Outback Traveller Magazine - Featured Family - The Humphreys
Family Names and Ages
Gavin and Christine Humphreys
Miller – 10
Joseph – 8
Ellis – 5
Car: 2014 GX 200 Series Toyota Landcruiser chopped with a custom canopy.
Camper Trailer: 2012 Australian Off Road Odyssey, hard-floor camper trailer with a family annex.
Planning to spend: May 2019 to February 2020 on the road.
Where is home: Sunshine Coast, Qld.
What leads us to travel Australia?
Gavin introduced me to camping when we first started dating. He comes from a background of family camping holidays and has always enjoyed 4wdriving and modifying his cars, to ensure they could manage whatever track he wanted to adventure down.
We took our first holiday together from the Sunshine Coast up the inland track to Cooktown, back when a canvas canopy and a dome tent was all we needed. After the arrival of our first child, Miller, we decided a tent wasn’t going to cut it and were fortunate enough to borrow a soft-floor camper trailer from my Dad for a few trips to Stradbroke Island and the Gympie Music Muster. I called it the ‘glorified tent on wheels’ and I still have bad memories of trying to get the sand and mud out of that floor!
Following the birth of our second child, Joseph, and the decision to go into business for ourselves, it was evident that from then on camping was always going to be our main type of family holiday. Gavin was working away on average two-thirds of the year, working from one contract to the next, sometimes even day to day. The concept of booking in a holiday at a resort or an overseas trip was simply impossible.
Gav has always had high standards for his vehicles and this extended to the camper trailer of his dreams. After a few months of investigation, it was decided we would have our camper trailer custom built by Australian Off Road, Caloundra, QLD (back then, they had not long ventured into the caravans they are so well known for today).
The Odyssey has a hard floor (super easy to keep sand-free), gas hot water and we optioned for the large family annex to fit the kids as we always knew we’d end up with three.
Our dream to travel Australia was always just that … A dream. The concept of packing up and leaving our business, the home and family behind was something that always felt out of reach, especially being the business owners. It was also something we had never actually discussed, as our day-to-day cycle of life; work-debt-kids just wouldn’t allow it. It wasn’t until we had three separate family friends head off on their own lap, that we really started thinking we had to make this happen for our family.
What leads you to explore the outback?
We have a desire to escape the busyness of life and for us that means no traffic jams, no deadlines, no rush. The hectic schedule of an average family of five and the societal demands upon us have been slowly deteriorating the vision we had for our family. We want our children to explore, investigate, care for others and become life-long learners who seek out understanding.
The outback of Australia will become their schoolroom, no text books, no tedious maths homework. They will be immersed in history and culture, they will develop a deep sense of empathy for our communities, farmers and fauna. We can only hope they will become grateful for the lives they live on the Sunshine Coast surrounded by water, fertile soils and the endless options for school, work and play.
What are you most looking forward to and why?
We have heard so much about the Gibb River Road and this is definitely the area that we are most looking forward to. Gav is keen to test out the capabilities of our 200 Series Landcruiser with the long list of extras that he keeps telling me are “necessary for survival and fuel economy”. We plan to spend at least 4 weeks along the Gibb, soaking up the sights, new experiences and the incredible outback night sky.
We will head down the West Australian coast, across the Nullabor and once we get to South Australia we plan to travel upwards. Exploring Lake Eyre before hitting up the Oodnadatta Track on our way to Uluru. Then after the central outback fun is done, we’ll cruise due East heading back home to the Sunny Coast through Western Qld. We are effectively missing the southern states on our ‘lap’, however that just means we will have to plan another one very soon!
Best advice you’ve been given for the outback
• Pack an impact drill to assist with hammering in the camper pegs
• Don’t keep a tally of how much you spend on alcohol
• Let go of daily showering ideals
• Spend longer in the Northern- Territory and Western Australia than you initially plan to.