Travel Guide to Kununurra, WA

As you cross the border from the Northern Territory into Western Australia, the first town you arrive into as your following the highway is Kununurra. The small town in Far North Western Australia is not somewhere I pictured enjoying myself for four nights, however to my surprise, there was a lot more on offer in this remote corner of the Kimberley region. It is well known as the “Gateway to the East Kimberley” and therefore is the perfect base from which to explore some rugged Australian outback.

With a few Caravan Parks located in town, we were a little spoilt for choice and ended up choosing to stay at Ivanhoe Village Caravan Resort. We knew we had made the right decision when we were greeted by friendly managers who continued to make our four night stay very enjoyable by going above and beyond expectations. The park prides itself on beautiful, grassy sites, clean amenities and a very inviting pool.

  

Our first trip was a drive to Lake Argyle. An easy 70km drive will bring you to Lake Argyle village where you will find the Resort and Caravan Park. Here at the Caravan Park, you will find the most spectacular Infinity Pool with a breathtakingly beautiful view of the Lake. Day guests will be required to pay $10pp to use the facilities.

 

With panoramic views of Kununurra, Kelly’s Knob Lookout is the place to be as the sun sets. Only a few minute’s drive from the town centre and short walk to the lookout. From the lookout, you will also be able to spot the Sleeping Buddha, a rock formation that is also known as Elephant Rock.

       

With El Questro only being an hour’s drive from Kununurra and a scenic one at that; with Boab trees dotted everywhere, it makes for a fantastic day trip. Visit the oasis that is Zebedee Springs, where you can sit and relax in the tropical thermal springs or if your up for more of a challenging walk and a refreshing swim, head to Emma Gorge. As El Questro is a privately owned property, fee’s of $12pp will apply.


  

Drive a further 72km’s down the road and you will find Wyndham, Western Australia’s most Northern town where five rivers meet. Just outside of Wyndham is The Grotto, a popular swimming hole and a perfect way to finish up a day of adventure.

Wanting to spot a crocodile? Ivanhoe Crossing is the place to be and if your game enough to take the car across, you will find a perfect little picnic spot on the other side.

Last but not least, Hidden Valley National Park is right at Kununurra’s doorstep being only a two-minute drive and a popular area for walking tracks and photography. Entry fees to the National Park do apply.

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5 aussie travel apps

Since our last post, that being our 12 month budget update – we have had a lot of people message and ask about how we keep track and what Apps we use so we have compiled our top 5.

👮 Fuel Map Australia
➖ Particularly since leaving the East Coast, this has been awesome! We can plan ahead. Diesel can be up to 40c cheaper just 20km’s down the road. The savings are better in our pocket! 👮

👮 Google Maps
➖ A fair few people asked who we made the map through.

👮 Gas Finder
➖ Because why pay more then you have to? Generally we just use the Swap N Go at Bunnings for $19.95. But if that’s not available…. this app comes in handy. We were once stung $60 for a bottle…. ummmm…. never again!

👮 WikiCamps
➖ The best $8.99 we’ve spent for the trip and lots of people will already know about it…. but if you don’t, go buy it! It shows free camps, low paid camps, caravan parks, dump points, drinking water taps, points of interest etc within the area. Choose a filter and you get the whole rundown with prices, reviews and recent photos – not just the ‘professional’ ones that parks get done up. Nothing worse then turning up and it looks nothing like their website!! 🗻

👮 Pocket Expense
➖ This is what we use to keep track of our money. You can make your own categories so…. ‘Groceries’, ‘Diesel’, ‘Accommodation’ etc. and then we just log it in as we buy things. So no, I don’t spend hours going through our bank statements to work out how much we’ve spent! ☺️

Free Camp Versus Caravan Parks – what is better?

The majority of comments and feedback we get are positive but occasionally we get comments regarding free camping and “taking money away from Caravan Parks”

Caravan parks are no different from any other business- they offer a service and if people want that service they pay for it. Before our trip we spent our money to become self contained. This allows far greater flexibility where we stop for the night.

This is very important when travelling with young kids because when they have had enough travelling, they are very vocal letting us know! When we do pay for campsites such as national parks and farm stays we rarely use the amenities provided, but instead are paying for the location.

We also like to have more space around us than most caravan parks provide. We always try to leave a site cleaner than we found it and the last job before we hit the rd each day is an emu bob which our kids have turned into a competition.

Growing up in Tassie my dad used to take us camping ‘a lot’ and I dont remember ever having stayed in a caravan park. Even though our tent has wheels and all the amenities of a house l see no reason my kids shouldnt grow up with the same memories of sitting around a camp fire, roasting marshmallows or cooking damper, while looking up at the stars with not another person within cooee.

Everyone has their own journey and this is ours. Life is what you make it. We are able to travel our lap by keeping to a cheaper accommodation budget. It works for us 🙂

-Gibbo

Take a tour of the 2.5 million dollar RV 😍

Ever wondered what it would be like to live in a $2.5 million RV? Yes, there is such a thing. Motorhomes are getting more and more luxurious. At a recent RV show, we toured two Class A RVs that were well over a million dollars. The first – $1.5 million. The second, after taxes and fees, $2.5 million. Come tour them with us…but first, take off your shoes!

Free Camping at Lake Argyle

The best free camp we’ve had on our whole trip when it comes to views 😍

Set on the river with a mountain backdrop the views were absolutely 💯%. After we started to to set up our camp a couple of girls arrived in their 2wd van and managed to get stuck in the softer sand. Axl and Gibbo jumped at the chance to help out the beautiful Swedish girls. #mazdabt50 #totherescue. We had the most peaceful sleep. I don’t think I heard any noise other than the flowing river. Each morning Gibbo braved going for a bit of a fish while keeping a keen out for crocs that can be found in the river. We left the van parked up and day tripped to the lake where we all had a great time stand up paddle boarding and had a quick dip in the infinity pool. The huge Dam Wall was also a fantastic sight to see.
We intended on staying just one night but 3 days later we packed up due to the bushfire across the river. We loved this free camp and absolutely recommend to ALL!!!
What a way to finish our WA adventure!!

#FANTASTIC #thatview #onedayweshould #travelaustraliawithkids #aussieoutback #thisiswa #justanotherdayinwa #wikicamps #freecamps #10/10 #thebest #camping #caravanning #lakeargyle #lakeargylecruises #standuppaddleboard #bushfire

***FOLLOW ONEDAYWESHOULD ON FACEBOOK AND INSTAGRAM FOR MORE FREECAMPS and travelling with kids info, tips, tricks, pics and more!!!***

 

8 must do’s on the Eyre Peninsula

1.Talia Caves tourist drive South Australia
(just a short drive from Venus Bay)


We drove straight past this place initially as we weren’t sure if the road was suitable for us towing our 3 tonne van! In short- Definitely YES the road is suitable for those towing large vans and Definitely YES you need to stop in there! 😱 HOLY WOW. this place was incredible!

2.Murphy’s Haystacks- Eyre Peninsula SA

After a quick 2km detour off the highway. No hay anywhere to be found BUT we did find some amazing Granite boulders 😜

I think these were the highlight of Axls trip so far. We read the book ‘Are we there yet’ (about a family travelling around Australia) and these boulders are in it. So we planned to stop in and check them out. The kids ran around like crazy! So hyper and excited, climbing all over them and just loving every second! These Huge boulders are just beautiful 😍 cost $5/family to visit and the option of $10 extra if you’d like to park up for the night!

3. Pildappa Rock Camping Area (South Australia’s ‘#waverock’)

This was our first little venture inland as we’ve spent the rest of our time sticking to the coastal routes. I was worried about trekking us all inland 125kms from Port Kenny, South Australia just to see a rock that I hadn’t really heard that much about (Just seen some great reviews on WikiCamps). Well it didn’t disappoint. The kids had a ball playing on the rock with their #TonkaTrucks, walking and riding their bikes around the huge rock and climbing on top (that bit not so enjoyable for me.. freaking out having all 3 kids up there 😬😱 😰). A fantastic place to visit and a really peaceful night’s sleep there too👌#winning

4.Venus Bay – Eyre Peninsula SA

If you’re after a mix of stunning coast lines similar to GOR mixed with beautiful bays, a unique curved jetty and the most magnificent colourings in the water visit Venus Bay!

When driving into the town you get to Bay Road- if you turn left you’ll end up at a lookout overlooking stunning cliffs. If you turn right you’ll end up at a beautiful curving jetty. The jetty becomes even more magnificent when you take the time to walk along it. The colours in the water are absolutely magnificent. So many different shades of blues and greens 👌. A bonus for us was the great Playground at the start of the jetty. It’s always nice to find a fun playground to let the kids run around. There’s something for everyone in Venus Bay 😍👌

5.The #INTENSE Whistling rocks and the Blowholes (Cape Bauer Loop Drive  Streaky Bay, South Australia, Australia)

We went for a drive along the Cape Bauer Rd (loops around the coast and back to streaky) *the road is fine for those towing.

First we stopped at Cape Bauer a nice scenic lookout. Second stop was at whistling rocks and the Blowholes. We started walking along the boardwalk heading towards the sites. As soon as we climbed the brow of the hill we started hearing the intense sound of the whistling rocks. The waves force air and water through holes in the rocks, towards the cliff surface, giving us the sound of whistling rocks. I tried to capture a video of this happening but you really can’t get the same intense feeling from watching it on film. It was crazy, exciting and even a little bit frightening. This really is something you’ll have to go and experience first hand.

Unfortunately for us the tide was too far out to see the Blowholes blowing… Something to keep in mind if travelling out there to see it.

6.Coffin Bay National Park

An unexpected extended stay in the Port Lincoln area lead us to explore the National Park in Coffin Bay. For a National Park we never intended to look through. We ended up staying 4 nights and loved it! Cost $12/night to camp (plus National Park fees)

Fun filled days of driving around the coastline and through the rugged bush tracks. Playing on the sand dunes. Fishing and actually catching fish!!! Friendly roos coming to our door, emus and their babies wondering around the campgrounds. Great walking tracks and the highlight being were pretty much the only ones here except for another travelling family with kids the same age 😍.

Kids had the best of times playing together. I must admit we rather enjoyed our time spent with these guys too. Extra bonus as It’s always great having others to go 4WD exploring with.. just incase 👌

I would absolutely love to come back to this place when it’s warmer. The perfectly blue ocean water with stunning white sandy beaches was so worth the hour and half 4×4 drive! It almost made me want to dip my toes in… almost. The freezing icy winds made me think twice pretty quickly! Instead we lit a fire and watched the boys catch some fish. #onedayweshould come back! Would be amazing in summer 😍

7. Mikkira Station

Picture driving down the road and seeing stunning farmland and white sand dunes in the distance… A sheep or 2 a k-kangaroo. (Yep I went there). This very Aussie ‘Mikkira Station’ had nearly everything. Wild emus, tonnes of Kangaroos and a Koala 🐨 up nearly every tree in the campsite. After just a short walk you’ll find beautiful historic sites and buildings you can even enter . There’s a real toilet and a hot shower for those who need.

This place was well and truly worth the $25/night pricetag. A fantastic place for a true blue Aussie outback experience and only 25mins from Port Lincoln!

8. Point Lowly and Whyalla, South Australia, Australia

Point Lowly Camping Area $8/ night maximum stay 4 weeks.

We found a great little spot with stunning views to park up our van for a couple of nights and who else would pull up beside us? Another friendly Tasmanian! Small world! 🌏

We drove into Whyalla (my place of birth) to have a look around. Whyalla was much smaller and much more industrial than I had pictured but had some nice views and an interesting history.

Upon arriving back to our campsite we were surprised to find a dolphin 🐬 swimming in the water right near our campsite 😍

A couple of other quick stops on the Eyre Peninsula SA worth a mention-

*Camping at Perlubie Beach (near Streaky Bay)

*Sculptures on a cliff top tourist drive in Elliston  – (this drive is suitable for those towing)

*Seal colony at Point Labatt Conservation Park (very hard to see. They blend in with the rocks. take binoculars if you have them!)

*Streaky Bay Jetty (millions of small fish at the end of the jetty, a few jellyfish and a couple dolphins)

*Port Lincoln a fantastic place to chill out and the bonus for us being the 2 large supermarkets (to stock up ready for our journey across the Nullarbor)

Australia’s Whitest Beach – Esperance WA

Cape Le Grand National Park – Esperance WA

 

We arrived in Esperance at the same time as their apparent ‘first bit of bad weather’. That did not dampen our time spent in the Cape Le Grand National Park.

The park is most well known for Australia’s whitest beaches! In the summer time, the kangaroos can be found sunbaking on the beach.

Unfortunately for us, it was not bikini weather but we were ‘lucky’ enough to see one roo on the beach. We were also ‘lucky’ enough to see a massive Sea Eagle flying overhead and a lone seal bobbing about in the bay.

 

We enjoyed fishing and playing on the beach, climbing the rock hills, climbing the summit of Frenchman Peak, a walk to Thistle Cove and short drives to Hellfire Bay and Rossiter Bay.

 

Our favourite part hands down – The Frenchman Peak. An intriguing mountain with a large cave to ‘peek’ through. The best mountain we’ve ever climbed. It wasn’t even the view from the top it was the view inside and out of the cave. We could have spent all day up there! We were lost for words. A truly unique mountain to climb at least once in your lifetime!

 

#onedayweshould #travelaustraliawithkids #caravanningwithkids #australia #travel #explore #lapofaustralia #climbingmountains #summit #frenchmanspeak #luckybay #thistlecove #rossiterbay #hellfirebay #familytime #nationalpark #westernaustralia #capelegrand

What Shocked Us About Wave Rock

We visited WaveRock today and it was pretty good BUT… I’ve gotta say we actually preferred Pildappa Rock (South Australia’s Wave Rock)

We found Wave Rock, Hyden to be very commercialised. Galvanized staircases bolted into the rock, signage everywhere telling you NOT to do this and NOT to do that. For such an iconic rock you never hear about it looking or being like this. Only ever seeing those photos of ‘that amazing wave’. I feel It’s portrayed as something out in the middle of nowhere and left untouched. The rock was bigger (than Pildappa) but the actual wave that you go to see is about the same size… so we were a little disappointed paying $10 for this one when SA’s is free to visit and has been left in its natural state.

*I’ve included a photo of the stairs, paths and signage all over the rock as these are things not often shown. We are starting to wonder if all the huge Australian Icons are like this? It just wasn’t quite what we thought it would be… We are finding we rather the places that are less often heard about. We find it much nicer being in the middle of nowhere experiencing nature in all its glory rather than fighting through crowds and seeing common sense signage ruining views and taking away the beauty of it. *We did love the sites surrounding – Hippos Yawn, The Humps Reserve, Mulkas Cave and the Hyden, Western Australia township (I will blog about those very soon).

Let us know your thoughts? Did you have a similar experience or where you so amazed by the wave you could see past the added infrastructure?

Valley of the Giants Tree Top Walk Western Australia

Valley of the Giants Tree Top Walk / The Ancient Empire

While travelling Australia (as a family of 5) we just can’t do every tourist attraction. We like to keep our eyes out for the free and low cost attractions on offer. So when we stumbled across The Valley of Giants we were delighted to find they have 2 options.

1. A Tree Top Walk (roughly $60+ for our family of 5).
2. A #FREE self guided walk around The Ancient Empire forest.

We loved the Ancient Empire-
An informative walk explaining the history of the forest, the types of trees that grow and why the grow like they do. The kids loved running through and exploring the gigantic trees. They also have a nature display of all the bugs and creatures found living in the trees and forest. A fantastic option for those trying to spread the funds that bit further and a great spot for those #homeschooling on the road.

* Entry is via picturesque sealed roads and parking available for those towing 👌

#makingthefundslast #exploringnature #travellingwithkids #travelwithkidsaustralia #caravanningwithkids #australianoutback

Why families are selling everything to travel Australia

A topic quite often brought up- Why does there seem to be a massive increase in families who are packing up their lives and choosing to travel around Australia?

For us another huge reason why we did- The forever increasing age for retirement (currently 65 years old and increasing to 67 in 2023). There’s no wonder current generations are quickly realising if they ever want to travel this great country of ours (while healthy and able) we need to do it now. We see so many couples from the older generations retiring and setting up to travel only to end up selling the van and giving up on the dream due to bad health and unforeseen circumstances. It will only get worse for our generations. We will be working longer and not get any a kind of chance to properly enjoy all that we’ve worked hard for. It really is devastating. We were flat out working our bums off for years to get our house paid off until we realised- If we really want to travel Australia we shouldn’t put it off.

You’re never guaranteed tomorrow and even if you were there’s no guarantee you’ll be healthy. So we bought our rig and van, sold the house and haven’t looked back… Well it definitely hasn’t been ‘that easy’ but it HAS absolutely been worth it! #onedayweshould #travelaustraliawithkids What are your thoughts? Or if you’re travelling what’s your reason for packing up and travelling?

 

 

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