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Landing at Wilson’s promentary…

Today we left Lake Tyars Beach and headed for Wilson’s Promentary which is pretty much the most Southern point of mainland Australia.

We are staying at Yanakie Caravan Park which is right on there Waters overlooking the national Park and its absolutely beautiful. The only thing missing is our four legged…. It’s national Park so we can’t take her in there… But where we are staying is awesome beach frontage so she would have loved it!

But tomorrow we head off to go walking….

#philandnadinegapyear

A couple of days at Marlo

The whole idea of taking of to the coast was to finally get some saltwater swimming and beach time! Well how this victorian weather!!!!!!

Can someone explain to me how is approaching summer and it got to a high of 19 degrees today??? COME ON!!! I have to keep working on my tan so things better start changing…

We are staying at Marlo for a couple of nights and taking of during the day to walk and explore the coast line and the parks along the rivers here.

Today we started at Cape Conran b which is quite stunning. On clear and sunny days this place would be sensational. It was still great to wind through the walk tracks and then come across little bays….and shells….so many shells! 

There is also the Gunai Boardwalk which winds it’s way around the water with some information about the site, its relevance to the local mob and some information about the many middens. 

We even stumbled across a little porcupine who tried to hide…not very well! 

We got a bit lost but ended up doing the full loop to Salmon Rocks and then doing the long climb back.
And Chessie was in beach heaven!

But I have created some collages here of all the sights and delights..some not so delightful like the slow long incline home! 

Top place …off to see more tomorrow! 
#marlo #gunaicountry #philandnadinegapyear

Farewell Canberra

So…while we wait for Phil and Chessie to recap their Canberra adventures, I will continue with a gap in the gap year! Hahahaha to many gaps! 

Anyways, we had a wonderful morning tea with Don… Now a true Canberra local! It is really lovely to be able to pop in and see friends and family while we are in the road so make no mistake, we will be calling in!

As always, Chessie gets into the shots!

Winding or way from Canberra to mystery Bay… We never thought the roads would be like this! Carrying an extra two tonnes kind of makes it a little scary when you have to show down to 35km to take a right corner…..DIN  SQUEEZE GOOD AND PROPER! 

Then we arrived at Mystery Bay Camp ground which was beautifully located beside beaches and cliffs! Chessie was chuffed that we finally got the beach!

Happiest dog in the world!

Hard not to be when you have no leash and so much space. We took off for a stroll the next day and explored the area. As we have Chessie, we are a bit limited to where we can go and unfortunately can’t go into any national Park. 


Ah well… We still have this. .

Lots to do….

And always great to see signage that acknowledges local mob.

Chessie was so chuffed she was cactus again!! Lights out at 7pm!! She is well trained now…puts herself to bed now!

 This was a really relaxing little stop. Drop in if you are down this way!

But lots of blue bottles! They were huge!

Time to pack up and hear to our next stop! 

#philandnadinegapyear #mysterybay #yuincountry

Running away??

When Phil and I decided to do the Gap Year, we had initially planned to d no work – just play which has worked pretty well so far. We have promised that the Gap Year was about making changes to our lives, relax and breathe a little more so if we can manage to keep to that, we will be happy.

We also acknowledge that what we do is a part of us and have settled into a bit of a pattern and hopefully one that enables us to balance life and work a bit better for us.

I have thrown a casual spanner into the mix with accepting a part time position with the Commonwealth Games Festival 2018 Programming Team. I had my interview weeks ago after deciding that it was a n opportunity not to be missed and an awesome experience!

The work will involve me working one day a week for the time being and also flying home to work at the Gold Coast. This will mean leaving my hubbie and dog on the road but we see that as their time to bond together J

I left for the Gold Coast the night we arrived in Canberra and spent 4 days in Brisbane and the coast which was really great. There are some awesome works I will have the honour of being involved in and I will be able to tell you more as time goes on.

It will be an interesting challenge working on the road but seriously, when my work desk gets to change all the time, I can’t complain!!

Looking forward to the future…..

#philandnadinegapyear

Day 8: Lightning Ridge to Ponto Falls

Finally…finally we left the heat and flies of Lightning Ridge and headed off to somewhere cool. Actually, the ridge was kind of cool (well not really) but it had some great things that were interesting but I think its somewhere you would have to visit in the winter. I mean, I am a North Queenslander but this heat was ridiculous and no matter what we did to cool down, other than jump in the car – nothing worked.

I guess if we head North of Perth into the Top End, we (or should I say I) am going to have to suck it up! Maybe I might just join Chessie in the car. Don’t know what she would think about sharing the backseat!

We stopped on at Walgett for morning tea. Could get to ‘Come by Chance’ this time but at least we know where it is!!!


One of the best things we have been able to do is utilise the free camps aps and books like Camp Australia and wikicamps. They have been great in being able to identify free camps, cost effective stays and cheaper caravan parks so you are not spending all of your time paying for accommodation. Downside, sometimes the maps are not accurate and if you rely on Google Maps, it takes you into the river instead of the access road beside it – case in point: Ponto Falls.

Where is Ponto Falls?? If you rely on Google….it’s in the actual river but it’s this pretty little river stream that winds its way around the bend after Walgett….actually, you can find it eventually…like we did!

We have been saying that we needed to do more practice parking and reversing the van so I got to do some in the middle of Farmer Jo’s paddock. Talk about a 300 point turn!!! This thing is like parking drunk not that I have ever done that but I can only imagine. Phil is always reminding me to steer to the trouble. It’s as good trick to remember and it does work – I just have to trust myself more!

So eventually we floated across the river – gammon ways we drove – into the lovely riverside. We pulled up right on the waterside and got out and BAM!!!! FLIES!!! FLIES!!! FLIES!!! They were incredible!!!

Put then tent up quickly and then took off into the water to cool down. Chessie was beside herself. I don’t know what it is with this dog but I am sure she can sense water over a 1km away because she started going   crazy when we hit the turn off! When she saw the water – that was it!

The water was AMAZING~ so cool and pure and refreshing it turned my hair curly again!

Dinner was like eat and run! I was cooking with a net over my head just to be fly free! I had the swatter working overtime and then we ate inside to beat them. We thought we would start a fire to get some smoke happening and some way of smoking out the insects and it did work for a bit.
Another night by a peaceful river…another glorious sunset and sunrise….

#philandnadinegapyear

Day 10 & 11 : Molong to Gunning to Canberra

This morning we started off early and headed to Wellington. Not the New Zealand one but thee one just ‘down the road.’

Wellington has all the making of a picture postcard township! There was a glorious park in the centre of town that even had a Bunya Tree. It was really huge and when I went into the information centre, the lady told me that they originally had three but lost the others. She was curious about the actual nuts as they tend to use them as doorstops! I mentioned to her that you actually eat them and she was mind blown! So I gave her some contacts from up north and said she should ring and find out what and how you can cook and eat them.

Phil, Chessie and I then had morning tea from the local bakery WHICH WAS AMAZING!!!
One thing I loved about Wellington was the little sights you saw down all the little laneways and the old historical buildings they haven’t yet destroyed.

After a quick visit to the dump point!! We went up to climb Mt Archer.

Chessie and Phil led the charge up to the top where we had sweeping views of Wellington and surrounding areas. It’s nice to walk through and see language words like ‘Kallang’ which means beautiful in the local language.
ONWARDS TO ORANGE AND THEN TO BATHRUST!!!

Now, I’m not one for car racing but even I got a bit of a kick being able to drive around Mount Panorama. We were much  much slower than the average race car – the average car really but we had fun! When we got down to the finish, you could smell the brakes!!! Oops! As we parked, Phil reckoned ‘Just watch for spot fires from the brakes.’ I laughed until I realised he was serious!

Phil ducked off into the National Motor Racing Museum while Chessie and I headed up for a walk along the Winner’s Podium and pit lane. It was pretty hot so Chessie was a little slow but when it not being used as a race track, it’s just a normal street so you see people running and walking everywhere!

Then we got lost….well, we didn’t get lost but google didn’t show us the right   turn off which meant we missed it and of course there were no turning places along the road so we had to keep going….ugh….one of those moments!

So instead of spending the night by the creek we spent to night by ourselves at the Gunning Showgrounds. Actually, there were a fair few cockatoos, galahs and magpies that kept us company.

Up early and Chessie and I went for a morning walk and run up the hill and around the park. She got into her normal ‘packing up’ position in the back seat of the Ute while we did everything. I will have to have a talk to her about pulling her weight. I have given her about a week’s grace but enough is enough.
Today, we cruise into Canberra for a stay. Looked around the place for some free accommodation but couldn’t find any and found that you can stay at the Exhibition Showgrounds (EPIC) for $22 a night – bargain! And lucky for us, Canberra is in circles so you can’t get lost…or found…or nothing!

#philandnadinegapyear

Day 9: Ponto Falls to Molong

Chessie and I ducked off for a quick swim after we packed up the campsite. It was only 9am but it had already started to get hot and the flies were ready to pounce so we cut the off at the pass!

Its funny when you are on the road, how quickly you lose sense of time. Days and dates have just become a blur to me but knowing what time of the day is just ridiculous! I think we know judge our days by the rise and fall of the sun, Once the sun is up – so are we. Actually, down this neck of the woods once the cockatoos start going off – GET UP NOW! Best alarms ever!

Chessie was sad to leave Ponto Falls. I swear I heard her curse me when I had to put her into the car. She has actually started her own routine now.

When we pull up and start to set up camp she stays in the ute until we are finished. IN the mornings when she knows we are leaving, she heads to the door of the ute and looks to one of us to open it so she can jump up onto her seat while we pack. I really wish she would start pulling her weight a little more and chip in J

Leaving Ponto Falls was a bit sad for all of us. It was a lovely little spot and you can actually stay there for up to 14 days for free!! Do it in winter though when the flies are asleep! You can take some walks along the edges of the river around the bend where we saw heaps fo locals run their cars up and over the rock fences. I don’t know whether they have a stash of hooch there but they gather something. I think it’s the freshwater mussel.

We drove a fair bit today as we need to be in Canberra by Wednesday so ended up paying for a caravan spot in Molong in the cleanest and tidiest caravan park so far!!!! We had the only spot in the unpowered area all to ourselves and set up office in the BBQ area but the showers were to die for!!! Hahaha what really matters when you are on the road is the luxury of a shower and a hot one at that!!! And access to a laundry!

We took a stroll down the main street of Molong and it is such a pretty little town. I swear you would have thought it was winter by the colours of the trees that lined the streets. There were old heritage buildings everywhere and you got a sense that the township looked after them.

Chessie and I made friends with a local elderly lady who loves dogs. She told me they don’t allow dogs in the home where she currently lives but she loves coming downtown to pat peoples. Her daughter has a dog who loves it when she comes to stay because she spoils her! Something tells me Chessie would be well spoilt by this lady!
There was also a lot of recognition of the Wiradjuri People especially a local, YUinagh who travelled with Mitchell across the area. He was his right hand man and when he passed, Mitchell requested a traditional and western tombstone to be erected on his country and forever untouched. Something unheard of in those days and something the township takes pride in which is even better.

Night came and we both had a little work to do, Chessie had to sleep
#philandnadinegapyear