Week 15

Hello Campers,

Well yes this is a little late, and yes I promised Griffo I would have it done a week ago and subsequently promised it would be done that night on every morning until now. But the last couple of weeks have been unlike most of this holiday where we retire to the caravan for dinner and then enjoy a couple of hours before I start snoring and drag myself to bed. We have been welcomed into the homes of two friends to eat beautiful dinners, warm beds and wine, wine and more wine. In the day time there has been so much to do, and the early evenings well …..beer!! So you can now understand the most difficult predicament which led to the delay of these words. If this is not going over with you, thats OK it didnt go over with Griffo either so you’re not alone, but as a mate of mine says “Bear and Grin It”!


Well week 15 saw us leave Noosa for Brisbane. A former work friend of mine Les Bush and his lovely wife Yaja invited us to their place in South Brisbane. We took them up on the offer figuring we would park the van out the front and maybe Griffo would enjoy a bath. Well were we in for a suprise!

As I parked the van on the front verge I was worried about getting it level as the verge slopped away. Les said “Dont worry about it, your all staying inside.” and that was how it was. Les and Yaja have a lovely house only a stones throw from the beach which looks across to Stradbroke Island. Yaja insisted on cooking all the meals, fine by me, and that lady can cook! whilst Les needed another man to share some 6 year old cab sav’s he had being keeping. It was a very hard gig and an absolute treat, thankyou guys we all really enjoyed the couple of days. Les and Yaja took off to enjoy a boat cruise so we also spent one night at a van park in Rochdale.

During the days we took in a few sights. The first day was Australia Zoo the former home of the crocodile hunter. This place is brilliant and its no ordinary zoo. To start with the enclosures are huge and really well appointed, you can see that these people really care for and about their animals. The highlight of the visit was at the “Croc0seum” where an animal show unfolded. At one point there were about 20 birds large and small doing circle work inside the arena, all zinging past and swooping down on the crowd while ACDC was being belted out, very cool! The croc running after the handler was also entertaining, they can keep that job. Later the kids got up close to the Koala’s and Komodo Dragons, I’d recommend this place if your ever passing by, a couple of pics…

Australia Zoo

Australia Zoo

Australia Zoo

Australia Zoo – Crocoseum

Australia Zoo

Australia Zoo

Australia Zoo

The next day we decided to get to South Bank. In 2011 I was asked to travel to Brisbane for work and Griffo and I decided to take the opportunity to get the kids to theme parks and see a bit of Bris Vegas. One of the spots we wanted to see was South Bank as we had heard excellent reports about it. Unfortunately mother nature had other ideas and we instead watched the Brisbane Floods unfold first hand. At this time South Bank was under a few metres of muddy water, but not on this visit.

South Bank is a free water park packed with eateries and entertainment on the edge of the Brisbane river a few minutes drive from the city. We spent the afternoon kicking about in the water and sun having a ball. I also got to catch up with a colleague QPOL who came down for a drink. Queensland really does these water parks well, I guess because the stingers and croc’s mean you can’t swim in the ocean, no matter how inviting it looks. We have enjoyed these water parks all down the Queensland coast. Great idea for the Perths Swan River foreshore I reckon.

South Bank – Brisbane

Gold Coast

So with Brisbane done we headed to the Gold Coast. No more long drives here, its was only 45 minutes and we were in theme park territory. We stayed at a nice van park in Helendale, right beside “Movie World” and Wet n Wild Water World. We hit the kids area of Movie World on the first afternoon much to the kids delight. Then over the next 4 days we took them all in, plenty of fun for all.  Livy loved the roller coasters and a crazy batman ride at Movie World. Thankfully Griffo can handle these rides and took Livvy on them, not for me. I did the water rides, I dont care how scary it is as long as there’s water otherwise its for Griffo.

The highlights included patting the sting rays, the jetski and Dolphin imagine show at Sea World. The tubular shute ride at Wet n Wild Water World. The 4D Iceage show and the Batman staged fight scene at Movie World were awesome. Heres a few more pics.

Gold Coast – Movie World

Gold Coast – Movie World

Gold Coast – Movie World

Gold Coast – Movie World

Gold Coast – Sea World

Gold Coast – Sea World

Gold Coast – Sea World

Gold Coast – Sea World

Gold Coast – Sea World

Gold Coast – Sea World

Gold Coast – Sea World

With the theme parks done we had a look around the area. Mount Tamborine is a lovely town in the hills west of the Gold Coast, we also loved Coolangatta and Burleigh Heads. This is a beautiful part of the world, but Ive said that about most of Queensland. Anyway from here we head to NSW but I will leave you with a couple more pics, until next week..

Burleigh Heads

Burleigh Heads

Burleigh Heads



Week 14

Noosa Heads 

My new favourite place. We’ve been here for the whole week and have loved every minute of it. Wayne has never been here before, and I had been here with my parents years ago and then once with a girlfriend where we drove up from the Goldcoast for a day. It’s a lot different and it’s more touristy (which I happen to love) and basically if Wayne tells me he has a job in the Brisbane office, I’ll readily pack my bags and make him commute from Noosa. I’m the perfect wife am I not ?

We arrived and as per usual found the deal of the day and settled on a caravan park in Tewantin which is 8km’s from Noosa and a really pretty town. We set up and quickly met the people next to us who invited us over for a week. They were from England but had moved over to QLD about 6 years ago and come to Noosa every couple of months for a holiday. They told us about the Eumundi Markets which are on every Wednesday and Saturday and as this was Tuesday night, we decided we’d go first thing in the morning.

I couldn’t believe how big these markets were and how insanely busy they were for a midweek non school holiday Wednesday ? We could hardly find a parking spot and ended up paying $5 to park on an oval.. I was in shopping heaven. They had everything you could think of and more. The kids depleted their pocket money in Hervey Bay the week before and were pretty unhappy about that let me just say. We are trying to help them be more accountable with their money and not waste it on silly stuff. Like teddy bear key-rings for instance. Each time Sarah see’s an ATM she begs me to let her use your keycard (although she’s the saver of the family) I think between the 2 of them they pulled together about $6 and managed to get a couple of lucky dips. I struggle with seeing them searching their empty wallets, but something makes me stick to my guns.. I was a hopeless saver/spender and I don’t want them to be like that. Within about 10 mins I’d made my first purchase and then another within about 30 mins.. a quick bite to eat (a delicous tandoori and mint salad) and then it was back again. I’m sucker for all things ‘homely’ so I hit the homewares stalls with gutso but also managed to sneak in a few christmas presents. We left Eumundi with that feeling ‘we could live here’ and made our way back to the van. When we arrived back we noticed that our ‘new’ camping friends Cassie and Jason had arrived too. They are also travelling around Oz for 12 months and are from Perth.. We had a drink or 2 and then the kids were getting restless. Time for dinner and bed..

The following day we had to wait around the park for a while as Wayne was taking the car to Mitsubishi to check a flashing light that kept coming on, so the kids swam with their friends, I had a chat with Cassie and we basically just hung around. Finally after lunch we hit Hastings Street and once again I was in lala land. It’s very sweet that Sarah and Lulu want to accompany me into every store I go in, but makes it hard for me to ‘browse’. They both constantly pick things up, say ‘mummy, buy this it’s magical’. There were many lovely shops, of course all over priced but so what.. I can look can’t I ? I went into one store to try on some clothes and Sarah throws over the change room door a ridiculous short red skirt telling me (and everyone else) that it doesn’t matter if it doesn’t fit mummy, I’ll just pop out and get you the next size up ! Wayne is nowhere to be seen at these times, he’s just off with Frankie and the pram.. Had a quick coffee and people watched for a while (trying to spot Pat Rafter amongst the crowds, but to no avail).. back to the van, with happy hour again with friends.It’s a hard life !

We also went to the Noosa National Park which borders the coast. Having the pram again dictated how far we could walk as the park was undergoing work so most of the tracks were closed. We managed to walk for a little bit though, and then we walked down the boardwalk to Main Beach. 33 deg on this day, so it was a stinker and we were all pretty hot after it. The Noosa Triathlon  was on the coming weekend, so there were lots of people training around Noosa and also our caravan park was filling up pretty fast. That night we did a sunset river cruise. Our friends were also doing it and we almost had the boat to ourselves. You were able to bring your own nibbles and drinks whilst they provided the ice and glasses. It was very laid back and lots of room for the kids to walk and play. Lots of people were out on their decks waving at us, fishing, having drinks. It was a little windy and a thunderstorm was threatening so it wasn’t the greatest of sunsets, but it was a lovely night.

The rest of the week was spent exploring, taking the kids to parks, walks along the Noosa Marina. Basically we’ve just had a really lovely time and it’s felt like a holiday, which may not make sense seeing how we are on a very long holiday, but it felt different somehow.

Next stop is Brisbane where we will be hitting the theme parks and Wayne will get to catch up some work colleagues, I’m pretty sure he’s looking forward to some more ‘male’ time 🙂

Here are some pictures, until next week..

J x

Noosa Main Beach


Noosa Marina

Noosa Yacht Club

Eumundi Markets

Noosa National Park

River Cruising Noosa

River Cruising Noosa

River Cruising Noosa






Week 13

Sorry BG for being late. I’ll try to get back into the swings of things 🙂

Hervey Bay

Hi its Wayno writing this town as Griffo has to prepare herself to write about Fraser Island.

Another peaceful little town, we stayed at the Big 4 again about 300 metres from the beach. The kids enjoyed the jumping pillow and pool etc.. until the magpies came to spoil the party. Poor Sarah was beside herself, the bloody thing seemed to let every other kid through on a bike or scooter until Sarah or Liv came through. Then it would swoop and swoop!!

Like a lot of these towns where swimming in the ocean is a no-no at certain times of the year, they had a free water park “Wet Side”. It was very cool, plenty of water jets, slides and even a wave machine, good for us to sit and have coffee while the kids get wet. Frankie practiced her walking across the water jets in the baby area, very cute.

The foreshore also hosts weekend markets which were small but big enough for Sarah to find donuts. We also tried one of those bicycle karts, 4 wheels, seats three and has the canopy over top. It didnt take long before the legs were full of acid. Sarah just wanted to steer and Livy ended up pushing the kart along after my pedal fell off. Too much like hard work for my liking, I’d ended up making a track and had the kids taking turns racing around it to kill time. Livy wanted to hire it for another hour, bugger that, I’d already told her the hour was up 15 minutes early to get rid of the thing. She moved on to the public exercise machines on the beach, not sure where she gets the energy or genetic’s!! Certainly not me, maybe Griffo??? Anyway a couple of pics

Whale Of A Time

I Can Do It

Bike Kart

Hervey Bay


Fraser Island 

Where to begin ? I’ve never ever wanted to visit Fraser Island and for this reason haven’t given it much thought. I knew something about Dingoes and assumed it was for real ‘campers’. As we were already in Hervey Bay and we didn’t get across to the Whitsunday Islands, Wayne thought he’d book us a ferry ride over for the day. Turned out that there were a heap of specials going on over on Fraser Island and we managed to book into an apartment for the night. You can imagine my delight at the thought of a nice warm bubble bath and a bedroom with a door !

We didn’t tell the kids that we were staying overnight until we were almost on the Barge going over. They were pretty excited, Olivia more so than Sarah. The Barge took about 35 minutes and before we knew it we were on the Island. We had read that you needed a 4wd to get access to the part of the Island that we were going to but we both didn’t realise how full on the drive was. Pretty much you’re straight into 4WD-ing the minute you’re on the island. Wayne didn’t even get time to let down the tyres as it was totally unexpected. The girls of course thought this was ‘wicked and sick’ and were squealing their little heads off. I was indifferent. The apartment was 16 km’s away and I was looking forward to having an afternoon bath with a glass of bubbly ! why not ? After about 30 mins of driving and not getting very far, the sand was getting thicker and softer, we came across 2 cars that were pulled off to the side of the road. I immediately thought ‘uh oh they are bogged’ We kept driving another 20 mtrs or so and then Wayne stopped so he could let down the tyres. While he was doing that, one of the guys from the car that was pulled off came up and asked Wayne a million questions about the road, the tyre pressure and the conditions etc. He sounded nervous and was annoyed that they weren’t forewarned about the type of vehicle you should have etc. They were driving a Vitara and an X-trail and it seemed that they were getting bogged constantly. Wayne had a quick chat and gave them some tips and that was that.

Until we started to drive away and got bogged ourselves. Embarrassing !

I look around and the 4 people from the 2 cars are running up the sand mountain to help us out (now who’s helping who ?) and finally a snatch strap was pulled out and we were jolted to safety. Wayne was stunned for about 2  minutes and then excitement took over his body. He lives for this stuff.

So, now we were 3 cars stuck and there were lots of talks (and shovels) & dare I say LAUGHTER ! Olivia and Sarah were out of the car at this point, happiness oozing from their little bodies. Me ? Well, I wasn’t in the mood for chatter, I just wanted my BATH. After about 20 mins, everyone still letting tyres down, it was decided that the X-Trail would go first, if she got stuck (‘she’ being a nurse from QLD) then her friends (The 2 young Dr’s from London) would snatch strap her out of there, with the help of the WA bloke called Wayne. She reversed (I want to say 1km but I don’t know exactly – a long way) and then she fanged it up the hill. There were a lot of whoops and whistling and clapping and we thought she did it, until she didn’t and  I saw her reverse lights come on and down she came 😦

More shovels, more shaking of heads and words of wisdom, followed by laughter. I look up and see Wayne’s face, he’s all ‘how cool is this shit’ and he even motioned for me to take some pictures ??? (which I did).. He got back in the car  as it was decided that we should go first this time and maybe prepare the road for the other cars to follow, and I said to him ‘look how happy you are’ ? he had the grace to laugh and admit that he was ‘loving it’. The comradery!!! I couldn’t help but laugh with him (at him).

Eventually we all made it past this ‘hurdle’ and we continued on. We were 3rd in line again as Wayne wanted to make sure they didn’t get stuck. They did… time and time again. These next few times though were a little more difficult as there were now 3 or more convoy’s behind us that were being stopped because of an X-trail (that shouldn’t be on the island – courtesy of the tour guide that was driving the monster truck behind us).. All in all though, it seems that most men love a good bogging because they came in droves to help. Some with cigga’s, some with back packers, some with 15 tourists taking pictures (and a leak).. At one point there were about 25 people helping, and Wayne of course was relishing the brotherhood of mateship.

Finally we were all system’s go and Wayne ever so kindly said ‘ maybe the 3 of us should pull off so the cars behind us can go’ ? I had to point out that there was NO 3 of US ?? There was 1 of us and we didn’t even know the other people’s names….Of course I’m not that harsh though, so after making fun of him for saying that I agreed with him. I think the Landcruisers, the Patrols and the monster trucks were happy to pass us. One man said to the X Trail driving Nurse ‘Luv, you need to drive it like you stole it’ (a term that was later said by Wayno about a hundred times over the course of the 2 days)she listened and she managed to make it all the way back. So did we.. it only took 3 and a bit hours. We bid farewell to our new travelling companions, they were super lovely and and grateful and they were really sweet to Sarah and Lulu.. Wayne will miss them !

At this point in time we were a little frayed. The driving became pretty full on, and I’m not just saying that. My head hit the roof of the car more than once, and even Wayne apologised to the girls… the excitement was wearing thin once they realised that their little sister Frankie was as white as a ghost and their little bodies were being flung around. One of the tour guides did mention that the conditions at the moment were the worst they’d been in a while as there had been no rain for months. That explained a lot.

FInally we got to our apartment and I had joked that I bet the bathroom only has one of those triangle baths at the bottom of the shower. Wayne was looking worried and nervous so I became very quiet. . As we entered the room Wayne and Olivia went straight to the bathroom and within seconds I heard ‘it’s all good griffo, the baths a decent size’.. relief washed over me and within minutes I was soaking in it !!

Guess what ? It rained… and rained and rained and rained. We hung out in the apartment lounging on lounges, Frankie walked around and loved it as she had space to move. The girls played in their ‘new’ bedroom and eventually we dragged ourselves to dinner.

The following day I didn’t know what to expect. We had to be back at the Barge at 5pm so we had a lot of hours to explore the Island. We were told that the beach driving was amazing and there was lots of things to see, such as the shipwreck, Eli Creek and the Champagne Pools. All of which we did, a much easier drive than the day before. We saw a lot more people this day, lots of 4xxxx drinking footy mates cooking snags on the beach, lots of lone hard-core fisherman and the odd bikini babe and their posse. It was interesting and exactly like I imagined.

Dingoes were everywhere, so we were told time and time again, although we only saw 2 (and we were in the car thankfully) Sarah and myself got into a mild panic after reading all the signs about the dingoes on Fraser Island. The wording wasn’t that friendly ‘if you’re attacked, defend yourself aggressively as you are fighting for your LIFE’. Needless to say, Wayne had to go with us to the toilet more than once

Would I go back to Fraser Island ? Not in a million years, but very glad we did it. Wayne had a great time and I think it’s something he’d like to do with his mates. Eli Creek and the Champagne Pools were picturesque but still has nothing on Pinkies Beach at Rotto 🙂

Back to the barge, and it was windy and cold by this time. A very long day driving along the beach all day and then back on the boat, more driving back to the caravan park… you can Imagine Frankie.. she was Cranky Frankie 100%.. We all slept well and I hate to say it, but it was ‘good to be home, back in the van’ .. I managed to have 2 hot baths though !! and Wayne celebrated his b’day on Fraser Island too… it wasn’t all bad !

Fraser Island Barge

Fraser Island

Tyre Pressure Down

Did she make it

Shes Stuck

Shes Stuck Again


75 Mile Beach – Fraser Island


Maheno Shipwreck – Fraser Island

Eli Creek – Fraser Island

Eli Creek – Fraser Island



This brings me to the end of week 13…. off to Noosa next and I think that next weeks Blog will be about me loving it and Wayne wishing he was back on Fraser Island, away from the shops and the markets and the hustle !! Opposites attract don’t they say ?

Take care everyone…

The Travelling Morrells x

Week 12

A little late.. almost a week late in fact.

Airlie Beach 

Does anyone know how come the sea is iridescent in colour around the Whitsunday ? Is it because the sand is so White ? I’m not sure but that’s the first we noticed when we drove into Airlie Beach. How could you not, it’s the brightest clearest blue I’ve ever seen and something I couldn’t stop looking at. So far on our travels, the beaches haven’t even come close to our magnificent WA beaches, but the blue/aqua coral sea is something that I’ll remember that’s for sure.

We checked in at the ever faithful BIG 4 caravan park, with playgrounds/swimming pools and jumping pillows galore and set off to see what Airlie Beach was about. In a word – BACKPACKERS and lots of them ! Driving around Airlie and it’s surrounds we decided very quickly that YES we could live here also. High on a hill, surrounded by tress overlooking the coral sea. Sounds good to me !

We had 4 days to spend in Airlie Beach and we pretty much just swam, relaxed, shopped a little and spent a lot of time down at the Airlie Lagoon. unfortunately we didn’t get over to any of the Islands. We were debating whether to go to Hamilton or Daydream but on the days that we could the weather was really windy. After having just spent a full day at Green Island and noticing how it is a little (just a little) hard on Frankie we decided to give it a miss. Regret ? Possibly.. but can’t do everything and I think I’ll put HAYMAN ISLAND on my wish list for Wayne and I later !

Wayne once again spent a lot time taking pictures, he was in his element. Every corner he was presented with another photo opportunity. As always he promised himself that he would get up at 5am (best light to take pictures) so he could capture the beauty of it all, but alas the alarm only woke ME up. He did manage to get out during acid hour though and take some amazing pictures as sunset was approaching.. (also the best light to take pictures). Airlie Beach was beautiful and here are some pictures to prove it.

Airlie Cove

Airlie Cove

Airlie Cove

Bikini Babes

Airlie Cove

Airlie Cove Stitch


Shute Harbour


Honestly, after Airlie Beach I wasn’t that keen to hit Mackay but we had to go via there anyway so we decided to stop at a ‘free camp’ for a night or 2. We haven’t done nearly as much free camping as we (Wayne) had hoped, in fact the free camps book that we purchased still hasn’t paid for itself in that regard 🙂 .

Wayne had researched a bit where the best place was but as we were getting closer we realised that we hadn’t really driven a long enough distance and we could probably keep going another hour or 2. We should have just stopped and stayed where we had planned because for the next 4 hours we basically drove around in circles, trying to find a place that we could fit the van in. There was 1 place that I refused to stay in, another place that I was OK with, I just wouldn’t go to the toilet for 2 days and then the 3rd place we actually went to set up but we couldn’t get the van in the tiny space we were given. After all this mucking about we ended up in a caravan park in downtown Mackay ! It was a long and tiring day..

The next morning we decided  NOT to go to the Marina Village, but instead we would make Wayne’s dreams come true and visit a sugar mill. Since we first arrived in Port Douglas Wayne has been interested (I say obsessed) with Sugar Cane Farming. In fact we (he) spends a lot of time talking about it, asking himself questions such as ‘I wonder how hard it is to run a cane farm’ ? ‘How hard can it be’ ? ‘How much money would they earn’ ? It’s endless (relentless) and I was keen to let him learn and find out all about CANE and then move on with our lives.

We arrived at the Sarina Sugar Shed and a lovely man named Neville was our tour guide. We were lucky (and a little unlucky) as we were the only ones on the tour which meant he had more time to talk.. about an extra 45 mins to be exact. The mill is set up for tourists and it’s basically a MINI sugar mill. They do everything the big mills do but obviously on a much smaller scale. The gift shop there stocks everything they make, such as chutney, schnapps, and salad dressings. Wayne was enjoying it. At one point he even felt the need to weigh in on time management issues with the farmers, to which Neville politely responded with ‘sounds good, but that’s impossible’. Just for the record, Wayne has NO sugar cane farming experience whatsoever !

The girls weren’t that impressed, until we got to the end of the tour and 2 things happened. We finally were able to see real cane get fed through the machine and out popped sugar juice (sweet but nice) and then Neville took the girls out to the fairy floss machine (where dreams are made of) and they were able to choose their flavor. I wanted a stick of floss as well, but had to be an adult and got stuck tasting bbq sauce and the like.. until Neville took pity on me and let me have some too 🙂

After this experience we checked out the local arts and craft village and then went onto the Coal docks. The woman in the information bay had told Wayne earlier that he MUST take the girls out to see the COAL being loaded up onto the ships. Frankie by this stage had fallen asleep so I had to take one for the team and stay in the car with her. Next time..

A quick visit into Mackay itself, where we hit the shops and then it was back to the caravan park to load up the van and get ready for our next stop – Rockhampton.

Sarina Sugar Shed

Sarina Sugar Shed


Rocky (Causeway Lake) 

Instead of staying in Rockhampton we chose a caravan park that was pretty basic but was right on the lake where Wayne could Kayak and of course take more pictures ! He did just that. He even managed to get up this time before 5am and take the kayak out. I didn’t even realise he had gone so it must have been early. We stayed here for 3 nights and spent time in Yeppoon and also Rockhampton itself. More on that next week (I’m days behind with this blog – sorry).

It’s taken me a few tries to get this blog up and running. 1st draft wasn’t saved and then we’ve had trouble with our wi-fi. Finally back on track, but really I just want to be watching the end of Sons of Anarchy !! God love Apple TV!!

Finally I’d like to dedicate this blog entry to our gorgeous daughter Sarah.. Thanks to some woman who told her that she was the ‘odd one out in our family’ and ‘the different one’ because she has brown hair and doesn’t look like Lulu or Frankie. For a 6-year-old to be told that she’s different from her family from a perfect stranger is wrong and it made me very angry and hurt. Sarah is the glue that holds this family together most days, with her constant helping out, cleaning up and making lunches for us all.Her laugh is infectious and we all love her so much !

Until next time & yes, Wayne is itching to write next weeks blog.. The Morrells x

Week 11

It seems that this blog is now a Jo and Wayne collaboration, but it’s back to me (Jo) this week.

Palm Cove / Green Island 

We ended our stay in Palm Cove by finally doing a reef cruise. We were waiting on the wind to stop and finally on Tuesday it did. The day was so perfect that the charter company decided to redo their advertising package and sent a chopper to take pictures of the Island and the boat etc, so we were thankful that we waited around. The boat trip was pretty uneventful over to Green Island. Usually Sarah is sea-sick but she managed to keep her 1 weetbix down (poor kid was starving, but that’s all we allowed to her have, just in case). Frankie as usual was running around the boat in “frankie fashion” which means screaming and squealing and generally just not sitting still. We were supposed to dock at Green Island at 10am, but because the chopper was taking pictures, we had to hang around a little which means we didn’t actually get off the boat until after 10.30am. This was a problem because we had booked a Semi Submarine tour at 11.30 and we needed to snorkel before then and then be back at the boat for the tour which went for 30 mins and then back to the boat for the lunch we paid for. Had we known that Green Island itself catered for tourists and their starving stomachs, we probably wouldn’t have included the lunch on the boat as part of our package. It made the first pay of the day a little rushed and stressed..

We all had our snorkel gear and flippers and headed for the part of the beach that was for ‘serious snorkelers’ ie : NO lifeguards ! The water was beautiful and clear and walking along the boardwalk you could clearly see the fish and the turtles. Once we got down to the beach the planning begins. Obviously one of us has to stay with Frankie, Sarah was unsure if she wanted to snorkel, Olivia was keen as mustard to get her little legs swimming away and I was a little indifferent. It was at this time that the realisation of Wayne NOT being able to “hold my arm under water and gently guide me through the reeds til we got to the good stuff” that I became very nervous. Still I thought ‘I can do this’. It was decided that I would go with Lulu and Wayne would do it after lunch, in the meantime he would sit with Sarah and Frankie and build sand castles. I lasted about 50 mtrs.. I got as far as the edge of the sandbank and where the reeds meet (a few fish in-between) and then I kind of froze. Well ok, I froze. I just couldn’t get past the reeds to get to the coral. I’ve done it before, when we were in Exmouth and Coral Bay and I thought I did good. The difference was that Wayne was with me and I feel safe with him. Oh well, it wasn’t to be at this point in time. I made my way back to Wayne and we swapped parenting duties ! Liv wasn’t bothered either way, her daddy takes her on big adventures and she loves it. I stayed with our 2 little girls and played in the water. It was still fun 🙂

We then hurried back to the boat where we did our semi submarine tour. That was fantastic. We were all very squished and it becomes very clear that we are under water within about 10 secs upon entering the vessel, but seeing the coral and the masses of fish soon makes you forget. I’m so glad we did this, mainly because Sarah was worried that she wouldn’t SEE the Great Barrier Reef if she didn’t snorkel. We had told her that there were many ways to see the Reef and this was the best way. Once again Wayne took a million pics and I think out of all of us, he loved this the most..

After the tour, we went back to the boat again for our ‘buffet of succulent dishes’ that we paid for as part of our tour package. Let’s just say I wish we hadn’t already paid $100 for it, I would have preferred to grab a sandwich on the Island. Lots of sweaty, wet and sandy people standing in line waiting to pick their food.. it was worse than a Sizzler Salad Bar.. At least at Sizzlers you are DRY and wearing clothing !

After lunch we decided to check out the  Island and we were really surprised that there was a resort. It seems that we aren’t researching or asking the right questions about the places we are visiting. Wayne kept saying ‘If I had known this, I would have booked us a couple of nights’. (We shall see about this.. heading to Airlie Beach soon, the gateway to the Whitsunday.. the proof will be determined very soon). We walked around a bit, had an ice-cream and then went to the patrolled beach which was perfect. I snorkelled a little bit here but by this time I had a huge headache (and no pain relief) and the mask was hurting my head, so I hired a deck lounge chair and umbrella and the kids played in the beach, Wayne and Liv snorkelled again. Pretty soon it was time to head back to the boat and make the long journey home (long because I had a bad headache by this time and spent the hour and 15 mins with my head in my hands) Poor Wayne and had to look after Frankie by himself and by this time she was over-tired cranky and a little crraazzzzy. Finally got back to the van around 6pm.

Impressions of Green Island ? Lovely, but in Wayne’s words ‘Rotto is heaps better’… We also thought that Exmouth (Ningaloo Reef in WA) is pretty spectacular and that we are lucky to live in a State where the oceans and reefs are amazing..Great Barrier Reef is of course huge and we have so far only seen 1 small part of it. I’m sure when you get closer to the outer reefs it becomes even more colourful and spectacular, but we’ll have to see how we manage that with Frankie. Green Island was perfect because we could walk around, lie on the beach, hang out on the boat etc.. we had a few family friendly options !

Some pictures..

View from the beach.. stunning !

Photo was taken from the Semi Sub..

Patrolled beach..

More fish..


Not a great time was had in Innisfail, in fact we spent most of it in hospital with Olivia. We arrived in town about 2pm and after setting up the van headed into town to get some groceries. After being in Woolworth’s for about 10 mins Olivia was complaining of a tummy ache. I didn’t think any of it as someone always seems to have a tummy ache but after about 5 mins I turn around to find her on the floor in agony and Wayne on the phone to the hospital. It happened so quickly and within about 15 mins we were in emergency. Turns out she had a serious case of constipation and if you’ve had it as an Adult you know how painful it can be. It was horrible and heartbreaking seeing her in so much pain. The Dr’s were unsure what to do for her at first, so x-rays were taken, 2 sets of bloods, a horrible procedure that you can imagine and finally some morphine and a drip to help ease her pain. I don’t think I’ve heard her scream or cry that loud or for that long before.. After about 3 hours she started to settle down a little and after about 5 hours we were able to go home.

The next day we decided to stay put in the caravan park and just lay low so she could recover. We were given some child friendly laxatives for her to take and were told they were ‘fast acting’ so we wanted to stay close to the bathrooms. However, nothing was fast acting and she remained a little sore for most of the day. It’s also hard on the family when we just sit around and do nothing, everyone gets on everyone’s nerves, Frankie becomes restless etc.. thankfully the park where we stayed had a pool so we were able to lie around in that for a while.

The next day the plan was to go and see Josephine Falls and then pack up and head towards to Townsville. Olivia still felt a little sore though as she still hadn’t managed to go to the bathroom, so Sarah, Frankie and Wayne went to the falls. About 30 mins after they left, Olivia and I walked over to the bathrooms to clean our teeth etc. I was walking back to the van to tidy up when I heard her screaming and I ran back to find her on the floor again. Quickly went up to reception to call a cab so they could take us to hospital, but the caravan owner was very sweet and quickly drove us in instead. This time the nurses spent more time with her, and gave her heat packs, a concoction of ‘who knows what’ but something that would surely make her pass a motion soon.. After about 2 hours she needed to use the bathroom and we finally had success !!! Wayne had rushed back from the falls in the meantime (with a pillow pet as a present) and as I followed Liv out of the bathrooms we were doing high fives behind her back.. who would have thought POO could be so exhilarating ? We were sent home with medication and lots of promises to drink more water, eat more pears and a herbal laxative now and again. .

A little smile from Lulu xx

Hanging out in Innisfail Caravan Park with Frankie.. I missed her after being in hospital all night x

Josephine Falls 

In Wayne’s words : Josephine Falls is about 20kms North from Innisfail. It was a short walk to the falls and it was beautiful. Surrounded by rainforest.

The Falls

Sweet Sarah x


We decided to only stay 1 night in Townsville instead of the 3 that we had originally planned. After our impromptu stay at Palm Cove for 5 days we needed to cut back on some days through this part of QLD. Wayne convinced us to do a FREE camp this night so we found a pleasant spot that had WATER and TOILETS. There was also a park and it backed onto an oval. It was pretty nice I admit, for an overnighter. Olivia was feeling better, although still a little crampy but we felt comfortable that she would be able to sleep well etc. We set up and then went into Townsville to check it out. Another water park along the foreshore seemed to be the place to start. Similar to Cairns Water Park and it was PACKED, being a Saturday afternoon ! The girls all got wet had a play and then we walked along the boardwalk for a bit. After a coffee stop we all got back in the car and drove around. Townsville is a lot bigger than what I had thought and the houses that are dotted all around the mountain were beautiful. We drove up to the lookout, which was about 3km long and very windy and hilly. Lots of women and men exercising along here. Wayne’s answer to my questions of ‘WHY are there so many beautiful women in Townsville running’. ARMY Jo, they either work for the Army, training for the Army or need to get a promotion in the Army…mmm really Wayno ? Couldn’t they just be addicted to exercise itself ? Just because we aren’t.. NO way Jo.. ARMY ! (I love this man).

The view was once again lovely.. We’ve seen so many views from various lookouts now.. but still breathtaking..

“Gonna take you for a ride in a red sea plane”

View from the TOP !

Check out the house ! Olivia and Wayne were fascinated.

Wayne took this photo with his new lens. He sat outside in the paddock, with his chair, his headphones and his beer and managed to get this beautiful shot. I love it.


Goodbye Townsville and hello Airlie Beach..or so we thought. We were about 30 kms from Airlie when we noticed a Fire in the distance. A few people had pulled off the side of the road and we thought we’d better put our two-way radio on. Found out quite quickly that the roads were closed, so we beaded back into Bowen instead. We were planning on just driving into Bowen one day from Airlie as Wayne has a family friend that lives there, but we ended up staying 1 night. The whole town of Bowen had no power for a few hours, so it was a like a ghost town. We set up the van once again and by this time it was late in the afternoon. The big news about BOWEN of course is that the Baz Luhrmann’ film AUSTRALIA was filmed here. It’s amazing to think that they transformed this town to look like Darwin. There is a cleared field I guess you could call it, across from the Jetty and this is where the stockyards and the township in the movie were filmed. Everything was made only for the movie and pulled down after filming. Bowen itself looks like a really pretty town and if we had more time we may have stayed another night. Wayne’s friend lives just out of Bowen towards Airlie so we headed there for a visit and a cuppa. They live on 2 and a half acres and it’s so different to where we live in Perth. Very quiet, serene and peaceful. .

Hollywood comes to Bowen !

So that’s about it for this past week.. Still enjoying it, we have become more relaxed in some instances and more anxious in others (mainly my disgust with public toilets – I HATE THEM).. I’ll get over it.. maybe..

Take care everyone, until next week



Week 10 (and part of 11)

Handing this one over to Wayne again……..

Sorry we are a few days late again, but its hard to get to the computer with all the lazing about to do!


Well the pace of this holiday has definitely changed now, we are crawling compared to the ground we covered in the early weeks crossing the Nullarbor and up the centre. We haven’t filled the car in a week and yet I still hit the sack each night feeling knackered.  Griffo and I see all the retired couples sitting peacefully outside their immaculately polished and well organised Caravans or Winebago’s. In the morning’s they are drinking cups of tea, reading the paper or their favourite mills and boon. The afternoon brings on a bottle of wine, biscuits, crackers and cheese whilst the roast dinner cooks in the mini gas webber’s (they smell great!). They are having a ball and so are we, but it would be nice to find some of that extended peace for a change, not sure the kids agree. That said most of the old dears look at the kids, particularly Frankie and reminisce about their grand children back home who they miss desperately.

Well Griffo has already detailed the Cairns Coconut Caravan Park and Cairns esplanade etc.. Not a great deal to add other than poor Sarah had her backpack stolen from Cairns McDonalds. Pretty much my fault I forgot to ensure she had it on the way out and by the time we went back in the store it was gone. Poor thing was very disappointed, it contained her DS-lite, her camera and a few other precious things.Interestingly the thing she was most upset about was the photographs on the camera, she realised that she could never get them back, I didnt think that would hit home so quickly… I hope this is the sum of things we lose over the holiday, fingers crossed….

Well we did manage to get out of coconut land a couple of times. We headed up the mountain to Kuranda on the Skyrail. It was a dodgy day, raining with a lot of low lying cloud. But it never took away from the amazing Skyrail. Ive been on Skyrails before, one very dodgy one in Dalat, Vietnam but not like this. It just kept going up and up and up, there were a few nervous moments. Particularly as the cart transversed  the rollers at each support pole. Its all the more nerve racking when you cant see through the clouds to where your going and you don’t like heights. But Frankie and I made small talk and it was all good. One of the stops on the way to Kuranda village was at a Barron Falls lookout, not a bad view.

Looking back towards Cairns

Up, Up and Up

Barron Falls

Look Mum this thing spins!

Kuranda Village is a nice place, well adjusted for the tourist. Unfortunately the rain spoiled the day a little, but it was still nice to wander through the market stalls, shops have lunch at a pleasant cafe. It was also my first chance to play with my new 70-300mm lens, which was not suited to the day at all, but needed to be played with.

To get down the mountain we took the Heritage Train which was a lovely trip. The view from the train in some places as we came down the hill was breath taking. Some of the places people have built their houses is amazing. I can imagine in this region there must be some houses which enjoy spectacular views all year round!


Kuranda Market Stall

Cairns / Kuranda Rail

Our Carriage

Down, Down and Down

Palm Cove

On one of our days exploring the various bays of Cairns, we drove into Palm Cove and immediately liked it. Whats not to like, theres strip of expensive shops and restaurants which Griffo loves. Theres a jetty for fishing and a boat ramp to make it easy to get the kayak in the water which suits me.  Theres a playground on the beach strip which suits the kids and a caravan park opposite the water, happy days, and so it was… It was little windy for the first couple of days but then it came good and it was magic.

We got into the habit of walking down the strip each morning for coffee and hot chocolates for the kids, before hitting the playground and watching the day go buy. We also indulged a bit more than we usually do, but heh the cars not taking all our money for petrol these days so why the hell not.

Then there was BIG news, I caught my first fish, good thing I bought a zoom lens. I didnt even take a photo of the sucker, I immediately stuck a large hook through it and flicked out as live bait hoping to catch the monster. No more luck, but I did get to sit on my lazy chair and enjoy a couple of beers with the rod in the water, gold!!! The next day I put the yak in, the water was glassed off like a lake, a pleasure to be out. I flicked the lure about and trawled for a bit but no luck. It was more fun towing the kids on their boggie boards. Another beautiful day.

Palm Cove Dusk

Morning Hot Chocolate!



Palm Cove

A few people had mentioned a Butterfly Sanctuary at Kuranda so we thought we would take a drive and have a look. It was excellent, they breed and release 1500-2000 butterfly’s into the aviary each week, so it was jam  packed with fluttering colour. The butterfly’s are attracted to bright colours and they loved Olivia’s straw hat. Frankie kept kicking at them as they landed on her white shoes.

Whilst there we also took in some more markets and local coffee. Olivia was wrapped when found a second hand book seller with two Roald Dahl books that she doesn’t have. Both for the reasonable sum of $6, bargain. Hopefully we will have most of the Olivia’s Dahl collection sorted by the end of this trip. I just wish he wrote five and six hundred pages per book rather than two hundred, she’s reading them in a night!!! Little miss Sarah continues to spend her pocket money on everyone but herself, she seems to really love giving to others. It was a nice moment to see Sarah get a new bag to replace the stolen one, she’s very happy with it. Olivia is always broke and continues to make the most of Sarah’s giving nature, what are siblings for, right……

Butterfly Sanctuary

Butterfly Sanctuary

Butterfly Sanctuary

Sarah’s New Bag

Well thats about it for the week.We decided to stay in Palm Cove for a few more days and pick up a barrier reef tour next week, until then enjoy the 9-5 gigs.



Week 9

Wow, can’t believe it’s October already ! This year is certainly buzzing by and it will be Christmas before we know it. Already our girls are wondering how Santa will find them in the caravan, and Olivia especially is suspicious. Her suspicions started when we did a tour of Uluru and the guide made a comparison (can’t remember exactly what though) between ‘something’ and Santa. I couldn’t believe he said it and I quickly looked at Sarah who didn’t pick up on it and then I felt her eyes boring into the back of my head.. I turn around and Olivia is staring at me.. Later that day she asked both Wayne and I (separately) if Santa was real like the ‘tooth fairy and the easter bunny’ ? Both of which she no longer believes in. Wayne and I got something right though, as our response was the same :

IF YOU DON’T BELIEVE, YOU DON’T RECEIVE… That kept her quiet… for now !

The last week and a bit we have been in Port Douglas and Cairns. .

Port Douglas 

We arrived in Port Douglas after leaving Cooktown and immediately had such a great vibe about the place. Can’t explain it really, like many places up this way it’s just so peaceful and vibrant. We were a little disappointed about the Caravan Park being a little way out of PD itself (a whole 8 km’s) but the park itself was really nice with a slide in the pool and a jumping pillow so for us it was a done deal. When we checked in we noticed a site was free right beside the pool, the caretaker tried to talk us out of it as there wasn’t much shade, but we have an awning and there were trees and after quickly weighing up that we could see the kids (Lulu and Sarah) in the pool from the caravan window, we decided to brave the heat and we snapped it up. Turned out it was perfect anyway. The girls made lots of little friends here and they were kept entertained.

We were in Port Douglas for 5 days. The first 3 days were spent just going into town, eating and shopping, checking out the famous markets on Sunday and spending time in the pool at the caravan park. Everyday was sunny and hot. The last 2 we spent exploring the Daintree (as much as we could by car) and going to Mossman Gorge.

Mossman Gorge was spectacular. It was crammed with people (again – school holidays) and hard to get a spot to sit down. We had planned on taking a picnic down there but ended up having our picnic where the bus departs just at the top of the gorge. Glad we did, otherwise we would have eaten standing up. The Gorge itself was ice-cold, but what a place. . Something we’ll never forget.

Port Douglas

Mossman Gorge



Arrived in Cairns a few days ago. This is the place that we have talked about since we left home in August and it’s all due to the Caravan Park ! Sounds silly I know but some of the parks we’ve stayed at haven’t had much in the way of ‘things to do’ for the girls. Mainly at the overnighters that we’ve used, so we’ve continued to say ‘wait til we get to Cairns and Coconuts’.. then I remembered that we hadn’t actually booked a spot and it was school holidays. Thankfully we were lucky and managed to get a ‘bus site’ (lucky for us our van is considered a ‘large’ rig although it doesn’t feel like that when you’re living in it 24/7). I’ve never stayed in a park like this before, and its safe to say that Wayne hasn’t either. When we checked in we were told to leave the car and van and they took us around the park in a golf buggy (but with a frog on top) so they could give us a tour of the park. Lucky they did or we would have been lost within minutes. The park is like Disneyland. . slight exaggeration and I’ve never been to Disneyland but it feels like it. There are 3 pools, each with slides and wading pools for babies, there’s a huge playground with an interactive bike trail that runs around the edge for scooters and bmx bandits etc (Sarah fallen off a few times) 2 huge jumping pillows, a water splash park that is the #1 attraction. Outdoor movie nights, indoor movies throughout the day, all day everyday. Free pancakes on Thursday’s and not just a pancake slapped on a paper plate either. They set up tables and chairs in the ‘garden pool’ and they have lucky door prizes AND sugar, lemon and maple syrup.. I mean c’mon! Then there’s the tennis, the mini golf, the table tennis, the fire engine truck that comes around every 2nd day, the water aerobics and the cafe on site and the snorkelling lessons,honesty… the kids are in heaven so we’ve not left the park much. .

We have been into Cairns though, spent some time along the Esplanade and the Cairns Lagoon. I thought Perth was pretty well set up for the great outdoors, but not compared to this place. Perth Foreshore could take a hint or 2 from this place. The Muddys playground is H U G E and so is the Lagoon that is right in the middle of Cairns CBD. You can’t swim in the water so why not make a man-made beach ? Sounds pretty simple.. Have to add though, the beaches up here are not much compared to Perth/WA.. We are pretty spoilt and I feel a little guilty for slamming the place I live and love 🙂

We drove out to Palm Cove yesterday.  I liked Palm Cove even more than Cairns and we are going to stay there for 4 nights after Coconuts. A little shire run caravan park, right opposite the beach and right in the middle of the cafe/shopping precinct. Wayne’s happy that there is a jetty, I’m happy because there are cute little boutiques everywhere and a million places to have a coffee. I could see myself living in a place like Palm Cove. Sarah still not up for a ‘sea change’ however. We are supposed to be heading south down the coast, but after driving to PC and loving it for the 2 hours we spent there, we thought ‘why not’ we have nowhere to be for a couple of months.. It’s good to be this free.

We were planning on doing the Skyrail and the Reef tour while we were in Cairns, but had a few little hiccups (nothing major) so we will do it from Palm Cove now.. All in all, we are all feeling very chilled and relaxed in this part of the world.

Cairns lagoon.. (pic not that great, taken on my iphone)

Cairns Esplanade.. and Wayne telling fibs about a red cone in the mudflats being dinosaurs remains. Kids believed him too.

SPLASH park.. the kids are there at the moment so I can write this blog in peace actually !

Lulu and Sarah x

(Wayne has taken some amazing photo’s of Cairns and Port Douglas, but I’ve been unable to upload them as the file is too large).

I know I’ve dedicated a lot this blog to Coconuts and at the end of the day it’s just a caravan park, but it still doesn’t stop us from singing all the time ‘I’ve got a lovely bunch of Coconuts’…

I think we’ve finally slowed down a little.  We are not just on this trip for a month, we have 8 months so it’s ok to have a few days where we do absolutely nothing. Today it’s hot but cloudy and a little rainy. I think we will go on a bike ride later this afternoon but for now the girls are in the pool with Wayne and I’m here in the van writing this blog while Frankie has a little sleep and then I’ll think about maybe making a Banana cake.

Until next time…


Mid-Week R A N T

Lots of people have been asking questions such as : What’s it like living in van? What are we doing for food? etc etc.

There’s so much ‘other’ stuff that goes on. It’s not all sightseeing and happy snaps, so for my memory and for your curiosity here are some ‘MUNDANE’ rants about what really goes on in this caravan of luurve !

Space (as in personal space)

There is none.

There’s no room to move, 1 person only at all times is allowed in kitchen area (which is also the wardrobe area and Olivia’s bedroom and bathroom). We also have to walk sideways to get to this ‘area’ and if Sarah is in her wardrobe (her 1 drawer) and I’m trying to get past her to get to the kettle.. LOOK OUT because there is a bit of yelling.. and really, there is no need to raise voices because we are ALWAYS within earshot. Does this do our heads in after almost 10 weeks on the road ? The answer is YES.

Alone time (as in personal alone all by myself time)

Again, there is none. . not really anyway.

Wayne and I came to a decision about a month or so ago, that we each needed about an hour a day to have on our own. Whether it be alone in the van, alone in the pool, fishing, shopping.. anything really that lets up regroup and take a breath and just BE. So far, this hasn’t happened and I’m not really sure why. Wayne has been fishing a few times and in order for him to do this he has to pretty much work his arse off, and not because I make him either. I think he feels guilty so he insists on making dinner and bathing Frankie, while I sort the 2 older girls out. Can’t leave Frankie on her own at all – not that we would – but she’s fallen off the bed already (and it’s quite a fall) and she can reach the oven etc etc. About 10 mins before he leaves, Frankie starts crying (or screaming a better word) something she never ever does, so he leaves with a heavy heart and guilt. He’s usually back within about 2 hours sans fish ! He’s done this 3 times in 10 weeks.. When we first had this talk about ‘alone’ time, I chose the 3.oopm slot and he chose the 11am slot.. but it’s never happened. We are either travelling in the car, out and about somewhere or we just plain forget about it. Wayne will take the girls to the park and vice-versa, this is when we usually are doing housework though. . Maybe we don’t need the time alone as much as we think we do ?


I’m being as honest as I know how when I say I love doing Laundry. Actually, I guess this could be classed as ‘alone’ time as it takes a while and usually I’m on my own. In Port Douglas the Laundry area was really nice. It was outside amongst the palm trees, lots of tables in the sun and magazines. Their wash cycle was 40 mins, so I snuck up there, took my coffee and it was quiet and peaceful. Olivia found me, then Sarah and then I saw Wayne and the pram and my serenity went out the window.. I think he cottoned on somehow, but it’s not just the washing, you then get to hang it out and that’s easily another 20 mins or so.. The most annoying thing is that the  machines are almost always old, they don’t wash clothes well, some rip the clothes, I’ve yet to get  a stain out of clothing and that’s with stain remover. It say’s it’s washing the clothes with COLD water but the clothes all come out HOT.. and they cost up to $7 a load. Even though we all have limited clothes with us, there is always so much washing to be done. It really is never ending, but at least it’s a way of forcing us into ALONE time. Even today Wayne and I both had a discussion about who was doing the laundry. Frankie was all wet from the pool, her swimming nappy hanging down to her knees.. she had biscuit everywhere, through her hair and all over her hands.. He said ‘do you want to sort Frankie or do the washing?’. I said very quickly, yet begrudgingly (do not want him to know the truth YET) ‘I guess I’ll do the laundry then’ !.. and stalked off.. Win to me..


We have a ‘full size’ fridge in the van. Or so we thought.. it’s probably a 3/4 size fridge/freezer and while it can hold a fair amount of food, it’s not enough. Not with 5 water bottles, and Milk and Beer etc. We are at the grocery store probably every 3 days. We also have a WAECO which is in the car 24/7 which is perfect, because we can use that as a fridge/freezer too and we’d be lost without it. The good thing is that we are more organised with what we eat everyday and so far we haven’t really been stuck without dinner. We get takeaway probably once a week and a couple of times a week we will go somewhere for lunch. We could get easily carried away and think ‘we’re on holidays, lets eat out again’ but in reality we are gone for 8 months and we’ve been really good with trying to remain normal when it comes to mealtimes. I’m actually impressed with myself because usually I would be the one who would want to eat out all the time. The kitchen is small  but we have everything we need and surprisingly it’s very easy to cook in. I don’t even miss the dishwasher, we only have 5 of everything anyway so there’s never much to wash up.


We have a TV in the van, and Wayne also made sure we took our Apple Tv with us. At a lot of places we only get 2 tv stations anyway and most of the time we don’t even turn it on.I couldn’t tell you what was happening in my fav shows and apart from watching ABC 2 or 3 every now and again it’s mainly used to view the photo’s that Wayne has taken. We do have a few series that we have been watching, like Nikita and Person of Interest etc.. once the kids go to bed. We have about 1000 movies but we’ve yet to watch 1. This is a good thing, before this trip I would watch television a lot once the kids went to bed.. just because.. not that that’s a bad thing, but it’s nice to have peace and quiet.


Wayne and I. We get ‘our’ time together once the kids go to bed. I miss him, and he tells me the same. Usually this is the time that we figure out where we are going next and what things we want to see. I google stuff, he edits his photo’s, we listen to some music, he falls asleep and I am usually the one who stays up late. I guess this is the only time we both get to THINK or RELAX and it seems to take me ages to wind down. Look out family in Sydney .. you are on BIG TIME BABY SITTING DUTIES 🙂 People had said before we left that it would be hard to find time together. Even though we are with each 24/7 we  are mummy and daddy most of this time. I’m not complaining.. honestly I’m not !


This is something that should be happening right ? I mean we have no where to be for 8 months.. Frankie dictates what time is wake up time (Sarah too, she’s also an early riser) As soon as Miss Frankie is up, the other girls wake up with big smiles on their faces. Frankie loves being able to see everyone and is so happy that it’s hard not to wake up smiling. We do however put her in the bed with her 2 sisters and they play for a bit while Wayne and I try to go back to sleep, but it doesn’t long. I have constant bags under my eyes and look extremely tired ALL the time. Just the way it is.

Kids bedtime

Sarah and Frankie are awesome. Sarah puts herself to bed, anywhere between 6.30-7.30pm. Off she goes without a worry. Frankie goes to bed about 7pm and she’s also pretty easy. I lie down with her, sing her a song and then 9/10 times she’s asleep within 10 mins and we don’t hear from her until morning. Olivia is NEVER tired,and she is also the  one who is the most energetic during the day. I don’t know how she just keeps on going and going and going. She uses every delay tactic she can think of. We usually let her stay up a little longer, play a game with her etc but it’s the end of the day and Wayne and I are craving ‘our’ time at this point. She’ll eventually go to bed, but because her bunk is in the middle of the caravan she hears everything, like the Fridge, the kettle, us talking. . It’s not ideal but once she’s asleep she’s a very sound sleeper and she doesn’t wake up until morning either. The good thing about all 3 girls is that Wayne and I can be talking/laughing/ and they don’t wake up.


I hate them. All of them. Wayne doesn’t mind them at all. In fact he refuses to shower in our caravan as he thinks it’s too small and it probably is for him. He’s pretty tall and has broad shoulders. I love my shower and have only used the public showers twice and that was because they were very very clean. I find it so much easier to wash the girls in the caravan shower than I do taking them to the shower block. Everything is already here, they jump in and wash themselves and jump out again. Easy.. however, they would prefer to use the shower block like their daddy. I think they believe it’s an adventure. So more often than not he’ll take them with him. I prefer not to think about it. They come back nice and clean and assure me that they didn’t see strange naked men. Doesn’t happen all the time, but if they are really dirty and I’m cooking dinner and Wayne wants them to go to bed early, he just grabs their stuff and then takes them over. Frankie is easy. We either wash her in the tub outside if it’s still warm or she uses the laundry sink or the baby bath.

Travelling with a baby 

People thought we were crazy with a capital C. Not all people I admit, but some! She’s been the BEST little camper in the entire world. At first there were a few teething problems. She had an ear infection before we even left Perth and was in a lot of pain. We were staying with friends for a week before we got our van and she pretty much screamed their house down the entire time. Very unusual for her, but we finally got it sorted and she had to have antibiotics for 3 weeks while we were traveling. It took her probably 2 weeks to get settled. New surroundings, new bed and travelling in the car for hours on end was not something she was used to. She’s great now though, doesn’t really muck up in the car, she usually sleeps and then we feed her and that always makes her happy. She’s more than happy to just crawl (now walk) around the van site, play with dirt and sand and mud and gravel. She’s good in the pram, she loves the water too so now we are in the hotter climate she’s been in the pool a lot. As much as she has been easy, she’s also the one we have to watch constantly. We can let the big girls go for a bike ride and play in the playground without us being there etc.. but that means 1 or both of us (Wayne and I) are on Frankie duty. No time to relax, but it’s worth it. We both know how precious this time is with her. Wayne is so lovely with Frankie. He adores her and is all over her. Every time I look over he’s kissing her cheek, picking her up, tickling her. He’s mentioned more than once that he loves watching her fall asleep and that he never got to see that with the other kids because he was working. We’re trying hard not to take this time we have with Frankie being so little for granted. Looking at Lu and Sarah we know how fast it goes. So it’s hectic yes, but we get so many kisses from her and we are always laughing.


Haven’t seen too many. There are a few mozzies and in outback QLD there were a lot of larger flying insect things that made me eat my dinner inside rather than outside. I’m sure they are coming.. but so far so good !


Finally we have this sorted. We all have jobs to do and we get it done in an hour. That’s from the time we stumble out of bed, have breakfast, do the dishes, get dressed and packed up. The van is pretty easy to pack up, and Wayne has the most to do outside. Setting up the van takes a little longer if we are planning on staying more than 1 night somewhere., but that’s because we’re making the van our home for the next week or so, so we are sweeping, getting chairs out, putting up the shade cloth and taking bikes off the rack etc. Still, it’s pretty easy. The van itself needs a massive clean on the outside. Inside is OK. Doesn’t take long to clean but the dirt is everywhere.. I’ve learnt to close my eyes (Pinchy – you would be proud of me) but I still don’t like anyone on my bed unless they’ve JUST had a shower. I hate dirty feet on my doona !

Noisy neighbours

This hasn’t been a problem with us. We are probably the noisy ones. I think we’ve just gotten used to the noise, the traffic etc. At times it’s noisier than others but it hasn’t bothered us.


Yep, expensive. At times we have paid around $800 a week for diesel. Mainly when we were travelling from NT into QLD and then outback QLD into Far North Qld. Hoping it will settle down a little now as we aren’t travelling long distances for a while. I couldn’t tell you the prices though, there has been too many petrol stations and too many ‘one sided’ discussions on petrol prices and fuel economy. I’ve learned to switch off ! Thankyou Raybo (father inlaw) for insisting we get the long range fuel tank..

Premium CARAVAN sites

Hard to get. We all want to be near either the toilet block or the playground. Asking the question is usually met with a hostile glare from reception, followed by ‘I don’t think we have any sites in that position’ only to be told by Wayne later that ‘yes you do actually, site # 4545 is free’ and then ‘oh that’s right, well ok then you can have that one’.Geez, it’s a hard gig.


My routine is as follows. Have shower, wash hair every 2nd or 3rd day, comb it, slap on sunscreen.. DONE. Sometimes I will put some mascara and gloss on if I can be bothered, but usually not. You wouldn’t recognise me.


Wayne thinks we are a travelling nightclub. His favourite thing to do is crank up the itunes on the outdoor speakers and then walk away. See, we really are the noisy  neighbours. I get embarrassed and turn it down, only to have him turn it back up upon his return. He’s obsessed with anything electronic. He has this van wired up to within an inch of it’s life. We have everything you could think of and he’s made little hanging leads and hooks so they are easy to get to. Everything has it’s own power lead and no one has to go far to charge anything. Just reach your arm and grab. You’re certain to get what you’re looking for.

We are all so very lucky to be experiencing this trip and although we sometimes get narky at one another and miss our own space, that is very quickly forgotten once we see a truly spectacular waterfall or a group of cows wandering through a meadow, beautiful vista’s, ULURU and the Atherton Tablelands. We are taking it all in… and thanks to the blogosphere and our weekly blogs I’ll never forget it.I’m so glad I can share with friends and family what’s happening in our world at the moment, but even more than that, we’ll always be able to look back and read about it. Especially the girls as I’m sure somethings they wont remember.

So if you’ve managed to stay awake whilst reading this blog I shall say goodnight.It seems I will be serenaded to sleep by the green tree frogs outside my bedroom window.. I’m one lucky lady (seriously I am)..

(Paul Probin – it’s midnight.. no spell check but feel free to edit if you like, I’ll send you my password) x

Week 8

Yes, I’m a day late.. but I’ve had writers block (due to the shockingly overwhelming response that Wayne received).. Green eyed monster is sleeping – for now…

Atherton Tablelands 

Without going back to the Antichrist blog to see exactly where he left off, I’m pretty confident we had just arrived in Atherton and spent the day checking out all the waterfalls. Such a pretty place, and the scenery is etched in my memory for always. We also spent the day at Lake Barrine and Lake Eacham. We did a boat tour of Lake Barrine and it was surprisingly very interesting. A quirky lady was the boat driver and she kept the girls entertained. We learnt about turtles, eels, ducks and even pythons. The plants surrounding the water’s edge were magnificent (I know.. just plants but I’m serious).. After the cruise we had lunch overlooking the lake and basically we could have stayed there for hours. It was very peaceful..

Lake Barrine


After lunch we went for a drive and ended up at Lake Eacham. Wayne had the Kayak still on the roof, so a perfect opportunity for him to go for a paddle and the girls a swim. I didn’t take my bathers so was a little unprepared for this impromptu swim, but I found a large tree and soaked up the sun with Miss Frankie, until she also got to jump in the kayak with her Daddy. We had been told about this lake, a ‘must do’ before we left the tablelands.

Lake Eacham

Wayne and his Kayak

Still in Atherton… We also went to a town called Mareeba where they make coffee and chocolates, and spent half the day at a place called ‘Coffee Works’. You pay a certain amount of money and you can have the run of the place, tasting as many coffee blends, tea and chocolates. They have a huge display too where they have coffee and tea memorabilia from around the world. It’s a self guided tour with a hand-held audio speaker which the girls loved. I loved the gift shop and spent accordingly!

This is the day we also visited the Fig Tree and the Cathedral Tree. . I’ll let the pictures do the talking.. WOW !

Cathedral Tree


This wasn’t somewhere that we had planned on visiting, but after meeting a few people who had recently been we thought the 300km trip may be worth it. We arrived late afternoon and the first thing we did after setting up was go for a swim. The pool at the caravan park was beautiful and the best one we had swum in so far. The girls were very excited as it wasn’t freezing like the others and even Frankie got in. Sarah was impressed with the parks bathrooms too. It’s all about the bathrooms with Sarah, I wonder where she gets that from ?

After our swim we drove into Cooktown down to the docks and Wayne chatted to the fisherman (still yet to catch a fish) we watched the sunset and then got some fish and chips for tea. We had 1 full day to explore the town so we got up early (early for us) and went to the Captain Cook Museum, Heritage walk through the cemetery and also visited the lighthouse lookout. The Museum was pretty good, although I found the Aboriginal stories a lot more interesting than good old Captain Cook! The girls were pretty impressed with the Anchor though and also the dentist equipment from years gone by… they are funny little kids.

The view from the lookout was breathtaking ! The water a gorgeous turquoise colour, shame we weren’t allowed to swim.. Bloody Crocs !

Another little town that we are glad we made the effort to see.

View from the lighthouse



The Docks..

We left Cooktown and are now in Port Douglas. Rather than split PD in 2 blogs, I think I will wait for next week. I need to start writing these blogs earlier in the day, I’ve clearly lost my MOJO this week (thanks Wayne) but I do have some special mentions : Paul – I will do a spell check and Hayley – Now you’ve commented on Wayne’s blog, you’ll have to do the same for me.. It’s just the way it is 🙂

Thanks for reading.. Until next time, The traveling Morrells