It has been already 3 months since we reached Perth. From there we drove all the way to Melbourne, where we are at the moment.
The last time we wrote we had a breakdown and had to get it fixed in Bunbury, WA. We couldn’t find the seals anywhere in Australia so the local brakespecialist had to improvise by making a replica. Good thing it worked out! In the meanwhile we ordered the original seals in The Netherlands, which were personally delivered by Erix (that’s what we call service!).
So we could finally continue our travels, but first we had to pick up Dunja who was staying at a hostel in Margaret River. She spent her time by tasting wine at the wineries, so she was (w)fine. Happy to see each other again we went off to a campsite near Gnarabup Beach and celebrated late ‘Sinterklaas’ (an annual Dutch event), since we haven’t been together on December 5th.
The surroundings of Margaret River are beautiful. During our stay we did some wine, olive oil, cheese and chocolate tastings! In Pemberton we went to see the Giant Tingle trees, huge trees which are amazing. There was even a huge tree of 61 meters which you were able to climb up, which we did after we plucked up courage. At the parking there were a lot of (spoiled) parrots who even flew on your arm to get some food. Funny little animals.
We drove further down to Walpole and Denmark and had lunch at the Elephant Rocks. It is beautiful up there, we could sit here for hours just watching the waves hitting the rocks.
In Albany we met up with Carla and Ben. Myfanwy, who we met during camping with the Landroverclub, asked her mum if we could camp in their backyard when we arrived in Albany. So that’s what we did. They had a lovely tiny house and had a good time together. We shared some of Ben’s own brewed liquor, which was really good by the way! Don even got the chance to work for a day with (Transformer)Ben and in the meanwhile Dunja and I explored every single beach in Albany ;-)
Next destination was Esperance, which was quite a long drive. A whole day of nothing but tarmac. We were wondering how we would experience driving the Nullarbor, since we heard it’s famous for it’s… nothing, really. And that was still to come!
But first we had to explore the most beautiful beaches we had ever seen in Esperance. Esperance had his own Great Ocean Drive, a coastal drive along turquoise sea and white sandy beaches. Not bad at all!
We did some last groceries, filled up the fueltank and the jerry cans with water before we set off to Norseman. From Norseman we drove the Nullarbor Desert in 2 full days, a 1200 km long run to Ceduna, the first town. The Nullarbor is a long, straight drive with nothing but a few roadhouses and gas stations. A great experience, but we were happy to reach civilisation after a while!
In Ceduna we paid a visit to the wombat sanctuary. The owner takes care of injured or sick wombats and other wildlife which are brought in. It was funny to see how the wombats lived in her living room. They even got their own bedroom. We were able to hold some of the wombat while she was telling her amazing stories.
In Adelaide our first goal was to find a garage again, since our water pump was leaking badly. We stopped every half an hour to fill it up with water untill we reached Triumph Rover Spares to change the waterpump for a new one.
In Adelaide we’re invited by Landrover fanatic David to stay at his beautifull place in the Adelaide Hills. In the meantime we picked up Vanessa (Jenns girlfriend) from the airport. It was so good to see each other again after such a long time, and felt really familiar. We spend a few days in Adelaide Hills and even got some shooting lessons.
On the day we wanted to move on, there were some bushfires nearby. On the internet we could read that iur planned route to Robe was still accesible. So on a very hot day we drove down south, but when we reached Kingston the weather had changed. It was getting dark and a heavy wind came up. It appeared to be a cyclone coming from WA! Bushfires, cyclones on one day?! What else? We decided to stay in a cabin that night.
The next day everything was back to normal and we went for a beachdrive from Robe to Beachport. What an amazing experience! Thx for the tip, David!
We celebrated Christmas on the edge of a crater in Mt Gambier and started to drive the famous Great Ocean Road! And it was surely amazing! We went to see the sunset at the 12 Apostels and waited till the funny, small penguins came out of the sea and tumbled down onto the beach. Too bad it was already to dark and they were too far away to take any good shots – photo shots, because we didn’t want to put our shooting skills in practice ;-)
In Otway NP we went to see the lighthouse and on the road to the lighthouse we spotted so a lot of koala’s! You even could hear them grumming or whatever sound they make. We couldn’t get enough of them and stopped every time we saw one hanging in the tree. Luckily they are so lazy, that you’ve got all the time to take pictures.
We celebrated New Year’s at Sensation in the Etihad Stadium. It was a fantastic party, but also weird, because a few of Jenn’s colleagues were there as well and for a moment it felt like we were standing in the Amsterdam Arena…
As some of you know we were really longing to settle down for a while and have a bit of a normal life again. After 16 months of travelling we were a bit fed up with always being on the road and living out of the car. So we decided to settle down in Melbourne and find us a job.
We just moved into our new home, so that’s one thing. But finding a fun job makes it complete. So we’re busy job hunting and hopefully we’ll find something soon!
Oh, and there happen to be a Holland Festival in Melbourne and we will be part of the event, take a look on their website.
Our latest article for the Dutch Landrover Magazine (in Dutch!) can be found here .