Weekly Photo Challenge : One : A Tribute to Matilda


Matilda has been our transport, accommodation and trusty companion  for 4 years as we travelled 70.000 kilometres around Australia. Slowly trundling up and over mountain ranges, across the outback and along the coast, coming to rest each night in iconic Aussie places. The beach with the sound of waves peeling  on the shore to lull us to sleep. Alongside mighty rivers or dry river beds. In the outback the Mitchell grass plains stretching to the horizon and at night the sky a blanket of twinkling stars. The bush and rainforest each with their distinctive smell and sounds as the birds serenade us and unseen creatures scuttle in the undergrowth.

Freedom camping right on the edge of the beach

Freedom camping right on the edge of the beach

Camping in the outback

Camping in the outback

Near the beach in the rainforest

Near the beach in the rainforest

In a field of dreams

In a field of dreams

Crossing borders

Crossing borders

Every place different and a joy to experience.

There are memories of campgrounds. Sharing a glass of wine, swapping stories and briefly befriending a stranger during happy hour, that unique time on the road to relax and meet many other travellers.

Cooking over a camp fire, learning the art of camp oven cooking and sharing a meal with new friends.

Matilda has given us the freedom of having no set timetable, no rigid plans. Being able to stop at the many freedom camping spots or parking in a back yard to couch surf in the city.

It has been a marvellous 4 years that has flown by so quickly. With thousands of photos, the memories will never fade.

Possibly the most memorable event when camping in a National Park and a cassowary came visiting, and I had my camera at the ready…

Waking to a misty morning in a freedom camp all on our own.

Waking to a misty morning in a freedom camp all on our own.


But now our life style is changing, we are ready for a new adventure.

We have already trialled the world of house sitting and loved the experience, it is another way of travelling. Staying in new places, meeting new people and their pets, this will keep my gypsy soul happy. Exploring an area in-depth and getting to know it like a local and sleeping in the same bed each night. No more rolling up our bed and moving on each day.

So now it is “Goodbye Matilda”, You have been number one in our life for 4 years creating so many wonderful travelling memories. I hope her new owners appreciate her as we did.

Goodbye Matilda I am going to miss you.

Goodbye Matilda I am going to miss you.

Just one of the many sunsets we saw

Just one of the many sunsets we saw




The WP Photo Challenge this week is ONE. Matilda has been number one in our lives for 4 years. No other way could we travel on a pensioners budget and see so much of Australia. We could stay in free camping areas, cook our own meals and travel slowly savouring all the beauty that is Australia.


A big thank you to all my regular followers and also those that drop by occasionally, I love all the likes and comments you leave and the WordPress community I am part of. I’m looking forward to 2014 and the adventures it will bring and keeping in touch with you all through the world of WP blogging.

Categories: Australia, australian travel, campervan, camping, camping australia, freedom camping, one, photos, post-a-week, travel, Weekly photo challenge | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 60 Comments

Weekly Photo Challenge : Inside

Inside Matilda

Inside Matilda

The challenge from the Word Press team this week is INSIDE. It prompts me to pay homage to our constant travelling companion, Matilda.

In 2010 we lived and travelled for a year inside this small space. We named her Meandering Matilda, a Toyota Hi-ace pop-top camper van. Jack is in the dining room/office which at night converted into our bedroom by dropping down the table and pulling across the back rests. Surprisingly it became a queen size bed. On Jack’s right is the fridge and along the front of that is a small gas cooker, the kitchen area. We had every thing we needed for a comfortable, cosy or should I say compact, life on the road.

We travelled right round Australia, covering 37,000 kilometres and taking thousands of photographs. It was a memorable experience, and we are still talking to each other…

I started this blog in 2009 to record our journey, starting with the search for our transport and the downsizing of our house to a studio apartment/granny flat.

After the doing the “big lap”, almost a rite of passage for retirees, the urge to wander still remained. So after a short stay at home spending summer on the Goldcoast we now head north each winter to the tropical northern climate. 2011 we meandered to Cairns. 2012 Darwin and the Northern Territory became our winter stop over and this year we are on the Atherton Tablelands.

Matilda has been worth her weight in gold.

Matilda set up for camping

Matilda set up for camping



Categories: Australia, australian travel, campervan, Inside, photos, Weekly photo challenge | Tags: , , , , , | 12 Comments

Out of our comfort zone…

Here we go....

Well this is it,no going back now, hope we have every thing we want..

Loaded up and ready to roll...

We have our trusty bikes as plan B if we have any problems…

Categories: australian travel, campervan, grey nomads australia, photos, travel | Tags: , , | 4 Comments

Dry as a bone….

Forecast last night was for a storm, so with a lot of trepidation I parked “Sunnyboy” the van,  in the open over night. Then we crossed our fingers, and our toes and every thing else that would cross…

8pm the storm came. Thunder, lightning and heavy rain. Before going to bed I found an umberella, took a torch and dashed out to peer inside the van. All looked dry.

This morning first thing we did was rush outside, open the back and look inside the van. Hallelujah, it was dry as a bone. There had been 15mm of heavy rain overnight, so the van has now had its baptism of water and come out with flying colours.

Hamish came out to look and said “well you are ready to pack now”…

Categories: campervan, preparing to go | Tags: , | Leave a comment

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