Dampier Peninsular

Beagle Bay Creek, High and Low tide.

Gnylmarung Campsite

After a full on 4WD on the Cape Leveque track, snapping our aeriel off at the base over the corrigations we turned off to the Gnylmarung campsite. This was the beginning of the rest of our trip around Oz. I had just finished my hospital prac and a bit of remote camping was just what I needed to relax. There’s really only so much you can do while camping and I find it helps me to switch off. Going back to basics with minimal meal prep and facilities, nil technology or mobile reception, no power so ablution blocks were lit by a truck battery on a solar panel, fresh caught fish, new snorkel mask bitten by coral trout freshly caught and landing in the boat, the boys almost walking on water when 3 sharks became aggressive after the coral trout was speared, campfires and tents… but nothing prepared us for our first night in our “2-man” hiking tent in the heat. It barely fit our double mattress, Esther had to sleep with us, we had to try not to touch each other to stay cool and be mindful of not squashing the child. I think we were awake most of the night. We were ever so grateful that our friends offered us their tent for the rest of our trip up the cape while they returned back to Broome. They had brought their trailer up and even had a camp kitchen set up!

  • Check out the size of the tent compared to Dan.. and our awesome tray set up 🙂

Kooljaman Campground @Cape Leveque – Northernmost tip of the Dampier Peninsular.

I love the beach, this was a little windy though and a whole different ball game when trying to keep a youngen out of the sun, wind, sand and above water ha ha.

Meeting Ken Duncan OAM – Australian Landscape Photographer.

Being at the cape meant we could take sunset and sunrise photo’s, sunrise was early and I had put off sneaking out of the tent before the little one woke up to take some sunrise photo’s until the last morning. I took my camera and camera bag and stumbled out. It was beautiful and I have tried to capture that below. There were a few other people on the beach doing the same, although they had definitely risen earlier than I!!!

I am very much an amatuer photographer but would love to develop the skill, from memory I had a couple of questions on my mind regarding night photography and manual mode when I noticed someone also taking photo’s with the same cameras as me. I stopped and asked them my question, they then pointed me to a man coming up from the beach and suggested that he would be the best person to ask. This man was friendly and took my camera to have a look and answer my question… when he couldn’t turn it on, the battery had died. So I reached for my spare battery in my camera bag, only to realise my spare battery was in the nappy bag as that bag went everywhere. So no more assistance there with the camera and my question. I expressed how I would love to do a TAFE photography course and learn more, he proposed I only needed to do one course that would teach me everything I needed to know, to go to http://www.kenduncan.com and I would find the course there.

I asked him if he was Ken Duncan, he said yes. I thanked him for his time and he left.

There I was on a remote beach, alongside Ken Duncan, Australia’s most awarded Landscape Photographer, with an opportunity for a mini one on one lesson with camera in hand and the battery was dead. *face palm moment for sure.

Sacred Heart at Beagle Bay aka ‘Mother of Pearl Church’ – est. 1918

Banana Well Getaway – Dampier Peninsular

A perfect halfway stop driving back to Broome from the Cape. We loved the friendly feel of the place, the animals roaming and the sound of the donkey’s somewhere in the distance. Farmer Dan was right at home. I’ve seen peacocks before, but I don’t remember noticing how beautiful the female Peahen’s chest was. The green was so vibrant I had to take a photo! We again stayed in a tent here, went for a drive out to the Beagle Bay Creek, which is huge and has a significant change between the height of the tides as seen in the pictures below. The fear of crocodiles was real and I was on the lookout for any movement in the water, as well as keeping my distance from the edge. The creek is a popular fishing spot, but with stern warnings about cleaning fish near the water and ensuring you remove any waste!

High Tide/Low Tide – Banana Well

The Road in.
What made that ripple…..???

Melbourne, VICTORIA

“Life is nothing without friendship…”

Country Victoria
Set up the tripod for an obligatory border crossing photo!

Crashing at the Bell’s.

After Dan managed to get the caravan in the driveway! We had a beautiful catchup, stay and rest in Melbourne. Little did we know we wouldn’t be back as planned due to Covid hitting. Our families merged with my younger kids being swept away by the older kids. Meals, parenting and stories were shared, puzzles completed, walks to school pick up, a trip to the Cadbury factory for chocolate for “easter.” New babies held and met for the first time, cute leather shoes discussed, fresh fruit and veg was cooked again due to another border change.

Catching the ferry to Tasmania… on the ‘Spirit’.

Smoky Bay To Hahndorf, SA.

Another 780km would take us to Hahndorf. After stocking up on fresh Oysters in Smoky Bay we hit the road.

Port Augusta: We only stopped for a short break in Port Augusta, trying to get to Port Pirie, that’s right, we drove 540km in one day (Smoky Bay to Port Pirie)… it is often stressful by the time we pull up to a location. The kids are completely done from being strapped in the car seats, we’ve eaten all the snacks, listened to the playschool and wiggles cd’s over and over, encouraged them to use the magic water colouring books we bought and even read a book or two from the front seat which is a balance of being able to read the words and show the kids the pictures #soreneck. The kids were troopers!

Berry/Fogg Family Get Together: Being welcomed by extended family again was such a treat, even more so when your cousin is a chef and his wife runs a restaurant! We shucked the oysters, added a squeeze of lemon and they were enjoyed by most and many for the first time. Casey, the youngest of the clan was a favourite with all.

Hahndorf, SA: A small town in the Adelaide Hills with Australia’s oldest German Settlement. The main street is bursting with restaurants, cafes, little shops, icecream, cheese, chocolate and candy shops, bakeries and pubs, with elm trees lining the boulevard. The weekend was so busy it was hard to drive in and out, but we were privileged to stay walking distance from the main street at a dear friends house. With kids similar ages they had a blast together.

Eating dinner can be dangerous… always wear your helmet.
Thankfully I married the ultimate handyman and he can fix almost anything, anytime, anywhere. This time the 240V heating element for the fridge, it hadn’t been working since we bought it, so we picked up a new one in Port Pirie. There are often things to improve or sort out whilst on the road and given the short time period we gave ourselves to leave this time round we were still preparing as we journeyed.

Beerenberg Farm, Hahndorf, SA – Strawberry picking/eating with the kids! After buying some jam from the farm shop, we discovered it was available from the supermarket, along with piccalilli, beetroot and tomato relish.. so good!

Beebes Big Lap Take 2 With 2

It had been almost 2 years since we returned home from our big lap around Australia when a window of opportunity presented itself to travel, we bought a van with bunks for our now 2 children, packed up and left for the only state we didn’t visit… Tasmania (Tassie!). After falling pregnant with our second child (another beautiful girl, Leah) on our last trip we opted to skip Tassie for a later date.. and now we are here! It felt like it was so much harder to physically pack up and leave the house this time, with 2 children unpacking behind me as I packed and prepared the house for house-sitters. We have not only been blessed with another child but we moved to a 12 acre property with a big garden, chickens and a rooster to look after. So with perfect timing a high-school friends parents returning from Tassie will stay there and love our pets and house for us.

A late start, a catch up, a handover, lunch at the park.. then finally a quick shower and OFF WE GO!!!
First stop, an overnight roadside at Burracoppin Centenary Park Rest Area …
Our Family of 4 and our van.
A picture can tell a thousand words.. or yawns.
Melts my heart..
Sometimes you need a pillow to sleep…
The Great Australian Bite…
So close to the cliff edge.
Amazing colours.
Sun setting over the bite.
After a long drive, some play in the caravan at the Roadhouse.
Quick stop near Ceduna Quarantine, cooking all our fresh fruit and veg.
Always a playground stop where possible after long drives.

Smoky Bay, SA

On our way home last time we stayed in Streaky Bay, so we thought we would try Smoky Bay. We locked in 3 nights. Got some washing done, relaxed a bit with walks on the beach, bike rides on the jetty, sifting through shells under the little beach shades and some crabbing. We would definitely visit again.

Sunset Smoky Bay
Breakfast time in the van and our ongoing Bunnings to do box.
Leah Smiling…
Blue Steel..
Esther trying to smile like Leah, although she had it down pat when she was Leah’s age.
Dan trying t0 smile like Leah
New eyes of a child.. everything to discover.
Riding her bike on the Jetty.
Dad’s apprentice in everything he does.
Dinner in the bike basket!

Broome, WA.

Aka Broome-town, is a tourist town, known for its white sandy 22.5 km (14mile) cable beach. This destination was three-fold for us, I had a 4 week clinical placement at Broome Hospital as part of completing my nursing degree, we have family friends living in town and what better place to be between May and June in WA. We stayed in Broome for just over 8 weeks, it is a place hard to leave and many don’t. If it wasn’t for the rest of our travels that lay ahead we might have stayed too. The pace is slower, most services and facilities are all under a 5 min drive and then there is the magic of the Kimberley Region to discover on your doorstep. Dan loved going out fishing with his mate Bryon, being stay at home dad while I was on placement and bringing 8 month old Esther for Breastfeeds and cuddle on breaks! We all went to the outdoor cinema “Sun Pictures” in town. Even had a plane fly over while we were sitting there and baby girl Esther falling asleep… finally… in my arms was so sweet. Dreaming of buying some gold pearl stud earrings one day whilst touring all the pearl jewellery stores, Broome still harvests Pearls today. Last time we were there we went out to Willie Creek, and the Mango farm, this time we headed up to Cape Leveque, which will be a whole new blog post.

Discovering Cable Beach…

Cable Beach @ Sunset…

Anyone for a wedding on Cable Beach, Broome? How good would this be!

Coconut Wells Lagoon

I heard about coconut wells from a nurse I was working with, but it was hard to find directions on google. So I tagged along with some family friends, our first visit was at high tide, unable to see the rock pools only the pinnacles exposed just above the water, our second visit we went at low tide and we were able to see all the rock pools.

Low tide:

Staircase to the moon…

A natural phenomenon that occurs between March and October in Western Australia’s North West. The recipe, a full moon and a low tide. In Broome it can be seen over Roebuck Bay. There are photo’s and paintings all over Broome and at the Courthouse markets (a must-do… crepes and lemonade stand are the best) to see it oneself was amazing. Think beautiful balmy evening, hundreds of people, finding a parking space, standing on a bin to see the sunset and get a shaky photo and that is your image below! Then slowly watching the “staircase” disappear as the moon continues to rise. I personally think it looks more like a sunset than a moon-rise!

Fishing on the Fitzroy River…

Crocodile country, crocodile country, crocodile country! Just look at that water… what is lurking beneath? Other than crocodiles, turns out a saw fish. We headed out for a day trip to the Fitzroy River, just off the Great Northern Highway. I stayed right away from the shore, unless someone else was standing in front of me. We heard the rule was 3m from the shore should keep you safe from crocs lunging out of the water. It was made easier with Esther not even crawling at her young age. So we didn’t have to worry about her near the water. No Barramundi on the line for us though that night.

For those travelling with kids, we found a plug in the shower worked great, we later found a collapsible baby bath at a Broome op shop which we put in the bottom of the shower also worked great too, using less water.

Sydney, NSW.

12 Months ago!

Driving into Sydney suburbs towing an 18ft Caravan was hairy.. but Dan did it, sweat marks on his shirt to prove it. As we squeezed our way through 3 lanes that appear to have been made from 2 lanes. Semi-trailers either side, breathing in, hoping it would make a difference, we made it unscathed into inner Sydney, warmly greeted by Dan’s Aunty and Uncle. We stayed a whole ten days (although it still wasn’t enough to win a round of Contract Rummy!), we enjoyed reconnecting and getting to know family, washed the caravan, bought some clean (no red dirt stained) clothes from the DFO’s, took Esther on her first train ride, visited the Bus Museum (Dan), with Bob & Carol’s hospitality so good it was hard to leave!

Well done to Dan for driving the caravan through the streets of Sydney, then parking it up.
When you require all of the above in your cot before you will go to sleep.
Playing in the curtains like she did at Grandma’s.
About 17 Weeks Pregnant with Leah.
My one and only photo of the Harbour Bridge ☺️.

Dinner out on the Parramatta River.

Esther’s first train ride.

Totally independent at the age of 16 months.
Oh my this chocolate is so good… my savings account is extremely lucky they don’t have a Haigh’s in Perth.
So many of my friends have moved to Sydney, it was great to catch up with a few while we passed through. I’ve known Anna since I was about 8. (So about ten years ;p)
Primary School friends! We visited Darling Harbour, then an awesome ice-creamery, which you can just see people outside lining up in the background.
While I lined up the camera for a timed farewell photo, Esther got serious with her posing!
Squeeze in! Don’t forget I did beat you at Contract Rummy last time we saw each other!

Karijini National Park & Eighty Mile Beach, WA.

Karijini National Park: April 2017

Western Australia’s second largest National Park, filled with beautiful gorges carved out of red rock. We headed to the Eastern side of the park, near Dales gorge and Fortescue falls. A fire had passed through the summer before we arrived (December 2016) and it was burnt out. Photos below show little foliage which meant little respite from the hot sun in the day. Dan recalls us using the generator so I could cook a chickpea curry in the thermomix, one of only two times we actually used the generator, we could’ve made other dinner arrangements.

Karijini National Park
Free foot exfoliation from the little fish for Esther.
Esther and I waited in the shade while Dan did the Spider Walk on the way to Kermits Pool. It was warm, so I stripped Esther off and we waded in the water. It was so refreshing. Although there were a few awkward moments when the passers by realised she was naked.. meh, she’s a baby!
Dan the Man
Dan prior to the Spider Walk.
Fig trees bursting out of gorge rock.

Port Hedland:

We had a short stop in Port Hedland, refuelling the fridge and the car. We struggled to find any green grass at the caravan park, but we did find a really nice cafe/restaurant for dinner, where the service provided was so above standard we went out of our way to leave a facebook review! We spent the day perusing the town, walking along the foreshore, visiting the art gallery and South Headland library.

Port Hedland
This is a random selfie we took one night in Port Headland. I’ve put it in as I love seeing the inside of others vans and how they lived. Dan is sitting on Esther’s Bed. I’m sitting on the edge of the cafe lounge as we have the cushions resting on the couch. The Chaos. We started off setting up and packing away her bed, it didn’t last long, it stayed set up most of the time and given it was enclosed like a cot, it became a great place to store anything that might roll around on the move.

Eighty Mile:

The drive into Eighty Mile Beach Caravan Park is a long gravel road, which we took nice and slowly, limiting the trail of dust we left behind. As we reached the caravan park there was a caravan high on the hill advertising for sale, we came over the hill and along with views of the beach was a beautiful green grassed caravan park. After parking the caravan we made friends with other residents, so fresh and excited to be on this adventure and with Esther on board, it was easy to connect… her cuteness even scored us a freshly caught and filleted threadfin salmon, as she won over the caretakers of the caravan park who we chatted to on the beach. Esthers’ first experience eating fish… fresh as fresh could be. She loved it and still does. Spoilt!

5 mins after we got out we watched a shovel-nose shark swim by.

Port Stephens to Newcastle, NSW.

Port Stephens:

After a short drive we arrived at Port Stephens, it was school holidays and this was the closest we could get to Nelson Bay. For the most part we have not booked ahead and haven’t had any issues, always being able to still get one or two nights, but this time we ended up 40 mins away from the bay we wanted to visit, so we decided on one day trip. At the caravan park we took Esther swimming in the pool, I practiced my Physio stretches (as my Sacro-iliac Joint was playing up, newly pregnant) and Esther discovered she has her own table and bench seat:

Tomaree Mountain Walk:

At the recommendation of our friends from Newcastle we went and did this walk in Nelson Bay, it had beautiful views as you’ll see below.

The wall of aqua through the trees.


Ant with a golden bum!


I thought I looked quite pregnant in this photo. Not compared to now!

Lake Macquarie: (Apparently there are sharks in the lake… but no crocs!)

In late 2006 I volunteered as a missionary for my church and was in this area. I met loads of people and was able to catch up with a lovely couple and their family while we were there. We also went looking for the house I used to live in, in Toronto. I showed Daniel “the” house.. 3 times until I finally found the one I actually lived in. Turns out 11 years on things are not as familiar as they used to be.

Loooove this smile.


The Vowels x

Tawny Frogmouth spotted in the tree, by the ever observant Dan of course!

Views from Fort Scratchley Museum, Newcastle:


Next Stop: the hustle and bustle of Sydney.


Our first week on the road: Perth to Tom Price, WA.

It has now been almost 12 months since we left. I would love to finish the blog before we get back, but I have also picked up 2 units at uni and uni should probably be prioritised over the other…

We left Perth on 21st April, 2017. It was a busy time after welcoming our Esther only 7 months prior, packing and renting the house out, preparing the caravan, tying up loose ends at work, as well as catching up with friends and family one last time before we left, including this farewell, what an awesome cake (thanks Tamara). Although we still have a few more things to see on the map next time, (Yes, we plan to return to the road to see Tasmania and South Australia sometime after the next baby arrives).

We have definitely seen crocs, drove past the big pineapple at least 30 times while Dan was working on the sunshine coast (although never got a photo). We saw the big banana in Coffs Harbour, but while towing a caravan didn’t stop for a photo. We saw Dolphins in Byron Bay and Dan just recently saw a penguin washed up on the beach in Apollo Bay, (does that count?). We plan to visit Ayers rock next time and hopefully we’ll catch the whales migrating in the Bight.


Saying bye:

Our set up:

New Age Oz Classic, with a very luxurious ensuite and our Ford Ranger.


Our very first night on the road, Seven Mile Beach:

It felt pretty amazing to leave town. It may have taken a few extra hours than planned to pull out of the driveway but we did it. This was a dream of Dan’s for almost 20 years and after much debate we decided on a caravan over a camper or pop top. We looked at caravans on Gumtree for at least 3 years, before we bought one and then needed a car capable of towing it. Dan liked the Ford Ranger and we couldn’t afford a landcruiser 200 series. I found one (an XLT) on Gumtree that had low kilometers and all the accessories Dan wanted already fitted (UHF, Suspension upgrade, long range tank, bullbar, spotlights and trailer brakes).

I researched every port-a-cot available trying to find one that would fit into the gap between the couches, only to convert a couch into her bed a few days before we left. We still took the port-a-cot and it has been well used for camping, playing and visiting any friends or family along the way.

So when we pulled into this free campsite just south of Geraldton, using WikiCamps for the first time it was quite the feeling. It was even Romantic! Living the dream! There were only 3 other vans at the site with front row parking still available. We weren’t sure what the etiquette was but took the risk and parked up. Perfect views.


It was so nice. We had many lessons ahead of us, including one we learned the next morning. We left the fridge running in the boot of the car and it drained the car battery, So we needed a jump start. From then on (until we got solar on the car and a dual battery system) we kept the fridge in the caravan when we were parked up.

Horrocks Beach:

This is the very dry golf course.



Anzac Day Ceremony


Esther trying Black Sapote for the first time after we visited a store front with fresh local fruit for sale.

Tom Price:

We were impressed with Tom Price, so much greener than we thought, the town was clean and there seemed to be lots of young families. We met a few couples at the caravan park who were headed in the same direction (clockwise) and we have seen 3 of them since, some in Cape York, another in the Northern Territory and just recently another couple in Canberra, it has been great to catch up and share stories as well as get further recommendations on places to visit.

Then it was red dragonfruit smoothie:


Next stop Karijini National Park.

Coffs Harbour to Port Macquarie, NSW.

Coffs Harbour:

We had a short stay in Coffs Harbour, with a warm welcome from these resident rabbits at the caravan park:


Great! Now eating the carrot!

A visit to the harbour for fish n’ chips and then off again the next morning, via the Carob factory (Carobana) at Daniels recommendation where they also make fresh honeycomb. They are a small family business that have been around since 1982, it’s great to see them still afloat, they do well with most of their honeycomb bought commercially to add to other confectionery. They were all super friendly and had plenty of taste testing!

We then headed off with the van to Dorrigo National Park, beautiful spot known for its waterfalls, for a hike. It was so great to see the wildlife too:

Hike through Dorrigo National Park:

We saw a Lyrebird!


We then headed south towards Port Macquarie, finding a free camp along the way. Nice looking quiet spot, next to the Nambucca river, called Macksville Lions Park. There was a parking area dedicated to 24-hour stopping for caravans and motorhomes, opposite a residential area, a few other vans were there. Worst sleep EVER.. ha ha, all night trucks and trains rattled over the bridge then at 5:30am someone started their generator and playing country music quite loudly, then early morning road workers rocked up to dig a trench alongside the carpark, a deep trench, one that would be impossible for a car and caravan to cross.. So we had to pack up quick and ask them to stop briefly so we could leave before they completely blocked us in for the rest of the day! Drove to Port Macquarie and found a great caravan park close to the beach and set up. We ended up staying 3 nights I think, had a great time exploring the different beaches, the koala park, the strawberry farm, going to parkrun along the “breakwall”, a small food truck market, buying Esther her first pillow at her request, stocking up on fresh food and produce and digging for pippy’s at the beach.

Port Macquarie Koala Rescue Park:


Tacking Point Lighthouse, Port Macquarie:



Port Macquarie Town Beach:

Since having Esther, I would often take her into the water but wouldn’t go diving into the water with as she has yet to learn to hold her breath, but oh how I’ve missed that feeling of diving under a wave, so while we were here Dan watched Esther while I went for a walk out into the surf to swim. It was so refreshing that feeling as you dive under and the rush of water over your body! ah.!


It was a relaxing stay in Port Macquarie before we headed south to Port Nelson.