Australian Travel · Camping · Free Camping · Queensland · Travel Photography

Easter on the Water

Another Easter done and dusted. Oh well they say time flies when you’re having fun. So we must have had a good time because it was back to reality in a blink of an eye.

For Easter this year we camped up at Wuruma Dam out of Eidsvold (towards Monto) in Central QLD. It was a beautifully scenic drive across from Taroom via the back route. It was less than a 3 hour drive for us which was the perfect distance not too close to home but not too far away creating a holiday where you spend more time in the car than in the camp.

Wuruma Dam is operated by Sunwater is situated along the Nogo River which joins the Burnett River. It provides water supply for both irrigation and town water.  It is a top free camp offering water front camping. There are flushing toilets, picnic tables and bins in the area. It is up to the individual whether they wish to be close to the amenities and amongst the other campers or out on their own with a fair work to the toilets.

What we loved most about Wuruma is the water access and with the dam at pretty much full capacity your laughing all the way to the boat ramp.  While there is a concrete boat ramp the camping on the foreshore allows you to moor your boat right at your camp and most Easter campers put their boat in from their camp. PERFECTION. We weren’t very lucky with the fishing although to be honest we weren’t trying too hard. We did get a few dozen red claw though which is always fun. The dam is apparently stocked with Barra, Silver Perch and Bass but they may have been washed over the dam wall because we didn’t see any. Well that’s a lie I saw one jump out of the water. Why it didn’t jump on my hook God only knows. We were some pathetic looking fisherman out there bobbing up and down on the “big waters” of Wuruma. My mother joined us for a stint and we got her fishing! This is an AMAZING feat she has never in her (left out age here) years fished and my husband made her do it. Power to him!

Back at the camp we got good use out of the camp fire and the camp oven. The rainy weather the first night created the perfect camp oven dinner scenario. We made some damper, beef stroganoff and curried sausages during our stay and also a good old-fashioned camp fire BBQ. It was refreshing to take some time and enjoy pottering around the camp fire.

We have found a wonderful free camp a hop skip and a jump away and we will be back for sure. Put it on the list of places you should stop and stay a while. All in all Easter we had a well deserved break and are now into some heavy prep for our 2015 4WD Desert Trek in June/July. Don’t forget we are raising funds for the flying doctor and need YOUR help. To DONATE NOW click here.

Wuruma Camping Info:

Location: 45kms from Eidsvold along the Nogo River, Central QLD

Camp Sites: Free, First in Best Dressed, Plenty of Water Front Access, No Power Available, Suit Self Sufficient Campers, Caravan Access, Pets allowed must be on leash or contained)

Amenties: One Toilet Block – One Male Cubicle and Two Females (more toilets up near dam wall), Picnic Tables and Wheelie Bins Scattered Around, Boat Ramp.

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

Free-Camp North QLD

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Henrietta Creek – Free Camping near Atherton in North QLD. This hidden gem was only 300 metres from our camp site.
Australian Travel · Camping · Caravan Parks · Destinations · Free Camping · National Parks · Travel Photography

Free Campers aren’t Free Loaders

We have met thousands of free campers in our travels and a far cry from how they are painted. These people like ourselves are travelling for mostly long periods of time or are on the road permanently. To make their travels go the distance they choose free camping options to save money. However, this is not the only reason. Free camping is liberating. Free camps can be some of the most beautiful spots along their travels where they simply decide to pull over and set up. As long as free campers are not camping on private land without permission and are leaving the area as they find it. What is the harm?

Free campers are not tight with money they are bright with money. They still inject money into the local communities and towns they are visiting. They spend their money on fuel, food, tourism and accommodation. Yes, free campers don’t necessarily always free camp I’m sure some try too and I’m sure some succeed but not all of us. If any other free-camp lovers are like us we select caravan parks or paid accommodation options every now and then. Why? Well selfishly to either indulge ourselves, catch up on washing or to have a real shower and in unselfishness to support caravan parks and accommodation operators.

How do we choose? In big towns and centres we choose caravan parks or town commons (normally owned and operated by local councils) Firstly, this supports the operators and their businesses but also allows us to be amongst the local towns and catch up with fellow travellers. Off the beaten track we prefer “free-camps” but to us anything under $10 is really a “free-camp” and we allow National Parks and reserves to fall into this category. If it means these areas are kept open to travellers like us we are more than happy to pay fees or donations.

Free-campers are still injecting money into towns and communities and should not be moved along unless they are over-staying their welcome (i.e still set up on a road side stop three months later blocking other travellers), on private land, rowdy/disruptive to the general public/other travellers or damaging the environment/public facilities.

We love travelling our vast and amazing country and want to continue to do so for as long as we can. Free-camping is a way to create longevity of travel in reducing some of the costs but more importantly a way of opening up new experiences in those little know places.

What are your thoughts on free-camping? Tell us your tales of star free-campers?

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 · 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?

Bush Cooking · Camping · Writing & Reading

Fresh Faces of Camp Oven Cooking

Photos Sourced from Cast Iron Boys

One boy, a father of two with a crazy resume that lists stilt walking and fire twirling as two of his previous occupations. It is now Michael’s self-employed day job at Dracula’s pays the bills. Another boy, a bachelor with 2 plates and over 20 screws holding him together after a critical motorbike accident. Nick’s injury even prevented him from attending his famous, uncle Ian Turpie’s funeral and from continuing his five year career at BCF. Together both boys have been mates since high school now almost thirty residing in the land of sun and surf on QLD’s Gold Coast. No one could possibly guess what they do for fun.

Camp oven cooking is an art and these boy’s are modern-day Picasso’s. Exposed to camp oven cooking at a mate’s 21st, out on a small banana farm hidden in the mountains of NSW. The parents of the birthday boy catered to all sixty guests with camp oven roasts. It was this night after a great feed, some beer and one hell of a view over the ocean planted the seed for bigger things to come.

At the next opportunity, Mick Viller and Nick Turpie purchased their very own camp oven. With camp oven and mates in tow they headed to Mumma Mick’s place out near Millmerran, QLD. The fire burned all weekend long and the boys cooked breakfast, lunch and tea camp oven style. As luck would have it Millmerran is the home of the famous Camp Oven Festival held annually in October. This small coincidence was the next piece in the puzzle.

After a few brews they decided to enter the camp oven cooking competition. As with all competition they thought best to practice first. Late one night fooling around on YouTube looking for ideas, tips and how to’s the boys had a light bulb moment. Why don’t we do this exact thing? Film ourselves camp oven cooking, with hints, tips and recipes and post online. To start off they used an iphone to video. The quality wasn’t too crash hot. But from little things big things grow and grow things did. These early videos led to cooking demonstrations at camping shows and a strong online, social media presence lead to the naming of “The Cast Iron Boys

”. Now armed with an Olympus Digital SLR camera to film themselves and a DVD/ book package the sky is the limit.

The Cast Iron Boys have a committed social media following which in this day and age is necessary for success. They now have sponsors including Southern Metal Spinners, Oztrail and Tentworld with many more wanting to jump on board. Their demonstration calendar is filling up quickly and you are sure to see them at a camping show near you in the near future.

Head over and check out their website: http://www.castironboys.com/home/

Photos Sourced from Cast Iron Boys
Camping · Preparation

Life on the Road Wouldn’t be the Same Without……..

There are many different things you need to live comfortably on the road. Somewhere to sleep, shower, cook and of course a lot of storage space. At the moment we sleep in our Oz Tent, we shower using a 12 volt shower system and we cook using our double burner gas stove. We have the bare essentials to make life comfortable while living on the road. There are a few items we have found that we just wouldn’t want to live without.

Camp Oven

“Put another log on the fire, Cook me up some bacon and some beans”

It’s been mentioned before but our camp oven is one of the items most frequently used items. One of the reasons we particularly like free camping is that you can utilise an open fire and in turn use our camp oven to cook delicious meals. It makes even the most simple and boring meals extra delicious. Our favourites are casseroles and curries but we use it for everything including baking good, old, traditional damper. We pack it in the back of the 4WD in our storage system so it is not taking up too much room. One thing is for sure we got our money’s worth with that purchase.

Our Camp Oven
Camp Oven in the Fire

LED LIGHT

We have a LED light mounted permanently to the back our 4WD canopy. As with most outback campers we love looking up at the skies above dotted with millions upon millions of stars. However, I am sure most campers will agree setting up camp after dark can be a nightmare especially after a long day on the road. When you arrive at your camp all you want to do is sit down in camping chair and relax over a nice cold beverage you don’t need the hassle of tripping over ropes and camping gear as you stumble around in the dark. Cue LED light. We pull up, we flick the switch and let there be light. The other major use is for cooking we again flick it on while dinner is prepared. Don’t panic readers we do turn it off after quick use and we never point it towards other campers. Well I can’t say never as we have had numerous requests by neighbouring campers to share the light.

HID Light

12 Volt Fan 

I detest cold winters and I love the heat of the summer. We travel around Australia trying to keep warm all year around. While I love extra hot, sunny days there is nothing worse than trying to nod off to sleep while suffering from heat asphyxiation or drowning in your own sweat. Heat at night is amplified by living under canvas and it makes it so hard to get to sleep sometimes. We don’t want to not stay somewhere just because it has high temperatures so we bought a 12 volt fan. We plug it to out dual battery system and bingo let the cool air blow. It does make a bit of a whirring noise but it is so worth it. Word of advice: make sure the chord is long enough. 

Water Filter & Hose:

One of the most important things you require while travelling is safe drinking water. Water isn’t always readily available and safe drinking water is even harder to find. We purchased a water filter hose attachment (mostly used for filling water tanks in caravans) It was around $150 but it has paid for itself ten fold.  We use it fill our water bottles, camel back and our big water storage tanks. It works off a carbon filter and it takes away all milkiness and freshens the taste. 

Water Filter
Filling our Water Tanks

Oz Tent RV 2:

Our Oz Tent has been our saviour on many occasion; rain, hail or shine it provides quick shelter and in fact has been our home while we are on the road. Even though we are purchasing a camper trailer in the near future we will still be taking our Oz Tent for those off-road adventures and nights on the beach or desert. The Oz Tent has surpassed all our expectations and we recommend it to all campers.

OzTent in the Simpson Desert
OzTent near Cordillo Downs
OzTent at Tobermorey Station
Attractions · Australia Capital Territory · Australian Travel · Camping · Caravan Parks · Destinations · Four Wheel Driving · Free Camping · National Parks · New South Wales · Northern Territory · Preparation · Queensland · South Australia · Travel Photography · Victoria · Western Australia

Introducing Our Special Destination Series

One of the most common questions we get asked about our travels is “Where is your favourite place?” To be honest the answer is everywhere. We are so lucky to live in such a diverse and varied country. No two places are ever the same. They may look or feel the same but when you scratch the surface they are worlds apart.

Of course we do prefer certain places over others. For example we prefer the outback over the city and we prefer free camping over caravan parks. However, there are always exceptions to the rule. Sometimes it’s nice to visit a city for a few nights to spoil ourselves and sometimes you do feel more secure staying at a caravan park then at a road side stop.

We have decided to do a series of articles/blog posts to showcase our preferred destinations. The places we stop at for one night and end up staying for longer. The destinations we are already planning to come back to before we have even left. Believe us there are a lot of these places scattered throughout Australia. From well-known locations that everyone knows about to those areas that not many have even heard about let alone visited.

Our first special destination is: Welford National Park, QLD

Keep following our blog to keep up to date with our Special Destination Series. Feedback is more than welcomed.

Bye for Now