Traveller The Piper Fam in a Van with no Plan from Caringbah NSW

Name: The Piper Fam

Favorite Quote: “Fill your life with adventures, not things. Have stories to tell not stuff to show”. Unknown.

“Never get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life” Dolly Parton

We are a family of 4 from the Sutherland Shire in Sydney who are currently 4 mths into our 12 months on the road. Although both pre and post kids we always made the time to get away for mini breaks in our camper, our time in between seemed to get so busy with just life. We were always rushing out the door to school, work or a social event and not taking the time to stop and enjoy each others  company.

After years of pestering Brendan for a gap year, either living somewhere out of Sydney or travelling he finally gave in. I had this feeling for so long that I just wanted our kids to know life is not about the daily grind and there are always options, given our eldest starts high school in 2019 it was now or never.

Don’t believe everything you read on camp reviews. We have had the most wonderful times at camps that have had bad reviews and vice versa and Podcasts are your best friend on those long stretches, we have found some great funny and informative family ones.

If you could only re-live five minutes of the trip, which five minutes would it be?

Running into Bernard Fanning on the streets of Byron Bay. I managed a photo but become so star struck I was lost for words!

What has been your most favourite destination and why

Having just left Pondalowie Campground in Innes National Park in South Australia we all agree this is top of the list. The area is full of history with so many walking tracks, spectacular scenery and the beaches are to die for.

Gregory River would have to be on par, a free camp one hour out of Boodjamulla National Park. The most relaxing 4 days we have had on this trip was spent cruising down the river on every flotation device imaginable, swinging from tree ropes whilst being surrounded by amazing bird life.  

What has been the scariest moment of your travels?

Oh so many! From driving the first 70 kms of our trip through Sydney traffic with the brakes not working on the van and nowhere to pull over, to a road train overtaking us on an old small timber bridge in the NT you really feel like you are alive on a daily basis.

What have you found (sights or activities) a bit off the beaten track? Beyond the tourist traps that made you go wow?

Howard was an unexpected little gem, we stayed on a farm stay called Goodenough4thebush. The owners of the property are so welcoming there is 2 full bathrooms and a kitchen (just like home) along with quirky outdoor dining sheds and chill out areas. Tony (the owner) has thought of everything to keep a family entertained from farm animals to kayaking and cricket it is all there for guests to utilise for just $20 a night.

What has been the funniest/strangest/most insightful bit of advice you’ve been given on your travels?

A Stansbury local who taught us how to catch blue swimmer crabs! In South Australia crabs are caught very differently to home and you are lucky if you get one, we have never caught so many! Such a treat!

Where would you revisit?

Rainbow Beach, such a beautiful part of QLD we enjoyed our day trips from Tin Can Bay but it is on the list to go back to camp on the beach and further explore the area.

What has surprised you about yourself?

How we are all handling Distance Education. We experienced major resistance initially but once we got into a routine it become manageable. We have all learnt a lot and love the fact that our school incorporates our learning with where we are at the time. It was perfect that we were in Alice Springs for 3 weeks and Toby was studying indigenous culture.

Traveller Trip In A Van

What’s been your weirdest moment while travelling?

Fisherman’s Bay on the Yorke Peninsula in SA was interesting to say the least, it looks like something out of an old western. There was minimal signs of life the day we were there and so many old tin shacks built so close in the 1920s it was impossible to walk in between them.

Wycliff Wells was another unusual place, the UFO capital of Australia and a lot of strange occurrences happen there (apparently

What has been the most useful item you’ve brought?

Aside from our Option RV caravan, our Wayco fridge with a drop down Easy Slide that is installed in our car is so handy, we keep all the goodies in it to make lunches while out on day trips and have the added bonus of stocking up on meat at the local country butcher that we come across. We also wouldn’t be without our ISO Bike rack which sits on the front draw bar of the van and makes the kids bikes easy to take on and off when we pull up at our destination which keeps everyone happy.

The Piper Fam in a Van with no Plan

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