We found paradise in 1770

Why Captain Cook didn’t decide to drop anchor and stick around a bit I’ll never understand! We’ve spent 3 days at Seventeen Seventy and we love it. A stunning piece of the Queensland coast with the most gorgeous sunset over the ocean you’ll ever see – particularly on the East coast given the sun sets in the west!


After our two week break in Yeppoon, we packed up and left my sister and her fam and headed for Agnes Water and Seventeen Seventy. We weren’t sure when and where we’d eventually stop, but thankfully we ended at the 1770 Camping Ground right on the beach.  We’ve been lucky enough to meet another family with a two and four year old as well and so the kids have been happily occupied, meaning the parents have been able to unwind a little too.  Every evening, we’ve watched the sun go down as the kids have played on the sand and in the water – it has been bliss!

We’ve spent our time here mainly at the beach, although today we hired a paddle board to take advantage of the flat ocean and stunning weather.


We even sussed out the real-estate here which surprisingly was quite affordable with 4 bedroom homes with ocean views for just over $400k… But don’t worry Mildura peeps, we have no plans to move here… for now! But be warned, Corey has put Agnes on his retirement list!

Tomorrow we plan to continue down south – not sure where we’ll stop yet but it’ll either be Bundaberg or Hervey Bay… we’re booked in for Fraser Island on Monday where we’ll spend 5 nights.

Have you ever been to Agnes Water/1770? What destination have you been to that you’d describe as paradise?


Home to Poontown

No matter how long you’ve lived away from your hometown, the minute you’re back in the vicinity it always seems like you’ve come home. I moved away from Yeppoon the minute I finished high school. A friend and I threw everything we had into a bunch of bags, caught the tilt train and moved to Brisbane ready for Uni. I returned to live in Rockhampton for a few years to finish Uni after my mum got sick but once completed and given the chance to head for the city again, I was off.

When the date for my 20 year high school reunion was decided, we hadn’t yet made the decision to do our trip, so I probably would have just flown up for the weekend. However once we decided to do it and started our planning, we simply factored in the reunion dates and ensured that we got there in time, making somewhat of an unorthodox ‘lap’ but one that has ultimately allowed us to fit in key dates and do the things we wanted to do.

In so many ways, Yeppoon has changed significantly. I noticed these changes when I went home for my Nana’s and then my Dad’s funeral a few years ago and the progress hasn’t stopped since. There is now a big shopping complex (which was always rumoured to happen but never seemed to eventuate when I lived there), the much longed for Maccas finally arrived, the Bowls Club which was central to my grandparent’s social life has been knocked down and replaced by a Toyota dealership and most recently the beach front had undergone a massive redevelopment including more retail space with cafes and shops and a water play area for the kids.

But many things have stayed exactly the same… that moment when you crest the hill coming into town and see the water glimmering in the sunshine with the Keppel Islands on the horizon still evokes the same breathtaking awe, the fruit bats hanging in the mangroves not far from the main beach are still there as too is the the screech of lorikeets at dusk and the smell of that salty coastal air mixed with marshy mangrove odour… it’s all still the same.

And in many ways our 20 year high school reunion was similar. Aside from the friends that you’ve kept in touch with over the years, of the 50 or so students that returned, there were some there I just picked up from where I left off when we last saw each other in the school yard, and some that I said nothing more than a polite hi. Whilst it is still somewhat trippy to think that 20 years have passed since we graduated, on the whole most people were exactly the same and surprisingly we had a really good night. Which given I was hanging with this crew of awesome chicks, would have been enough in itself without the reunion!


After the reunion it was good to catch up with friends and we were lucky enough to stay with friends who lived a street back from the beach, so we spent a lot of time at the beach and in their pool (well, I didn’t… it was way too cold for me!)

We head over to Emu Park for a few hours to check out the singing ship and I was really glad to have been able to look over the new tribute for the ANZAC centenary.  The boardwalk from the ship, historic feature hut and new courtyard area was a really lovely way to pay our respect to the diggers from the local area.

But the most moving wartime tribute I think I’ve ever seen was this one over looking the bay depicting the landing at Gallipoli using the coast line to add realism and the Keppel Islands to simulate warships. So well done, and a very poignant reminder of the challenges of that battle.


After a week beachside, it was time to hang out with my sister so we swapped the coast for a more rural setting and headed to inland to a small pocket between Yeppoon and Rockhampton. Here the cousins were able to run riot and get to know each other. Chickens seem to be featuring a bit on our trip. Since staying at Mone’s prior to our trip, Miss B has been quite enamoured by chickens and we’re just about convinced that we need to get some when we return home. Both our friends in Yeppoon and my sister had chickens and the girls loved seeing and talking to them and collecting the eggs each day!

We also checked out the free Zoo at the Rockhampton Botanical Gardens.  The zoo has been there ever since I was a kid, but I thought the girls might like to see the chimpanzees.  There’s been a lot more refurbishment done since I was last there and the girls had a ball checking out the animals and trying to find the chimps.

When my sister offered to babysit, Corey and I headed off to the Rodeo. He was a bit gutted he didn’t have his Akubra, feeling somewhat out of place with all the cow cockies, but I assured him it was for the best.  We were able to have dinner and a few drinks, and watch a few bulls… even get ice-cream on the way home… all whilst the kids had a sleep over in the lounge room.  It was hard to get any good shots given how dark it was, but this grey brahman bull was very impressive!

The next day we took the girls into Yeppoon’s annual Pineapple Festival, an event I hadn’t been to in over 15 years (kind of fits into the some things still stay the same category!) but the girls loved it and Miss B was thrilled to get a free pineapple!!!

After the festivities, we headed home where I cooked up our last dinner before we headed off the next day – including a choc ripple cake, which is not such a common occurrence in Queensland.  I hadn’t ever seen one until I met my hubby and so when I mentioned it to my sister and I received a blank stare in return, I knew I had to make it for her.

14800667_10155352902431808_469416654_nAnd then it was time to go.  On to the next adventure!

Does it still feel like ‘home’ to you when you return to your hometown? Have you ever heard of choc ripple cake?

A month of stats – first month in

Ok, so this is a few days late, but we’ve always found it fascinating when people post up the stats of their trips and so we’ve been keeping a few of our own… Every month we’ll post up the stats of our trip.

29 August – 29 September 2016

Total kms – 5594km

Amount of kms Corey has driven – 5589km

Amount of kms Nardia has driven – 5km


Total nights away – 28

Number of free camps – 5

Number of unpowered sites – 7

Number of powered sites – 16

Most expensive park we’ve stayed – $50p/n for a powered site at Kings Canyon Resort

Favourite camp spot – Willow Springs

Total accommodation costs – $712


Total litres of fuel used – 925.05L

Most expensive fuel – 1.97/L Kings Canyon

Cheapest fuel – 1.15/L Broken Hill

Total fuel costs – $1487.59 – eek! that’s the cost of fast tracking!!


Best lunch – Quorn – Emily’s Bistro (best pies ever!)

Most expensive coffee – $5.75 @ Peterborough (unfortunately not the best coffee ever!)

Highlight so far – Skytrek & Uluru

Lowlight so far – Clutch dramas resulting in 4 unplanned days in Port Augusta

Total cost of groceries – $1046.80

Total cost of beer – $217 (coz you know it needed it’s own category!)

Vehicle costs – $157.90 (Hawker mechanic, brake fluid, coolant)

Caravan costs – $1035 (first service plus $700 for weight distribution set up)

Touristy things – $227.40

Misc spending money – $1240.10 (snacks & lunches, DVD repairs, laundry, park memberships – this is clearly where we need to learn to cull!)

Gas bottle refill – 1 so far – $28.85 at Home Hardware Alice Springs

Number of dump point empties – 3 (glad that’s Corey’s job)

And that’s it! The summary of our first month on the road!  I’ve been tracking expenses with a spreadsheet (never thought I’d see the day but hey, when the bucket of $$ is finite, then these things have to be done!).

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Hopefully we’ll be able to slow down a lot more and spend more time free camping.  We’re staying in Yeppoon for three weeks so that should save us heaps in accommodation as we have some free accommodation options there.  As for the rest well we expected the first month to give us an idea and when we average out what we’ve spent compared to our budget, we’re actually not that far off the mark!

Do you track how much you spend when you’re travelling or on holidays? Are you like us and way under-estimate the ‘misc spending’ that occurs?

Hightailing it to Longreach

After we left Gemtree, the mission was on to make it to the coast in time for my 20 year high school reunion on the 1st October. This meant some big days of travelling simply to make the miles, but we also wanted to make sure we saw a few of the things we wanted to see.

So we prioritised high-tailing it up to the Three Ways to turn onto the road towards Queensland until we got to Longreach. We stopped for a quick look at the Devil’s Marbles…



And then only twice overnight on the way.  The first was a free camp about 140km east of the Three Ways turn off where we saw the most beautiful sunset… but had to deal with 37 degree heat and a billion bugs!img_1272 Then we stopped at Corella Dam which was a beautiful spot that we’ve ear-marked when we come back that way in July/August next year. We tried to do a bit of yabbying/red claw catching, but no luck!

We also had to stop at Walkabout Creek Hotel!  Still as in-love with his knife as ever, Corey couldn’t resist a knife gag in front of the sign!

Although our aim was to stay in Longreach, Corey really wanted to stay in a little caravan park in Ilfracombe, just under 30km out from Longreach and so that’s where we ended up and it was definitely worth it. Hosts Cathy and Jesse were great holding a happy hour gathering the three nights we were there in their purpose built shed. Each night, either Cathy or Jesse would tell tall stories, recite some bush poetry and give some insight and history about Ilfracombe and surrounds. It has definitely been the most sociable caravan park we’ve stayed in so far.

Apart from happy hour, we went into Longreach to do the Stockman’s Hall of Fame, which unfortunately with little kids, meant that we really didn’t do it justice. It is an amazing collection of outback history and filled with small detail that is impossible to take in with two little girls who were over it after an hour of walking around.

We stayed for the stockman show which was brilliant and certainly captivated the girls – Miss A loved it especially!

After the SHOF, we headed into town for some lunch and as it turned out, went searching for a boofhead sized Akubra.

I’m not sure if I’ve shared the story of Corey and his desire for an Akubra yet… You may recall when we were stuck in Port Augusta for a few days getting our replacement clutch that we headed out to the Australian Arid Botanical Gardens for the afternoon. In the small gift shop there, I found Corey trying on these Akubra hats. That in itself makes me chuckle as it’s no great secret that my darling husband has quite a ginormous head. Whether it’s a baseball cap, bucket hat, motorbike helmet… or as it turns out, an Akubra, it’s a very rare thing for him to find a) a hat that even fits his head and b) a hat that actually looks good when it’s on his head.

Should he ever regale this story, he would no doubt argue that he hit the jackpot with the Akubra he found (size 64 Coolabah style, for those who might care!) however, my retelling of the tale would not be the same. Notwithstanding my discouragement however, his object of desire has now become an Akubra. The only reason he didn’t purchase said Akubra at the Botanical Gardens is due to the fact that their logo had been stamped into the side of the hat and he wasn’t so keen on that.

So by the time we got to Longreach, he was dead keen on finding a size 64 Akubra so we traipsed through four different outfitters and sadly (for him, not me) none had anything in size 64 or above!

So alas, we left Longreach hatless and headed back to Ilfracombe where we headed to the local swimming pool. Having been born and bred in Queensland, I don’t do cold at the best of times and I especially don’t do cold swimming pools, but in Ilfracombe they have a mineral thermal hot spring pool which is like soaking in a hot bathtub – my kind of swimming. We spent a bit of time there before it was time to head to happy hour.


Having spoken to a few people during happy hour, we’d highly recommend Ilfracombe over Longreach if you’re headed that way!

Have you ever been to the Stockman’s Hall of Fame? Do you own an Akubra?

A gem of a place

When undertaking research and sussing out where other families had gone and recommended on their trips around the country, time and time again Gemtree came up in my research and so I had said to Corey we had to go there. Orginally planning 4 or 5 days there, unfortunately we were only able to stay three nights, and ended up leaving the day of the renowned camp oven roast night which was a bit of a shame. However, with over 2500km ahead of us to get through in 6 days so that I could get home in time for my 20 year high school reunion, we knew we couldn’t afford another night.

The three nights spent at Gemtree were the first time in the three and a half weeks we’d been on the road that we had actually just sat and relaxed. Up until this point, we had been on the go, filling our days with tours or drives or sites to see.


Gemtree is a beautiful little spot about 140km North of Alice Springs, with tonnes of space and a relaxed vibe and is situated in the Central Gemfields where zircon and garnet can be found. Hosts Aaron and Kate McMaster run fossicking tours and there are 4WD tracks to while away the time for those interested. We decided not to do any of that and try to catch up and chill out for a few days however we did end up buying a bucket of dirt to try our luck at fossicking for garnet under a little hut (made especially for those who want to experience some fossicking but don’t want to do a tour – perfect for families who have kids that are too little for a full day’s tour).

We found a heap of garnet and even managed to find 5 pieces that were worthy of cutting into stones for jewellery so I think perhaps there will be some little necklaces made as a memento of our trip for the girls.img_1246

Prior to our arrival, the area had had over 3 inches of rain in a short period of time so things were quite lush and green, which to be honest can be said for the majority of the Northern Territory that we’d seen. Most places were thriving and the red desert landscape most people are familiar with hasn’t been our experience so far.  I’m not sure if the wet also bought out the mozzies or not, but Billie ended up with some ripper bites which we managed to keep under control and not scratch – yes, it meant I had to get up about 3 times a night to the sound of her yelling at me to put on ‘more cream’ but they’re starting to heal well.Her right foot though was nearly double the size of the left due to a massive bite on her ankle!

The second night we built a fire and toasted marshmallows and cooked damper on sticks. Something that, to be honest, was not so successful given both girls have no fire sense and came precarilously close to the fire on too many occaisions to count resulting in a condensed experience and bed time for both. We tried again the following night with much better success which just reinforced to us that fire safety is something we need to spend more time on with them and not assume that they know.


We met other campers and spent a few nights around a campfire talking shite which topped off an awesome time.

The highlight at Gemtree, was hands down, the stars. The nights were so clear and the stars were amazing… a million specs of amazing. I played around with the camera a bit to get some shots, but these pictures just don’t even come close (which probably says more about my proficiency with the camera!).img_0258


It was nice to have some downtime and a break from the walking and touring and I think the girls appreciated that too.

Have you ever heard of Gemtree before? Where is your favourite spot to camp for a few days R&R?


A town like Alice

Now, you can’t write a blog post about Alice Springs and not use the title above now, can you?!

Originally we’d planned to spend a couple of days in Alice, but of course our clutch issues and subsequent loss of time meant that we had to cut a few things. Unfortunately Alice was one of those casualties and our time there became an overnight stopover and opportunity to do a grocery shop.

We stayed at the G’day Mate Caravan Park where we couldn’t have faulted the service. Really friendly welcome and every time we saw Alan around the park, he made the effort to check in with us to sure we were ok.

The one touristy thing we did get to do though was check out the Australian Transport Hall of Fame. Everyone in the place was subjected to the constant cries of ‘Daddy’s Truck!’ and despite it being really interesting, the attention spans of two little girls couldn’t withstand the expanse of the grounds and all the trucking history and memorabilia inside. img_1144


We did however, get to see the offerings from Sunraysia!!

Culturally it was an interesting experience driving through Alice Springs. Clearly there is a significant indigenous population there and it was obvious there were a range of social issues within the town. Police officers were situated outside every bottle shop and many service stations, signs reminding people that permits for alcohol were required and we discovered that many of the caravan parks in the NT that we booked into gave us an alcohol permit.

Soup vans were stopped along many of the main throughfares when we went for a drive in the evening to get groceries and many indigenous people were sitting on the sidewalk drinking their soup.   Going through the NT has really challenged my own understanding regarding our indigenous people and the knowledge I have of the issues facing them.

Earlier in the week we didn’t have any TV reception and so I was finally able to get around to watching The Secret River, the Australian mini-series based on Kate Grenville’s book of the same name. I loved the book and it was great to see the book come to life in the movie but now, that film, coupled with our time in the NT I find myself wondering a lot about those early settlement years and the impact colonisation has had on our indigenous communities right across the country. One day I might delve a little more into my thoughts about this but for now I’m letting it rattle around in my brain to digest.

And that is our time in Alice Springs, summed up in a few hundred words!

Have you spent more time in Alice Springs than an overnight stopover? What are your impressions of the town?

Kings Canyon – or at least the bottom of it!

One of the things we reconciled in the research phase of this trip was that there were some things that we wouldn’t be able to see and do with two small young humans and the Kings Canyon Rim Walk which everyone raves about ended up being one of those things.

Unfortunately, the reality is that toddlers get tired and bored and can’t do the things that older children and adults can so despite a great time at Uluru, the girls were kind of over walking and whilst we were looking forward to seeing this canyon that we’d heard so much about, we weren’t sure how it was going to go.


The next morning we headed out to the canyon and were debating about trying the Rim Walk or even the Southern walk after Corey had spoken to some other campers who had tried it the day before.  We knew it was likely that we’d have to carry them in parts but we were optimistic that we’d be able to handle it. But the universe had conspired against us and our normally sunny and energetic Miss A decided that she was going to be a grump and so it became pretty clear that strenuous walks were out of the question and so we made the decision to just tackle the easy creek walk.

Miss Grump stayed that way for the first half, but thankfully perked up after a snack at the end of the walk and seemed to enjoy it more coming back.  The Creek walk was surprisingly beautiful and a fun little walk to take the girls on.

Stupidly, we thought that their improved mood meant they’d be up for another 1km walk to the Kathleen Springs. Erm… nope.  We got halfway into that walk and then Miss B  started to crack it, and soon the grump was back – Miss A was over it too so it was piggy back rides home.  The Karma Bus cleaned both Corey and I up for pushing them too hard!


After our two nights at the Kings Canyon Resort (caravan park – everything’s called a resort out here!), we packed up and decided to try our luck on the Mereenie Loop which is a dirt track connecting Kings Canyon to Alice Springs through the West McDonnell Ranges.  It was try the dirt of backtrack the way we’d come in which would add around 200km to a 300km+ day, so we decided to try the dirt and made it through with relative ease.


The West McDonnell Ranges is home to wild brumbies and camels and is very rocky terrain.img_1025I’m not sure the Gibb River Road is going to be an option after our little foray off track with our van, but it was good to see what it was capable of and Corey is finally happy that our van no longer looks like it’s a brand spanker!

Have you done the Kings Canyon Rim Walk? What tours or sites have you missed because your kids were too young to go?


Uluru awakenings

We posted quite a few pics of our short time spent at Uluru and Kata Tjuta on social media so we won’t rehash it all, but here are a few things that you may not have known about this iconic Aussie tourism destination and that we discovered as we explored the region.

1. It’s not a smooth rock but full of crevasses, caves and gorges.

2. The actual colour of the rock is black/grey. The red comes from the oxidisation or rusting when the minerals are exposed to the air (note the black lines where the rain creates waterfalls).

3. It’s not as long and skinny as the postcards would have you believe. Believe it or not, the rock is actually more round in shape than long and skinny. There are two main ‘faces’ that are depicted on postcards. At first glance it’s actually hard to tell the difference, but when you see the difference you can tell.


Source: hwaairfan.wordpress.com

4. The indigenous history and significance is understated and it was quite a profound experience to learn more about the indigenous history. It was hard to (try to) imagine a time before European settlement and the commercialisation of the area but when we did it was quote mind-blowing. There’s something magical about the atmosphere here.

5. Kata-Tjuta is so much bigger than the pictures show and is just as significant to the indigenous community as Uluru.  We didn’t get the opportunity to explore ‘The Olgas’ as up close as we would have liked as the girls were knackered after all the walking around Uluru. We got as far as the car park and decided not to push them so we headed back to the look out for a look from afar.  The stories of this place are not as commonly known and for many cultural reasons aren’t shared however the history and meaning of this area just as significant, especially as a meeting and ceremonial place.



6. As we established earlier, Mt Conner is not Uluru!  It is however refered to as ‘Fool-uru’ (Thanks Lou for tagging me in the link about this!). However, we feel better having had a few messages that confirm we’re not the only ones who have been fooled before! My friend Peter gave me this little tip to tell the difference:

Mt Conner has horizontal lines/layers14397188_10155247838556808_2009126196_nUluru has diagonal lines/layersimg_0176Kata-Tjuta has vertical lines/layersimg_0791

We had a fabulous time exploring this iconic Aussie landmark, but we’re also glad we took the time to take in the sunset and sunrise.  There is already a magical atmosphere when you’re walking around and taking in the sheer magnitude of these rocks – the geology alone is mind-blowing, but when you couple that with the history of our indigenous fore bearers, it’s quite a surreal experience and it seemed that the rising and setting of the sun just amplified this.


Although our time was so short, we certainly left a lot more aware of the geology and history of this place and a lot less ignorant than when we arrived.

Have you experienced the magic of Uluru and Kata-Tjuta? Were you fooled by Mt Conner?


The Uluru that wasn’t…

We’d done a fair bit of research in preparation for this trip. And in particular we’d sussed out what there was to see at Uluru. But in all my reading and research, not once did I come across this little surprise:14388985_10155247838716808_1428038831_n

See it in the distance?? We saw the rock peaking over the horizon and got excited to see the first glimpse. The phone and camera came out to capture that first moment. The kids continued to watch Dinosaur Train…. Ok, so maybe the excitement was just mine.

Anyway, we edged closer and closer to the rock and both Corey and I remarked how we didn’t remember it looking so steep.14355892_10155247838586808_346082153_n

We came upon a lookout filled with buses and tourists everywhere so Corey offered to pull over so I could grab a clearer shot…14397188_10155247838556808_2009126196_n

When I got back to the car the conversation went something like this:

Me: I didn’t realise it was so tall and flat.

Corey: Me either.

Me: It must get photographed from the other side, perhaps the road loops around it because it doesn’t look familiar at all.

Corey: the GPS says we’re still 100km away, that definitely doesn’t seem that far.

Me: I don’t recall it having a ‘skirt’ around it. It kind of looks like it’s been mined up three quarters of the way up.

Corey: I don’t reckon that’s it. It’s not Ayers Rock.

Me: What do you mean you you don’t think it’s it. It’s a big bloody rock in the middle of no-where, what else could it be?

Corey: Grab the 4WD map book and see what it says.

Me: Ok *flicks through book* Ummm… It says Mount Connor.

Corey: I knew it didn’t look right.

Me: I wonder if the bus driver of all those tourists waits for them all to get back in after taking 100 pictures before he tells them it’s not Uluru!

Both: laugh hysterically

Dumbasses! Well, we did get the first glimpse of the real Uluru which looked much more familiar!14397441_10155247838776808_1714070017_n

We have arrived!14389946_10155247838831808_1168502099_n

It’s been a long couple of days as we expressed it from Port Augusta, doing two big 650km+ days to make up for the time that we lost getting a new clutch. Yes, that was the diagnosis after having to return to Port Augusta from the Flinders Ranges.  We headed back and then had to wait until Monday morning to lob up on Holden’s doorstep.

We ended up getting a brand new clutch plus they did the factory recall that should have been done by our dealer when it was serviced three weeks ago but wasn’t (seems to be a trend happening there) and it was really great to get some excellent service – both Broken Hill and Port Augusta Holden dealerships run rings around our local guys. #justsayin

Our time spent in PA was filled with rain and thunderstorms but we had a little poke around.  The Australian Arid Botanial Gardens was a pleasant surprise with some awesome sculptures and we went back again after we were rained out the first time around.

And then we were finally on the road.

We bypassed Coober Pedy.14356026_10155247872016808_1264505332_n

And free camped about 90km out in the middle of nowhere last night.14389917_10155247872056808_1480655946_n

Across the border today!14348941_10155247872071808_961396362_n

Both the girls have been awesome with the couple of long days.  But poor Miss A struggles with the straight back seat of the Colorado and I spend much of my time twisting in my seat to try and configure something that will support her head.  I may have to resort to velcroing her head to the seat!14388931_10155247872131808_881966034_n

We were lucky enough to get TV reception to watch the Hawks v Bulldogs game but sadly, as I write this, the Hawks didn’t get through to the finals… the reign is over.

Hopefully Corey will recover from his doldrums before we start another day of exploring tomorrow.  Apparently there will be thunderstorms starting tomorrow but hopefully we can have a look around here before heading to Kings Canyon for a night… and then it’s off to Alice Springs!

So I’ll leave you with this gorgeous shot of the full moon over one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen.14371834_10155247891031808_1559564418_n-2

Have you ever been to Uluru? Any tips on how to stop a toddlers head from flopping all over the place when they are sleeping in the car?



Killing time in Port Augusta


Port Augusta was an unexpected extended stay due to the issues with our clutch which I alluded to here and here. After lobbing up at Holden’s reception as soon as they’d opened, we ended up spending half of our Monday morning hanging out at Hungry Jack’s which was across the road from the Holden dealership and featured a playground to keep the girls occupied. After a couple of hours, the car was diagnosed and yes, we needed a new clutch, but we had to wait for parts to arrive from Adelaide so we could pick it up to use for the next couple of days and then drop it off on the Wednesday to get the new clutch.

Thunderstorms started to roll in so we were van-bound for the afternoon and Tuesday was similar, although we did attempt a trip out to the Australian Arid Botanical Gardens – unfortunately it was too wet to see much.

Wednesday we dropped the car off and got our courtesy car – luckily we had two spare car seats in the back of the ute (for my sister, in case you’re wondering) so we could use those and not have to pull out the girls seats from the ute. We checked out the info centre and the botanical gardens. The gardens were actually a pleasant surprise and a great way to kill some time before we had to pick up the ute.


And before too long the ute was done and we could pick it up – thankfully everything that was done to it was covered by warranty and the service at Holden Port Augusta was second to none! But now, it was time to get packed, hit the road and head Northward.

Has there been a time where car troubles have thrown a spanner in your travel plans? What highlights did we miss in Port Augusta (we’ll be back there next year!)?