Family ready to take on the open road

Family ready to take on the open road

Meet our new blogger

This is the beginning of our new ‘A Family Adventure’ series, with contributions by Kath McCann. Kath, along with her husband and two children are embarking on a caravan and camping trip around the country. Our new blog series will follow along on their journey!

Our story

I am Kath.  I am married to Adam and we have two children, Oscar, 11 and Harriet, 8.  We are proud Tasmanians who love the outdoors.  We are all very active and love holidaying together.  We have managed to explore a lot of Tasmania and we are fortunate enough to have a small yacht that we spend a lot of family time on.

In 2017 we had a few big reality shocks.  At the age of 35 following some routine tests I had a pretty significant health scare and then my father got extremely unwell as did my mother-in-law at ages 59 and 69 respectively.   All three of these experiences reminded us of the finite nature of life.

Ad and I had been talking for some time about heading off on a big trip, but we had not emotionally committed to making that time until last year.  We thought about what we wanted to do; the primary driver of getting away was time together as a family.  And adventure.  We love adventure, exploring new places and trying new things.

So, about three months ago, after much thought and some procrastination we bought a second hand Jayco Eagle Outback 2012.  We have an Isuzu MUX that we are towing it with and we are really happy with our set up, it works well for us.  We are used to spending a lot of time together on our 33 foot yacht and we are really happy with the comparative configuration and space of the camper

It is a strange feeling

The feeling that I have at the moment is really hard to describe.  I am not sure I can find the right words, but it is a combination of excitement, being slightly overwhelmed, unsure if it is real, daunted and anticipation.

Ad has been working hard to get the van and the MUX ready for the road and I turned my head to thinking about provisioning.

I have many lists.  So many lists.

Handover is happening at work.  The kids have their last week of school.  And briefing of the house sitter is locked in.  I have spent lots of hours on Wikicamps and reading caravan  and campervan hacks; I feel like we have lots of information, but really all I want is for the day to roll around and to get on the road!


I love exercising and run a little gym out of my garage a few mornings a week.  It is a really important part of who I am and keeps me sane in our hectic day-to-day.

I have done a fair amount of planning to leave the gym set-up and appropriate programs for the girls that visit; that is all looking good and I know that the girls will do a great job looking after themselves.  I have also put a lot of thought into what gear I am going to take with us to exercise on a regular basis – we have bikes, swimming and snorkelling gear and of course I have my running gear packed, but I was not sure what other equipment to take.  I have landed on a skipping rope, a kettle bell and some dumbbells – I have a feeling I will reflect on this with a slightly different view in a few months’ time.

We are meeting a heap of friends and family on the Gold Coast for the 40th Anniversary Gold Coast Marathon on our way down the East Coast.  I have entered a couple of events for the weekend and will need to make sure I get exercise in whilst I am away, it will be interesting to see how my training progresses as we hit the road – I am pretty excited to run some new destinations and do some on-foot exploring.

Final preparation

We’ve done really well compressing what we take, running with the premise we can collect on the road if need be. I think our boating experience has helped with the packing. For clothing it’s all about layers and active wear and our other essential items we’ve kept pretty basic.

Ad has got the van down tonight thankfully as there is heaps of wind about, we still have a raft of jobs to do tomorrow, but I think we’ve broken the back of it.

We’ve had heaps of visitors which has been lovely, it’s awesome to feel so loved and supported.

Time for an early night and an early start – big day tomorrow!


This morning has been dedicated to an early gym session and all the final preparations of the van, coupled with getting the house sorted for our house sitter to arrive made for a full on morning.

The camper is ready to go and the visitors are streaming in. We are excited, but really just want to get on the road.

Just before 1pm we pull out of our driveway; it’s a really strange feeling, I’m so excited. The hardest part of this morning was the kids farewelling our beloved cat- they are going to miss him like crazy.

I’m going to miss my girlfriends and workmates, and of course my family, but I know this adventure is going to be a defining journey for our little family as individuals and as a family unit and I can’t wait!

May 11, 2018

21 responses to “Family ready to take on the open road”

  1. Joyce bailey says:

    I will enjoy reading your blog as you travel this great land of ours we too ARE caravaners but many years older than you love meeting new friends on the road but it is always great to go home after a really enjoyable trip travel safe and enjoy

  2. Eddie Wickham says:

    I hope you guys get to enjoy your journey through life as a family. I lost my wife almost two years ago and do appreciate the fact life is short.
    From looking at the photo of the rear of you Jayco Camper Trailer, obscuring the numberplate by push bikes is a breach of the law. You need to get a second plate which can be attached in a location where it can be seen. cheers

  3. Tony crossin says:

    Hi Kath & familY.
    Lovely reading about your adventure and am sure you will enjoy it. You proBably dont know me but i live neAr you and spoke to yourhusband on the day you left on your adventure. When he told me what you were about to experience i was most envious as we have done many similar trips with our caravan. Safe travelling and enjoy your holiday.


  4. Bruce Fuller says:

    Good luck. We did 13. Months. Many moons ago. The hardest part is getting ready. Once you go, daily lIfe takes its own path. RoutiNes that you had before, will change to suit your travelling needs, enjoy every moment.

  5. Jane Wilson says:

    Hi Kath,
    Great story….. so Glad you and your family have embarked on this adventuRe.
    SaFe travels and i look forward to following your Blog!
    Fellow Tasmanian, Jane

  6. Kiron Barnden says:

    How long are you planning to be away and which direction are you heading when you get over to melbourne?
    I look forward to reading your travels.

  7. Kathy syme says:

    Congratulations on a great decision to go travelling. Your children will learn so much. Your time together is valuable.

  8. Anne Whalley says:

    Best of luck with your trip. I look forward to hearing about your experiences on the road. It will be interesting to see how you reflect on what you have packed and how your fitness regime goes. I find we eat alot more BASICALLY and healthier when we travel. Safe travels and enjoy.

  9. Jeff says:

    Don’t want to be a spoiler but if you come to south
    Australia you need a number plate on your bike rack
    So it is visible to those ‘safery cameras’
    Looking forward to hearing your story
    And good luck
    Not sure why all caps but that’s all i. An get

  10. stuart says:

    Well DONE
    many dream about it but few of us have the courage to do it
    very jealous
    wishing you safe and happy travels

  11. Evan goldsworthy says:

    Good luCk to you. I hope your bike rack is mounted SubstansuaLLy. We met a family on the way to darwin who nearly lost their bikes. The rack had been welded to the Rear bumper and had broken off. Apparently your first day was only a short trip. Leaving at 1pm is a bit late. We try to leave before sunrise and get out of the city before the morning rush. Enjoy your trip, looking forward to hearing more.
    Regards evan

  12. Tracy says:

    Hi MC Cann family!

    my husband & i have just decided to do the same – this time next year we hope to be setting off on an australian adventure too – with our two children (8 and 11) and our 4wd and camper trailer. i agree with you when you said you feel excited but also daunted!! and i also love lists!!!

    i’d love to follow your blog and pick up any travel tips and suggestions of places to visit. i’d love to hear the good and the bad of EVERYTHING! do we need to sign up somewhere to receive your blog updates? or will they automatically come through on “caravan and camping” emails?

    good luck! drive safely!
    Tracy (from qld).

  13. Tim Terry says:

    Good luck kath. we set off around australia for a year back in 2002 with our 2 girls a similar age to your 2 and I certainly understand the mixed emotions as you leave home. We had actually sold our house and camped in it empty the last night, handing over the keys as we left town – this made it so much more of an emotional beginning as we headed into the the great unknown. It was a great experience and I have no doubt you will all enjoy it. Our youngest unfortunately doesnt remember that much of it now so maybe she was a bit too young (7 at the time). Anyway have a great trip and it will be a wonderful experience.

  14. Rob Swanton says:

    hey guys , we have done the the top end and west coast to death, but will still find time to return someday soon, you have done the hard yards, so settle back and enjoy, beats a trip to Barli any day. great to see you younguns getting out there and having a go, make gray army types smile, good travelling and God Bless you.
    Supporting Australia is the way to go.

  15. Rob Swanton says:

    hey guys , we have done the the top end and west coast to death, but will still find time to return someday soon, you have done the hard yards, so settle back and enjoy, beats a trip to Barli any day. great to see you younguns getting out there and having a go, makes us gray army types smile, good travelling and God Bless you.
    Supporting Australia is the way to go.

  16. Roscoe Taylor says:

    Hope you all enjoy your Experience. !!

  17. Julie says:

    Congratulations on joining the travelling familY, enjoy

  18. Carolyn atkinson says:

    HEY kath

    you’ll really enjoy your time away.
    we travelled for 3 months with 8 & 10 year old kids in the car & van
    Melbourne to Darwin and back around the wa cost.
    best time of our lives.
    kids still talk about it now and they are 18 & 20
    back then I emailed our adventures & misadventures and everybody loved it
    from this you will have a closer relationship with your children



  19. robyn & drew stroet says:

    WHen we left on working our way around australia i found i had packed far too much. over the time we have reached the decision that if a new piece of clothing, cutlery, crockery etc comes into the van then an item must be thrown out.

    it has worked very well for us. we decided not to go back to our house and are still traveling around this beautiful country. if i can advise you of one place to camp – lake eyre, we have only done this last month, camp at halligan bay, 65km from william creek on the oodnadatta track – no water on the lake you can walk on it, but if water is present, you go through to bog.

    the stars are something else out there we have swags & i spent most of the night trying to photograph the wonderful night sky.

    Happy traveling
    robyn & drew

  20. Lynne says:

    Good on u. Looking 4wd 2 following u. Regards, Lynne

  21. peter green says:

    Good luck you guys will have a ball

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