Australian Travel · Budgeting · Four Wheel Driving · Preparation · Random Thoughts

a clean slate

1-DSC_0121

We finally SOLD our beloved camper-trailer. Talk about mixed emotions. We have been to so many places and experienced so many good times since purchasing it back in 2012. The trailer has been our home on wheels and has treated us very well indeed. However, although there may be a few nostalgic tears it is still VERY EXCITING!!!!! Why? Because it means we now have a clean slate. It means we can start to seriously look forward to the next chapter, WHAT NEXT?…………

Watch this space…….. there is change in the air…..

Australian Travel · National Parks · Northern Territory · Reader Interaction · South Australia

our top 5 Aussie national parks

These are 5 of our top national parks from our travels so far. There are so many beautiful places to visit in Australia and most of these can be found in our national parks. We have so many favourites however here are 5 of our top spots. We love these places so much we have visited multiple times and will return again for sure.

  1. Flinders Ranges National Park, SA

What’s not to love? Stunning mountain ranges, rich Australian history, four-wheel driving and beautifully rewarding bushwalks with breath-taking visitas. Check out some of our posts on the Flinders HERE & HERE.

Our favs from the Flinders:

  • Bush camping at Rawnsley Station and dining at their Woolshed Restaurant.
  • Wilpena Pound; our favourite walks were Hills Homestead, Wangara Lookout and Mount Ohlssen Bagge. The Hills Homestead is quite a leisurely stroll while Wangara Lookout and Mount Ohlssen Bagge are more strenuous the views are well worth the effort.
  • The historical Nuccaleena Mine. The drive out is spectacular and the ruins are in fantastic condition.

2. Kakadu National Park, NT

Kakadu is amazing. It has a diverse and natural beauty which is hard to beat.  The national park is situated in close proximity to Darwin making it easily accessible for every traveler. Check out our post from Kakadu HERE.

Our favs from Kakadu:

  • cruise Yellow Water wetlands – both at sunrise and sunset
  • visit Twin Falls by four-wheel drive and boat
  • swim in the pools on top of Maguk (Barramundi) Gorge
  • view the rock art at Ubirr Rock and climb to the top for spectacular views from the lookout
  • camping at Cooinda Lodge is excellent with wonderful facilities and central location

3. Simpson Desert National Park, SA

Oh my! The Simpson is spectacular. The parallel sand-dunes go on forever and we never got sick of the beautiful red sand. Every time the Colorado would crest a sand-dune it took our breath away. It is a natural Australian wonder. Check out our post on the Simmo HERE.

What to experience in the Simmo:

  • remote travel at it’s finest
  • wildflowers, glorious wildflowers
  • slimbing to the top of Big Red
  • the wonders of Eyre Creek
  • bush camping at its absolute best
  • star gazing – the most spectacular skies we have ever seen
  • take in the view from Knoll’s Lookout
  • cross wide, stunning claypans
  • stand where QLD, SA and NT meet at Poeppel Corner
  • while technically not the Simpson National park make sure you stop in at both Purnie Bore and Dalhousie Springs both oasis’ in the desert, brimming with birdlife.

4. Tjoritja/West MacDonnell National Park

The region surround Alice Springs in one of favourites in the country. It’s smack bang in the Red Centre and capital of the Australia Outback. The West Macs as they are affectionately known lay to the West of Alice Springs (funny that). The stunning mountain range has numerous gorges that have been carved over millions of years. The red of the rock, the blue of the sky and the green of the vegetation is nothing short of beautiful.

Our favs from the West Macs:

  • our favourite place to camp was at Redbank Gorge
  • a refreshing dip in Ellery Creek Big Hole
  • the stunning landscape at Ormiston Gorge
  • the aboriginal culture of the Orche Pits
  • Simpsons Gap is closest to Alice with stunning gorge walls and lots of rock wallabies.
  • for history buffs like us the West Macs also home to the memorial grave of Rev John Flynn of flying doctors fame


5. Uluru Kata-Tjuta National Park, NT

What says Australia better than our red heart? Uluru is iconic and recognised internationally as an Australian icon. It is truly a spiritual experience to visit and explore this region. While the town Yulara has become quite touristy due to the amount of tourists that flock to the rock each year, the National Park itself is relatively untouched. Check out our past posts HERE & HERE.

Our favs from Uluru & Kata-Tjuta:

  • sunrise and sunset at Uluru and the Olgas – the colours are ever changing
  • the Valley of the Winds walk through the Olga- OMG! One of the best walks in Australia – Amazing.
  • walking the base of Ulura – 13 km of ever changing beauty
  • the shorter guided base walk is also not to be missed. Its free and so informative. We’ve done it twice now.
  • the Cultural Centre is a great place to start you Uluru Adventure
Australian Travel · Four Wheel Driving · Random Thoughts

let there be light

The mail came today and we have a new toy.

Hints:

  1. It’s going to be bright
  2. It will help us see
  3. May the force be with you……..Lightforce

Guess away!

Attractions · Australian Travel · Camping · Random Thoughts · Travel Photography

One Week until our 2015 4X4 Desert Trek

IMG_2902

How exciting is the week before you embark on an adventure?

Everyone is excited for you! Your family, your friends, you neighbour, the postman….. This week is full of catch ups and dinners. It’s great to catch up with family & mates who will constantly fire questions about your “big” trip and this make you get even more excited (if that is even possible).

This week is also full of packing, un-packing, packing, un-packing, re-packing and shuffling. How can we fit so much in such a small space? It is also filled with to-ing and fro-ing, rushing around and finalising last minute details.

It is all part of the adventure and even though we are counting down, we are not wishing this part away……..

Australian Travel · Four Wheel Driving · Preparation · Writing & Reading

Counting Down – One Month Today

We love a good count down here at Norris Around Australia.com  Who doesn’t?

Our 2015 4×4 Desert Trek is coming up quickly. In fact it is one month today until D-Day! With one month to go and 12 months of planning or more, everyone involved is itching to hit the road. Time will fly in this prep stage and it will be the 19th of June before we know it.

At the moment we are working on a few upgrades to our 4WD.

Here is what we have done so far:

  • We have installed a nice, new and convenient drop down fridge slide.
  • Shaun has created a snazzy 12-volt set up which Shaun is absolutely in love with.
  • We have replaced the shockies with Bilsteins.
  • We have installed a larger water tank and Shaun’s created a superb plumbing set up.

We still have to finish off the plumbing and electrics which shouldn’t take to long. Although we do have only four weekends until the trip sets off. Time does have a habit of getting away from us.

The camping gear has been updated, restocked and sorted. However, there is plenty of organising to do and a few bits and bobs to add here and there.

So in honour of loving count-downs we have THIRTY days to go…..21 work days…..4 weekends….. Let the pointy end of the stick begin….

Camping · Destinations · Four Wheel Driving · Free Camping · Queensland

Free-Camp North QLD

1-DSC_0088
Henrietta Creek – Free Camping near Atherton in North QLD. This hidden gem was only 300 metres from our camp site.
Australian Travel · Caravan Parks · Four Wheel Driving · Queensland · Travel Photography

Monday Memories

Remembering Birdsville – What’s not to love?

Check out other posts on our sights about are visits to Birdsville and surrounds!

Camping · Home on the Road · Random Thoughts

Our Current Home on Wheels

To sell or not to sell? That is the question.

To upgrade or not to upgrade? That is the question.

This is our home. Our stability. We own it completely. As a couple of “nomads” we don’t own much but we do own our home on wheels. We are at that point now looking for the next option. We started our travelling around Oz with our dear little RV Oz-Tent which we still use frequently. We upgraded to our MDC in 2012 and it has completed many, many, many miles with us and we have lived in it for months on end. Is it time to upgrade to a pop-top style camper? Is it time to no longer have so much god damn canvas in our lives? Or will we miss it? I know at times after we brought the camper we missed our tent. (Crazy, right) It’s an attachment that you grow from putting the contraption up and down every day. The MDC camper is so easy to put and down and we can be set up in minutes. For those longer stays I often think we would be better in something similar to the MDC XT-10 but would we really? Do we need something that flash?

The eternal question: should we just be happy with what we’ve got?

Camping · Four Wheel Driving · Home on the Road · Working on the Road

Our Ideal Home on Wheels

Home on the Road

If money was no option and we could design our own ideal home on wheels what would we like? Hopefully not like my above drawing although I guess we would get everyone’s attention.

Here’s our wish list:

  • total off-road capability
  • slim-line
  • independent suspension
  • lower than our tow vehicle while towing to cut down on wind resistance
  • a pop-top or similar
  • outdoor kitchen
  • plenty of storage inside and out
  • bed ready (meaning when we stop we can crawl in to bed asap for those long days)
  • limited set up time
  • don’t want to be restricted where we can take our home on wheels
  • little to no canvas
  • external fridge

Something like the Market Direct Camper’s XT-10 or a Jayco Outback Eagle (without the slide-outs really)

What are your thoughts and opinions? What is your home on road like? Please share below we love your feedback.

Australian Travel · Bush Cooking · Camping · Four Wheel Driving · Preparation · Reader Interaction

Hints & Tips: Camp Kitchen Preparation – Part One

Food, cooking and general stores play a major role in your trip preparation. The “Keep it simple stupid” premise comes to mind. Heading off the beaten track with limited space does not automatically mean you need to pack only dehydrated food and eat dry powder out of the packet and wash it down with a swig of water.

However, you do need to think outside the square.

Here is some hints and tips to get you thinking.

  • Store water in multiple containers to avoid contamination or complete loss of total water supply.
Water Filter
Water Filter
  • Dehydration can wreak havoc all year round. Powerade or similar is a perfect addition as it now comes in the powder form which takes up less space in your stores.
  • Use Baby Wipes/Sanitiser to cut down on your water usage.
  • Select compact cooking equipment that has multiple uses. I.E a gas stove with a grill feature (which creates a BBQ and stove in one)
  • Take-away containers are great for storing leftovers for lunch the next day as are heavy-duty snap lock bags.
  • Bring a Thermos. This allows you to boil water in the morning and already have the water ready for smoko time for those quick stops
  • A camp oven while not essential is great for camp fire cooking. 😉
Camp Oven in the Fire
Camp Oven in the Fire
  • A piece of weld mesh folded over with a piece wire extended makes the perfect toaster.
  • Use natural cleaners to limit impact on environment and use products with dual uses.
  • Don’t forget cleaning cloths and tea-towels. Paper towels are perfect.
  • Meat is best purchased Cryovaced or cyrovac yourself. This not only means it will last longer but you will avoid blood running through your fridge.
  • Spirits in bottles take up less space than pre-mixed cans and beer when it comes to alcohol.
  • A billy is perfect for both boiling water for tea/coffee, using as a saucepan and also to for boiling water for washing up.
Our Camp Oven
Our Camp Oven & Billy
  • Don’t forget matches, a gas lighter and fire starters.
  • Aluminium foil is a god send multiple uses – use instead of saucepan lids too
  • Dried spices add to taste and don’t take up a lot of space.
  • You can double a sauce-pan or similar for mixing bowl.
  • Come up with a list of basic meals pre-departure and make sure you have the basic ingredients.
Food Drawer Stocked!!
Food Drawer Stocked!!
  • Longlife milk and/or powder is great and also long life cream. These can be purchased in small 6 packs as well for less wastage.
  • Washing up bucket can be utilised in your vehicle for storage during the travel.
  • Long-Life fruit and veggies that travel well include potatoes, pumpkin, onions, garlic, carrots, tomatoes(if padded to avoid bruises)
  • Don’t forget washing and washing up…. a small container of washing up powder and washing up detergent… unfortunately holidays still include household duties of doing the laundry and washing the dishes.To be continued……

Please add your hints below.