Australian Travel · Travel Photography · Words of Wisdom

Guest Post – do you have all the gear but no idea? Mark Shotkit talks travel tripods!

Hi there! I’m Mark from a Shotkit, a site all about the camera equipment and photography.

HERO best-travel-tripods-1200x801

Today we’ll be discussing a list of what I believe are the best travel tripods for Shaun, Sarah and all you awesome Norris Around Australia fans who want a steady shot on your next holiday.

Before we dive headfirst into the world of our 3-legged friends, you should ask yourself, do I really need to take a tripod on my next trip?!

In most situations, even if you need a steady shot (for a long exposure night shot, or for a selfie with your family etc), you’ll usually be able to find a level place to put your camera to achieve the same thing. Lugging a tripod around on holiday, even if it is one of the best travel tripods, isn’t my idea of fun!

Having said that, for those of you who really need a tripod in your dslr backpack, these are my picks of the 5 best travel tripods available this year.

Let me know in the comments what tripod you’re currently using!

  1. Joby GorillaPod Focus Flexible Tripod

1. best-travel-tripods-joby-gorillapod

Whilst every other tripod manufacturer concentrates on making lightweight tripods with rigid legs, Joby has been turning the rulebook upside down for years with this little gem of a tripod that was built to flex. Wrap the legs of the GorillaPod around anything you want to achieve that shot that a rigid leg tripod can only dream about!

The Joby GorillaPod Focus Flexible Tripod is available here.

 

  1. MeFOTO Aluminum Roadtrip Travel Tripod/Monopod

2. best-travel-tripods-mefoto-roadtrip

Multi-function should be the name of the game for all your travel gadgets, and the MeFOTO Aluminum Roadtrip achieves this with its neat ability to switch from a tripod to a monopod. Choose from fourteen colours (9 aluminium and 5 carbon fiber), then smile all the way through customs since the MeFoto weighs only 1.6kg – quite respectable for a tripod that extends up to 156cm tall.

The MeFOTO Aluminum Roadtrip Travel Tripod/Monopod is available here.

 

 

  1. Manfrotto BeFree Compact Aluminum Travel Tripod

3. best-travel-tripods-manfrotto-befree

From the Italian tripod manufacturer Manfrotto comes the Manfrotto BeFree Compact, with my favourite feature – flip-lever-locking legs (as opposed to twist to lock). Sliding each leg into itself and rotating it 180 degrees back on itself allows the legs to nestle neatly into the grooves of the sides of the ballhead. This kind of design is unique to the Manfrotto BeFree, and is testament to the attention of detail of Manfrotto products.

The Manfrotto BeFree Compact Aluminum Travel Tripod is available here.

 

  1. ZOMEI Z699C Portable Carbon Tripod

4. best-travel-tripods-zomei-z699c

Even though aluminium gives the best bang for the book when it comes to price vs features with tripods, carbon fiber is definitely the gold standard. Usually the price of carbon fiber pushes it out of reach, but this isn’t so with the ZOMEI Z699C. For a relatively unheard of brand, this travel tripod has an impressive feature set, and an even more impressive price! If you’re willing to try something new, the ZOMEI Z699C is the most affordable way to get a carbon fiber lightweight travel tripod into your backpack.

The ZOMEI Z699C Portable Carbon Tripod is available here.

 

 

  1. Pedco UltraPod II Lightweight Camera Tripod

5. best-travel-tripods-mefoto-ultrapod2

The aforementioned GorillaPod isn’t the only ultra-compact tripod on the block. If you’re not a fan of the GP’s bendy legs, then the Pedco UltraPod II really is your next best choice. Weighing in at a carry on friendly 119g, the Pedco UltraPod II can just about fit in your jacket pocket, but allows an impressive 2.7kg load to be supported to provide a stable shot (i.e. more than enough for a mirrorless camera + lens).

The Pedco UltraPod II Lightweight Camera Tripod is available here.

 

 

So that’s my short and sweet selection of some of the best travel tripods available in 2017.

I didn’t want to bore you with all the nitty gritty, but if you want to dig deeper into the topic of the best travel tripods (and find out the other models that made the cut), head over to my site Shotkit.

 

While you’re there, be sure to check out our most popular posts on the best cameras under $500, the best camera bags, the best Fuji lenses and the best mirrorless cameras – all information that you Norris Around Australia fans will find useful for your next travel adventure.

 

Thanks again to Shaun and Sarah for having me on their awesome travel site and I look forward to seeing the photographers amongst you on Shotkit soon.

 

Guest post by Mark Condon, a British wedding photographer based in Sydney. Mark is the founder of Shotkit and author of the Shotkit Books, Lightroom Power User, More Brides and LIT.

 

Follow Shokit on Facebook | Instagram |Twitter

Random Thoughts · Reader Interaction · Writing & Reading

waiting

pexels-photo-169908.jpeg

We have done our fair share of waiting these past few weeks and it is clear that I lack any form of patience what-so-ever.

Even when a wait ‘deadline’ has been provided it still fills me with a mixed feeling of anxiousness, dread, negativity and worse-case scenario’s playing over and over in my teeny tiny head.

No matter how hard I try to occupy my mind and keep myself busy, my mind is on constant replay and makes up the most ridiculous scenarios.

Waiting can be tortuous and let’s be honest, it totally sucks!

I can’t provide any advice such as go for a run or read a good book because let’s face it I wouldn’t do that myself. I do try to write, like I am now but this only allows me to fixate further.

All you can do is go about your business, prepare yourself as best you can for either result and enjoy the now. No matter the outcome, we all have right now.

 

 

 

 

Australian Travel · Home on the Road · Motivation · New South Wales · Random Thoughts · Travel Photography

sea-change, life-change and new beginnings

Well we have taken the plunge and dived right in. Excuse the pun, or don’t, it is up to you. 

Our sea-change has finally taken place and we are slowly finding our stroke. No floundering has occurred as yet and we are hopeful it won’t occur at all…. but we never say never here at Norris Around Australia and neither should you. Life is a wild and crazy ride and anything can happen.

We are hoping this is our place…..after travelling all over Australia we always keep coming back to the Northern Rivers of NSW. If you keep coming back somewhere and you can feel it inside you, you should at least give it try. This little coastal village combines all our loves;  water, small-town feel, a sense of community and close to a world of exploring.

Don’t fret our dear and loyal readers, we still have nomadic blood flowing through our veins and are still the travellers you have grown to love. Although we are trying to build a nest here in the Northern Rivers of NSW, there will plenty of travels now and in the future. These may be big trips, short trip or weekend gallivants but they will be worth sharing and worth reading about.

After years on the road exploring this great country we are under-taking a massive life-change. Change is good. It challenges you and stretches you.

 

Don’t live the same year 75 times and call it a life. Robin Sharma

 

As I look back over the past several years, we have done exactly that. We have not done so without fear mind you. Some of the best decisions we have made have left me frozen stiff but these have turned out to be the best years of our life so far. We will continue to design our own life and live a life worth living. We hope you do to. Here is to new beginnings.

S & S

 

 

Attractions · Australian Travel · Camping · Caravan Parks · Destinations · Four Wheel Driving · Free Camping · National Parks · New South Wales · Preparation · Reader Interaction · Working on the Road

we haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on our list

It has been a long while since we updated our travel map of big old Australia. So here it is…. this is our travel paths since the commencement of our blog & indefinite travels back in 2011. As you can see we have barely scratched the surface! This country is well and truly AMAZING!

Where are you up to in your travels? Share your maps with us on our Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/norrisaroundaustralia

Australia_Hema_Map_ab9d5f30-ddbb-4be3-9367-6b5072a3e716

Australian Travel · Budgeting · Finance · Preparation · Random Thoughts · Reader Interaction

Reduce the Roadblocks

Let’s get you out there travelling and seeing Australia.

What’s holding you back? What’s blocking your road to travel?

House/Mortgage:

Is your mortgage the only thing that stands in your way of full-time travelling? If you want to travel short-term why not get a house-sitter? Or a short-term rental tenant. If you find your tenant through family or friends you may be happy to leave your furniture in place to reduce storage costs. If you are travelling full-time rent your property out for an amount around the cost of mortgage repayment. if the market allows. This will ease up the financial burden of paying your mortgage while allowing you some financial freedom to travel.

quick-links

Children:

We cannot speak from experience here as we are yet to have a family. However, we have met many families along the roads travelling with their children. There is children of all years on the road from very young to school-age. If your school-aged children are making you question whether you should wait until they finish school, home-schooling is a definite option. Your children will learn fulfilling lessons from a trip around Australia. Imagine the life experience they will gain. There are many distance education options available for travellers.

545768_379867948719241_1404258_n

Insecurity:

Let’s focus on why you feel insecure? Are you worried about leaving family? Money? The biggest fix for insecurity is knowing you can always return to your everyday life. While it might take you a while to get back your ideal apartment/house and get your fantastic job back, you can always go back. No one will judge you for deciding to go home, after all at least you took the plunge in the first place. As they say; “You never, never know, if you never, never go”. You will learn so much about yourself, your partner and your family. You will love it but you may hate it. This is okay, at least you tried. Trying is the most important thing. Don’t always sit there wondering, what if?

cropped-cropped-1-dsc_0121.jpg

Savings:

We were by no means savers when we decided we wanted to go travelling. It was less than 12 months from when we decided to travel to when we hit the road. This is not a long time to get yourself sorted. We were in debt and didn’t have much in the way of savings. However, when we made the decision it was like a switch was flicked. We went into over-drive, we set our departure date and then made a plan. We downsized and moved in with family. (This may not be an option but why not move into your caravan before departure or move into a one bedroom flat instead of a 3 bedroom house with high rent?) We cut all our costs that weren’t necessary, no more Foxtel, no more fancy dinners out and so forth. We still lived in that 12 months with numerous adventures and camping trips. Everything went into paying off our debts and building up our savings. We saved a substantial amount over that 10 month period and hit the road. It proved to us if you set your mind to it, you can achieve it.

Fresh from the oven

Debt:

Debt is a hard one to overcome. When we refer to debt we are not referring to mortgages. We are referring to  bad debt such as personal loans, store cards, car loans and credit cards. We recommend travelling this form of debt free. Why? Well because the repayments on these types of loans can eat into your savings very quickly and can make you more reliant on finding jobs along the way. From personal experience you want to work when you find a place you like not because you’ve run out of cash or need to make your next repayment. Our advice: create a budget which focuses on paying off your higher interest loans first for example start with credit card and then follow with your car loan. Set yourself a deadline to have each paid off by and you can make it happen. Keep a little nest egg to the side but put everything into paying off your debts. Cut back your house-hold costs to ease up cash flow. Look at all your money going out and question where it is going and why? You can probably go without Foxtel if it means your loan is paid off in 6 months instead of 12 and lets you leave on your journey sooner.

Day Twenty Two: Mapping it Out

If it all seems too impossible start with little trips a weekend here, a week there, a month here. Dipping your toes in will allow you some security while still exploring this beautiful country.

What is holding you back from travelling? We’d love to help you out and reduce the size of your road blocks…….If something is holding you back, you can and you will overcome it.

Australian Travel · Camping · Destinations · Four Wheel Driving · Preparation · Random Thoughts · Reader Interaction · Travel Photography

Funding the Dream

Funding The Dream
Funding The Dream

We have travelled in debt in the past and would love to travel debt free in the future.

That is our plan. Can we do it? Of course! Will itchy feet push us on regardless. Who knows.

We don’t regret throwing in the towel when we did, selling everything, buying a new car and hitting the road. We were young (still are) and wanted to be free. We wanted instant gratification. Are we older, wiser, smarter? We’d like to think so but if push came to shove, probably not…….. we have a life full of knee-jerk reactions resulting in good decisions and bad….. but our life is an adventure and we wouldn’t have it any other way.

The work we picked up along the way would have made much more impact on our back pocket if we had not been sinking most our funds into our car loan. Our loan repayments were substantial at approximately a minimum of $250 a week. It was quite manageable when we had steady income however, not so manageable while flitting about the country side. We never missed a payment but it did make us think about when our next lot of work was coming along. In our favour it did allow us to run a very reliable vehicle. If we didn’t have the car loan in 10 weeks travelling alone we could have had an additional $2500 spendings/savings. That is a lot of cash while travelling. A LOT!

As mentioned we are aiming to one day travel debt free so we need to look at ways to reduce our debt down to nothing while still being able to live and explore from our current base.

Let us share some of our hints and tips with you.

  • We have a high-interest savings account with ING and every extra cent goes in there.
  • We try to pay bills on time to avoid late fees and bundle what we can together.
  • Each loan repayment we pay is higher than the minimum which means we are always in front of our loan. We won’t let it break us.
  • We apply Tax Return payments and any unexpected cash straight to your loan.
  • Tighten the budget. It’s amazing what we can go without……and most you don’t even miss them.

We have found when we put our minds to it we can get money stashed and quickly.

Please share your ways to stash your money and get things paid off quick sticks?

Australian Travel · Camping · Travel Photography · Working on the Road · Writing & Reading

My Pommy Lass

The Govie

 

A Pommy girl from Essex, UK. A city slicker come country girl from Brisbane, AUS. An unlikely friendship forged in the middle of nowhere. These friendships sometimes come quickly and fade even faster. But some, a mere few last the distance. For our sake I hope this friendships a keeper!

Our Unlikely Friendship