TAWK Featured Family -
'Gottke's Take On Australia'

1.  About you

We are a family of three from the Gold Coast, QLD, Tristan, Sara and our daughter Billie who turns 2 in Feb. We've been on the road since the end of March (almost 9 months) travelling in our '88 Patrol and towing a Cub camper trailer.

2.   Why did you make your decision to TAWK?

Why Not, we say!! But seriously we figured now was a better time than ever, We didn't have to worry about school or anything for Billie so nothing was holding us back. I was on maternity leave still and we figured rather then chew into our savings while I wasn't working and staying at home, lets hit the road and explore this country of ours.

3.   How did you get organised and how did you prepare?

Our decision to TAWK was very spontaneous so we can't pretend that years of preparation went into it. After we made the decision to go we quickly went in search of our home on the road and got hold of our Cub Camper, next Tristan spent the next few months fitting the camper and car with everything we needed for the trip.   After renting out our home, Tristan resigned from his job and we took everything on a quick 3 day "test run" before hitting the road!

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4.  What has been your biggest joy?

We feel extremely lucky to have been able to have some amazing quality family time since being on the road with nothing getting in the way of it like work, housework and the busy lifestyle we led at home! Having this time to watch Billie grow up and especially the bond she has formed with Tristan has been very special to us.

5. What has been your biggest challenge and how did you overcome it?

We've been pretty lucky actually without too many challenges along the way! Probably the only thing that comes to mind is having to adjust to life with your wife/husband 24/7!! It's something that didn't even cross our minds before we left. It can definitely be testing on the marriage lol! I guess we've learnt to try and give each other a break when we can.

6.   Where have you enjoyed the most and Where disappointed you the most?

We absolutely fell in love with Western Australia, it's been our highlight to date and after spending 5 months in the state it was sad to leave. The WA national parks are amazing and some of our favourite spots are in WA including Cape Leveque, Coral Bay, Cape Range NP and of course the Kimberley.

There's been no places we've been particularly disappointed with, I guess just some places have it and some don't.

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7.   How did you get organised with schooling, what did/do you do and how did you come to that decision?

We are extremely lucky that Billie is not yet at school so we've avoiding schooling on the road! But I must commend the families doing it as we've met many along the way. You would defiantly need to have patience and great time management to squeeze it into a busy life on the road.

8.   What surprised you most about the trip?

We have been amazed to find out that soo soo many other families are getting out there and TAWK'ing! The amount we have met is phenomenal, we had no idea we'd be getting the opportunity to talk to this many other families and making lifelong friends along the way!

9.   What would be three pieces of advice to give to future TAWKers?

Our advice to others would be:
  1. Set a realistic budget!! We really had no idea when we left and our weekly budget went through the roof quickly. But it is, what it is, it just may mean you have to cut your trip short, or save more initially.  (We have a budget sheet/tracker that you may consider - see link here - TAWK comment)
  2. We recommend having an off-road camper or caravan that way you don't miss out on those harder to reach places. Your options really are limitless with an off-road rig.
  3. Be self-sufficient! Invest in the right gear that will allow you to stay in a national park or free/cheap camp for an extended time without the need for power or water. It really is very easy to do if you're prepared!

10.   How do you think that this adventure has changed your family?

This trip has really helped us appreciate the simple things more and realise that we don't need a pile of "stuff" to be happy! Before we left it was daunting to leave with soo little, but you don't need much to be happy and live a fulfilling life.

If you would like to follow more of our story, then please 'like' and follow our Facebook Page Gottke's Take on Australia.

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