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Road tripping through the Australian twilight

With its amazing landscapes, unique wild animals, beautiful cities, and vast unpopulated wilderness as far as the eye can see, Australia has a captivating, truly fascinating appeal. Pierre and I (Anna) are two people simply crazy about nature, fanatics about hiking, and forever addicted to adventure travel. For us, wandering through Australia has been a longtime dream, living out of a van, too. We left without any real pre-planned itinerary in mind, just letting go and enjoying the unexpected, which is how we usually like to travel.

April 16 2019

Backpacking and trekking

Barbecuing along the water’s edge – Glenaire, Australia.

A seven-month road trip in a van

We named our indefatigable road warrior, “Byron,” a small converted VW van. It offered us the freedom and independence to explore the hidden gems of Australia’s great outdoors. We took our time, traveling at whatever pace we decided to set, to see the sights, enjoy meeting with locals, and make real connections with the people we encountered. We adopted a “less is more” philosophy, leisurely venturing from one place to another, covering less distance than we could have, but taking full advantage of those places we did visit. Our road trip from Cairns to Melbourne took seven months.

The essentials for road tripping in Australia.

October 2016, spring begins in Australia, and while the temperatures are warm, the sun still sets early. At 19:00 (7pm), it is already dark. Our campfire and headlamps allow us to enjoy an evening barbecue after sunset.

 Work, play, relax…

Searching for the ultimate sunrise and sunset

I have a soft spot for sunrises and sunsets. Sure, both are an everyday occurrence, but the truly exceptional, those that leave a lasting impression, are rare. On this particular evening, the setting sun provided us with an incredible light show that we admired from the Balconies in Grampians National Park. While in general, reaching the area’s breathtaking natural landscapes and vistas requires a long approach hike, we all know that this type of effort heightens the experience and enhances the reward. Far off in the distance, the backlit hills and topography are draped in so many wonderful shades of orange. Once the sun has set, the sky’s magical glow compels us to stay until the day finally gives in to the falling night. We usually make our way back to the van in total darkness, down steep terrain, but without fear thanks to our headlamps, which are always in our backpacks as a safety backup.

During our seven months of exploration, discovery, observation, and sharing, Australia taught us a lot. We left the country “down under” knowing that we will be back soon! In the meantime, we plan to road trip through the Alps and the beautiful mountains of France in our new van.

Contemplating the sunset from the Balconies.

Other nighttime adventures: a seaside cave, looking for platypus by canoe, wandering through a forest of Sequoias. 

A nighttime seaside hike.

Never without my Petzl headlamp: a morning hike, writing in my travel journal, cooking outside.

Sitting top of Byron, watching the shooting stars.

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