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JUNE 2018




Get your next holiday booked

Recap on their yearly event



Holidaying with a difference

Follow their travels around Oz

BAYSIDE BOAT CANOPIES 41 Intro to their services YACHTSHARE 59 Luxury Vessels, affordable ownership

GALWAYS GO ROUND 12 6 month totals FREELANCE AERIAL PHOTOGRAPHY 24 Amazing pics travelling Oz BRAND BOOST 72 42 This month’s featured products LIBBY & LAYLA 76 Travel updates and advice from our junior writers

from the editor...... Welcome LL&L Legends Life a& case Leisure Team June already wowsers!!Liquid Definitely of time flies when you are having fun, and fun is exactly what our team has been having. Editor Hayley Taylor

We have an incredible crew of travelling families on board with us that share each Director month their Ben Charity journey around OZ, and this month we add to this with our very own water based “nomad� so National Sales Manager between our road based wanderers and our water Dan Charity based nomad, we love the stories they share with us month in and month out and hope you also get Design a lot from their experience and fun loving way of Flourish Design Studio life. Liquid Life & Leisure Headquarters We re-cap on the Floatfest event that was held back in April, and Shane shares with us some of Phone his awesome aerial photography. (07) 5580 4988

Be sure to flick through from cover to cover as Address there is a lot to explore within these 70 plusCove pages. PO BOX 1076, Sanctuary Q 4212 We would love you all to download our Liquid Life Hope Island, Gold Coast and Leisure app and get our mag every month direct to your device. Websites

Liquid Life & Leisure Team Editor Hayley Taylor Director Ben Charity National Sales Manager Dan Charity Design GraffitzDesign Design Studio Co Flourish

Liquid Life & Leisure Headquarters Phone (07) 5580 4988 Address PO BOX 1076, Sanctuary Cove Q 4212 Hope Island, Gold Coast



Thanks for sharing our dream and following our journey. Email

Living & Loving Life Hayles


Deadline for Content: 15th of every month Contributors

Co-Founder & Blogger

Yasmin & Leigh - Family Gap Year Dan & Fee - Ozzy Wide Ozzy Pride Kelly Gudgeon - Destination and Travel

Advertising Deadline for Content: 15th of every month Contributors Yasmin & Leigh - Family Gap Year Y Dan & Fee - Ozzy Wide Ozzy Pride Leigh & Tegan - Wander to Wonder Kelly Gudgeon - Destination and Travel Adam & Sharon Galway - Galways Go Round LIQUID LIFE & LEISURE


s t n e v e r maj o to... g n i m co

27 - 29 JULY VENUE: Aquis Park, Gold Coast Turf Club WEBSITE: FACEBOOK: GoldCoastExpo

3 - 5 AUGUST VENUE: Toowoomba Showgrounds WEBSITE: FACEBOOK: QldAdventureExpo

Check the website for other major Queensland events

Campers really are happy! In 2017, Caravan Industry Association of Australia released the Real Richness Report, which revealed that the notion of ‘Happy Campers’ is actually based on some truth. With a panel of Australians covering both regular caravanners and campers and those who hadn’t camped within the last 20 years, the report covered opinions from a diverse range of people who choose to experience nature and enjoy Australia’s great outdoors. Their responses revealed are actually happier, and that getting outside helps them lead a more healthy, connected life. Caravan Industry Association of Australia conducted this research to understand the many reasons why camping and caravanning is enjoying a resurgence with increasing popularity amongst Australians. While it seems pretty obvious for those already out enjoying the great outdoors, this information gathered on behalf of industry helps us to understand the trends and changing demographics of who is taking off camping or caravanning across Australia and what the benefits are. Our goal is to encourage everyone to get out on the road by sharing inspiration and good news stories about the caravan and camping lifestyle. Overall our survey results show that camping enriched the lives of the respondents, reporting that on an average day overall 56% were happy compared to non-campers at 29%. The report also measured the value of camping in terms of relationships, connections, health and wellbeing as well as the opportunity to bring couples and families together by disconnecting from the digital city life they leave behind.



It’s been almost 12 months to the day since the Galway Family, formerly of Sydney packed up their house, moved into a caravan and never looked back. They left Sydney on 1 June 2017 and completed a 6 month lap of Oz before returning to the east coast to commence work, enrol the kids into new schools on the mid-north coast of NSW and continue to live the dream.

From the Top End to Broome, the Kimberley’s rich, raw and rugged terrain gave the Galways a true appreciation of the vast beauty and diversity of our great country. Sharon and Adam had a date to experience the Horizontal Waterfall on a half day tour from Broome. Adam say that the flight over Buccaneer Archipelago and Cape Leveque was as magical as the jet boat ride through the waterfall.

They started their trip north with the winter migration, with the first major stop being Fraser Island. Continuing up the QLD coast, some of their favourite spots included Seventeen Seventy, Cape Hillsborough and Magnetic Island. The Cape wasn’t on their radar for this trip so they went as far as Cape Tribulation to experience Jungle Surfing through the Daintree.

On their journey south, down the west coast, they tossed a coin to decide whether they would duck inland to visit Karijini National Park or not. Luckily the coin fell in their favour as this became a trip favourite for them and also highlights the case to go whilst you’re still fit enough to do so. They tackled several Class 5 walks with all 3 kids in tow… no ease feat!

Up and over the Atherton Tablelands, they visited the unique Undara Lava Tubes and Karumba in the Gulf, where the outback meets the sea. Down to Mt Isa and across to Three Ways they went, before heading further south to the Red Centre. Along the way they experienced the The Devils Marbles, Alice Springs, West MacDonnell Ranges, Uluru and Kata Tjuta. Sharon says that the Red Centre is somewhere that every Australian should visit at least once in their life, “It changes you”.

Their journey south took in the best of what the West Coast has to offer including swimming with whale sharks at Exmouth, snorkelling the Blue Maze at Coral Bay, visiting

Retracing their steps north and then extending beyond, The Top End became one of their most favourite regions in the country. From Daly Waters to Kakadu and everything in between, the Galways spent their days in the Top End swimming under waterfalls, in hot springs and croc spotting in an experience that they describe as being “exotic Australia at its best”.

Francois Peron National Park in Shark Bay, seeing the Kalbarri coastline, visiting Perth’s gorgeous beaches, walking Busselton Jetty and visiting the lighthouses in Margaret River. Their coastal tour of WA continued with visits to Albany, Esperance and a stay at the infamous Lucky Bay in Cape Le Grand National Park- another trip favourite. It was soon obvious that there was one piece of equipment that they didn’t have that would take their coastal escapades to the next level… a stand-up paddle board. Enter Red Paddle Co! In searching for the perfect stand-up paddle board to accompany them on their travels, Sharon stumbled across Red. Inflatable boards were not on their radar as they were a rather unconventional option in Australia, nor did inflatables have a reputation for being durable and rigid like a solid board- that’s because most Australians hadn’t ridden a Red Paddle Co board- an evolutionary and innovative UK-based brand, 10 years in existence. Conversations with the brand landed them a brand ambassadorship and their journey continued with their board in tow. Across the Nullabor they sang “Bound for South Australia” before visiting the Eyre and Fleurieu Peninsulas, Adelaide, The Barossa, Mt Gambier and other parts of the Limestone Coast. Needless to say the board got a fantastic work out in most of these places despite the cold water.

Prior to their trip, the Galways had toured large parts of Victoria including Melbourne, Ballarat, Bendigo and the High Country so their time in Victoria was spent at Wilsons Promontory National Park and the east coast. This stretch of coast and that further to the north into NSW (Saphire Coast) was one that they had not previously explored and were left wondering why they hadn’t. Exploring Lakes Entrance, Merimbula, Narooma and Duras was the perfect way to wrap up their lap.

There's a common debate about how long it takes to lap Australia. All too often the Galways heard of travellers being scared off by the mantra that 6 months isn't long enough. The truth is, for some people it is long enough. Travelling and working around the time you have is better than not going at all. The Galways have some stern advice for anyone who might have been scared off by time restraints- there is far more to gain than there is to lose! The Galways have a link to their 6 month itinerary for anyone who may be planning a ‘hot lap’ on their website. You will notice that they didn’t visit Tasmania on their 6 month lap and this is because they had toured Tasmania just 18 months prior to their lap. Naturally they didn’t explore every corner of the country… but it’s on their list! Since returning to the east coast the family, still full-time caravaners, have based themselves on the mid-north coast of NSW, just north of Coffs Harbour. This is an area that they have been visiting annually since 2005. They have continued to travel up and down the east over the past 6 months, for business and for pleasure. Such was their belief in and enthusiasm for Red Paddle Co boards as the perfect caravanning companion that earlier this year their ties to the company strengthened when they became mobile retailers of the boards.

If you would like more information about their travels or Red Paddle Co inflatable stand-up paddle boards, please visit their website You might also like to visit their YouTube channel with an extensive number of videos on the places they visited on their trip. See website for details. Galways Go Round will be at the Coffs 4WD Caravan, Camping Show THIS WEEKEND Saturday 16th & Sunday 17th June 2018 Coffs Harbour Racing Club Stand E8

6 Month Lap Totals Here are our stats after completing a 6 month lap of Australia! We hope you find them useful Clearly we are not in the running for the cheapest lap of Aus but we never set out to be. From the start we set a BUDGET OF $35-$45 PER NIGHT and by the end of our trip had brought our average nightly spend to fit within these amounts. Did we blow our budget? Yes... a long time ago! But this is mostly due to the tours we chose to do, not the cost of our accommodation. We want to set the record straight.... we can now say with certainty that a 6 MONTH LAP IS VERY DO-ABLE, despite what some might say. Those who have been following our journey will know the many places that we visited on our 6 month lap. In order to make the most of our time, we generally chose to stay in accommodation close to popular sightseeing areas, which does come at a cost. Free and lower cost camps are usually out of town meaning more time spent driving back and forth to see the main tourist attractions- great if you’ve got the time to do this but on a fast lap we’d suggest that you will most likely want a break from the car and more time to see and immerse yourself in what you’re there for. We have taken financial hits particularly during school holidays as our tight itinerary didn’t allow us to go bush until the holidays were over... we had no choice but to push on and pay the school holiday prices whilst in the Whitsundays and Coral Bay areas which are both very popular holiday destinations. We managed to compensate for these hits by increasing the number of stays at lower cost camps when we could and this has allowed us to maintain our accommodation budget of $35-$45 per night overall. Having school-aged children has also considerably increased our costs, particularly when it comes to tours and premium parks. During our trip we became more careful to compare the cost per child for tours and in caravan park accommodation. To give an example of how quickly a ‘low cost’ camp can become not so low cost... a church-owned camp near Busselton costs a couple $25 for a powered site. This camp is in a great location and has basic campground facilities (ie. no kiddie bells and whistles). It is a bargain at $25 per couple and $12.50 a single for a whole site. School-aged children are charged at $9 each adding a further $18 to our site tariff (thankfully they didn’t charge for 3 year olds)... working out for us at $43 per night (hardly ‘low cost’ for a family)... almost double the cost for a couple! We take up the same space and use roughly the same amount of power. After all, it takes the same amount of power to run a fridge and air conditioner for a family as it does for one or two people. We don’t expect our school-aged children to be free but we have found some gross inequities in caravan park/campground tariffs during our lap. We are grateful to camps who consider fair and reasonable costs for families with school-aged children.

So here it is folks...

OUR TOTAL 6 MONTH LAP STATS... Vehicle Car: 29882klms Caravan: 15,672klms Fuel stops: 70 Spend on diesel: $7,867.16 Fuel Consumption: 19.6L/100klms Cheapest diesel: $1.16-Deeragun Woolworths


Nights: 184 Spend: $8028.90 Average per night: $43.63 Stops (set ups): 81 Powered sites: 100 nights- 54% Unpowered/low cost sites: 37 nights- 20% Free camps: 12 nights- 6.5% Resorts: 25 nights- 13.5% Family/Friends: 11 nights- 6% Cheapest paid night: Kingston SE RV Park, SA - $10 for 48hours


Supermarket visits: 42 Spend: $5879.16 Alcohol: $1106.20


States/Territories visited this trip: 6 Tours/experiences: 35 Spend: $7740.99 Total spent on laundry: $343 (average per week: $13.19) Fish caught: 5 Thongblowouts: 8 Fiftyby50 list ticks: 12

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Traditional Boat Naming and Renaming Ceremonies Assure Your Boat of Fair Winds and Smooth Seas It’s happened to us all – you find the perfect boat, she’s got everything you want in a vessel, and the price is a steal – but the name is just awful! So what do you do? It’s well known that renaming a boat can bring bad luck. Sailors have sworn since the dawn of time that the unluckiest ships of all are those who have defied the gods

and changed their names. Here is a list of Boat Name ideas to help you think of a new one. But did you know that, with a little preparation, and if done in the right way, you CAN re-name your boat without invoking the wrath of the gods? Of course, renaming a boat is not something to be done lightly, or

without thought. But with this traditional boat renaming ceremony, you can rename your boat without fear of angering the gods. And if you’ve just bought a new boat, you can use the same boat naming ceremonies to bring good luck and fair weather to your vessel. It may be superstitious, but as every sailor knows, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

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10 % discount code “PASSITON” The Boat Renaming Superstition, and how to get around it… According to legend, every vessel is recorded by name in the ‘Ledger of the Deep’, and is known personally to Poseidon, or Neptune, the god of the sea. To change the name of a vessel without consulting Poseidon is to invoke his wrath, so in order to change a boat’s name, a traditional ceremony is used to

appease the gods of the seas. The first thing that must be done when renaming a boat is to purge its old name from the Ledger of the Deep, and from Poseidon's memory. This will involve wiping out every trace of the old boat name, and reciting a short ceremony to remove the boat’s name from Poseidon’s records. See our guide to removing old boat lettering and graphics, or call us on 0421 333 905 to find out

about hiring our mobile boat names team who can do it for you. The renaming ceremony can then begin, and should take place as soon after the purging ceremony as possible. Finally, the gods of the winds must be appeased with another short ceremony, which will assure you of fair winds and smooth seas, wherever you sail.

Customised, Easy-to-Apply Boat Name Stickers

With Boat Names Australia, you get exactly the boat lettering you want for your yacht or powerboat – at a small percentage of the cost of a sign writer. Save hundreds using our DIY product – and still achieve the perfect look.

Professional Boat Name Design

When you want a truly unique design that’s styled with your boat in mind If you’re not sure exactly how you’d like your boat name or graphic to look, or you’d just prefer to leave the design to a professional, our experienced boat name and marine graphic design team can help. Why not have a go at designing your own boat name Send us a photo for a more personalised design For a more personalised design service, send us a photograph of your boat, and our designers will take this into consideration to create a truly customised boat name design that is tailored to the style and colours of your boat. Two designs for $95 - or four designs for $145 Your custom boat name designs

cost just $95 for two designs, or $145 for four designs. Designed by our boat styling specialist (with 29 years of experience), your designs will be completed within just a few days. We will work with you to get the exact look you've been waiting for - you can choose your favourite design, give us your comments by phone, or go back to the drawing board if it’s still not what you want. Digital Mock-Ups – only $20 extra For just $20 more, you can see your professional boat name design superimposed onto an image of your boat. Simply send us a clear, square-on photo of the side and/or transom of your vessel (max image size 2Mb), along with a measurement of something recognisable in the image, e.g. the

existing name. We’ll digitally remove the existing name (if there is one) and superimpose your new design, so you can fine-tune the design, size and placement, and see exactly what it will look like before you buy. Accurate pricing, and your choice of DIY or On-Site Application Finally, once you’re happy with your design, we’ll give you an accurate price to produce your boat name at the size you want. You can also choose whether you’d like to have your boat name produced as one of our easy-to-use, low-cost DIY boat name kits, or whether you’d like one of our experts to come and apply your boat decal for you on-site


Planning to experience tropical North Queensland, road tripping is arguably the best way to see Australia. You will find friendly towns, visit taste tantalising restaurants and café’s, not to mention some of the Australia’s most breathtaking scenery and fishing. Jump in the car, pack your sense of adventure and drive into the sunset to one of our award winning holiday destinations to start your journey to North Queensland. The Pacific Coast Way stretches between the Gold Coast and Cairns and is just over a 1700km trip. Whether you like to take it slow or head straight to that perfect camp site we have you covered for two of the most memorable stops along the way.

Fisherman's Beach Holiday Park (formerly Bell Park Caravan Park) really is a hidden gem, located right on the beach in the picturesque village of Emu Park. You will find many top spots where the fish are biting. Launch the boat at the boat ramp out the front of the park and throw a line out. With the abundance of different species available to anglers, you don’t need to go anywhere else.


The holiday park is on the doorstep pf Keppel Bay Islands and Capricorn Coast and is only a short stroll from cafes, a supermarket, a heated public pool, a playground and more. Offering all your caravan, camping and accommo dation needs, there is space for the can or tent on grassy powered or unpowered sites in shady surrounds. Fisher man’s Beach also has sites available for dogs, they understand that your furry friends are a part of the family and welcome them whenever they can.

Make Fisherman’s Beach your top choice when visiting Yeppoon, Rockhampton or on your way to Great Keppel Island. A great family park that is really BIG on customer service. Fisherman's Beach Holiday Park where friends meet...

Then on to Rowes Bay Beachfront Holiday Park premier location in Townsville, offering a beautiful beachfront outlook with picturesque views of Magnetic Island. Make time to walk the track to the strand whilst stopping in at the Jezzine Barracks coastal parkland along the way and catch up on a bit of Aussie wartime history. The oceanfront boardwalk will bring you to the world-class 2.2 km Strand, a palm studded promenade offering bike and walk tracks, picnic spots, safe swimming beaches, rockpools, water park and many restaurants, cafes and bars to choose from.

They have tourist sites for caravans, motor homes and camper trailers as well as self contained cabin/villa style accommodation. The park caters for people of all ages, with facilities including shaded swimming pool, tennis court, children’s playground and activities, camp kitchen equipped with BBQ’s, communal fridge, freezer, TV and fast FREE wi-fi.

Magnetic Island is only a short ferry ride away and tickets are available from park reception, as well as information on the hundreds of attractions and activities around Townsville. Get up close with Australian wildlife at Billabong Sanctuary, explore the wonders of the deep at Reef HQ Aquarium or experience the natural beauty of “Maggie” Island with Magnetic Island’s Best Bus Tours. The team at Rowes Bay Beachfront Holiday Park will help put together the perfect holiday package for you and your family.

E. P. 1800 751 845 /rowes-bay-beachfront

E. P. 07 4847 6002


So, you’re struggling to fit into your favourite jeans and wondering why all the hours you’re spending at the gym don’t seem to be delivering the results you’re after. While exercise is important for a healthy body and mind, if you’re trying to lose weight it’s important to be aware that weight loss is 75 per cent dependent on diet and only 25 per cent on exercise. ( ght-loss-friendly-foods) Although calorie counting can help, not all calories are equal when correlated to the health benefits these deliver and positive effects on the metabolism. To help you achieve your ideal weight we’ve highlighted a range of foods that assist weight loss below:

Eggs High in protein and packed full of healthy fats, eggs are a smart addition to your diet if you’re wanting to lose weight. Low in calories and nutrient dense, eggs will make you feel full for several hours.

Leafy Greens Fibre rich and low in calories, leafy greens provide essential vitamins and minerals within your diet. Great for increasing your meal volume without the calories and carbohydrates of many other food varieties, leafy greens offer numerous weight loss benefits. Different varieties of leafy greens include: spinach, kale, arugula, swiss chards and collards.

Chicken Breast High in protein and low in fat, chicken breast is a weight-loss friendly food that helps you to burn more calories. By eating chicken regularly you’ll also cut your food cravings, as a high protein diet will make you feel full for longer.

Beans and Legumes Protein and fibre rich, beans and legumes such as chickpeas, lentils and kidney beans will satisfy your hunger while being low in calories. Very beneficial for weight loss, beans and legumes can be added to soups, curries, salads and a wide range of other dishes.

Tuna Low in calories and full of protein, tuna has a high nutritional value and is a lean fish with very little fat. Ideal for general weight loss and training, tuna is best eaten in spring water and not oil.

If you have a busy lifestyle and are wanting meals that are nutritious, low in fat and high in protein to help you reach your weight loss goals, Gourmet Meals is the answer. Gourmet Meals offer a vast selection of delicious, healthy meals that are prepared from the highest quality local produce. 46/215 Brisbane Road, Labrador, Qld 4215 Postal: PO Box 12, Arundel, Qld 4214 Phone: 1300 112 112 / 07 5529 3000 Fax: 07 5529 0649 Email:

Freelance Aerial Imagery Freelance Aerial Imagery was brought to life through my love of Photography, A passion for drone flying, and the fact that we are travelling this beautiful country of ours fulltime, accessing some very remote and unique locations and seeing them from above is a perspective that not many have access to. Freelance Aerial Imagery works in very closely with Liquid Life and Leisure to provide readers with superb quality images and stories, that are also available to purchase.

We have been on the road now for 7 months and will be based in Darwin from Jun – Aug then travelling slowly down the W.A Coastline and will capture all the magical scenery along the way.

CONTACT US If you would like to contact us to discuss Freelance Aerial Imagery capturing a special image or video for you, either enquire through this fantastic magazine, or email or keep an eye on us at

1998 Olympic Extended 2HSL Float

2012 Talvor Euro Deluxe Motorhome

2 berth 2 x Single Beds 7 pin flat towing plug

It has a fantastic kitchen for cooking up holiday feasts. Very spacious dining area. The layout of the vehicle features 6 double beds. Toilet and shower as well

$100 / Day | Rural View/Mackay, QLD

2013 Johnnos Camper Trailer Modern Family friendly camper trailer ready for your next adventure quick easy to set up. 3 Metre annexe for shade, Tail gate kitchen Solar blanket to minimise the heat Solar panels when you go off the grid $60 / Day |


$211 / Day | Location: Karana Downs/Ipswich, QLD

2017 Jayco Starcraft Outback This Starcraft is fitted out with everything you need to have a relaxing, comfortable family holiday, free camping off grid or in a 5-star caravan park. $125 / Day | Mawson/Canberra, ACT

2007 Jayco Expanda OB 16.49-3

2017 Retreat Whitsunday 199C Bunk

Packed with everything you need for a holiday. All you have to bring is your clothes, pillows, beach towels, food and cold beer!! Full Annexe, Ziegler & Brown BBQ Camp tables, Sheets and doonahs (no pillows) Cleaning Products

The Retreat Whitsunday 199C Bunk Caravan is a great family model and is a great size to free camp or stop over at the caravan park. The layout is compact but there is plenty of space, with a Combo Shower and Toilet, 2 bunks, large dining table and seating area and a queen bed, what more do you need to be comfortable on the road.

$100 / Day | Gladstone, QLD

$130 / Day | Campbellfield, VIC

2016 New Age Manta Ray 19BC

2013 JB Scorpion Full Off road

This is a beautiful brand new quality family caravan with all the mod cons.Sleeps five with shower and toilet combo, it makes caravaning so much more comfortable. The kitchen is fully equiped: fridge/freezer, microwave, griller. Heater & air-conditioning

2 berth, 1 x Island Queen, 2 solar panels 3 Batteries, 2 Water Tanks plus designated drinking tank Washing machine, Seperate shower and Toilet Compressor Fridge & much more

$120 / Day | Bendigo/Epsom

2010 Bailey Pegasus 624 This caravan is in excellent condition and has to be seen to be appreciated, its dry, solid and damp free and any inspection is welcome. $120 / Day | Kiama, NSW

$140 / Day | Botanic Ridge

Bait to Plate

As a new contributor to this really interesting lifestyle magazine I thought it best to do my first piece about who I am and how I ended up in print and maybe what you can expect if you follow our stories. I have just retired from day to day operation of a very large restaurant and catering business in the Whitsundays. The businesses, will already be known to most people who have travelled through Airlie Beach and if you have day tripped on a cruise boat to the reef and islands while here, chances are we have already fed you.

The business will continue under expert management and will hopefully keep me in fuel and good wine and allow me to travel, cook and blog till I am too old to bounce around on a boat. I have been somewhat Mr Airlie Beach over the last 10 years or so, doing lots of TV cooking, fishing and lifestyle shows and spent a lifetime looking after guests and trying hard to make them happy. I am a chef by trade a lifelong and somewhat obsessed fisherman and along with my wife Karen we are keen boat owners and have just purchased our dream boat and are about to become water bound Grey Nomads. I hope to explore a lot of the North Queensland coast and have for some years written a fishing and food blog and cooked hosted spectacular lunches called bait to plate and it was the editor Hayley who read a recent blog and invited me to become a contributor.

Most of what I can find now on line in terms of cruising the North Queensland Coast is really about sailing. I am going to focus much more on the “being there” rather than “getting there”. I will talk very specifically about the bays, beaches and islands we visit, the fishing and the cooking I do. I will be using what I have caught that day and hope to share some recipes and some helpful insights of the bounty of the sea along our beautiful coastline. Nothing is more organic and free range than our seafood and it is the ultimate locavore scavenging to be able to pop in the little boat and gather mud carbs, fish and oysters, As a new contributor interesting magazine thought it best dothe spear a crayfish or justtositthis onreally a deserted beachlifestyle at sunset with noIroads in or out, to just my first piece about who Ibake am and howCoral I ended upininthe print andofmaybe what ocean and char a fresh trout coals a camp can expect if you follow our stories. I have just retired from day to day operation of a very large restaurant and catering business in the Whitsundays. The businesses, will already be known to most people who have travelled through Airlie Beach and if you have day tripped on a cruise boat to the reef and islands while here, chances are we have already fed you.

As a society we have become a bit scared of “real” food. If it is not pre-prepared and cut, packaged and wrapped in plastic and sold in a supermarket it is all a bit too hard. I want you to get involved. Get the kids involved. Understand the roots of our food, how it is caught and how it is prepared

. I want kids to understand the natural home of a fish is not something “imported and thawed for your convenience” in a supermarket window, but something real, something uniquely Australian and something to be proud of and proud to catch prepare and eat, even how to cope with the “yucky bits”. I will be submitting stories to the editor each month but publishing on my blog a lot more often. If you have fishing, food and adventure in your blood, I hope you follow the blog, ask questions, suggest places to visit and learn a little from the lifetime of knowledge I have gained about fishing and exploring the Queensland coast and then the enjoyment that can be had about sharing fresh seafood meals around the dinner table, campfire or BBQ. I will be sharing spots, including GPS marks and recipes. No secret spots unless I have been given marks by mates in confidence.

Our cruiser is our RV. Every campsite will be absolute waterfront. I have a great little fishing

tender on the transom and the dog and cat, who have been boaties themselves since puppy and kitten will come along for the ride and are sure to star in a few posts. On behalf of my

wife Karen & I, welcome aboard and hope you enjoy the journey we will take for the next few years. I hope it inspires you to maybe visit some of the spots we blog about and follow your dreams into the great outdoors and waterways of this wonderful country.

Blogger/chef/traveller & avid Boatie Kevin Collins Follow my blog at Find us on Facebook @

For 25 years Wildlife Coast Cruises has been running a variety of cruises around Phillip Island and Wilsons Promontory National Park, offering thousands of passengers each year the chance to witness the beautiful scenery and incredible wildlife the coastline has to offer, including close experiences with Australian fur seals, whales, dolphins & seabirds. John and his team are constantly developing and expanding tours. With a strong theme of “conservation by appreciation” WCC is certainly getting the message out there. A proud leader in eco-tourism, WCC boasts many environmental and tourism accreditations, your friendly captain and crew are fully qualified in sea safety and first aid, and have thorough local knowledge which they are only too happy to share with you.

With 2 sister ships, the “Kasey Lee” and “Brianna Lee” you can choose your seat indoors or take in the views from the top deck - both decks have undercover areas. Enjoy tea, coffee and cake as you explore the coast, the captain's commentary offers facts on the area’s rich maritime and indigenous history, highlighting many points of interest.

From June - November the majestic Humpback Whales migrate along the Victorian coastline to breed and give birth to their calves. WCC has been operating whale watching tours for over 15 years, with whale sightings getting more frequent every season as the whale population recovers. Choose a 4 hour cruise around Phillip Island, taking in the very best sights including Seal rocks, The Nobbies, Pyramid Rock & Cape Woolamai,. Or come on a 6 hour whale watching cruise around Wilsons Promontory.

WCC run daily cruises to visit Seal Rocks, the largest Seal colony in Australia, home to thousands of Australian Fur Seals. They visit the spectacular eastern coastline of Cape Woolamai, which features Phillip Island’s oldest & most impressive landscapes, best viewed from the sea. You can go on a scenic sunset cruise inside Westernport Bay to visit the Otama submarine, or for a full day you can join them on an incredible adventure around Wilsons Promontory National Park - one of the most beautiful and remote areas in the world. An experience of a lifetime, visiting untouched islands and rugged coastlines that are not accessible by land, viewing amazing rock formations, spectacular marine and wildlife areas that most people wouldn’t dream exist! Wildlife Coast Cruises offers a range of bay cruises and charters around Phillip Island and Wilsons Prom.

For enquiries and bookings please visit, or call their office 1300 763 739

Kombi, wesfalia Gracie with our daughter Mae

Hire a Kombi SCHOOL HOLIDAY SALE Hire A Kombi is a little family run business by George, Alyce and children Mae and Kim. We definitely prefer any season over Winter however we also realise we can't avoid it. If you dress warm, it is still nice to get outside and go on a trip! Long or short we feel better when we get out amongst the elements so we have dropped our prices for winter and encourage everyone to rug up, enjoy flannelette sheets, snuggle up to the hot water bottles we provide, go to a campsite and plug in a heater and put the billy on for a cuppa with your kids! We have a minimum 4 day hire over the June/July school holidays for $704 inc gst and we still have a few available spaces so maybe try something a little different this year and Hire A Kombi?

Applejack with Rileys Travels

We have Gracie who can seat/sleep a family of 6, Clancy is cosy for a family of 5 and Applejack and Mango are for the families of 4. If you can't bring yourself to camp, we have Greta our 1965 beetle who will zip you around the Great Ocean Road to your hotel and our 8 seater Harriett could be the perfect way to get away with your favourite family friends!

Clancy our westfalia Photo: Kath Bee

All our campers come equipped with the basic camping equipment, hot water bottles and a heater at night so we make sure we help take the edge off those chilly nights.

Our fleet are happy to travel anywhere in Victoria or interstate so you can follow the sun wherever you want! Applejack with Rileys Travels

Mango Interior

We look forward to hearing from you! Instagram: @hireakombi Facebook: Hire A Kombi Website:

East Coast Marina 570 Royal Esplanade, Manly, QLD, 4179

East Coast Marina is fortunate to have the new owners of Bayside Boat Canopies, Ray and Julie Sloan, offering high quality workmanship in all Marine Trimming and Upholstery applications, coupled with good old fashion honest, reliable and friendly service. The main office/showroom (stocking your basic Chandlery needs) is located at the top of the gangway (next to the main Marina Office) and our talented team’s workshop is conveniently positioned under the dry storage racks at ECM. Owner, Ray Sloan has 30+ years’ experience, as well as being a trainer and assessor in the trimming/upholstery sector working with SkillsTech (TAFE QLD) and QLD/NSW apprentices plus being a part of the development team who created the current training modules for apprentices.

Ray and Julie invite you to pop in and say G’day!

Office Open 0830hrs – 1500hrs Monday to Friday Workshop Open 0700hrs – 1730hrs Monday to Friday (weekends by appointment) Mobile: 0428 324 575 Email: Webpage: Facebook:













CATCH HIM IF YOU CAN The strikingly beautiful blue marlin is one of the fastest fish in the world. The Marlin by JB Caravans is just as sleek and hard to catch, as it winds its way through Australia’s roads. The Marlin is available in touring and family bunk layouts so we have something for everyone. Get out and catch yourself a JB Marlin today!!

The 5th Kookaburra Homes Floatfest 2018

The 5th Kookaburra Homes Floatfest 2018 was held on April 7th and 8th at Sturt Reserve, Murray Bridge SA. After braving some very cold and windy weather in 2017 everyone was glad to have some warmer, yet still a little windy, weather for this year’s event. The warm weather was great for all of our water activities which included canoe workshops, water activities, come and try Stand up paddle boarding, the record attempts

and lots of other fun. This year we expanded our work with our charity partner Can:Do 4Kids by bringing their group of 35 or so clients and their families to Murray Bridge thanks to Kookaburra Homes’ generosity. Once at Murray Bridge we had a day full of fun planned for the Can:Do crew focusing on learning some motor skills, learning safe water practices on the river, and learning to

canoe all while enjoying the warm weather and having some fun on the river. There was plenty for them to take part in, including Stand Up Paddle Boarding thanks to Stand Up Paddle SA, Canoe workshops with Canoe the Coorong, free face painting, circus workshops and much more! (picture of SUPs provided).

On Sunday the warm weather, although a little breezy, helped encourage everyone to get out onto the water for some more canoe workshops and learning paddling skills. We had plenty of activities for everyone to take part in including, the BCF obstacle course, our Dash for Cash which is always a bit of fun, and then it was time for some record breaking fun. Brenton and his team from Canoe the Coorong got everyone out onto the water for a quick raft

together and then they all decided to have some fun! The whole regatta went for a paddle up to the bridges and came back downstream in a snaking line and then they all waited patiently to have a go at the canoe limbo. Once everyone had had some fun on the water it was time to head back to the banks for the lining up of the canoes/kayaks on the bank.

Everything Boating, Caravanning, Camping, Travel and Outdoors… in one App!

App Latest products and news in Caravans, Camping, Stand-Up Paddle boarding (SUP), Kayak, Boating, Boarding, Dining, Health and Wellness, Must See and Do around Australia plus more!

Service, Products, Weather, Blogging, Events, Latest News and our Monthly magazine delivered to your device for FREE. DOWNLOAD IT TODAY AND RECEIVE: • Alerts- Receive up-to-date news and the latest information • Events- See all our upcoming events in detail and rsvp • Blog- Read our blog posts and stay connected • Photo Share - Share your photos with us • Magazines- View and print our magazines

Plus much, much more.




Emma George never leaves home without her Engel! “When people ask me why I chose an Engel fridge, I tell them it’s because they are reliable and durable. I bought this Engel fridge 14 years ago and it has served me well. Our family has camped all around Australia, travelled some of the roughest roads, and our Engel fridge has never let us down!”. - Emma George

l is Here’s why Enge : a fridge for life • The unique Sawafuji Swing Motor with only one moving part. • Solid steel construction makes Engel strong, tough and built to last. • Engel has the lowest maximum power draw of any fridge on the market.

• Easy power options – 240volt, 12 volt and 24volt. • Efficient design with tough fixtures and hinges. • Engel fridges are designed to work in the harshest conditions of the Australian outback.

“It’s a fridge for life!”

• Engel have a huge range of accessories for your fridge. • Engel have an Australia wide repair service in case something does go wrong. For more information or your nearest stockist, visit or email



Camping Tips with Emma George

Keeping it Cold

There’s nothing better than getting the family outdoors to spend quality time together and create memories that can last a lifetime. Camping is easy, affordable and a great excuse to get away for a couple of days, leave electronic devises at home and enjoy fresh air and freedom.

» If you are only camping for a few days or you have access to ice, a good quality esky is a great option. » Freeze a meal before you go as it can work as a freezer brick and all you have to do is reheat it for dinner. » Use drinking water and freeze it in plastic bottles as it is great for keeping food cold and you can drink the water once it has defrosted. » Keep your esky in a cool area and ensure your food is secure from animals such as birds and marsupials. » If you are camping for extended periods of time or camping regularly, think about investing in an Engel. » Engels can be used as a fridge or a freezer, keeping your food at a stable temperature. If I am camping for long periods, I often use my Engel as a freezer and I take an esky as well. I freeze my meat and defrost it in the esky and I also freeze ice bricks for use in the esky. » A fridge is a great investment as it means you can camp for extended periods and know your food will be cold. You don’t need to worry about being near a shop and it means you can visit remote camp sites, eat as well and your food will remain cold.

If you haven’t camped before then maybe try a caravan park or a campsite with facilities and once you get your confidence, branch out to national parks or perhaps try bush camping. This guide lists some of the local caravan parks and national park camping areas which are easily accessible for the weekend. Whether it be on the beach in the bush or alongside a river, there are plenty of camping options available and many of these you can book in advance.

Video Link: Watch to see how Emma sets up her vehicle & what she takes when she goes on a remote camping adventure!

Video Link: Watch the video to see how Emma uses her Engel fridges.

SINCE 1962

The first Engel fridge is released in Australia with the patented Sawafuji swing motor with only one moving part, specially designed for off road use. Over the next 55 years, the fridge would go through minimal changes – colours and case shape, a change to digital controls, and the introduction of different size options. But one thing has remained constant – the Sawafuji swing motor.

RRP $1199

RRP $1275

Sawafuji Swing motor The heart and soul of Engel fridges with only one moving part.

1962 The first Engel fridge is released in Australia – the MRFT 514.

1974 -1999 The Iconic MRFT Series was available in 15, 29 and 39 Litres.


1979 The Introduction of the first 60L model.

The 29 litre increased to 32 litres to accommodate taller bottles and the 39 litre increased to 40 litres.

2002 The 40th Anniversary of Engel saw a commemorative silver model released, with the first Digital Temperature indicator.

RRP $1399

2012 2003 The First Engel Combi Series Fridge/ Freezer hits the Australian Market.

2008 MR40F Eclipse. Engel’s entry-level fridge with a polypropylene case.

The 50th Anniversary of Engel saw a limited edition Gold MT45FG, with the first digital thermostat control with battery cut out.

2015 The limited edition Legacy Fridges released in support of the great work Legacy Australia does.

2013-CURRENT For simplicity, durability, longevity, economy of power consumption and outright strength of construction you cannot go past the MT45FP (Digital Platinum Series).

? Where will the story take us next?

Sometimes “any port in a storm” isn’t the port you want. Imagine being able to book a marina berth on the fly and make sure you get all the facilities you want. That’s the service that Marina Exchange brings with their new iOS and Android App. Set to change the way boat owners interact with commercial mariners, users of the Marina Exchange App have the choice of booking a marina berth in advance or finding one at the last minute, anywhere in Australia. The App is easy to use and once your boat details are set up, it’s an easy search to find the spot you want to stop for the night. With a couple of clicks your marina berth is guaranteed. Marina Exchange owners, Alister Copley and Carl Craaford, are proud that the Marina Exchange App achieves a long term goal of making it easier and enjoyable for boat owners to get more use of their boats.

CONTACT US Phone: 0450 909 604 Email: OUR OFFICE 3/224 Headland Rd, North Curl Curl NSW 2099

IT'S FOR BOATERS Marina Exchange was created by boaters, for boaters. We're here to revolutionize the boating industry by giving marinas and customers a means to communicate in real time. No more missed opportunities and no more lost revenue. Save time and book a berth or mooring with Marina Exchange without the stress.

IT'S FOR MARINAS Your customers want to make the most of their boating time and you want to make the most of your space. Marina Exchange will put you in direct contact with your customer base, and provide you with a platform for booking that ensure satisfaction and convenience. Marina Exchange gives customers the power to find your empty berths and moorings with ease. No more guessing and missed opportunities. Boaters can simply search our application and, based on your information, we can match you up in real time and make the most of your time and space.

Wander to Wonder Oz | We have officially survived what many say is the most challenging period, our first month on the road! So how did we go? Has the expectation lived up to the reality? After months of planning and anticipation, the day finally arrived. D-Day, the big farewell, our bon voyage, call it

what you may all I can say is that it was HECTIC! Despite the well-organised list of tasks and the huge amount of

prep time, when the hour drew there were still jobs left unfinished, goodbyes missed and a caravan that looked like a bomb had hit it. However, with our house keys due to be handed over, there was no choice but to take a deep breath and hit the road.

FLINDERS RANGES, SA Our trip got away to a very unusual start when we

were asked by the Camper Trailer Lifestyle crew to join them to film three episodes in the Flinders

Ranges and try out some camper trailers. While the thought of appearing on national TV made us feel nauseous, we knew that it would be a fantastic opportunity to learn not only about 4x4 and

caravanning, but also about the behind the scenes stuff of how film, photography and social media works on a bigger scale.

Well neither the stunning Flinders Ranges nor the

overall experience disappointed! While there were plenty of long days spent in cars hearing the

phrases ‘we’re chasing daylight’ and ‘just hold there’, meeting industry experts (and genuine

legends) such as Rick O’Brien and Alicia Blythe

more than made up for it. The Flinders Ranges is

often underrated and overlooked, but if you scratch a little deeper and get off the beaten track you’ll discover the true beauty of this unique area. Be

sure to catch us on Channel One HD in June 2018 for more details of our trip.

SILVERTON, NSW Located just 26km away from Broken Hill is this 

little historic mining town with a heap of character and a touch of Hollywood! Named after the silver

prospecting boom experienced in the 1880's, you

can step back in time at the former Silverton Gaol, now the town’s museum or experience life as a

miner at the Historic Daydream Mine, which offers a guided underground tour.

If you're a film fanatic you'll be excited to know that Silverton has been the backdrop of many

feature films including Mad Max (there is even a Mad Max Museum here), Mission Impossible II,

Priscilla Queen of the Desert and Dirty Deeds to name a few! You can check out some movie

memorabilia and grab a pot and parma at the classic outback pub, The Silverton Hotel. The highlight of Silverton for us was the

spectacular sunset views over the Mundi Mundi

plains. The views from the top of the hill over the flat and barren lands seem to stretch out for

eternity. In fact it’s said that the view is so vast

that the curvature of the earth is discernible with

the naked eye. Take a chair and a bevvie because this is an outback sunset you want to savour!  .


Lightning Ridge; the Black Opal capital of the world! Everything here is eccentric, from quirky castles,

repurposed mines, outback characters and even Stanley the Emu, there is a lot to see and love! Simply follow

the Blue Car Door, Green Car Door, Red Car Door and Yellow Car Door and take in all the different aspects of the town.

Amigo’s Castle was hand built by a Lightning Ridge miner nicknamed Amigo over a 20-year period using local rocks he ‘relocated’ and just drums for scaffolding. Apparently the council eventually tried to bull doze it when they discovered Amigo was lacking any necessary permits but after the uproar from the community they heritage listed it instead!

Fancy an outback pub crawl? Then look no further than the

three pubs in the shrubs! Kick things off with a round of golf like no other at the Club in the Scrub at the Grawin opal

fields, enjoy a game of pool and capture some of the bizarre highlights at the Sheepyard Inn, then finish things off with a

burger and some ‘noodling’ at the Glengarry "Hilton" located in the heart of the infamous Glengarry Opal field.

No visit to Lightning Ridge would be complete without a mine

tour, and if you have little ones you can’t go pass ‘Chamber of the Black Hand’. Ron Canlin purchased this unwanted mine

in 1982 hoping to make his fortune. While he didn’t discover

many opals he did uncover his artistic side! What began with a simple welcome sign carving has now grown into a

collection of over 700 images carved and painted into the

sandstone walls done using mostly cutlery from his kitchen. 
What better way to soothe your tired miners muscles then by soaking in 2 million year old mineralised waters from 900m below! The bores were sunk by locals in the 1960’s and

continue to provide therapeutic relief to workers and tourist alike. The water maintains a constant temperature of 41.5

degrees and is the perfect place to kick back and do some

stargazing. Baths are open 24 hours a day and entry is free Whilst in Lightning Ridge we stayed at a fabulous family farm ‘Carinya Station’ just 5mins out of town that was FREE! Be sure to check them out on WikiCamps.

CHARLEVILLE, QLD Located bang smack in the centre of Outback Queensland approximately 750 kilometres west of Brisbane is this great little town with plenty to do! It made for a great spot for some educational outings for the little wanderers.

We spent a full day and night learning about our galaxy at the Charleville Cosmos Centre. Kicking things off with a sun viewing in the morning, we then spent the afternoon playing with the interactive displays before returning at

night for a guided viewing of the Milky Way. Using powerful Meade telescopes, the clear outback skyline allowed us to view binary starts, star clusters, the planet Neptune and the moon!

If cute and cuddly is more to your liking than be sure to pay a visit to the Charleville Bilby Experience. We got up close and personal with the super cute and endangered Bilby to learn all about the fight for survival of this

iconic little Australian. The presentation and encounter went for an hour and the little wanderers loved getting to meet and pat ‘Sarah’ the Bilby. The centre only opens April to October so plan your trip carefully.

CARNARVON GORGE, QLD Whilst making our way to Brisbane we couldn’t help but make a little detour to explore the beautiful

Carnarvon Gorge. The gorge is around 30km long and six hundred meters deep at the mouth, and home to lots of native animals and Indigenous cultural sites.

There are plenty of epic walking tracks to choose from varying in difficulty and length from 500m to 14km. While we would have loved to explore all of them we settled with some kid friendly choices of Mickey Creek, Baloon Cave and the Rock Pool.

5 Truths to Travelling • When it comes to directions, the GPS cannot be trusted…. and neither can Tegan • The tighter the spot, the bigger the crowd

• Children do not have an ‘inside voice’, no matter how many times you ask them to use it

• Grey Nomads love a chat almost as much as they love happy hour. Partake in both if offered the chance •There is no such thing as white anymore. There is only grey or reddish tinge. Embrace it!

So far this trip has been everything we wanted and more. It is hard to imagine we still have another 9

months to explore this beautiful country and it is equally hard to imagine returning to our previous life, but for now we will just soak it all up and literally see where the road takes us!

Happy Travels, Tegan & Leigh

Caravanners Unite Wow what an awesome time I had with a fantastic bunch of ppl. I would like to thank all who attended 104 to be exact, not a bad effort for our 1st Qld event and have certainly made some new friends from it. Firstly I would like to thank a few ppl Antonija & Ralph from Kilkivan Bush Camping and Caravan Park for having us what a great place you have thoroughly enjoyed my stay there and highly recommend it and Ralphies Camp Oven Roast was unbelievably awesome. Debbie McSorley for getting the ball rolling and booking the place, Kerry Gardem I couldn’t have done it with out ya, Lisa Turner and Kerry for helping making up all the platters for happy hour on Sunday arvo and Barry for putting on a show with his bag pipes, Well done guys!

I called into see a few businesses on the way and they generously donated some great stuff for the raffle and to give away. We also gave everyone an ECC lanyard. So a big shout out thanks goes to Adam from Watsons Leisure Centre, Eric from Caravans Coffs Coast, Alisa from Vinyl De-Signers, Melissa from Annexe Solutions, Jack from Green RV, Craig from Australian Caravan Club Limited, Livia Palmer for Anonymous and Jenny, Bruce from Suncoast Caravan Service much appreciated guys.

Was an awesome weekend and well worth the trip to attend,

until next time Happy Camping!

More information available at

Contact Yachtshare today!

W. | P. 0410 696 578 | E.

We are Perth’s marine trimming experts,

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Why are wallets so important?

someone. The private key is your

assets are stored safely. Digital

access the wallet. Whoever has

sometimes called wallet addresses.

the assets contained within the wallet.

“public” key. They both serve two very

of keeping the private key in your

A digital wallet is the typical way that

unique pin number or password to

wallets come with two different keys,

possession of the private key owns

The two keys are a “private” key and a

It is important to note the significance

different and specific purposes.

possession only. You wouldn’t give the

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Treat your private key the same, DO

pin to your bank account to a stranger.

encryption for assets to be sent to

NOT give your private key to anyone.

public key is given when the owner

What’s the difference between “hot” and “cold” wallets?

your wallet, like an address. The wishes to receive coins from

When you print out your private key onto paper, or write it down, it is

considered “cold” storage because

you are removing the key from any

internet access and possible hacking.

When you leave your private key on a

computer connected to the Internet, or on a usb which you plug into a

computer, this is considered “hot”

storage because it is at risk of viruses, malware and hackers.

Cold storage is slightly different and

involves the physical removal of your digital asset “codes” from a wallet

attached to a computer to a device

wallet which will be where all trading

hold these coin codes. Some only

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multi-coin and hold a select few.

which can then be transferred to the

currently available and are completely

require a separate download, and are

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is done. The user wallet will be an

hold one type of coin, others are

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exchange for wallet use. Neither

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device. You are however unable to

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about exchanges being hacked and

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Provided by Plaak Twitter @getplaakingnow



w i t h e v C o o L o b n e i r g P n i e la l

Sadly leaving Coober Pedy for more adventures at first light!

Have you ever point blank just fallen in love with a place? I’m not talking about the novelty of a mere change of scenery; of deciphering the local lingo; of enjoying a pub meal overlooking a different street: I’m talking falling in love with the FEEL of a place, and simply not being able to put your finger on it. All you know is you feel a sense of belonging, despite never having been there before in your life… Coober Pedy, located in South Australia, 846km north-west of Adelaide and 688km south of Alice Springs, snuck its way deep into my heart as we travelled across Australia back in the autumn of 2016. Wanting to make the most of our road trip to relocate back to Queensland from Western Australia, my husband and I had sat months earlier on our back verandah, pouring over a map. I’d pointed out Coober Pedy as somewhere I’d wanted to visit since my fourth grade teacher had recounted her holiday there to an enthralled class: so we’d penciled it in as an overnight stop. Though our two young boys were fascinated by the idea, I was simply

bursting with excitement to visit the intriguing town of people that lived beneath the ground (or in dugouts, as I soon learnt that they were called. Actually, there are houses and shops above the ground too: although around 80% of homes are below the earth’s surface to combat the scorching summer temperatures!). Coober Pedy, coming from the Aboriginal term ‘Kupa-Piti’ (meaning boys’ waterhole), did not disappoint. Boasting over seventy opal mine fields, Coober Pedy has earnt the title of the ‘Opal Mining Capital of the World’, so it’s not surprising that the majority of the town sported opal-themed signage. As we drove down the main street of town, Hutchinson Street, and the vibe of the place was evidently different to anything I had experienced before. It was almost like we’d landed on a different planet, with the noticeable lack of vegetation and dirt mounds. It was dusty, and quiet, and looked every bit like a scene from Mad Max (part of which was indeed filmed in Coober Pedy itself!).I couldn’t stop grinning from my passenger seat in the front of our Patrol: at the small IGA supermarket; the Opal Mining Museum; the gentle pace of the scattering of locals as they went about their daily business;

the small ‘vents’ protruding from the ground a little further up the hill. Perhaps it was the excitement of being somewhere unlike anywhere I’d ever been prior; perhaps it was the sense of pride of having achieved a childhood goal. Or perhaps it was both of these things along with something else that can’t be explained by logic. I just felt like I was…home. We’ve lived in a large mining town in Western Australia (for six years, in fact), and the conclusion I’ve come to is that mining towns are in a category of their own. Not quite a bustling city, nor a quiet country town: I find they fall somewhere in between and then up some. There’s almost an air of romance at the idea that one may strike it rich at any moment: luck could be turned around with the swing of a pick-axe on any given day (well not really a pick-axe these days, but the notion sounds more romantic than the large earthmoving machinery they use in this day and age), along with the fiercely loyal and devoted community that keeps the town running. Plus, the unusual-for-most world of mining tends to generate quite a bit of tourism: essential for the ongoing success of a mining town, particularly as the mining in the area inevitably slows down as the resources are diminished. Quite the

combination of people from many walks of life, and all fitting together with the glue being the town itself.

Incredible Rock Carving at the Old Timers Mine

Pioneer Rooms at the Old Timers Mine

An underground church in Coober Pedy

Checking into our underground motel room was nothing less than thrilling. Even the foyer was beneath the ground, showcasing a vast DUUD\RILQIRUPDWLRQRQ&RREHU3HG\¡VKLVWRU\ along with a museum-like room of mining relics, PLUS a huge recreation room including a full-size pool table for guests to enjoy. Our room itself was incredible! The internal walls ZHUHQRWVPRRWKOLNH\RX¡GILQGLQ\RXU everyday home, but rather rocky, and striped with the contrasting layers of earth. We would find out later that evening how odd it was to lie in bed and hear absolutely nothing. No wind, no vehicles, no water‌just‌nothing. Given that the room was underground, it also had no windows: thus, no natural light. When we turned off the lights, darkness gained a whole QHZPHDQLQJ,FRXOGQ¡WHYHQVHHWKHRXWOLQH of my hand in front of my own face! The absence of sound and light was the perfect UHFLSHIRUDYHU\GHHSUHIUHVKLQJQLJKW¡VVOHHS for us both, and (thankfully) the kids. Around the town, we indulged in some sight-seeing with the kids. Our first stop was on the main street: Umoona Opal Mine & Museum. There was so much beauty in the form of both opals and artwork. Usually one to

agonise over purchases, I surprised myself by wanting desperately to purchase a souvenir to link myself to Coober Pedy. I had my eye on a beautiful small purple-blue opal set in sterling silver on a ring. It was stunning, but there was only one left. Holding my breath, I tried it on‌and exhaled with pleasure as it slipped straight onto my finger. Obviously it was GHVWLQ\VR,¡GEHLQVDQHQRWWRWDNHLWDVD sign, really. We could have spent all day in there admiring all of the lovely stones set in an assortment of jewellery and ornaments, but Coober Pedy had so much more waiting for us! Given that Coober Pedy relies on tourism almost as much as mining, it makes sense that there were a great deal of (somewhat overpriced) opal & souvenir stores. We did buy the obligatory magnets and tea towels for our family back home, and had a bit of a chat with some friendly store owners about the WRZQDQGWRXULVP1H[WZHFRXOGQ¡WJRSDVW WKHLFRQLFœ%LJ:LQFK¡ZLWKRXWVWRSSLQJIRUD quick look and photo. The underground church that we visited was very quaint, and I wondered at how it would sound filled with people on a Sunday morning, their voices high

LQVRQJ7KH2OG7LPHU·V0LQH7RXUZDVDQ eye-opener: there are so many more treasures than just opals to be discovered in these old mines: there DUHWKHFDUYLQJVRXWRIVROLGURFNWKHROGPLQHU·V quarters beneath the ground and the wonderful and whacky tales that followed them; the technique and the blood sweat and tears that went into discovering the jewels beneath the rubble…It was well worth the tour, and I was thankful for the supplied hard hats as I managed to bump my head into low ceilings and GRRUZD\VOHIWULJKWDQGFHQWUH DQG,·PQRW particularly tall). A wonderful and insightful experience. After a full day of playing tourist, we found a lovely

casual restaurant in the centre of the township to enjoy an early dinner, followed by an ice-cream (from IGA: I always buy a box of four if I can, it usually works out to be the price that \RX·GSD\IRURQHLFHFUHDPWKURXJKDORFDO cafe) with the kids up on the hill to watch the sun set. It was a magical day, and I felt a sense of sorrow that we would be leaving at first light. ,UHPLQGHGP\VHOIWKDWWKDW·VZKDWLW·VDOODERXW WKHUH·VPRUHWRVHHPRUHWRH[SHULHQFHPRUH to LOVE out there in our big, beautiful country. And gosh have we seen some cracking places RYHUWKH\HDUV%XWQRQHKDYHKDGWKDWVHQVH of belonging that I felt in Coober Pedy. It will always have a special place in my heart.

Written by Sara Johnston

Pioneer Rooms at the Old Timers Mine

Incredible rocky walls & ceiling in our underground motel room!

Shower ceiling in our motel room.

Exploring the natural wonders of Karijini National Park

Western Australia’s Pilbara region is a bit of everything. There are some beautiful beaches, which are warm enough to swim in still while the rest of the country is starting to freeze their tootsies. However, as you move inland through the Pilbara there are a number of National Parks, which need to be explored. But make sure you have a good amount of time to do it. Karijini National Park is in the Hammersley Ranges and it’s the second biggest park in Western Australia. The incredible red ochre rock of the escarpments and mountains that make up the landscape give way to some of the most breathtaking gorges.

The traditional owners of the area, the Banylima, Kurrama and Innawonga Aboriginal people have a strong influence over the management of the park and the preservation of culture. There is evidence of habitation dating back around 20,000 years. We spent Easter here and out of the many choices of gorges we really only got to explore a couple of them. Hammersley Gorge was beautiful, and with the warmth of the sun it was sensational to just grab a pool noodle and bob around in the cool water of the gorge. Hammersley was fairly easy for the girls to get into, although the stairs down into the gorge are very steep.

Weano gorge is a series of gorges all connected and at various levels of difficulty to access, including one section where you have to walk waist deep through the water. We were able to easily get into the first section of the gorge but didn’t venture too far in after being told it was probably too hard for the girls to manage. We were also wary as a ranger was there warning of an impending storm approaching and that at the first sign of it you needed to immediately leave the gorges. In hindsight I think they could have gone a bit further but we will have to have another go next time we visit.

Joffre Gorge is accessible just out of the Karijini Eco Retreat but we didn’t get much further than the Joffre lookout with the girls, which was spectacular.

National Park campground, and Karajini Eco Retreat which has the glamping option of eco tents or the campground where you can bring your own set up.

children but you are limited to which gorges you can get to, depending on their ability. The hikes into the gorges are steep, very rocky and can be very slippery.

There are around four or five gorges on the other side of the park, which we didn’t even get to this trip. So there is a definite plan to return while we are based here.

I can’t talk highly enough of the staff and the experience at the Eco Retreat and with a minor medical emergency during our last night we were so thankful for their assistance, and our neighbours who just happened to be a group of medical students. Karijini is not impossible with young

However, even the sections we experienced were well worth the visit to this amazing place.

The park has two campgrounds. Dales Camp Ground is a basic


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Libby & Layla When going around Australia, we picked up some cool stuff along the way. Some of this stuff was given to friends and family, other stuff we kept and I now still have them in my room. They bring back memories of our time around Australia.

Some of my favourite things are: 1. Cowrie shells from Coral Bay 2. Books from the book exchange in Geraldton 3. Rocks from basically nowhere and everywhere 4. Opals from Coober Pedy 5. Crystals from Ruby 6. Hats from Melbourne 7. New clothes from the op shop in Broome 8. Crushed shells from Shell beach 9. Treasures from Geocaches 10. Special coins from figuratively everywhere

Collecting things made the trip even more exciting and interesting, because we would always be on the lookout for something to find, especially with the treasures in the Geocaches. I remember trying to race to find the treasures, and we would all be disappointed if there wasn’t a treasure with the cache when we arrived. Some of my favourite times were spent collecting these kinda things, especially the Cowrie shells.

By far the BEST thing we collected along the way were new friendships. My new best friend TayTay will be my friend forever!!

Bye Libby

29 JUNE - 8 JULY


Liquidlifeleisure june2018  
Liquidlifeleisure june2018