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THE DALY TRIPPERS – STARTING OUR BIG LAP

29 Sep 2020

We are the Daly Trippers and we set off on our Big Lap in December 2019 in our Avan Aspire 617. We are happy to be blogging and sharing our journey as we go. The good, the bad, the ugly and the great camping spots we find. But let’s rewind a few weeks.  

It is the beginning of December and after a year of planning and writing lists the time has finally come! We are on our final countdown, 15 days in fact, until we hit the road, hair blowing in the wind and nothing but adventures in front of us. 

If I could compare the energy in the air at the moment to anything it would be to organising our wedding 12 years ago. There are a million things to do before we leave and nothing is getting done as quickly as planned, but we are getting there and learning to be patient in the meantime. That is what travelling is all about right? Learning to stop and smell the roses? 

So we started planning a year ago, maybe two, but seriously started this year when the decision was made that this was definitely what we wanted to do. The Big Lap, see the country and spend some quality time together. The real Aussie Dream. 

Up until about a month ago it was a slow slog, we couldn’t do one thing without having to wait for another thing to be done, now all of a sudden its full steam ahead and everything is snowballing! The house sold with a quick settlement which meant we were in the swags for a week before we got our hands on our van. No biggie, we love our swag setup and got to have a few days at the awesome Thunderbird Park on Tamborine Mountain with limited phone reception, which was amazing. 

Thunderbird Park, if you haven’t been, is an amazing camp spot set in the middle of the rainforest with cabins, camping and a whole heap of family friendly activities including a high ropes course, thunder egg fossicking, mini putt putt, horse riding and much more.  

It is a gateway to one of the most gorgeous parts of the Gold Coast Hinterland and is surrounded by natural beauties such as Cedar Creek Falls and Curtis Falls, with a short drive into the little bustling township of Tamborine Mountain. 

Tamborine Mountain is renowned for its cafes, art galleries, wineries and a stunning view from the Hang Gliders Lookout amongst others. 

Definitely a must see if you are heading this way and want to avoid the hustle and bustle of the Gold Coast. 

We have now had our Van for a week and it has been interesting! Trying to figure out what goes where and how everything comes together, it is like a very big puzzle with no right answer. But we are getting there and it is starting to feel like home! 

We have grabbed all our stuff from storage and done numerous trips to put stuff back! We have dropped it off to have solar and battery set up done only to pick it back up again because of a delay with getting our batteries. It is now getting dropping back off Tuesday. We have also had a new ALKO hitch put on to make life easier. Stickers made with our logo to put on the car and the van, so we stand out and maybe it might curb the road rage, maybe. Computer and TV set up complete so work and chill time can commence and much more. It is all the little stuff trying to fit our life into our new tiny space. 

We have been told many times that culling will happen numerous times on the road and I have no doubt, it has already happened a number of times! It is quite an eye opener how much stuff you accumulate when you have the space to do so.  

So what is left to do before we head off? 

Our last big task is getting solar and the battery set up installed. We are taking the Van up the Sunshine Coast to get that completed, once done we will be pretty self sufficient and be able to go off grid for as long as we like and see the most amazing places, so stay tuned. 

We then plan to head off late December heading straight down to country Victoria for Xmas with family. Our first destination once on the road from there will be down to Phillip Island to see the penguin parade, hopefully free camping all the way and finding some top spots to share. 

For now we are finalising the Van and what we are taking, which will more than likely be culled again before we go, kids are finishing school and we are doing lots of catch ups with friends and family before we go. 

So you have decided to travel Oz? Here are our top tips. 

1. Start following families that are already out there doing it now. This will motivate you on a whole other level but will also give you a list of places you might want to see. Disclaimer: Do not do this if you are not prepared to hit the road at some stage in the future as you will get major FOMO. 

2. Download Wikicamps and every time you see someone mention a cool place, put it in your planner. Ours is loaded and we know we may not get to see everything but we have heaps of options as we go. 

3. Be patient. Everything will happen when it is meant to happen. This was very hard for us, still is but it is so true. 

4. Go and see the Caravans at the dealerships before you go to Caravan shows. We found seeing them at the dealerships we could take our time and didn’t get wrapped up in the “show specials”.  

5. Stop making excuses and just do it! We had two businesses, two kids in school, and we are a FIFO family. We spent a long time using these as excuses. You can make it work if you really want to you just need to figure out how. How it will work is different for everyone. Life is too short to be doing the 9-5 grind forever.