Monthly Archives: March 2013

Getting the Kids Involved with the Trip

A big thank you to everybody for their lovely comments on our first blog post!  I’m a bit nervous about blogging and hope that you will find our posts not too boring!

Anyway, I thought I’d share a few things that we have been doing to get the kids involved and excited about our trip.

The first thing we did was buy a big map of Australia from RACQ (about $9.95 from memory) and pin it up on the wall beside our dining room table.  The kids quickly became good at picking out the capital cities, Uluru, and working out North, East, South and West.  Matt and I have often referred to this map as well when trying to work out a basic plan of our route, sometimes it is easier when you can see the ‘big picture’ all in one go rather than the more detailed state by state maps.


A friend (thanks Stella!) then leant us a copy of her children’s book ‘Are We There Yet’ written by Alison Lester.

are we there yet

It is a great story about a family who travel around Australia with a camper van very similar to ours!  The kids love this book and I am pretty sure Matt and I can just about recite it from heart as we have read it many, many times over!


We have now purchased our own copy and will definitely take it with us on the road as I think the kids will enjoy re-reading it when we find ourselves at some of the destinations which feature in the book.

We have also been lucky enough to score a big box of ‘4wd Action’ Magazines and DVD’s from the Engo’s (thanks Craig and Michelle!) and the whole family has gotten heaps of enjoyment and advice from these!  On our last camping trip we were flooded in at Sandy Creek for 4 days and we spent lots of hours together as a family watching ‘Roothy and Milo’ having lots of fun on the 4wd DVD’s (although I am hoping not to do such extreme four wheel driving on our trip!) and flicking through the magazines!


Other than that the kids have just been doing lots of ‘our big long trip around Australia’ play.  They have made numerous lego four wheel drives and camper prototypes!DSCF1685


Camper set up at Uluru


And even set up camp down the back yard pretending to be ‘camping out in Western Australia’.


Camping in WA ‘backyard style’


Our next step now is to start printing off from the internet some pictures of places that are must see’s for us and sticking them up on the wall around our map of Australia.  Then I think we will transfer them all into a scrapbook before we go.

These things have been great for getting the kids involved and excited about the trip as well as giving them a bit of an understanding about where we are going to go – the only problem is that Lexi has asked every time that we have gone camping for the last 18 months – “are we off on our big trip round Australia now?’  Poor little thing – it has been a long wait for her!!!!  If only it where that easy to just pack up and go!

Does anybody have any other ideas on getting the kids involved with the planning and organising for the trip???

Categories: Planning | Tags: , | 5 Comments

12 Weeks To Go!

So it is time to just bite the bullet!  I have been wanting to try to really make this blog look beautiful and professional and perfect but it is now time to just get it going and hope that it will evolve into all of those things over time!  I can’t believe I set this blog up over twelve months ago and this is only my second post – eeeek – so much for keeping you all up to date with all of our planning and ‘goings on’!  Oh well, a brief summary to bring you up to speed – it is my intention to go back and do some blog posts in a bit more detail about what we have been up to for the last twelve months but for now, a quick update;

  • In June 2011, we began talking about Matt’s 10 years of Long Service Leave and what we would like to do when that time came.  We tossed around a few ideas – renovate the kitchen, pay a whack off the mortgage, take the kids to Disneyland, go to Bali, sell up and move back to the country etc, etc.  However, after a weekend away camping and some talking around the campfire, the idea to take 6 months off and travel around Australia with the kids was born and the talking, planning, talking, dreaming and researching (ok, and maybe a bit of arguing!) began!
  • In February 2012 we purchased ‘Peter Prado’ a 2008 model Toyota Landcruiser Prado with just under 100,000km’s on the clock.  Many thanks to Mum & Dad for driving all the way to Alpha to collect him and then delivering him to us in Brisbane!Image
  • In September 2012 we purchased ‘Karen Camper’ a 2003 model Goldstream ‘Goldstar’ Camper Van (there was lot’s of too-ing and fro-ing about the decision of what ‘style of accommodation’ we were going to choose for our trip – we looked at everything from tents, caravans, camper trailers and combi vans – I think we need a whole separate post on why we finally settled on the Goldstar – stay tuned!).


  • Since then we have managed to fit in one camp a month to some great places like Bribie Island, Somerset Dam, Elanda Point, Flannagan’s Reserve and Sandy Creek.  Oh, and we also took the camper all the way home to Far North Queensland and back over Christmas!  We are hoping to squeeze a few more camps in before we leave in June.


  • We have done a few modifications to our ‘rig’ – mostly UHF installed, suspension lift, new iPhone compatible stereo unit, new ‘hitchmaster DO35’ hitch for the trailer, dual battery system, Anderson plug, heavy duty power outlet in the rear, roof racks and side awning.  Matt will have to do a post for more details on those things!
  • And we have also bought a Waeco fridge/freezer for the back of the car and an air compressor.
  • And in amongst all of this – we have had Jack start Grade 2, Toby finish kindy and start Prep as well as lose his first tooth, and Lexi start Kindy.  I had a trip to New Zealand for Nana Bell’s funeral ): Matt is working full time, I’m working part-time and I think that is about it?!?!

So that pretty much brings us up to now – 12 weeks until we leave Brisbane on the 1st of June and head off towards Longreach and Winton as our first major port of call.  We are hoping to meet some of the family in Winton as a nice kick start to our trip.    At the moment we are feeling a little stressed with all we still have to do before then – rent the house, sort out the kids schooling, pack the house and work out where to move it to/store it, keep working to earn as much money as we can, pack camper, sell as much of our unwanted/unnecessary household items as we can to increase our $$$ for the road, get our blog up and running, remember to not yell at children when it is all feeling too stressful, sell our second vehicle as this is our fuel money for the trip, declutter the house, cleaning and tidy up jobs around the house so it is ready to be rented, research places we ‘must’ see …………….. oh the list is endless!

But nothing great is easy right???  And we are soooooooo excited at the prospect of seven or so months on the road all together and getting to see and experience some amazing parts of Australia …….. bring it on!!


Categories: About Us | Tags: , | 17 Comments

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