All posts tagged: caravanning

The day I directed traffic like a boss.

Ever been to the Byron Bay lighthouse? If you have, you will know that the narrow road winding to the carpark is often traffic-logged with tourists driving, walking and cycling their way to the attraction that gives epic views of the main beach, township and the vast ocean where whale sightings are par for the course. It is no different the day we visit. We are at a crawling pace when our car stalls. No worries. Turn it over, rev the engine, off we go. It stalls again. Phill and I look at each other. He manages to start it up again and we move forward. A metre. Before it stalls again. On a steep corner. Cars are banking up behind us at this point because they can’t see past to safely overtake. Hazard lights are on. This is where I channel my inner Fat Controller and walk onto that road and start directing traffic like it’s my day job. Stop to you sir, in the white Jeep. Proceed to you madam, in the red …

The #caravanryns experience in three words

We’re nine weeks in. Gulp. Where did that time go? It means we’re just a bit over the two-thirds mark. Four weeks to go. If we’re counting down. Which I really would prefer not to do, but I just can’t help it. The clock keeps ticking. LESS IS MORE. These are the three words I’d use to describe the mysterious beauty of stuffing our lives into a van and taking it on tour for three months along with our two, mostly adorable but sometimes excruciatingly frustrating children. Less space = More outdoors. Our van is on the small end of the scale at 16-foot. It’s about the size of my son’s bedroom at home. And rather than housing a single bed and a built-in robe, it fits a kitchen, dining table, lounge, a queen bed and a double bed, a wardrobe, overhead cupboards and room for a pony. Jk. No pony. Unless it was tied up under the awning. That would be achievable. But the point is, my upbringing (and perhaps yours too) has taught …

We lost our youngest in a caravan park

He comes sprinting back from the jumping pillow, white stackhat still strapped beneath his chin, eyes blue puddles of alarm. “I can’t find Adelaide!” Ok, calm down, I say to our seven-year-old trooper. What happened? And he motors through a reply that comes out as a paragraph of words mashed into one breathless line. They were jumping. They stopped. They decided to come back to the caravan. He wanted to go one way. She wanted to go the other. Before he knew it, she was gone. I instruct him to stay at the caravan and wait until Daddy returns from the shower. Tell him I have my phone, I say as I begin jogging away. Away through the village of vans stacked side by side like bags of flour on a supermarket shelf. Why didn’t I get one of those identification wristbands for strong-willed children like most thinking mothers do? Why didn’t I simply write my phone number on her arm? Or tattoo it. Joke. Why did I trust her in the care of her …

Why we will never forget the first night of our caravan holiday

We never start holidays well. On Monday July 9 we embarked on a three-month caravanning adventure from our home in Launceston, Tasmania, to Cairns and possibly beyond. By “we” I mean myself, hubby Phill, and our kiddos Roman (7) and Adelaide (4). The first night was spent in the NSW country town of Yass. We’d been ejected from the big Bass Strait ferry bleary eyed and sea legged, done our time navigating as hapless Tassie tourists out of Australia’s second-largest city, and journeyed 650+ kilometres – all before 4pm. The kids were extremely good. Some credit to the built-in DVD player in the new truck . . . er . . . four-wheel-drive. Drives like a truck in my opinion, compared with our usual wheels. So there we were: tired, hungry, ready to settle down for our first night. The plan was to hit the road early the next day for another big highway day munching up the distance between us and the warmer weather. Let’s stay somewhere cheap, he said. There’s this place at …