|Mum (Vicki) with my son Zac on her last visit.|
Hi, my name is Vicki and I am Melissa's mum. I have always loved camping, travelling and being outdoors, a lifestyle that was introduced to me at a very young age by my parents and a tradition I handed down to my children. How ever my love for the outback took a new turn when I met Tony in 1998, the man I am now married to.
These days we travel in a very capable 80 series Landcruiser, however our adventure began by taking a vacation together and travelling in a Holden Commodore and staying in backpackers accommodation and motels. We went through Longreach, Mt Isa, across to Ayres Rock and then up to Darwin. Stopping at places like Mataranka Springs, Katherine Gorge and Litchfield. We had an absolute ball travelling for four weeks but doing it this way proved to be very costly.
We talked about our dream of travelling outback Australia and found we both loved camping and being outdoors sitting by a camp fire so we set about making the necessary changes to bring this to reality.
The first thing to go was the Commodore and we brought our 80 series Landcruiser and decked it out with drawers, a fridge, duel batteries and basic camping gear and tools of course. And slowly over the years modified it to where it is today, a very capable vehicle which has taken us to Cape York several times, across the Simpson Desert, through the Flinders Ranges, up the Canning Stock Route, The Pilbra, The Kimberleys and most of the coast of Western Australia, to mention just a few.
We began our travels by taking a four week vacation during the winter months each year. As the vehicle became more capable so did we. We learnt more about what we needed to pack and things we should leave behind. Our confidence grew and our trips became more remote every year and travelling longer distances meant taking longer holidays. So from 1998 to now our holidays have increased gradually from four weeks, to six weeks then to eight weeks and now that my husband has long service due, we will be taking three months next year.
In case you are wondering, no we did not win the lottery. We are fortunate enough to own our own home and work hard to save through the year so we can have longer holidays. We are the kind of people who would rather go to the beach camping in our swag for the weekend than go out to fancy restaurants and spend lots of money, I know that's not great for the economy but it really works in our favour and in the long term what we do spend gets shared around the country.
When travelling we find most of our stops are only overnight with the occasional two or more nights, so setting up camp has to be kept simple. Our kitchen gear is in the draws in the back of the vehicle our gas bottle is on the roof rack in a clamp for easy removal and we have a camp shower. We collect fire wood when we get close to where our camp will be for that night and most of our camping this far has been done in a swag so it only take about five minutes and our very basic camp is ready.