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Adventurers Diary

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

If you’ve ever owned a dog and grown to love it then you’ll understand the devastation we are feeling of losing MACKS the best dog ever.

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.

A Tribute to MACKS the best dog for 15 1/2 years

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.

MACKS the Best Dog
MACKS as a puppy

Man’s Best Friend

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 Snowy and came to the conclusion it was time to find another “Man’s Best Friend”. We spent weeks searching, looking specifically at Golden Retrievers.

MACKS standing guard at the front gate
A very oung Young MACKS

Naming 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.

MACKS running on the beach at Dunsborough
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.

Playing fetch with MACKS

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.

MACKS at Sue and Noel's in Townsville

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 and 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.

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

MACKS was the best dog and so easy to train

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. Also 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? So that thing wasn’t coming anywhere near me.

MACKS would fetch a stick from the water all day long!
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, because she was so easy to train as well.

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

Adele’s special bond with MACKS

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 hugging 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 him in the backyard at the gate to the park to symbolise his role in protecting the property.

So it was always intended that MACKS would be buried on the opposite side of the gate entrance.

Like all Golden Retrievers, MACKS loved the beach
Like all Golden Retrievers, MACKS loved the beach

MACKS to travel with us!

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. Fortunately 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.

MACKS was the best dog to travel with, she loved being around us 24/7 and as a result she hardly ever barked!

MACKS at Rainbow Beach, Qld
She spotted these sticks in the water at Rainbow Beach, Qld

MACKS loved the Beach!

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.

MACKS still dragging her legs through the water right til the end

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.

MACKS loved people

MACKS was the best dog and loved by all!

Everyone has always loved MACKS. She has always been 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.

Book your Lady Musgrave Island tour here>

MACKS curled up on the lounge during a storm
On the lounge during a storm

Her fear of loud noises

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.

At Port Lincoln Vet with Geriatric Vestibular Disease
At Port Lincoln Vet with Geriatric Vestibular Disease

MACKS battled through 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.

Recovering at caravan park in Port Lincoln
Recovering at caravan park in Port Lincoln

A frantic 5 hour drive to the Vet

We were in Ceduna in South Australia and there were no vets in town. After googling, we 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.

MACKS enjoying the beach at Moonta SA
MACKS enjoying the beach at Moonta SA

The Port Lincoln Vet Clinic were excellent!

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 booked into the Port Lincoln Tourist Park and visited MACKS 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 the recovery food!!

MACKS in the flooded creek with our son Cameron
MACKS in the flooded creek with our son Cameron

Getting MACKS to eat and drink again

On the Wednesday we went back to the Vet to let them know we hadn’t had any luck. MACKS still wasn’t eating or able to move.

Therefore, 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!!

Saved by a Chicken Crimpy!!

Deadline thwarted

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.

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

A slow recovery for MACKS

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 quickly grabbed 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.

MACKS last dinner
We all ate on the floor together for her last dinner

Our special last 24hrs with MACKS

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.

Bathed and drying off in the sun
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.

Ice creams all round including one for MACKS
Ice creams all round

An Ice cream Treat for MACKS

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.

Making memories with MACKS before her farewell

Photos with MACKS to treasure forever

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 as the water propelled into the air.

She was the best dog, she was so gentle natured and scared easily. We took lots of photos and gave her lots of hugs and kisses. 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.

Final moments with MACKSKev's final hugs with MACKSNightcliff Jetty - Reflecting after we farewelled MACKS
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. MACKS was the best dog we’ve ever known!!

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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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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18 Comments

18 Comments

  1. Peter

    June 22, 2017 at 9:35 pm

    This is just a beautiful story and shows how much Macks impacted your lives in such a positive way and how much you loved her. Got to go now and give my Mia a big hug. Thank you for sharing.😢😢😢

  2. Lianne

    June 23, 2017 at 5:58 pm

    Thank you for sharing such a wonderful and heart breaking story. I’m so sorry for your loss. Sending love and strength from the hearts of our family to yours.

    • Indefinite Leave

      June 23, 2017 at 11:01 pm

      Thank you so much Lianne. We appreciate your kind words. Kev & Adele

  3. Maureen Bieder

    June 23, 2017 at 10:54 pm

    I have tears in my eyes reading this beautiful story of Macks. There is no love like the love of your dog. I am not looking forward to losing any of my three poodles. They are my family but are now 12, 13 1/2, 14 1/2.
    Thanks for sharing your story!

    • Indefinite Leave

      June 23, 2017 at 11:02 pm

      Thank you Maureen. Wow they’ve had a great life but hopefully have a little longer to go yet 🙂

  4. Emma

    June 24, 2017 at 10:51 am

    awww Macks …. I’m going to miss you and your adventures xxxx thanks for sharing her with us Adele, Kevin, Matt and Cameron

    • Indefinite Leave

      June 24, 2017 at 10:21 pm

      Thank you Emma. Yes it’s just so sad. We are missing her like crazy. Safe travels Kev & Adele

  5. Brenda & Peter

    June 25, 2017 at 10:17 pm

    Oh dear Kevin, That was just beautiful. Dear dear Macks, she was a beautiful dog such a lovely nature. You will be left with so many happy memories of your time with her. Love to you & Adele & Matthew. ♥♥♥ From Brenda & Peter I feel so privileged to have met her. Dogs are one of the best of Gods creatures. They are so very loyal & ask nothing in return.

    • Indefinite Leave

      June 29, 2017 at 8:38 am

      Thank you so much Brenda & Peter. It’s been 3 weeks now and missing her like crazy. Thanks again, Kev & Adele.

  6. Jenny Watters

    July 8, 2017 at 7:14 pm

    So sorry for your loss, what a wonderful dog she was.

    • Indefinite Leave

      July 14, 2017 at 6:19 pm

      Thank you Jenny. We really miss her a lot, she was such a great dog and really loved by us all.

  7. Andrew

    January 18, 2018 at 2:01 pm

    We are lucky to have these beautiful animals be part of our life. I too have had to let go my retriever who suffered similar weakness in the back end. I now have a 12.5 yr old and a 2.5yr old. Awesome dogs. Will you get another?

    • Indefinite Leave

      January 24, 2018 at 12:07 pm

      Hi Andrew, sorry I’ve taken so long to reply. Yes we are. Goldens are just the best dogs. No, we want to spend a lot of time travelling now, both here and overseas and it’s much easier without a pet. 🙂

  8. Roxanne

    November 5, 2018 at 2:08 pm

    Awwww what a special story of unconditional love! I have no doubt that she will always have a very special place in your hearts and you truly gave her a beautiful life…✨

  9. Maree

    November 12, 2018 at 11:25 am

    I just read your Facebook post about tick medication which brought me here. What a lovely tribute to your gorgeous Macks. I am onto my 4th goldie now – have always had 2 at a time to give me some protection when one leaves me. It helps. Your story of Macks reminds me of my Zoe, who has been gone just over 2 years. She was diagnosed with a brain tumour at age 13, given only a few months but we actually got over 2 more years with her. She too was a beautiful, gentle girl, terrified of storms, but a big fan of balls & especially the water. She would have loved a trip like your Macks had. We hope to one day take Harriett & Ruby travelling with us. That bond you describe with Macks & the one I have had with my goldies is one of the most special things in life. Keep enjoying your travels xx

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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.

____________________________________________________________________________________________

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/indefiniteleav3

______________________________________________________________________

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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

Pin It!

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.

_______________________________________________________________________

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

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.

Pin It!

Pin It!

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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