Valerie and Dan

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Valerie and Dan changed their rig to be offroad ready
Valerie and Dan changed their rig to be offroad ready

Kiwis Valerie, 63, and Dan, 64, have been travelling since March 2010

What do you travel in?
Our 17ft Coromal Seka Poptop and Mitsubishi Pajero took us on a 38,000km trip in two years. A month ago we changed to a 14ft Jayco Starcraft Outback towed by a Ford Ranger XL Utility 4×4. We use solar panels for power when not in a caravan site and use an inverter to power the phone and laptop. We plan to do more off-road travel and the smaller caravan will be easier to use and take us to the more remote places.

Where do you like to camp?
We love to visit national parks as we love bush tramping. We also like free camps as we meet like-minded people and share our experiences of the road. Free camping also helps with the budget. We use caravan parks sometimes, mainly in the smaller towns, and find them friendly and accommodating. We have also done some housesitting which gives us a base while we visit the local district.

Likes and dislikes?
We love being able to travel at our own pace, the relaxed lifestyle, meeting new people and seeing the ‘real’ Australia. We don’t like seeing rubbish left on the side of the road or at wayside rest stops.

On the-road hobbies?
We enjoy reading and crosswords. Valerie does cross-stitch when time is available, and we both enjoy fishing. We have also done some volunteer work with Blaze Aid helping farmers who have been flooded.

Best spot visited?
Our favourite place so far is Keep River National Park, near the border of NT and WA. Beautiful scenery and we sat outside ’til almost midnight one night, looking at the stars. Awesome.

Scariest experience?
Getting bogged in black mud on our first free camp near Chinchilla and a tyre blow out on the road to Lake Argyle.

Advice for grey nomads … ?
Don’t plan too much and don’t have too many deadlines. Slow down and take time to smell the roses. The road will still be there whether you stay in one spot for one day or one week. Always talk to your fellow travellers, sharing information on places to go and sometimes places not to go.

… and for wannabe nomads?
Don’t let anyone tell you shouldn’t do it. Do your research and go for it! People tell us we are lucky to be doing this, but luck has nothing to do with it – you can choose your own path ahead – or in this case ‘the road ahead’.

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