Meet some Aussies Travelling Australia Full Time

Travelling Australia full time on a lap is a bucket list dream for many Aussies, never more so than in the last two years. Today we introduce you to some full-time Aussie travellers who have plenty to share from their time on the road. If, like us, you have become curious about what life on a lap of Australia is really like, read on and then follow them on their websites for more.

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Andrew and Peta from Top Wire Traveller

Andrew and Peta Murray have been travelling around Australia full-time for four years now in their unique truck camper. They’re experienced remote and outback travellers who love the serenity and isolation of the bush. Their Outback Travel website, Top Wire Traveller, provides expert advice on outback travel destinations, how to prepare for outback travel and reviews of 4×4 accessories suitable for the rough roads of Outback Australia.

We sat down with Andrew and Peta to learn more about them.

How long have you been on the road?
We’ve been travelling full-time for four years now. In 2009 – 2010, we travelled around Australia with our two kids in a Pajero and a soft floor camper trailer.

When we returned home, our priorities had changed. Neither of us was happy with the daily grind. So we decided to start travelling full time once our youngest child had been out of high school for a year. And we did it! We have no plans to stop anytime soon. There’s always something new to discover.

Isuzu 4WD truck with a Wedgetail slide-on camper
Isuzu 4WD truck with a Wedgetail slide-on camper

What vehicle are you using?
Our vehicle is unique, one of a kind. It’s an Isuzu 4WD truck with a Wedgetail slide-on camper. The truck allows us to carry everything we need for full-time living. The Wedgetail camper gives us plenty of space, plus a few luxuries like a gas heater and an internal shower.

Yes, it’s slow, and the truck can be rough on bad roads. But we’re in no hurry, and we love the panoramic view from up high. The best part is, we don’t need to tow anything.

Who are you travelling with?
Each other! We prefer to travel by ourselves. This gives us the freedom to do whatever we want. We meet fantastic people all around the country… and plenty of interesting characters, especially in the outback.

During the pandemic, we missed the different perspectives which overseas travellers provide. They see our country from the outside looking in. This helps us to both appreciate what an incredible country we live in and to see its shortcomings more clearly.

What will people find on your blog?
When researching a place to visit, you’ll generally find some information online. However, it’s often brief and incomplete. We fill the gap. Our aim is to provide detailed information on outback and regional travel destinations. And as we re-visit places, we update the related articles.

Top Wire Traveller also covers:

  • Safety and survival in the outback
  • How to prepare for long-term travel
  • Product reviews and how-to guides related to outback travel and your vehicle set-up
  • A whole lot of information about our truck camper set-up, which is always a popular topic.

We’ve also become acutely aware of the massive land degradation and environmental impacts happening in the name of “progress”.

This is interwoven with the displacement and dispossession of our First Nations people. It’s shameful that we as a nation continue to turn our backs on the oldest continuous culture in the world.

We try to make people aware of what’s really happening in their own backyard and how much the landscape has changed since colonisation.

What’s your favourite part of Australia?
Whatever state we’re in right now, Australia is an incredible place. There’s so much variety – from desert to rainforest and everything in between.

Our favourite country is the desert country… the colours, the subtle changes, the fragile landscape, and the incredible native creatures which live and thrive in such extreme conditions.

Your number one tip for people planning a similar journey?
Preparation, preparation, preparation, always be prepared for the worst. The Australian outback can be a hostile place if you’re not adequately prepared.

People still die in the outback. The slightest incident in the outback can quickly become a life-threatening situation if you’re not fully prepared. If you follow the safety and survival guidelines on our website, you’ll be off to a good start.

If you want to follow Andrew and Pete, check out their Facebook page – I highly recommend this if a lap of Australia is on your bucket list. They are generous with their knowledge, and you will learn much from their experiences.

Mel and Brendan from All Around Oz

If you are planning your own lap, you have likely come across Mel and Brendan before. They founded the Facebook group Planning a Lap of Australia and the website All Around Oz which they have since sold, however when we decided to write this article, we knew they needed to be part of it.

How long have you been on the road?
We have been on the road full time since September 2019. Our intention is to travel and work our way around Australia for as long as possible.

What vehicle are you using?
At this time, we have a 2013 Mazda BT50, towing a NextGen Greyline 19ft6 caravan, which we had custom built to our specification. It’s fully set up for free camping with three 150-watt solar panels, two 100AH lithium batteries, two 95 litre freshwater tanks and a 95-litre grey water tank.

Mazda tow vehicle outside country pub in rural Australia

All on a full off-road chassis, so as we can get into the out of the way spots we love.

Who are you travelling with?
I travel with my husband of 20 years, Brenden. In fact, we have been travelling together for over 25 years.

What will people find on your website?
On our website, you will find a mix of posts covering destinations and the best things to see and do in the places we visit. We share advice on living in a caravan and life on the road and cover technical tips and advice on safe travel.

Brendan and Mel - Founders of All Around Oz
Brendan and Mel from All Around Oz

Which is your favourite Australian state?
Our favourite Australian state so far would have to be Queensland. It covers such a vast area and is so diverse. The outback is vast and stunningly beautiful. When you hit the coast, it has some of the best beaches and rainforests anywhere in the world.

Your number one tip for people planning a similar journey?

Our number one tip for anyone starting out is definitely less is more. You will be surprised how very little you need. This will also help ensure that you are not travelling with an overloaded rig.

Meet Manda, Daniel and Aria from Overland Exposure

We first came across the family from Overland Exposure when we were researching solutions for the notoriously lousy internet situation in regional and rural Australia. Their website was really helpful, and we have been following them on YouTube ever since. Today, they share a little about their travels.

How long have you been on the road?
We have been on the road for 12 months now, and we don’t ha e an end date; for now, we plan to keep going for as long as we can.

What vehicle are you using?
Our setup is an Iveco Daily 4×4 Truck (set up as a camper) and a 23′ Retreat Fraser semi-off road caravan. We also have a Sur-Ron Electric Motorbike that comes along for the journey too inside the truck for additional transport and off-road exploring. 

  Iveco Daily 4x4 Truck  set up in camp
Iveco Daily 4×4 Truck

Who is travelling with you?
Our family is made up of myself, Manda, my partner Daniel, and 4yr old daughter Aria. 

What type of content do you produce?
On our YouTube channel, you’ll find all of our weekly episodes of where we have travelled. There are over 80 so far! Our videos include tips to help anyone planning their own adventure. They include things we’ve learnt, amazing places to stay, visit, eat at or explore. We keep it very real and show the full story of life on the road.

The Overland Exposure family
Daniel, Aria and Manda

We also have videos of our set-up or helpful guides for van life on the road.

Our website is a little different, which focuses more on life on the road blogs, product reviews and helpful advice. We also have a link to our other business, which is landscape photography artworks and links to awesome products we recommend for van life. 

So far, which is your favourite Australian state?
This is hard as we have basically just spent our 12 months on the road in QLD (a tiny bit of NSW at the beginning), and we absolutely loved it, so although it is mostly our only state so far, it’s a great one! There’s something forever one! 

Subscribe to their Youtube Channel to stay up to date or view one of 80 of the videos in their library.

Meet Lindsay – The Frugal Frolicker

I have been following Lindsay’s articles for years; Charles and I have a similar travel style and always find good tips on her website. They are the first to admit they went into their lap with a little less than the ideal amount of planning. Today she shares the good and bad of life on the road when you head out without much preparation.

How long have you been on the road?
My partner and I have been on the road for 10+ months, doing a clockwise lap around the eastern half of Australia with our Jeep Grand Cherokee and a 15 foot Roma pop-top caravan. 

caravan and campsite with the Frugal Frolicker
Lindsay and Pete, with their hardworking pop-up caravan

What vehicle are you using?
Had we known how long we’d be travelling for or how hot it would end up being, I think we would have taken more time to research and save up for a better setup as both vehicles are old and definitely past their prime.

The Jeep struggles to tow the caravan uphill, especially on a hot day (e.g. we had to pull over on the side of the road on the hilly portion of the road to Cape Tribulation to let it cool down for an hour – not ideal!). There’s also not a ton of storage space with a pop-top caravan, so most of the time, our stuff is just spread out EVERYWHERE and is a perpetual mess no matter how often I try to tidy it.

What will people find on your website?
We’re also working while on the road, so we’re travelling very slowly and spending at least a week at each stop – that gives us time to explore and get work done. One of the things I do is keep up with my travel blog, Frugal Frolicker, where I’ve been posting monthly recaps of our trip in addition to the usual coverage of outdoor travel adventures around Australia. 

Which is your favourite Australian state?
My favourite Aussie state is probably the one we’re not visiting on this trip – Western Australia! We wanted to save that for when we eventually upgrade our vehicles, as we know we’ll be spending extended time there at some stage. I also have a soft spot for South Australia – I think it’s the most underrated state, but it’s absolutely perfect for road tr ps and getting off the beaten path.

Your number one tip for people planning a similar journey?
For anyone thinking of doing a lap of Australia, I’d recommend investing in good vehicles rather than the cheapest or easiest option – you’ll enjoy the experience a lot more, and it’s very worth having a nicer caravan if you’re going to be living in it for a long time.

Follow them on Instagram to keep up with their journey.

Meet Shandos, Joel and Schnitzel from Travelnuity

Shandos and Joel Cleaver are good friends of ours, and in 2021 while they were “stuck in Australia” they took off on a lap around the country with Schnitzel, their adorable miniature dachshund. If you are wondering what it’s like to travel with your dog, you should follow these guys. They are experts at sharing their adventures with the most important person in their family.

How long have you been on the road?
We spent nearly five months in the middle of 2021 completing a Big Lap around Australia, dodging lockdowns and border closures along the way.

What vehicle are you travelling in?
We bought a 2003 Mercedes Sprinter that had already been fully converted into a campervan, complete with solar panels, fridge, sink, cupboards and a convertible bed in the back. It certainly looked nice and got a lot of attention, but it wasn’t always the most practical vehicle for a long road trip. In particular, it didn’t handle unsealed roads well, which limited some of the places we could visit. Luckily, it only broke down once!

Schinitzel and the campervan on the Nullarbor Plain
Joel and Shandos spent five months in their 2003 Mercedes Sprinter

Who are you travelling with?
My husband and I completed our Big Lap with our dog, a Miniature Dachshund called Schnitzel. He’s a veteran road-tripper who’s travelled with us on previous Australian trips, plus around Europe and the USA. 

What will people find on your website?
Our site, Travelnuity, is focused on dog-friendly travel. During our Big Lap, I put together dog-friendly travel guides for lots of Australian destinations. There are plenty of people completing Big Laps with their dogs, and while pets aren’t allowed to visit many spots, there’s still a surprising number of dog-friendly attractions in Australia. 

Sausage dog in the outback
Learn more about doing the Big Lap with your dog on Travelnuity.

Your favourite Australian state?
Western Australia is an amazing destination. However, it’s best visited with a 4WD. Otherwise, you miss out on some of the top sights, such as the Gibb River Road through the Kimberley.

Your number one tip for people planning a similar journey?
Don’t be held back by other people’s opinions on what a Big Lap means. Many people think you need a year or more, but it depends on your pace. In particular, if you skip parts of Australia, you can complete a memorable road trip in just a few months.

You can stay up to date with Shandos, Joel and Schitnzel on their Facebook Page.

Got a question? Head over to our Australia Travel Tips Facebook Group and ask a local.

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