January 12, 2023

Caravan Holidays

by Victoria Clayton in Australia, travel0 Comments

We lean our arms, my brother and I, on the ledge between the head rests of the front seats, resting our chins in the crooks of our elbows, our two small heads close together. It’s a hot Australian summer and we are once again off in the caravan. The Kinger’s green upholstery clings to our skin.

We’ve probably been to the beach, maybe Port Fairy or Peterborough down the Great Ocean Road or Tathra or Bega or Ulladulla on the NSW coast, or perhaps we’ve just hiked the Golden Stairs in Tasmania’s Mt Field National Park or spotted a wombat in Cradle Mountain-Lake St Claire National Park.

Maybe we’ve been on a paddle steamer on the Murray River, or perhaps fishing from a little rowing boat at Victor Harbour.

Perhaps we’ve been scavenging for opals at Coober Pedy or exploring Broken Hill or the collecting firewood for tonight’s BBQ around the ghost town of Whitecliffs.

Coober Pedy South Australia

We could have been Christmas shopping in Adelaide, Brisbane, Hobart or Sydney.

Maybe we’ve been walking at Wilpena Pound, chipping fossils out of the cliffs at Mount Martha, searching for trilobites on the beaches of South Gippsland, exploring the tessellated pavement at Eaglehawk Neck or the petrified forest at Cape Patterson.

Twelve Apostles Great Ocean Road -

We might have been wandering among the graves of those who perished in shipwrecks off Victoria’s perilous south coast, or spent a day or two exploring Port Arthur or visited one of ubiquitous local history museums with their black-and-white photos, agricultural equipment and Cherry butter churns.

Perhaps we’ve been climbing the marvellously-shaped Remarkable Rocks before saying hello to the seals on Kangaroo Island.

Maybe we’ve been browsing a second-hand bookstore in Bateman’s Bay, Lake’s Entrance or Port Campbell, stocking up on beach reading.

Perhaps we’ve been to the Beechworth Bakery or are sucking on Castlemaine Rock or said hi to the Dog on the Tuckerbox at Gundagai. Perhaps the car is sticky from buns bought from the baker’s van that does a daily round of the caravan park at Port Fairy.

Our holidays were rich experiences, packed with adventures, fun, history, nature and of course geology.

Dog on Tuckerbox Gundagai -

For every school holiday since I was about five years old Dad had hitched the caravan to the 1975 Kingswood and taken us somewhere. We also headed over to Western Australia on the India-Pacific sleeper train and hired a van there and went up to Geraldton and down to Margaret River. We flew home on TAA. Certainly there were vast swathes of the outback, far north and far north-west that we didn’t make it to in the caravan, but school holidays are only so long and Australia is a big place.

Thanks to Dad, we covered a fair bit.

When the Kinger finally packed it in and the caravan was sold we all went into grief therapy. It was the end of an era.

But it was not the end of my travels.

About the Author

Victoria Clayton

I write narrative nonfiction, essay and poetry on a range of subjects: archaeology, travel, history, thinking about the past, ancient figurines, what makes a well-lived life?

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