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Adventurers Diary

Life on a Bike interview by Indefinite Leave

Is a traveling life on a bike for you? 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!!!

bike1Dakar 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.

bike2Kakadu 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.

Traveling Life on a Bike 3Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia 2009

IL. How long have you been traveling 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.

bike4Hand 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 world 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 traveler (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 traveling, 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.

Traveling Life on a Bike 5Karakoram 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.

Life on a Bike 6Natures 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 traveling 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. Marvelous the people you meet on the road these days.

Traveling Life on a Bike 7Puncture 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 traveler 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.

Photo8Cuba 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 a return airfare to Australia. Accommodation and fuel costs affect us but last summer we caught up with a lot of travelers 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.

Photo9Closed 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 travelers 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.

Life on a Bike Photo10St 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.

Photo11Unloading 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.

Photo12Ghengis Khan, Mongolia 2015

IL. What is your best tip for other travelers?

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 travelers 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.

Travel World on a Motorbike Photo13Road 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 traveling Life on a Bike 🙂

Safe travels

Kev & Adele

Indefinite Leave

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Photography and Socials

Our camera equipment we use for all our photos and videos are:

Canon 800d – https://ebay.to/2XQYnsk – the latest DSLR Canon 24mp camera, buy here to save.
Canon 50mm lens – https://ebay.to/2yQwPed. This is the lens I use the least, ideal for still, close up shots.
Canon 24-105mm lens – https://ebay.to/3eCueUo. This is my all round, every day use, zoom lens. Amazing quality, great price.
Canon 70-300mm lens – https://ebay.to/2XlOZ0I. I use this one a lot for long range shots.
Sigma 10-20mm lens – https://ebay.to/2TWt0vA. My wide angle lens for all my inside photos & video plus lots more, love this lens.

The new Go Pro 7 – https://ebay.to/38wMc7V –  is an awesome piece of equipment. I use this for all underwater, action video and some general use. Buy here brand new and great value.

Mavic Pro Platinum Drone – https://ebay.to/2ARPxTo. This is an absolute ripper of a drone. The Fly More Combo will provide you with everything you will need. I use this for all my aerial footage and this price is well below other retail stores. _______________________________________________________________________

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Adventurers Diary

How to Save Money on Fuel

One of your biggest expenses when travelling Australia is always going to be fuel so any tips on how to save money on fuel will be valuable.

Along with Food and Accommodation it’s going to be in your Top 3 costs when travelling the country.

It’s a big country too, with so much to see and sometimes long distances in between, to arrive at your next destination.

How to save money on fuel when travelling
Barrow Creek Roadhouse

Up Mountains, across tracks and over sand, it all takes up more fuel.

We’ve been around the Country, up and down and right across and have found some ways which we have been able to save fuel.

Here’s How to Save Money on Fuel when Travelling Australia:

Let’s see if any of these tips can help you reduce your costs when travelling Australia.

Use Fuel Map App to check on how to save money on fuel

Using a Fuel App is a great way to Save Money on Fuel

There’s a number of fuel apps now to help direct you to the closest fuel station at the lowest price.

They are only as good as us as users to update these apps but for the most part they are an excellent source to find the cheapest priced fuel near you.

I like Fuel Map Australia. It’s Free and is my preferred app that I use all the time.

Petrol Spy and MotorMouth are two other popular apps and there are others also. The NSW Government released their own app called NSW FuelCheck.

Threeways - How to Save Money on Fuel
Threeways Roadhouse NT

GasBuddy is considered the most accurate in Victoria.

Whichever Fuel App you use, they are a great way of buying cheaper fuel when travelling.

Discount Fuel Cards

Woolworths and Coles are the obvious options here rewarding you with 4c a Litre off every time you spend $30 or more in their store.  Use your Rewards Card when you fill up with fuel at a Coles Express or Woolworths Petrol Station and receive the discount off your fuel.

We never go to Coles Express any more, we now find their fuel over priced.

Our preferred fuel at the moment is Woolworths. However Puma provides us 4c a Litre off as well just for being members with RACQ. We find Woolworths compete on bowser price and then with the discount it can be significant savings in the cost of the fuel.

Check with your Royal Automobile Club membership what discounts they have associations with.

Costco have great fuel prices however if you’re travelling it is of no real benefit. There’s an annual fee to join and very few stores around the country.

How to save money on fuel - Fill up at the United Whycliff Well
United Whycliff Well

United Fuel

A brand that we found were mostly available right across Australia and had the best value, we found was United.

They were consistently lower in price than any others in most regions we travelled.

United Fuel is the former Esso brand which changed name back in 1993.

In some areas, specifically NSW we found Metro Petroleum was often quite cheap.

Carry Jerry Cans help you save on fuel
Sceptor Jerry can

Utilise Jerry Cans

We carried fuel drums with us as we travelled. If the opportunity arose, we would use our drums to store great value fuel.

When we came across fuel that was significantly cheaper then “normal” price for the area we would fill up and fill our Sceptor Jerry cans too.

Along the Stuart Highway just south of Devils Marbles was a tiny town of Wycliffe Well. The fuel station at the time was exceptionally cheap in a region of typically high priced fuel so we ensured we topped up as much as we could.

Hughenden in Qld was another where we found a self serve fuel station with cheap fuel and there have been many others during our time on the road.

Read about our: 47 Caravan Motorhome RV & Camping Accessories

How to save money on fuel on Fraser Island
Diesel price on Fraser Island

Going to islands such as Fraser Island where fuel is $2.30 – 2.45 a litre, Moreton Island which is $3 a litre or Kangaroo Island where it is approx 30c above mainland prices is expensive! These are certainly times you will want your Jerry cans full and with you to save money on fuel costs.

Turn off your air con and wind down the window when driving at lower speeds

Whenever I am driving below 70kmh I prefer to wind down the window.

I’ve always done it as I prefer the fresh air and better power. When I’m driving around 80kmh it is too noisy and less pleasant so I put the window up and use the air conditioner.

Who knew it was actually proven to be better for fuel consumption with what I was doing.

Any tips on how to save money on fuel when traveling are valuable

It turns out that at higher speeds aerodynamic drag from the windows being down negatively effects your fuel consumption.

At speeds below 80kmh it is better for fuel economy to have your windows down than it is to use your air conditioner. Over 80kmh it is better to use your air conditioner and close your windows.

5 Essentials – 4WD Accessories

  1. 4WD Recovery Tracks will get you out of most situations, especially in sand. We bought a pair of these generic branded tracks that have worked well whilst other brands include the Australian made TRED or the Australian Designed and made MAXTRAX 4wd Recovery Tracks.
  2. For our 4WD we went with this EDECOA 1500 3000w Pure Sine Wave Inverter which has been excellent value and works great.
  3. I’m a massive fan of my Victron IP65 15a Battery Charger. I use it often to give batteries a boost and it really is an essential part of my tool kit.
  4. When camping my Kings 200w Solar Blanket gets a lot of use and works really well. Only downside is it doesn’t work with Lithium batteries.
  5. Brass Tyre Deflators are a fast and easy way to lower your tyre pressure to your desired level. Perfect for when you are hitting the beach.

Check your Tyres Often Helps Save Money on Fuel

There are obvious benefits to regularly checking your tyres.

Checking there is no significant wear on your tyres will ensure your safety and reduce the likelihood of a blowout. However also checking tyre pressures will save you money on fuel.

Always maintaining the correct tyre pressure for your tyres and vehicle will provide better fuel economy.

Barkly Homestead

Fuel saving methods for your tow vehicle

Limiting Weight

The more we take with us the more fuel we will use.

We constantly review everything we carry in our Motorhome and cull what we aren’t using. This should be every travellers constant review of their travel rig.

Our goal is to always be limiting our weight to only what it needs to be.

When towing a van with your 4WD you have a lot more to consider when it comes to correct weights but the same principles still apply, the lighter you are the less fuel you will consume.

Wind Resistance

Consider the affects of protruding items such as kayaks, bicycles, surf boards and boats with regard to wind resistance and the potential extra fuel costs.

How to Save Money on Fuel

A wind deflector on your 4WD if you are towing a full size Caravan may provide a significant benefit. They may look a bit odd but the savings are genuine. A deflector will provide better performance when over taking or climbing hills.

When towing it is wise not to use cruise control. Your vehicle will accelerate hard to maintain the set speed especially in head winds or hill rises and therefore use more fuel.

It is recommended that you don’t use cruise control when towing.

Reduce Weight in your Caravan

Once again, correct weights in your Caravan are vital with towing and you will therefore be governed by weight distribution around how you travel with water in your tanks and other matters regarding what you carry.

It still stands to reason though the more you have in your Caravan the greater your weight, the heavier you are and the more fuel you will use.

When we leave our camp for a new destination we will assess how much water and fuel we are carrying and where possible leave it until we arrive at our next stop before filling up.

Fuelling up the motorhome

Not Leaving your Vehicle Idling Saves Money on Fuel

It’s best to turn off your engine when stopped even for short periods.

When starting your engine it uses about the same amount of fuel as it would if it was idling for 30 seconds.

If you need to pull over to answer your phone or if you have situations like me where Adele says she’s just running into the shops and will be super fast which turns out to be 20 minutes, it’s best to turn off the engine to save on fuel.

Our friends we travelled with lamented to us more than once about the Caravan owners next to them waking them up early in the morning with their engine running as they hooked up the Van to leave.

This seems to be common where vehicle engines are left running for a period of time during the hooking up and finalising pack up before leaving camp.

How to Save Money on Fuel when travelling

There used to be a time where Diesel engines were best warmed up before driving however with new technology that’s no longer necessary for any longer then 15-30 seconds if at all.

Leaving the engine running for longer then 30 seconds simply uses more fuel, it’s best to turn your engine off.

It goes without saying not to do this in normal driving situations. When stopped at lights, railway crossing or similar do not turn off your vehicle engine.

You don’t need to buy Premium Fuels unless your Vehicle Manual suggests you should

This RACV article discusses the issue.

Grades of Petrol and Diesel

There are so many options for Petrol now with E10, 91, 95 and 98. The numbers represent the level of Octane with 95 and 98 considered Premium fuel.

There is no need to use a Premium fuel if it isn’t required, 91 will perform appropriately.

Do some research of the use of E10 for your vehicle before using it.

Mystery Bay in NSW

How to Save Money on Fuel by Maintaining a Consistent Speed

As previously discussed, if you are towing it’s best not to use Cruise Control however when not towing it can help ensure you maintain a constant speed and therefore reduce fuel consumption.

This is especially the case on generally flat highway conditions where you may have no stops, can maintain a constant speed with few significant inclines

You could Slow Down your Travelling

By staying in one place longer and not moving as often you will reduce fuel costs.

Bathurst
Bathurst Pole Position

However for most travellers on their Big Lap of Oz they have a limited time of just 1-2 years and it’s a huge country with heaps to see and do.

That means for most people, stopping for lengthy periods in one place just for fuel economy isn’t really an option.

If you do have the opportunity to travel slowly and stop for extended periods this can certainly improve the amount of fuel you use while travelling.

Drive a Diesel rather than Petrol

Diesel engines use up to a third less fuel than Petrol.

That is a massive saving however it should also be compared to potential higher fuel cost at the pump and higher cost for the vehicle where Diesel engines are generally more expensive than Petrol.

Buying second hand vehicles can potentially negate this issue.

How to save money on Fuel - Filling up on the Nullabor
Filling up on the Nullarbor

There’s a lot of advice around driving Diesel or Petrol vehicles. Carsguide for instance states “If you’re going to be towing a boat or caravan regularly, it’s a no brainer because a Diesel will do it better and use far less fuel at the same time”

All research will tell you a Diesel will perform over the long term more economically than Petrol when asked to perform for long periods under varying conditions.

The bowser price for Diesel also tends to be consistent rather than the continual fluctuations of Petrol prices which helps for budgeting and targeting the best price.

More Expensive Fuel does not Necessarily Mean Longer kms and Therefore Greater Economy

Trying to test this is always challenging because you don’t drive the exact same conditions each tank of fuel.

Weights, highway to city driving, uphill, offroad and a range of other factors will always differ each time we drive. Therefore potentially it will affect the fuel economy with each tank of fuel we use.

Fuel is one of the top 3 expenses when travelling

However I did recently do a test using BP Diesel, the fuel long regarded as the best for longer distance, compared to Woolworths where it was approximately 7c cheaper.

BP didn’t provide any greater distance from the tank of fuel but the saving of 7c a litre or more with Woolworths is obvious.

I am still recording my fuel and will finalise my thoughts on this in the near future however I found no benefit from using BP over any other brand.

Keeping control over your fuel costs will help you maintain your budget when travelling.

Use the savings to see more of our amazing Country!

Pin – How to Save Money on Fuel

Read more on How to Save Money when Travelling Australia:

Do you have any other tips on how to save money on fuel travelling Australia?

Safe travels

Kev & Adele
Indefinite Leave

We are Adele & Kevin, an Aussie couple from Brisbane in Queensland Australia who have embraced our adventurous spirit and ventured out to explore the world around us. We had spent so much time overseas we decided it was time to see our own truly amazing country and we needed to take some time to see everything it has to offer.

Our Aim is to inspire others to travel and help design the greatest adventure they can experience.

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Photography and Socials

Our camera equipment we use for all our photos and videos are:

Samsung Note 10 Plus Phone – https://ebay.to/2XOjXhi – Most of our photos are simply from our phones. The Samsung phone cameras are pretty insane. Our phones have 512gb storage in ours but the 256gb in this one is heaps. We have sourced this one which is approx $500 less than we paid for ours.

Canon 800d – https://ebay.to/2XQYnsk – the latest DSLR Canon 24mp camera, buy here to save.

Lenses

Canon 50mm lens – https://ebay.to/2yQwPed  This is the lens I use the least, ideal for still, close up shots.
Canon 24-105mm lenshttps://ebay.to/3eCueUo This is my all round, everyday use, zoom lens. Amazing quality, great price.
Canon 70-300mm lens – https://ebay.to/2XlOZ0I – I use this one a lot for long range shots.
Sigma 10-20mm lenshttps://ebay.to/2TWt0vA  – My wide angle lens for all my inside photos & video plus lots more, love this lens.

Our Go Pro 7 Hero Black – https://ebay.to/38wMc7V  –  is an awesome piece of equipment. I use this for all underwater, action video and some general use. Buy here brand new and great value.

Mavic Pro Platinum Drone – https://ebay.to/2ARPxTo  This is an absolute ripper of a drone. The Fly More Combo will provide you with everything you will need. I use this for all my aerial footage and this price is well below other retail stores.

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Adventurers Diary

Feeding the Dolphins at Barnacles Cafe Tin Can Bay

There are a few places around Australia where you can enjoy the experience of an organised feeding of wild dolphins but by far our favourite was feeding the dolphins at Barnacles Cafe in Tin Can Bay Queensland.

Dolphin Feeding at Barnacles Cafe Tin Can Bay

Feeding the Dolphins at Barnacles Cafe is a close up Dolphin Feeding experience without the big crowds.  Everyone that wants to feed a dolphin can and it’s as little as $10.

There are 9 dolphins that visit and they have been named Mystique, Patch, Ella, Squirt, Harmony, Aussie, Valentine, Chompy and White Fin.

Kev's Mum feeding the dolphins at Barnacles Cafe
Mum feeding a dolphin

There’s no telling how many will come in each day or if any at all will visit but each time we have been there’s been a couple of dolphins come in.

Parking for Dolphin Feeding at Barnacles Cafe

It’s important not to park in boat trailer bays or you may receive a fine. The carpark in front of Barnacles Cafe is designated for fishermen and their vehicle and trailer.

There is allocated parking at the rear of the carpark behind the swimming pool and you can easily walk over to Barnacles Cafe from there.

Barnacles Dolphin Feeding Centre & Cafe
Dolphins swimming among the volunteers
Tin Can Bay Dolphins

How far is Tin Can Bay from Rainbow Beach?

Barnacles Dolphin Centre at Tin Can Bay is just over 30kms from Rainbow Beach in South East Queensland.

This particular morning we had a bit of a wait before any dolphins came in. It was around 8.30am before the first Dolphin arrived.

Volunteers from Barnacles Dolphin Feeding Centre & Cafe in the water with the dolphins
Wild humpback dolphins at Tin Can Bay
Dolphins at Tin Can Bay

Mystique was first in from the wild and hung around during viewing time and only later was joined by 3 other dolphins including Ella and her 15 month old calf Joe.

Baby Joe is not able to be fed any fish until he is 2.5 years old. Mum Ella is very protective of her calf Joe at this stage and they were inseparable the entire time.

We were fortunate to end up seeing 4 wild humpback dolphins at feeding time during our visit.

Barnacles Dolphin Feeding Centre

First time Dolphin Feeding Experience for Kev’s Mum

We have been to the Barnacles Cafe and Dolphin Centre to feed the dolphins several times, once taking Kev’s Mum with us who was quite reluctant about getting in to the water.

Afterwards she was so thrilled at having done the experience and it was so great to give Mum a new achievement at her age.

Mum is not used to being barefoot in the water these days so the lovely lady volunteers were kind enough to help her while we took some photos of her experience!

Volunteers get to know the dolphins quite well and vice versa, the dolphins get quite familiar and comfortable with the volunteers.

 7 Essentials – Tours to Experience

  1. Reefsleep in the Whitsundays is an amazing adventure. Spend the night on a pontoon sleeping in a swag on Hardy’s Reef in the Great Barrier Reef
  2. The Ocean Rafting tour from Airlie Beach is a truly fun day out. They took us to the best snorkeling places and the entire day was amazing
  3. For the best Full Day Island tour in Cairns we recommend the Fitzroy Island tour
  4. The Humpback Whale Swim in Exmouth remains one of our ultimate highlights of our time around Australia. We highly recommend doing this tour
  5. If you are on the East Coast, you can swim with Humpback Whales on the Sunshine Coast. The tour leaves from Mooloolaba
  6. Swimming with Whale Sharks at Exmouth is also extremely popular and a great day out with the team from Eco Adventures on Lattitude 22
  7. One of Queensland’s most under-rated beach destinations is north of Noosa on the Sunshine Coast. It is only accessible by 4WD or a tour. The Double Island Point and Rainbow Beach 1 Day tour is a great value day out to see some pristine beaches and local history
The start of the dolphin feeding
At Barnacles -Adele feeding a dolphin
Adele enjoying feeding the dolphins at Barnacles Cafe Tin Can Bay

There is no touching the Dolphins, not even the volunteers have any physical involvement with them.

What time is the Dolphin Feeding?

The Barnacles Dolphin Centre opens at 7am with viewing time between 7.00am and 8am, and then feeding from 8am.

Barnacles Dolphin Centre & Cafe is also where you can have brekkie before or after feeding the dolphins.

Be sure to arrive early to purchase dolphin feeding tickets and get the opportunity to go in the water for viewing time between 7am and 8am.

One of the wild dolphins at Tin Can Bay
Tin Can Bay dolphin

How much does it cost to feed the dolphins at Barnacles Cafe?

To view the Dolphins the cost is just a $5 entry fee. To participate in feeding the Dolphins at Barnacles Cafe, it cost only another $5. Pensioners are just $7.50

Once the dolphins arrive the staff will organise a line where you can collect a fish to feed a dolphin and then wait in the feeding area for you to have your turn.

Crowds gathering for the dolphin feeding
People watching the dolphins

How to get to Barnacles Dolphin Feeding Centre & Cafe

Follow Tin Can Bay Road through the main town, along the Esplanade all the way to the point where you will arrive at the Tin Can Bay Yacht Club and boat ramp.

From Hervey Bay to Tin Can Bay it is just and hour and 15 minutes drive.

Follow the signs to find a park to the right at the back of the carpark.

Read about: Our Trip from Hervey Bay to Bundaberg

After feeding the dolphins at Barnacles Cafe Tin Can Bay
Tin Can Bay Dolphin Centre

Tin Can Bay Accommodation

There are a couple of places to stay in Tin Can Bay however we usually choose to set up at Rainbow Beach where we stay at the Rainbow Beach Holiday Village.

It can accommodate all visitors whether it’s camping or staying in the cabins, it has great facilities and is very close to shops and the beach.

At the water's edge in Tin Can Bay
Tin Can Bay

Things to do in Tin Can Bay

Fishing and Boating

Tin Can Bay is a beautiful quiet seaside town best known for it’s fishing and boating.

If you don’t have a boat of your own you can hire one from Tin Can Bay Boat Hire.

Tin Can Bay Country Club

The Tin Can Bay Country Club offers an 18 hole Golf Course or play bowls before enjoying a meal and drinks in the restaurant.

Fraser Island

Take a tour to Fraser Island and see the Worlds Largest Sand Island. Leave your car behind and relax as tour guides take you to visit all the highlights of magnificent Fraser Island.

Read more about Fraser Island: Everything to See and Do on Fraser Island

Beautiful Lake McKenzie on Fraser Island
Lake McKenzie on Fraser Island

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Have you experienced feeding the dolphins at Barnacles Cafe Tin Can Bay?

Safe travels

Kev & Adele
Indefinite Leave

We are Adele & Kevin, an Aussie couple from Brisbane in Queensland Australia who have embraced our adventurous spirit and ventured out to explore the world around us. We had spent so much time overseas we decided it was time to see our own truly amazing country and we needed to take some time to see everything it has to offer.

Our Aim is to inspire others to travel and help design the greatest adventure they can experience.

_________________________________________________________________________________________________

Photography and Socials

Our camera equipment we use for all our photos and videos are:

Samsung Note 10 Plus Phone – https://ebay.to/2XOjXhi – Most of our photos are simply from our phones. The Samsung phone cameras are pretty insane. Our phones have 512gb storage in ours but the 256gb in this one is heaps. We have sourced this one which is approx $500 less than we paid for ours.

Canon 800d – https://ebay.to/2XQYnsk – the latest DSLR Canon 24mp camera, buy here to save.

Lenses

Canon 50mm lens – https://ebay.to/2yQwPed  This is the lens I use the least, ideal for still, close up shots.
Canon 24-105mm lenshttps://ebay.to/3eCueUo This is my all round, everyday use, zoom lens. Amazing quality, great price.
Canon 70-300mm lens – https://ebay.to/2XlOZ0I – I use this one a lot for long range shots.
Sigma 10-20mm lenshttps://ebay.to/2TWt0vA  – My wide angle lens for all my inside photos & video plus lots more, love this lens.

Our Go Pro 7 Hero Black – https://ebay.to/38wMc7V  –  is an awesome piece of equipment. I use this for all underwater, action video and some general use. Buy here brand new and great value.

Mavic Pro Platinum Drone – https://ebay.to/2ARPxTo  This is an absolute ripper of a drone. The Fly More Combo will provide you with everything you will need. I use this for all my aerial footage and this price is well below other retail stores.

_______________________________________________________________________

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Twitter: https://twitter.com/indefiniteleav3

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Adventurers Diary

7 Best Things to See in Bermagui

7 Best Things to See in Bermagui

Our 7 Best Things to See in Bermagui highlight just why you should visit the beautiful New South Wales town of Bermagui.

Bermagui is a small seaside town set alongside glorious turquoise waters on the breathtaking Sapphire Coast of Southern New South Wales.

Nestled below Mt Dromedary, Bermagui boasts a spectacular harbour.

With the continental shelf being just 20kms off-shore and being the closest point to the Australian mainland, it provides perfect conditions off the coast of Bermagui for deep-sea and game fishing.

There is also good estuary fishing in the rivers and lakes of the region.

Here are our 7 Best Things to See in Bermagui

Blue Pool - 7 Best Things to See in Bermagui

1.  The Blue Pool

When visiting beautiful Bermagui, one of the 7 Best Things to see is The Blue Pool, it’s a must.

It is a naturally fed ocean pool and is aptly named for the blue coloured water reflecting from the sky on a clear day.

Besides swimming you can also go snorkeling in the natural rock pool. It’s great to be able to check out the sea life in a fairly safe environment.

Waves crashing into the Blue Pool

Just beware of the waves as they crash over the rocks into the pool at high tide and at other times when the conditions are rough.

The viewing platform at the lookout above the Blue Pool is an awesome spot for whale watching during whale season.

2. Bruce Steer Ocean Swimming Pool

Another great swimming spot in Bermagui is the Bruce Steer Ocean Swimming Pool which is to the side of the Harbour just below Bermagui Point and just a short stroll from the main street of Bermagui.

The pool is fed from the ocean making it a natural saltwater pool. The pool is protected from Bermagui Point, has a sandy beach and is calm and safe for swimming.

Bruce Steer Swimming Pool - 7 Best Things to See in Bermagui
Sandy Beach entry to the Bruce Steer Swimming Pool

There is also a net at the end which opens to the ocean to prevent any sharks from entering.

The pool is named after Colonel John Mansel Bruce Steer who fought hard for the improvements to the Bermagui Harbour and for improved conditions for professional fishermen.

Bruce Steer Swimming Pool with safety net
Bruce Steering Swimming Pool netted for safer protection

3.  Fishermen’s Wharf

The Bermagui Fishermen’s Wharf is a great spot if you like fresh seafood.

There is also an awesome ice cream shop which we visited a number of times! The Bermagui Gelati Clinic is definitely one clinic we didn’t mind visiting!

Bermagui Fishermen’s Co-Operative is one of the major suppliers of seafood for the Sydney Fish Market as well as a supplier to local restaurants and cafes.

Flathead, Snapper, Tuna, Swordfish and Shark are just some of the types of fish caught in this area.

Fishermens Wharf - 7 Best Things to See in Bermagui
Fishermens Wharf - 7 Best Things to See in Bermagui

The original Bermagui Fishermen’s Co-Operative operated from 1948 until 1975.

After the old Co-Op building was demolished, the current Fishermen’s Wharf complex was established and became home to the $2billion industry in 2009.

Original Fishermens Co-OP
Plaque at Fishermen’s Wharf showing the 1st Bermagui Fishermen’s Co-Op

4.  Camel Rock

Camel Rock in Wallaga Lake just north of Bermagui is among the oldest rocks in New South Wales.

This rock formation was created by underwater avalanches around 450 million years ago and bears a strong resemblance to a camel.

Camel Rock - 7 Best Things to See in Bermagui
Camel Rock

You can view Camel Rock from the beach or the Camel Rock Viewing Platform.

Also call into the Camel Rock Brewery Bar and Grill while you are in the area.

Camel Rock with the drone
Overlooking Camel Rock

Read more about NSW: Exploring Honeymon Bay and Discover Gosangs Tunnel

5.  Horse Head Rock

It is believed that Horse Head Rock is in the proximity of 500 million years old making it one of the oldest rocks in NSW!

This distinctive rock formation which resembles a horses head is located between the surf beach at Camel Rock and Murunna Point at Wallaga Lake.

Horse Head Rock - one of 7 Best Things to see in Bermagui
Horse Head Rock

To get to Horse Head Rock from Camel Rock Surf Beach, it is only accessible at low tide and although it is roughly only 200 metres, it is difficult in parts as you make your way over rocks near Camel Rock.

Be sure to allow enough time to return on low tide as well!

There is also a bush walking track that takes you along an elevated area for the best viewing of Horse Head Rock.

6. Wallaga Lake

Another popular spot for fishing is Wallaga Lake, the largest lake in southern New South Wales.

Wallaga Lake is just 7kms north of Bermagui and opens to the sea at Murunna Point, a significant Aboriginal place.

Wallaga Lake - 7 Best Things to see in Bermagui
Wallaga Lake’s historic wooden bridge

The Lake is also a popular spot for swimming, boating, sailing and water skiing and has a number of picnic and toilet facilities around the lake.

7.  Michael Lerner Lookout

The Michael Lerner Lookout offers awesome views of the ocean and rugged coastline. Just 3kms south of Bermagui, the lookout has a fabulous elevated picnic area and day rest area.

The lookout is named after Michael Lerner who holds the record for hooking and landing two Black Marlin at the one time.

Michael Lerner Lookout views - 7 Best Things to See in Bermagui
Michael Lerner Lookout
Michael Lerner Lookout is just one of our 7 Best Things to See in Bermagui

5 Essentials – 4WD Accessories

  1. 4WD Recovery Tracks will get you out of most situations, especially in sand. We bought a pair of these generic branded tracks that have worked well whilst other brands include the Australian made TRED or the Australian Designed and made MAXTRAX 4wd Recovery Tracks.
  2. For our 4WD we went with this EDECOA 1500 3000w Pure Sine Wave Inverter which has been excellent value and works great.
  3. I’m a massive fan of my Victron IP65 15a Battery Charger. I use it often to give batteries a boost and it really is an essential part of my tool kit.
  4. When camping my Kings 200w Solar Blanket gets a lot of use and works really well. Only downside is it doesn’t work with Lithium batteries.
  5. Brass Tyre Deflators are a fast and easy way to lower your tyre pressure to your desired level. Perfect for when you are hitting the beach.

Distances from Bermagui

How far is Bermagui to Sydney

Bermagui is just under 380kms south of Sydney. Traveling directly by car on the A1, it is just over a five hours’ drive to Bermagui from Sydney. While exploring the Sydney to Bermagui coastline we made numerous stops along the way staying at Coledale, Windang, Jervis Bay, UlladullaPretty Beach and Dalmeny just to name a few.

How far is Bermagui to Batemans Bay

It is around a 1 ½ hr drive from Bermagui to Batemans Bay. The distance between Bermagui and Batemans Bay is approx. 104kms.

How far is Bermagui to Canberra

The distance between Bermagui and Canberra by road is around 250kms and takes just under 3 ½ hrs to drive between the two.

Other great places to stay in the region:

Bermagui Fun Facts

Did you know the movie, The Man who Sued God starring Billy Connolly and Judy Davis, was filmed in Bermagui.

Also the historic wooden bridge at Wallaga Lake was featured in the movie Unbroken directed by Angelina Jolie.

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Our readers also enjoy reading:

Have you ticked off any or all of the 7 Best Things to See in Bermagui? Let us know in the comments below of any other things that you have seen in this magnificent Bermagui region.

Safe travels

Kev & Adele
Indefinite Leave

We are Adele & Kevin, an Aussie couple from Brisbane in Queensland Australia who have embraced our adventurous spirit and ventured out to explore the world around us. We had spent so much time overseas we decided it was time to see our own truly amazing country and we needed to take some time to see everything it has to offer.

Our Aim is to inspire others to travel and help design the greatest adventure they can experience.

_____________________________________________________________________________

Photography and Socials

Our camera equipment we use for all our photos and videos are:

Samsung Note 10 Plus Phone – https://ebay.to/2XOjXhi – Most of our photos are simply from our phones. The Samsung phone cameras are pretty insane. Our phones have 512gb storage in ours but the 256gb in this one is heaps. We have sourced this one which is approx $500 less than we paid for ours.

Canon 800d – https://ebay.to/2XQYnsk – the latest DSLR Canon 24mp camera, buy here to save.

Lenses

Canon 50mm lens – https://ebay.to/2yQwPed  This is the lens I use the least, ideal for still, close up shots.
Canon 24-105mm lenshttps://ebay.to/3eCueUo This is my all round, everyday use, zoom lens. Amazing quality, great price.
Canon 70-300mm lens – https://ebay.to/2XlOZ0I – I use this one a lot for long range shots.
Sigma 10-20mm lenshttps://ebay.to/2TWt0vA  – My wide angle lens for all my inside photos & video plus lots more, love this lens.

Our Go Pro 7 Hero Black – https://ebay.to/38wMc7V  –  is an awesome piece of equipment. I use this for all underwater, action video and some general use. Buy here brand new and great value.

Mavic Pro Platinum Drone – https://ebay.to/2ARPxTo  This is an absolute ripper of a drone. The Fly More Combo will provide you with everything you will need. I use this for all my aerial footage and this price is well below other retail stores.

_______________________________________________________________________

Follow us, Subscribe, Like, Share, and Comment on our website and social media here:-

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/indefiniteleave/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/indefinite_leave/

Website: https://indefiniteleave.com.au/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/indefiniteleave

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com.au/indefiniteleave/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/indefiniteleav3

______________________________________________________________________

This post contains affiliate links. If you buy something through a link on this page we may receive a small commission. It will not cost you any more, in fact we’ve sourced out some great deals for you. Thank you for supporting us.

Continue Reading

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