I love preparing for a holiday by researching a destination. The internet, magazines, friends and social media can tell you a lot about where you are going. This is great if you want the facts and figures, the must see and do’s, best places to stay and experiences to try. Even being armed with all of that, there is still one ingredient that can make a holiday tip over into the ‘best experience ever’ category. That extra something is…ask a local!
A huge factor in making a holiday so enjoyable and memorable to me is the people you meet along the way. As a couple on a 3 month caravanning road trip this can be particularly so. Having just the two of us to please and make decisions had its bonuses but a little extra company now and again was welcomed. I loved hearing other people’s reasons for being on the road and finding out just how kismet had led us to cross paths.
This is a line from my favourite poem “My Country” by Dorothea Mackellar and the reason I love this poem is, as anyone who has ever travelled in Australia knows, the words resonate so deeply yet so succinctly. This line in particular kept jumping into my mind on the last road trip where we hugged the coastline from South Australia, through Western Australia and eventually to Darwin in the Northern Territory. We were blown away by the vivid colours of the Indian Ocean in particular and so many of the bays and beaches we explored.
One of the things I love about caravanning road trips is having a different view out of the window every day or so. No day is ever the same and even if you’re staying in one spot the view can change dramatically from day to night. What can look quite bland during the middle of the day can look completely different with a spectacular sunrise or sunset, casting a whole new light, literally, on your camp site.
Some of the signs you see on a road trip are obvious, it seems in Australia we have more than our fair share of animals that can run out or leap in front of you in the vast stretches of open country we have to travel. And soon enough, now that you know what to look out for, you will probaly spot what you’ve been warned about.
What makes a holiday memorable? Jaw dropping scenery sure, balmy weather absolutely, good food and wines does it for me too and of course the people you meet along the way. But, some of the stand out experiences on our last road trip were the encounters we had with animals.
The experiences we had are now forever etched in my memory and will be synonymous with place names such as Hamelin Bay, Monkey Mia, Steep Point, Francois Peron National Park and Cape Range National Park.