Planning an adventure

We are currently in planning stage for our next big adventure. Planned for the end of September 2019 .

Planning for us involves a lot of coordinating. Who will come ? Emma now at University will likely stay home which means we don’t need to book the animals in for boarding. Otherwise it’s vaccinations for the cats and a cattery which Lilly actually enjoys.  Of course there is the boy’s schools to notify and teachers to discuss any work that may need to be done.

Places to visit, overnight stays, fuel stops and of course when travelling with two boys food stops.  The kids have a say in where we should go and what they might like to see, we get them to google and look for places they mike like to visit. This helps give Hamish who has Asperger’s an idea of where we will be headed and what he can expect.

The destination of this trip is the Gold coast for hopefully 3 weeks of fun , theme parks are top of the list as well as catching up with relatives and a visit to the surf outlets.  We will be driving and taking along the camper trailer which will be home for the trip.  On the way up and back the requests so far are:

Blue mountains, Canberra and the national war museum, Melbourne and the street art, Gundagai, Tamworth maybe, Coffs Harbour and the list will continue to grow. It’s looking like at least a 6 week round trip at this stage. Stewart would love to head to Fraser island so we will see if we can manage that one financially and time wise.

So in the meantime we are fine tuning the camper trailer, which we have only used twice to date, this involves day trips to MT Crawford where we an set it up while the kids and dog explore. Lots and lots and lots of googling. Studying photos and reading reviews twice. Stewart will draw out pictures take measurements and redo it all again at least three times before any modifications are made.  I’ll be in charge of the packing and working out what we will and won’t need and where it will go. With two growing boys space is at a premium and they are both hitting growth spurts again. The days of packing the car floor up to the seat have long gone as they are filled with long legs and size 11 shoes.

I have to admit the planning can be just as fun as the trip, I secretly enjoy it, it creates conversation between everyone. The learning opportunities that we create are invaluable for both boys who have learning difficulties. Emma joins in as we discuss her flying to join us somewhere for a few days. The whole family comes together to save money and plan exciting adventures.

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Who we are

I thought I’d take the time to share who we are and what makes us tick.


Tan that’s me. I’m the Mumma bear of the family, I work doing various jobs and roles at the one workplace and am lucky to have the ability to do some work from home, and work during school hours. My background is in horticulture and more recently training and educating and children services. Growing up my parents took myself and my brother camping often, I tagged along to scout camps as a toddler and have some fantastic memories of travelling and camping. I have a love of camping, Australia and dabble in a bit of cycling.

Stew is the Daddy Bear, he is the calm and quiet member of the family, Tan is the dreamer and Stew is the realist. Stew is an electrician by trade and works hard for the family, he has taken over as the cook of the family and is the brains behind the operation. He is the handyman and the Firestarter. Stew designs adjustments and modifications to our setup and then carries out the work. he is one handy man. Stew didn’t grow up with camping but has certainly taken to it.


Emma is our eldest and is currently studying at Uni which means her semesters often clash with the boys school terms and she joins us for day visits or overnight stays when camping. She also works as a kitchen hand at a local pub so gets to go camping in between shifts and uni. Emma is our dare devil and stunt man, who often comes up worse for wear, if there is an accident camping it normally involves Em. She is our animal lover and nature lover. Emma first experienced camping at 8 weeks old and loves to get away. We are starting to set Em up to camp on her own with her mates as she spreads her wings.


Hamish is our middle child, the eldest boy and currently the tallest in the family. He is the teenager of the family and is certainly letting us know he is a teenage boy. Hamish is the quieter of the crew, he loves to draw and is pretty good at it. He like most boys his age is a keen gamer and gives me the run down of the latest things game related. He is a keen football (soccer) player and is growing in skills and height every year. Hamish is often found reading a book when we go camping , unless he brings his best buddy his dog Crash then he can be found walking him and taking him for a run.


Lachlan is the baby of the family , although he has now reached double digits so doesn’t agree. he is our explorer and nature lover, he is always on the go, when camping he is off exploring and making friends, building cubbies and collecting bottle tops. Lachlan is another keen football player and has recently joined army cadets which he is really enjoying. He absolutely loves camping, hates school and would much rather run around then sit still. He is the worst sleeper . Lachie wants to know how everything works and why ? He questions everything and always keeps us on our toes.

Crash is our dog, he is a Spoodle who thinks he is a human, he loves his brothers and sister and also loves camping, he loves to keep the birds just out of the campsite. He likes to have his own camp chair around the campfire and loves all the walks he gets to go on.

Meka is our newest addition a rescue kitten. She is just about to turn one. Meka gets to come camping and walks on her harness, she is getting used to car rides and the camping life. unlike our older cat Lilly who does some sort of sideways faint when a harness is out on her and is much more comfortable at home.


We are often joined on our adventures by our best friend and family the sarge family and I will cover more of our McSarge adventures in future posts.

So that’s us our crazy crew

A train ride in Moonta

The McSarges ( us and our best friends) headed to Moonta to ride the Moonta mine railway with the Sarge family, Poppy and Nanny.

A few things to remember that we found out :

You no longer catch the train from the old train station, it departs opposite the old sweet shop.

The cost at the time was $12 an adult $5 a child and pre-schoolers and pets free. We discovered that there is conflicting information out there, the best site to get information is


We loaded up in our carts and got ready for our 40 min to 50 min train ride around the historical copper mines of Moonta. Even the Sarges family dog came for the ride

The train driver who is a volunteer gave us loads of information along the way. The kids and adults enjoyed the ride and looking at what remains from the copper mines of 1860, the mines closed down in 1923.


Another highlight for the kids was the toilets at the back of the museum, an old school. The building still has some original cubicles behind bars. Lachlan thought they were jail cells for naughty children. TEMPTING!!

Of course the old sweet shop across the road is a good stop, the original building was a post office. Its a tight squeeze but I think it was worth it to get my favourite rhubarb and custard lollies, although I had to share.

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Our new addition

We recently purchased an ozpig which we have named Steve. We first spotted the ozpig at the caravan and camping show and liked it from the start but we weren’t convinced on making the purchase. I had read up on them previously and only heard good things but Stew wasn’t so sure. Anyhow on the day we decided it wasn’t a needed purchase and left empty handed.

A few weeks later Stew found a good Fathers day deal on the ozpig at tent world it was just in time for my birthday so we couldn’t resist.

I have to say we love it, Steve has been a welcome addition to our family, giving off warmth without to much smoke and giving us more options for camp cooking, in particular of the grid camping.


We have had a few practise runs at home, and have built up our accessories along the way, it can become an expensive habit with each add on.

On our recent trip to Wallaroo we gave making a cake a go and have to say it was a success, the next night we tried a self saucing chocolate pudding again with good results. A few family favourites that we have been making at home as well as away have been a butter chicken and apricot chicken from the ozpig website and the addition of the rotisserie kit. The staple damper has been tried and tested with success also.

So the ozpig gets a big thumbs up for us, it folds down small enough to fit into the carry bag with the legs and chimney packing up inside the belly.  I have to add it does weigh a bit and the cast iron camp oven we brought to use with it is weighty also but we think its worth it for the use we get out it.



This October school holidays we packed up the boys, and headed to Wallaroo Holiday Park  

We took our MDC Camper trailer with Lachlan’s Kayak on board, for a week of fun , sun and relaxation and to catch up with our McSarge adventure buddies. We often head up for a break to Wallaroo, the staff at the holiday park go out of their way to help and assist.




The kids get spoilt for choice, with a jumping pillow to bounce away all the energy a playground and petting zoo. They can hire Karts, kayaks, paddle boards and free bikes plus the beautiful beach right on our campsite doorstep.

The amenities are always clean and the showers were great, no running out of hot water. Lachlan even named his shower cubicle and declared his appreciation of the shower to anyone who would listen.


We also got to experience the North Beach Kitchen which has recently opened on the foreshore. On our last day Tan and the boys headed to the kitchen for a much needed break from packing up. Tan enjoyed a barista made cappuccino, while Lachlan had a hot chocolate and Hamish went for an iced chocolate , of course we all had to taste a cookie. Again we meet great friendly staff who made us feel welcome and the boys asked to return next visit.


During our stay we ventured out to Moonta and Kadina. We had a couple of days where the weather wasn’t great so we took advantage to fly the boys kites, Stew and Lachlan went down to the beach to fly the kits and ended up building tank sand castles.

We all enjoyed our time away and will definitely be back again


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