Dianne & Ted

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Grey nomad character of the road on the Nullarbor
Dianne and Ted crossed the Nullarbor last year

New Zealanders Dianne & Ted H (61 & 65) have been over in Australia travelling for the past 18 months … and they’re in no hurry to do anything different.

What do you travel in?
2013 Paramount Studio. It has plenty of storage, and is a very easy van to tow. We arrived in South Australia at the end of August 2013 and bought our van and ute. As we had to set ourselves up first, we didn’t start travelling until the end of September 2013.

What did you need to buy?
As we only arrived with two suitcases each, we had to buy everything for the caravan. We only brought over our iPhone, iPad and laptop with us, but have since acquired printer, UHF radio and reversing cam­eras on both ute and caravan which we feel is a must.

Have you learnt much?
We thought we had done our homework before we came to Australia but have since found there was a lot we were unaware of, and we are still learning. We certainly know now to head south in the sum­mer months and north in the winter! I would advise other grey nomads not to make the same mistake we did by doing the opposite. It was very hot travelling north through the Centre in November! Bad move on our part. Also, if you want to do a lot of free camp­ing, then you need solar power and a generator. Because we had to set ourselves up from scratch, we have not got these as yet and so still mainly stay in caravan parks. Still on the ‘to-do list’.

Do you work?
We try to! Ideally, we would like 3-6 month employment stints so we can carry on see­ing the country. We did spend six months in the Margaret River area managing a prop­erty we found through the Grey Nomads website.

Is it easy to find jobs?
Before arriving in Australia I had searched the internet for where we would likely pick up work. The Harvest Trail seemed to be the most likely way, as Ted and I had eight years experience working in packhouses – but no. We found in South Australia that, unless you were staying at a backpackers’ hostel, you could not get work. I found the agencies were not very helpful.

Scariest nomad experience?
We had only been in the country two months when we travelled from South Australia to Western Australia across the Nullarbor Plain. As I do all the towing, I found the large road trains passing was very scary. I’ve got used to them now so don’t have that prob­lem anymore.

Is it still fun?
Put it this way, we only came to Australia for 15 months but are still here travelling around looking for the next adventure!

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