….and we’re off!

Well, after a last minute mad dash we have actually hit the road!

About 9.00 am Thursday 5th May, as planned, we all piled into Patricia the Patrol (Pat if you’re a friend ) and headed North.


Our first official touristy destination were The Pinnacles which are situated in Nambung National Park, around 270km from Perth. Although we had driven past  a number of times, on our way to other destinations, neither of us had actually stopped and had a look. To be honest our expectations were not high but we came away pleasantly surprised, although none the wiser as to how The Pinnacles were actually formed!

Entry into The Pinnacles is $11 per car which we offset against a National Parks Pass that we purchased once inside. This is an annual pass that allows entry into a number of National Parks, we decided to do this instead of paying each time we entered a Park – check out the link, it’s explained much better!

We had to leave Stanley in the car park (there was even a box of wheel chocks supplied) and went into The Discovery Centre to become learned. Like I said, we are none the wiser and didn’t realise just how The Pinnacles were formed was such a contentious issue! We then walked up to The Pinnacles View which gave a great outlook over the Park. Next we all piled back into Patricia and took a drive through the landforms. They were pretty special – the kids loved them. I particularly liked one spot where you could see The Indian Ocean in the background. In some places it was like being on another planet.

If you were visiting Perth and had limited time would we recommend you visited the Pinnacles? Probably not. However if you were going past that way, then we would definitely say drop in and check them out.

After a bit of lunch we hitched Stan back up and headed off for our first overnight stopover – Geraldton. We are lucky enough to have some friends who live there. They fed us and let us park Stanley out the front of their house. Thanks Simon, Jo, Sydney & Baby K. It was great to catch up. In total we travelled 409.5 kms the first day and welcomed the site of friendly faces at the end of it.

For us Geraldton was just a stopover as we have been there a number of times, but there are a many  things to see and do there including; The HMAS Sydney II Memorial, Aboriginal Art and the Old Gaol Museum. Check out the link for more information, it would be easy to spend 2-3 days there having a good look around. Its also very popular to use as a base when touring the surrounding region during wildflower season.

After brekkie and one last play with Sydney it was time to head off again. First we fueled up in Geraldton where we paid $158.9 for diesel. After another 182 kms we pulled into a free camp site at Nerren Nerren. We picked a spot under a tree for shade that also had a picnic table and fire pit with barbecue plate. It wasn’t long before we were set up and the kids took off on there bikes for an exploration session. They liked the open space to ride around with but weren’t so keen on the ‘long drop’ environmental toilets. I must admit they were pretty ripe but beggars can’t be choosers! Although I must fess up that I was the one to use the caravan toilet during the night because it was dark and I had given myself the heebie jeebies!

The Rea Family and their bus

Nerren Nerren was quite a busy place and really started to fill up in the late afternoon. We met the lovely Rea family consisting of Richard, Vanessa, Annie & Courtney and enjoyed a couple of icy cold beers sitting in the shade provided by the converted Denning bus they live and travel in. In fact five years ago they left Victoria on their two year trip around Australia! They have a really cool set up. Behind the bus they have a trailer with a 4WD and motorbike and pushbikes for the girls. Now that’s travelling!

After a good night sleep we packed up fairly early in the morning and headed off to our next destination Denham, for a much anticipated three night stay. In our nest post I’ll let you know about The Fish Fiesta, Beer Can Regatta, Monkey Mia and Shell Beach amongst other things.

The kids have also done some schooling and I hope to get organised and update the education page, although I have to say this blogging business interrupts my chillaxing!


7 responses to “….and we’re off!

  1. Hi All, the blog is excellent, it feels as if we are there with you…glad all the planning is coming together well, enjoy!
    Jean and Tonyx (UK)

  2. Grant Cumming

    Safe travels and all the best for you holiday. 400km is a nice comfortable distance to travel each day if you can.
    Regards: Grant

  3. Jo, Simon, Sydney and baby K

    Just so you know the diesel was $151.8, they changed it for the weekend and now it is back to $151.8. Cheeky buggers!!!!

  4. kristy shephard

    Oh my, well good bye and safe travels. Love the blog it will become a regular fix for me and the girls. Looking forward to all your adventures.

  5. Sharon Gardner

    Noice work Hells Bells. Keep us the interesting posts and just forget about the kid’s education for a while… they are adaptable and they’ll learn stuff if you just leave them to it I reckon… 😉 Sharrie xxx

  6. So totally know what you mean about blogging interfering with chillaxing!! Took me the better part of a morning to get our last post written and published…lots of technical hitches due to the fact I am now completely reliant on the laptop!! Looking forward to hearing more about W.A. I have already booked Cable beach caravan park for June 25 for a week (was a minimum at that time), then a few free nights down the coast, then port Hedland is already booked for one night, Auski for a few nights so we can check out Karajini, then have booked Point Samson and Exmouth for a week each while the W.A. school hols are on. The rest we will be winging it, but Charlie is super keen on the dolphins so we are looking forward to that! The blog looks great…keep up the great work combining holidaying and looking after kids and keeping the lines of communication open!!
    Tanya Gill

  7. Hi,
    I am a friend of Kristy Shepard’s & we are planning on setting off towards the end of the year, van is in planning & construction stage at present. I already homeschool my 3 kids – so not too concerned about that, but really keen to follow your journey with the family.
    All the best

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