Staying in the one place definitely has its benefits and for our girls it’s being able to attend regular dance classes. Dance is one of the few things that our girls missed whilst we’ve been on the move as it has been central to their lives since a very young age.
It has been through weekly dance classes that they made some of their closest and longest lasting relationships with wonderful teachers and friends who they worked with over years.
The bonds made, the skills learnt and the need to work as a member of a team through good times and tough times have taught them a lot about life, success, commitment, determination and disappointment.
Whilst we made and had many friends on the road it’s these ‘daily grind’ interactions with others outside of the family unit that life on the move dodges which worried us as parents. We value our kids having these kinds of relationships, to be able to work closely with others over extended periods of time on common goals and have a wide variety of face to face mentors.
Today they got their first taste of dancing in almost a year by taking a class at the local dance studio. They received a lovely warm welcome and had fun shaking off the cobwebs.
Ava’s smile says it all really 😇
#backinthehabit #dance #thesmilesaysitall #dancefriends
For 13 summers Emerald Beach on the NSW mid-north coast has been our happy place.
Last summer we decided that visiting once a year wasn’t enough and that we wanted to make a new life here after we completed our first lap of oz... and so here we are.
However as windows open, doors close and so our many years of happy holidays at Emerald Beach have drawn to a close with the last of our friends checking out as we pack to move our house on wheels two suburbs north.
We have holidayed here with most of our family at some point including my much-loved and missed late mother.
Our first visit was in 2005 and we were expecting our first child. My Mum had been hounding us to visit after she and Dad had previously stayed a couple of times. I remember sitting under the frangipani tree watching families swim and play in the pool and both Adam and I deciding right there and then that this is where we wanted to bring our children for summer holidays. Each year I take time out during our holiday to return to that tree, to sit under it and marvel at how much our family has grown (along with the tree!) and take a moment to be grateful that we started such a wonderful tradition for our family that has really lead us to something so much bigger.
We’ve had many special and memorable moments over the years and made lifelong friends. A few memories that spring to mind include choosing the name “Ella” for our first born whilst Adam read a newspaper article about Ella Hooper performing at a Tsunami benefit concert, Ava taking her first steps, singing Happy Birthday to my late Mum, all 3 of our children finally ‘getting’ how to swim as they practised in the shallow pool and me having a few too many glasses of wine in 2013 which may have even resulted in a surprise pregnancy (Noah’s!). What an awesome memory!
It’s the end of an era and there’s no denying that we are a little sad but the friendships and memories will stick with us and we will now go out and look for new summer holiday traditions.
Thank you Emerald Beach for the memories ❤️
💸📸💸🌏 6 MONTH LAP TOTALS 💸⏰💸🔌
Here are our stats after completing a 6 month lap of Australia! We hope you find them useful 🤓
Clearly we are not in the running for the cheapest lap of Aus but we never set out to be. From the start we set a BUDGET OF $35-$45 PER NIGHT and by the end of our trip had brought our average nightly spend to fit within these amounts. Did we blow our budget? Yes... a long time ago! But this is mostly due to the tours we chose to do, not the cost of our accommodation.
We want to set the record straight.... we can now say with certainty that a 6 MONTH LAP IS VERY DO-ABLE, despite what some might say. Those who have been following our journey will know the many places that we visited on our 6 month lap. In order to make the most of our time, we generally chose to stay in accommodation close to popular sightseeing areas, which does come at a cost. Free and lower cost camps are usually out of town meaning more time spent driving back and forth to see the main tourist attractions- great if you’ve got the time to do this but on a fast lap we’d suggest that you will most likely want a break from the car and more time to see and immerse yourself in what you’re there for. We have taken financial hits particularly during school holidays as our tight itinerary didn’t allow us to go bush until the holidays were over... we had no choice but to push on and pay the school holiday prices whilst in the Whitsundays and Coral Bay areas which are both very popular holiday destinations. We managed to compensate for these hits by increasing the number of stays at lower cost camps when we could and this has allowed us to maintain our accommodation budget of $35-$45 per night overall.
Having SCHOOL-AGED CHILDREN has also considerably increased our costs, particularly when it comes to tours and premium parks. During our trip we became more careful to compare the cost per child for tours and in caravan park accommodation. To give an example of how quickly a ‘low cost’ camp can become not so low cost... a church-owned camp near Busselton costs a couple $25 for a powered site. This camp is in a great location and has basic campground facilities (ie. no kiddie bells and whistles). It is a bargain at $25 per couple and $12.50 a single for a whole site. School-aged children are charged at $9 each adding a further $18 to our site tariff (thankfully they didn’t charge for 3 year olds)... working out for us at $43 per night (hardly ‘low cost’ for a family)... almost double the cost for a couple! We take up the same space and use roughly the same amount of power. After all, it takes the same amount of power to run a fridge and air conditioner for a family as it does for one or two people. We don’t expect our school-aged children to be free but we have found some gross inequities in caravan park/campground tariffs during our lap. We are grateful to camps who consider fair and reasonable costs for families with school-aged children.
So here it is folks... OUR TOTAL 6 MONTH LAP STATS...
Fuel stops: 70
Spend on diesel: $7,867.16
Most expensive diesel: $1.99-Airleron Roadhouse
Cheapest diesel: $1.16-Deeragun Woolworths
Average per night: $43.63
Stops (set ups): 81
Powered sites: 100 nights- 54%
Unpowered/low cost sites: 37 nights- 20%
Free camps: 12 nights- 6.5%
Resorts: 25 nights- 13.5%
Family/Friends: 11 nights- 6%
Cheapest paid night: Kingston SE RV Park, SA - $10 for 48hours
Most expensive: Big 4 Adventure Whitsundays- $122
Supermarket visits: 42
States/Territories visited this trip: 6
Total spent on laundry: $343 (average per week: $13.19)
Fish caught 🎣:5
Fiftyby50 list ticks ✔️:12
🙂Travelling families/people met in 6 months: 🙂
Extract Black Coffee Roasting Co.
Travelling with Kids/ Caravanning with Kids
Everything Caravan & Camping
Just Caravans - Condor Caravans Melbourne - New and Used Caravans
The Blonde Nomads
The Rolling Stones in Oz
A Boundless Life
Oz Gap Lap
One day we Should
wide open wanderings
Spirited Scott Clan Roams Free
The Squishy 6
Van Life Around Australia
Hit The Road Jac
Holiday for a Marshall
Jacques on Tour
The McCabe Mob
Several fellow Condorons
And many others!
🙂Meeting others was definitely one of the biggest highlights of our trip! Sharing stories, travel plans & knowledge and keeping in touch after we've crossed paths to continue to share the travelling love! 🙂
There is no right or wrong on this travelling journey. It’s very much a respectful case of ‘to each there own’ but there’s also a need for those embarking on such a journey to enter into it with eyes wide open. It’s great to read people’s stats and see what the costs involved are but sometimes it’s hard to make comparisons due to circumstances such as the number and ages of children and preferences of the type of trip. If you have 2 school-aged children and want to do a lap of Aus over 6-7 months to SEE AND STAY near the KEY TOURIST SITES as well as partake in the POPULAR TOURS in those areas then we hope our stats will help you plan for your trip.
Want to know more? Send us an inbox with your blog/info requests or comment below 📬
🔊💬 Check out our first LIVE FEED vid here: https://www.facebook.com/galwaysgoround/videos/604608483215251/🤓⌨️
Keep up to date with our tips, pics and adventures- there’s still MUCH more to come from Galways Go Round... now in our 9th year of caravanning!
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Get writing those bucket lists and start living your dream! 😎✌️
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
It was New Year’s Day exactly 1 year ago as we sat around the pool in the backyard of our Sydney home with our good neighbours (whooo became gooood friendsss 🎼) chatting about what the future held for us all. We told them of our plans to travel Aus for 3 months in 2018 before someone posed the question... ‘Would you ever sell up to travel?’
We gave an honest and resounding ‘No way!’ with Sharon adding ‘You’ll be carrying me out of this house in a pine box, I’m never moving!’
We knew a change was coming as we felt a change within ourselves and our priorities but didn’t know what it would be or where it would lead us. We clearly had no idea that our life in Sydney was about to be completely turned on its head!
Exactly 28 days later we made an instant and certain decision that we were ready to make a drastic change and chase our dream of living longer on the road and settling in another part of NSW which has had our hearts for over a decade.
And so we did it! Three weeks later our house went on the market! And here we are...Today marking 7 months on the road and 7 and a half months of calling our caravan ‘home’ with not one single regret! Do we miss our home? Nope! Do we miss living in a big city? Hell no!
So what will 2018 bring for the Galways? Next week we will land on the Coffs Coast where we will set up camp and begin to establish a new life there. Adam is starting a great new job with Cooking the Books as the General Manager of Implementation and On-boarding and later this month the kids will begin at new schools.
Travel and adventure will remain a priority for us with many places along our favourite stretch of coastline and hinterland yet to be explored! Our caravan will remain a place to call home for the time being. There’s still much more to come in 2018 from Galways Go Round!
Thank you once again for joining us on the journey and we look forward to continuing to deliver great stories, inspiration and pics as well as caravanning tips and tricks in our 9th year of caravanning!
Wishing you all a very Happy New Year and wonderful 2018!!