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

 

 

 

Sarah Norris Art

Heya N.A.A readers,

We have been a bit a quite of late but never fear we are still kicking along. Currently, planning another outback adventure for 2017. We cannot wait! Stay tuned for where we are off to on our next outback adventure.

In the meanwhile please feel free to visit my new Etsy store and Facebook page where I celebrate outback Australia by means of my paintings and photographs.

https://www.facebook.com/sarahnorrisart

https://www.etsy.com/au/shop/SarahNorrisArt

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Our answer is Australia’s natural beauty

It may have come out of left field to some but our sea-change is sitting really well with us. For us it didn’t come out of nowhere it was really years in the making and something that has always been on the cards but still to actually take the plunge…. well let’s say it has been an adventure.

The other day I was walking through the sand-dunes following the tyre tracks which had been carved out by 4WD’s making their way onto the long stretch of white sandy beach and I had a break-through.

Since telling everyone of our sea-change and then successfully moving to our little sea town we have had lots of support but also lots of haters. Now, this bound to occur when you put yourself out there on social media and the world wide web in general and I am okay with that. But it does make you question what if the haters are right? What if it is not the move for us? What if it doesn’t work out? What if it goes against what we are all about…… and SO ON and SO ON……

 

BUT…..

As I walked over the sand-dunes, my thongs kicked up the fine grains of sand onto my calves, memories came flooding back. As I peaked the dune and saw the ocean, it took my breath away and I sat down and listened to the waves crash, just me and no-one else.  Over the last several years this exact thing has occurred many times. I have walked over sand-dunes in the Simpson Desert, in the Pilbara and in Territory and have felt whole-heartedly at peace. I have listened to the stillness, to nature and the silence in countless locations.

What does all this mean? What is it that I am getting at?

My epiphany is that I LOVE nature. It is the natural beauty of Australia we continue to love. Yes, most of the Eastern Sea-board is densely populated but not all. If you head away from the masses and follow nature you will find tranquillity and beauty beyond belief.  Our sea-change is exploring another aspect of Australia’s beauty and I have to say after years of travelling and dwelling in the inland it is a sight for sore eyes.

We love the desert country, we love the outback, we love rural Australia, we love the hinterland and we love the epic Australian coast line.

So we will let the haters hate, the lovers love, while we immerse ourselves in the stillness and the beauty of the sun, surf and sand and everything in between.

S & S

 

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