Thousands of families wonder about wandering Australia every day. Packing up and hitting the road full time is only a dream for many families, but it’s not a dream for the Davey’s! We met Tegan and her clan at Leisurefest Caravan show last year and they were all giddy with excitement about their plans to do their lap of oz. They, like thousands of others, are turning their dream into REALITY and we can’t wait to follow along.
Howdy! We’re Leigh, Tegan, daughter Bodhi (6yrs) and son Finn (4yrs) of ‘Wander to Wonder Oz’. We’ve decided to take some time off from our suburban life and chase our dream of travelling around Australia in a caravan with our little wanderers. Having been so inspired by other travel blogging families, we’ve decide to share our adventures. You can find us on on Instagram, Facebook and Youtube, as well as our website www.wandertowonderoz.com.
Exactly one year ago we were travelling home from our annual camping trip along the Murray River in Victoria. As we remarked about how great it was to spend quality family time outside free from technology, away from the grinds of home chores and work demands, we thought ‘Wouldn’t it be great to travel full time?’ Wouldn’t it be an amazing experience to give our children?’. For years, we had talked about this dream of travelling around Australia with the kids but we had done nothing to make it a reality. Now, our eldest was about to start school and we were hit with the realisation that life was moving too quickly! If we continued to do nothing, the window of opportunity would pass us by. Sure we could travel when we retired, but unfortunately as we had learnt with the passing of Leigh’s mum, retirement is a luxury that not everybody is afforded. Tegan’s job as a Police Officer has also meant that family time is often compromised and we constantly battle with finding a balance between minimising childcare and meeting work demands. Quite often we play parenting tag team which while it has its benefits, means that we miss out on time spent together as a whole. This trip would be a great opportunity to fix that!
And so this crazy idea was born! Now unlike many others who decide to go and sell up and hit the road within weeks, we had a much longer wait. Our home is our ‘forever home’ of which we had no intention of selling, our eldest was just about to start school and we had to work around Tegan’s job. Thankfully this gave us plenty of planning time as our ideal window of opportunity was 12mths away.
Now we should start off by saying that we knew nothing about caravanning! We have been life long campers and had never towed anything bigger than our 5×7 trailer. Clearly we needed some guidance!
The first thing we did was start some serious social media stalking. There are so many families travelling around Australia, each in their own unique way, and they are a wealth of information on everything from budgets to itineraries. What we learnt was that you need to find the right fit for your family, whether that’s your choice of accommodation, vehicle, activities or time, there are endless options and no two trips will ever be the same.
For us, we knew a full caravan would be the perfect fit, as it would minimise set up time and offer us some creature comforts that we were accustomed too. So off to the caravan show we went with our wish list and a rough budget in mind, and by rough I mean no budget just blind optimism! At the show we stumbled across Bailey Australia and their Rangefinder Gemini. The van was perfect. It was lightweight (1950 TARE), had a beautiful interior with the perfect layout and the bed was actually long enough for Leigh to sleep on without his legs hanging off. We had found our van!
Thankfully the car was a much easier decision. A 7 seater with a three tonne towing capacity and great reputation – it had to be the Isuzu MUX.
Our next consideration was schooling. Surprisingly this didn’t cause us too much concern. We know that children learn from anything and everything they see and experience. By travelling we could expose our little wanderers to new ideas, improve awareness of other cultures, promote a love and understanding of the environment, not to mention all the history and geography! We will be home schooling Bodhi who will be in Grade 1, and Finn who will be in kindergarten and have lots of ideas on how we can incorporate learning while on the road.
One of the biggest questions we get asked is how we will be funding the trip. For us, it will be a combination of rental income on our home, hard earned savings and Tegan’s long service leave payments. We are budgeting for $1000 a week, with a mixture of free camping and caravan parks. We’ll be keeping a monthly budget tracker, so stay posted to see how we go!
The last 12mths spent planning this trip together has been so exciting. It’s been wonderful to have a common passion, to stay up all night plotting our adventure, sending endless random texts to share a newfound location or yet another ‘Big thing’ to add to the list. Not to mention all the awesome new people we’ve already meet. If the trip is half as good as we expect, it will have been worth every extra hour worked and cent saved.
We are so excited to be embarking on this adventure and we can’t wait to share it with you all. We really hope that we can be the inspiration for another family taking the plunge and living their dream! Hope to see you out there!
Leigh & Tegan
You can find Wander to Wonder Oz on Instagram,
THANK YOU so much Tegan, Leigh, Bodhi & Finn – Happy & Safe travels…
The Davey Family love their Travel Journals and other goodies – check out our shop here: