We’ve finally arrived at the Australia Zoo, home of Steve Irwin the Crocodile Hunter. The visit was part of Emily’s birthday present, but just before going in she told us that she didn’t really want to see any crocodiles, which makes up 60% of what’s in the zoo! (Actually Emily told us that she didn’t […]Read more "Crikey! Nice necklace!"
This morning we woke up to Emily’s birthday – and like Charlotte she was excited to open her presents and cards, including some from home. We’ve had to choose presents carefully, as when we leave the camper van next month we’ll be back to carrying everything in our rucksacks – so most things will be […]Read more "Emily’s Birthday day"
Today was spent driving from Emerald to Roma. On the way out of Emerald we found yet another example of the ‘Big’ phenomena – the Big Easel. The small picture doesn’t really do it justice – so the one below gives better context. There’s something strange in the Australian character that makes them create these […]Read more "Another Outback day"
For the last day we’ve been driving through the Outback. Although our drive up north was entirely along the coast, we wanted to see some of the inland of Australia as well, so we opted to turn inwards from Mackay, and drive down for a few hundred kilometers through the inland areas. Pretty soon we […]Read more "Heading through the Outback"
Today was an antidote to yesterday – a day full of excitement and a bit of adventure! We’d booked a trip to the outer Great Barrier Reef from Airlie Beach. Run by a company called FantaSea, it involved a 2½ hour catamaran trip out to a floating reef platform moored just off reef miles out […]Read more "Great Barrier Reef – Part 2"
Today was a chance to ‘pause’, to recharge our collective batteries, and catch up on some sleep. Every now and again we get to the point of needing a rest for a day – perhaps to catch up after having 24 hours a day with the girls being too energetic! And today was one of […]Read more "Pressing the pause button"
We’re finally back at Mission Beach after 9 days, which means that we’re heading back down south to Sydney after driving North for the first month – so far we’ve driven 2,000 miles in the month. It also means that we’re finally able to pickup our video of the BBC Holiday programme. (Oh, and it […]Read more "Let’s get a video for the night…."
I just found these photographs on the camera from our visit to the tropical fruit farm a couple of days ago. Charlotte is doing a project on tropical fruit – how they grow, where they grow, what they are like, what they are used for etc. And the visit to the fruit farm helped her […]Read more "No children were hurt during the making of this photograph…"
Today was a day full of activities. We started with an early morning canoe trip, starting at 5.45 am on Lake Tinaroo near Yungaburra. Steve, the guide from the hostel, normally takes big groups out on canoe trips, but he doesn’t normally take children under 10, so we presented a bit of a problem. Added […]Read more "Our canoe-tastic day"
Today, temporarily, we moved away from the coast, and headed up into the Atherton Tablelands, which is a raised plateau just inland from Cairns. The drive up took us from the lush, green coast through an 800m winding climb, to a semi-arid area, dominated by red soil and termite mounds. Normally it is a lot […]Read more "Moving away from the coast"
It seems fashionable these days to publish private correspondence between yourself and your friends. So I thought I’d follow the trend by sharing with you a piece of correspondence which we received by email yesterday. It will give you a feel for the kind of abuse which we have to live with! I’m not going […]Read more "Doing a Burrell"
We’re staying in the Pinnacle caravan park, in Wonga Beach (yes, really, there is a village called Wonga Beach), where we arrived on Sunday 26th. Its been a chance to catch up again, for the girls to spend a lazy day recovering from their exertions at Green Island (especially Charlotte, who probably swam over half […]Read more "Cruising the Daintree River"
Over the last week the Australian newspapers have been writing about David Blaine’s experience in a box suspended over the Thames. We can’t believe its a big deal – after all, we’re a whole family confined to a 2.5m x 2m x 1.5m white box, with wheels and windows, for up to 20 hours a […]Read more "David Blaine – what’s all the fuss about?"
We’ve now driven 2,800 kilometres, and arrived in Cairns, nearly the most northerly point of our journey – with a combination of long driving days and quite a few stops, its not been to bad a journey for us all. Cairns is the starting point for trips to the Great Barrier Reef, and other things […]Read more "A day trip to the reef"
For the last three days we’ve been at the Treehouse hostel, in Mission Beach. Its one of our favourite memories from last time we travelled around the world, as we spent a blissful week relaxing and just enjoying the views of rainforest from the decking. Days were spent walking on rainforest trails and the evenings […]Read more "The Treehouse, or is it “The Beach”"
Today was Charlotte’s 8th birthday. She’d been looking forward to it all month, and counting down the days the minute she woke up each morning. So it was no surprise when Charlotte woke up at 5 o’clock in the morning! Our plan was to make the day last, with little surprises along the way, and […]Read more "Birthday Girl"
Townsville is a pretty boring town – its main attraction is the trips to the offshore islands, such as Magnetic Island, and it acts as a bit of a gateway town. Oh, and curiously its also where some of the World Cup Rugby matches are played, in the Dairy Farmers Stadium – on Thursday night […]Read more "Water, water everywhere…and drought"
It has now been 16 weeks since I stopped work to go travelling round the world. And I thought I’d mark the moment by sharing with you some of the Monday morning blues that I’ve experienced since then. And you’ll notice that my Monday morning blues have been a little bit different to ‘9-5 Monday […]Read more "Monday morning blues"
We’re involved in a bit of a mad dash ‘up north’ at the moment, to get to Mission Beach in time for Charlotte’s birthday. That’s involved some long days of driving, and we’ve driven 1,300 kilometres (about 800 miles) in the last two days – which has meant most of the day in the van. […]Read more "Finally getting closer"
Okay, there’s no avoiding it. I’m going to have to talk about Caravan Parks. What has my life come to that I’m reduced to this? Some of the places we’ve stayed at have been pretty impressive – the park we’re in at the moment, Rainbow Beach, has lots of tropical palms as landscaping, lots of […]Read more "Caravan parks in Australia"
Today we’re at Rainbow Beach, halfway up the East coast of Australia – in fact, we’re almost exactly halfway on our drive between Sydney and Cairns. We’ve driven 900 miles north in the last two weeks, plus another 200 miles around Fraser Island (the fun stuff…). And we’ve got about another 900 miles to go […]Read more "Driving around Australia"
Of course, whilst we were on Fraser Island, we took time to get out the video camera a few times, and here’s the non-award-winning result!Read more "Fraser Island – The video"
Camping mornings start early, with the dawn – and tea was on at 6am. As we surfaced we realised that we were definitely in backpacker corner of the camp – surrounded by half a dozen identical 6-man tents. Fraser Island is a popular trip for backpackers, where the hostels in Harvey Bay (where they all […]Read more "Fraser Island – Day Three"
We woke up to a glorious morning –the sun was shining, and the ground was dry. Although there had been some rain in the night, it hadn’t got any of us wet, so we were all cheerful as we tucked into porridge and bacon ‘n eggs (we think that must be a proper camping breakfast) […]Read more "Fraser Island – Day Two"
We’ve just returned from Fraser Island, where we’ve been camping and driving around. Fraser Island is a bit special – it’s the world’s largest sand island, and you can only drive it with a four-wheel-drive vehicle (4WD). So we weren’t going to be able to get anywhere in our campervan, so it meant that we […]Read more "Fraser Island – Day One"
We’ve been in Tin Can Bay for two nights. It’s a very small town on the coast, surrounded by mangrove forest and mud flats. The main reason to visit here is the wild dolphin that comes in to the marina most mornings, and which visitors can feed. We went both mornings that we’ve been here […]Read more "Tin Can Bay – and wild dolphins"
We are now officially in ‘the Sunshine Coast’, which is the strip north of Brisbane. And this morning we woke up to blue skies and a little bit of warmth (well, actually we had woken up at 3am to close the windows because of a torrential downpour, but we’ll put that aside for the minute!). […]Read more "The Sunshine Coast (or is it “the Big Sunshine Coast”?)"
Today we moved from Byron Bay, to the Glasshouse Mountains, north of Brisbane. Before we left Byron Bay we drove up to the lighthouse, and had a run around at the most easterly point of Australia. Our original plan was to move 100kms north, but in the end we moved 350kms, past the Gold Coast […]Read more "Zooming past the Gold Coast"