to Broome.
Photo1a
Gantheaume Point sunset

Travellers make their way by 4wd and Caravans, Motorhomes or Campervans for the opportunity to see the region and explore its incredible beauty. Many base themselves at Broome before driving off to see amazing Beaches and Gorges or to visit the Pearl Farms that are part of Broome’s long history.

These are our best tips on Things to See and Do in Broome, Western Australia.

Photo2a
Full moon over Cable Beach

Cable Beach
Broome has one of the world’s most renowned beaches, Cable Beach. It is 22.5kms of beautiful pure white sand which meets the pristine Turquoise waters that make this beach so famous.

On a warm sunny day the beach is packed and you can hire an umbrella and deckchairs for you to enjoy your day.

Photo3a
Relax with a deckchair and umbrella at Cable Beach

Cable Beach is a very popular vantage spot to watch incredible sunsets or you can drive your 4wd onto the beach and relax while you swim and play and then sit back to enjoy the sunset from the comfort of your vehicle.

It is also home to one of Australia’s most famous nudist beach. To the north of the beach entrance it is clothing optional. Also to the north is where you can choose to ride a Camel.

Photo4a
Camel rides on cable Beach

Late in the afternoon is an interesting time to arrive at Cable Beach. If you time it right you can watch as the crowds walk down the streets armed with cameras for that perfect Sunset photo and the Camels are led, all strung together, down the footpath as they make their way to the beach for an afternoon of entertaining more travellers.

150 metres up the beach is dog friendly and MACKS was able to enjoy a swim and run on the beach.

Often voted as one of Australia’s most beautiful beaches, Cable Beach will never disappoint you.

Photo5a
Crowds enjoying Cable Beach

Gantheaume Point
At the very southern end of Cable Beach is Gantheaume Point. Here at very low tides you can walk out around 30-40 metres and see Dinosaur footprints dated as old as 130 million years ago.

The rugged cliff face at Gantheaume Point also provides a stunning viewpoint for the amazing sunsets that Broome is so famous for. The Red sandstone rocks provide the perfect viewpoint to watch as the sun goes down and night begins.

Photo6a
The sunsets from Gantheaume Point are incredible

This is also a fantastic viewpoint to look back up the beach to Cable Beach or take your 4wd onto the sand and enjoy the day right on the ocean doorstep. Just make sure you allow for incoming tide, they do rise fast in this region.

It is accessed by taking the Gantheaume Point turnoff from Gubinge Road, following it for a few kms on bitumen before continuing on dirt road for the last 3 kms to the carpark.

Photo7a
The Worlds oldest operating open air cinema

Sun Pictures
When in Broome, venture to the World’s oldest operating open-air garden cinema, Sun Pictures, and take in a movie in the fresh air and view of the stars above, not just onscreen. Around 10 years after the building was built in the early 1900’s, the cinema opened in 1916 and its history since is amazing. During peak season tours of the Cinema are available.

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Stairway to the Moon

Stairway to the Moon is a natural phenomenon that occurs in only a few places and Broome is one of them. Each month the moon peaks at the perfect time for its light to shine on the low tide flats providing an imagery of steps leading all the way into the sky to the moon.

Its reflection off Roebuck Bay provides an ideal vantage point, perfect for absorbing this event. We chose the Mangrove Hotel and enjoyed a late afternoon of a few drinks and dinner before settling in to watch nature take its course.

Website: www.mangrovehotel.com.au
47 Carnarvon Street, Broome

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The Mangrove Hotel makes a perfect vantage point for Stairway to the Moon

Fishing Charter
Whilst in Broome, Matt and I ventured out with Absolute Ocean Charters.

We were picked up from our location where we were staying and taken to the beach near Gantheaume Point where an amphibian boat took us across the beach and into the water to our fishing vessel where we boarded for a day on the ocean.

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Just a couple of the fish we caught

On our way out we saw Humpback Whales and Manta Rays and a quick attempt to catch some Cobia was unsuccessful. Once we arrived at the first designated location we were quick to take our spots and get a line overboard.

It wasn’t long before the first fish were hooked and whilst some made it to the boat, others were being taken by sharks so we were off to the next spot.

The day turned out to be a challenge with strong currents, sharks and other factors making it difficult but Matt and I did catch some fish we were able to take home.

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My first Mackerel

I got my first Mackerel which I was happy about, not big but good fun.

The guys from the Charter were great and they have some very awesome electronics on board to charter a fishing trip.

www.absoluteoceancharters.com.au
Ph: 0427 798 155
E: info@absoluteoceancharters.com.au

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Horizontal Falls from above

Horizontal Falls
Horizontal Falls is a natural phenomenon located north of Broome and accessed by a Seaplane flight to a pontoon located in the McLarty Ranges in the Kimberley’s. We chose the Full day package adventure with Horizontal Falls Adventures including a flight to Cape Leveque and 4wd back to Broome.

This was an incredible experience and they did way more than expected. We didn’t go through the Falls just once or twice but 11 times. They really provided excellent value. We also did a boat trip through some local Gorges.

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Entering Horizontal Falls

The Falls are created by water rushing through a breakwall giving the same effect as a normal waterfall. The waters flow very fast and depending on tides as to how much of a drop there is when going through.

Horizontal Falls also gave us the opportunity to jump in the water next to some Tawny Sharks. Whilst they don’t bite, these guys suck their food so fast you don’t want your hand in the way.
We got in the shark cage swimming right next to them and were then able to feed and pat them. Another part of the incredible experience that is Horizontal Falls.

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Tawny Sharks from the shark cage

Cape Leveque
We were so keen to get to Cape Leveque given its incredible beauty but it looked out of our reach in the Motorhome until we became aware of this tour. This is a very remote location of Aboriginal significance. An Eco resort provides accommodation and the beaches and fishing are outstanding.

A fabulous lunch of fresh Barramundi was provided by Kooljaman Wilderness camp at spectacular Cape Leveque. Then it was off to explore the beach where its untouched beauty left us in awe.

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A huge day and an unforgettable experience at Horizontal Falls.

Watch our video in Horizontal Falls here – https://youtu.be/5xEzO0z_m7E

Horizontal Falls Adventures
www.horizontalfallsadventures.com.au

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Famous Matso’s Brewery in Broome

Matso’s Brewery
Matso’s Brewery is an absolute must see when visiting Broome.

The Micro Brewery began in the late 1990’s and has won many awards since then. Sit back and relax with a beautiful lunch and one of Matso’s great range of their very popular beers. My favourite though was undoubtedly the famous Matso’s alcoholic Ginger Beer. They are so refreshing and taste fantastic.

www.matsos.com.au
60 Hamersley Street, Broome

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Adele couldn’t bypass the opportunity for some new Pearls

The Pearl industry has a long history with Broome going right back to the 1880’s. The more experienced Japanese divers were used for finding Pearls until WW2 and Broome has maintained a close relationship with Japan. There are memorials around town and the city also has a Sister City agreement with the Japan city of Taiji.

The Willie Creek Pearl Farm is a current and operational Pearl Farm in Broome and runs tours throughout the year.

Adele couldn’t resist the opportunity and did a little Pearl shopping of her own when we were in Broome.

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Town Beach

Town Beach
Town Beach looks out over the spectacular turquoise waters of Roebuck Bay. It’s a popular spot to swim and picnic by the beach and the café overlooking the Bay is also very popular and has stunning views. There’s a children’s playground and small waterpark very close by, guaranteed to keep the kids entertained for hours.

Town Beach is also another very popular location to watch the Stairway to the Stars. It can get very crowded here so get in early for a spot and relax and enjoy an evening under the stars.

This is a perfect location to chill and enjoy at any time of the day.

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Streeters Jetty

Streeters Jetty

Built in the 1880’s, Streeters Jetty was used for Pearl Luggers to unload their cargo. It stretched across the mud flats of Dampier Creek. At 10m tides the Jetty goes underwater.

The Jetty proves to still be popular for tourists who visit each day. It is now Heritage Listed.

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Wharf Jetty was closed to the public during our stay in Broome

Wharf Jetty is a deep port jetty built to accommodate large Cargo vessels and cruise ships. It is also a popular fishing jetty however it was closed during our time in Broome.

Further around from the Jetty we came across a beautiful beach and interesting rock formation stretching into the waters. As the tide went out 4wd’s began to enter the beach. People were swimming, fishing and snorkeling and Adele took MACKS in for a swim too.

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Travelling in Broome with pets is not easy however here are a few tips on how to handle it.

• wait until near to the end of peak season and some visitors have begun to head south. Early to mid August is probably ideal.
• Choose one of the overflow parks. We stayed at the Seventh Day Adventist overflow and it was excellent.
• If you are having trouble getting in to a caravan park, ring every day between 8-10am, don’t give up, Broome is worth it. As the overflow parks were forced to close we had to find a caravan park to take us. If they say they will ring you, don’t wait for their call, just ring each morning in case of a cancellation or opportunity that may arise.

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Entrance to Barn Hill Station

Barn Hill Station
Barn Hill Station is approximately a 1 hour drive south of Broome and is one of the best Campground stays in all Australia. In fact the beach made my #1 beach in Australia – http://indefiniteleave.com.au/best-beaches-australia-1-10/

An active Cattle Station, it sits directly on this amazing coastline where the white sands meet the spectacular waters of the West Coast.

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Red Cliffs and White Limestone rock cliffs overlook a stunning beach

The Cliffs overlooking the beach are a mix of Red soil or White Limestone, providing the most incredible views.

Barn Hill Station provides 200 campsites, either powered or unpowered and there’s so much rustic character to the place which makes it unique and fun.

There are corrugated iron toilets and showers with no ceiling, just you and the stars above. It makes for an amazing experience at night.

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Lawn Bowls at Barn Hill Station

The Stars really do come out at night here, glistening in the sky like they only do in outback Australia.

Should there be any rumour of a couple matching our description having been seen skinny dipping in the amazing tranquil turquoise waters of Barn Hill Station when the beach appeared entirely deserted, we will neither confirm nor deny said rumours and our response will always be “no comment”.

Have you been to Broome?

Share with us your experience of Broome.

Thanks
Kev& Adele
Indefinite Leave

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