travel
The Ford Ranger and Jayco Starcraft caravan ready to hit the road.

Gearing up to travel Oz

After heaps of preparation and planning, the time has finally come for my wife Kristy, our two daughters Zahlee and Lyla and I to hit the road. Travel

Fair to say, the excitement levels are high as we take leave for eight months to travel Australia towing a 17’ Jayco Starcraft behind our Ford Ranger.

Our journey will take us to South Australia, Western Australia, the Northern Territory and north Queensland before we head home to Bundaberg by Christmas.

While we have a travel plan, it is fairly loose, with stays in both free camps and caravan parks.

travel
Zahlee, Kristy and Lyla are pumped and ready for their all-Australian adventure.

 

Unfortunately, some locations have to be booked well in advance – particularly if you want to camp at bucket list spots along the coastline of Western Australia.

And, booking sites around school holidays is a must.

We’ll work the rest out when we’re on the road.

Many hours were spent working on the car and van with my father Gary – thanks Gaz, so much for your retirement.

A few additions to the Ranger were Rough Country drawers and a fridge slide, Rhino Rack Tradie platform, XTM Awning, new battery, a solar panel setup on the canopy for the Engel fridge freezer, new tyres and a snorkel for the dusty roads we plan on hitting.

Mounting the solar panel.

 

We also got the suspension upgraded and had the car checked over mechanically.

The challenge of course is keeping the weight to a minimum for both the car and the van.

Getting the van and car weighed by Jason at Weight Safe – weightsafe.com.au – was an extremely useful process.

He breaks down the weights – gross vehicle mass, aggregate trailer mass and tow ball – and prints a full report with crucial information for safe and legal towing… all on your own front lawn.

A lockable PVC pipe for rod storage. The ends are foam lined and the rods are wrapped in a sheet for a snug fit.

 

As the caravan had heavy-duty springs and chains already, we were able to get an ATM upgrade without having to do any additional work to it – which was a win.

A few additions to the van included a diesel heater, a lockable rod holder and a storage box.

Of course, the bearings and suspension bushes were also done, and I had a good look underneath and wrapped a few pool noodles around some of the hoses for protection.

As my daughters were born and raised around the Torres Strait, they love the fishing, camping and outdoors lifestyle.

A lot of fishing was certainly in mind when planning this trip and hopefully the family ticks off a few new species in some prime locations.

I will briefly share what I packed but, similar to most fishos, I struggled somewhat to narrow down what gear to take… or not to take.

Most of the fishing I’ll do with the kids will be land based, together with the occasional charter and tinnie hire.

I ended up taking seven rod and reel outfits – two light 2-3kg combinations for chasing bread and butter species, including squid, that will double as the kids’ rods.

The challenge was trying to limit the gear while trying to cover a range of possible fishing applications.

 

I also threw in a two-piece 6-8kg beach rod outfit, a 7’ Daiwa Saltist with an 80000-reel setup for casting slugs or poppers, a shorter Shimano TCurve Deep Jig 300 matched with a Daiwa Saltiga 20000 with plenty of stopping power, a couple of baitcasters and a spin outfit, all rigged with 30lb braid for hopefully chasing a few Top End barramundi.

Having culled a lot of gear, I still ended up with an assortment of plastics, vibes, metal slugs, hard-bodies and jigs to cover a range of applications.

I tried to limit myself to one tackle bag and a couple of small clear containers with an assortment of accessories – pliers, cutters, knives, sharpeners, trebles, lip grips and such.

Also thrown in were a gaff, cast net, crab hook, landing net, two crab dillies and two cherabin and red claw pots.

Yes, that was me cutting back on gear and trying to pack light!

We hope to provide a few updates on locations and captures along the way. travel

Tight lines!

About Matt Potter

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