I thought we would do something new to start off the new year like a bit of a recap from some of our great travel stories of last year, to hopefully inspire you all to “go on an adventure”, because it’s not always about the destination, it’s the journey that you end up having the fond memories of.

Let’s start back on January with Jennie and Sam Bussell, they’ve had their Toyota Coaster Motorhome since 2011, in the January edition we had the highlights from the their Victoria and South Australia trip, here is a quick recap: Jennie and Sam travelled across north east Victoria from Milawa to Bendigo, then they headed across to Horsham and down the Henty Highway to Hamilton, Coleraine, Casterton, then onto Penola in South Australia, where they indulged in the wonderful award winning Coonawarra Wines, the Coonawarra region has over 28 wineries to take in so plan to stay a while. From Penola they travelled to Mt Gambier where their highlight was the sink hole ‘Blue Lake’, did you know this lake formed in a vent of an extinct volcano, and that the town of Mt Gambier was built on the sight of the old volcano? From Mt Gambier they made their way to Robe, then made their merry way around the coastline stoping at small beach towns such as, Port MacDonnell, Beach Port, Port Fairy, Princetown, Johanna and Cape Otway as they make their way back to Victoria. In Cape Otway they visited Australia’s oldest mainland lighthouse, built in 1848. Another one of their trip highlights was their stay in Werribee, where they visited the Werribee Zoo and the Aviation Museum. What a trip, thanks Jennie and Sam for sharing your wonderful adventure with us.

Next, we heard from Dennis, his trip from Brisbane to Ayres Rock (Uluru) was so big we had to spread it over two editions… They set off on their 14 day adventure, first stop Toowoomba where he highly recommends a visit to the Cobb & Co Museum, then they travelled on to Dalby, Roma and Charleville, where they visited the Cosmos Centre, on a clear night you can view the Milky Way uninterrupted by city lights, and as Dennis puts it so eloquently “a view you just don’t get in the big smoke”. Next they travelled on to Barcaldine where they visited the Tree of Knowledge, then on to Longreach, ticking off a visit to the legendary ‘Stockman’s Hall Of Fame’, then onto Winton to visit the Waltzing Matilda Centre. Cloncurry was next, finally reaching Mt Isa, knowing they had arrived due to the bright glow from the lights of the mine and smelting plant. From Mt Isa they travelled along the Barkly Highway and Thorntonia Yelvertoft Rd (which is a long dirt and gravel road), they made their way to Lawn Hill, from there they drove through Camooweal over the border to Three Ways Roadhouse and their next stop Devils Marbles, then a 3 and half hour drive to Alice Springs. The next day Ayres Rock (Uluru), via Erldunda with a quick stop at the Mt Conner lookout, Mt Conner is sometimes mistake for Ayres Rock due to its size and shape and has earned the nickname of ‘Fool-Uru’ by the locals. After spending a few days at Uluru their next stop was The Olgas about a 40km drive west, then on to Watarrka National Park and Kings Canyon. They headed to Hermannsburg via the Mereenie Loop Road and back to Alice Springs. From Alice Springs they travelled north to Tennant Creek and ventured across the top of the Simpson Desert to Boulia. Their next major stops were Birdsville, Quilpie, then on to Goondiwindi, Millmerran and Warwick, then finally home to Brisbane…WOW 8,652km is a lot to squeeze into just 14 days, so Dennis if you are thinking of a career change, maybe travel agent or tour guide???

Next we heard from David and Noreen, long time customers and frequent contributors to the Journey. In 2017 we were delighted by their travels from Adelaide across the Nullarbor to Western Australia, featured over 4 parts, as well as their adventures from Cairns to Alice Springs and Ayres Rock, the details they provide to our readers is invaluable for those wanting to get off the beaten track, explore Australia and experience the freedom of Free Camping. You can go back and read up on their adventures in the May, July, August, September, November and December editions of The Journey, well worth the read.

In our October edition we heard from sisters Deborah and Bridgette (and Yoda, Deborah’s 17 year old cat). In 2016 Deborah and Bridgette decided to sell their house and hit the open road in their 2 Toyota Coasters fully fitted out by Motorhome Conversions Co, their motivation was one of wanting to live their lives to the fullest after they lost two of their dear friend, one to cancer and one to heart attack. Their adventures take us from Brisbane to Cairns; their first stop was Hervey Bay. Deborah’s cat Yoda had a bit of an adjustment getting use to bus life, but he soon worked out that the best spot was the middle seat next to Deborah while she drove so he could be next to her and doze off comfortably in the sun. They made their way to Yeppoon, where they bicycled around Kinkay Bay and the surrounding Yeppoon area; they also took a day trip to Great Keppel Island and did some kayaking and snorkelling, they were also lucky enough to happen upon a Village Festival that featured some big name Aussie artist (lucky them…). They packed up, Yoda found his comfy spot and they headed off to Port Douglas where they got to fly in a seaplane over the Great Barrier Reef as well as do a lot of snorkelling. Deborah, Bridgette and Yoda seem to have made the right decision, and they have a bit of advice for anyone thinking about doing the same: “If you are putting off travelling until you are older – Don’t! We hear so many stories of people leaving it too late and when they eventually make the decision they are too old or too sick. Do it now! Live the Dream”. Well spoken ladies and we hope to hear from you again soon.