Red Baron Seaplane

That moment when I got a text from my bestie “Hey Kell, want to come up in the Red Baron with me?”! 

BOOM DIGGITY, replied yes ASAP!

  
My gorgeous friend Mel received a joy flight {from her awesome husband} in the Red Baron Seaplane to fly over Townsville and Magnetic Island for her birthday and she asked ME to share this with her! It was super awesome!

   

 We totally rocked the headgear {maybe not as glamorous as Catherine Zeta-Jones}, we had the GoPro attached to an extender pole and we got to share an awesome experience together! It was uber cool to go for a fly in a vintage plane and I will cherish that moment forever, even the parts of doing some stunts and having my tummy work its way up my throat! 

  

Townsville By Air

Zac {Master 6} was lucky enough recently to go for a ride in a helicopter over The Strand and Townsville City while the V8’s were on.  My brother, who organised it obviously won the Uncle of the Year Trophy.  Big thanks to Townsville Helicopters, Zac had the rise of his life!

Getting a “Birdseye view” of anywhere is pretty spectacular. My brother took lots of photos for me to share.  At least once in your life treat yourself and do this, memories are lovely treasures!

   

   
   
   

Margaret River to Albany

Our travels through WA in our Cheapa Campa continue. We traveled through the beautiful Margaret River through to Albany!  Wow! Wow! Wow! So much to see, glorious wines to be tasted, beers to be drunk, food to be consumed, chocolate to be devoured and parks to be played, and that’s just the start!!! We started our glorious Wednesday morning with a coffee and chocolate tasting at Temper Temper, this place was recommended by some fellow travellers so we have it a go, and it didn’t disappoint!   And it wouldn’t be a visit to Margaret River without visiting a brewery or winery (or both)! Best thing is that most we have read about cater for kids, with huge playgrounds to keep the kiddies entertained it’s a win win for Travelling families!!!    We chose the tourist route and headed towards the Valley of the Giants Treetop Walk, found a great park in Peaceful Bay for the night and did the walk this morning, it’s a must do if you visit the area!!!!            This afternoon we hit Albany and headed to the Discovery Bay Tourism Experience, the historical whaling station! It was amazing, weren’t so much about the old whaling days, so glad everyone told us about that one!   Thanks to having a motorhome, we had another home cooked meal and kids are in bed!  I hope you all have a chance to visit this area, it’s beautiful!!!!!  Kell x

More WA Delights

Travelled down in our Cheapa Campa towards Margaret River today and saw some beautiful places along the way.  First stop was Busselton, taking a walk on the 1.8km Jetty and taking in the gorgeous views! Simply amazing! Grabbed a coffee from the cafe and Zac had a play in the park, all winners here! Grabbed some supplies from the local shops 🙂 We chose the tourist route so we could see more. Stopped at Yallingup and it was another breathtaking place (these WA beaches are pretty awesome)!! Another awesome park for Zac to have a play and Corey & I to check out the views, yep pretty awesome!   After this spot we headed down to Surfers Point in Margaret River, home of the Margaret River Surfing Pro, and guess what?? Anther awesome view! So lovely to see the sun over the ocean in the afternoons! Really is a photography paradise 🙂    Was nice to feel the sand between our toes too! We decided to stay in town at Margaret River so we can get an early start to explore the region! Watch this space for tomorrow’s adventures 🙂

Perth, WA

We had to come across to WA for a wedding and boy have we been knocked for six!  It’s just fabulous! We have been cramming SO much in so we can see as much as possible! Perth and Fremantle are just divine and I encroached everyone to come and visit!

This morning we picked up a Cheapa Campa Motorhome, then headed to Rottnest Island for the afternoon and now we are going to continue our exploring south and surrounds over the next few days!

Please check our Facebook/TheBlondeNomad and Instagram/the_blondenomad for regular updates on our week with our Motorhome 🙂

            

Reminiscing 

Well at the moment we are in the planning stages to head off again! Going through photos and I’m getting mega excited! We think we have found the perfect caravan to buy (so watch this space) and we are getting used to have another little nomad in our group (Baby Brett)!

Distance Education seems to be the way to go for us & for Zac, am looking at watching how we go when we are in our van again! Making use of having family and friends around has been great too! We have also had a few opportunities to house sit, so GO US!

Looking back through our photos – we certainly have seen some beautiful places, and looking at other travel blogs we certainly have a lot more to see! I will keep reminiscing, and keep doing small trips around Townsville – while we plan to depart again!

Stay cool people x

Big Crystal Creek, QLD

We are in Townsville for a few months (getting things sorted) so we are trying our best to explore the region!

Fell in love with Big Crystal Creek in the Paluma Range National Park. It’s just magical there. It has a campground too for those wanting to camp!

I think we will love exploring more of our backyard while we call Townsville home for a few months!

Pretty Beach – Murramarang National Park, NSW

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Have you ever been to a spot, that you just fell in love with and could picture yourself staying there for longer.  Well that’s how I feel about our recent stay at Pretty Beach.  We have been to lots of different places lately, but this is clearly a stand out.  The wildlife is just amazing, and super friendly, and we went at an opportune time, there was only a few other campers which enabled us to have time at the beach, all to ourselves.

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Over the couple of days we stayed here, there were lots of Kangaroos.  A Mummy had her Joey, protecting it the whole time in her pouch while we were there.  I nearly fell over when she obviously felt safe enough around us that the Joey popped out for a few seconds and we got a sneak peak.  I was so thankful to have my camera out, it was truly amazing to see.  No matter what anybody else says, I think that she saw my baby bump and just felt proud enough to show me her baby.

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What have you seen or experienced that you just felt so lucky to be at the right time or the right place? Have you got a favourite place to travel to?  There is so much to see that I hope we can continue our journey once we welcome our baby into the world so we continue of our journey of experiencing unique things such as this.

Travel safe everyone x

Kell

Who Likes Free Stuff???

C’mon, admit it.  We all like to receive FREE things from time to time.  Most of us though, never get to experience this during our lifetime.  How many tickets have you bought to win the Lotto?  How many raffle tickets have you bought during your lifetime, and actually won.  If you are like us, you have forked out a lot more money to buy these tickets than you ever would have won!FTS

WELL GUESS WHAT??????  We won.  We finally won something.  We didn’t even have to buy a ticket, we had to complete an entry form.  Ok, you have no idea what I am talking about do you?  I will start from the beginning.

Back in February I stumbled across a travel competition.  The competition was being run by a large company that specialises in caravan & camping products, Dometic Waeco.  Otherwise known as “Follow The Sun” ambassador competition.  There were three winners being chosen, and each winner would be given the opportunity to win up to $25,000 to upgrade in your caravan and vehicle, plus fuel and accommodation expenses to travel for three months to a set itinerary.  Part of the competition, being an Ambassador, was to host Happy Hours at various places around Australia to show other travellers the great range of products, and to thank them for their ongoing custom to Dometic.  After reading through the terms and conditions I straight away thought that this competition was created for us.  For those of you who know us, we love to meet people, we love happy hours, we love travelling, and yes surprise surprise, I LOVE social media.  So I emailed off the entry form, and after a month or so didn’t really think much of it.

It was Monday, May 19th, we had just spent the weekend in Sydney and were on our way back to Canberra.  Today was the day something magical was going to happen.  Scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed I casually said to Corey “I guess we didn’t win that Dometic thing, the winners were announced today and we haven’t received a call”.  He laughed, and we both agreed that things like this would never happen to us.

We arrived back in Canberra and were packing up our van, we had finished exploring our Nation’s Capital and were ready to head to Victoria.  Being so busy packing, I didn’t hear my phone ring.  I had a missed call, and a voicemail message.  I recognised it was a Gold Coast number, I laughed and said to Corey “Bet it’s Dometic, haha”.  As I checked my voicemail, I screamed, it WAS Dometic.  They had left a message asking me to return their call.  I must’ve called about twenty times, obviously the person I was trying to get through to was busy calling other finalists.  When I got through and heard on the other end of the line that we had made the TOP 20 from OVER 8000 applicants my heart stopped, I couldn’t stop shaking and I was absolutely gobsmacked!

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So what did this mean, making the Top 20?  This meant that we had to submit further details together with a video submission outlining why we should win, and become the top 3.  For a bit of extra confidence and support I asked friends to invite their friends to like our travel page.  This made me feel loved, I admit it, I started to feel that we could inspire more and more people to travel, to bite the bullet and make sure that they never have a dull moment.  Get out and explore our country, whether it be for a weekend, a week, a month, a year or a lifetime.  This then gave us some further inspiration to make the videos and answer questions about what would make us great Ambassadors of Dometic.

After the video and extra information had been submitted we had to wait, a whole seven days to find out if we had won.  On Monday, 2nd June at 11:58am we got a call.  We got THE call.  We were told that we were selected to be one of the three Dometic Follow The Sun Ambassadors for 2014.  I was beyond chuffed, nothing could describe how I felt.  This was an opportunity travellers dream of, to have the financial support to be able to continue our travels, we again were gobsmacked.  I screamed in the car and Corey realised that we had won.  Not only had we won, we were given our first choice itinerary and that was to explore NSW, SA and VIC.  We were yet to explore the areas that are outlined in the itinerary so we were absolutely over the moon!  The hardest thing was we had to keep it a secret until the announcement at the Brisbane Caravan and Camping Show, Tuesday 10th June.  We managed to tell a few white lies to keep this all hush hush’, it was all worth it in the end.

The moment Brooke Hanson (celebrity Dometic Follow The Sun Ambassador) announced our names, we could finally break out into the dance that had been held inside our bodies for over a week.  We met Dometic staff, who were just fabulous, did interviews for various magazines, radio, newspapers, we were on top of the world.

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Since the announcement, we have moved in with some friends on the Sunshine Coast until we embark on this new journey.  We have emptied our caravan out and have met with the Dometic Reps who have gone through what we can fit in the van.  The products that we will be getting installed are just fabulous, and I can’t wait to share this with you all!  Corey will be working on the Coast so we can save some extra money for the duration of time we will be away.

I have created a page on my blog “2014 Dometic Follow The Sun Ambassadors” where I will add links from the http://www.dometicfollowthesun.com.au page, and write about our journey’s for that time and share our itineraries hoping that you might be able to come along and meet us.  I will continue to write the real stories about caravanning as well, as I’m sure we will hit challenges along the way.

I want to finish off by encouraging everyone to get out and explore this wonderful country of ours.  Full-time travelling might not be your thing, but explore your town, your neighbouring town.  Spend time with family and friends.  Time is one thing you will never get back.

You get ONE Life, so make every moment count.

Kellie (aka The Blonde Nomad)
2014 Dometic Follow The Sun Ambassador (I will never get tired of writing that!)

 

 

 

 

 

Caravanning – Living The Dream (then it rains)

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Right, so made the paper today.  Great story by the Charters Towers Northern Miner about us making the Final 20 in the Dometic Follow the Sun ambassador competition (which I will tell you all about in another Blog), we certainly are living the dream, then it rains.  It rains and Zac (Master 5) is trying his Spiderman moves in the caravan, Corey can’t sit still and I, well I am just downright ready to snap kick them.  So, the best thing to do in the rain, straight to my best friend Google as I type in the words “Indoor Play Centre”.  Whoever was the Mastermind behind this concept is a friggin genius.  It is the saviour of many a crazy Mums out there, where your kids can go crazy, run up and down the stairs to zoom down the ever so fast slides, while Mum sits here, vents on her blog and enjoys as Latte.
We are at “Scrambles”, an indoor play centre in Wodonga.  What a deal they have today, $10 entry and then you can use that $10 towards food. So I am overindulging and I ordered hot chips with gravy, going down just superbly in this cold rainy weather.  Usually there are a thousand screaming children at centres like this, but today, for the last hour of opening, it’s just us.  Corey is reading a magazine and Zac is having a blast, again, thank you to the master mind behind Indoor Play Centres!
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So what else has been happening with us??  We left Canberra (where Corey worked for a few months), and are heading South.  We have been free camping (until this weather turned on us), and the landscapes are just lovely.  The temperature has been perfect as well, beautiful throughout the days and the nights cool enough to snuggle.  We have booked into the show grounds, a lovely spot at only $20/night for power and water and will wait until this weather passes before we head south to Wangaratta.  We have been teaching Zac about Ned Kelly, so he is super keen to see the big bushranger and follow his trail.  Have you ever tried to teach a 5 year old about a bushranger?  Ned Kelly is kind of a hero, but he was naughty, Police are the good guys, this was a huge challenge in trying to teach Zac the story, am hoping that we have done an ok job with this.
Just a short Blog so you all know we are still around.  I promise I will be writing more, especially about where we have been and places we recommend.  If you want to follow live updates, follow us on Facebook/The Blonde Nomad or on Instagram/TheBlondeNomad13.
Until next time, be safe, and remember to Love Your Life, You Only Get One!!
Kellie x