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.

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Saying bye:

Our set up:

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

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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.

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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:

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This is the very dry golf course.

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Canarvon:

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Anzac Day Ceremony

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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:

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Next stop Karijini National Park.

Katherine, NT.

We have now been travelling for 3 months… 13 weeks to be exact! Time has flown although some nights with little Miss E have dragged on hour by hour. Our perfect little sleeper is now… well… not!

We are currently in Katherine, we arrived last week and have visited Edith Falls (in the Nitmiluk National Park) and the Katherine Hot Springs, both of which are gorgeous natural pools and as you’ll see below way more enticing than going to the local swimming pool. I have also had the chance to meet up with one of the missionaries I served with in Sydney, Elder Richardson! After posting our whereabouts on Facebook he let me know he and his family live here in Katherine. We caught up at church and then they had us over for a roast dinner which was so nice on both accounts. Esther made a new friend in Zara, as she army crawled around the house and played with duplo!

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Beebe’s & Richardson’s
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Besties! Esther just loved playing with Zara.

Edith Falls:

We started the hike when we first arrived, hoping to do the 8.4km return trip to Sweetwater Pool, but after an hour of hiking in the heat we found ourselves at Long Pool.

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Long Pool
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I want to go swimming!!

Esther enjoyed a swim in the water, followed by a “nature” play in the sand!! She loved every second of it and wasn’t too happy to have to redress and start the hike back.

 

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Top Pool, Nitmiluk National Park

When we finished the hike, we had lunch with a Black Whip Snake, an apparent resident of the campground. Okay there is a story to this, I went to go to the toilet block and there were a group of about 8 people (early twenties) standing in front of the toilet, directly where I was walking towards, they were staring at me, as if they were waiting on me to join them, so they could go, which was really weird… until I got a metre away from a 2m black whip snake, which I unintentionally startled as I walked towards it (focusing on the weirdos looking at me) when a guy (around the blind corner of the toilet block) also now a metre away from the snake trying to take a photo of it said “watch out snake”… those “weirdos” were staring at me because I was walking towards the snake! Who let’s someone walk towards a snake? We then went to Edith Falls Pool. It was so much bigger than I expected, Gorgeous! Rumour has it that at the beginning of the season they removed a 3m Saltie!

 

Esther loovves to go in any temperature water including water cooler than I’m keen on… but she hated the blow up pool ring! So after attempting to swim out to the falls, trying to convince her that she liked it we swam her back, with her crying all the way 🙂 Hopefully she’ll get used to it.

Katherine Gorge:

After a much needed day (for me anyway) preparing some meals to freeze we went out to Katherine Gorge with the Richardson’s. I had picked up a map with the walks on it from the Katherine Tourist Information Centre and was looking forward to going to “Southern Rockpool” roughly 2.5 km from the Visitors Centre. I even wore my bathers and packed Esther’s. After seeing some gorgeous “rockpools” and “Waterholes” I was sooooooo disappointed after hiking (with Esther on my front) an extra “0.5km” (whatever, I think they misplaced the dot point), straight down the Gorge to find a not so swimming hole  😦

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Bit too green for my liking… although I’m sure in the wet season it is a huge waterhole as the watermark on the cliff face suggests!

Just prior to this we went to Pat’s lookout. What a spectacular view. This was definitely worth the hike.

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Amazing hey!

We’ve had a great time in Katherine, all the better for the company we shared. I must note 7 yo Zara walked the whole thing! Such a champion.

To finish here are the most recent photo’s of our 10 month old baby girl we love…

 

Next stop Litchfield National Park.