1. Tell us a bit about yourselves and who you are travelling with.
We are Kevin & Adele Hockey. We have always loved to travel and decided it was time to see our own country after having travelled extensively overseas. All travel is essentially the same thing, a desire to experience new things, explore new places and meet new people.
2. What made you pack up and go?
We both lost our Fathers in a short space of time and it just made me re-evaluate my future. I couldn’t accept that life had to be, go to work all week, spend weekends doing chores, and repeat. It’s like Groundhog Day. I just felt there had to be more to life so I began setting ourselves up for a way to have true work/ life balance.
3. Which way did you travel? Clockwise or anticlockwise?
We left Brisbane on Feb 1st 2016. So many people told us to head south which made no sense to me, the last place I wanted to be in winter is the south of Australia. We were told it was too hot, too wet and we were going to be stuck in the middle of cyclones. Not sure how fast they thought we would be driving but like a lot of advice you receive you have to work out the good, the bad and what works best for you. We went north and it was perfect timing. We were in Cairns in June, Darwin in July and Broome by August. We spent 4 months in WA before crossing the Nullabor and heading for Melbourne via the Barossa Valley and going to Tassie.
After Tasmania we did the Great Ocean Road and over to Kangaroo Island before heading up the middle back to Darwin for winter again. From Darwin we ended up in Mt Isa, up to Gregory River, Karumba and back to Cairns. We then made our way to Winton and Longreach, down through Toowoomba heading south to Wagga Wagga and the Murray River. We saw Canberra and back through Bowral and up the East coast to home in time for Christmas two years after leaving home.
After a few months at home with our Mums, sons, family and friends we are back on the road and are now on a trip to the Whitsundays J
4.How long have you been on the road for and do you have an end date?
We’ve been living in our Motorhome for 2.5 years now with no set date to finish. We will keep going until we no longer want to. Right at the moment I can’t do 4 walls but who knows what the future will bring. We have no plans at this time to stop travelling and are working on doing 6 months around New Zealand.
5. What are you travelling in? Car / Tent / Van? What are the pro’s and con’s?
We chose to travel in a Motorhome and have been really happy with the decision but we will have some changes in the future. We will introduce a 4wd, we just haven’t quite worked out how we will do that but watch this space J
Travelling in a Motorhome suits us, we love it. There’s no perfect option, just what best suits you and maximises achieving your plan for your adventure the way you have designed it.
What we love about the Motorhome is everywhere we go everything is with us. We save a lot on food because everywhere we go our fridge and kitchen is there and we rarely ever eat out. If we drive to somewhere and find a great place to swim, all our swimming gear is with us. If we come across a great fishing spot, all the gear is right there.
Set up and packing up literally takes between 5-10 minutes. It’s simple, it’s fast, no hassles. Lots of people say what about if you just want to go to the shops but that rarely happens, most days we are heading out to explore places anyway and we always work out what has to be done when we arrive at a town anyway, such as dump point, shops, water and do that before heading in to set up camp. Other Motorhome owners tow a car to allow them to run around in.
We feel safe and secure in the Motorhome and if we arrive somewhere and it’s raining we don’t even need to go outside.
On the flip side, there are places we want to go that we can’t access in the Motorhome. The Cape, Gunlom Falls and Jim Jim Falls in Kakadu, Fraser Island, 80 Mile beach and Warroora Station to name a few. It would have been awesome to drive down onto the beach at places like Cable Beach and watch a sunset. The Daintree was really hard in our 8m Motorhome. I found it just too big for the roads there.
For us, this is the only downside to the Motorhome without a tow vehicle.
6. What has been your favourite must see places?
We have been to so many amazing places and it’s just impossible to name them all. I’ll make a failed attempt though to name a few that stood out for us.
Queensland – Moreton Island, Rainbow Beach, Fraser Island, Agnes Water/1770, Yeppoon, The Whitsundays (do the Ocean Rafting tour), Mission Beach.
Cobbold Gorge, Gregory River, Corella Dam, Longreach, Carnarvon Gorge.
Northern Territory – Kakadu, Litchfield, Darwin in July for all the events, Dundee Beach, Uluru, West MacDonnell Ranges, the springs in Mataranka.
Western Australia – Lake Argyle (do the sunset cruise), Broome, Cape Leveque, Horizontal Falls, Barn Hill Station, Karijini National Park, Kalbarri NP, Exmouth, Swan Valley, Rottnest Island, Margaret River, Esperance, Cape Le Grande National Park.
South Australia – The Great Australian Bight, Rapid Bay (for it’s awesome campground), Kangaroo Island is amazing, Robe, Beachport, Port McDonell.
Victoria – The Great Ocean Road, The Grampians, Wilsons Promontory, Echuca, MCG Tour, Quicks Beach on the Murray River.
Tasmania – Bruny Island, Hobart, Mt Wellington, Lake St Clair and see The Wall nearby, Bay of Fires, Port Arthur, Freycinet National Park, Cradle Mountain.
NSW – our least explored state but so far we have loved Valla Beach, North Haven, Tenterfield, Dubbo Zoo,
In Canberra we really enjoyed Questacon, Australian War Memorial and Parliament House,
7. What has been your best experience?
To travel Australia is an amazing experience. You see so much and the places just blow your mind. Locations are stunning, the Sunsets just spectacular, the wild animals you meet and experience give you an enormous new appreciation for wildlife, The Rivers, The Oceans and the incredible Gorges
For us though it’s been all about people, the wonderful new friends we have made, the joy on the faces of kids having fun and catching up with friends and family around the country we hadn’t seen in so long.
Stop watching the News, it gives the wrong impression of just how wonderful people really are.
8. What did you wish you had left at home and was there anything you didn’t take and wished you had?
We have sent so much stuff back since Day 1. Within a month we sent back 4 boxes from Hervey Bay and more went back from Mackay, Darwin and Perth. Anything we haven’t used goes back, is sold or given away.
We often say, the best day of our trip was the day we gave away our washing machine. We never used it, not once. It was a 2kg machine, way too small, we would have had to do 10 loads to do our washing or as others do, wash every day and that’s not part of our adventure plan. Space and weight are the two greatest issues of travelling and a washing machine adds to both. Over Two years later and we still aren’t interested in a washing machine and much prefer laundry’s.
Life on the road is simple, you don’t need all that stuff you think you do at home.
Our son who travelled with us for 2 years bought himself a chainsaw which was great for cutting up firewood. A Motorhome though isn’t ideal for storing freshly cut dead branches unless you want ants and all sorts of insects crawling inside so we haven’t ventured down that path since he finished travelling with us.
9. What’s your weekly budget and do you manage to stick to it?
We track every cent we spend and have produced several reports on our expenses as we travel. We know exactly what we spend and obviously know what funds we have however we don’t actually have a set weekly or monthly budget. Some weeks can be high if you’re in Airlie Beach for example where there are lots of tours to experience one of the countries most amazing places. Other times it’s just about sitting back, relaxing and enjoying the peace and tranquility such as Murray River, Rapid Bay or Lara Wetlands for example and costs are very low. We find our weekly costs can be really high and really low but they eventually even out.
We did find it more expensive in the North of Australia than the South. There are less tours and costly adventures in the south, more Free camping options and we were happy Free Camping all the time whereas in the Top End sometimes it was just too hot and we wanted power to run the air con.
10. What’s your best advice for someone planning their trip?
If you are in the planning stage of a trip I’d recommend having a good understanding of what type of adventure you are planning. You will need a totally different setup to go offroad where no man has been as opposed to wanting to visit all the well known tourist spots around Oz. There are so many different options for what to travel in and they are all perfect if you choose the right option for your adventures.
Where will you derive your power from and how much will you need? Do you need Solar energy and if so, how much? How many batteries will you need? Will you want a generator?
You will want to take a lot of photos for memories, what will you use to capture the best memories? I’d highly recommend the new Samsung s9 plus, you won’t need another camera except a Go Pro for underwater shots and maybe a Drone. Take a large portable Hard Drive, at least 2TB and back up often.
Being able to store and manage your Grey Water will open you up to more great places to stay. Being fully self contained gives you much greater access to Low cost and Free places to stay.
Also, keep an eye out on our website at https://www.indefiniteleave.com for our new book, The Ultimate Guide to Planning your Lap of Australia. It is in the final stages of preparation and should be ready for release soon. There will be 23 Chapters packed with great information about getting ready to Travel Oz.
Our website and YouTube channel also have lots of Tips, Budget analysis, Reviews of everywhere we stay in Australia, and Blogs from lots of locations.
Kev & Adele Hockey