A very happy New Year to all our friends and blog followers and we sincerely hope your Christmas and holiday celebrations have been as enjoyable as ours.
2013 and 2014 saw us complete the circumnavigation of Australia including a 3200km journey up the centre of the continent. Sadly however, our Australia adventure is coming to an end. Our two-year Carnet expires on the 8 May 2015 and rather than risk a financial penalty for late departure, we intend shipping home during the first quarter of 2015 – hopefully early March. With shipping schedules being promulgated quarterly, the first quarter seems sensible to us.
So how do we see the last few weeks of our journey?
Tomorrow morning we depart Adelaide and travel the Mallee Highway to Echuca, 200km north of Melbourne and on the Murray River. We plan to explore that region for approximately two or three weeks before making our way slowly south through Bendigo, Ballarat, Melton into Melbourne then onto Port Fairy on the south coast where we will deliver the little jeep to its new owners. We will be very sad to see her go as it has been a brilliant vehicle and has done us proud. We could not have had the same journey without it.
From Port Fairy we will return to Melbourne and on the 1 February put the motorhome and ourselves on the ferry to Tasmania. We are looking forward to our visit there as many say it is very similar to New Zealand in both scenery and climate. We return to the mainland on the 1 March to prepare the motorhome and ourselves for our return to New Zealand.
Unfortunately South Australia is again in the grips of bush fires. Firefighters in South Australia and Victoria are battling out-of-control bushfires, with warnings today’s conditions in the Adelaide Hills are the worst since Ash Wednesday more than 30 years ago. A huge bushfire at Sampson Flat in the Southern Mount Lofty Ranges north-east of Adelaide is burning freely in all directions, with wind gusts forecast to hit 90 kilometres per hour. Dozens of homes are feared to have been lost, and a major emergency has been declared. A wind change is expected to push the fire eastwards this afternoon. We are going to need to be on our highest alert while travelling over the next two or three weeks.
We will keep you updated on our adventures as we move around.