Travel Theme : Adventure

For me adventure came in the shape of a van, a Toyota pop-top camper van, that we called Matilda. She became part of our family in November 2009 and in March 2010 she took us on an epic 37000 kilometre, one year adventure around Australia.

Matilda She was our transport, accommodation and trusty companion. Jack called her “the sardine can”. Can you imagine 2 of us living in this small space for so long? It was a test of our relationship, but we are still together and talking to each other…

It was an amazing year. Heading north along the east coast waking to misty mornings all alone in free camping spots

Into the tropics. Where the lush green foliage drips with vines and ferns carpet the ground and the humidity enfolds you like a wet blanket

then west across the outback to the west coast were the scenery is spectacular. Rust red gorges hiding pristine water holes. Gum trees flashing their ghost white trunks. Beauty at every turn.

Many people ask me what was the most memorable part of our adventure around Australia and that is a very difficult question to answer. The scenery is so diverse, the people and experiences, the many campgrounds. The sheer joy of watching this country unfold before you, never knowing where you will be at the end of the day. All these things make the journey memorable. But two things do stand out.

One is the flight into the Bungle Bungles and the walk through these incredible rock formations.

And two is the spectacular display of the wild flowers along the west coast. It was the thought of these wild flowers and a desire to see them that I built the whole journey around. My timing was perfect and we drove slowly south along the coast from Broome to Perth. A never-ending display of glorious colour spread all around us. We constantly stopped to walk among the flowers and gaze in wonder at the diversity, shape, size and colour of this magnificent show of nature flaunting its beauty. My gardening heart was overflowing.


The adventure continued along the southern coast of Western Australia. Up into the goldfields of Kalgoorlie and across the Nullabor plain the road stretching 1675 kilometres seemingly an endless strip ahead of us

So many experiences, enough to fill a book. There was WWOOFing, couch surfing in the big cities, boat trips down rivers, walking in the magnificent National Parks, swimming in deserted water holes and sitting with a glass of wine watching countless sunsets

Have a glass of wine and watch the sun setI can hardly believe it is almost 8 years since that memorable year. But the adventure is still so fresh in my memory.


I’m dedicating this post to Ailsa “Where’s my backpack” For years she has hosted a very popular travel theme challenge and I have looked forward each week to the new challenge and loved being part of her community. But this will be the final theme as Ailsa is taking her backpack off into the wide blue yonder on new adventures of her own. Best wishes Ailsa and safe travels. I’ll look forward to hearing about your adventures when you have time to share them with us.


  1. Oh, Pauline, I envy you your year traveling around Oz. Something I have dreamed of doing. What memories to have. I would have to do it on my own though as OH and I could never share such a small space for that long!

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  2. What an amazing adventure! This is something I have dreamed of doing ever since we bought our camper. I imagine it is easier to get along when you are surrounded by such beauty and are exhausted from a day of trekking. ?

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  3. An adventure so many of us dream about but so few of us actually accomplish – bravo to you and Jack…all those wonderful memories to draw from and the photos are spectacular! Lucky you too to witness all that floral beauty.

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  4. Pauline – what glowing memories you have…of those travelling days together. And those wild flowers! Such a lovely tribute to Ailsa as well – she and her theme will be sorely missed. But, I know she promised to stay with us!

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  5. This was not your most adventurous although it was wonderful and we did have a lot of exciting times. I think the trip from Singapore to Bangkok on local busses was our most adventurous.
    Oh! there have been so many it is hard to decide, you have made them all exciting thank you for encouraging me out of my comfort zone, Living in Paradise. 😎🐨🙏❤️

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  6. What a splendid way to travel. Flying to destinations is so boring. I have only done it twice, to Los Angeles and back and to Portland and back. I remember looking down and seeing all that I was not seeing. I mean, I could see it, but I could not be there. A trip that should have taken all day took only an hour and a half (to Porland. Los Angeles is half as far.)

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  7. Pauline, no wonder your adventure was so memorable. What a trip! I would love to take road trips everywhere. I love your pop-up camper, Matilda, and the Bungle Bungles and the wildflowers, topped off by wine at the end! What fun. 🙂

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  8. Oh I love it, Pauline, such great memories of Matilda, I feel like I travelled in her too along the way 🙂 and my favourite discovery on your journey was the Bungle Bungles, it’s just so darned fun to say. ❤ Ailsa

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  9. We are 5 months into our travels around Australia. There is so much to see. You have reminded me how good it will be to see the wild flowers. Thank you.

    Love the name Matilda. Our is Josephine 🙂

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