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.
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.
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.
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.
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..
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.