Monthly Archives: May 2013

4 Weeks To Go!

Aaaaaargh!  Feels very surreal to be saying 4 weeks to go until we hitch up the camper and head west for 7 or so months on the road!!  Aaaaargh – soooooooo much to do before then!  However, we are getting there. Only 5 more days at work left for me, 14 more shifts left at work for Matt.  The kids have their last swimming lesson tomorrow. Our container arrives early next week along with backup in the form of my Mum who will spend a week with us hopefully getting us all moved out of our house and everything clean and ready for our tenants who have signed on the dotted line for a twelve month lease!!  Welcome to the Samford Road crew, Van Schoor family!

Bonfire and roast dinner to welcome the soon to be new residents of 'our house'.

Bonfire and roast dinner to welcome the soon to be new residents of ‘our house’.

The Samford Road kids!  Don't mess with them!

The Samford Road kids! Don’t mess with them!

Matt has been super busy this last month, putting in lots of overtime at work, making a bizzilion phone calls chasing down car/camper parts and spare tyres, insurance quotes, changing our mobile phones over to Telstra so hopefully we get better coverage while we’re travelling, and organising our home removal/container for storage.  It’s all made for a pretty crazy last few weeks!

Goofing around - showing off our new first aid kits and spare tyre rubbish bag!

Goofing around – showing off our new first aid kits and spare tyre rubbish bag!

We’re really excited (I know – excited about a rubbish bin?!?!?) about our new ‘Bushranger Wheelie Bin’ which goes on the back of the spare tyre on Peter Prado.  We’ve wanted one of these for ages as we are always looking for somewhere to keep all our rubbish locked away from wildlife when camping, especially in National Parks where rubbish bins are not provided and you have to take all your rubbish out – as a five member family we are able to generate far too much rubbish over a week of camping which usually must be stored in the back of the car (very smelly!) until we come across a bin to dispose of it all!  We got a great discount on our First Aid kits from Give Life Center for being members of the MySwag forum.

Matt has also spent two seperate days as an apprentice mechanic learning how to service the car and the camper this month.  I was a little nervous that Matt had pulled the car apart and couldn’t put it back together when he had been gone for 10 hours on the day he serviced the car – but many thanks to ‘talktotheroo’ from Prado Point who spent the day showing Matt the ropes and sending both Matt and the car home in one piece!  Last week we added a  snorkel to Peter Prado – we’re looking bush ready now!!

Peter Prado's new bling - a snorkel!

Peter Prado’s new bling – a snorkel!

Karen Camper is now sporting new brakes and bearings, and has been greased all over after a day spent at Caboolture Caravan Repair.  Many thanks to Adrian there who again allowed Matt to be on the tools for the day.  Matt has learnt so much from those two days and we are feeling much more confident that we can deal with any small mechanical issues that we may come across as we travel.  A trip back to Russell at Kedron Car Electrics sorted out all the brake/lights etc issues – many thanks Rus!

Karen Camper at the Caravan 'Day Spa' - getting a service!

Karen Camper at the Caravan ‘Day Spa’ – getting a service!

The packing/clearing out continues – we have to be out of our house by the 25th of May so the countdown is really on!  I came back from a night out at bookclub a few weeks ago to find our lounge gone – so Gumtree is doing its job!!!

Trailer load off to the dump - very liberating feeling!

Trailer load off to the dump – very liberating feeling!

Now we just need to sell our little ‘Haris the Yaris’ who is providing our petrol money for the trip.  Anybody know somebody who needs a great first car or family runabout??

And just proof that the kids are still alive – we haven’t given them away yet!  So, we’re getting there, we just want to get on the road now!!!

Fealy kids still smiling despite their tired and stressed mum and dad!!

Fealy kids still smiling despite their tired and stressed mum and dad!!

 

Categories: Planning | 5 Comments

Lake Moogerah Camp

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This weekend we squeezed in one final camping trip, one last test run before we head off on our 7 or 8 month adventure exploring Oz!

We are home now and all enjoying an afternoon of resting and quiet time that always comes after a weekend away camping.  The kids are playing lego in the lounge room with a movie on, Matt is crashed out asleep and I am wasting time on the internet, downloading the photos off the camera from the weekend, and writing this blog post.  There is a massive pile of wet togs and towels, and dirty washing in the laundry which really should be taken care of and the bags unpacked, but we all love retreating for some quiet time in our own corners when we get home – the washing will wait, it will be scrambled eggs on toast for dinner and early to bed for us all – this is our normal ‘post camping’ routine.

We had originally organised to camp at ‘Camp Lakefire’ at Lake Maroon outside Boonah, but after finding out on Friday that the 4wd track we had planned to tackle (The Condamine Gorge Track) was now permanently closed due to flooding earlier in the year, and then arriving at  ‘Camp Lakefire’ and being told we could no longer camp on the lakefront due to new SEQ Water regulations (and the fact that camping at ‘Lakefire’ was very expensive!) we decided, thanks to some quick thinking from Jai, to head to Lake Moogerah about 20 minutes away, instead.  So – after a bit of a bumpy/grumpy, disappointing start – we managed to keep our ‘Happy Faces’ on and have a great weekend camping at Lake Moogerah Caravan Park.

Lake Moogerah - was busy but great camping right on the lake's edge!

Lake Moogerah – was busy but great camping right on the lake’s edge!

The kids wasted no time on getting into the water - it was cool but not freezing yet!

The kids wasted no time getting into the water – it was cool but not freezing yet!

Jack's mate Connor joined us this weekend!

Jack’s mate Connor joined us this weekend!

And my mate Shell and her family joined us too!

And my mate Shell and her family joined us too!

And Ben & Aimes and the kids were brave enough to give one more Fealy Camping weekend a shot!

And Ben & Aimes and the kids were brave enough to give one more Fealy Camping weekend a shot!

Lake Moogerah is located about 90 minutes away from Brisbane in the very beautiful Scenic Rim area.  The campground was fantastic with lovely shady, grassy sites and direct access to the lake (although it is quite muddy/weedy on the water’s edge).  The amenities were great and there was even a playground where Shell and I took the kids early this morning to have a play in order to let the rest of the campground wake up without the alarm clock noise of our gaggle of rowdy kids at 6am in the morning!  The campground was very busy and obviously a popular spot for water skiers and jet skiers, which was only a problem when they went past us while we were trying to master the Johnson family’s stand up paddle board.  Ben and I both ended up having a refreshing dunk on two occasions!

Me first go on the Stand Up Paddle Board - Jacko coming along for a paddle too.

My first go on the Stand Up Paddle Board – Jacko coming along for a paddle too.

Matt & Toby's turn (the kids Kayak got plenty of use Grammy & Grunda!!)

Matt & Toby’s turn (the kids Kayak got plenty of use Grammy & Grunda!!)

Jack had a go

Jack had a go

It was so lovely and peaceful! Thanks for letting us all have a turn Shell & Jai!

It was so lovely and peaceful! Thanks for letting us all have a turn Shell & Jai!

It did get quite chilly at night and first thing in the morning so we were grateful for the camp fire and the extra liners in the kids sleeping bags!  We need to give a special mention to our dog Jerry who we brought with us on this trip as dogs were allowed at Camp Lakefire.  They were not however, allowed at Lake Moogerah, so poor Jerry spent the whole weekend in the camper, only being snuck out every now and then for toilet breaks!!  He didn’t seem to mind though – we would look back at the camper from the lake and see him sitting up at the window watching us all – just grateful to have come along!

Home made pizza for tea this time (not quite in the wood-fired oven like it was supposed to be at Camp Lakefire!) but our little oven in the camper managed just fine!

Home made pizza for tea this time (not quite in the wood-fired oven like it was supposed to be at Camp Lakefire!) but our little oven in the camper managed just fine!

Never too cold to toast marshmallows!

Never too cold to toast marshmallows!

Snug as Bugs in a Rug!

Snug as Bugs in a Rug!

Sunrise at Lake Moogerah

Sunrise at Lake Moogerah

Early Morning View

Early Morning View

Bit chilly the next morning - the boys!  I hope I see this picture again in about 10 years time!!!

Bit chilly the next morning!  The Boys – I hope I see this picture again in about 10 years time!!!

The 'Scenic Rim' side of the dam on our early morning walk.

The ‘Scenic Rim’ side of the dam on our early morning walk.

No luck with the fishing this time.

No luck with the fishing this time.

An absolutely beautiful spot to camp and the campground was really quite reasonably priced for all of the amenities.  We have really fallen in love with the Scenic Rim area – wished we had have found it earlier – just another of the many great spots to camp around South East QLD!!!

Fealy, Johnson and Hanstede kids - Lake Moogerah 2013

Fealy, Johnson and Hanstede kids – Lake Moogerah 2013

We can't wait to get on the road - 4 weeks to go!!!

We can’t wait to get on the road – 4 weeks to go!!!

Categories: Camping, Qld Camping | 4 Comments

Light Bulb Moment

Ben Avon Station, Far North QLD

Ben Avon Station, Far North QLD

We are too excited to sleep tonight!  Today presented us with an epiphany!  You will remember that we wrote on our ‘Why are We Doing This’ post that part of wanting to do our trip was to have some time out to rethink our life and try to find a way to make a difference in this world, to give back, to do something useful.  Well, we think we may have come upon an idea to kick start that!.

My Mum sent us this email today;

On 02/05/2013, at 2:34 PM, Mum wrote:

been thinking ’bout your trip and what it means – and trying to extend the parameters so the kids ( no, all of you really ) get the most out of it
… so maybe you adopt a cause, sport a few stickers, talk a bit – it should not be a task, or a job – haven’t really crystallised my thoughts, but I’m putting it out there to let you think about it too

your blog is an awesome tool …

a couple that I found     HelpQldFarmers.com.au

                                      Every Family Needs A Farmer

as I said, haven’t thought it through

xxxx Mum

And my response;

On 02/05/2013, at 2:36 PM, Jessica Fealy wrote:

mum – that is sooooooo awesome!  Matt and I talked about this – similar thing – a couple of months ago and couldn’t think of anything to lock on to/that we were passionate enough about – really love it – great idea – hmmmm – I am going to think some more too ………….

And so that is where we are at (big thank you Mum)!  Matt and I are both from farming backgrounds in Far North Queensland – I grew up on a dairy farm and Matt’s family own a cattle station and potato, corn and peanut farm up there.  The future of Australian Farmers is something very close to our hearts, something we are very passionate about.

The Dairy Farm where I grew up.

The Dairy Farm where I grew up.

We love the idea of being able to educate our kids (and ourselves) as we travel around Australia, about the broader community we are all a part of, and the responsibility that we all have to ensure the country we live in is an amazing place.  We are excited about the thought of promoting Australian Farmers and Rural Australia and maybe helping more people understand why they are such an important part of our country. We want to try to make a difference, no matter how small it may be.

Can we do this? How do we do this?  And how do we balance this with our other objectives for the trip, to slow down, take some time out, no pressures – we don’t want to fill it all up with another purpose???  Can we just start small and see how it goes?

I know lots of our friends and family have already been thinking along these lines and have made changes to the food they buy and consume, so what do you all think?  All ideas and feedback would be greatly appreciated!!

Jack

Jack

Categories: About Us, Every Family Needs A Farmer | Tags: , , , , , | 8 Comments

Tasmania – A Post from 9 years Ago!

Tassie-188Thank you to everybody for some great recommendations of places to visit after our ‘Vision Board’ post, we really appreciate people taking the time to help us out and comment to let us know someone is following along on our little journey!  One of our commenters (thanks Sonia!) pointed out that we had missed Tasmania off our ‘Must Visit’ list.  Unfortunately we think that we will have to leave Tasmania out of our trip due to the cost involved with getting us all and the car and camper over there, and the fact that Matt and I have already had a short visit to Tasmania before.

Our first 'camper van' experience!

Our first ‘camper van’ experience was driving this around Tasmania!

A little hard to believe it has been that long, but 9 years ago now, Matt and I spent ten days travelling around Tassie to celebrate our first wedding anniversary!  We had forgotten that this was actually our first ever camper van experience!  We went in April and actually received a shock at how cold it was – I think we shivered the whole time we were there!  Anyway – a little trip down memory lane tonight to share some photos from our time in Tasmania.  It really is a beautiful place and perfect for campervaning as it is only a small island and there is heaps, and heaps to see!!

We flew into Launceston and then flew home out of Hobart so we got to see quite a bit in 10 days.  This will be a test for the memory to see if I can remember where all of our photos were taken – we really should have been more diligent in labelling them properly!!  So here we go, a photo tour of Tasmania from nine years ago!  I bet Matt and I have changed far more than the countryside probably has!!!!

We started with a 15 minute walk out of Launceston to visit Cataract Gorge

We started with a 15 minute walk out of Launceston to visit Cataract Gorge

It was a really, really beautiful spot!

It was a really, really beautiful spot!

Oh to be 23 again!

Oh to be 23 again!

Spunky boy!

Spunky boy!

Interesting 'Indian' Rock Matt spotted.

Interesting ‘Indian’ Rock Matt spotted.

Next stop was the Tamar Valley for lots of wine tasting!  The best thing about travelling in the camper van was that we could pullover for a snooze to sleep off all the wine!

Next stop was the Tamar Valley for lots of wine tasting! The best thing about travelling in the camper van was that we could pullover for a snooze to sleep off all the wine!

We made it over to Strahan where we free camped behind the dunes on the beach.  It was very windy but  a lovely quiet spot.

We made it over to Strahan where we free camped behind the dunes on the beach. It was very windy but a lovely quiet spot.

Lake St Clair - we did a cruise on the Lake - cold and wet but still beautiful and nice spots to hop off and have a walk.  We camped somewhere near here on the side of the road and were given the scare of our lives when we were woken at 1am by someone doing circle work in their ute around us in the camper!!  We thought it was going to be the end, but they drove off after a few minutes!  It was scary!!!

Lake St Clair – we did a cruise on the Lake – cold and wet but still beautiful and nice spots to hop off and have a walk. We camped somewhere near here on the side of the road and were given the scare of our lives when we were woken at 1am by someone doing circle work in their ute around us in the camper!! We thought it was going to be the end, but they drove off after a few minutes! It was scary!!!

Hellyer River

Hellyer River

I can't remember where this was - but we arrived here in the dark and camped behind the pub and then went for a walk in the morning and found this!

I can’t remember where this was – but we arrived here in the dark and camped behind the pub and then went for a walk in the morning and found this!

First glimpse of Cradle Mountain!

First glimpse of Cradle Mountain!

We did a 3 hr return 'Marion's Lookout' walk - loved it but had a bit of a stumble and broke our camera here!

We did a 3 hr return ‘Marion’s Lookout’ walk – loved it but had a bit of a stumble and broke our camera here!

Great views!

Great views!

Definitely a 'must see' spot!

Definitely a ‘must see’ spot!

We camped in a National Park campground at Cradle Mountain but had a look around the lodge and surrounds which were very scenic!

We camped in a National Park campground at Cradle Mountain but had a look around the lodge and surrounds which were very scenic!

A stop in Sheffield to see all the murals is a must!

A stop in Sheffield to see all the murals is a must!

We stopped here on our way back over to the East Coast.

We stopped here on our way back over to the East Coast.

Overnight free camp beside the beach at St Helens.

Overnight free camp beside the beach at St Helens.

'The Hazzards' Freycinet National Park

‘The Hazzards’ Freycinet National Park

Wineglass Bay - Stunning!

Wineglass Bay – Stunning!

Beautiful crystal clear water at Wineglass Bay - freezing though - we weren't brave enough to get in!

Beautiful crystal clear water at Wineglass Bay – freezing though – we weren’t brave enough to get in!

Heaps of walks with lovely scenery in the Freycinet National Park

Heaps of walks with lovely scenery in the Freycinet National Park

Sunset view - The Hazards

Sunset view – The Hazards

Not far outside Hobart - I can't remember the name of this bridge or where it was!

Not far outside Hobart – I can’t remember the name of this bridge or where it was!

Port Arthur - very interesting but a little eerie!

Port Arthur – very interesting but a little eerie!

And that was our trip!  We didn’t get to see anything of the Derwent and Huon Valleys which was a bit disappointing but we have to have a reason to visit again don’t we!!!  It would be remiss of me while talking about Tasmania not to do a big shout out for Mole Creek Caravan Park which is now owned by the family of friends of ours – make sure you stay there if you ever visit Tassie!

Aaargh – looking at all these photos makes me think maybe we better make room in our ‘Around Oz’ trip to go back and have a better look!!!  So many places in this beautiful land to see!!

Categories: Camping, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

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