Outback Traveller Magazine - Featured Family - Truck Travel Life
In this article for Outback Traveller Magazine we meet the adventurous family from Truck Travel Life. The are travelling Oz in their NPS 300 truck and Bushtracker caravan sharing their experiences as they go.
1. Family names and ages?
We are the Cudmore family. Brent – 37, Gemma – 34, Beau – 6, Flynn – 4 and Baby Arlo
2. Travel set up?
We travel in an Isuzu NPS 300 4x4 crew cab truck and a 20ft Bushtracker caravan.
3. How long have you been caravanning for?
We left home on February 1st 2018 so we have been on the road full time for 16 months now.
4. Planned time on the road?
When we initially started planning our ‘lap of Oz’, it was always with the intention of spending 12 months on the road and just playing it by ear. We wanted to see how the travel life suited both us and the kids before we put a specific timeframe on it. Brent and I had both wrapped up our businesses, our house was rented out for the next 12 months at least and we had 1 year before we needed to make schooling arrangements for our eldest son Beau.
However, I think it took around 6 weeks after we left home, when we all started relaxing into this new way of life, that we quickly realised that 12 months was not going to be anywhere near long enough. Well it has now been over 16 months and we can’t see us setting an end date any time soon.
Whilst we are all still enjoying this travelling lifestyle and our time on the road, we will continue to live it!
5. What lead you to travel Australia?
The decision to pack up our lives and hit the road to travel Australia was an easy one for us. It was something we had always talked about doing once we had kids and then after we nearly lost our first son to a heart condition at 9 days old, we knew that there were no guarantees in life and if we wanted to do it, it would be soon. We were actually in the middle of selling our home in 2017 when the property we were trying to purchase fell through, we were suddenly in limbo and realised that this was our chance. We hit the road 6 months later.
6. First impressions of the outback?
Brent and I both already had a deep love for outback Australia after our time travelling around the country back in 2004, our very first trip to Cape York in far north Queensland had us absolutely hooked. This time around travelling with the kids, we knew that the outback would once again call us, and we had to be equipped to get off the sealed roads and out into the raw country that we loved.
Our first experience in the outback this trip would have to be our time spent travelling through Tibooburra, Cameron’s Corner, Innamincka and the Oodnadatta track. The first few nights into this particular leg we were completely blown away by the sunsets we were treated to and the vast remoteness of these areas. The colour contrasts of the outback must truly be seen to be believed, those that have been will understand that these impressions are hard to put into words. There is something incredibly special and sacred about these parts of Australia.
7. What led you to want to explore the outback?
Having travelled previously, we knew that we didn’t just want to stick to the main roads and places we had already been. We wanted to explore all that Australia had to offer and that meant heading off road, away from the crowds and onto the lesser travelled path. I guess in a way we also wanted the challenge of the outback, we had the setup to get to these remote places, so we had no reason not to head out of our comfort zone. We wanted to show our boys how differently life can be lived, and outback Australia certainly gave all of us the perfect example of that.
8. Your outback highlight in detail?
The trip I mentioned above to Innamincka was without a doubt a huge highlight for us.
However, another amazing outback experience for us all was our time spent in Alice Springs where we also attended the Finke Desert Race for the boys first time. We had expected to only spend a few days in Alice before heading back across to Queensland to tackle Cape York again. But it only took 3 days in this magic place to realise that we needed a lot longer than this, this place was something special and we wanted to soak up as much time here as we could.
We spent our days visiting the local gorges (our favourite was easily Glen Helen Gorge, this place looks like a painting!), the beautiful West MacDonnell ranges and the many natural Gaps such as Simpsons & Emily gaps. These places are so special, not just because of their significance to Australia’s indigenous ancestors, but because of the raw beauty that they hold.
The scenery around this outback town is honestly breathtaking. We have spoken to quite a few other travelers since our first time in Alice about the ‘heart of Australia’ and everyone says the same thing. Its kind of hard to put your finger on it or put your feelings towards this spectacular place into words, but it draws you in and makes it hard to leave. And for anyone that hasn’t heard of the Finke Desert Race, I strongly suggest you do yourself a favour and add it to your bucket list. Basically, it is an off road 2 day race for motorbikes, cars, buggies and quads through the epic desert country from Alice Springs to the small community of Aputula (Finke) and back again. It is the epitome of being in the outback.
The red dirt, the desert sunsets, the constantly burning campfire and team that with the smell of motorbikes and the roar of buggies, it is bloody epic. Look it up and check it out, you absolutely won’t regret it!
9. Your personal biggest travel tip for the outback?
Be prepared for sure. If you don’t have the upmost respect for the outback and the remoteness & vastness of these places, you could end up in not a great situation. If something goes wrong out here, whether that be to your vehicle or yourself or your family, something that might not be a big deal in suburbia, could be life threatening in the outback. In saying that, there are a lot more people tackling these remote areas these days so generally there will be a friendly fellow traveler around to help you out.
But don’t rely on this alone. Make sure you are prepared in the way of your setup, the food and water you carry, the medical provisions you have on board and although we ourselves didn’t this time, I would strongly recommend carrying an EPIRB for total piece of mind.
Oh, and a fly net, do not forget your fly nets!