Pauline and Larry have mastered five star camping. Towing a Jayco Outback Expanda with their Landcruiser turbo diesel 200 Series I am privy to how their lifestyle on the road came about.
“Twenty five years ago we towed an older style caravan to the Daly River, north to Darwin, across to Townsville then down the eastern coastline back south. Before this adventure in a caravan we travelled using a tent for accommodation. In fact our honeymoon on the Gold Coast was spent in a tent, very romantic.” Pauline laughs. “I guess that was the beginnings of our adventures on the road.”
“We still have the old caravan stashed away in a riverside permanent camp.” Larry adds. “On the Darling River near a town called Pooncarie we have a camp set up where we often spend three months after leaving home in Victoria, then on our return home we spend another three months. We have a shed complete with kitchen, toilet, shower, camp oven cooking fire pit and a beautiful outlook over the river. Over the years we have added to the sheds comforts and even planted fruit and native trees around it. We run gas fridges and a gas oven and use a generator if we wish to use the washing machine. We joke we now enjoy five star camping. We enjoy fishing for cod, perch and yabbies and have memories of many enjoyable nights sitting around the campfire peeling yabbies for dinner.”
Larry continues, “The township Pooncarie itself is a lovely community as there's an unhurried ambience and friendly locals. It is located approximately two hours north of Mildura, has a pub, amenity blocks, and a boat ramp and overall is very casual. So casual in fact we decided to stay in the pubs rooms one night as we had been to a party and finished the night with a few drinks. The next day we were keen to head off but Trevor never opens the pub on time, it was a tad frustrating but we wanted to pay for our night’s accommodation. Grey nomads can camp at the pub for $10 a night, but some have been known to leave without paying because they tire of waiting on Trevor. But anyway, it’s a great little town and they even hold the annual Pooncarie Cup to fundraise for the RFDS. The Pooncarie Cup is six races in all and attracts about 1500 spectators who enjoy a unique outback experience.”
“When we finally remove ourselves from our five star camp we love exploring Australia. We are very happy with our latest caravan, the Jayco Outback Expanda, even though it is not that good in a freezing cold climate. We often think about changing it but when we find ourselves in warmer climates we change our minds again.” Pauline tells.
“At the end of the day, you could always wear a beanie to bed.” Larry laughs. “We have since installed a heater panel which makes a difference. We especially love our Jayco as you pull both beds out both ends, leaving you plenty of living space in between.”
“We have towed her off road from Williams Creek to Coober Pedy, north of Broome to Cape Leveque and had an amazing experience on the Old Karinji track which is part of El Questro in north Western Australia. This drive alone was fantastic with the spectacular boab trees, Pentecost River and Cockburn ranges as the backdrop. Yet we sat behind a cattle muster and witnessed two hours of mustering involving station hands on horseback, quads, utilities and a helicopter, it was truly great to watch. We have explored the top of Western Australia, parts of the Northern Territory and have been as far north as Cooktown in Queensland. We love the lifestyle and have plans to visit Cape York, Kalumburu and Lord Howe Island.”
Pauline explains, “We have four years of travel with our Jayco Outback Expanda to date and highly recommend the lifestyle. In fact when we do move back into the house it feels funny. After living in a caravan we feel there is too much room and we often ponder that we do not need a big house.”