At Halcyon Daze we are continuously inspired by those with a lust for travel and exploring off the beaten track. We recently connected with a family who has been doing just that, except on an epic scale! April Munro, her husband Luke and their two young kids have just settled back into everyday life after what could only be described as an unforgettable, 15 week long road trip. The Munros journeyed from the East Coast of Australia to the West Coast and back - 13,000km to be exact - on a quest to explore some of Australia’s most incredible coastline with their caravan, surfboards, fishing rods and a keen sense of adventure.
From Currumbin Qld you travelled all the way to WA and back, can you tell us more about which way you drove?
We drove west through the Great Dividing Range, to Bourke and headed through the south-west to Broken Hill. Then across to the Eyre Peninsula in South Aus, over the Nullarbor to Western Aus, around the South West corner and up the West Coast to Red Bluff Campground at the start of the Ningaloo reef. Then back again! We went through the Golden Outback, via Kalgoorlie on the way back through Western Aus and tagged different locations on the way home through South Aus.
What inspired you to do this road trip?
We just felt like we needed to be free and have alone time, just Luke, myself and the kids. We had a rough 2 years with Luke's dad dying from brain cancer. We had both worked in our jobs for 8 and 14 years, had 2 kids close together and just felt like we were ready! The kids were a perfect age. I did a 3-month trip with my parents when I was young and I've never forgotten it. We are also both campers, so the thought of hitting the road and doing whatever we wanted, adventuring, being present with each other and the kids were just so exciting! We already had our own caravan and 4WD and camped every year on the East Coast. We also knew we needed to go back to basics. Live simple. Slow down.
Where was your favourite place you stopped?
So hard to choose! We loved Red Bluff Campground in Western Aus because it was so remote. No power, no water, no people. It was a 6 hour round trip on a rough dirt road to the closest town to get food or water. We lost ourselves there and it was amazing. The stars were the brightest I've ever seen. It's right on the beach, has a great surfing wave, amazing fishing, beautiful reef, rock pools, kangaroos, everything! Every night we would sit by the fire and tell stories and it was so good for us as a family to just stop and talk with no distractions.
Aghhhh! Our coastline is seriously amazing. For sheer beauty, the bluest water, and whitest sand, it would have to be Cape Le Grande National Park in WA. Hellfire Bay and Duke of Orleans Bay were ridiculous.
Favourite camp site?
Red Bluff Campground in WA. Cactus beach in South Aus. Honestly, though, I could list 10!
Best pub/winery you found along the way?
Streaky Bay Pub in South Aus is a great old pub on the bay in a fishing/sea town. Amazing oysters and King George whiting, with great South Aus wines and beers.
Cullen Winery in Margaret River was mind-blowing. The wines and food were delicious, and it is certified organic, biodynamic, carbon-neutral and naturally powered. And run by a woman too! It is also great for kids.
What was the biggest challenge being on the road for so long?
The kids missed their friends. Doing schoolwork with Scout our oldest (7 y.o).
Having to leave places when we didn't want to. I thought it was going to be harder and the driving was going to be hard, but we loved it, and the kids were so good with it. The challenge was probably more in the research and planning. I think by the time we left I was so organised and had done so much research, it really took a lot of the stress out of the actual trip. I used google maps, tourism websites, caravan and camping magazines, Instagram locations, and Wikicamps to help plan.
Any advice for a family planning on doing a trip like this?
Do your research! Think about the things you like to do as a family and research places that have that. Look at weather patterns for the places you are going. Camping in the wind and rain isn't fun. Have backup locations you can go to when the weather isn't right for where you are heading so that you can still enjoy your precious time off.
Also, get to know Google Maps and Wikicamps. Talk to other families who have done something similar.
Try not to do too many locations in a short time, otherwise, you will be setting up and packing down and driving a lot. You can't see it all, so try to slow down and enjoy what you do see.
Is there anything you miss now about being on the road?
Being together just the four of us all the time. The complete freedom and feeling that you are in the middle of nowhere and no one can contact you. And campfires! Being completely feral and roaming the desert and beaches with not a soul in sight.
Would you do it all again?
In a heartbeat! I'm already scheming our next trip.
What's next on the bucket list for the Munro’s?
The Kimberley in West Aus. It looks like a dream!
April took our Endless Summer One Piece in Aloha with her on the journey and it stood the test of time and many, salty sun-filled days on the beach. xx