My reason to experience life to the full and travel around Australia!

Get to know Lynell from MountainSunSea

I recently finished a journal yesterday (I love to journal by the way) and the quote on the front cover says ‘Do not count the days – make the days count’. A reminder, every day, to do just that – make the days count.

So I decided I would do something different – even just the smallest thing – just something different.

It has become a habit for me to hang out the washing on the washing line from left to right; as I am left-handed, I use my left hand to clip the pegs. So I decided to hang the washing from right to left and using my right hand to clip the pegs. I thought at the beginning this was just a silly exercise – but after I finished, I was in tears and I like I had conquered my own little Mt Everest (I’m not far off the washing pile was huge!)

It sounds simple enough right – just switch things around to what you would normally do. Well for me, this was not the case. I really had to consciously think about what I was doing, like really think – and my brain hurt after it. In the beginning my self-talk was ‘this is pretty stupid, you could get it done so much quicker if you did it the way you have always done it’ and ‘I have so many other chores I could get started if I stopped this silly exercise and carry on the way I have always done it’ and ‘I am having trouble opening the peg with my right hand as it seems so unnatural’.

I persevered – and I am so thankful I did. It MADE me actually present to hanging out the washing – like picking up Nathan’s favourite long sleeve shirt that he wears, and give it a quick sniff to see if it smelt like him, (it didn’t – I can’t quite figure out if I was happy or sad about this – I wanted it to smell like him just a bit, but I also wanted to make sure the laundry powder I use does its job) and holding it up and around my body as if he was cuddling me (sounds crazy right) and realising how lucky I am that he chose me as his wife (ah warm feeling in my belly moment).

When I picked up Rainbows first full swimming costume and just marvelling at how it looks so big in comparison to what her newborn clothes were like – and how close we had come to losing her (I may have started crying at the point). As her middle name is Rainbow, I checked to see it had all the colours of Rainbow like the Rainbow song (more tears). I picked up my maternity bra; and marvelled at the fact that I am so fortunate to be able to breastfeed her and share a bond that I, still to this day and after having three children, cannot put the right words to explain how it makes me feel. To know I am one of the fortunate Mums who can give their child part of me, to help her grow, to supply her with the most nutritious most natural milk nature can give.

I picked up Harry’s Hat that he had worn for 4 years at child care (he is only 6 years old) and how even though it has always been too big for him and sits low on his forehead so that when he looks up, he has to tilt his head that bit further – to see you (more tears). His ‘Harry.H’ orange hat that is so battered and worn, but he loves it. The hat he wore when he made lifelong friends already at his age, where I met my best friend as Harry and her son are best mates, (even more tears) at a child care where the carers became like a second family and we have watched families grow together.

I picked up Savvy’s swimming costume and hung it next to Rainbows – I could picture them both there in their costumes, and how throughout life, these two sisters will be by each other’s sides for as long as this life has set out for them (tears are flowing like a river). It honestly feels like one-minute Savvy was our firstborn and we did everything by the book; our sweet little baby who giggles anytime you say ‘bum’ to Savvy being my quietly confident rock at times when Nathan has been away for work and Rainbow was not well.

Once she came into my room in the middle of the night when she heard me crying even though I tried to hide it. She comforted me just by stroking my hair and wiping my tears and saying ‘Mummy I love you, you should never hide your tears – that’s what you tell me and Harry. It’s okay to cry’.

It took me over an hour to finish this task where normally it would take 20-25 minutes.
If I had not set myself this (now not so silly) task – I would have just been like a robot and got the job done. Instead, I got to appreciate my family in the craziest way.

I even noticed at one stage I had my tongue sticking out to the side like Rainbow had when she was learning to move a toy from one hand to the next, I stood back once I had finished with my hands on my hips and a grin on my face like Harry does when he finishes building a new lego set, and a slight tilt of my head to the left like Savvy when she asks me a question.

My challenge for you is to do something different every day, even if it means starting small – because it is the small things that start the big things rolling.

Happy travelling!


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16 Travel Apps for your Big Lap around Australia


Before you take off on an epic tour around Australia, be sure to download the Best Travel Apps on the market. There is already so much you need to consider before you set off on your Big Lap. Here is a list of apps to help make your journey safer, smoother, and more fun! Written by: Mountain Sun Sea

Campsite Apps

You may have a hard copy of the Australian campsites from Camps Australia Wide 8 (Camps Australia Wide 9 is due in February 2017) – be sure to download both the Camps Australia Wide and Wikicamps apps.

  1. Camps Australia Wide is $7.99 to download but it contains indispensable information about campsites in addition to photographs of listings from both the Camps Australia Wide guide as well as the Caravan Parks Australia Wide guide.


Camps Australia Wide – Android

Camps Australia Wide – iTunes

  1. Wikicamps basic version is free, but the full version can be downloaded for a small one-time fee of $7.99 that will grant you access to the app for a lifetime. Wikicamps is a user generated database which is kept up-to-date with the latest information. It works completely offline so you don’t have to worry about signal or a wifi connection.

You just simply download all the content you need to your device before you go! You will find information about free and paid campsites and whether they are accessible for caravans or camper trailers. It shows you where there are caravan parks, road side rest areas, public dump points and much more! Wikicamps uses your location to show you nearby points of interest so you won’t miss anything cool on your journey.


Wikicamps Australia – iTunes

Wikicamps Australia – Android


Tracking Apps

  1. TrackMyTour is great for keeping family members up-to-date on your location. This app uses GPS tracking to make it easy for you to highlight places on your trip and send photos or other fun updates to loved ones at home. It’s a great app for travel in terms of keeping in touch with friends and family. The TrackMyTour app and website are free to use, but you are restricted to the number of maps. If you wish to create more maps you can then purchase an upgrade from within the app. TrackMyTour is only compatible on iTunes.

trackmytour                    trackmytrip

TrackMyTour – iTunes

The android version is called TrackMyTrip

  1. HemaExplorer – 4WD Maps costs $29.99. This app also uses GPS tracking and it literally follows the exact roads you drive. You do need to purchase maps as they only provide the most basic maps. You can upgrade to HEMA Offline for $99.99 if you are looking at navigating over extremely remote areas, with a real-time offline GPS tracking system and claims to have Australia’s best topographic mapping.


Hema Explorer – Australia – iTunes

Hema Explorer – Australia – Android

WikiCamps also allows you plan your trip and if you need to – move each place as you travel. You can also view your route to help you find and plan other stops along the way. (See link above).

Budgeting Apps

  1. Track-Every-Coin is an app designed for tracking expenses in daily life as well as while traveling. It’s free for download just like you’d expect from a good expense tracker and is a very popular app for travellers.


Trail Wallet is a travel budget app designed for iPhones or iPads. It’s free for the first 25 items you track, but then you have to pay to use it.

You could also use Expedition Australia Budget Tracking spreadsheet, hardcopy, or just a book to keep track of your travel expenses.

Fuel App

  1. Fuel Map is a user generated database where the information is added and edited by users showing petrol stations and fuel prices. This app keeps the travellers around Australians in-the-know about the cost of petrol throughout the country.


Fuel Map – iTunes

Fuel Map – Android

Weather Apps

 To keep track of inclement weather conditions en-route to your destination!

  1. Bureau of Meteorology
  1. Weatherzone


Reminder Apps

Use these reminder apps to remember all the important dates and times like when to re-register your car and caravan. It’s easy to lose track of important dates when on the road day-after-day!

  1. Due – iTunes for your iPhone or iPad and E-Reminder for Android

First Aid App

  1. The Red Cross First Aid app is free and it offers access to life-saving information in an emergency.

The Red Cross First Aid app is great to have in addition to your first aid kit.


Education Apps

  1. Australian Wildflowers is an essential field guide with more than 70 of the most common species of wildflowers found in our beautiful country! This app will assist you in quickly identifying flowering plants and is a highly valuable reference tool in all locations. This app is well structured and easy to navigate. Perfect for field guides that use picture recognition where every flower in Australian Wildflowers is described in detail showing information about its structure, location, common name, scientific name, botanical family and flowering time. You get all this information with no internet connection – and all images and information is available in real time. Australian Wildflowers is currently only available on iTunes.


Australian Wildflowers – iTunes

  1. Michael Morcombe’s Field Guide to Australian Birds app has been called the most comprehensive field guide to Australian birds available in the market today It is complimented by the eGuide featuring an extensive and detailed descriptions of almost all bird species including songs and calls, measurements and breeding behaviour.

The app allows you to save your sightings to a list to include the date and location with room for notes. There is a free ‘lite’ version of the app, but it only lists a handful of the 790 species that the full version has.

Michael Morcombe’s Field Guide to Australian Birds – iTunes Cost is $29.99

Michael Morcombe’s Field Guide to Australian Birds – Android Cost is $28.60

  1. Snakes of Australia is a great app to compliment the First Aid app. Snakes of Australia is a comprehensive electronic field guide of 167 species of Australian snakes. Detailing species profiles including photos, distribution maps, description of key characters, danger rating, similar species, conservation, etymology, pronunciation and more. The great part about this app is the introductory chapters on key aspects of identifying snakes, snake venoms and first aid, and snake biology. No network connection is needed when using this app.

The scale count feature is very handy as is the “filter by location” function cross-checks your location (via iPhone GPS) and shows you only snakes that are likely to occur within your area. This app is currently only available on iTunes


Snakes of Australia – iTunes Cost is $9.99

  1. Australia is home to many of the world’s most venomous snakes, spiders and marine animals. The free Australian Bites and Stings is an app providing education to our Australian community and will be of use to anyone planning to be out in Australia’s great outdoors – whether it be on the beach, camping, bushwalking or just playing out in a back yard!

A recent study found that despite the vast array of venomous creatures in Australia, the majority of people don’t know what to do if they’re unfortunate enough to be bitten or stung by one. This app is a must have if you are travelling with young children and is also a great compliment to the First Aid app.


Australian Bites and Stings

Exploring Apps

  1. GoSkyWatch is a trademark of Apple and as such are only available on iTunes. This app is essential for those nights where you are sitting around the campfire and looking up at the stars! You just point your phone to the sky and start exploring! No buttons to press or selecting modes. GoSkyWatch has a unique rotation scheme with touchless navigation, a red light mode for night vision and magnitude adjustment for great viewing conditions. Planets will show with relative brightness for easy identification, a heads-up information display and a full 180 degree display to see at a glance what is in the sky and where. If you are looking for a particular planet or star – just use the finder and let the arrow guide the way.


Sky Map is the Android alternative with fewer features.

  1. Spyglass is like an advanced compass/GPS Navigation App for iPhone and iPad. Spyglass can be used in the car, on a bike, in a boat, on an aircraft, or walking compass. Spyglass is essential for every traveller! Packed with so many useful tools such as a hi-tech viewfinder (HUD), compass, maps, tactical GPS, waypoint tracker, speedometer, and more! Save, track and share your position, multiple waypoints, and bearings, all in real time.


Spyglass – iTunes

Spyglass – Android

Added extra…

The National Public Toilet Map shows the location of more than 14,000 public and private toilet facilities across Australia. This is a great App for families travelling with young children (especially when getting out the spade is not an option)

Using the Trip Planner function, you can plan your journey and locate toilets you can use along the way. The information provides location, opening hours, availability of baby change rooms, and accessibility for people with disabilities and the details of other nearby toilets.


National Public Toilet Map – iTunes

National Public Toilet Map – Android

One last thing before you go – help us by sharing to let others know who may benefit from this information!

We are about to hit the road ourselves in less than 4 weeks time – so if you can recommend any other awesome apps for travelling around Australia – add them in the comments.

Sharing is caring!

Happy travels everyone!


Written by: Mountain Sun Sea

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