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Trip Summary

Wonderful Memories

overcast 15 °C

Well here it is mid-June and I have finally got around to writing this summary of our amazing adventure circumnavigating this huge, diverse and wonderful country we call home. We are both back working and dreaming of a time in the future when we can head off again and visit all of the places that we missed on our big lap. The journey was a life changing, once in a lifetime adventure that we would have loved to be able to extend for another year if we could have.

After 11 months on the road traveling the far reaches of Australia we arrived home to two very happy dogs and our property looking fantastic. Well done to our house sitters Sofia and Johne who did a marvellous job caring for our animals and our five acre property while we were away.
The adjustment back into “normal” life has been difficult. The pace of life on the road slows right down and you have time to appreciate the simple things like sunrises and sunsets, nature, the natural rhythms of life and the freedom of not having a schedule. As humans, we seek novelty, new experiences, sensations, surroundings, and travel gives us this on a daily basis. Every day is different and exciting, meeting new people, seeing new sights and enjoying a simpler, slower pace of life that is so foreign in today’s fast paced world.

What would we do differently if we did the same trip again? Deb would have liked her own toilet and shower within the camper so a hybrid camper with these features would have allowed us to free camp a lot more than we did. I was quite happy with our setup, the off road performance and durability of the Kimberley camper trailer allowed us to get to very remote places and was comfortable to live out of for the duration of the trip. We were very happy with our timing and direction of travel. With the exception of some unseasonal cool and rainy weather in the south west of WA in March, we enjoyed great weather with no more rain until we reached Cairns in October.

What were our most useful purchases/modifications we did before the trip? Before leaving, I replaced the centre console in the patrol with a Waeco 11 litre compressor fridge. This proved invaluable in being able to keep drinks and food cold and at hand while travelling. It also meant freeing up space in our main fridge by being able to keep all our drinks in the console fridge. The other two invaluable items were both apps for the iPad. The Hema 4wd Maps app was brilliant in allowing us to plot the days travel ahead on the iPad and then to show our position on the map as we went along. The other app was Wikicamps, which was invaluable for finding campsites and reading comments of fellow travellers about what to expect.

A couple of nice quotes to finish up.

“If you think adventure is dangerous, try routine it's lethal”

“Travel is not reward for working, it’s education for living.”

The Stats

Our Big Lap began on the 02-02-2017 and ended on 20-12-2017 (322 days).
We travelled 37,346km, spent $9165 on fuel and averaged 17L/100km which was pretty reasonable considering we were heavily loaded, had a lot of stuff on the roof rack creating wind resistance and did a lot of off road driving.
We stayed at 107 different campsites.

Best Camps

Carrarang Station (WA)
Cactus (SA)
Memory Cove (SA)
Ravenshoe Railway Caravan Park (QLD)
Elim Beach (QLD)
Alau Beach (QLD)
Ningaloo Station (WA)
Red Bluff (WA)
Middle Lagoon (WA)
Cape Trib Camping - Cape Tribulation (QLD)

Best Towns

Darwin (NT)
Kununurra (WA)
Byron Bay (NSW)
Mallacoota (VIC)
South West Rocks (NSW)

Best National Parks

Lawn Hill (QLD)
Kakadu (NT)
Ningaloo Marine Park (WA)
Cape Le Grande (WA)
Garig Gunak Barlu (NT)
Purnululu (WA)

Best Beaches

Ningaloo Station (WA)
Twilight Beach (WA)
Cape Arid (WA)
Cape Leveque – Kooljamon (WA)
Cape Tribulation (QLD)
Mission Beach (QLD)
Byron Bay (NSW)

Best Walk Trails

Lawn Hill – Island Walk (QLD)
Stirling Ranges – Bluff Knoll (WA)
Agnes Water – Red Rock Trail (QLD)
Kakadu – Ubirr and Gunlom (NT)
Keep River – Jarnem Loop Walk (WA)
El Questro Gorge (WA)
Manning Gorge (WA)
Purnululu – Cathedral Gorge (WA)
Mitchell Falls (WA)

Best Drives

Overland Telegraph Track (QLD)
Gibb River Road (WA)
Bloomfield Track (QLD)
Savannah Way (NT)
Cahills Crossing to Smiths Point – Garig Gunak Barlu NP (NT)
Wanna to Sleaford 4wd Track (SA)


Posted by OzJourney 23:24 Archived in Australia

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