Taya and Tully, a couple in their late twenties, embarked on a life-changing journey just last year in 2023. Their shared passion for travel sparked a crazy decision to quit their jobs and set off on a 7-month adventure together. Taya, a primary school teacher in her hometown, and Tully, a fitter working in the mines, wrestled with the difficulty of leaving their careers behind. However, their leap of faith proved to be worthwhile, as they wouldn't trade their experiences for anything.
We were lucky enough to touch base with these two right after their travels and like you all, we also had a few questions...
When did the idea to go around Australia start and how much preparation did you do before setting off?
On our first date, Tully said his dream was to travel Australia and I said mine was to travel Europe. After a few months of dating I came round to the idea. Then the craziness of saving and getting things organised began. We had 6 months to build a decent set-up, buy a boat and save $30,000. Little did we know that was no were near enough for a 7-month trip around Australia, especially when majority of your weekly budget was going to fishing gear!
Once we both decided to run a jack of canopy set up we started to do our research. APBoxes was the canopy we both loved and still to this day are so glad we went with our gut decision, the canopy has not missed a beat. We spent months building the canopy which involved installing false walls, a battery system, a pantry set-up, clothing storage and much more. A couple of months before we left on our trip we found the ideal boat for our lap. We drove from Sydney NSW to the Gold Coast QLD to pick up the boat. Once we arrived home it was time to beef up the boat trailer and add every accessory you could think of. The day we left for our trip we were still building a feature on the boat trailer to store our canopy jack of legs. Nothing like leaving it to the last second.
What set-up are you currently running? What were some essential features that made travelling to Australia a dream?
We have a straightforward yet efficient setup that we love. It includes an Australian Performance Boxes jack-off canopy with a rooftop tent, and we also tow a small Tinnie. One of our favourite features is the ability to easily remove and attach the canopy. This is especially handy when we stay in one place for a few days and want to use the car to launch the boat. Many people on the road were impressed with the jack-off system. Luckily, we were able to store the canopy legs in the boat while travelling.
We personally did all the work to outfit the canopy. We installed the itech battery system, suspension, 80L water tank, kitchen, pantry, and clothing shelf. The items we relied on the most were:
- The jack-off canopy
- The battery system (which never let us down and rarely needed to be plugged into power)
- The Bush Company 270 awning and rooftop tent
- An on-tap shower system
- The boat
- And of course, we can't forget the coffee machine.
Best part of the trip? did you face any challenges at all?
The most common question we receive is which part of Australia we enjoyed the most. Tully and I have differing perspectives on this matter. Personally, I found the West Coast to be absolutely incredible. The fishing and camping experiences from Broome to Kalbarri were the best I've ever had. The Ningaloo Reef left me in awe. On the other hand, Tully's favourite part was the tip of Australia. The Cape was a standout for him. The Old Telegraph Track holds some of our fondest memories.
Overall, our trip was incredible! We didn't encounter too many challenges, but there were some small obstacles along the way. We experienced issues with the alternators, the car flooding multiple times, and the boat trailer needing to be welded more than once. Despite these challenges, we managed to make it back home with minimal damage.
One aspect of the trip that proved to be challenging was budgeting. We quickly realised that our initial plan of living off $1000 a week was not feasible. We didn't want to live off cheap instant noodles, so our money was being spent quickly. Towing the boat added an extra expense, but we were grateful we had it with us for most of the journey.
After five months on the road, we had visited most of our dream fishing locations. Additionally, we found ourselves running low on funds. When we reached Perth, we made the decision to sell our beloved boat. The money we received from the sale allowed us to enjoy the final two months of our trip and make it back home safely.
Now that you are back home where will the next adventure be and will you be adding anything to the set-up to make travelling easier?
We are both extremely excited to return to Cape York, but before we can do that, we have to make our way to Tassie as we missed it on our journey back. Our setup for Tassie will remain unchanged, but for Cape York, we will have to inspect our suspension and repair any cracks. However, we won't need to make many changes as our current setup has been outstanding so far!