Monday, 24 November 2014


We are now in New Zealand!! We are here for 3 weeks exploring the north and south islands. We had the day in Christchurch yesterday and visited the Cardboard Cathedral. We were shocked at the extent of the damage from the earthquakes in 2010 and 2011 and amazed at the rate of rebuilding with everything seeming to be happening simultaneously!

We are now in Akaroa, a French town where the mountains meet the sea - stunning!


Saturday, 22 November 2014

Bye Bye Campervan!

In this photo we are roasting marshmallows over a fire in Daylesford, Victoria.  The next day we did canoeing at Lake Jubilee.  We've been to 4 states, starting in Queensland, then New South Wales, then Australian Capital Territory (ACT) and now Victoria.  Ethan: The camper van was luxurious, all made up for us and you've got all your bedding, and it had a top bunk.  Joseph: Because it's really huge and we had loads of space for fun and games, some of my favourites we played were Carcassonne, Uno and Monopoly.  Sophie: The kind of bunk beds were really nice because we all (the children) got to go in the top.    
Ethan: It doesn't feel the same not having it.  Joseph: It's been our home for three months!  

We really enjoyed having our little home and travelling and having everything to hand.  It felt amazing being able to sit and have a hot cooked meal high up in the mountains in the mist or just being able to come in and chill out.
We miss you Britzy!!

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Uncle Max

We've been spending a few days with our Uncle Max.  He's going to be 80 next week - doesn't he look great!  We visited him 11 years ago and in a way it was a very similar, precious time just with lots more people!  We visited the national park he's been working on for the past 30 years - Wilson's Promentary - the southernmost point of Australia.  The people from there say, "If you don't like the weather then wait 5 minutes."  It was so true, we had at least 3 seasons while we were there.

In 2011 they had a massive bushfire through the park, apparently the tallest mountain in the park was a ball of fire.  But now, thanks to the amazing hardwork of the volunteer gardeners collecting seeds, germinating them and planting them in the same areas they collected them from; and of course nature itself, the park is green again!  The only evidence of the fire is the forests of white skeleton trees which will soon be subsumed by new growth.

Friday, 14 November 2014

Fairy wren

This is a Superb Fairy Wren!  We have seen lots of them the past few weeks - aren't they beautiful, I think this one was just as interested in me as I was in him!  It's been our first cold day today.  We are now in Victoria travelling east along The Great Ocean Road.  It has majestic seascapes for those seated in the front and very windy corners for those in the back of the van.

A week today we give the van back in Melbourne.  Our van feels like a very safe, known space. Sometimes we get on each other's nerves and it feels a bit cramped but mostly it feels great to have our entire home - everything we might possibly need - really close by! We were up a mountain road today looking at lots of koalas in the mist and we were all able to sit and have hot chocolate just when we all felt a bit damp! I think we will all miss it!

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Epic journey

Today was The Epic Journey Day! We travelled from Canberra to Daylesford changing state from New South Wales to Victoria! 700km of freeway, single track, dirt road later and we are very pleased (and only a little stiff) to have arrived at the spa capital of Australia! We had our first very close encounter with 3 kangaroos jumping in front of the van, such beautiful, fluid movements and wonderfully they lived to jump another day!

Here it feels like England in May and even has the flora to prove it! Elderflowers, forget-me-nots and even goose grass are found here among the eucalypts. We have our fire pit roaring and are about to toast ourselves some marshmallows while the rosellas, cockatoos, correllas and even a couple of peacocks sit and watch us.

We are now 7 rather than 5 or 6 as Uncle John has joined us for the last push along the Great Ocean Road to Melbourne!

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Taronga Zoo by Sophie

We saw koalas and we saw the seals jumping and we saw the monkies and we went on the cable car and we saw elephants, giraffes and zebras and I fed and stroked rabbits and guinea pigs.  I think you should go there because I think it's great fun and you'll love it.

Taronga Zoo

A few days ago we went to Taronga Zoo in Sydney with Uncle John!  We went on the tube, the ferry and a cable car to get there. There were animals from everywhere in the world, even really rare ones like snow leopards and Tasmanian devils.

Highlights from joseph: was seeing some of my favourite animal:  zebras, anacondas, and lemurs and also the brilliant bongos, elephants and giraffes.  Bongos are like very big gazelles with the same twisty horns but with a dark brown head, with white cheeks and eyebrows and a stripped black and light brown body and legs.

Highlights from Ethan: my favourite animals from the zoo were the seals, birds, snakes, lizards, sun bears, elephants, snow leopards and giraffes.

There were some shows we saw the first one was seals which could do handstands, acrobatics, cool swimming, amazing jumping and diving and a shark impression- we even saw them balancing a ball on their nose.

The second show was the bird show which included the aboriginal story of how the birds got their colours, black breasted buzzards who could naturally crack open an emu egg by picking up a stone in their beak and throw it on the emu egg to crack it open: it looked really funny doing it!  Galahs that could steal coins from the audience (and give it back), and owls that could find a hidden sound recorder just by following the sound.

We had a really great day!  You should definitely go there if you're in Sydney.

Enjoying the Blue Mountains

Friday, 7 November 2014

Stuck in Traffic

Actually our ferry from Taronga Zoo was waiting for a slot at Circular Quay