Posts Tagged With: camper van

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 : Escape = Freedom

The definition I think of for escape is “to get away”. To leave your day-to-day life, in your safe and comfortable harbour, and set sail for places unknown.

So this is my interpretation of this weeks photo challenge. Click here to see how other bloggers escape

In 2010 that opportunity came when we bought Matilda, our ticket to freedom, our licence to escape and go where ever the wind would blow us.

Leaving home March 2010

Leaving home March 2010 in Matilda


Australia here we come....

Australia here we come….

Matilda is our home, our transport and our ticket to adventure. We have meandered around Australia for 3 years now. Spending short spells back home then off again. My gypsy soul loves this lifestyle. The people we meet, the beautiful and very varied scenery, the endless photo opportunities. Life never gets boring.

The road less travelled

The road less travelled

Freedom camping on the banks of rivers

Freedom camping on the banks of rivers

Waking up to glorious sunrises

Waking up to glorious sunrises


Cooking over an open fire and eating under the stars

Cooking over an open fire and eating under the stars

Waking up to an ethereal, misty morning

Waking up to an ethereal, misty morning


Sunsets over lakes

Sunsets over lakes

The many sunsets are perfect endings to the day spent discovering this amazing country I call home, Australia.

We are so lucky to be able to travel in safety and with freedom in this land. It is such a huge and diverse country that we will never run out of places to explore.





Categories: Australia, australian travel, camping australia, escape, photos, post-a-week, Weekly photo challenge | Tags: , , , , | 22 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

Kookaburra, early morning visitor_

The sun is shining again and after approx 300mm of rain over the past week the garden is looking very green and tropical.
We are also feeling happy and relieved that Hamish has managed to find the problem leak and with a bit of Aussie ingenuity it is now, fingers crossed, fixed and ready to start packing and fine tuning what we are going to take.  
Categories: australian travel, flickr photos, garden, photos, preparing to go | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

Tropical summer rain february 2010

Tropical summer rain february 2010, originally uploaded by gypsy woman1.

The rain has come with a vengeance,the radio reported 300mm to 400mm. The rain gauge, which holds 125mm, had overflowed when I went to read it at 10am. The garden is slowly turning into a lake…
I decided to move “Sunnyboy” out of the cover of the car port to test if the leak had been fixed. An hour later I went to check it…..
O.M.G…. I lifted the back and a flood of water poured out…
Well I guess the good news is that we still have time to fix it before we hit the road. I put it back under cover and dried the inside. Will now have to wait till the rain clears before we can look at it. Hamish, our tenant who works in a panel beating shop, has said he will look at it for us.
16 days to “D-day”….
Categories: garden, photos, preparing to go | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

Van is, almost, ready to go

Finally found time to take “Sunnyboy” (our van) into the caravan repair garage, “carafix”, to find the pesky little leak. They found a rivet that holds the awning in place had worked loose leaving a very small hole, but that was all that was needed in torrential rain to get the back corner of the van, over the bed area, very damp.

Half hour later with new rivets and glue pumped into the holes at a very reasonable cost of $40, we are now water proof. We hope!!!! 

Now just need a full mechanical check.

22 days to “d-day”………

Categories: preparing to go, travel | Tags: | 2 Comments

Could this be the one?

1997 Toyota campervan
Taking a closer look…

We found this van advertised on the internet. It sounded as though it could be the one we are searching for.

After an hours train ride to Brisbane and a half hour walk from the station to Kangaroo Point we spotted it sitting in the garden waiting for us.
I sold Real Estate in New Zealand for a number of years and I had noticed, time and again, that houses give out a vibe, an aura, and when the right person walks into that house I could tell it was meant for them. It is an eerie sort of feeling. 
Well I found that same intuitive feeling works with  camper vans. After all it is going to be our home on wheels. It was a well-maintained van with all the “bells and whistles” but it didn’t “talk” to us. So the search continues….    


Categories: search for van | Tags: | Leave a comment

The search begins…

I have been searching on the internet for pop top campervans for sale. The type we want seem to be in short supply. Maybe the good ones the owners love them so much they do not want to part with them. The ones I do see advertised are quite old and I think they are probably the ones the backpackers buy and run around the country then sell again every 6 months or there about. They are priced around $3000 but could be buying lots of problems. So will keep searching.

This weekend it was the motor home and camping show in Brisbane. Ideal we thought and hopped on the train to check it out.

Well, I think the “baby boomer” market was being catered for. The ones we hear belong to the “ski” club (spending kid’s inheritance). Huge caravans, Winnebago’s and all the accessories to make it like home away from home, and costing as much as a small house. In fact many do sell their houses and travel continuously. We want to get into National Parks, maybe park, unobtrusively, in back lanes and out-of-the-way places, for that we need a smaller van.

Our home on wheels is out there. Will just keep visualising it….

Categories: travel | Tags: | 1 Comment

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