Fair dinkum Ad­ven­ture

LIVE LARGE FOR LESS AS WE RE­VEAL THE BEST WAYS TO EN­JOY YOUR TRIP ON THE CHEAP.

Camper Trailer Australia - - BUDGET TOURING - WORDS CLAU­DIA BOUMA PICS CHRIS BOUMA

As Aussies we have the unique op­por­tu­nity to travel a na­tion the size of Europe, which also hap­pens to be home to some of the most pris­tine wilder­ness ar­eas our lit­tle planet has been en­dowed with. Uluru and the Great Bar­rier Reef are of­ten counted among the Top 10 Nat­u­ral Won­ders of the World and they’re only the top of the ice­berg in terms of spec­tac­u­lar des­ti­na­tions.

I’ve had the plea­sure of criss­cross­ing this awe-in­spir­ing con­ti­nent with my hus­band and four kids on ex­tended camp­ing trips − the long­est our two-year Around Oz ad­ven­ture. As a typ­i­cal fam­ily with a lim­ited bud­get we soon learned to sniff out the best ac­tiv­i­ties which could be en­joyed for free or a small fee.

So let me take you around this mag­nif­i­cent coun­try and share with you Aus­tralia’s best kept se­crets, with­out break­ing the bud­get.

BUSHWALKING

Bushwalking would have to be our favourite pas­time as it al­lows you to ex­pe­ri­ence sights oth­ers never get to see, sim­ply be­cause you’re will­ing to put one foot in front of the other.

The list of breath­tak­ing places is end­less but the Kings Canyon Rim Walk in Aus­tralia’s red

“Get­ting out on to the wa­ter al­lows you to have a com­pletely dif­fer­ent per­spec­tive”

interior would have to top our list. The

6km hike is not for the faint-hearted with a steep 500-step climb, also known as ‘Heart At­tack Hill’.

Don’t get dis­cour­aged though as there’s no rea­son any­one with rea­son­able fit­ness can­not com­plete this mag­nif­i­cent walk, as long as you are pre­pared. Our two-year-old con­fi­dently tra­versed the rough ter­rain with plenty of snacks and reg­u­lar en­cour­age­ment.

KAYAKING

Just over two years ago we be­came the proud own­ers of two AquaYak kayaks and we’ve never looked back. These light­weight yaks fit eas­ily on a cou­ple of car roof bars and are ex­tremely easy to take on and off. Aus­tralia abounds in rivers, lakes and wa­ter­ways which are suit­able for kayaking and kids love it.

The Glenelg River in south-west Vic­to­ria is a beau­ti­ful spot to take your kayak to en­joy the tran­quil sur­rounds and spot an amaz­ing ar­ray of birdlife. Get­ting out onto the wa­ter al­lows you to have a com­pletely dif­fer­ent per­spec­tive and it doesn’t cost you any­thing.

4WDING

There’s no short­age of 4WD tracks in ev­ery state or ter­ri­tory. Ex­pe­ri­enced of­froad­ers can tackle the Ood­na­datta Track, the Gibb River Road or the in­fa­mous Old Tele­graph Track to Aus­tralia’s north­ern-most point, Cape York. Get­ting off the beaten track is un­doubt­edly the best way to ex­pe­ri­ence our na­tion’s most iso­lated and re­mote spots.

Kids love 4WDing and the ear­lier you take them out on offroad trips, the bet­ter. An ab­so­lute must-do is the jour­ney to Palm Val­ley in the Red Cen­tre. The spec­tac­u­lar drive criss-crosses the Finke sev­eral times be­fore reach­ing the scenic Palm Val­ley camp­ground which is a beau­ti­ful spot to spend the night.

CLOCK­WISE FROM TOP LEFT: Cham­bers Pil­lar is one of the Bouma fam­ily’s favourite bush camps; Spot­ting ca­noes on the Glenelg River, Vic; Scenic drives are a great way to see the coun­try; What a way to stretch the legs. The Bouma fam­ily take on the Kings Canyon Rim Walk.

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