We spent our last days in Tasmania staying in Devonport with an ex shipmate of Rods, Paddy Haddock. Paddy and his wife Yvonne have retired to Tasmania from Brisbane and both are very much part of the ‘art and craft’ scene in Devonport. Rod always knew Paddy was ‘crafty’ but not in the sense of today. Many thanks guys for a great couple of days and we look forward to returning your hospitality when you visit over our way.
We caught the ferry on Sunday night back to Melbourne to prepare the motorhome and ourselves for our return home. On arrival Melbourne on Monday morning we met with our shipping agent who advised us that the ship now wanted the motorhome on the wharf on Thursday 5 March rather than Friday 6th March. This threw us into a Plan B as we had organised the internal and external cleaning of the van for the 4th and 5th March. We are now expert at Plan B’s.
We still had to pick up our bits and pieces from Brian and Louise’s some 60km south of Melbourne in Frankston so we decided to make our way there on the Monday and stay overnight. We drove back into Melbourne today and are staying at a Big4 Holiday Park in the city until we have to deliver the van to the shippers on Thursday. We managed to get most of the van spic and span today and are now sitting back and relaxing with a few wines to celebrate the end of our wonderful journey. We will finish it all off tomorrow.
We were asked today what we would miss about Australia when we return home. We gave this considerable thought before responding. A few wonderful things stand out for us:
- We will miss the daily occurrence of getting up in the morning and not having a clue which direction we will head or where we will end up for the night. Mystery is magical!!
- We will miss the new friends we encounter on the road everyday. We were on the same journey but maybe in a slightly different way. Five o’clockers will not be the same without you.
- We will miss the climate. Nearly two years on the road and only 30 days of rain, eight of which were in our last month in Tasmania. We have loved the sunshine and the temperatures but have to admit the 40C to 45C days were testing. No complaints tho’.
We have loved the wild life here. Parrots in the motorhome, magpie in the motorhome, wallaby and kangaroo resting in the shade of the motorhome, wild dingo at our door, snakes and lizards of all sizes around the motorhome and of course the odd domestic animal that thinks we would make good ‘parents’. This grey cat popped in tonight and shared our shrimp meal followed up by a bowl of warm milk. We have a feeling he is going to get a bit grumpy when we put him out tonight.
It is with great sadness that this will be our last blog update from Australia. We return to New Zealand and home on Saturday 7 March where we will start to plan our next adventure whatever that may be. We would like to thank everyone who has taken an interest in our travels and have followed us through the blog over the last two years. Your many comments, emails, phone calls and texts have kept us in touch with home, family and friends. If you are thinking of doing a similar journey, we would be only too happy to give you the benefit of our experiences.
What now with the blog? Our plan is to leave it up as is for the time being. Many travellers are using our road map as an reference for their travels. We are also being encouraged to turn the blog into a book. A new skill would have to be learned me thinks to make such a project a best seller. We shall see! You can be sure we will add to the blog when we get back on the road again.
Take care all and we would love to see you down at ‘the beach’ sometime.
Rod and Dearne
Great having you both on this side of the Tasman for the last couple of years – I’m sure Ali and I will benefit immensely from all your blog references and suggestions as we start planning our trip around this great country. Have a safe trip home and we look forward to catching up in late May.
Thanks for the updates my friends, have loved following your 2-year adventure, great photos & stories. Doesn’t feel that long ago we were toasting our good byes on the Auckland waterfront … another fabulous girls weekend away I might add 😄. So looking forward catching up again at the Reunion in Wellington. Have a relaxing trip home to NZ. Julie & Tunui xo
Many, many thanks for your a Wonderful Blog, read every one since we joined. Best Wishes for both you & the Van,s safe return.
Well Folks it’s been great to follow your journey around Australia and as we said it would make a great book for other travellers to follow (including Liz and I) in the future.
Thank you both so much for your blog and look foeward to seeing you when you come back to Paradise. (Whanga). Weather here is still great but we could do with some rain being it only a little to green things up.
Let us know when you get back and have settled and I’ll fire up the Woodfired Pizza oven for you both and we can have 5 oclockers here.We live at 527 Achiiles Ave and our ph no if you want it is 865-6505.
Safe trip home and will be interested to hear what you next big adventure is going to be.
Wayne Montgomery and Liz Claridge
Have really enjoyed following your travels. Looking forward to catching up with you on your return
Gosh, where has the time gone guys, have loved getting your updates on your wonderful adventure and as you say onto the next whatever that may be, safe travels home xox
Have really enjoyed following you around Aus. Thank you for allowing us to join in your adventure. Have a safe trip home.
Rod and Dearne have enjoyed reading your Blog so much it has been a regular thing for me to wonder what you guys are up to. What a journey wonderful memories. Look forward to catching up one day. Xx
Rod and Dearne, we have enjoyed following your Australian journey, and hope to use your blog as a guide for our own trip. You have written your blog well, making it a pleasure to follow.