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Tales of the travels, trials and triumphs as we explore Australia in a converted bus
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Motorhome Travels - July 2011

03/07/2011

Eight years since we moved into the bus! It is very hard to believe, but is has been an amazing eight years. To be honest, I did not think we would make it to two years.

Before I tell you about our 4WD trip up the coast to Yardie Creek, let me reminisce about just a few of the highs and lows in the last eight years of motorhoming Australia.

2003 - July 1st - We leave Sydney in the rain to start our new life travelling Australia in our motorhome. The bus was white at that stage ... and we were very green. We travelled quite quickly up to the Gold Coast.

1st of July 2003 - leaving Sydney in the rain. - [Click for a Larger Image]
1st of July 2003 - leaving Sydney in
the rain.

2004 - January - We find our first real "on-the-road" job. Working as photographers for a tiger moth joy ride company on the Gold Coast. We are able to park the bus at the airstrip and live there. It provides a place to park and an income.
After a few months we head north, visit Fraser Island then onwards towards Cairns and the tropics.

One of the tigers on the Gold Coast - [Click for a Larger Image]
One of the tigers on the Gold Coast

2004 - August - I accept an offer to work in Melbourne for a couple of months. Technology consultant for OX Capital - the job was a great success ... the company was less successful (not my fault :-)! After returning to Cairns we head into outback north Queensland and across the Savannah Way.

Ox Captial Head Office - Melbourne - [Click for a Larger Image]
Ox Captial Head Office - Melbourne

2005 - February - After coming through Alice Springs and leaving more than $9,000 with the brake repair workshop, we visit "The Rock" then cross the Nulabour Plains for the first time and get to dive in the famous Cocklebiddy cave system.

Diving Cocklebiddy cave - [Click for a Larger Image]
Diving Cocklebiddy cave

2005 - April - We buy a house in Perth and get a new engine fitted to the bus. We live in the house for 8 months while we pay for the engine ... then off again.

Hobohome gets a new engine. - [Click for a Larger Image]
Hobohome gets a new engine.

2006 - July - My mothers health deteriorates to the point where we make the decision to go back to NZ to look after her. We are heart broken to be leaving the bus and Australia ... but determined to be back. We are in NZ for 9 months. We get the opportunity to walk the famous Milford Track - what a great experience.

Mother and son in NZ. - [Click for a Larger Image]
Mother and son in NZ.

2007 - March - We meet Ian Hunter - crayfisherman from Cliff Head on the West Coast. We strike up a great friendship. We visit Cliff Head many times after that first meeting. We are still good friends.

Ian and Pete onboard Trixie. - [Click for a Larger Image]
Ian and Pete onboard Trixie.

2008 - January - Having travelled the entire west coast then back to the east coast via the top end, we find ourselves way down south travelling the spectacular Great Ocean Road. But it is not long before the west coast is calling again. What is it about the west that just seems to keep us coming back? Before heading back we buy an 80 acre property in Queensland (Mt Perry) ... why? Well we really like the place and the property was amazing.

The Great Ocean Road. - [Click for a Larger Image]
The Great Ocean Road.

2009 - April - After fitting a second gearbox (low range) to the bus and giving her a new blue paint job, we are heading west again and getting stuck again along the way. This time we head off the beaten track a bit more.

Getting towed out of the bog on the Nulabour. - [Click for a Larger Image]
Getting towed out of the bog on the
Nulabour.

2009 - September - This is our second visit to Karijini National Park. This time we really explore it and come to the conclusion that is is by far the best NP in all of Australia (so far).

Karijini National Park. - [Click for a Larger Image]
Karijini National Park.

2009 - November - This looks like the end of our travels, Tracey is diagnosed with a brain tumor. What do we do now? We decide to go back to NZ for her to undergo very risky operation to have the tumor removed. While the tumor is not completely removed, the operation is a great success. We are told that it will be a very long recovery and she will rely on drugs and perhaps radio therapy to control the illness. Just a few months later we are given the ok to return to Australia and the bus. Tracey is under the care of a specialist in Perth.

Traceys brain tumor (not shown real size :-) ) - [Click for a Larger Image]
Traceys brain tumor (not shown real
size :-) )

2009 - May - After months of research and planning we start on our most adventurous plan yet ... a trip across the Great Victorian Desert on the Great Central Road. This turns out to be one of the highlights of our entire time on the road. It is an amazing trip and we enjoy every (rough) kilometer of the trip to Alice Springs - so much so we decide to do it all again and go back to WA the same way.

The beginning of the GCR - [Click for a Larger Image]
The beginning of the GCR

2010 - July - The Moke was great and don't worry, we still love it, but we needed more. A 4WD and a boat are added to the mix and the Moke is placed in storage. This is going to open up alot more of the country to us.

The Vitara and boat - [Click for a Larger Image]
The Vitara and boat

 

So there you have it - eight years in a nutshell. Of course these are just a few memorable parts, there have been lots of special times. And ... we are not ready to stop yet.

 

Enough of the past ... what have we been doing?