|Just down the road from where we are currently housesitting is the wonderful Monato open plain zoo. There are over five hundred animals from many parts of the world on display. The zoo is highly focused on conservation, research, and reintroduction of endangered species.|
Across The Nullarbor
|I will be honest with you. I was apprehensive about this trip across the 1,100 kilometres of famously inhospitable real estate into South Australia. I had visions of the Gibb River Road (I’m still traumatised), only sealed.|
Dark Days In Denmark
|In the two-plus years that we have been living on the road, we have done numerous, very diverse, housesitting jobs.|
However, nothing could have prepared us for what happened at a farm sit in Denmark WA on August 14th.
|Bye bye Ningaloo Reef! It is time to leave the coast behind and head into the “Wild Western Outback”. Leo and The Wombat were keen to get some dirt under our tyres. Little did we know how much of it would actually be mud.|
Whale Shark Honeymoon
|It was great to revisit Quobba, to relax and adjust to married life. The weather wasn’t idyllic, with a few hot and windy days teeming with friendly flies, but it was still pretty special.|
|Well, it’s official, we are husband and wife! How weird.|
|Most of our travels up until now had been fairly spontaneous, making it up as we went along – where to stay and what to do and see. Somehow that had changed to the point that we pretty much knew where we were going to be for the next six to eight months.|
The Great Southern
|After three productive, interesting weeks at Kojonup it was time to say farewell our hosts and relocate to Bremer Bay on the south coast. Darren and Rosie had very kindly offered us the use of their “beach house” not far from the small seaside town, nestled in amongst the coastal heath, a short walk to the ocean.|
|Summer was just around the corner and we had it all pretty well planned out with camphosting, housesitting, and working. An interesting and varied set of adventures to dive into.|
The South West
|As nice as our time housesitting in suburban Perth was, after two weeks of city life it was great to be back on the road and heading south to start to explore the South West corner of WA. It was an area that we had heard lots of good things about and were keen to see for ourselves.|
South Coral Coast
|Whenever we experience someplace as magical as Shark Bay, there is some sadness and reluctance when the time comes to move on. But, that is our life for now. We had a house-sitting position and a volunteer workshop to get to in Perth, and much to see and do on the way.|
|Shark Bay is an amazing place! Its 2.2 million hectares of colourful, pristine, and diverse landscape is so rich in flora and fauna that has been given World Heritage listing.|
Carnarvon & Quobba Point
|We were greeted like honoured guests when we arrived at our 2 week housesitting job at a beautiful organic avocado & mango farm in Carnarvon’s plantation district.|
|The main attraction at Cape Range NP is Ningaloo Reef, but there are also some lovely gorges in the hills, including Yardie Creek, where we went walking and kayaking.|
The Heart Of The Pilbara
Leaving the massive mining operations around Newman behind, Leo and The Wombat were heading into The Heart of the Pilbara. Just like The Kimberley, The Pilbara is a vast and extremely diverse area, which stretches from The Great Sandy Desert in the east to pristine waters of the Ningaloo Reef in the west.
Into The Pilbara
We had just spent over five weeks in The Kimberley travelling from The NT border to Broome. We had seen some magical country, made some good friends, and taken a ridiculous number of photos of boabs! It was time to head south and see what there was to see in The Pilbara.
Getting off the Gibb River Road and into Derby was a relief, and when we were directed to our own private campsite under The Tree at Mark and Bec’s, handed the keys and given the run of the house, the relief nearly overflowed into tears.
The Gibb River Road
After a week of exploring the area around Kununurra and Wyndham, some of us were ready to tackle the infamous Gibb River Road across to Derby. We left our comfy digs at Perry Creek Farm, bound for 660 km’s of rough, dusty, remote and mostly unsealed road.
The Savannah Way
Once we pointed our rig west from Katherine and headed towards The Kimberley, we started to discover the appeal of this iconic road.
The Top End
It was 1,500 km’s to Darwin, so with the bitumen once again under our tyres it was time to crank up the music, turn on the aircon, and join the stream of nomads and gypsys heading to the Top End.
The East MacDonnell Ranges
We were heading into The East MacDonnell Ranges, an area that we had heard lots of great things about and were very keen to explore. It is one of the most beautiful parts of The Red Centre and amazingly still a bit of a secret. As long as you promise not to tell anyone I will try to share why we loved it so much.
The Red Centre
After hundreds of kilometres of rough, dusty, dirt road of the Oodnadatta Track it was great to have bitumen under our tires again as we re-joined the Stuart Highway at Marla and headed up into “The Territory” ready to explore The Red Centre of Australia..
The Real Outback
So, we were off to Maree and the start of the Oodnadatta Track. The name just rolls off the tongue, doesn’t it? The 620 kilometre-long unsealed track connects Marree to Marla, and the outback settlements of William Creek and Oodnadatta, skirting the southern section of Lake Eyre.
We have discovered some great camping at “station stays” in the outback. Beltana Station was definitely something very special and well worth stopping off and checking out.
The Flinders Ranges
At over 400 km long, the Flinders Ranges is the largest mountain range in South Australia. We had heard that the area around Wilpena Pound was quite spectacular, so after finally dragging ourselves away from the Mighty Murray River, we were heading there to see what all the fuss was about.
It was time to move on, it was. But it was hard to say goodbye to the Murray River, knowing it could be quite some time before we are back on the banks of the third longest navigable river in the world.
Cruzin The Coorong
Ever since I first heard about The Coorong many years ago I have wanted to go there and see it for myself. The time had finally come and I was very excited!
Bound For South Australia
One of the things that I love about living on the road is the excitement of hitching up and driving off into new horizons not knowing what adventures we will have during the day or where we will call home tonight.
Apart from the iconic, over-photographed monoliths rising out of the ocean and the scenic seaside stretch of road between Apollo Bay and Lorne, the Great Ocean Road was a complete unknown for me, and not at all what I expected.
The Gramps To The G.O.R.
Even though Rod didn’t completely run out of mountains to climb, after 2 weeks in The Grampians, we decided it was time to make our way to the south-west coast of Victoria and The Great Ocean Road.
The Grampians is a mountainous region in Victoria that stretches for over one hundred kilometres from Horsham in the north to Dunkeld in the south, Hamilton in the west and Ararat in the east.
Back On The Mainland
I have to confess, leaving Tasmania was a bit heart-wrenching. I mean, we’ve been on the road since mid-September, and by the time we left the Apple Isle, we had spent more than half of our “new life” there. I felt like I grew up a little there. (Not sure what Eb would say about that.)
Climb Every Mountain
Ever since I became the first left handed, sexagenarian Australian bloke to climb Mount Everest single-handedly, without oxygen or Sherpas (I did have a bit of assistance from Photoshop), I have had a passion for hiking to high places on our journey Into the Unknown.
Ta Ta Tassie
Well the time has finally come. Time to explore new horizons. We have had the utmost pleasure in travelling around Tasmania for the past 83 days. In that time we have, amazingly, done over 6,000 KM.
Bye Bye Bruny
Greetings from a glorious summer morning on Bruny Island. Tasmania has finally decided to turn on some lovely warm weather for us after two and a half months of challenging conditions where the temperature rarely climbed above 20 degrees and we had to be constantly aware that whatever the weather was it would probably change dramatically soon. I did kind of enjoy that though – except for all the gear I had to carry when going on walks.
In case you were wondering, we did get to do the 20km walk to South East Cape Bay and for a brief time enjoy knowing that we were the most southerly people in Australia ( I know…….apart from a bunch of scientists on Macquarie Island). It was awesome!! Cold, raining on and off, and the Roaring Forties attempting to blow us of our feet. Very atmospheric.
End Of The Road
It has finally happened. Leo and The Wombat have reached the end of the road! We can’t go any further…….at least in a southerly direction.
Our time in The Tarkine was fantastic, with some of the most exquisite scenery we’ve ever seen. It is an extremely diverse combination of parks and reserves and some very remote wilderness.
Happy New Year from Tasmania! Let’s add Season’s Greetings and Happy Birthday to anyone born in the last month. That’s right, unbelievable as it may sound, we have been in Tassie for over a month!
Nine & a Half Weeks
Here we are, one more day to go before we head to Tasmania, a first for Ebb, Flow, Leo and the Wombat! I thought it must be time to fill you in on what we’ve been up to.
Firstly, before you ask, we have now travelled just over 6000 k’s.
40 Days & 40 Nights
When last we saw our happy campers, they were leaving the Broken Hill area for Mungo National Park, with a stopover at Menindee Lakes. With the last of their assets sold and converted to cash, they are unencumbered and debt-free.
They have now travelled over 3000 kilometres.
Here we are, settled in to our little Hidey-Hole at Penrose Park, Silverton for a few extra days, while Leo gets a new pinion seal installed in Broken Hill.
We planned our arrival to Broken Hill (30 km east from here) to coincide with our property settlement, which all went very smoothly. Yippee! We now only own one home, the wonderful Wombat!
One Week In
Hello from way out west,
The “first week of the rest of our lives” has been very eventful and pleasant indeed. We have ended up in our chosen venue, one “Pump Hole” camping area in the most beautiful National Park in the world! We have certainly managed to evade all the hordes of holiday-makers, as we share the camping area with a few evasive kangaroos and emus, half a dozen resident pelicans, and the ever-present feral goats, but we have not spoken one word to anyone but each other for the three days that we have been here.