Guess Who’s Going To Home School Their Kids?

Big family little income happy-6 copy

You know that thing where you say something and then you have to eat your words?

That. That is happening.

I have long held the opinion that people who home school are a little mad. A bit not right in the head. Essentially, masochists.

We weren’t planning on announcing anything for a little while yet, especially as Tracey now has three operations coming up to fix her belly, but the fact is I’m shit at Pinterest. Meaning my Facebook wall has been giving the game away and forcing our hand.

It all started a few weeks ago when we put our block of land on the market, having decided we don’t need a fancy new house because this place is home and less stress is what’s really needed in our lives right about now. Yes, I know that doesn’t fit with the home schooling revelation, but wait, there’s more.

“You know what we should do before we take on the renovations?” Tracey asked me over a cuppa.

“Have sex?” I suggested, because that is always something I’m keen to encourage.

“We should buy a bus and take the kids around Australia for a year,” she said, all casual like she was proposing we hit the Sunday markets up for some fresh greens. “We can sell the bus when we get back and do the renovations then.”

“Okay,” I said.

“Because most people do a big trip like that when they retire,” she went on, “but I’m starting to think there’s a chance we might not make it that far.”

Nothing like a genuine near-death experience to bring your mortality into focus.

“Okay,” I repeated.

“And really, you can still blog because you and the kids will still do dumb stuff, and I’ll have had my operations so I can do photography for people as we travel. So we can work our way around the country.”

“I said okay.”

“You did, didn’t you?” said Tracey, sounding a little surprised and awed.

“Yep, I’m in.”

And then she cried.

The fact is I’d rather take the kids with us and experience everything with them than to phone them up once they’ve moved out of home to brag how much fun it is.

“I didn’t expect you to say yes,” she said.

I think it’s a great idea. I mean what’s the worst that can happen? Answer: we suck at teaching and the kids repeat a year.

Right about then a bit of reality scratched at the door of our happy place. It was a bit of a frightening thought, actually. I decided to get something sorted out right up front.

“One condition though,” I said. “We have to look at distribution of duties with the kids’ education.” Tracey nodded. “There’ll be four of them to home school and one person shouldn’t have to do it all.” She nodded again. “I tell you what, you do the lessons and I’ll drive the bus from classroom to classroom.”

Incredibly she was still nodding.

Mentally, I kicked myself. If I’d been thinking on my feet I would have thrown in the suggestion for more and kinkier sex.

So I’m booked in to take my heavy rigid test in a couple of weeks and I’ve started to mull over a design for my trucker’s sleeve. We’ve also been madly Googling and Pinteresting and searching for buses which will fit seven of us. That’s seating and bedding for seven, their clothes, a table, a loo, a shower and a kitchen. Plus, we’ll be pulling a trailer with our car and bikes on it so we can do day trips to all the educational things like museums, tours and breweries.

big family little income australia trip-1

It’s very exciting, and more than a little daunting, but we think it’s something the kids will thrive from. Or it’ll tear the family apart and we can lock them all in the car on the trailer so we can’t hear them arguing, and drive home.

And that’s it, really? What do you think? Thumbs up or thumbs down? Right or so so wrong? Have we thrown our common sense out with our recently removed internal organs?

This weekend, while I’ve been recovering from my gallbladder removal I’ve been sitting on my computer trying to work out where we’ll go. What route. You know what? It doesn’t look it from my balcony, but Australia is actually pretty big. I think we’ll be doing around 40,000 kms in the bus, plus whatever day trips in the car add up to.

There are many logical ways to approach this, of course. Like the Muriel’s Wedding or Charlie & Boots tour up the East Coast. But I’ve come up with a couple of ideas of my own.

Firstly, boring I know, but I plan for us to visit every capital city in this great nation of ours. Or more specifically, every major brewery in every capital city. Because education must come first.

Secondly, I want to be able to sing I’ve Been Everywhere, Man and mean it. A quick note, I don’t think the bloke who wrote this had really been everywhere. I put the towns into Google maps and Western Australia and Tasmania were pretty much missing in action.

While I’m on the whole Google Maps thing, does anyone know a really good multiple destination route planner app or site? Most can’t handle our burgeoning itinerary.

Thirdly, anywhere that’s been in movies I like, such as Boonie Doon and Robertson. Can you hire a boat with a two stroke engine in Bonnie Doon and go full throttle until we find a good spot? I really hope so. Plus, I’m just going to have to remember to bring a LOT of taffeta for the drive to Alice Springs.

Finally, I’m a sucker for toilet humour, so anywhere with a humorous reference in the name, like Boggabilla, Dunnedoo, Burrumbuttock, Egg & Bacon Bay or Mount Buggery – mainly because with home schooling I think my lovely wife is going to need a laugh.

There may be dumber ways to plan an itinerary, but I couldn’t think of any.

Thankfully, Master11 stepped up to the plate.

“You know how the show comes to Gympie and then goes somewhere else and sets up again?” he said. “Well, let’s just tag along with them. That way we could spend every weekend going on rides.”

By crikey, he’s a chip of the ol’ block.

Crikey? Do I have to practice saying that now? It’s just I’m not really the outdoorsy, mountain man, Steve Irwin type. Although I wasn’t planning on even having a shower in NT. Because crocs.

So that’s it. That’s our big announcement and why Pinterest pictures of pull out camper kitchens and cramped bunks keep appearing and being deleted from my personal Facebook wall.

Wish us luck. We’ll need it.

Or more specifically, Tracey will need it. After a hard two hours driving every day or three all I’ll need a reliable bottle opener and some free wifi.

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I’ve been drawing floor plans. Nearly a year out of the bank and still a pencil pusher.

Here’s our destination list so far, in alphabetical order for your reading pleasure. Feel free to make suggestions – we’ve started a scrap book so nothing gets forgotten.

Adelaide

Adelong

Agnes Waters

Albany

Alice Springs

Anakie

Atherton Tablelands

Augathella

Ballarat

Ballina

Bambaroo

Batemans Bay

Bathurst

Beechworth

Bendigo

Billabong

Birdsville

Bitter Springs

Boggabilla

Boggabri

Bonnie Doon

Bouindarra

Bourke

Brigalow

Brindabella

Brisbane

Broken Hill

Broome

Buchan

Bunbury

Bundaberg

Bungalow

Burrumbuttock

Busselton

Byron Bay

Cabramatta

Cairns

Canberra

Cape Hillsborough

Captains Flat

Caringbah

Carnarvon

Carnarvon Gorge

Casino

Charleville

Chiltern

Cloncurry

Coffs Harbour

Collaroy

Condamine

Coober Pedy

Cooktown

Coolangatta

Coonabarabran

Cooranbong

Coral Bay

Cotton Tree

Cradle Mountain

Cunnamulla

Dalveen

Dandenong

Darwin

Deniliquin

Devonport

Diapur

 Doo Town

Dorrigo

Douglas Hot Springs

Dubbo

Dunkeld

Dunnedoo

Echuca

Ecula

Eden

Eggs And Bacon Bay

Emerald

Emmaville

Engadine

Esperance

Ettalong

Eungella

Exmouth

Fleurieu Peninsula

Flinders Beach

Fraser Island

Gawler

Geelong

Geraldton

Gin Gin

Gippsland

Girraween

Glen Inness

Goondiwindi

Gosford

Grafton

Grampians

Green Head

Grong Grong

Gulgong

Gundagai

Gunnedah

Gympie

Halls Gap

Hervey Bay

Hobart

Hopetoun

Hughenden

Huonville

Hyden

Iluka

Indooroopilly

Jerilderie

Jervis Bay

Jindabyne

Kalbarri

Kalgoorlie

Kangaroo Island

Karratha

Katherine

Katoomba

Kiama

Kilmore

Kingaroy

Kirribilli

Kumbarilla

Kuranda

Kurrajong

Kurri Kurri

Launceston

Lennox Head

Lightning Ridge

Lismore

Lithgow

Longreach

McKinlay

Mackay

Maleny

Manilla

Maroochydore

Mataranka

Megalong

Melbourne

Mildura

Milperra

Mittagong

Monkey Mia

Mooloolaba

Moree

Morella

Mount Buggery

Mount Gambier

Mount Isa

Mount Martha

Mount Pleasant

Muckadilla

Mudgee

Mullumbimby

Murwillumbah

Nambour

Nar Nar Goon

Narrabeen

Narrabri

Narromine

Newcastle

Nimbin

Ningaloo

Nyngan

Parramatta

Pemberton

Perisher

Perth

Philip Island

Port Arthur

Port Douglas

Port Fairy

Port Lincoln

Portsea

Proserpine

Pyrenees

Ravenshoe

Richmond

Robertson

Rottnest Island

Seventeen Seventy

Seymour

Shark Bay

Shepparton

Sovereign Hill

Stanley

Stockinbingal

Strathpine

Streaky Bay

Sydney

Tailem Bend

Tallebudgera

Tamborine

Tamworth

Tannum Sands

Taree

Tennant Creek

Tenterfield

Terrigal

The Entrance

The Pinnacles

Thredbo

Tibooburra

Tom Price

Toowoomba

Townsville

Tuggeranong

Tullamore

Tanunda

Turramurra

Ulladulla

Umina Beach

Unanderra

Wagga Wagga

Wallangarra

Wallaville

Wallumbilla

Walpole

Wanganella

Wangaratta

Weipa

Wilson’s Promontory

Wineglass Bay

Winton

Wollondilly

Wollongong

Wonga Beach

Woodenbong

Woolloomooloo

Wyong

Yackandanda

Yamba

Yarra Yarra

Yeppoon

Yeerongpilly

Young

Yenda

Zillmere

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I keep adding everyone’s ideas to our list. Maybe one year won’t be enough…

I’m going to need a slower version if I stand a chance of keeping up. And maybe a keyboard synth and electric guitar would be nice. And less twang. 

“Raising a family on little more than laughs”

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138 Comments

  • I Love it!! Think its an amazing idea!! Not to sound stalkerish… but you should have reader picnic / days in some of the locations ??? I’de love to bring my family to meet yours!!

  • South West Rocks – recently voted best town to visit in NSW. Utterly beautiful. I visited 16 years ago – for four days and never left.

  • Ok, I can see you’re coming down inland from Syd-Melb but I still want to suggest Phillip Island, Lakes Entrance and Eden on the coastal route. Eden is spectacular and has a great whaling museum. Also Buchan and Naracoorte which both have caves, Naracoorte also has megafauna stuff. I will probably think of several billion more suggestions, how long were you planning this trip to take again?

  • Awesome idea. I’m a bus kid! Was pulled out of school in grade 4 and was homeschooled right up until year 10. We lived on the road in a 36 foot bus. It was amazing, I was 9 when we left and I remember a lot of it. We only stopped because my grandfather was killed in a farming accident and my Dad had to go and run the property. We left from Western Australia and finished in QLD after doing a few laps. You won’t regret it but you’ll have trouble stopping after a year!

  • In between Grafton NSW and Coffs Harbour, take Orara Way and go through Glenreagh. It’s a beautiful little town, with a giant Golden Dog next to the best pub in the area (good food, cheap prices and an awesome area for kids to run around, and just around the corner from a park… Also, is a Pokemon Gym 😉).
    As for day trips around Coffs, go for a trip up to Dorrigo – check out the rainforest and Dangar Falls – it’s amazingly beautiful. And the rainforest walks are also educational 😊 Hoping for a meet and greet in the Coffs area!!!

  • Great idea after all your family has been through! Will look forward to the posts. Glad Adelaide is on your list, well worth a visit although I am a bit biased!

  • Having homeschooled two of my boys for about 4years, and getting ready to hop on the distance education/home schooling train yet again, you are gonna friggin love it guys! We weren’t travelling, but that will make it even more fun!

  • Awesme idea.I homeschool my 3 kids and yeah I’m a bit mad hahahahaha,we live near Kalgoorlie so it would be great to see if we can spot you 😄 On the Kal/Kambalda road there is a tall steep,he’ll we call Dunny Hill,at the moment there are 2 dunnies up there with blow up sex dolls on them.

  • If you are coming to Wollongong via Engadine, you need to drive thru stanwell tops. Stop at the top of the hill at Bald head the view is spectacular of the coast. It is the great ocean drive in NSW. You also get to drive across the sea cliff bridge. And once in Wollongong just 15mins south is Kanahooka.

  • Wow, wow, wow! DO IT. JUST DO IT!!! Seize life and go for it!! The kids are the perfect ages to make this happen. It won’t always be smooth sailing (cabin fever can strike on occasion) but oh, the education they’ll have is priceless!!! If you swing by Mandurah (between Bunbury and Perth), we’ll be happy to show you around!!! 🙂
    I can’t wait for the blogging gold – what an adventure!!! So excited for all of you!

  • Something you might want to consider for homeschooling is looking up ‘distant education’ i was home schooled and my parents didn’t need to be involved at all (this was high school but) all the schooling was done via phone conferences and emails with your teachers (and this was over 10 years ago.) The school was mainly for those who lived to rural to go to school, children in hospital, pregnant teens or just if a school didn’t offer a certain course you could do it through distance education. This is the website, it is based in SA but if you’re travelling ‘everywhere’ it shouldn’t matter.
    http://www.openaccess.edu.au/

  • OMG! This is EXACTLY what we were planning to do with the kids in a few years time – pull them out of school for 6 months and give it a whirl. This will be the most amazing experiance and I can’t wait to follow you on it. And you are coming to my work suburb! PLEEEEEASE set up the occassional “come join Deveraux” drink session because I will 100% turnout to meet you and the miracle lady. Hell, I’ll bring the kids along for a playdate and take the day off work/school to do it.

  • We just got back from 5 months around southern Australia from Perth to tassie to Brissie and back. We have 4 under 9 and although it was hard work until we got into the swing of things…. It was the best thing we have ever done. We were all so happy and a lot of that came with the minimalism and simple living, that lifestyle permits. We spent less on life but felt richer than we ever have. Three words for you… Best. Choice. Ever

  • Sept 30 and Oct 1 are the best times this year to either experience Deniliquin or totally avoid it. Keith Urban at the Ute Muster is going to be OMG AMAZING! would love to hear your thoughts on our little town though.

  • You should make sure to go past the Blue Mountains. It’s a gorgeous place and I’m sure the kids would love it. Leura is near there and is so beautiful.

  • Sounds like a fabulous plan! A friend and her family actually travelled to Queensland to have their bus fitted out. They now go glamping with 3 kids, 2 adults and a couple of Great Danes so I’m sure you’ll be able to fit your lot in a decent bus. You may even be able to pick up a suitable bus already to go 😉

  • Great idea! Though you left Childers, Qld off your list. Great to come up here at the end of July for the Childers Festival – very multi-cultural with loads of food & fun!

  • You must head up to Normanton and Karumba. Burke and Wills campsite near there. Gulflander train. Great fishing, pubs and education!

  • When you’re at Narromine and heading to Bourke please stop at Nyngan to see the Big Bogan! And there’s a fantastic caravan park, the Riverside Caravan Park for you to stay at on the banks of the mighty Bogan River. We will come out for happy hour.😊

  • I’m so excited for you all!! What an awesome adventure, even if coop isn’t happy about being minus his mate for a year! 😩 I was born into a caravan in which we travelled all over the west and the Northern Territory. Best childhood memories from all our travels and kids learn so much! The big blue lake near mount gambier is awesome! And the little blue lake is too, cold but a great swimming spot!

  • You should go to Nundle (Gold Mining town 60kms outside Tamworth) ‘cos I grew up there and they can always do with a few visitors-but the best time is late April/early May as they have the Nundle Chinese Easter Festival and usually, two weeks later they have the Great Nundle Dog Race. If you go to Nundle, be sure to stop at the Golden Guitar in Tamworth too.

    Also Queanbeyan is a top stopping point when near Canberra, 1. because I work there and 2. cos who qouldn’t love to go somewhere that starts with a Q!?

    On your way to Canberra, be sure to take a pic at the big sheep at Goulburn too!

  • You need to add Cooktown, Kuranda, Atherton and Ravenshoe (FNQ) to your list. All for different reasons, but Ravenshoe has Queensland’s most elevated Pub!

  • Kalgoorlie-Boulder is a must.
    And here’s an offer you won’t refuse…
    Kill two “places” at once. I own the Broken Hill Hotel in Boulder (kalgoorlie) and will buy you a beer if you come here!
    So you will be able to say you’ve been to Broken Hill when you come to Kalgoorlie.

  • Love the drive to Canberra from Dubbo. These are the towns we go through Dubbo, Wellington, Cowra, Canowindra (They have a hot air balloon festival there every couple of years I think) Boorowa, Yass, Canberra. Slightly off the main hwy.

  • Welcome to homeschooling…. it’s a blast.

    Join the local Facebook pages for homeschooling in each state a month or two before you get there and see what’s happening – in WA there’s loads of social groups, activities and idea sharing (Homeschooling Perth is the main non-specific social platform) and around 1,000 kids enrolled to homeschool.

    Let me know if you plan to visit the Ettamogah pub in Cunderdin WA, it’s a complete joke that there’s one of those in (my!) tinpot town a couple of hours east of Perth… and might be as good a reason to stretch your legs as any (there’s also a good museum for the kids to run around and climb on old farm machinery and check out a pump station for the Golden Pipeline).

  • Amazing Idea!!! Hubby and I were planning this with our current two but third pregnancy and we decided to stay put for now 😊
    I see Kurri Kurri is on your list, if you post when you plan to be there – I can set you up with a personal tour of the murals in town with one of the most knowledgeable people I know, my Dad (former librarian and primary school principal). You and Tracey could have a day off from teaching 😆

  • Sounds daunting but fun. Your family seems pretty amazing and after all the stuff have gone through, I think it’s a fabulous idea.
    Anyway, we live in Wollongong, right in the city basically. It.s only a small house but plenty of room to park the beast and have a shower and something to eat and drink….if that doesn’t sound too creepy from someone you don’t know? 😜 Also if you come in summer, we have a pool. I mean, yeah, sure, there are some great beaches around here, but a pool and a cold bevvie….can’t pass that up!!! 😄
    All the best for a wonderful adventure.

    • It posted before I finished my name….drop the pielot is my name on my pie blog…my real name is below….sorry bout that, iPads and Oompa Loompa fingers don’t match.

  • Wow! Welcome aboard. .. we left Gympie 2 years ago. 38ft bus and a trailer. We started schooling with Riverside in Maryborough, who are awesome, if you dont wont to just jump in with schooling. We now homeschool, in Victoria atm, and freezing. Word of advice, get a good indoor toilet, lots of solar panels, board games, quality hot water system and wifi is expensive, so search for vaya monster 30, 30 gig for $60 a month. Dont plan your trip, just pull out and choose left or right. Never trust gps for directions for your bus, buy hema truck atlas, or you will end up down narrow dirt roads or stuck under a bridge. Which we will all get a good laugh from your pics, I’m sure.!

  • Do you follow ‘big Betty and the barlows?’ On Facebook? They’re currently working & touring Austrailia home schooling their 4 kids in a very cool 2 story bus!

  • The best time of year to be traveling the far North is winter/dry season. Lovely dry hot days, compared to the buildup/wet season which is hot, oppressively humid and/or monsoonal rain.

  • You haven’t got Nyngan on the list ! We are between Dubbo and Bourke , so you will have to pass through to get to either town, we are the home of the bogan River ( google flood in 1990 – while town evacuated ) and the kids will have to get a photo next to The Big Bogan – a 7 metre sculpture erected last year – you will love it !! – Leah

  • In Perth we have Innaloo and Upper Swan! 😂Sounds amazing! Best of luck with the planning (and upcoming ops) x

  • If you are heading though Mt Isa, take the time to go a couple hours north to Lawn Hill. Amazing. I think you are the best kind of mad! We dream of doing what you’re doing.

  • Good for you!!! Shame there is no Mornington Peninsula destinations on your list…. we live in the best part of Victoria!! Mt Eliza, Mt Martha, Dromana, Rosebud, Rye, Blairgowrie, Sorrento and Portsea….. you can’t give that a miss!!

  • We have and are homeschooling all 9 of our kids! It’s a bloody awesome ride!
    Your gonna love it! Many blessings for the trip!

  • We have and are homeschooling or 9 kids! It’s bloody awesome!
    Your gonna have the best time! !
    Many blessings on your travels!

  • Totally great idea, I wish I’d done that. But I’m not dead yet!

    Hot springs in Mataranka NT. Also, the Top End is best between May-October 😉

  • Green head WA- there are some amazing limestone tunnels in Stockyard gully – best adventures for the kids on the way to Geraldton 🙂

    • She’d love that 🙂 We’ll be working out a way to let people know where we’re heading next and when so Tracey can organise with people. She’s planning to edit and give people their photos before we move on. I think it’ll work nicely 🙂

  • Hi Bruce, I have 5 kids and we rv all the time. Oh, and I have a yellow lab and pug. Soo…my advice is know you can go 3 days before sewage backs up in the tub. Plan your stops around dump stations. Also, dogs take a lot of space. Like, I could fit two more kids in the space they take. And my dogs freak out when we leave them in the rv. They chew it up. I recommend a large outdoor fence to keep them in. You know, a mobile one like they make for kids. Other wise we LOVE rving with our family and plan on doing this in a couple of years. I also homeschool and my kids test 3 or 4 grades above their level. I hardly do anything for them. They read and learn on their own. I hand them a math book and say, “get it done”. One does daily lessons and the other only takes tests, looking up the info he doesn’t know. If they get in a big pickle I shellout $30 to a tutor. Other wise my kids read and read or listen to books on tape. Easy peesy. Have fun

  • You might check out http://www.nestinggypsy.com they’ve had like 10 rvs and lived on the road for several years. They buy them and remodel them into what they need. Rarely do rvs meet the needs without help. Her name is Sara and her hubby is Matt. I’m sure they’d love to help you.

  • If you’re looking for good coffee and just an all round great cafe, you must come to Bell Qld, it’s only 2 or so hours drive from Gympie with a caravan park too. There’s enough here to do for a day or so if you wanted to a dry run before you leave for the real thing.

  • Love this idea! Your kids will learn more from your adventures than anything they can learn in school. I did notice that the closest to us will still be 90 minutes away though. If you want to add Tannymorel to your itinerary, my mob of 6 would love to invite you & your gang for a cuppa & a play!
    Happy planning! 😊

  • I’m pretty partial to Redcliffe in QLD – mostly because I often have the beach to myself when I walk down the road from home 🙂 There are quite a few caravan parks at the beach too!

  • What a fantastic idea Bruce and Tracey. I’ve been reading your blog since Tracey was in hospital and loving it and am so pleased you are all on the mend health-wise. Who’s minding your pup Winter while you’re on the road trip of a lifetime?

  • One for Tracey in WA- Koolyanobbing. Hehehe. One day I might grow up and stop giggling.

    More seriously- Karrijini National Park, Broome and Kununarra in North West. (Mitchell Falls, King George Sound, Lake Argyle etc etc)

  • We’re in Boggabri, not much to do but heaps of space.
    The Showgrounds is a good place to stay with a van, very cheap, has bathrooms/showers etc. Right next to the creek, which usually has hardly any water but fun to explore (even for the indoors type).

    Or you’re welcome to park in our vacant lot, our parents do when they bring their van, and use our bathrooms etc. You’d be very welcome, your kids couldn’t do much worse than ours already have. Email us if you’re interested.

  • I’m so excited to read this – I’ve been a bit absent in reading the blogs in my reading list (yours is on it!) because we’ve been planning and preparing to do exactly the same thing. We picked up our caravan on the weekend and we’re heading off at the end of August!! Thankfully I have a 2 and a 4 year old so no full on schooling commitments, but we have enrolled our 4 year old in ekindy – online 4 year old kinda program!

    I’m looking forward to watching your blog – happy to share ideas and experiences too 🙂

  • SO EXCITED for you guys – you’re going to make memories that will last a lifetime. Love your get up ‘n’ go attitude and can’t wait to follow along.

    • It’ll be a hoot! Tracey’s already had me order a ‘Bad Driver On Board’ bumper sticker 🙂 I don’t know what she’s worried about: she won’t even have her MR license!

      • Hi Bruce, We set of on our trip around Aus in a few months too. We’ll be driving a truck and towing a 22ft van. Hubby has all his licences already but I’m about to organise my MR as well. You never know when Tracey may need to drive. Heaven forbid you are hurt. If she’s unable to drive you’re all stuck.
        After last Sunday I realise the importance of me having my licence as well. We were 200kms from a town (home fortunately) and had just left a roadhouse 30kms earlier. No phone range in between. My hubby had sudden chest pain, so I had to drive our set up (complete with our three kids) back to the roadhouse for help. Unlicensed, no experience and pretty bloody freaked out about hubby. If I had more experience with the truck it would have made the situation ever so slightly less stressful.
        Hubby is fine. ☺️ Turns out it was pericarditis, which was diagnosed after an ambulance ride to the hospital. Meanwhile I had a friend travel the 200kms kms to me so he could drive my kids and I to town in our truck. It was a VERY long night.
        I highly recommend both parents get their license. You would both feel more comfortable knowing you can both drive. Just a sore foot can mean you’re stuck in the one place otherwise.
        Sorry to bring nasty stuff in to the conversations.
        Have an awesome trip with your family. Hope to see you on the road somewhere! 🚎🚎🚎

        • Tracey is talking about it. It does make sense. She doesn’t even like to drive to Brisbane generally. But we will have our 8 seater car with us as well, so there will be an option to get somewhere safely.

  • Argyle in WA for the diamond mine… Kununurra because it’s gorgeous. Derby because it’ll make you sad and make you think deeply about how rubbish we are as a civilisation. Hall, WA so you can be grateful for beer prices everywhere else – and also the the sign outside the butcher. Make sure you head north from Broome. The first few hours are so utterly boring that everyone celebrates when they see anything remotely resembling a landform. The lilliput landscapes are hysterical too – completely throws out your sense of perspective.

    Oh, yeah – thumbs totally up 😊

    • Diamond mine? Damn. I’ve been throwing out Miss6’s baby teeth when I should have been hollowing them out.

  • Hell yes! You have to go through Ararat to get to Halls Gap so add Aradale and J Ward to your list. Have an ice cream at Coola’s Ice Creamery in Halls Gap…the best ice cream in Victoria. What about adding meet and greets along the way? We all get to meet you, and we all have a spare power point for you to plug into, a kerb to park (or “pick a paddock” at ours).

  • Can I suggest Parkes/Forbes combo? I lived in Forbes for all my high school years. You could learn about Ben Hall the bush ranger in Forbes, then watch The Dish (most of the town scenes were filmed in Forbes) and go to the Radio Telescope in between Forbes and Parkes. If you timed it in early January, you could go to the Elvis festival in Parkes. Not a great fan, but the thought of that many Elvis impersonators strikes me as hysterically funny! It sounds amazing. http://www.parkeselvisfestival.com.au/

  • Dunsborough!! Definitely Dunsborough over Busselton. Yallingup is also beautiful and just next door (and many, many breweries in the area 😉 )

  • Okay so it looks like you have completely missed Kununurra? From being based in Kunners you can get to Home Valley Station (just a little bit down the Gibb River Road) and see the Kimberley in all its fabulous glory.. Gorges, Waterfalls, Sunsets & Sunrises most only get to dream about! And then there’s Lake Argyle & the Ord River & the dams… Genuinely… KUNUNURRA needs to be on your list! xx

  • That is so exciting…we have done a fair bit of travel with our kids but left our run a bit late to do the big lap with them given that they are now in Yr 12 and Yr 11. You will have the best time. This country has so much to offer. I think I’m just a wee bit jealous. Maybe we will see you on the road somewhere!

  • Have friends who did this in the early naughties with 4 kids- same deal: bus + trailer carrying vehicle and bikes, but what was pretty cool was how he decked out the inside of the (fully enclosed) trailer. Fold down desks from side walls, fold up chairs and voila! Car trailer became the home schooling classroom! (& bus can just stay non-school, fun space… or space where you nap while kids off learning with mum!!). 😀

    • Love this idea. I’m trying to work out if we can do something regarding storage or laundry. But cost.

  • Have a look at my daughters facebook page. Catavan of crazy. They have been gone for 12 months now with no real sign of returning. She is homeschooling 4 kids between the ages of 5 and 12 and they are all having a ball.

  • Warning. We left on our year long trip….about 2 years ago….and we have only done half of NSW, SA and WA south of Perth. (In our defence we have stopped for work slong the way) there is a lot to see and part of the adventure is changing our mind at the last minute ! Heading home to QLD at the end of the year for family commitments before we set off for the top half of Aus !

  • On your way north west of Adelaide, there is a small town called Iron Knob. Thought that name would be right up your alley.

  • If you’re going to visit Broken Hill you should also head to Silverton. There’s a couple of museums there, including a Mad Max museum with original memorabilia. And some great local art galleries. And a pub. The pub is educational too. It documents all the filming (movies and advertisements) that took place in that area.

  • There is a DVD series called The Big Lap – expedition Australia about a family (only of 4) who travel around Australia for a year. You might get some travel tips from that. Have fun planning!

  • Wee Waa (pronounced Wee War), just beyond Narrabri. Definitely should visit my parents’ hometown, Burren Junction, which is one step further from Wee Waa and its gorgeous bore bath I remember from my childhood. Admire you and your family, would love to be able to do this. Wonderful opportunity for you all!!

  • Yay you’ve got Exmouth on the list! You will love it but you need to be here between March and July for the whalesharks! If not the humpback whales come through from August to October! Best place ever!

  • We are planning the same thing just have to wait till mister 16 finishes high school and goes to uni or drops out when he gets his girlfriend pregnant and works at IGA full time as its hard finding buses to accomodate 7 peeps. 😂😂

  • Eh? My other comment is gone. Probably too long! Here’s you moving, and we’re just about to arrive there in Caboolture!. Single mum of 8, unschooler, 5 kids in uni and counting. Just 3 boys left. Hoorah! Anyway, there’s a secret cave on Phillip Island (where we live for 2 more weeks), carved out of solid red ochre. VERY SECRET even from locals. Hidden on a cliff face of a treacherous looking cliff (safe way down). Carved over 100 years ago by a guy who’d cart it to Melb to make paint. You can still see the pick marks. My granddaughter refers to it as the magic cave. Let me know if you want details. Take care all of you!

  • Forgot to mention that it has a perfect carved hallway. I usually take people there when they’re feeling rotten or adventurous. It gives people a buzz. I had a bushtucker man playing an echoing didj in there.. Haunting!! He said it was the best walk he’s done. It’s pretty hidden. If need be, I’ll walk out there, and film exactly where I go for you. Also I’d recommend that you geocache with the kids on your trip If you’ve never heard of it, it’s about 2 million caches, treasure troves etc hidden around the world. Guaranteed there are some in your suburb 🙂

  • Hi, Bruce! I am a fan from the US. I have to ask, will you be visiting Tasmania? My 6 year old daughter learned about the extinct Tasmanian Tigers and watched a documentary about possible sightings, now it’s one of her dreams to go to Tasmania and southern Australia where the reported sightings were and prove they are not extinct. Either way we will definitely follow your journey! I have days I dream of doing the same thing, just taking off in a bus with the family for a grand adventure!

  • We homeschool too, although we do it because of remoteness. Our girls go through Broken Hill School of the Air. Safe travels and might see you in the Hill ☺️

  • I just read through this list.

    There is a caravan park in Dural, North West Sydney called Sydney Hills Caravan Park.

    They are right next door to a pub, across the road from a bus stop taking you right into the centre of Sydney and close to a fabulous park called Fagan Park where Tracey can take pics of families.

    All the best for the journey

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