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Endless Summer - Travelling Australia In A Van
Our in-house illustrator, Lilly and her husband Cristian are living the great Australian dream. They converted an old 2006 Iveco cargo van into a tiny home on wheels, and have set out from South Coast NSW to conquer the big lap of Australia.
Their goal was to follow the sun, soak up inspiration and explore the vastness of this country, and at five months into their trip they are surpassing their expectations and encompassing outback van life.
So! Where have you been and where are you heading?
We've travelled all the way up the east coast from Currarong to the Daintree, then headed across the Great Dividing Range, out through Central QLD, and all the way down to Alice Springs and Uluru. Then we headed up the guts to Darwin, down and across through the Kimberley, and finally now we've entered Western Australia and are exploring the beautiful Pilbara.
Next up, we'll make our way south, along the coast to Perth with a quick detour to Bali (it's only a 3 hour flight!) and back down and around the coast into South Australia, across the Nullabor, over to Tasmania, and finally finish up with Victoria before returning home!
WOW - That's a massive trip, how are you finding it all?
It's pretty big! But we're both turning 30 this year and just got married so we really wanted to go all out with a bang. We are absolutely loving it! It's incredible to seeing the ever changing landscape of this country. From dense overgrown tropics to arid dry desert where you see nothing but the grassy horizon, and then into incredible red mountain ranges - its the craziest thing. We keep trying to tell people about it but really, you've just got to get out there and try and see it for yourself. It's indescribable!
We found the first month a challenge, with the floods and wet weather of the East coast, but finally got our footing once we passed through Mid Queensland. Living on the road has been a huge adventure.
Be honest, what are the best and worst things about travelling/living in a van?
Ha easy - FUEL!! We had not expected fuel to double in price after one month of leaving on our trip, our entire budget had to double thanks to this.
Another negative thing was the lack of personal space, although this is an easy fix as Cristian will often opt to sit outside and I'll get some quiet time in the van and vice versa. Going days without reception in remote areas can be a challenge, but its been healthy to disconnect from my phone!
We also battled a mouse plague in Alice Springs - I won't go into it because the trauma of mice at 3am in and around our bed is still very real!
The best parts: Seeing the incredible nature, the plants, animals and bird life is just breath taking. Allowing ourselves to slow down and enjoy simple things like cooking meals (we have an oven, fridge and plumbing so this has been a dream!), campfires at night, free camping out in the bush and desert, waking up to incredible sunrises over mountains, beaches and dunes. Endless inspiration! Being able to pick and choose adventure after adventure, following the sun and escaping winter!
Can you give us a break down of your favourite places per state so far?
New South Wales - we actually had to skip all of northern NSW due to floods and bad weather so hope to do that again in the future
Queensland - Fraser Island, Eumundi, Upper Stoney Creek, The Great Barrier Reef, The Daintree Rainforest, Atherton Tablelands, Urunda Lava Tubes
Northern Territory - Uluru & Kata Tjuta National Park, Karlu Karlu (Devil's Marbles), Kings Canyon, West Macdonnel Ranges, Berry Springs & Mataranka natural spa pools, Litchfield National Park (Buley Rockhole, Cascade Pools, Florence Falls & Creek), Kakadu National Park (Ubirr, The Barrk Hike).
Western Australia - Lake Argyle, Kununurra & Ord River, Broome's Cable Beach, Karijini National Park (Weano Gorge & Hancock Gorge & hiking Mt Bruce!) and the entire Pilbara Region.
It's bloody cold here in NSW, please, in detail - where are you heading next?
Haha - we're heading to the beautiful coast of Exmouth! It's right on the Ningaloo reef where the weather is averaging 27 degrees a day, sunny and the water is a stunning sapphire blue. We'll be diving with whale sharks and humpback whales, surfing and hopefully snorkelling with lots of turtles and sea life, camping on the beach at Osprey Bay and exploring the bush and coastline for a few weeks!
Thanks for giving us a chance to live vicariously through you Lilly - where can we see more of your travels?