It’s hard to believe, but its been more than 6 months now since I walked out the door for the last time at my full time employment for 13 long years, and we hit the road as a family. We legged it across to South Australia, where we spent 4 months exploring the beautiful coastline and Flinders Ranges, and then crossed into Victoria to be completely and utterly shocked at how many epic low cost and free camps, along with 4WD tracks there are.
Now though, things are changing, and in this post I want to detail what our intentions are going forward, how things are going and how long we’ll likely be travelling for.
We’re having a great time
I want to start off by saying that this has been one of the best moves we could have made. We’re doing it slowly, carefully and not spending a ridiculous amount of money, which makes me feel a lot more comfortable. Yes, there are days, and many times where things don’t go the way we want them to, or the kids are a royal pain in the backside, but we try and reflect on life that was, and it doesn’t take much for us to flick back to reality, and realise life could be a LOT worse.
Some days I go to bed pinching myself, as we’ve all had a truly unbelievable time, and in general everyone is pretty happy, and having a great time.
We are heading north quickly
After nearly a month exploring the amazing Victorian High Country, we are heading quite a bit north, at a more rapid pace. We organised to catch up with some relatives who are flying in to Wagga Wagga, and then we’ve got 10 days to get all the way to Airlie Beach in Queensland, which is a massive change to our usual pace on the road.
We didn’t get to do the rest of the high country (easily another 2 – 4 weeks to go), and we didn’t do any of the South East coastline of Victoria, or heading upwards to NSW, but we’ll be back, I promise.
Why are we going north? The reason for our drive up is to get into some nice warm weather (the dry season is from April to October or so), and we’re catching up with more family over 3 weeks. We booked a 6 night Whitsunday Cruise on a 40ft Yacht that we’ve hired, with 10 of us, which we have all wanted to do for a long time and hopefully it will be nothing short of amazing.
We have also booked two weeks into different caravan parks which is not something we’d normally do, but its done so other family can fly in, and we can all relax and enjoy some company together, with our own spaces. Normally we’d just wing it or find a low cost camp, but we wanted the security of somewhere to stay with relatives who won’t have 4WD’s, and this should be awesome.
Once that is up, our intention is to head north again, all the way to the top of Cape York. From there, we’ll work our way back down again towards Melbourne, stopping at as many amazing places as we can. We have some family and friends to catch up with at various places, and will hopefully be down around NSW somewhere between September and October, giving us plenty of time to get some decent weather in (fingers crossed).
We’ve caught up with my folks again
If you’ve been following along you’ll know that my Mum and Dad travelled with us for a number of months through South Australia, and we were really glad to spend lots of quality time with them. They headed back to Perth and left the van in Adelaide for a couple of months, to get some work done, and sort a few things out at home, and we’ve just met them again.
They are coming north with us, and then they’ll head across to Perth via the Kimberley (hopefully the crossing is open), and we’ll head south without them. We feel very grateful to have this opportunity with them, and we travel really well together.
Are we going to Tasmania?
We’re still discussing this. We’d like to go in Summer, and might book a trip over there, but we’re not sure just yet. It might be a dedicated trip once we return home and settle; who knows; it all depends on how the rest of QLD and NSW goes.
How long are we going to travel for?
When we left, we said 12 – 24 months on the road. It’s pretty clear after 6 months that we’re all (most of the time), having fun, and while everyone wants to keep travelling, we’ll keep pushing along. It helps 4WDing Australia immensely in terms of having new content to write, and we all much prefer this than the normal daily grind back in Perth.
I doubt we’ll be back in Perth on a full time basis before September 2024, which will make it 2 years on the road. That said, we might extend it even further; we’ll see how it all goes.
Where else are we going?
We intend on going through the centre and up to Darwin, and Arnhem Land at some stage. There’s still some spots in the Kimberley that we haven’t done which we’d like to do, but that might be the final leg of the trip, before we head back to Perth.
We’ve discovered that you can spend such a long time exploring places, and I have a feeling that 7 months is not going to be enough to see Queensland and NSW in great depth, so we’ll see what happens.
In essence, we have Queensland, NSW and some of Victoria to finish, with some of the NT to do, and of course Tasmania.
What are we spending?
Our first 100 days ended up at just over $800 a week, which is pretty impressive when a lot of people are doing $1500 a week. This will likely go up as we head up the east coast, but we’re pretty careful that the money gets used well, as we want to return home in a good position.
We’re due to release the next 100 days of costs, which we’ll get onto ASAP, and hopefully they haven’t gone up too much more!
I was thinking the other day about the cost you’d put on a long term trip away, and its financial implications for years after; its certainly a topic worthy of discussion around a camp fire.
Thanks for following along
For now, thanks for following along, and if there’s anything we can do to help you out please give us a shout, and we might see you on the road!