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Adventurers Diary

Winning the War against Midges or Sand Flies

Winning the war against midges or sand flies is a constant battle as Summer at the beach is the Australian way of life.

Tourists arrive in Australia by the thousands every year, all looking to share in the dream of the great Australian outdoors. Our amazing Country is renowned for sunny days, blue skies, warm weather and extraordinary beaches.

85% of Australians live near the beach along the coastline and we love to fish, swim and sun bake over the warmer months. In winter, southerners flock to the northern states to take advantage of the warm weather.

Beautiful Cable Beach

Winning the War against Midges or Sand Flies

The typical Aussie dress at the beach of bikinis or shorts and thongs leaves us very exposed to biting insects and the unseen scourge of the beach has to be the almost invisible Midge, or Sand fly as it’s more commonly known here in Australia and also in New Zealand.

Its scientific name is Ceratopogonidae (let’s see you say that 3 times after a few chardonnays).

This little blood sucking, demon bug is a small insect from the Midge family. The smaller Sand Fly can actually make their way through insect screens, and we learnt that fast during an overnight stay in Gladstone.

They do carry diseases. Because they rely on blood to produce eggs they will feed on other living animals other than humans and can therefore spread diseases when they bite us.

 

Adele certainly not winning the war against Midges or Sandlies

 

Here are some of my quick tips!!

Sand Fly Myths

There’s a common myth that the Sand Fly pees on you, let me debunk that theory here.

Sand Flies are bloodsuckers and they bite you. They don’t pee or urinate on you, thankfully. They do inject a salivary secretion in that produces a skin reaction of varying intensity, depending on an individual’s reaction.

It is an allergic reaction from protein in the Sand Fly saliva. My wife Adele is one of those that suffers badly from Sand Fly bites and comes up in big bite marks and welts as you can see in the photos.

I’ve always been curious who came up with this myth about Sand Flies peeing on you. I can just envisage a few pranksters around a campfire telling the girls they were peed on and the rumour has spread ever since. What a great prank.

Sand Fly’s requires protein from blood to reproduce.

 

Kev not winning the war against midges or sandflies

Different Types of Midges

There are hundreds of different types of Midges. Sand Flies are in fact a Midge. There are many different types of Midges and Sand Flies are from the Midge family.

Different places call it by either name but they are ultimately talking about the same beast.

In North America they call them “no-see-ums”.

The Midge or Sand Fly that bites you in mangroves is a different species to the one which bites you in the sand at the beach, but they both come from the same family of biting Midge. You may have noticed the Sand Fly’s at the beach tend to have white wings unlike the one in mangroves, which is mostly black. Personally, I identify the ones with white wings as Sand Flys and the black ones as Midges. That’s just my own ID plan but they are actually the same ultimately.

 

Sand Fly

 

When you begin to first notice the affects of a Sand Fly bite you can almost guarantee you were bitten 24 hours previously. Think back to the same time the previous day and you are likely to work out where it happened.

Prevention

Cover up. One thing I do like about winter at the beach is you are usually wearing more clothing and therefore have less skin exposed for Sand Flies to access. This is fine if you want to go fishing but swimming in winter however you don’t see too many people swimming at Surfers Paradise during our cold months unless you’re a tourist from Ireland, Russia or those mexicans from down south in Victoria. This is not the case in the Top End of Oz where it’s basically summer all year round and there’s just 2 seasons, Hot and Melting.

I like to wear a fishing shirt, it provides good protection and isn’t too hot to wear even in summer.

Wash often. They get into everything and once they do they stay there. Clothes, sheets, towels, blankets, potentially everything. If you are still getting bitten the next day after having been at the beach then wash everything.

Remove any sand from your vehicle, caravan or inside your campsite.
Apply repellents as necessary every morning when you are camping or going fishing.

 

Hundreds of bites - no winning the war against midges or sand flies

Repellents

There are lots of natural and home made options which can be chemical free, try one of these.

50% Dettol, 50% Baby Oil and then add 1 teaspoon of Eucalyptus Oil for each 400ml of liquid

Another one is:
500ml Sorbolene
125ml bottle Aeroguard Tropical
50ml Tea Tree Oil
50ml Dettol
Mix into a 1L spray bottle

We also use a simple mix of Avon Skin So Soft Baby Oil and water. Just use a 50/50 mix. We were given this remedy by the manager of the Caravan Park at Bucasia Beach in Mackay and the sand flies there can be savage.

For me, standard sprays usually work such as Rid, Off, Aeroguard or similar repellent. Adele however has a reaction to the chemical based repellents and finds ‘The Locals’ cream or spray to be very effective.

The cream has a stop itch component as well which helps to not only prevent bites but also sooth the itch once bitten.

The Locals is definitely Adele’s repellent of choice.

 

Winning the war against midges or sand flies with The Locals

Treatment

Ill get to the best chemical free treatment in a minute but we have found DermAid cream to be effective for us. It seems to stop the itch quickly and provide fast relief. Also we have Stingose and Sooov on hand and Adele has often used Calamine lotion to varying degrees of success.

We recently tried Bushman but must say I didn’t like it and I’m not a fan but it may work for you.

 

And here’s the thing, because we are all made up of different chemical balances and blood types, the same treatment doesn’t work for everyone.

 

Have you ever seen someone ask the question online of what works for treatment of bites from these terrorists of the beach? Everyone has a different opinion of what works and normally there’s a lot of responses all saying different remedies.

The one thing I have learnt is that everyone is different regarding what works as both prevention and remedy for them. Try as many options as you reasonably can and see what works best for you.

 

Numerous Repellants to Win the War against Midges or Sand Flies

 

Treatment Tip

For the BEST method to stop the itch is a Hot shower or using a spoon apply hot water until the spoon is as hot as you can stand it and place it on the bite. Be careful and don’t burn yourself and your skin.

Remember earlier I mentioned protein is in the secretion from the Midge and it causes the itch? Heat will break down the protein and therefore stop the itch!!

There’s no cost, no chemicals and it works.

The most important aspect of winning the war against Midges or Sand Flies, and most difficult, is don’t scratch the bite. Once you scratch it the itch becomes intolerable and it becomes prone to infection.

Scratching will only make it worse!!

Apply a cream or hot water and do something that will take your mind and attention away from it.

 

The Annoying Horse or March Fly

The fly that really annoys me isn’t the Sand Fly, it’s the Horse Fly or March Fly as it’s commonly called. They are big and you can see them but their bite really hurts and they have real potential to carry many diseases.

These things sneak up and have a long sharp mouthpart that is designed to penetrate deep to take blood.

It is the female that bites in search of blood, the male jaws are too weak to penetrate.

They are slow unlike the smaller common fly and much easier to eradicate.

Horse Flies are found world-wide. If bitten you can apply a cold compress to sooth the pain if needed, don’t scratch it and it should heal within a few hours. If the pain intensifies seek medical assistance.

 

Horse Fly or March Fly

 

Enjoy your day at the beach and as Max Walker used to say “Don’t forget the Aeroguard” 😉

 

What works for you? We’d love you to share your thoughts on fighting Midges and Sand Flies. Do you find yourself winning the war against Midges or Sand Flies?

 

Kev & Adele
Indefinite Leave

 

Readers who liked this also enjoyed reading:

Our 22 Best Free Camps in Australia

The Best Beaches in Australia 1 – 10

What it REALLY costs to Travel Australia

10 Reasons to Travel Australia instead of Overseas

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Photography and Socials

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

Samsung Note 10 Plus Phone – https://ebay.to/2upyEfM – 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/2GoBt37 – the latest DSLR Canon 24mp camera, buy here to save.
Lens – Canon 50mm lens – https://ebay.to/2RL7CY7  This is the lens I use the least, ideal for still, close up shots.
Canon 24-105mm lens – https://ebay.to/2ve3w2Z This is my all round, everyday use, zoom lens. Amazing quality, great price.
Canon 70-300mm lens – https://ebay.to/37pCAM9 – I use this one a lot for long range shots.
Sigma 10-20mm lens – https://ebay.to/2RpOJed  – 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/37oKkhb  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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Where to Find Us

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

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27 Comments

27 Comments

  1. Kaye

    October 24, 2017 at 4:09 pm

    I have tried EVERYTHING, nothing works for me 😳 however I picked up a tip on Facebook about squeezing the juice from a lemon and rubbing it all over your skin and found that worked to repel mozzies 👍 not sure if it would work with midges etc. Also, you can’t get the Avon lotion anywhere, any tips how to get hold of it?? 😀

    • Indefinite Leave

      October 24, 2017 at 7:07 pm

      Hi Kaye, Adele suggests just get on to your local Avon dealer. We have used it but for us, don’t find it as effective as others. Adele only uses The Locals – Sandfly and Mozzie stuff insect repellant. For me, Rid, Mortein or one of those works well. 🙂

    • Roger Beaver

      October 25, 2017 at 7:14 am

      You will need to find an Avon rep in your area not available in shops

  2. Cathie

    October 25, 2017 at 7:18 am

    Great article, thank you. About a year ago there was an interview on ABC radio with some scientists. After much research they found that it is the layer of oil on the skin from the products that protects you from the sandfly’s bite. The other items added didn’t deter the sandfly but may help with mozzies.

    • Indefinite Leave

      October 25, 2017 at 2:49 pm

      Thanks Cathie 🙂

      • Sue Astorquia

        October 25, 2017 at 7:00 pm

        All correct well written just a common Hick up most people call them March flies up here but they are actually Marsh flies I hate them too both the little brown one and the big black one always making war on them and I am allergic to sandflies/midges too oh well such is life…

        • Indefinite Leave

          October 30, 2017 at 8:03 pm

          Hi Sue, thanks for that. They are actually called Horse Fly. Wiki suggests it is March Fly which is what I know it to be too. They call it March Fly I believe because it’s so common during the month of March. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horse-fly
          “In North America they are known as “breeze-flies” and in Australia, some are known as “March flies”……

  3. Chris Welsh

    October 25, 2017 at 9:39 pm

    For relief I find hot water on a towel or washer, as hot as you can stand it, works for me 100% of the time.
    Usually the itch starts at night when I’m in bed and I’m warming up.

    • Indefinite Leave

      October 30, 2017 at 8:10 pm

      Thanks Chris. A few people have suggested they use hot water 🙂

  4. Gloria Rich

    October 26, 2017 at 2:09 pm

    We are in a sandfly area and the locals swear by daily vitamin B1 tablets. 200mg for 2 weeks then 100mg through the sandy season. Theory is that the pheromones produced are less attractive to the insects. Thoughts? Evidence?

    • Indefinite Leave

      October 30, 2017 at 8:11 pm

      Hi Gloria. Others have mentioned Vitamin B1 but it seems it only works for a few people. 🙂

  5. Debra MOIR

    October 30, 2017 at 4:58 pm

    There is a magic thing called Bite Away. I live in FNQ so get bitten sometimes. It takes batteries and heats a ceramic disc that you apply to bite for a few secconds. The itching is gone in 15 secconds. I haven’t found anything yet that works better.

    • Indefinite Leave

      October 30, 2017 at 8:15 pm

      Hi Debra. I hadn’t heard of that one but it sounds good 🙂

  6. Liz

    October 30, 2017 at 8:01 pm

    When my children were quite young, they all had terrible allergic reactions to mozzie bites, a pharmacist told me to give them Vitamin B1. I crushed the tablets up & put them in their weetbix. After a couple of weeks no more bites. The pharmacist said that the B1 gave the skin an odour that mozzies hate & just won’t bite you. It worked for mozzies not sure about sandflys.

    • Indefinite Leave

      October 30, 2017 at 8:24 pm

      Thanks Liz, not sure I’ll put it on my Weetbix, I prefer honey lol 🙂
      If it works though, I’m sure someone who gets badly effected, they would be prepared to try it.

  7. collin simpson

    October 30, 2017 at 10:25 pm

    I use tiger balm, works to repel them and helps after if caught out, also takes the itch away.
    I use this for flies and mozzies too

  8. Gayle Fitos

    October 31, 2017 at 6:23 am

    My husband also has a nasty reaction to sandfly bites, we have found that by starting a course of Betamine Vit B1 about 3-4 weeks prior to heading into sandfly country it greatly lessens the impact these little nasties have, a lot less bites, not so severe.

  9. Dee

    October 31, 2017 at 7:25 am

    The only thing I found that works and I’ve used most you listed was tiger balm if you get it on when spots first appear they go quickly but wait days and makes last for months

    • Indefinite Leave

      October 31, 2017 at 8:16 pm

      A couple of people have suggested Tiger Balm 🙂
      Thanks Dee.

  10. Tony

    January 21, 2018 at 8:38 am

    I found that when I saw midges on my skin, I could feel that I had been bitten. If I could resist itching and wash my skin with soap and water, I’d have no reaction to the bites.

    • Indefinite Leave

      January 24, 2018 at 12:11 pm

      Hi Tony, yes everyone is different, for me some bites I can feel but many I don’t. Soap and water can cause an infection, I wouldn’t use soap just rinse off, wash hands and apply something like The Locals to soothe the itch 🙂

  11. rob

    October 18, 2019 at 4:36 pm

    Good story! I use Lucas paw paw ointment straight away on the bite area and will have complete relief after 20 mins. Works fast and don’t have ongoing problems later.

    • Indefinite Leave

      November 11, 2019 at 8:33 pm

      Thanks Rob. We’ve heard of that one too, glad it works well for you 🙂

  12. Sarah

    November 18, 2019 at 9:32 pm

    I am still working on a deterrent however have found the heat from a hair dryer, as hot as you can stand it for about 20 seconds stops any itching I might have.

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Adventurers Diary

The 7 Towns in Australia we could Live

The 7 towns in Australia we fell in love with and could live.

As you make your way around the country there’s always going to be places you fall in love with and think “I could live here”. A place that you find that just resonates with you.

For some people it happens. When we first started considering traveling we followed a family called This is our Australia. They got to 1770/ Agnes Water and loved it so much they bought 5 acres and set up stumps there. They have been living there now since 2015.

7 Towns in Australia we could live

1770 Lark

Lots of people sell up before they go with the view to finding their new abode, far away from where they lived before they left.

We aren’t looking to settle anywhere else other than Brisbane at this stage, in fact we haven’t even contemplated stopping but it hasn’t stopped us from falling in love with a few places around the country.

Places we fell in love with but could not necessarily live

There are lots of other places we have loved, many of them, but they aren’t ones we would necessarily live. Broome for example is awesome as is Exmouth, we loved Darwin and Bruny Island was magic, but we couldn’t live in any of them.

Hill Inlet

Hill Inlet Whitsundays

When we were in Hervey Bay I wondered if I’d live there. I could picture having a boat and spending a lot of time out in it there. I said to Adele “could you ever see us retire here”. The answer from Adele was simple – No….

These are the places where we felt we would fit in to the culture, love the people and the beaches, it felt stress free and we really could embrace the lifestyle.

These are the 7 towns in Australia we could live after traveling over the last 4 years!!

Beautiful Sandhills at Rainbow Beach

Rainbow Beach

Rainbow Beach, Queensland

Where is it?

Rainbow Beach is the Gateway to magnificent Fraser Island. 67kms East of Gympie, it is a 2.5 hour drive from our hometown of Brisbane.

Why do we love Rainbow Beach?

It’s close to Brisbane, which is a big attraction, plus it is small with no traffic and no traffic lights. The beach is stunning and the Coloured Sandhills are beautiful.

Fraser Island is 10 minutes and a 15 minute barge trip away. Noosa is a 1 hour beach drive away.

Rainbow Beach has an excellent pub, a Surf Life Savers Club overlooking the beach and a yummy ice cream parlour. What more does one need?

What might stop us living at Rainbow Beach?

It’s a little more expensive to live here as it is mainly a tourist town. Fuel costs more and there’s no major grocery chain.

Approximately 1200 people live in Rainbow Beach but that goes to over 24,000 during holiday season. Midges can be a problem but that’s going to be a potential issue at any beachside town.

It is very small town and in the long run we might get bored and need more variety.

All up, a very high probability.

Our livability rating: 8

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Airlie Beach Lagoon

Airlie Beach, Qld

Where is it?

As if Airlie Beach needs any introduction. World renowned for the Whitsundays and Great Barrier Reef, Airlie Beach is a short 30 minute drive East of Proserpine and a 2 hour, 150km, drive north of Mackay in North Queensland.

What do we love about Airlie Beach?

I could move to the Whitsundays tomorrow!! It is very high on our list of the 7 Towns in Australia we could live!

Wow, what a magical place. We have been to the Whitsundays a few times even before our road trip and now back twice more and it is just sensational. We had our Honeymoon at Airlie Beach and it continues to be a special place for us, the incredible natural beauty is very difficult to beat.

I could easily move here, buy a boat and jet ski, set up a YouTube channel and just explore every island, every beach and fish all day long.

There are 74 islands in the Whitsundays and I could happily spend the rest of my days exploring each and every one of them.

There’s plenty to do here and it’s big enough to have good infrastructure of major shops. There’s only one or two sets of lights, not too much traffic but a lifestyle that would be so amazing.

What might stop us living at Airlie Beach?

It’s a 12 hour, 1100km drive from Airlie Beach to Brisbane. It’s just too far from our Mums.

Airlie Beach has been hit by several very damaging Cyclones over the years, the most recent being Cyclone Debbie in 2017 that caused $3.5b damage in damage and killed 14 people.

Did we mention we love Airlie Beach!! 🙂

Our livability rating: 8+

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The Margaret River Chocolate Co.

Margaret River Chocolate Co.

Margaret River, Western Australia

Where is it?

Margaret River is a small town in a beautiful region 277kms south of Perth in Western Australia.

What do we love about Margaret River?

This is a stunning region mostly recognised for it’s amazing wineries. There are also superb beaches, stunning tall forests and cave systems that make it unique and a genuinely great place to live.

We love the vibe and it’s potential for further growth.

Our great mates from West Aussie Nomads now live there too which is a bonus.

What might stop us living in Margaret River?

Too far from home.

Too cold in winter.

I don’t imagine we will ever live in Margaret River but we will definitely visit there for some long stays in the future.

Our livability rating: 7.5

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Portland in victoria

Portland Marina

Portland, Victoria

Where is it?

Portland is 100kms from the western end of the Great Ocean Road in Victoria.

What do we love about Portland?

We really enjoyed Portland, a beautiful seaside town where everyone seems very friendly. The fishing looks great and it’s so relaxing.

It’s a laid back town where nothing happens in too much of a hurry. We felt relaxed and enjoyed the towns atmosphere.

The wildlife around Portland is superb and there’s so much to see within the region.

What might stop us living at Portland?

Weather!! Way too cold for way too long. Not a place for us Queenslanders!!

Like Margaret River, it’s just too far from family in Brisbane. A great location and we hope to visit again in the future.

Our livability rating: 7

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South West Rocks is one of 7 towns in Australia we could live

South West Rocks

South West Rocks, NSW

Where is it?

South West Rocks is in the mid north coast of New South Wales, half way between Brisbane and Sydney.

What do we love about South West Rocks?

This was very much our kind of town. We love that is has every kind of water course covered. There’s a great Surf beach, Rocks walls with stunning rock pools, a glorious Bay, a River system and a Creek.

Every type of swimming, fishing, surfing, snorkeling and diving is covered.

It’s big enough to have a Coles but there are no traffic lights. It has good growth potential and if you love the ocean it’s a magical place to be.

Due to Ocean current flows which bring warm water from the tropical regions the ocean water temperatures are relatively warm all year round.

Hat Head is close by and a genuinely beautiful location too.

Out of the 7 Towns in Australia we could live, this equally rates the highest with Airlie Beach. We could easily live at South West Rocks.

What might stop us living at South West Rocks?

The distance to Brisbane.

We really enjoyed South West Rocks and it is definitely high on our list of 7 towns in Australia we could live in. We potentially could very happily retire there when we get old 🙂

Our livability rating: 8+

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1770 - 7 towns in Australia we could live

1770 Sunset

1770/ Agnes Water, Qld

Where is it?

The towns of 1770 and Agnes Water are just 5 minutes apart. They are located half way to the north of Bundaberg and south of Gladstone in Queensland.

What do we love about 1770/ Agnes Water?

Without doubt the best sunsets on the East Coast of Australia are at 1770. Only Moreton Island gets close.

Agnes Water is the last location north in Queensland to have surf beaches. We do love it here and it’s so close to major cities of Bundaberg and Gladstone.

It’s a fantastic little town with no traffic lights, superb fishing and a great culture.

1770/ Agnes Water would be high on the list of locations we could live.

What might stop us living at 1770/ Agnes Water?

Midges would be an issue, they can be bad here.

It’s a very small community, we might get bored.

There’s not a lot of infrastructure. You need to go to Bundaberg or Gladstone to get a lot of major supplies and trade assistance.

Our livability rating: 8

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7 towns in Australia we could live - Narooma

Narooma

Narooma, NSW

Where is it?

Narooma is in the South Coast of NSW approx. 200kms from the NSW/ Victoria border.

What do we love about Narooma?

There are a lot of places we have loved in southern NSW, Bermagui and Pambula are just 2 others but for us Narooma and Dalmeny were sensational. Narooma is another beachside town with a spectacular river, fantastic fishing and a great atmosphere.

We really enjoyed our tour to Montague Island which was fascinating. We also enjoyed the local little towns such as Tilba Tilba and Bodalla.

Only 5 minutes north is the beautiful sea side town of Dalmeny Beach which we also really enjoyed.

There is so much beauty in this area, lots to do and see and the people were so friendly.

What might stop us living at Narooma?

Too far from home.

Too cold in winter.

Our livability rating: 7.5

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There they are, in no particular order, the 7 towns in Australia we could live in and happily retire to.

What would be your happy place to move to if you did?

Safe travels

Kev & Adele
Indefinite Leave

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Photography & Socials

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

Samsung Note 10 Plus Phone – https://ebay.to/2upyEfM – 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/2GoBt37 – the latest DSLR Canon 24mp camera, buy here to save.
Lenses – Canon 50mm lens – https://ebay.to/2RL7CY7  This is the lens I use the least, ideal for still, close up shots.
Canon 24-105mm lens – https://ebay.to/2ve3w2Z This is my all round, everyday use, zoom lens. Amazing quality, great price.
Canon 70-300mm lens – https://ebay.to/37pCAM9 – I use this one a lot for long range shots.
Sigma 10-20mm lens – https://ebay.to/2RpOJed  – 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/37oKkhb  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.

___________________________________________________________________________

Where to Find Us

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.

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Adventurers Diary

The Forgotten Travelers

There’s an enormous Impact on the Forgotten Travelers around Australia.

At any one time it is estimated there are normally between 100,000 to 120,000 people traveling around Oz.

They are driving in 4wd’s and Caravans, Motorhomes, Fifth Wheelers, Camper trailers, Campervans (whizz bangers), tents, swags or simply in their vehicle. The range of options on how we do it varies.

Whatever the setup is that we have, it’s our home. It’s our sanctuary and we love it.

The Forgotten Travelers

Sandfire Roadhouse WA Checkpoint March 2020

Styles of Travelers

It’s the same with the different styles of traveler.

Many go on holidays, taking time off work to visit a location or region and enjoy a great time wherever they choose. Often it’s with the family during school holidays or whenever time off work is available.

Others take a bit more time, usually a few months at a time and go out and explore regions over short periods before heading back home and getting ready for another adventure sometime later. Once the home maintenance is done, the grandkids have been visited these travelers will head back out again and spend another few months on the road before heading back home.

The majority of travelers would fit those scenarios and are fortunate enough to have their home to return to any time they desire.

The Forgotten Traveler

Quick Run…. the virus is coming!!

With all that is happening right now in this crazy situation of Covid-19 the entire world has found itself in, we have what I believe are The Forgotten Travelers.

The Forgotten Travelers Living on the Road

These are the guys who are Living on the Road.

They are out there doing their Big Lap, for commonly 1 year, maybe longer. They live in their Caravans and Motorhomes.

Then there are those that are more like us at Indefinite Leave. These guys are traveling and exploring over an even longer, extended period of time with no set date at the moment. When it will all end hasn’t been decided.

Social Distancing at Lucky Bay would be ideal

Social Distancing Fail

Living on the Road to Survive

Then there’s the most vulnerable, the ones who through life’s twists and turns, bad choices and bad luck, find themselves with the only option but to live on the road, with no assets, no funds, no home, just their fortnightly pension to try and survive.

In each of these scenarios these Forgotten Travelers have no home. They either had no home, Sold their home or it is Rented and unavailable.

Online discussion and in general talk there has been little to no empathy or even a willingness to understand the plight of this marginal part of society.

The Forgtten Traveler

Low risk of Coronavirus here

Varying Reports

Life is a lot easier from the Ivory Tower, sitting on a lounge chair, drinking a chardy and watching the nightly news dissect every angle from many so called experts all willing to have an opinion. The more wild and outlandish comments the “specialist” is willing to make, the better.

After all the Media are in the business of creating fear.

Now don’t go presuming I’m downplaying the facts of what’s happening. This is extremely serious!! But when the news have people saying this is going to last 12-18 months, like one headline I saw the other day, it is beyond absurd. No one knows that, it’s speculative and designed to create fear because that’s what keeps people watching, listening to and reading the news.

That’s just one example of many.

Also don’t think I’m encouraging anyone to travel unnecessarily. Quite frankly I think the shutdowns and closures in Australia have been too slow and instead of getting in front of the issue the dog has just kept chasing it’s tail.

We have been reactive instead of proactive.

No fear of getting too close to this big fella

No Social Distancing issues here

I can’t control that however and we rely on those we elected to make these decisions.

So let’s be clear, I believe and encourage no–one to participate in non-essential travel of any kind. Stay inside and Stay healthy. Simple….

The Difficulty for The Forgotten Travelers

But back to my point, there’s a whole group of Forgotten Travelers out there that are finding this extremely difficult to do. Through no fault of their own they find themselves in a foreign position in a foreign location with chaos all around them.

We have received Messages, Phone calls and Feedback directly from hundreds of people traveling Australia who are genuinely over-stressed, frightened and scared, who are currently facing a dilemma not of their making who are confused and don’t know what to do.

The Forgotten Traveler

Police Roadblocks WA

Essential Travel

Just this morning I received a phone call from someone who has to get from Perth to Darwin. I’m not going to discuss their personal position, that’s not my place, but the reality is he must do this trip. He’s on his own, he is his wife’s registered carer and she and the kids are in Darwin. There is a lot more to the story which I won’t divulge here.

His feedback to me was the people commenting online are making life so much harder for him. He said there is so much bad information being spread that for someone like him who has to complete essential travel, the speculation in groups and forums has created so much stress for him and his family..

As of right now he has driven Perth to the Sandfire Roadhouse where there are roadblocks and he will need to sign forms to continue. He said there are hardly any other vehicles on the road, mostly just some road trains, a few trucks and mining vehicles.

His words to me were, I don’t want to be here. I don’t want to drive thousands of kms on my own, with the unknown of what to expect with roadblocks, in 41c heat. Usually he said people are nice but he has been treated nastily several times. He just wants to be with his family. He is tired, he is stressed, he doesn’t want to get sick.

Going Home is not an option

Others who are trying to do the right thing and stay in one place and self isolate are contacting us too. After they’ve settled in they have received news that the Caravan Park is closing and they have to leave. Now they have to pack up and find somewhere else to stay and it’s not easy. So many places are closing and other places to stay are impractical.

Some of those exact people are the ones who are at greatest risk. They have low immune systems, they may be elderly and some who have contacted us are solo female travelers and they have genuine reasons to be fearful.

Telling them to go Home isn’t an option. In fact, it is ill informed and ignorant.

Lorikeets enjoying some grapes

Shouldn’t you two be further apart

Where do The Forgotten Travelers Go?

People are telling us, they’ve pulled up in Campgrounds, Caravan Parks and Free Camps with the intent of staying until it’s all over, only to be told it’s closing down. They have to move!!

They don’t want to go, they don’t want to travel, they don’t want to have to try and find a new place to stay. One thing is for sure, they don’t want to be told online to Go Home……

Time for Kindness and Compassion

Times like now brings out the Best and Worst in people. Right now we get to choose the type of person we want to be!!

It’s in these moments we need to be more kind then ever. We need to be less judgmental than ever. We need to take off our comfy slippers and put on the shoes of the other person.

Yes we need to stay inside. Yes we need to stay home. Clearly the very vast majority of people are doing that.

If someone says they are taking their family for a holiday over Easter and stuff what everyone else thinks then go for your life, they deserve public pressure.

But don’t assume anything, not everyone is traveling with no good reason. Of the very very few people out there right now on the road, the majority of them would be just trying to find their safe place. Their travel is probably forced upon them and they are doing their best.

Relaxing on the pontoon on the Great Barrier Reef

Pontoon on the Great Barrier Reef is isolation

Support for the Forgotten Travelers

There are people out there who don’t have a house, don’t have any base to go “home” to, who are the opposite side of the country to their family, who are frightened and unsure of what to do. They are lonely and struggling to deal with what is happening. State borders have closed around them.

They don’t need to be abused, they need support. What they do need are offers for a place to stay. They need help and to know that us as a traveling community and family are there for each other.

Telling these people to Go Home, Stay inside or Self isolate isn’t the answer. Even the worlds most remote humans and recluses would have the message by now. We all know it’s time to lock ourselves in front of the TV but for a small few, those aren’t luxuries they have available to them at this moment.

Our 22 Best Free Camps in Australia

What it really costs to Travel Australia – everything you need to budget for

Rapid Bay Campground, South Australia

McGauran Beach

This looks a safe place

Message to the Forgotten Travelers

To those Forgotten Travelers, the Full timers still on the road I do have this message. It is still your responsibility to do the same as everyone else and exercise Social distancing and Self isolation. We are hearing that Wilks Park in Wagga is being closed and there were problems with the people there still enjoying Happy Hour together and other activities.

This has been commented to us from Caravan Parks also where travelers have been told they will be evicted if they continue to interact.

It is as vital that you follow protocol as much as everyone else in society, please follow the guidelines and remain in your “home”.

Let’s chill out on The Forgotten Travelers!!

Stay well

Kev & Adele
Indefinite Leave

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Photography & Socials

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

Samsung Note 10 Plus Phone – https://ebay.to/2upyEfM – 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/2GoBt37 – the latest DSLR Canon 24mp camera, buy here to save.

Lenses

Canon 50mm lens – https://ebay.to/2RL7CY7  This is the lens I use the least, ideal for still, close up shots.
Canon 24-105mm lens – https://ebay.to/2ve3w2Z This is my all round, everyday use, zoom lens. Amazing quality, great price.
Canon 70-300mm lens – https://ebay.to/37pCAM9 – I use this one a lot for long range shots.
Sigma 10-20mm lens – https://ebay.to/2RpOJed  – 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/37oKkhb  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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Where to Find Us

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

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

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

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

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/indefiniteleav3

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Adventurers Diary

Discover the Best of Portland

Just beyond the Great Ocean Road in Victoria traveling west is the small beach side town of Portland. It was here we spent 6 fabulous nights to enable us to fully explore the region and discover the best of Portland. What an amazing location we found it to be, there are so many things to see and do!

This is one of those few towns we have been to where we could picture ourselves living and certainly somewhere we will revisit in the future.

The Portland weather was great to us and we enjoyed beautiful sunny skies and good weather. March and April may just be the best months to visit before the really cold weather sets in.

Discover the Best of Portland

Portland Marina

Discover the Best of Portland at the Port

Portland has a large, deep, sea port and is currently a major timber and wood chip exporting location. The Port of Portland is a great way to discover the best of Portland. Watching the trucks at the Port being unloaded of the wood chip cargo is eerie when you watch for the first time. The trucks are raised high into the air to an almost upright 72 degree angle until all the cargo is released. It is fascinating to watch and it would be interesting to know how those trucks are locked in.

Each truck only takes a few minutes to unload. A new truck enters the Port every 30 seconds, 7 days a week. They unload products including logs, wood chips, aluminium ingots, livestock, grain and fertiliser.

A large fishing fleet occupies the Marina with Rock Lobsters, Abalone, Fish and Squid all bountiful and caught in the beautiful local waters. It’s a busy wharf with lots of activity.

The Jetty’s and Pontoons are perfect fishing grounds for land based fisherman and the rock walls are home to a variety of fish. Snorkeling and spear fishing are very popular here.

Portland Camping

For our accommodation at Portland we stayed at the Henty Park Campground which is behind the Portland Cable Tram Station. The Tram takes you on a 7km journey around the town and is mostly run by volunteers. The Campground is a free 48 hour stay for vehicles which are self contained and became a great location for us to make new friends and a great base to discover the best of Portland and nearby beaches.

We also had one night at the Sawpit Picnic Area just out of town to break up our stay at Henty Park.

Here are Our 22 Best Free Camps in Australia

The beach at Cape Bridgewater

Beautiful Cape Bridgewater Beach

Cape Bridgewater

A short 15 minute drive out of town is Cape Bridgewater, one of the best beaches in the region. It is as good as anywhere with beautiful white sand, clear blue waters with waves rolling in on a calm day. It was here I attempted to go surfing with my Cousin Tim and his wife Amy, only my second ever attempt. Alas, at least I tried.

There are so many awesome beaches around Australia, here are our 3 lists of Best Beaches –

1. The Best Beaches in Australia 1-10

2. The Best Beaches in Australia 11-20

3. The Best Beaches in Australia 21-30

Snorkeling with the seals on the Seal by Sea tour

In the water on the Seal by Sea tour

Seal by Sea Tour

We also completed the Seal by Sea Tour at Cape Bridgewater and this would have to be our best value for money tour on our trip so far. You will discover the best of Portland by sea for just $40 per adult. They will take you along the rugged coastline to view the cliff faces to the first of several large Seal colonies.

Then they took us further up to the tip where we witnessed big NZ Fur Seals and a few Australian Seals before heading back to the first group of Seals where they have a shark cage located. For an extra $20 they provide Wet suits and snorkeling gear to allow you to swim with the Seals. We were all very keen and jumped into the waters to engage with the Seals.

The Seals were otherwise occupied though and didn’t come to us in the cage so we asked could we go out of the cage. The guide said we could but it would be at our own risk. “Risk of what” we asked? “Great Whites” he said!! Without hesitating we all jumped into the water anyway and for almost an hour we swam with the Seals. The Seal Pups were so inquisitive and would come right up to us, sometimes stopping in front of us to take a look.

Watch our videos of us swimming with the seals:

Seal by Sea Tours are still just $40 but they now have new snorkeling tours. Book the trip we did or view their new tours at their website – http://www.sealsbyseatours.com.au/

Adele patting a koala in the wild for the first time

Cape Bridgewater Koala

Our First Koala Encounter in the Wild

Heading back from Cape Bridgewater we were surprised to find a Koala beside the road. We stopped to ensure he didn’t venture onto the road and were amazed when he came over to Adele allowing her to pat him. The Koala was surprisingly friendly and then it took off heading for our Motorhome. At first we thought he was looking to hitch a ride but eventually we got him into the bushes away from the road.

Discover the Best of Portland

Amy Surfing

Discover the Best of Portland

Tim Surfing

Blacknose Point

Blacknose Point is a very popular surfing spot at Portland and our cousin and his wife got out the surfboards and headed in for a paddle. We sat on the rocks and enjoyed watching them in action and managed to capture some great photos.

This time I left it to the experts, my training wheels are still on at this stage!!

Discover the Best of Portland

Portland Wind Farm

Portland Wind Farm

The Portland Wind Farm is one of the largest in Australia. These huge wind turbines generate electricity from the wind. This one in Portland produces 500 GWh annually, enough electricity to power approximately 125,000 homes each year or over 7% of Victoria’s annual power.

Discover the Best of Portland

Petrified Forest

Petrified Forest

Just past the Wind Farm is the Petrified Forest. The formation of the Petrified forest is a collection of hollow tubes of Limestone called “solution pipes”. These have been eroded over millions of years of rainfall. Water gathers in a shallow pan of sand and seeps downwards dissolving the Limestone. The mineral saturated water then cements the sand, forming hard, trunk shaped pipes. Some of these pipes can be up to 20m high.

Portland is approximately 200kms from the South Australian border in the south west of Victoria. It’s a great place to stop with lots of shops, excellent accommodation for a weary traveler and the people of Portland are very friendly. The winter months do get very cold so the peak tourist season is usually from October to May each year.

The Great Ocean Road begins about 120kms East of Portland just past the town of Warrnambool.

Some other great places to stay along the Great Ocean Road are:

Anglesea Beachfront Caravan Park

Marengo Holiday Park

Have you been or are you yet to discover the best of Portland? Tell us about your time in Portland?

Safe travels

Kev & Adele
Indefinite Leave

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Photography and Socials

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

Samsung Note 10 Plus Phone – https://ebay.to/2upyEfM – 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/2GoBt37 – the latest DSLR Canon 24mp camera, buy here to save.
Lenses – Canon 50mm lens – https://ebay.to/2RL7CY7  This is the lens I use the least, ideal for still, close up shots.
Canon 24-105mm lens – https://ebay.to/2ve3w2Z This is my all round, everyday use, zoom lens. Amazing quality, great price.
Canon 70-300mm lens – https://ebay.to/37pCAM9 – I use this one a lot for long range shots.
Sigma 10-20mm lens – https://ebay.to/2RpOJed  – 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/37oKkhb  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.

___________________________________________________________________________

Where to Find Us

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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