Your guide to travelling around Australia with kids. Simon, Misty, Liv, Pho & Micah from @ourorganisedtribe share their insights on their experiences as a family travelling the Big Lap. How do they choose where to stay, and which takes the most part of their expenses? Make sure to watch the full video as they will also show us a quick tour of their setup, their biggest splurge plus a gorgeous panoramic view of the camping spot they’re currently in. This video is just what you need to jump in and take that drive around Australia!
Welcome to Aussie Travel Stories, the series where we ask Aussie travellers questions to help inspire and educate the Big Lap community to enjoy the greatest road trip of their lives.
What’s Your Travel Story?
Misty: Hi Big Lap Bible. We are Misty
Misty: And the gang from our organized tribe. We are currently travelling full time with all of us.
Why did you decide to do a Big Lap?
Simon: Seems like a good time to do it?
Misty: Yeah. And we were travelling in South Australia over the summer and it had been lockdowns and everything, and we decided to just go and do it.
Where are you currently?
Misty: We are in Lucky bay, near Kalbarri in NWA, heading north.
What is your setup?
Simon: We’ve got a bunkhouse by Rio from just caravans and a two VX, 200 series land cruiser.
Misty: And a boat.
Simon: And a boat.
Where do you generally stay?
Misty: Free caravan parks. We sort of stay in a mix, but mostly free or low cost, like this caravan park.
Simon: I think we counted four caravan parks we’ve done so far in like four months.
Misty: So, because it’s quieter, it’s got more space. It’s private and usually.
Simon: No one can hear our screaming kids.
Misty: It’s usually generally better locations as well but caravan parks are good for washing, and kids having a play at the pool.
Misty: Yeah, it was really good.
What is the best camping spot you’ve stayed at?
Perlubie Beach, South Australia, because it’s right on the water. Close to town. We met cool people there.
Simon: We were there for two weeks.
Where is the best place you’ve ever been?
Kids: Talia Caves
Misty: Oh Talia Caves. I loved the beach there. It’s beautiful. The water was lovely.
Simon: I don’t know I’m gonna reserve mine because I reckon Ningaloo is gonna be my favourite.
Misty: Membinup, I did love Membinup beach.
Kids: I really like it.
Misty: And seal swim with you guys at Membinup beach
Kid: I like Lucky Bay.
Misty: Lucky Bay is beautiful. The other lucky bay. Not this one. The one in Esperance.
Kid: I like that one.
Is there a place you won’t go back to?
I don’t really think so, but do you think?
Simon: I’d say Fowlers Bay.
Misty: It was nice, it was just that it was so windy.
Simon: It was like 50 Kilometers an hour winds.
Misty: And it was dust everywhere. We had to squash into a little caravan park.
Girl Kid: Where we did the seal swim. I wouldn’t go back there.
Boy Kid: Unless you were doing the seal swim.
Misty: Yeah. Bed Bay.
Simon: That was a nice little spot.
Misty: It’s a cute little spot, but yeah unless you’re doing the seal swim, I guess. No, because it’s supposed to be good for fishing. But anyway.
Simon: Someone said they got a heap of squid in there.
Where can’t you wait to go?
Misty: Ningaloo, Exmouth. Yep.
Do you travel with a pet, does it restrict you?
Nope. Our pets are all at home with a house sitter.
Any scary or funny moments on the road?
Misty: Well, that was the wheel.
Simon: We’ve been lucky this time.
Misty: In our old van, we had the wheel fall off.
Simon: This was 2019 when the bushfires were on, we had the wheel fall off our old caravan.
Misty: Yeah. That was awful.
Simon: And it’d only had two wheels on it.
Misty: Yeah. Lucky it was low. And so the wheel folded under the van and caught the van on the road. But yeah, that wasn’t fun.
Tell us about the item you can’t live without
Simon: We’ve agreed. That’s the washing machine.
Misty: Although you think it’s the solar panel.
Simon: I think it’s the solar.
Misty: The washing machine is pretty amazing. I love the washing machine. What’s yours?
Girl Kid: Micah said the van.
Misty: Micah said the van. It’s probably true because we’d be sleeping in the dirt, wouldn’t we?
You can choose to get your Solar Panels here
Tell us how you fund your Big Lap and budget – did you save before you left? Do you work on the road?
Simon: Saved and working.
Misty: Yeah, we saved before coming and we both work on the road.
How much do you spend and what is your biggest expense?
Simon: Fuels our biggest expense.
Misty: Yeah. And probably an average. We’re saying about a thousand a week but some weeks it’s like nearly nothing. Just sort of depends on how expensive food is, and where we are. If we have to stay in an expensive camp.
Simon: We could have a quiet week, like or two, at like Lubi where it’s 10 bucks a night. You’re not spending any money on fuel other than for the boat and that wasn’t.
Misty: And here, like it’s only 15.
Simon: You might be spending more on food.
What’s something you know now but didn’t before you left?
Simon: Don’t believe everything you read on Wiki camps.
Misty: Yeah. Just find out for yourself.
Simon: If it looks good. Do your own research.
What is your favourite thing about travelling?
Kids: I like going to the beach every day.
Misty: Yeah. Going to the beach every day is pretty good. And seeing places. Yeah. 6:00-am swims have been fun.
Simon: I’m not sure I’m up for it tomorrow morning.
What has been your biggest splurge? Was it worth it?
Misty: The boat. And yes, it’s been Ace, when there’s no wind like now, but yeah. We have had some pretty crazy winds and haven’t been able to get the boat out, but yeah definitely worth it.
Is there anything you bought but don’t use as much as you thought or it wasn’t worth the money?
Misty: The air fryer, because it’s not, I guess.
Simon: We are living on the road. We are not holidaying.
Misty: Yeah. So we’ve taken it away, when we’re on holidays for like two weeks and used it heaps because I guess it’s sort of holiday and you have quick dinners, hot chips or nuggets or whatever, but we just don’t eat like that.
Simon: We used it a bit early on
Misty: Yeah but now we just sort of cook like on the stove, like in the barbecue.
Simon: Bacon wraps have been our favourite.
Misty: Bacon wraps
How were you affected by the lockdown?
Misty: Have we been affected by lockdown?
Not really. We were sort of lucky where regional Victoria originally, so we didn’t have as much of a lockdown so we could still travel. The only one was really here having to isolate in WA sort of putting squash in our plans a bit, but that’s okay. We’ve gotten through it. We got to stay at a nice place. So it wasn’t too bad.
What is your biggest tip to other big lappers?
Misty: I’d say don’t believe everything you read in Wiki camps. Read the reviews, but yeah, maybe use Google Earth and look at a place if you can, if you’ve got the reception to sort of sass out what it looks like because.
Simon: And the photo, the Google Earth’s different to the picture you’ll see in Wiki camps. So if you go to Wiki and look at the site through Wiki camps, then go and have a look at it through Google Earth, because they’re too different.
Misty: Yeah. Gives you a better idea and you can often see where the cool hidden camps are and stuff that way too. So yeah, definitely Google Earth.
BONUS FOOTAGE: QUICK SETUP TOUR
Misty: Doing a little walk around of where we are in our van. So this is us here. You can see our boat over there. We added this or I should say Simon did. Simon added the toolbox to keep all our staff. We also upgraded the hitch to the DL35. Yeah. The other one snapped. This is for the diesel heater, which we haven’t installed yet. Haven’t needed to. We did, Simon did add this under here where the other battery used to be to keep our spare toilet cassette because we have two because there’s five of us and we need it and show the video. But the solar all up top, we added
Simon: Water tank in the back.
Misty: We added an extra water tank at the back, which you currently see. So we can hold an extra hundred litres of water. And it’s not connected. So we just sort of siphon that through. So if we need extra, so we can carry 300 litres of water in the van because we sort of need that. This is for the fuel can for the boat, obviously our rubbish bag for when we’re in places off-grid. So we can take everything with us. Actually, I should have said, this was what I couldn’t live without, but one of my favourite things is our clothesline. It’s covered in clothes at the moment, but it has this really cool arm.
Simon: There’s a video on YouTube – Clothesline Hack!
Misty: There is, and it connects to the back of our van. So it’s just one of the normal close lines from BCF or whatever, but it connects here. So it never falls over. It is so good. The best thing ever. I’ll take you inside quickly and show you the other thing that we can’t live without, which is of course.
Simon: I put that front table on as well.
Misty: And we added this as well. So we have two of those and oh, it’s a bit dark in there, but I’ll take you in and show you the washing machine and our giant fridge, we added a bigger fridge. It’s 285 litres. The other one was 184. And the washing machine, which is the 4-kilo front loader, is a lifesaver with three kids and they’re not tiny kids either. So yep. That is our setup. And here we are at Lucky Bay WA and the sun is about to set. So, it’s pretty beautiful out here.
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