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Adelaide to Coober Pedy

    After we had dried out at Port Augusta we kept going south to Adelaide where we spent time in Christies Beach and Semaphore. We spent just over a week there doing all the dreary things. Getting the car and van serviced but more importantly sorting out all our wiring issues with Jayco (from our disaster in CapeYork). We couldn’t wait to move on and as soon as all the work was done we did. It was to be a lovely drive down the Yorke Peninsula!!! It all started well. A beautiful drive for the first couple of days,stopping at a lovely spot overlooking the ocean called Black Point. We were the only ones there so it was very peaceful. The next place we set up camp was just as scenic. On a cliff top, once again overlooking the ocean. Again also  on our own. However just after midnight a storm kicked up and for the next couple of hours we battled very strong winds and driving rain. Johnny checked the weather on the internet and found out that severe warnings were in place for the Yorke Peninsula!!!!!Within a very short period of time the wind turned extreme. We were in an extremely bad position. Soon they became so bad that you could actually feel the van start to lift. Without another second to spare we ripped the boys out of there beds and got them into the car. Johnny and I then Started to do a pack up of the van before we ended up over the cliff. We battled the pouring rain and the fierce winds but eventually managed to get it all done just after 3am. We were totally exhausted and I must add extremely worried if we were at all safe just sitting there in the car. Not knowing whether we should leave or stay we decided we should stick it out. J.J and James had a front seat each and jake lay in the back so johnny and I crawled into the space left in the van when it is collapsed. (about the size of a coffin!!!) I might add no sleep was had….. Its hard to sleep when you feel like your going to be blown off a cliff and your already in your coffin. Pure madness. Morning eventually came and we got out to see the mess. We were all still here. We drove straight out of town early in search of coffee and somewhere safe to rest. We later learned that a tornado had hit throught the night just down the road……I keep trying to remind myself "Its all part of the adventure"   haha. Moving right along we ended up back at Port Augusta to dry out again. Back on the road (thank god) we went to a beautiful spot called Lake Hart where we met up with friends that we made in  Palm Cove. We spent a couple of days there with them and had an awesome time. Next it was onto Coober Pedy. It is the one place J.J has been dying to see. It didn’t disapoint him. The kids have had a great time seeing what life is like living underground and going noodling (looking for opals). The last few days have been another highlight for us all. To Cathy Berin, Jemika and Xavior we wish you all a safe trip home and we will talk to you soon. See you next October.  To those keeping an eye on us you are now all up to date totally as tomorrow we head up north with Ullaru our next big stop. Until then take care. Sam Johnny J.J James and Jake xoxo
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Birdsville to Adelaide

     Leaving birdsville was a bit disappointing for johnny as he had wanted to do the Birdsville track but it was closed to trailers due to bad weather. So now we were heading down the Strzelecki track heading for Innaminka. We arrived late in the afternoon and after a short discussion we decided to stop and set up camp. During the night the heavens opened and drowned Innaminka. It all started about 2am. We woke to hear the boys yelling out from thier tents as the thunder and lightning had frightened the life out of them. We managed to get them back into the van and back to sleep. Although a bit wet I might add. When we woke up the next morning we opened the van only to see that we had nearly floated off down river. All you could see was mud. Shoes were banned from that minute on. When we stepped off the bottom step we sank to our ankles in mud!!!!!!!Ahhhh It was a long morning. We battled rain,mud,wet clothes,the freezing cold and frayed tempers. Eventually we headed up to the pub/roadhouse to see what was happening up there. It was no different. Mud everywhere. News was long and loud. ALL ROADS CLOSED from Innaminka.We hadn’t planned this stop at all and now we were here indefinately. Boredom stepped in almost immediately. We survived the first day(just) The following day we were greeted with the sun which was just great. However frustration set in. We had nothing to do and nowhere to go. We passed our days yacking and swapping stories with everyone else stuck there. The boys didn’t seem to mind though, they spent from sun up to sundown catching  yabbies in the river. It seemed to be the thing to do. Everyone ended up catching and cooking them. After what seemed like forever (just under a week) they opened the roads to let us all go. We have never seen so many camps pack up so quickly as we did that day. The next day Innaminka was again expecting rain, so It was understandable. We all hit the road. We were heading for Adelaide as we were now running low on water and food etc. We just made one stop at Lyndhurst  for the night then in was on to Port Augusta to dry out clean up and restock.
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Cooktown to Birdsville

Leaving Cooktown we had to make sure we were well stocked with food and supplies again as we were now heading over to Normanton and then down to Birdsville. Once we were loaded we hit the road and started making our way slowly west all through the Atherton Tablelands. Our first stop which was interesting was Innot hot springs. What a great stop to rejuvinate. We spent quite some time that night dipping from pool to pool in and out of all the varying temperatures.What an interesting experience. Eventually we arrived at Normanton. 37deg and stifling hot. It was straight to the pool that night. Next to come was Mt.Isa. When we left Normanton we could hardly function it was so hot then we arrived at Mt. Isa and it was drizzling with rain and only 12deg. My gosh we nearly died. It was darn freezing!!Mt. Isa caravan parks were totally full when we arrived so we managed to get a few nights at the Mt Isa golf course.  What a laugh. We had the van parked at the 19th. haha. It kept the kids amused for hours. They went off hunting stray golf balls and at the end of our stay they had a bag of over 70 balls. (they are easily entertained haha). Moving on again. Boulia the Bedourie. Had a fun day at the camel races. The boys were thrilled with that and what a laugh it was to watch. Another money making venture for them too.They collected golf balls for the golf challenge then entered running races which both James and Jake got second place. So it was a fruitful day for them all. Eventually we arrived at Birdsville. A picture of the car at the front of the pub was the first stop. A brew and a meal at the pub was also a must. Blew the budget that day!! haha. We loved Birdsville and stayed a couple of days. The boys were asked to play rugby with the local school kids (they only have 5 kids at the Birdsville school) which they just loved. It was a lovely way to spend our last day there. Until next time Take care. Sam Johnny and boys xoxo
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Cooktown to Cape York

 Cape York…… Finally! It was to be one of the huge highlightes of out trip. How do you know if you’re ever prepared enough? So much info to read, and so many stories told by others, how they have done it, what to take, take a van? take the tents? take this, dont take that!!!! Help. Boy. We never really knew how to tackle this one. Everyone seemed to have a different opinion.  So we just decided thats it, we’re doing it our way. We finally decided that we’d take the van, so we loaded the car and van until it was bursting with food and supplies and just hit the road. Our first night we stayed at Mt Carbine. We head off the next day very excited to be really underway as we left the black top and hit the dusty dirt roads. We pulled in late afternoon at Musgrave Station and set up camp. The following morning we set off about 9ish for another long day of dust and corrugations. The days plan was all going smoothly until we got to Coen. We had pulled in for fuel as it was the last cheap spot!!$1.54 a litre haha. A man pulled over next to us only to tell us we had a wire hanging down behind the back of the car.Johnny got out to find yet again what was left of our anderson lead dragging limply under us. It wasn’t quite as simple as last time though(a simple plug replacement) This time it had mucked up the whole wiring system in the van. Burning all the way back to the battery inside the van. Any longer on the road and we would have caught fire!As it was it made a heck of a mess burning my good quicksilver jumper and filling the van full of smoke.Two and a half hours later at the side of the road in coen we band-aided what was left of the wiring system and set back on the road. We didn’t get that many kms done that day but not to worry. It all adds to the adventure ( i guess ) lol. After a very long and hot night we set off on our third day heading for the tip.We got as far as Punsand Bay in the late afternoon and set up camp as vans were not recommended past that point. It was a beautiful spot bustling with heaps of travellers on thier own adventures.The following day we got up and set off knowing we would get to see the northern most point of Australia. The boys were so excited. We had to take some awesome tracks to get there. Plenty of water crossings, deap ruts etc. Then when we got there we parked the car and set off for about 15-20 minutes on foot rock climbing to finally have the sign in our sights. It was a great moment finally touching that marker. We had a  man offer to take a family picture (now one of my favourites) We spent quite a while there taking in the scenery and looking out at all the beautiful islands.  Punsand bay was a beautiful spot to spend a few days fishing and exploring the whole area. Jake caught his first fish which we fillited and cooked up for his tea. He was thrilled. After totally covering The Tip it was time to start slowly heading back. The journey back was long hot and dusty and sprinkling with rain the whole way which made for great, fun, slippery and muddy conditions!!! Pulling in for a night at Coen we were camped next to a man called Ray with his trusty companion Knight who were travelling from Mossman to the Tip on an old tractor……Best of luck Ray. Maybe thats another way of doing a lap of Aus haha…Our trip to the tip ended back at Cooktown where we had to sit and wait for parts for the wiring system. Another very successful leg of our Journey and another tick off the list. Until next time, take care, Sam Johnny and boys xoxo  
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Airlie Beach to Cooktown

Heading north still we stopped at Townsville to let the kids play in the water park. Back on the road again we stopped for a couple of nights at Balgal Beach. A beautiful free stop right on the beach. We spent the second day in the tinny looking for the resident croc in the river. Not with any luck however!That night as we were bringing the tinny back in both James and I were savaged with sandfly bites(the likes of which I have never seen before. And never want to seen again)I dont know how we ever got through that night, the pain was just about unbearable. It was a mighty easy decision to pack up and look at moving on. While in that process we met another family travelling just as we are and doing a similar plan of travel. They also had been savaged by sandflies. After quite some time yacking we eventually hit the road and stopped at Forrest Beach. I needed a powered site and i needed showers. I was dying. Poor little James. We both looked like we had measles. We spent the next two days in the shower.It seemed to be the only way to take the sting out of the bites. Next stop Wallaman falls. We drove into the national park only to find the family that we had just met at Balgal beach. Andrew Anita Joy and Amy.We had a lovely few days there with them. Anita made us all fantastic pancakes for brekky. The kids all hit it off fantastic. Then at night round the campfire we yacked and had 1 or 2 drinks!! Next it was up to Cairns and our camp was set up at Palm Cove. Another perfect spot. It was to be a spot that we just loved and spent quite a lot of time at. We were right on the beach front and so close to so many other places. We did a lot of exploring around this area.Hartleys croc farm, Cairns, The Bloomfield Track, Port Douglas, The Daintree Cape Tribulation. We took the tinny out to Double Island And had a great time exploring it all with the kids. We also made some great friends in Palm Cove. To James, Rachel, Imogen, Jett and Capri and to Berin Cathy, Jemika and Xavier we had a great time getting to know you and hope you all enjoy the rest of your holidays. Our boys also have very fond memories of Palm Cove. They set up a shop there in the caravan park selling pet rocks. They did a roaring trade and made themselves $16 in pocket money.Time again to be moving on. Until next time Take Care. Sam and Johnny. xoxo
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Gympie to Airlie Beach

 Back to our travels now. All the work is done now and its back to our trip. The first and most important stop of all was at Bundaberg. The Bundy Rum Distillary.Me… Yes I was in heaven….At the end of the tour we were able to sample two bundaberg drinks each and Johnny not being a fan of bundy tried dark and stormy first which he wasn’t fussed with then we both had a bundy liquor with a dash of cream!!! We both have a new love. What a beautiful drink. That will be our first purchase when we arrive home.(only available from bondstore and only available by the crate). Our next stop on the map was unsure so we took a look at where we were and decided to surprise Johnny’s mum. She was heading to Airlie Beach for her 60th birthday and desperately wanted to meet us there, however we thought we would tell her we couldn’t get there. We arrived in Airlie Beach and set up camp. Heading into town for a look around johnny rang his mum only to find she was wandering up the street just across the road from us. We waited until she was right near us, Johnny then crossed the road and tapped her on the shoulder. She nearly had a heart attack!!! Surprise Annie. Happy birthday. Our next few days with Anne and Alan were just awesome. We all had a fantastic time. A big highlight on the boys trip. We were treated to a wonderful boat trip out to Hardy Reef to spend the day Scuba diving, Snorkelling and swimming with Anne, Alan, Alec and Margaret. We managed to get both James and J.J. out snorkelling(and Anne too.)Something they both still keep talking about. We were also taken on a boat trip for the day to Daydream Island. Another beautiful day was spent swimming, boating, Mini golfing and just enjoying some good quality time all together.  To Anne and Alan a huge Thank you for allowing us to share your holiday with you. We truly had a wonderful time and I can assure you the boys had a fantastic time. We hope you enjoyed your birthday and have some great memories of your time with us.
                                                                                                                            
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Cameron Corner to Gympie.

Well hello to you all. Here we are, back again. Sorry for the delay. Hopefully we will keep you all up to date again. It seems to be a trend with us travellers to struggle keeping our blogs up to date. Haha.  Straight after leaving Bourke we headed north for a while crossing the border into Queensland and arrived at a little town called Cunnamulla, just in time for the Cunnamulla Festival. It was a fantastic couple of days ending with the Cunnamulla Rodeo. Again hitting the road we went to St. George where in the stifling heat we tried to cool off in the Balonne river. The boys got in the tinny with Johnny but within minutes had jumped overboard to play in the cool water. Back on the road we went through Goondiwindi, Texas, Tenterfield, Casino, Lismore and out to the coast at Ballina. Our next stop was Mullumbimby where we spent quite a few days. We met another travelling family there so it was lovely for the boys to share stories and have new friends to play with. While we were there we did a lot of exploring the area, one that we both loved. Such interesting little places. We loved Nimbin. It had such a great vibe (or aroma haha) Just a really cool funky town where we even stopped for a brew and a pub lunch.(yeah I know we blew the budget that day) Travelling north now we stayed for a week at Canungra in the mountains west of the gold coast. It was a beautiful place to stay while being close enough to the Gold Coast to go to all the theme parks etc. Finally it was back on the road again and straight to Gympie to Darren and Lenas. We spent quite a while there while Johnny built their extension for them. We even had the kids enrolled in school there for a term. At Christmas we had a visit from Luke. As it was his 18th birthday we got him his first tattoo, and as a family bonding exercise both Johnny and I got branded as well. It was a fantastic tribal  phoenix for both Johnny and I and for Luke it was his nick name down his forearm.(what a feral bunch haha) Christmas, New Years in Brissy,  A whole school term, floods, a new extension, A new van,tattoos,  a whole lot happened in that few months. But all is well and we’re back on the road. A big thanks to Darren and Lena for having us all. Hope you love and enjoy your new home. Talk soon Johnny Sam and Boys. xoxo

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wow

   Wow!!!!! What an amazing leg of our journey. This is something we could get very used too. We have just had the most amazing driving experience. It is an amazing way to see this brilliant country we live in. We have driven hour after hour in the most beautiful and diverse landscape you can ever imagine. We have driven in the thick heavy scorched red dust with the typical aussie scrub roadside, the stark white jagged rocky stones, the vast open dessert where you cant tell where the road side ends as all you have is vast open space for as far as the eye can see. the dust!!!! the dust just goes on and on forever. The hugh amount of wildlife. The boys have a list of all the animals that they have passed. We have played games in the car where we have counted things we have passed, James was counting and spotting all the wildlife, Jake was counting all the roadkill !!! and J,J, was counting all the blown tyres on the roadside. However the trek was so long that the numbers just got crazy. It is amazing just what was out there. We came across 3 wedgetail eagles feasting on a poor Kangaroo on the road. we were lucky enough for one of them to stay put while we got a few pictures. I could go on for hours about this part of the journey as again it is one of the favourites. but i guess we’ll have a lot of these.One issue we have at the moment is our beloved van. It would have been a hellish trip to corner country if we had have lugged our van but we love the experience and adventure of camping and being remote. ahh the dillemas we have!!!    Until next time Take care Sam Johnny and boys xoxo
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in the dust……

From the middle of nowhere i am sitting out under the stars on a very steamy night doing this blog. since i caught up withy you last we have travelled many kms. after leaving sydney we stayed a few days in orange where his lordship found himself his birthday pressie. A tinny….. Ahhhh boys and thier toys…….if it keeps a smile on his dial who am i to say no!  We strapped it to the ever bulging load we lug  with us and set off again only to stop the night in Nyngen. The further outback we are heading the higher the temp. is creeping up. nyngen was a welcome stop as it had an awesome little pool which the boys had all to themselves. Moving on again with Bourke as a target for the day, we didn’t get to far when we realised it was nearly lunch time and with our everhungry mob in the back nagging to eat again we just happened to be coming up to a great looking pub in the middle of nowhere. We reluctantly(haha) pulled over and treated ourselves to a quick bevvy before we made ourselves lunch. What a great little pub. The girl behind the bar was touring aus. herself with a girlfriend and found herself working in this pub only to find 2 years later she is still there. It seems to be a common trend out here.We met a couple today that have been touring for the last 2 1/2 years working a bit as they go, and they have no intention of giving it up any time soon.!!!!!  No hint intended. moving right along. After a long steamy drive we arrived at Bourke.It was Sunday afternoon but it was like a ghost town. To cope with the heat the whole place shuts down for 2 hours. we found our caravan park and headed straight for the pool. After tea we spent some time mapping out the next few days of our journey. Its time to ditch the caravan and get serious. Johnny and I spent the next few hours loading the car to the roof with tents sleeping bags and the like as we were heading to corner country. We are unable to take the van as this adventure is nearly 600 kms on unsealed, rugged, hot, long and dusty roads. we set off this morning a little apprehensive not really knowing how we would go. How bad the roads would be etc. but heck what a fantastic journey. When the tar road ran out not long after leaving Bourke we hit the long wide rugged red dust. It just went on for ever and ever. Then the landscape would entirely change to bright white rocky rugged roads.some times the roadside would be thick with scrub then baron and bare.The wildlife has a bad trot out here as constantly we were passing roadkill. It became a game for the kids counting the dead Kangaroos. Yuck… The day just seemed to go on forever. And all the time the temperature was climbing. We pulled over at lunch time at the only township we were to pass all day. Wanaaring. Just a few houses a fuel stop etc. We ate lunch under the shade of a tree and quickly got back in the car as we were all scorching. Back into the dust and road kill to eventually reach Sturt National park and our stop for the night.Tibooburra. From when we left home this morning to arriving tonight we drove 440kms and only passed 2 cars!!what an amazing day. I will finish this journey with you tomorrow when we have reached corner country, Until then take care. Sam John and boys.
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