Sunday, July 5, 2015

Melbourne to Alice Springs Roadtrip: Preparation and Planning

It must have been two years ago that we first raised the idea of a trip to Central Australia, possibly meeting up with friends to travel to Uluru and Kings Canyon. They were flying but we decided to drive and give the kids an idea of the large distances involved in opening up the outback and also the changing scenery on the way. I did a similar trip with my family when I was in high school but back then a large section of the Stuart Highway was unsealed but passable in a conventional car. Now the Stuart Highway is sealed all the way and we have no intention of subjecting the car to kilometres of unsealed outback roads so we limited our sights to those easily accessed by conventional car.

Our first step was to work out travel times, sights we wanted to see and from there plan an itinerary. Since we are a family of five and accommodation choices can sometimes be limited, if like us you like to stay in a single room or apartment, we pre-booked all our accommodation last year. Then three weeks out we booked a 4WD tour in Coober Pedy and in the last week I finalised our proposed sight seeing and possible stops for snacks and lunch. The day before leaving we stocked up on breakfast and lunch supplies and with dad's car fridge that can plug into the car and also the mains power supply our plan was to self-cater breakfast and lunches and eat out for dinner.

I will be linking back to this post as I blog through the trip (although with sporadic internet access and long days a lot of the blogging will be done post-trip).

Our itinerary:

Day 1: Melbourne to Murray Bridge
Day 2: Murray Bridge to Wilpena via Burra
Day 3: Around Wilpena
Day 4: Wilpena to Coober Pedy
Day 5: Around Coober Pedy
Day 6: Coober Pedy to Alice Springs
Day 7: Around Alice Springs
Day 8: West MacDonnells
Day 9: Alice Springs and West MacDonnells
Day 10: Alice Spring to Kings Canyon
Day 11: Kings Canyon
Day 12: Kings Canyon to Yulara
Day 13: Uluru and Kata Tjuta (Ayers Rock and The Olgas)
Day 14: Yulara to Coober Pedy
Day 15: Coober Pedy to Murray Bridge
Day 16: Murray Bridge to Melbourne

Saturday, June 20, 2015

This week's links ...

1. Tell your family story in five easy steps. Love the simple design.

2. I read The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up earlier in the year and quickly did my wardrobe and books but then life got in the way. I just about got through our papers today and this checklist will help me finish the job over the next few months.

3. Looking for something to read? 29 books you Should Definitely Read this Summer.

4. I've flirted with Rinda's Summertime Photography Scavenger Hunt for a few years now but this year I might actually finish. Since we are going on our roadtrip to Central Australia in less than two weeks I hope to have plenty of opportunity for photo taking. You can read all about it and join in at Rinda's blog.

5. We had this beef and broccoli for dinner last night. It was good and got a thumbs up from the rest of the family.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Saturday, June 13, 2015

This week's links ...

Hello today. It's beautiful, sunny weather here. I spent the morning watching the Little Girl run her first 4km race in the All Schools Victorian Cross Country Championships, it is perfect weather for being outside. I dp plan to take myself out for a run later this afternoon, after Hubby and The Big Girl return from her first driving practice (she passed her learner's yesterday) but for now here's some links for your weekend ...

1. I made this meatloaf a couple of weeks ago and it was a hit even with the non-cheese-loving members of our household. Will definitely be made again.

2. I finally got around to making Iced Vovo Cupcakes on The Big Girl's birthday (that would be #11 on the list.) They worked well except that the marshmallow cooled too quickly to ice all the cupcakes so we were left with 3 plain cakes.

3. I'm intrigued by this method of preserving fresh basil in the fridge for a year.

4. How to Pack a Week of Salads that stay fresh until Friday. ... then I just need the accompanying article "How to get Hubby to eat salads Monday to Friday."

5. and can't go past a good DIY so ... DIY Pegboard Organizer.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Noosa Weekend

We went away! A kid free weekend in Noosa. We went out for dinner.


Ate ice cream every night.

Walked on the boardwalk ...

 and in the National Park.

On Sunday we ran in Run Noosa, part of the Noosa Ultimate sports Festival that ran all weekend. Hubby and BIL did the half-marathon and SIL and I did the 10km.


That would be #7 on the list complete, in a time of 58:51.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

This week's links ...

The morning after the midnight deadline ...


and a similar spread on the dining table. 4000 words on Donald MacKinnon's anti-theodicy and another unit done.

And since I now have some free mental space I'm back here and I've got a few things to share, but for today, some links.

1. A few weeks ago I had to go and get a remedial massage because my back, shoulders and neck were so tight. He wasn't happy with my posture. Here's 10 Easy Ways to Improve Your Posture.

2. 21 books from the last 5 years every woman should read. I've read the Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks and The Goldfinch and enjoyed both of them.

3. I also use Feedly and gmail. Some good tips in this article on Managing Information Flow.

4. Modern Mrs Darcy's 2015 Summer Reading Guide.

5. 31 Plants that Repel Mosquitoes.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

This week's links ...

It's nearly the end of the weekend here but if you're looking for something to read here's some links.

1. We finished off the planting in our Japanese inspired courtyard this week. Here's some inspiring Japanese landscapes.

2. 3 Vital Steps to Avoiding Information Overload.

3. In a similar vein Pip's thoughtful post How to Beat Information Overwhelm and still care about the world.

4. Help for weeknight dinners ... 50+ easy school night dinners.

5. Got a busy schedule? You may not need more time, just energy and perspective.