On the road again: Geelong and beyond

Seven days into trip two and we are still finding it hard to believe we’re really on the road again. This first week has been one of settling into our new home, compiling a never-ending list of things we’ve forgotten, catch-ups with old friends and some hardcore urban camping.

Leaving home was hard! As we drove out of our street, Laura’s dad said (caught on camera by her sister), “I have never seen such disorganisation in my entire life”. We think that pretty much sums up the shambles.

Ned’s not sure

Physically, it took us 10 extra days than planned to get ourselves packed and out of there. Emotionally, Laura’s family hijacked the send-off and injected way too many feelings into it. Thanks to them, instead of cruising joyously down the road, grinning with glee, Laura spent the first five minutes of the trip sobbing despairingly. Even Jono shed a sneaky tear.

Anyway, onwards and upwards. We’ll forget about those losers soon enough 😉


The funniest moment of day one was pulling up at a red light next to a large, reflective window and seeing our handsome rig in all his glory. Totally mesmerised, we both sat staring in silent admiration until the car behind beeped to let us know we were supposed to be moving. Troopy owners will understand.


After overnighting at a rest stop, we set course for Geelong to see mates from our last trip, Hilary and Rylan, who took us camping in the Neddy-friendly Otway State Forest. What an awesome night it was: a camp fire, red wine, burgers for dinner and most excellent company.

The Rylary wine bar

Next morning, we woke to full-speed turbo Neddy going nuts on the front seat. We let him out of the car only for him to bark non-stop at a log floating in the lake. How good is travelling with a dog?!

Otway State Forest

After an amazing Hilary-concocted brekky of tea-infused pancakes with roasted muesli, sautéed strawberries, bananas, maple syrup and frozen Greek yoghurt that tasted like ice-cream, we headed up the road to Bambra where the Rylarys took us foraging for saffron milk cap mushrooms. We made these into a delicious risotto that night and a mushroom soup the next. Thumbs up for free, locally harvested food.

We’ll skip over the part where naughty Ned got into a fight with a dog on Point Addis dog beach. Other than that, it was a perfect day, capped with craft beers at a cool Geelong café called Cockatoo.

Point Addis

Point Addis

A shout out must go to Hilary’s mum and stepdad, Sue and Graeme, who opened their home to us, plying us with comforts including freshly baked goods and a hot shower.


From Geelong, we headed back up to Melbourne to visit Shell, Dan, the beautiful baby Arlow and a bonus Sandra. Here, we spent a couple of nights indulging in city delights including gourmet food, a second hot shower (we’ll get spoiled if we’re not careful!) and use of their washing machine.

Dan memorably scared the bejesus out of Jono on our first night by coming up behind him in the dark and saying aggressively, “I hope you’re not planning on parking that car there overnight, mate”. Thanks, Dan.

More bejesus scares were had on the second night, when, at about midnight, there was a knock on the car, and a booming voice said, “It’s the coppers”(!).

Laura, snuggled up and asleep, had no idea what was happening. Jono, awake, had his faculties about him and opened the back door to a policeman who told him some concerned citizen (Dan?!) had reported our car as possibly stolen.

He’d run a check on our rego – thankfully, not stolen – and so Neddy got a midnight pat from a nice policeman and all was well. But, yeah, there’s an example of why we prefer staying out of cities where possible.

While in Melbourne, we also picked up our mattress and did a few odd jobs to prep ourselves for the weeks and months ahead … We have no idea what’s in store and we can’t wait!

It fits!

Jono is very proud of this little mod

Geelong dog walks

Sunset at Reed Lookout, the Grampians

The Grampians: from bush to mountains

Journeying to the Grampians was an experience in itself. We marvelled at the mountain ranges which emerged from completely flat surrounds and then at the beauty of the winding, bush-lined road leading to Halls Gap. Successfully negotiating the aforementioned road’s plethora of hairpin turns, caravan intact, was also a memorable plus. Intending to stop in the Grampians for just two days, we ended up staying for seven. Each place we went to was better than the last, which made it difficult to leave. (more…)

Port Fairy rockpool

Killarney Beach and Port Fairy: beyond the Great Ocean Road:

We set off from Princetown all too conscious that we were heading towards Warrnambool, the town which marks the end of the Great Ocean Road. It felt like a significant milestone – a beginning as much as an ending: we were all present and accounted for, we hadn’t experienced any major disasters and we still had so much ahead. Pats on the back and scratches behind the ears all ‘round. (more…)

Kangaroos at Princetown Recreation Reserve

Princetown: kangaroos, kangaroos, more kangaroos. Oh, and some Apostles.

As we drove down the road leading to Princetown Recreation Reserve we saw a few kangaroos. Then we turned into the campsite and saw a few more. And then some more. All of a sudden there was too many kangaroos to count. Based on the whimpering noises coming from both Jono and Neddy, it’s hard to say who was more excited between the two of them. (more…)

Johanna Beach sunes

Johanna Beach: we might just stay here forever

Johanna Beach is a surfing, camping and fishing spot that was recommended to us by a number of people. After taking a day trip there while we were staying at Marengo, there was no way we weren’t going back for more. This blog must soon be reaching its maximum quota for words such as ‘amazing’, ‘breathtaking’ and ‘spectacular’ but these don’t even begin to scratch Johanna’s surface. (more…)

Cape Otway Lighthouse koalas

Apollo Bay and Dando’s Camp Ground: the one where we take a detour

Our next stop after Wye was in the Apollo Bay area. We ended up at Marengo Holiday Park, which is a couple of kilometres past Apollo Bay and right on the beach. After settling in we decided to go for a drive. We continued west – primarily because we both enjoy the “this is the furthest point we’ve been from home since starting our trip” conversation – and took a right hand turn down a very windy dirt track (that’s windy as in the trail wound around, not as in the air was blowing in gusts). (more…)

Free camping Wye Great Ocean Road

Point Impossible and Wye: beginning to the Great Ocean Road

Our first night out of Melbourne was spent at Point Impossible, in Torquay. We got a bit lost on our way in and after driving the last couple of kilometres down a corrugated dirt road we opened Claude’s door to find the pantry had burst open and that food was everywhere. A first, and hopefully a last. (more…)

Wilsons Promontory lookout

Wilsons Promontory: Wilsons Promming It

We’d not heard of Wilsons Promontory before we started our trip. Maybe the Victorians are trying to keep this place a secret? If that’s the case we don’t blame them – it’s truly amazing, and only three and a half hours south-east of Melbourne. We stayed at a beautiful free camping area at a place called Franklin Downs, which had a creek and the added bonus of being Neddy friendly. (more…)

Destination Melbourne

After spending Friday night at a roadside rest area sporting some pretty odiferous facilities we were very happy to get to Shell and Dan’s house in Richmond, Melbourne. Seeing Shell, Dan and Jack was awesome, but it was a tour of their bathroom, particularly the shower, that stole the show for us initially. Though Claude does boast some bathroom facilities we don’t use these when covering long distances as we all but empty out our water tank to save on weight. Hopefully we didn’t smell too much of eau de roadside toilet(te) but, frankly, this is a scent that we’d best get accustomed to. (more…)