Category Archive for ‘Blog’

‘I get by with a little help from my friends!’

“In life everything happens for a reason. People meet not by chance but by fate. In meeting however… who cares about reason? I'm just glad we did.”


We met Trish from Dunoon in Hampi, India last year. We had breakfast together in Bangalore and bumped into her again in Mysore. She gave us her contact details and told us to let her know if we were ever up her way as she had a spare room. Little did she know we would take her up on it! When we were going to be in Lismore we emailed Trish to see if she wanted to meet for coffee but later, when we lost our house sitting, we had to ask if we could park our van in her driveway so Nick could attend his course in Byron Bay. As we were trying to sneak out on Saturday morning to drive to Byron Maggie decided to make the most god awful noise. We are sure we woke the entire neighbourhood. Nick worked out that the fan was hitting something and that she was undrivable. We quickly joined the RACV only to find out we had a broken harmonic balancer and needed to be towed to Lismore.

Nick made his course in Byron Bay thanks to Trish letting us borrow her car and I got to enjoy the beautiful Tallow's beach.
I could relate to this graffiti in the main street of Byron Bay!
Trish took us out to see some of the local sites. Moby certainly enjoyed her ride in the car.
Our three nights with Trish turned in five as we waited for Maggie to be fixed. When she was back on the road we set off exploring and stayed the night at Maca's camping ground, in the middle of nowhere outside of Mullimbimbi.
We woke to find this big fella in the tree right near our van!
The caretaker wanted to swap his bus for Maggie but despite the additional space we said no!
We are learning to ask for help and getting over the thought that we are putting people out. We called Kate, Celi's mum in Tweed Heads and she was thrilled to have us stay with her for two nights. Kate took us over the border for coffee in Queensland where I instantly felt at home!
This one is for you Celi!

We enjoyed our walk on the beaches!

Leaving Kate we headed south. I was not impressed by this cheeky magpie at our lunch spot in Potsville.
Nick met Jacquie at a course through his friend John. Jacquie needed to go to Sydney with her new job and very kindly asked if would we house sit for her and look after her two gorgeous dogs. We were in heaven in her beautiful house.

The dogs certainly enjoyed the company and Nick quickly had a new best friend in Roy!

Meet Macka who is blind.

Nick found some time for a surfing lesson at the main beach in Kingscliff.

It was a beautiful day for a surf in Kingscliff!
Signing his life away before the start of the lesson! I checked his insurance was up to date!!!
About to set off into the water. At least the hair makes him look like a surfer!
Almost up!
We met Jode randomly in a Byron Bay cafe when she commented on how much she liked my dress. We chatted for ages and really connected with her. We took the opportunity to invite her over for a BBQ while we were in Kingscliff. Trish, James and Tara also joined us.
Roy, Nick, Jode, Tara, Trish and James relaxing at the end of the night.
We loved being in Kingscliff and made time for an afternoon walk on the beach.


Today we are off to Banora Point, Tweed Heads to do a work exchange with Little Trace, owner of Goose Bumps clothing, and an old friend and collegue from my London days.

Thank goodness for our friends, new and old helping us 'get by' on the northern coast of NSW. This post is for you guys! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!




Dancing in the rain!

“Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass…It's about learning to dance in the rain.”

― Vivian Greene

It was Monday morning. We had a flat battery and our seven week house sitting stint had been cancelled before it had even started due to the poor health of one of the owners. The flat battery was an easy one to correct as our camping neighbour was happy to give us a jump start. Not having a place to live for seven weeks was another issue! We saw the quote above in a shop window in Ballina and decided to start dancing, heading south from Lismore towards Port Macquarie where I needed to be on Friday for an interview with the Department of Education.

Our first two camp sites were cheap, colourful and slightly surreal. Grafton Greyhound Racing Club Caravan Park was our first stop where a dog show was about to start. We woke to the site of fluffy dogs with ribbons in their hair like the one below!

Prices for two people: $17 for an unpowered site. $23 for a powered site. Toilet and shower block. hot showers. Fluffy dogs with ribbons not guaranteed!

We had ANOTHER flat battery in the morning and this time it was the greyhound track caretaker's tractor that came to our rescue!!!

Maggie went straight to an auto electrician and returned to the road with a new battery and a new solenoid and starter button to manually engage the glob plugs before starting.

Our second surreal camping experience was at The Coff's Harbour Showgrounds.
The show was about to start and walking down a deserted side show alley in the morning in our pyjamas towards the shower blocks really put a smile on our faces!
Our breakfast spot in Coff's harbour.
We liked this graffiti in the town centre

We stayed an extra night in Coff's as we had been invited to dinner by Kate, Allan and Renee, our friend Kel's family. We used the extra time during the day to make some new curtains for Maggie. It is amazing what a secondhand donna cover, a pair of scissors and some pegs can do.

Relaxing in the local parks
Park beach
We returned home from an amazing dinner and even better company to our first free camping night in a vacant block near the marina. It did have 'no camping' signs everywhere but our fellow travellers assured us the locals had just agreed to allow free camping for no more than two nights and they just hadn't got around to taking the signs down.
Despite the new curtains we were up very early and had the chance to enjoy the beautiful morning light.
This road sign made us giggle as we headed further south!!!!!
We were slightly jealous of this gorgeous VW van in Scott's Point.

Bonny Hills Holiday Park outside of Port Macquarie was our next stop. The words of wisdom outside the office door seemed to be speaking to us!

Our site had amazing views and we could hear the sea. It is not so noticable in the photos but we needed to make sure the handbrake was on and needed to adjusts the seats before we went to bed so the blood did not rush to our heads. Mental note: next time park sideways!
We found the very crowded local pub just in time for the last quarter of the Anzac day showdown at the MCG and were two of about four people watching it. Go the Bombers!!!! The full moon was amazing on the way home!
We were up early again for coffee at the surf life saving club….
And enjoyed a walk on this beautiful beach…………..
Lunch was in Port Macquarie by the river.

I have never stepped straight out of a camper van to attend an interview before. I have also never had an interview at such a random time…………………. 2:11pm!!! The interview was a success and I now have my approval to teach in NSW………the first of many hurdles to getting a job here!!!

House sitting job in Lismore??? What house sitting job? We are enjoying our freedom and our chance to dance in the rain!




Life is a road trip!

Day One

It was a slow journey from Townsville to Rocky but we found out where all of the Queensland tax payer dollars were going. Road works galore!

We enjoyed this road sign on the Brunce Highway.

On advice from Frank, my dad's mate we took the inland road from Rockhampton and stayed the night in Mount Morgan, a mining town with a great pub. We enjoyed a barra burger and camped the night at a cheap and cheerful caravan park. We did go and check out the free but illegal camping site at the dam after a local said, “Pardon my French but the dam is a f…ing amazing place to camp – picture perfect – if you don't want to pay for a caravan park.”

We were put off by the fact the toilets were closed and there was not another soul in sight.

Day Two

More roadworks were the order of the day!

We failed to stop at the big tomato and the big crocodile yesterday so we could not drive passed the BIG ORANGE! Nick couldn't roll it despite his efforts!

That night we were treat to some amazing hospitality on the Gold Coast from James and his parents. The hospitality was so good we wanted to move in!

Day three

We decided to check out some of the beaches on the way to meeting the people we were house sitting for in Lismore. Brunswick Heads was our favourite along that stretch of coast.

We had afternoon tea with Don and Annette and met Sam the cat, our responsibility for the next six weeks. Deciding to stay at the cheapest cheapest caravan park we could find in Lismore we quickly learned cheap is not always best. We did not realise it was a residential park until we were inside of it and by then it was too late. Hey it was dark!

I was woken at about 11 pm with a women shouting, “Get the police! Someone get the police!”

The next minute a white van backed around the corner at speed and hit a palm tree before screeching off out of the park. Twenty minutes later the police arrived but we never found out what was going on. Needless to say I did not get much sleep that night!

You can see the palm tree he hit in the back ground! Thankfully he missed us!


Day Four

Setting off back to the coast we had our first coffee in Byron.

After that we to the Brunswick Heads again for breakfast in the park and a walk to the beach.

We explored more of the North coast and settled on Evans Head for the night. After our experience the night before we wanted a tourist park, and booked into 'The Golden Sands', a great caravan park by the river and only a short walk to the beach.

We were looking forward to starting our house sitting and having some creature comforts after our four day road trip!




Terrific Townsville

'Neat Queenslanders – both houses and residents – inhabit this upwardly mobile city straddling the coast and the outback. Even with its sprinkling of cosmopolitan cafés and boutiques, Townsville still feels like a big country town surrounded by pink hills from which sky-high sunsets plunge into a scaled-down Riviera dotted with water craft.'

Lonley Planet, Townsville

We flew to Townsville to see my family and to attend a friend's wedding. It was wonderful catching up with friends at the wedding!

With Louy and Lisa

With Louy and Lisa

Terry and Jenny

Terry and Jenny

Paula and Charles during the cermony

Paula and Charles during the cermony

Louy and Liam

Louy and Liam

Louy was impressed by the food!

Louy was impressed by the food!

Not as drunk as we look given it was a lunch time wedding.

Not as drunk as we look given it was a lunch time wedding.


They say in Queensland it is beautiful one day and perfect the next but we were glad it rained for a couple of days to cool things down. We still managed to get out of the house for a walk.

 Dad was worried about cars seeing us and gave me his rain jacket!

Dad was worried about cars seeing us and gave me his rain jacket!

After many catch ups over food we decided walking would be a good idea.

We took a long walk along The Strand.

We took a long walk along The Strand.


We also walked down to 'Riverways' to meet friends for morning tea and enjoyed the shade on offer.



We helped mum place an ad on Gumtree to sell dad's lawn bowls.

Nick thought this photo would attract the buyers!

Nick thought this photo would attract the buyers!

We still had not worked out a way to get to Lismore for our house sitting stint so we went to Magnetic Island for the day to look at a van that we liked on Gumtree.


Alma beach

Alma beach



We agreed with this sign at a cafe in Geoffery Bay!

We agreed with this sign at a cafe in Geoffery Bay!


Also loved this one!

Magnetic island

Magnetic island



The view from the boat coming back into Townsville.

The view from the boat coming back into Townsville.

We went back to Magnetic Island today to buy the van. Meet the newest addition to our family!

We still need to give her  a good Queensland name.

We still need to give her a good Queensland name.

He might of been wicked but our girl was definitely more sexy.

Waiting for the car ferry. He might have been wicked but our girl is sexy!

On the car ferry on the way home.

On the car ferry on the way home.

We are leaving Townsville tomorrow morning after two terrific weeks to head South where house sitting and more adventures await for us in Lismore.