2016: Britain Votes to Leave the European Union – Smiffs vote to leave Western Australia!



  • 1700   Gelderland accepts Gregorian calendar; yesterday is June 30, 1700
  • 1771   James Cook sails Endeavour back to Downs, England
  • 1797   Introduction of the merino sheep to Australia
  • 1843   Mormon leader Joseph Smith says God allows polygamy
  • 1902   Australian parliament agrees to female suffrage
  • 1930   Bradman out for 334 in Test Cricket at Headingley, 383 mins, 46 fours
  • 1954   President Eisenhower put forward a plan for an interstate highway system
  • 1970   Thor Heyerdahl crosses Atlantic on raft Ra II, arrives in Barbados from Morocco in 57 days
  • 1997    Term Grey Nomad is coined by ABC documentary filmmakers
  • 2011    About 2.6 million trips were taken by 55 to 70 year-old domestic travellers in campervans, caravans, tents and cabins
  • 2016    Ray and Jude set off from Perth
  • 2017    365 days on the road…….and still laughing together


Collage FamilyCollage Tasmania

Caretaker sign
So here we are 12 months later at RiverBreeze Caravan and Cabin Park, Smithton, Tasmania!

what have we learnt

  1. Proper use of the GPS! We are specifically talking about the type of vehicle you identify that you are driving. The TOMTOM pic below shows car with caravan. Our Hema HN7 does not have that option. It has car, bus or truck, so we just chose car. However this led to some very hairy situations and many a cross word! It was only back in May as we were heading to Melbourne that I found the option which literally saved our marriage and our travels. I was thinking about some folk we met who lived in and drove a converted bus.  So I simply chose bus and oh boy what a difference that made to our safety and our sanity. Ok, some of you, maybe many of you, would have tried that much much earlier or even knew to key in bus. However we didn’t so for anyone else out there like us……….choose bus from day one!!!
  2. A comfortable mattress – we had a relatively new memory foam mattress on our bed at home which we loved. When we sold up and moved into the caravan we swapped it with the foam one that came with the van. It made such a difference to our quality of sleep. A year down the track we are still saying, “oh I love my bed!”
  3. Think out of the box – there are so many unexpected opportunities that have come our way over the last 12 months. Caretaking at RiverBreeze is the most unexpected and it is so much fun.
  4. Relax and Enjoy – take days off to relax and take time to do laundry, cleaning, and cook leisurely. Walk places, play card games, or simply read a book outdoors. Don’t feel as if you need to constantly be sightseeing and spending money to have an experience.
  5. LAUGH!!!!!!!!!!! No matter what, always laugh, always look for the silver lining, always look on the bright side of life!






Life in Smithton, North West Tasmania

We have been at RiverBreeze Caravan and Cabin Park for seven weeks now and are thoroughly enjoying our time here. The park isn’t too busy with tourists at present as we are in the early part of winter. However Ray is keeping very busy by helping Greg (the owner) with a variety of projects to enhance the park.  This is keeping Ray quite fit as is their regular early morning cycling.

The weather has been up and down with a mixture of sunny and wet/windy days but that is to be expected in winter! This has provided a vastly changing landscape out of the caravan window and below are a selection of pics taken on site over recent weeks.

We are situated on the tidal Duck River which is full of birdlife. I am getting great enjoyment from photographing them. I have even been fortunate enough to see the white form of the Grey Goshawk which is on the Tasmanian Endangered Species list.

Some of the other birds seen regularly include, Royal Spoonbill, Great Egret, White Faced Heron, Night Heron, Pelican, Pacific Gull and a variety of Cormorants and ducks.

A weekend in Mount Gambier

The weekend before heading to Tasmania we stayed in Mount Gambier, South Australia. Jude’s mum Ess was born there and we actually arrived on what would have been her 94th birthday. The next day was Mother’s Day.  We immediately went to The Blue Lake which Ess spoke so fondly about for so many years. It is beautiful and we can fully appreciate why she loved it so much. Happy birthday mum!

We watched the most amazing documentary called Volcano which showed the incredible story of the eight major eruptions that created Mount Gambier. This is how the Blue Lake and other smaller lakes were formed. Check out the link to a preview – https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=iy93M5w5qV0

Image may contain: outdoor, water and nature

Image may contain: sky and outdoor

Image may contain: sky, plant, tree, outdoor, nature and waterWe had an amazing time exploring Mount Gambier. An unexpected but delightful way to remember mum on her birthday/mother’s day weekend. Pics are of The Cave Garden, The Main Corner Gallery and the Umpherston Sinkhole sunken garden.