The Snail Trail

Travelling with my home on my back and in no hurry to get anywhere


2014 – These Are a Few of My Favourite Things

This is my last blog for 2014 so I thought it appropriate to recap my travels this year. The map below shows where I started in Tasmania and where I’ve ended up nearly 12 months later in Western Australia. Although it says the distance of 9,700 odd kms I have in fact travelled more than 15,000kms – and loved every minute of it!

2014 Travel

I started to tell a story and didn’t know when to stop so I have now decided to share my photos as a ‘wrap’ for 2014. Obviously I can’t include everything, but, as the title says, these are a few of my favourite things.

My year began in Tasmania….

Highlights of Tassie? The beaches, the free camps, spending time with my sister, travelling with friends, and the boat trip on the Franklin River out of Strahan to Hell’s Gates and Sarah Island.

Every bend in the road opens up to more spectacular scenery and I can’t wait to go back and visit all the places I missed plus some favourites from this trip.


I left Tasmania after the Evandale Penny Farthing Races and on landing in Melbourne made my way to Gippsland to visit my Aunty Molly. I am so glad I had some time with her as she passed away at the wonderful age of 96 in August. With longevity on both sides of my family I think I’ll be around for a long time yet!! I just love these old photos of her. The beach babe was taken on New Years Day 1936 at the famous 90 Mile Beach and the other at the family home in Yarram, Victoria

Leaving Gippsland I spent some time on the Murray River on my way to the Solos Rally in Balranald. It was a great opportunity to catch up with friends and fellow travellers….

…and Balranald was a quirky little town with a frog fetish! …. and more….

South Australia

Then I was on my way to my house sit in WA, through South Australia and across the Nullabor….. to a welcomed arrival in Norseman

Western Australia

Met up with some wonderful people at the Salmon Gums Community Caravan Park and then feeling a little sand, sea and salt air deprived I was on my way to Lucky Bay at Cape Le Grande and other Southern coastal camps.

With a brief unexpected sojourn to the Fairbridge Festival of Folk and World Music I arrived in Secret Harbour to move out of my van and into a beautiful home for 2 months while the owners travelled overseas.

In early July I was back on the road again …..but how can I tell you about all the wonderful places I’ve been and people I’ve met over the last 6 months. Well, here goes… it is in some sort of chronological order!! And I thought I’d try the slide show option for the first time….let me know if you like it or if you’d prefer to see the photos in a grid as I usually do.

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What an amazing year I’ve had! You only get to see some of the photos …. this has taken me days as I’ve scrolled through ALL my photos and relived the many wonderful moments I’ve enjoyed in 2014. And as us happy campers often comment, the people you meet are what make so many of the places so memorable. I hope you’ve enjoyed travelling with me and will continue the journey together in 2015.



Coronation Beach camping


Coronation Beach – A Great Place to Stay

I should know – I’ve stayed there three times now! Although my first experience wasn’t fantastic, (blown away by strong winds), I came back a few weeks later and had six nights here. Sometimes it’s not the place, it’s the people you meet when you’re there, but Coronation Beach ticked both boxes my second time around.

A very friendly group included me in Happy Hour every day thanks to another solo traveller, Kevin, who was camped nearby me. This whole group got on so well that many stayed longer than they intended. One night we had a group barbeque at the facilities there and ended up playing a dice game that Kevin had learned at Barn Hill. It seemed to go forever, but there was a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, unfortunately not won by me!

We collared a couple of backpackers to take a group shot for us and they couldn’t believe that we had all only just met each other over the last few days. They were convinced we were a Caravan Club that knew each other well! It was a great fun group and I really enjoyed their company.

A couple of the guCoronation Beachys had crab pots in and caught this wobbygong (shark) in one of them – no crabs unfortunately. It made a brief appearance for a photo shoot and then was quickly released back into the sea where, with a bit of encouragement, it swam away….very relieved I would imagine.
The group disbanded with everyone going off in their own direction and I took a detour back to Geraldton for some shopping before wandering off to Oakabella Homestead, which was the subject of my previous blog.

After a few days at Oakabella I decided to go back to Coronation Beach and although I enjoyed it once again, the friends I’d made had moved on so it was a more solitary experience.
Every afternoon the wind blew up and the windsurfers and kite surfers arrived to test their skill. What amazing strength they must have to battle the wind and the surf as they do. My favourite part was when they were getting out of their wetsuits and into dry clothes…..plenty of nicely toned cheeks on view 🙂

I have to share with you the colour of the sky one night. It was after sunset and it truly looked like the sky was on fire – spectacular.

When I left Coronation Beach I once again headed back into Geraldton (only about 30kms away) to do some shopping but this time I took the opportunity to visit the stunning HMAS Sydney Memorial. The link I have included here has a page on the elements of the memorial that is well worth reading. The memorial itself sits high on a hill overlooking Geraldton and is dedicated to the 645 lives lost when the HMAS Sydney was sunk. Visiting here is a very moving experience and it’s interesting to read about the history, the sinking and the controversy that surrounded the whole event.

The dome is made up of 645 bird images – one for each of those who died in November 1941.

Then, with my cupboards stocked and the wine cellar replenished, I showed great imagination and went back to Oakabella for a few more days to enjoy Loretta’s company – and scones!