free travel accomadation

Travel theme— Secret Places

Aisla of “Where’s my backpack” has invited, (challenged) me to submit a post on this weeks theme of “secret places in travel”. Click on the link to her blog and you will find many interesting secret travel places from other bloggers.

So I lay in bed, where ideas seem to flow, then I fell asleep. Now, sometimes, I forget that spark from the night before. Not this time, as this place is a real standout in my memories of the 2010 trip around Australia.

Lawless Park

The light was fading and we had been slowly travelling along the Burnett Highway in Queensland. With many stops to admire the scenery, take photos, lots of photos, take short walks into the bush. Stroll around the small rural towns. Murgon, Goomeri (in season they have a pumpkin festival here), Kilkivan ( centre for the great endurance horse trek). Another perfect day on our road trip around Australia.

 Now it was time to find some where to stop for the night. We love freedom camping, if we can find one, that is our preferred choice.

 It was dusk when we found Lawless Park. Nestled into a bushy backdrop with tall stately gums around the perimeter and a picnic table but no other facilities. The grass was lush and spongy underfoot, perfect. It was late March, autumn over here, and the air was crisp and clear, not a cloud in the sky.  With a glass of wine in hand and dinner on our laps we could look up at a million stars as darkness enfolded us. The magic came next morning when we woke and looked out side. Mist was blanketing the area with a shroud of stillness. An ethereal, breathless quiet made me gasp in wonder. A million dewdrops glistened on cobwebs, we had this magical, secret place all to ourselves.

Towering to the heavens

The morning sun filters through the mist

The name Lawless was not because a bunch of bushrangers or other equally lawless characters roamed here in the past (maybe they did) but it is named after the Lawless brothers who arrived here in 1847 and “sqatted” in this area. Then built a dwelling and farmed this land. The original house “Booubyjan” is still here and can be visited for a small donation. The Lawless family still live and farm in this area.

Categories: australian travel, camping, Camping grounds, free travel accomadation, photos | Tags: , , | 13 Comments

lorrikeets in rain video

lorikeets in rain video, originally uploaded by gypsy woman1.

Well it is hard to believe but we have now been home 6 weeks, where has the time gone? I did intend to keep the blog posts going but some how life has taken over….We have been busy sorting out the granny flat we are now living in, and though it is just a one room studio style place, with a small kitchen, and very small bathroom, after living in Matilda for a year it seems large to us, and we are enjoying the relative space.The mammoth, but enjoyable, task of sorting the photos is taking time. I am also an obsessive collector of data and information, ie: how much we spent on petrol, eating out, groceries, alcohol etc. So now I have taken the time to work out some of the stats.

  • Travelled a total of 26,996 kms
  • Petrol total cost: $4,336. Most expensive was $1.97/ltr at Dunmarra in the Northern Territory, cheapest $1.17/ltr at Mount Gambia.
  • Freedom camping: 23 nights
  • 4 WWOOF hosts:21 nights
  • 9 couch surfing hosts: 59 nights
  • 2 friends met on road: 11 nights
  • 1 relation:2 nights

116 days we did not have to pay for accommodation, this was a great help to the budget and made it possible to travel for a year on the pension…

  • 206 nights in various priced caravan parks.
  • Most expensive van park was Skenes Creek at $45 on the Great Ocean Road during January school holidays. It was also one of the worst being dirty and very over crowded. 
  • Most expensive accommodation was $98 for one night at the Buddhist Temple near Wollongong.But well worth it for the experience and peaceful atmosphere.
  • To have a break from the rain we left Matilda on her own and stayed in cabins at 3 separate places for a total of 6 nights.
  • During May and June we returned home to the Gold Coast for 46 days.
  • Total accommodation cost: $4,437 , averaged out at $21.50 per night.
  • Very special extra excursions: full day flight to and walk through the Bundle Bundle in the Kimberly, cruise down the Katherine gorge, 4 wheel drive trip into the Karijini Gorge, cruise along the Murray, cruise along the Ord river, cruise through the Geikie Gorge.
  • Caring for Matilda: 2 services, 4 new tyres, 1 replaced windscreen…

We were on the road for a total of 329 days. Including all costs we spent on an average $495 per week….

Was it worth it, definately. Would I do it again, yes, yes, yes….


Categories: australian travel, Camping grounds, couch surfing, free travel accomadation, random thoughts | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Adelaide couch surfing

Adelaide couch surfing, originally uploaded by gypsy woman1.

10 years ago before Marion bought this house it was a plumbers supply shop. Now the shop area has been stripped of all the fittings and one end of the large area changed into a work area and the other end is a buddhist shrine.

The living area behind the shop is large and comfortable, so Marion has plenty of places for couch surfers to stay. Jack is sleeping on a very comfortable mattress on the floor in Buddhas room. I am sleeping in Matilda.

Categories: accomadation, couch surfing, free travel accomadation, South Australia, travel | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Couch surfing again…

Carroll and Jacks house, originally uploaded by gypsy woman1.

5 years ago I stayed with Carroll and Jack for the first time. I met them through “Global Freeloaders” back then and in the 5 days I stayed in 2005 we made a lasting friendship that lasted with the help of the internet.

It was Jack that introduced me to “couch surfing“. He has used it for 3 years with great success, both hosting and staying with hosts.. I’m so pleased I found it as it is adding a whole new dimension to travel for us.

I was pleased to be able to introduce Jack to them. Now Carroll’s name is spelt the same as my surname, very unusual, and we both have men called Jack… so Carroll called “my Jack” , “gentle Jack” and I, of course, just said “Hey “my Jack””

“My Jack” fell in love with their home.Carroll being artistic and a collector of all things different and artistic, every where you looked was something interesting to look at, from the art on the walls to the view out of the window. Carroll’s Jack loved all classical music and so the back ground sound of our stay was the beautiful sound of the classics.

We enjoyed 7 relaxing and interesting days with them and it was a sad farewell, but, who knows what is in the future, maybe they will come to couch surf with us one day…

Categories: accomadation, australian travel, couch surfing, free travel accomadation, travel, Western Australia | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

Gin Gin, Free 48 hour stop over rest area…

Just 2 km north of Gin Gin is this popular rest area. You can stay for up to 48 hours. It has toilets and BBQ tables and we pulled in at 3pm after a beautiful drive through the fertile North Burnett countryside. It is so green that it reminds me of New Zealand. Many paddocks had been cut for hay and the crops of corn and sugar cane are all flourishing. I imagine the farmers are praying, and keeping their fingers crossed, that there are no storms at harvest time. This beautiful Honeyeater came and joined us as we had our cuppa…
Jack found an interesting walk down, what was the old road, to the river. The old road continued in the opposite direction to Gin Gin CBD, 2.5km. So at 5pm we decided to walk to town. On arrival we were ready for a beer, then bought fish and chips. It was dark when we walked back…
About 20 vans had pulled in for the night and a few of them had their generators humming away, one was right next to us… As the camp was right next to a very busy stretch of the Burnett Highway we had the thunder of big rigs roaring past all night, because we’d had a good walk once we were a sleep they didn’t bother us.
Categories: australian travel, camping, camping australia, Camping grounds, flickr photos, free travel accomadation, photos, travel | Tags: , | 1 Comment

Toowoomba, the big smoke

We loved Nobby a very friendly and vibrant little town. We now need to visit a town as we have found we need a few essential things ie. a longer power lead as you cannot always get close to the power source. So we now head for Toowoomba. On the way we come across a memorial to Steele Rudd, it is a collection of slab huts with the original fence posts.All free and open to the public to just wander around. We had a cuppa and Jack did a sketch of the slab hut.

We found our way around Toowoomba with Jack navigating and me panicking,a bit. We found a huge Bunnings and did all our shopping, then visited “Grand Central” and found a Telstra shop to buy a prepaid Dongle before going back to a free rest area just 13 km south of Toowoomba, called Federation Park, clean toilets, BBQ’s, no showers or power and next to the road, but we were tired after our exciting day in town and slept like logs….

Categories: australian travel, free travel accomadation, grey nomads australia, photos, travel | Tags: , , | Leave a comment


allora-campground, originally uploaded by gypsy woman1.

Categories: 1, Allora, camping, Camping grounds, flickr photos, free travel accomadation, travel | Tags: , | 2 Comments

Free camping…

After leaving the rain behind in Stanthorpe we moved on to Allora, the sunflower capital of Queensland. We searched for sunflowers but it is the wrong season, but we did find a bunch flowering in a garden in town. You can’t win them all..

When in town having a look around, we were told about camping for free down at Dalrymple creek. Wow what a find, beautiful sheltered sites and being first there for the day we had the pick of the best position. Soon 2 other vans arrived and we struck up a friendship with them, which resulted in Frank bringing over his early edition, hand built  Maton guitar after dinner, and as the sun went down, he sang a medley of country songs, some of which he had composed. Wal and Kate with little dog Sam joined us and we all swapped stories. It was a magical evening.  They told us of good free, or cheap, camp sites. What a fantastic start to our years adventure, this is the essence of travel, meeting people and hearing their stories and sharing hints and tips to make camping and travelling easier.

Categories: australian travel, camping, camping australia, Camping grounds, free travel accomadation, grey nomads australia, travel | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

More free accommodation

Another way to help the travel budget stretch is to contact <> This is a world wide organisation with a list of people willing to let you sleep on their couches, or any other thing they have available. A hilarious account of one Aussie mans attempt to travel and only use the couch surfing network can be read in “Sleeping around,a couch surfing tour of the globe” by Brian Thacker. I have not tried couchsurfing out yet but when we take off next April 2010 we are looking at all ways to make the $$’s go further and this sounds a great way to also meet people.

Another way to “sleep around” is to join the “WWOOF” organization. The details are on This is not totally internet based as you have to buy their book of farm hosts and register with the WWOOF organisation, which you can do over the internet. Also you are required to do 4-5 hours of farm or related type jobs to “pay” for your full board and lodging. I have “WWOOFed around Australia and met a very interesting and friendly group of people. From picking and packing bananas to helping on a seahorse breeding unit and weeding endless veggie patches I loved every minute and the meals they all served where made from home grown, organic produce, cooked with love. I can recommend the experience…

Categories: Books, free travel accomadation, travel | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Free travel accommodation

Globalfreeloaders what a great organization this is. 

I first stumbled across it when travelling around Australia on the Greyhound buses in 2005. It was an invaluable resource to help the budget stretch out to 5 months of memorable travel through the wild flower areas of Western Australia, across the Nullabor, and experience the iconic Ocean Road. Staying with locals in different areas enhanced the experience. As it is, for me, the people you meet that stay in your mind and heart the most.

These are some of the iconic Australian places I saw during my 2005 trip.

Why I am including it today is because we  had a lady from Singapore contact us via GFL and she has arrived to stay with us for 3 days. A charming and very independent person, she is a joy to have as a guest.

During our coming travels we intend to once again use GFL to have short breaks from the road and also meet local people.

Check it out if you are travelling, it may be for you too

Tasty, easy lunch recipe….

Have you ever tried couscous? NO? well it is a very easy and quick ingredient to use. Ideal for travellers…

Tuna and Tomato Couscous Salad (serves 2)


  • 2/3 cup couscous
  • 2/3 cup boiling water
  • 185 gram can tuna
  • 12 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 95 gram can corn kernels, drained
  • 1/4 cup chopped mint
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 2 tbs lemon juice


 1…Combine the couscous and water in a bowl and stir with a fork until the water is absorbed and then let cool.  

2…Drain and flake the tuna and stir into the couscous with all other ingredients.

Serve on a bed of lettuce. Yummy…..

If you have more easy to use recipes to use when travelling I would like to try them. Please leave them in the  comment box.

Categories: free travel accomadation, global freeloaders, travel | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

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