our tassie bucket list

We are thrilled to be planning our first ever trip to the beautiful island of Tasmania.

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Image captured by Leigh-Rae Ash
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Image captured by Leigh-Rae Ash
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Image captured by Leigh-Rae Ash
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Image captured by Leigh-Rae Ash

This will be a quick fly and drive trip towards the end of twenty-seventeen.

We are sure we will fall in love and be back to the apple isle with the caravan in a few years time but this trip is going be about one week max.

Here is our start to the brainstorming:

Hobart

  • MONA
  • Salamanca Markets

Port Arthur

  • Convict Settlement
  • Tasman Arch
  • Tessellated pavement

Strahan & Queenstown

  • Gordon River Cruise
  • Sarah Island
  • Huon Pine Mill
  • West Coast Wilderness Railway

Stanley

  • The Nut Chair Lift

Launceston

  • Tasmania Zoo

Cradle Mountain

  • Pumphouse Point
  • The Boat Shed
  • Dove Lake
  • Lake St Clair

Wineglass Bay

Callington Mill

It would be great to know what you all think is a must for our first Tassie adventure.

What are your tips for us?

 

S & S 

 

oh my darling

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The Darling River has been a long time bucket list dream item. I have traced my finger down the map so many times in anticipation of one day driving along the edge of this beautiful watercourse. The Darling River and the river systems of Australia have always fascinated me!

Why!?!

No idea!

It could be the natural beauty and wonder that comes from the ebb and flow of the Darling. Or it could be the amazing connections the Darling has with our Australian history; the majestic river boat trade, our explorers or our nomadic natives.

Times would of be tough along the Darling, but there is a nostalgia that puts a rose-coloured tint on the river’s past.

As usual we wish we could of taken more time to traverse the river’s edge but when you have limited time you make the most of the time you do have.

We met Australia’s third longest river, the Darling on the drive between Brewarrina and Bourke, where the Culgoa and Barwon Rivers meet in Western, NSW.

We had only planned to stay in Bourke for two nights and ended up staying three. If time was limitless we could of spent a much longer time exploring Bourke and surrounds.

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Our base camp was made at Kidman’s Camp, North Bourke and we have to say it is has crept into one of our top 10 caravan parks ever! That is a big call but we are sticking by it. Great amenities, beautiful grounds, close enough to town but far enough out.

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Our time in Bourke;

  • Back O Bourke Exhibition Centre – 5 stars, friendly staff, excellent exhibits and crammed packed with history! They even let you go back the next day for free! 17880153_10154649571094538_6505065834052485120_o
  • PV Jandra Paddle Cruise down the Darling – a wonderfully relaxing cruise down the Darling on a Paddle Boat. 100% worth it!
  • A day trip to Gundabooka – this is a trip in itself, the majestic ranges and rock art, we will be back for sure and we might even spend a night or two.17833970_10154653155604538_6036086099208362436_o17880256_10154653021809538_4559082656587085622_o
  • Exploring the history of the town including the old wharf, the weir, the Crossley engine – the Darling really was a life-blood, without the Darling towns like Bourke would simply not exist.

 

We headed off from Bourke and meandered our way down the Darling River, West-side, East-side, whatever direction took our fancy at each bridge cross-over. As so many before us we made a slight pub-crawl of it with a stop at both Tilpa and Louth (both iconic outback pubs in their own right). We passed through Wilcannia, unfortunately the town was battered and bruised; I’m sure only a shadow of it’s former self and we made our way to a little patch of paradise back on the Darling.

The Paroo-Darling National Park is approximately 40km south of Wilcannia and an absolute world away. The Coach and Horses Campground is complete perfection. Great effort by NSW National Parks! They have provided BBQ’s, toilets and picnic tables with designated camp-sites along the Darling River.

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From Paroo Darling we moved on down the river towards Menindee. As far back as I can remember I have always wanted to visit Menindee. I don’t know why exactly, it could be the photographs that we all associate with the Menindee Lakes. You know the ones, the ghostly trees emerging from the lake’s bottom reaching up into a wonderfully painted sky. Whatever the reason, it lived up to and exceeded my expectations. We were lucky to see the lakes with a far amount of water in them and even luckier to score what is one of the best free camps we have ever stumbled across, and I do mean stumbled. 17966451_10154659803264538_3977871532047791994_o

Picture this! Wake up, step out of the caravan and onto the soft and sandy loam, the birds are already singing but no other noises meet your ears. You walk several metres and dip your toes into the silky water of Lake Pamamaroo. This was one of those spots where we stayed an extra few days and well thank goodness because it is one of those magic spots, that I will dream about for years to come.

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What did we do while in Menindee?

  • Kinchenga National Park; we explored the Darling River drive, so many more wonderful campsites tucked away in there, the old woolshed and Kinchenga ruins, the woolshed especially was amazing 17972124_10154662352029538_1455704605374242059_o
  • Had a drink in the pub where explorers Burke and Wills stayed in 1860
  • Walked around the historic township Heritage Trail
  • found the boiler from the Paddle Steamer Providence disaster back in 1872

Our only disappointment at Menindee was the lack of information about the Burke and Wills Depot camp and survey tree a short way out of town. We are not sure if the signage was washed away or stolen but it was a real shame to miss such an historical marker. Unfortunately, we didn’t have time this trip but would love to take one of the boat trips on the Lakes. We just have to save that one for next time.

From Menindee, our original plan was to head to Mungo National Park but we weren’t feeling it and we had spent a few of our extra nights along the Darling so we decided to head to Wentworth. Mungo NP will be added to the next trip when we have more time to enjoy and take our time.

We travelled through the town of Pooncarrie which I might add was delightful with beautifully manicured, green lawns and neat gardens. It is always so nice to see towns that the locals take pride in even out there, way outback. We made it to Wentworth where the Darling meets the mighty Murray.  17972388_10154665537934538_3015918485766752436_o

We made a lovely free camp on the edge of the Murray and explored Wentworth;

  • Old Wentworth Gaol; in such wonderful condition, interesting and eerie, so many stories of times gone by 17991572_10154668420319538_1841414843296520947_o.jpg
  • Wentworth Pioneer Museum; absolutely crammed pack of history, highlight for me was the historical photograph collection of all the old paddle steamers.
  • We took a drive out to the Perry Sandhills, attempted sand boarding on cardboard no real success but lots of laughs. On a side note; was horrified by the amount of rubbish floating around! 17973727_10154669342389538_6467889000138221445_o
  • The walk out to the junction of the two rivers was highlight, the colour difference is very clearly defined.

We would definitely complete the Darling River Run again and again as there were things we missed and we would love to spend more time there, Plus it is one of those places that would be different each time your visited.

>>>>>Coming soon our Flinders Ranges trip note<<<<<<<

S & S

life is a zoo

Zoo: An excellent place to study the habits of human beings.
– Evan Esar

We have passed the Taronga Western Plains Zoo so many times over the past few years and we thought now was the time to finally visit.

We weren’t 100% impressed to be honest. The zoo is quite spread out which is great and we thought the enclosures were going to be quite large and open however, that wasn’t always the case. Some enclosures were well disguised by natural elements such as lowered ground level, trees, water moats however, some were quite concrete jungle-esque.

The zoo is so large that you can chose to either drive your own vehicle around, hire and electric cart or ride bicycles. I personally think they should stop people driving their own vehicles around and everyone should either ride bikes or use electric carts. The vehicles create an unnatural and flurry of craziness.

The electric carts are only able to be hired for three hours which is not enough to get around and see everything. We paid $69 for the three hours but would of quite happily paid up to $100 to have the cart for the entire day (there was not option to do this). Further to this, the set up to purchase zoo tickets and then hire the cart was quite long-winded and required attending two locations, two line-ups before then waiting to enter the zoo in another line-up. When purchasing the tickets the customer service member handed the map with no mention of what was on, the entry location or where to hire the cart from?

We made the most of our three hour time limit and saw everything we wanted too. While we wouldn’t necessarily rush back we would recommended others to go and visit the zoo for themselves. The animals make it worth the visit.

Have you been to Dubbo Zoo? We would love to know what you thought?

S & S

 

rivers and ranges

Oh my!

What an absolutely brilliant trip we had.

This country never fails to amaze me. It’s beauty is splendid and varied.

Unfortunately, our trip was cut short due to the passing of a close family friend. The last portion of our trip was cancelled and we will add it to another adventure at later date. While it was a sad way to end this trip, it reminds us again how life is short and so precious. We aim to treasure every moment and live a life worth living. Our passion is travel and inspiring others to travel, we will continue to do so as long as we are able.

We titled this particular adventure; rivers and ranges. It saw us follow the Darling River Run in Western NSW where we met up with Murray River and crossed over the border into South Australia. From the Riverland we headed into the Flinders Ranges; one of our favourite places to visit in Australia. We spent a wonderful 8 nights in the mountains even with some rainy days thrown in. We then headed for Outback South Australia and the Strezlecki and spent a wonderful night in Farina. As we were about to embark on the Strez to head up to Innamincka we heard from home and it was time to head South again to the Riverina to be with family. We tried to make the most of the long trip back to Griffith and stopped in at Burra, the most beautiful little town and a few river towns along the Murray.

We gave the drone a work out and look forward to sharing some footage with you. In fact there is a link to a teaser posted below so stay tuned.

https://www.facebook.com/norrisaroundaustralia

S & S

2017 travel blog awards

We are super excited and thankful to be nominated for the 2017 travel blog awards.

If you could spare a moment to follow the link below and vote for us we would really appreciate it.

https://mrpromocode.com.au/awards/travel-blog-awards-2017/

Thanks to everyone who reads our blog, follows our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/norrisaroundaustralia.com) or follows us on Instagram (@norrisaroundaustralia) , we are forever grateful.

S & S

disaster averted

The trip is fast approaching. Shaun is already on leave and undertaking some last minute vehicle preparation.

Today he was working on the Colorado and he happened upon this little nasty with potentially big consequences.

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Shaun was rotating the tyres and spotted a broken spring. Panic set in because of time frames and $$$$$ but as per usual we get things sorted.

After ringing around half of northern NSW and SE QLD he finally ordered the parts and hopefully they will arrive in the coming few days.

In all fairness, the springs have been on the vehicle since we purchased the Colorado 190,000km ago.

It certainly isn’t something we need right now, time-wise or financially but it sure is better than being in the middle of nowhere and having something happen.

Thanks to Shaun’s attention to detail and thoroughness, potential disaster has been averted.

S & S

one week to go

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It is only one week until we hit the road. So very excited…….

4 weeks of travelling around Outback Australia again. We get to visit some of our favourite remote Australian destinations and some brand new places that we have never been before.

We have some bucket list items to check off and some Australian history to indulge in.

It has been over 12 months in the making and so worth all the planning, saving and researching.

We have spent today; packing and sorting, fixing and repairing, organising and shopping. Our house-sitters arrive this week so we have some cleaning to do as well (no fun). Our beloved Billy the bush cat knows something is amiss, cats really do know when things are changing.

In case you don’t follow the blog; our big secret was the purchase of a drone. Shaun has been testing it out all week and we cannot wait to share some epic videos and photos of Outback Australia with you.

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We have a busy week ahead; study, packing, a wedding and the we hit the frog and toad.

This time next week we will be sitting in our camping enjoying the great outdoors.

Bye for now.

S & S

we have a little travel secret….

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Our next trip is fast approaching and we are super busy with trip preparation and general life activities.

The next few weeks are jammed full with a concert, several family visits and a wedding. Plus we somehow have to cram in work, study and most importantly trip preparation.

Our remaining trip specific preparation involves:

  • purchasing some last minute items
  • servicing our vehicle
  • packing the van
  • finalising some travel details (pending last minute wet weather changes)
  • rotate vehicles and wheel alignment
  • making lists and checking them off again

In other news we have a secret and cannot wait to share it with you. It is a nice addition to our travel adventures and is going to create even more great content for us to share with you all. We hope it will bring you as much joy as we get creating it. So make sure you stay tuned.

19 days till departure.

S & S

 

Long live the Sunday drive

Who loves a Sunday drive? You know we do!

Exploring the back roads around your own region is the perfect way to spend a Sunday. You don’t have to go far or spend too much cash. You can even pack a picnic and make a day of it.

We are so lucky that we currently live in such a beautiful area of Australia. The Northern Rivers region of NSW has such a varied and diverse landscape and there are so many pockets to explore.

This morning was spent chasing waterfalls at Killen Falls, Tintenbar and having some “dam fun” out at Rocky Creek Dam near Lismore. It isn’t as hot as it was a few weeks back but it is still pretty humid.

It’s not long till our big trip for 2017 and we are in a flurry of getting everything prepared. However, it is always nice to take some time out for some localised exploring.

I believe at this point we are 4 weeks and counting.

S & S

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upcoming trip: rivers and ranges

Our 2017 trip is fast approaching so it is time to dust off the keyboard and get crack-a-lacking on reinvigorating the blog.

We are in full-on trip prep mode. Vehicle and van prep is well underway. Shaun has spent the weekend servicing our Holden Colorado tow-vehicle. Plus he installed Boss Air-Suspension airbags to assist in keeping everything level while fully loaded and towing.

The saving strings have tightened buh-bye daily work coffee and buh-bye weekend breakfasts but hello, hello, helloooo trip countdown. A little bit of sacrifice always pay off.

Our 2017 trip is weather dependent but includes exploring the rivers and ranges of NSW, VIC, SA and QLD. More trip details to come.

S & S

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Airbags
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Storm watching is free