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Maccatraks Australian Adventure

Welcome to Maccatrak's Travel Page. John, Nicky, Jade(5) & Shae's(2) adventure traveling around Australia for six months in a caravan. Here is where we will be keeping a record of our travels for all of you to read. Please leave a comment for us or just say Gidday. If we have time in between discovering new places and meeting new people we will reply to them!

Diary Entries

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Location: Kalbarri, Australia

Kalbarri

Last stop for a week before we head home and our long journey comes to an end. We have visited Kalbarri every year for the past 4 years and just love the place so no better place to end our adventure. They must have known we were coming as we managed to get a waterfront site with spectacular views opposite the boat hire place. I don’t know if I could come back now without an ocean front site we have truly been spoilt. Well back to our strolling about, down by the river, down to the Bakery, down to the park. The Caravan Park has a great playground and the girls just lived there with all there friends they had made so John and I just kicked back. He got up early one morning and took the girls down to his favourite fishing spot at Wittercara Creek and it definitely didn’t disappoint he bought me home some Tailor but caught a few other things which he threw back. We took a drive out to Lucky Bay, in all the years we have visited Kalbarri we never new of this place but some fellow eastern states travellers had told us about it on more than one occasion so we were interested to take a look. It’s a free camp about 43km south of Kalbarri down a dirt road right on the beach. There are many shacks down there that have been there for years. We had a drive onto the beach it was a nice stretch of coast with a lagoon this side of the reef but I think for the small price you pay I would rather stay in town with my shower, Bakery and play park. Oh and don’t let me forget the butcher the orders have already been coming in from the Lamb Burger Lovers!!!! All ordered ready for pick up.

Well we picked up the meat and had bit of a drive in the rain down the river (yes it’s raining again) ready for our trip home tomorrow. Our last sleep in the van!!! The girls are very excited about going home to there rooms, nannas & pop and there friends. Jade is also looking forward to going back to school. John is looking forward to getting his thongs off and walking around the house in bare feet. I on the other hand feel a bit sad the trip is coming to an end and a bit anxious about getting back to every day life. Well six months has definitely flown but we have had the greatest adventure. I will give you one last update when we get back to reality!!.

Catch Ya in Perth………

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Location: Coral Bay & Quobba, Australia

Coral Bay

Well we had the best site on Peoples Caravan Park with uninterrupted bay views. It was so lovely sitting out there in my PJ’s in the morning having my coffee and once again having a vodka whilst watching the sunset at night. So spoilt not sure that life could really get any better than this!!!!. Well our days here were really laid back and relaxed we would stroll 20 meters across the road for a swim and snorkel every day then stroll back for some lunch. Then stroll back for an afternoon cool off. We even managed to stroll to the bakery and for pizza one night but it was an effort!!! The girls were now great at snorkelling so we would all go out together until they were shivering with the cold waters then John would take them back in whilst I kept going for a while longer. The inner reef has definitely deteriorated here over the past 10 years, gone are the beautiful bright blue starfish and a lot of the colourful coral also the big schools of fish that used to scare me as they all closed in on me. There were still many colourful fish but not as many. The outer reefs are still great (talking to some other travellers) but we never ventured out on a boat trip as we had fantastic snorkelling in Exmouth, we will leave that for next time we visit when the girls are a bit older and more independent. The big thing up here now is swimming with the Whale Sharks but at $380.00 per person or $1200.00 for the family it was just not within our budget!!! Well we went to the fish feeding and the size of some of the snapper was unbelievable John was wishing instead of feeding them pellets he could just drop down his hook with a bit of occy and catch himself a beauty. Jade got her hand bitten by one of them as she tried to feed them out of her hand instead of throwing the pellets into the water. She was busy with her friends she had made in Exmouth when the accident occurred but she definitely wasn’t too interested in fish feeding after that.
John tried his luck fishing at Five Fingers Reef but the flies won, I wasn’t there but apparently there is a real knack to drinking your beer with a fly net on and yes my John mastered it!!! We all went out to Maud’s Landing one morning and I was all set for some action but there were so many wasps and flying ants and sand flies that John decided it was time to leave as I was working on my tan. So back to our view from the caravan and our little strolls across the road!!.

Next we drove to Quobbo this is a free camp about 80km south of Carnarvon right on the ocean. It’s more known for the blow holes and Quobbo Station. Here there are a heap of old shacks a bit like Wedge Island and then a lot of people camping in there vans and motor homes. A lot of Grey Nomads stay here for months and there is a row of them all set up with there huge satellite dishes and solar panels, it is so funny to see the amount of money’s worth of equipment and here they are in the middle of nowhere!!! We were lucky we got there early and got a lovely flat spot just at the end of them with ocean views. We stayed here for 3 nights the girls met some friends that were travelling around Australia also, so we didn’t see much of the girls when we were back at the van. We walked down to what they call the Aquarium it’s water that lies between the mainland and an Island. In between there is a reef which is about 60meters wide. The water was really shallow over the reef and it was just amazing for snorkelling the visibility was great and there were so many tiny colourful fish and lots of clams and colourful coral. It was up there with the snorkelling at Exmouth only down side was that the current was really strong so wasn’t ideal for the girls as holding on to them and trying to get through the strong drag was too much for my supper fit level. I was okay on my own though so managed to get out a few times whilst John stayed with the girls. John tried a spot of fishing in the late afternoon but nothing was bitting. We had Mothers Day here and I got spoilt by my two beautiful girls. I already new what I was getting as Shae couldn’t keep the secret when she went out with John to get it in Broome she came straight back and told me she had bought me a bracelet for Mothers Day bless her, Jade was so upset with her. Jade made me a lovely card and then I enjoyed a gourmet Omelette for breakfast and Ice-cream from Quobbo Station in the afternoon. Quobba Station was not what I expected before heading out on this trip I had though to myself wouldn’t it be great to stay on a Station but after staying on one and visiting a few they are really not that special some of the free camps are so much nicer. Quobba was all dust and had a few shack like units for rent and then you could camp there in your van with limited power. The free camp was so much nicer and in a great location.

Well Kalbarri next for a shower after three days with an outside wash down from the solar shower we can’t wait, but I will definitely miss the Snorkelling on my doorstep and the solitude of these beautiful places.

Love us

Monday, 02 May 2011

Location: Exmouth, Australia

Exmouth

On the way to Exmouth we stopped at 80 Mile Beach there is nothing there but a Caravan Park, but it is just an amazing stretch of coast. The 9km’s of rich red dirt road managed to coat the van like coconut on a lamington and the bikes (by the way which I have rode once!!!) We stayed two nights as you have to fish on the high tide and this was at 12pm lunch time. It is amazing how far the tide goes out you can’t even see that far into the distance, but when the tide comes in so do the fish and there big!!! John caught about 10 Blue Nose Salmon and a couple of Sharks in about 3 hrs. He gave some away as I already had a heap of fish but a guy filleted one for me and John cooked it up that night it was really nice. The beach also washes up the most amazing shells the girls and I walked the beach and collected lots. The hard part was convincing there dad to let them take them home, but as usually they won!!! They are just so cute how could he resist (not sure how they are all going to cope when they return home being separated, I know I’m going to love just a few hours of peace an quiet to myself) We also went for a big walk once the tide had gone out and tried to catch little crabs the girls had so much fun. Jade was so funny running around in circles then jumping on them like the crocodile hunter, they were so fast. Shae also did a lot of weaving and dodging but wasn’t to keen to pick them up so always managed to fall short of them. What a laugh!!!

Exmouth has not changed any in 13years. The town is still so tiny and other than a few more resorts and houses it looks like time has really stood still.
I decided to get some Hot Cross Buns for Easter morning from Brumby’s on the Saturday with what seemed like half the town, it took me about 20minutes but I conquered!! We went back to the van dropped them off grabbed our bathers and went for a snorkel and swim. Well on our return I discovered a million little sugar ants had got into them they were just everywhere all over the bench all in the pantry!! So I was devastated not only did I have no Hot Cross Buns for the morning but I had to clear and clean out the pantry. John turned into the Insecticide exterminator. He just loves it you should have seen him in Broome with the mosquitoes he had 4 “Survivor Flares” with citronella oil burning, sticks and coils and outdoor fogger spray every night!!! Well with the ants he sprayed some chemicals, then ant powder then surface sprayed all the inside. I thought he was going to kill me and the kids! But he did come to the rescue when he called in at Brumby’s on the way back from the Bottle shop and got me some more Buns, how sweet!!!

Well the Easter Bunny made it to the girls they were a little worried he wasn’t going to find them and I was more worried that the Ants were going to find them before the girls did but all was delivered well in the end. They had both made Easter Baskets out of paper and decorated them, they turned out really well and Jade had made a Bunny which she stuck on the caravan door so that he could find us. They were not disappointed and were up at 5.30am eating chocolate eggs. We followed the chocolate with Bacon & Egg sandwiches so here’s to a healthy start to the day.

We headed out to the Ningaloo National Park to do some snorkelling; it is about 40km out of Exmouth. The first day we went to Turquoise Bay it was just beautiful with its white sand and deep turquoise coloured water. The girls had new snorkels so the four of us headed out about 40m together to the reef sections. We saw lots of different fish, the colours of some of them were amazing, Jade was soooooo excited and did so well swimming and snorkelling out in the deep water. The next day we spent at lakeside, this was a bit of a hike along the beach and over rocky terrain, but well worth it. John forgot the water bottles in the Engel so had to turn around after setting up camp to retrieve these, not happy jan!!!!!! The snorkelling here was even better; we even saw two turtles and a lot more different colourful and bigger fish. The only down side was the current was a lot stronger. Both nights we got back to camp after hours of snorkelling and were just exhausted.

John got some fishing in and managed to catch me a North West Snapper at the Mildura wreck, he even cooked it that night on the BBQ and done the best job like the MKR chefs, LOL (I did deserve that fish after he made us walk miles through the sand dunes and I had to carry the fridge bag, swim bag, buckets and spades his words to me were ‘spoon full of concrete’ as I struggles over the hills!!!). He also had a fish on the wharf with no luck; the mossies were biting more than the fish! At Bundegi beach whilst fishing john got the fright of his life, a 1 metre black snake slivered right within a metre of the girls! On his last fishing attempt he caught a large dart fish, also he got hooked up with a couple of big ones but they got away, typical story!!!

The rest of our time in Exmouth we spent at the pool and relaxing around the caravan, or having a nice stroll into town. John had to visit the camping expo at the hall and bought another chair, he’s got a collection happening now!

Tomorrow we are off to Coral bay for 5 nights for more fishing and snorkelling. Only 2 weeks then we are home ;-(.

Love us

Monday, 02 May 2011

Location: Broome, Australia

Broome

Well we finally found the sun and the warm weather. Welcome to “Paradise” a warm 34deg by day and 22deg at night. Have I told you before WE JUST LOVE BROOME!!! After travelling around Australia it is really hard for me to say this but Broome must be one of the most relaxing places to visit. It is just naturally rugged and beautiful. The aqua blue of the calm cable beach water with its white sand against the red earth of the land is just something. But you still have great shops and restaurants at your doorstep.

I haven’t really got much to report from Broome as we visited here just three years ago and did all the tourist things, Malcolm Douglas Crocodile Park, Willie Creek Pearl Farm, Stairway to the moon, Camel ride. So basically we just did the beach in the mornings and pool in the afternoon. It was so relaxing but 12nights just flew. Cable Beach Caravan Park has a resort style pool with a waterfall and sun lounges all around, it is lovely and shady the girls played with there friends and we met some fellow travellers from Vic so it was great. We had dinner out a few nights but nothing beats the meals from the Clubs we have had on our travels. I caught up on some Target retail therapy, just loved all the specials and stocked up on Bathers at $15.00 a pair I couldn’t resist. I finally finished my book only took 5 months!!! We went to the Markets and I got a lovely Pearl Bracelet and the girls chose some gifts for there nannas. John had some man bonding time and went out on a Fishing Charter for the day with two guys he had met. He had a fantastic time they were all pretty full by the time they got back but continued drinking!!! He even bought me three fish back apparently they were huge with there heads on!!!!! But they were top dinner fish Coral Trout, Snapper.

We had a bit of car trouble it wouldn’t start but was just the battery so John got a new one and fitted it (twice??? Yeah he bought the wrong battery the first time, but I think he just had fishing on his mind). So hopefully that will be the end of our car trouble as we have been really lucky so far!! (Touch wood). Well my feet are now stained red from the red dirt and I feel waterlogged from days spent swimming, I’m all shopped out and ready to hit the road again. Only just over three weeks to go and we will be home!!!! See you in Exmouth; we haven’t been there for 13years so hope it has changed a bit.

Love Us


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Recent Messages

From les and heather
gosh I cant believe you've nearly finished.
well done!
Response: Hey guys would love to get your email address to stay in touch as will no longer be on this web site. Hope you read this and can email me your email address to j.nmac@iinet.net.au. Thanks Nicky & John and girls
From Leanne and Steve
Cant beleive you are nearly home.
Have fun
Response: Yeah looking foward to a house and some routine for the kids now!! But will miss the sleepins, laying by the pool and no work. Oh well have to start saving for our next adventure would like to hit the road again in 5yrs time for a few months. Congrats on your little gran child. Enjoy them before your next trip and we will catch you in Perth. LOve us
From Nicky Muir
Hi Guys,
I can hardly believe you are back on home state soil already! I'm feeling a little sad that my virtual trip around Australia is coming to an end soon. It really doesn't seem like you've been travelling for almost 6 months, but I'm sure you'll all be glad to have the space of being at home again. I hope the rain stays away for you in Broome and the rest of your trip. As always, travel safe and look forward to catching up again soon xox
Response: Drying out nicely now thankyou. Broome is so lovely you have to visit here one day. Sad we didnt make it back to Vic to have a weekend away with everyone but I'm sure we will be over there again one day soon. We will just have to email or call each when I get home so that we stay intouch. Five months has definatley flown we are already planning our next great adventure for in five years time!!!
From Katt
Love the frog in the loo! Great shots again. Shame about the crappy weather. Enjoy your dry out. Will miss the updates. x
Response: Thanks Katt, there's something about red dirt that makes you feel so at home but I guess only us West Ausies will no what I'm talking about. Love us
From Terri
I soooo want to ask many things about the frog in the loo, but it's a public site .... So I will be good n refrain!! Save that one for the phone. Lol xxx
Response: So funny we had encountered it a couple of times before Banka Banka Station but they had been alot smaller. When you flush the loo sometimes they just apear!! That morning though I was half a sllep and walked into the loo and it took me by suprise. We were then taking photos about half hour later and shae needed the loo, he was still there so we got our happy snap!!! We saw some really dumb cane toads they dont even move out of your way. But there wasnt as many as I thought there would be maybe further North QLD they would have got worse. Love us
From Donelle
Hi Nicola can't believe you are already working out best way to come home, still no rain in Perth. Sounds like you are all still having a fantastic time. take care
Response: Thanks Donelle, Cant believe how fast 5 months has gone it feels like yesterday we left home!!. Although we have had alot of rain and we are really over it now we have still had a really amazing time. Are looking forward to getting home to some modern comforts like a dishwasher lol Cant wait to catch up for Coffee Love me
From Katt
Love Shae's pose in the Oz Zoo photo! Glad she's ok, does she have stitches? You're doing a great job with the updates. Thanks. xox
Response: Shae is all good now just Butterfly clips which will come off tommorow. She hit the slide with a big thud though thought it would have been bruised more. Love Us
From Annalisa
Hey Nic,
Sorry luv to alarm u about the tsunami alert but I was soooo worried I had to text!
Thanks for the post cards, the kids have enjoyed receiving them especially Noa with The Wiggles one!
Hope you are feeling better now and will try giving u another call this week.
Love Annalisa xo
Response: Not a prob hopeful we will talk soon, Love us
From Terri
Hurry up n head for home ... We MISS you guys!!! xxx

Hope your feeling better Nik. I am missing you so much, cant wait to have you home and I am sooo looking forward to our holiday to Bali.
John - hope your looking after her and have stopped prancing around that caravan in the early hours of the morning and have learnt to chill :-)
To my beautiful Jade n Shae - I can see from the photos that you are having such great fun on your huge holiday. Cant wait to sit n have cuddles and hear all about it. Thank you very much for your post cards. We love getting them.
Love you all loads .. yes John, even you John, LOL
Response: Glad were still loved!! We hadnt had any messages for a while on PR and wondered if people still remembered us LOL. Wont be long and we will be heading home, time has gone so fast, and back to reality not sure how we will cope with that!!! Love us
From Nic and Kev
Glad you had a great time at Surfers....it all sounds like none of u guys will want to come home,,, missing you all,,,take care and have fun, fun , fun...Love Nic and Kev
Response: Thanks Guys, Surfers was unreal just hoping the weather holds out for us to make it to Cairns but not looking promising. Love us
From Christine
Love the Blog Nic!!! I click on it all the time hoping for an update. I am still a lady of leisure and have been gone from Nab 4 weeks tomorrow. Will have to start looking for another job soon. You sound like you are having a fabulous time and the girls will be so grown up when you get back - if you come back.
Love
Christine
Response: Unfortunatley we will have to come home!!! But we are already planning our next holidays!!! Glad you enjoying it sometimes I just dont know what to write but when i get started I cants stop. Bit like when I'm talking. PMSL!!! It will be a nice keep sake for the girls though.Good luck with the Job Hunting. Love Us
From trish
hi guys. WOW!!! u guys are having the time of your life.Cant wait to see pics of surfers. hurry up. love to jade n shae shae. xxxx
Response: Yeah Trish, your mum would love to see the blog and photos too. So if you get chance show her next time she is around. Love us
From nadia and girls
Hi guys
You sound like you all having so much fun i am so jealous right now lol. OMG summer bay the girls are very envious. Keep enjoying this wonderful adventure and stay safe. Love you all miss u heaps xxx
Response: Thanks Nadia & Girls,
It was great to visit summer bay it felt a bit weird as you recognised things but they were different. (If that makes sense) But all having a great time about to hit surfers for two weeks the girls are so excited!!! Love us
From Donelle
Hi NIcola sounds like you are having such a great time and seeing so much.Keep Safe
Response: Thanks Donelle,
Time seems to be flying now we are half way through!!! But still so much to see. Love us
From Nicky Muir
Wow! I'm soooo jealous of you lot! It sounds like the trip of a lifetime, I LOVE reading your updates...it's like waiting for your favourite author to release a new book - I can't wait for the next instalment. You've got me thinking how we could do it!!!
Travel safe, love to you all and hope to see again soon xox
Response: Thanks Nicky,
Ive never been very good at writing so glad you can understand it and are enjoying the Blog!!! John proof reads it all for me.lol It is a great adventure if you get a chance to do it I'd say take it. Your girls would be at the perfect age as Jade is just loving it. You are lucky to as you could even do a shorter trip just up the East Coast we have loved NSW. About to hit QLD in the next few days. Love Us
From Heather & Les
Stay safe the further north you go, things could get very interesting. much luv
Response: Will Do, Thanks
From Kev & Nic
Hello Macca's,,,,we have been following your adventure, glad to see you are really enjoying your trip! Matt couldn't believe you were actually at Summer Bay....anyway everyone looks well, Kev wants to know if your buying a house boat to go into Qld???
Will keep watching this space????Enjoy Love Kev and Nic
Response: Was only thinking about you two the other day and that we hadn't herd from you how weird is that!!!! No House Boat , But we are becoming good weather trackers lol. So hot in Tamworth at moment 40deg days and 30deg nights it has really hit us!!! Still enjoying dont think we will want to come home. Planning ways at the moment to be able to do it again, a lotto win would be good. Love Us
From Annalisa
WOW now u know why I love Sydney! And you guys have managed to see so much of it! Beautiful and OMG u went to North Palms Beach aka Summer Bay!! Awesome pics of it...good onya John for capturing moments Nic will treasure forever PMSL....
This is like reading a book! Looking forward to the next chapter haha :)
PS will surprise u soon with a phone call coz i miss ya's xoxo
Response: Yeah and we didnt even do any retail therapy there as was to hard with the kids! Save that for next time as we definatley going to fly back without the kids one day. Miss you guys to bet the boys are growing up fast like the girls have in the last couple of months Love us
From Katt, Abbey & Claire
The girls had their bags & were going camping this morning. When asked where, they said they were coming to see Jade & Shae-Shae! I have just shown them the latest photos & they want to come even more now. Let me know where your next stop is, I'll package them up & post them to you! ;-) xox
Response: Very Cute!! But not cute enough to reveal our GPS Co-ordinates Lol !!!! You and Jase will have to get a tent and hit the road the girls would love it. Love us
From Me again
Sydney 3 - firstly; where has my baby girl gone??? OMG!! And Jade, my goodness, so grown up in some of those photos!
Secondly; Summer Bay ... Fantastic photos!! I would have been jumping out of my skin!! I remember the very first ever episode, and don't think ive missed one since!! So glad u went.
Thirdly; YES we ARE going with NO kids back to Sydney!! And, sorry Johnny; you will have to do Summer Bay all over again! Lol. Xxx
Ring you again on the weekend xx
Response: Shae has really grown up in 10 weeks. No wet nappies at night now!!! Miss J has got very cheaky, but what do you expect with the way Mr J carries on. Havent had time to watch Home & Away since been on the road so you will have to fill me in over a coffee when we get home. Love us
From Terri
Sydney 2 - the photo of you the girls at the tower is absolutely beautiful!!! Is that the thurs you had ya hair done?? Looks fantastic!!
Love love love the photo on thee ferry of the girls hugging!! So very cute!! Xx
Response: Yeah they did a good job hey!! But because really blond it has dried my hair out again!! Need to get a treatment and will have to lay of straightening even though I havent done much. Were are you going now?? Love Us
From Leanne and Steve
great Blog and great photos
keep them coming

We are now at tassie..long way from you guys
Response: Yeah, Hows the weather down there? Many people with two heads?lol What was the boat trip like? Love us
From Christine
Nic,
I use to stay at the little cottage at the Lighthouse at The Gap. My best friend from school had an uncle that was the Lighthouse Keeper before they were automated. We use to love staying there. Also last time I was in Sydney (last Sept) we went to Doyles Cafe because my mum grew up in Vaucluse and she wanted to go down memory lane and drive past her old school and home.
Love the blog and photos. Please keep doing it as I will never tire of it.
Love
Christine.
PS I have resigned from Nab and finish next Thurs 3rd Feb. Yippee!!
Response: OMG cant believe you have resigned !!! Well done!!!! Now the adventure begins are you retiring or have you another job?? Sydney is great Christine we have really loved it. We went to the cheap Doyles on the jetty but I believe there is also one at the Rocks. How cool you know of alot of the places we are visiting!!! Love Us
From Heather & Les
Hi everyone,
Mid Feb we are off to Sapphire coast again and when we know better dates and places, will let you know. Would love to catch up somewhere, sometime. Give me some idea where you will be in Feb and March and early April.
Response: Hi Guys, glad to see you getting back on the road again!!! We will be in Gold Coast late feb then working our way up the coast to Cairns for later March. All being well with the weather and the flood situation Love us
From Katt, Jase & girls
Great photos! The girls are so gorgeous! Glad to hear you are having such a good time. Will show my girls your photos tomorrow, they will love them. xox
Response: Thanks Katt,
Hope you had a good break away over christmas. We just finishes our wine from Kies and wish we had bought more!!! The cheap stuff from bottelo just not cutting it. Sydney we are loving you got to visit her one day its unreal!!!