So what is all about? Well... hopefully, by the time we are done, it will be a comprehensive journal about a family of 5 who have travelled around Australia to see the sights and also do some volunteer work around the country! In Mid 2010 we started thinking about what it would take to fulfil a life-long dream... We wanted to bundle up our 3 kids, pack-up the house, jump in the car and hit the road - probably for about 12 months. It sounds so simple ... At the start of January 2013, after almost 15 months on the road; we finally completed Our Big Aussie Road Trip. We hope that you enjoyed following our adventures, trials and tribulations as much as we enjoyed having them!

07 August, 2012

Alice Springs

We checked in at the Big 4 Macdonall Ranges caravan park, the kids had a play on the jumping pillow and then we headed into town in the hope we could pick up a small heater for the caravan as we were really feeling the cold and Alice was getting to minus 2  degrees overnight.  K-Mart was still open but unfortunately they were out of stock of all their heaters! So we bought a hot water bottle and a blanket for Sam and headed back to the cold van.

We awoke to a very cold morning inside the van on Sat 21st July… we could blow smoke from our mouths inside the van because it was only 4 degrees inside.  Outside there was a thick layer of ice all over the car.  So we all stayed snuggled up under blankets and in our PJs until nearly 9am when it felt slightly warmer. We spent the morning washing, cleaning up and doing a bit of shopping.  In the afternoon the kids spent a couple of hours on the jumping pillows at the caravan park.  We were then joined by the Taylors and we spent time chatting and catching up while the kids all played in the playground.
Natalie and Emma at the top of the 'Spider web' in the playground
We headed out to get some dinner together and to pick up some food from Coles, in Coles we found a small blow heater - just the right size for our caravan so we bought it and have been much warmer since!
Dinner with the Taylors

On Sunday morning we met the Taylor’s outside our van park and we all headed to the Alice Springs Baptist Church.  Our kids loved heading off to the kids program with their cousins.
Waiting for church to start on a cold (but sunny) morning in Alice Springs
 After church (which we all enjoyed) we had a picnic lunch at the camp kitchen in the Big 4 and we spent the afternoon hanging out and catching up while the kids enjoyed the playgrounds and jumping pillows, our kids also loved the Kangaroo Joey (called Matilda) which the Taylors have been looking after for a few months.
Sam patting Matilda

Natalie and Sam holding Matilda with Aunty Kath

That night we had a BBQ dinner at the camp kitchen and then headed to Maccas for dessert. Unfortunately their ice-cream machine was out of order so we ended up buying some ice creams at Coles and enjoyed them back at the Taylors unit.

After a late night the night before, Monday morning was another lazy one for us, it was then time to head out and do a bit of shopping and go to the post office.  That afternoon we met up with the Taylors at their unit in Heavitree Gap.  In the afternoons, a colony of Black footed rock wallaby’s come down to be fed just behind Heavitree Gap, so we bought some wallaby food at reception and had a great time feeding and patting the wallabies, one of them had a very cute joey sticking its head out of its pouch.
Natalie loved feeding the Black Footed Rock Wallabies

Mike, Sam and Liz with a Black footed Rock Wallaby

It was soooo cute!

We headed back to the van park for some more fun and another meal together.  It was then time to say goodbye to the Taylors as they were heading home to Warakurna early the next morning.
Mike and Steve cooking Dinner

Steve and Kath at Heavitree Gap
Our kids loved catching up with their cousins in Alice Springs

Tuesday 24th July was Natalie’s sixth birthday.  We were up early as she was very excited, she enjoyed opening some presents and talking to Grandparents on the phone.
Natalie opening presents on her 6th Birthday

We also put our car in for service that day as the fan belts had been making a terrible squealing sound on cold mornings (or whenever we did a water crossing) so Mike had to drop off the car and get a lift back to the van Park.  Later that morning, we hired some pedal-powered Go Karts at the Big 4, and had fun riding them around the park for an hour - it was quite a workout but everyone had a great time.
Riding the go-karts around the park

That afternoon we enjoyed a Birthday cake and had some fun on the jumping pillows before heading out to dinner, Natalie’s choice: KFC.
Natalie's Birthday Cake
Wednesday we were planning to leave, but decided we needed an extra day to get ourselves organised.  So we spent some time food shopping and then in the afternoon we drove out to Simpsons Gap, at the start of the West Macdonnell ranges.  What a beautiful place it was!
Simpson's Gap

Looking along the river at Simpsons Gap

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