Our Big Lap

 

Travelling around Australia is one of those things that many Aussies dream about and we were no different. Although it was one dream we wanted to make happen sooner rather than later. While many people might wait until they retire to take off, we didn’t want that to be us because that was simply going to be too far away. So we worked at making that dream become reality. Now that we’ve been around (probably a few times now) and when taking a look back, it’s funny how the hardest decision was actually making the decision to take the plunge and make it happen! Here we share how we travelled, where we went, and lessons learned along the way. 

 

Our Setup

At the time of our big lap, both of us had driven Mitsubishi vehicles for so long, it was only natural that we took a Pajero for the trip.  The Pajero was fitted with a few accessories to help with towing and the long distances - we added a long range fuel tank, the...

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Setting Off! Adelaide to Pooncarie

Well it's hard to believe, but the day finally arrived...we have left and we're off on the big lap! With all packing done, the van got hitched and we were off.  Of all days to leave, the weather turned and it was cold and raining, but I guess it could be worse and be...

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Pooncarie to Menindee

Time to continue our trip on the Darling River Run with our first stop being Menindee.  The road was dirt all the way through except for 7kms in the middle, and after driving the 130kms on a bundle of corrugations with the van on the back, we were more than happy to...

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Menindee to Cunnamulla

We ended our last post indicating we were experiencing a storm in Menindee which was welcomed by all, but unfortunately for us, the amount of rain received put a dampener on us continuing the Darling River Run as the dirt roads we needed to travel on were closed.  We...

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Cunnamulla to Blackall

Ran, rain, and more rain....when will it end (aahhh)!!!  We had a wry smile the other day when we had heard that SA was experiencing some hot weather, when the average temperature this week for us in Outback Queensland has been no more than 24º...not what the locals...

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Blackall to Emerald

This leg of our trip sees us trek further north to Barcaldine, and from there west to Longreach and Winton.  The road in between Barcaldine and Longreach was closed the day before we came through due to rising floodwaters, but lucky for us on the day we drove...

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Emerald to Echuca

We arrived in Emerald which is a service centre for all of the mining industry surrounding the town (coal and sapphires).  We decided to come this way to try a different route going home....bad idea!!!  On our first night, we basically got washed away with 162mm of...

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Echuca to Adelaide

Leaving Griffith and travelling further south, we sadly only had another two stops before arriving home.  The run from Griffith to Echuca went really well with very little traffic all the way except for a plague of locusts - did they make a mess to the front of the...

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We’re Back On The Road!

It’s great to be able to write that we’re back on the road! Leaving a little later than expected due some really hot weather and Grant finalising the work on his new brackets, it put us behind schedule as we had a deadline to get to Port Lincoln (not that Grant knew...

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Streaky Bay to Kalgoorlie

We left Streaky Bay and now on our way across the Nullarbor.  To break up our journey, Grant played the Nullarbor Links which is the longest 18-hole golf course in the world.  Spanning 1,365 kilometres with one hole in each participating town or roadhouse along the...

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Kalgoorlie to Albany

Upon arrival in Esperance, we were greeted with a really pretty coastline.  A quaint seaside town, Esperance beaches were very inviting with white sand and turqoise water - it was unfortunate the wind was blowing a gale and the temperature in the low 20's.  Packed...

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Albany to Augusta

Leaving Albany to head further west, we arrived at the magnificent "giant trees" area of the great south of WA, with our first stop being Walpole.  What a great place!  Although a small town of only around 500 people, Walpole has great coastal frontage and some...

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Augusta to Busselton

We've had another great week down the south west coast of WA!  After arriving in Augusta, where the Indian and Southern oceans meet, we found out it's also home to the tallest lighthouse on the Australian mainland, Cape Leeuwin lighthouse.   The guided tour of the...

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Busselton to Kalbarri

Leaving Augusta, we headed towards Busselton, and did we strike a winner with the park!  The Mandalay Resort was the best we'd stayed at so far during this trip, and pretty well accommodated for all types of travellers.  Busselton's coastline was extraordinary - the...

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Kalbarri to Tom Price

Time to leave Kalbarri and continuing our trek north to experience many of the coastal attractions on offer.  Stopping for an overnighter at Carnarvon, we continued to Denham where we based ourselves for a few days.   Our main desire for this leg of the trip was to...

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Tom Price to Broome

We're on our way to spend time at Karajini National Park.  Leaving the coast for a while was a nice change as the temperature managed to drop 6-7 degrees and moving inland meant no more humidity which was a real winner!  The scenery driving in was a total change from...

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Broome to Cape Leveque

Sensational Broome....aaahhh....where do we start! Our arrival time here wasn't perfect due to an intense low pressure system hovering around the Kimberley coast, and there was a possibility of a cyclone.  The wind was strong, humidity was definitely up there!, and...

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Broome to Kununurra

After having some fun up at Cape Leveque we've made our way back to Broome.  Lucky for us, we timed our return right, as the Broome movie premiere of an Australian film made around the Kimberley called "Mad Bastards" at the outdoor movie theatre, Sun Pictures was...

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Kununurra to Darwin

It's hard to believe that we've already been on the road again for over 3 months!  However, given that we're in a great area in Australia, the Kimberley, I'd be quite happy for the trip to go really slow for a while. Kununurra itself has finally had some growth since...

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Darwin back to Kununurra

Choosing a park in Darwin, we got ourselves settled in (which was surprisingly more like a resort) and headed off to the infamous Mindil Markets.  First stop….Mick’s Whips!  Imagine hearing what sounds like a heap of firecrackers going off, so of course we went to...

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Kununurra

Sun, sun, and more sun…Autumn weather is magnificent when it’s a glorious 30º everyday here in Kununurra…we feel for you guys down south suffering from the cold blustery conditions, but someone in the country has to have a bit of cold weather! Ok, enough of that…where...

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Gibb River Road Blog 1

We’re finally back in Kununurra after just over 4 weeks of not having internet access whilst we travelled the Gibb River Road.  Over the next couple of weeks, we’ll dedicate multiple posts to the Gibb River Road section as we know many want to know all the juicy...

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Gibb River Road Blog 2

Here comes another instalment of our Gibb River Road adventures, as we now finally hit the Gibb River Road, visit a few stations and many of the stunning gorges.. Days 7-14 Upon arriving at the Gibb River Road, it was hard for Grant to contain his excitement.  Woo...

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Gibb River Road Blog 3

Days 15 – 21 Day 15 – Packing up at Mount Elizabeth this morning we, realise our pack ups are starting to get quicker (thank goodness…it’s only taken two weeks of practice)!  We started to joke saying we’ll get this packing down pat just as we pick up the van again....

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Gibb River Road Blog 4

Day 22 – First stop at El Questro was Saddleback Ridge Lookout.  The track leading up to the lookout was a good 4WD track, pretty steep and narrow, and gave the Paj a bit of a workout.  Upon arriving at the top, the scenery was stunning.  We had 360 degrees view of...

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Kununurra to NT Free Camp 11

After arriving back in Kununurra, it took us a while to get back into the swing of things with heaps to clean. That red dirt gets into absolutely everything. Having also been used to our own company over the past month or so was a total contrast to being back amongst...

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Northern Territory Free Camp to Karumba

A fairly early start this morning and we drove down to the Barkly Roadhouse to fill up. Not long after, we'd arrived at the Queensland border where we took a few pics and continued to Camooweal. However, as it was a weekend, the entire town was pretty well closed so...

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Karumba to Cairns

After spending a few days of non-event fishing at Karumba 😥 , we called into Normanton on our way back to see “Krys”.  The original Krys is very famous…a saltwater crocodile killed in the Norman River in 1957 which was a massive 8.63 metres!!  Taking photos with...

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Cape York Bound

It’s time to start our next offroad adventure, and since our last effort in the Kimberley, we've bit the bullet and hired a camper trailer for 3 weeks rather than having to tent it.  Yes I know, I can hear already some of you saying that we’re soft, but the sleeping...

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Cape York, Thursday & Horn Island

Days 11-18 Day 11 – Today we packed up fairly early and Grant was keen to continue our trip on the OTL road which meant a couple of crossings before getting back on the bypass road.  We left Eliot Falls and only needed to travel a short distance before arriving at Sam...

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Cairns to 1770

Back in Cairns, we hung around here for a few days. We took a day trip up to Kuranda, and enjoyed going up on the Skyrail while spending a few hours looking around before coming back by train.  We also had a chance to visit the Cairns Indigenous Art Festival which was...

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1770 to Gold Coast

So with a bit of shuffling of the plan, we bolted down towards the Gold Coast to beat the school holidays, but first called into Bundaberg to do a tour of the Bundaberg Rum factory.  Not a bad tour, especially when you get some samples at the end!  Lucky for me Grant...

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Fraser Island to Tenterfield

There were heaps of things to see around the Sunshine Coast – we spent almost a day at the Eumundi Markets given it had over 300 stalls, and proved very popular with both tourists and locals.  It was great to see a market that actually sold some good quality stuff. ...

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Tenterfield to Urunga

Leaving Tenterfield, we're now travelling further south towards Casino.  As we left Tenterfield that morning, heaps of thick black clouds were developing in the distance, but given that we were heading in the opposite direction we thought nothing of it.  Bad mistake!...

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Urunga to Blue Mountains

After leaving Urunga, we continued further south to Port Macquarie where we stopped for a couple of nights.  Founded in 1818, it was home to the first penal settlement which started in 1821, and we found it's a popular destination with retirees. It has a fantastic...

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Blue Mountains to Eden

Leaving the Blue Mountains, it wasn’t a long drive as we stopped at the V8 Supercar Capital of Oz, Bathurst.  Unhitching the van, Grant had great delight in doing a “hot lap” in the Paj (if you can call it that!)  As the track is a public road, unfortunately regular...

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Eden to Bright

With another state done and dusted, we are getting much close to home as we cross the border into Victoria and visit Lakes Entrance. We'd been pre-warned the wind around that way came from the Antarctic and that definitely was the case.  Wow, talk about cold. We...

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Bright to Bendigo

Deciding to base ourselves at Mansfield for a few days, we took day trips around the area given that we’d heard the road up to the Mansfield State Forest was windy and steep.  First stop was Craig’s Hut.  Made famous in the film “The Man from Snowy River”, the scenery...

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Bendigo to Melbourne

As we spend our final weeks in Victoria, this post sees us continue our journey from Bendigo; stopping at Daylesford before making our way towards Mebourne.  Renowned as a mineral springs area, we found Daylesford to be a mix of old and new, with trendy cafes and...

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Melbourne to Home

After travelling over 40,000kms we're almost home, and our sensational Aussie adventure comes to an end.  But before getting too nostalgic, we need to let you know what we did before unhitching for the final time. When we last wrote, we had spent some time in and...

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