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