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Roadtrip Australia: Van-Tastic Tasmania - Dara & Catherine Americans Dara and Catherine embark on the ultimate Aussie roadtrip as they motor around Tasmania with Van-Tastic Adventures for six action-packed, free-wheeling weeks of adventure.


AUSTRALIA | Wednesday, 23 December 2009 | Views [1249]

The thought of three days of traveling to Australia was bitter sweet. We would be arriving in one of the most amazing places on the planet, but would have to endure two airplanes for a total of 22 hours.  

We slept about 10 to avoid some serious jet lag, and had six more to go.  The idea of moving halfway across the globe hadn’t hit us just yet.  

Dara’s good friend Warren was to pick us up.  She hadn’t seen him in almost three years--they met on a tour through Europe in 2007 and had stayed in touch ever since.   We noticed him standing in the corner anxiously looking for us.  Running up from behind, we laughed and hugged, still in disbelief that we had arrived in Australia.

Our first mission was to meet with the Van-tastic crew at Traveller’s Autobarn.  As we walked into the garage we immediately locked eyes with the man we had been looking for, Geoff the van.  He wasn’t ready for us just yet, still needing a shower after Tim’s travels through Victoria.  

We stepped inside to check out our new home for the next six weeks.  It was all that we had imagined and more.  We giggled anxiously as we stared at the driver’s seat on the right and the manual stick that stuck out to the left.  Lucky for us, and Geoff, we still had a few days in Melbourne before we set sail to Tassie, giving us time to work on our manual driving skills on the opposite side of the road. WOWZA!

After several days of driving practice Dara wasn’t able to befriend the stick or clutch. Catherine was destined to drive Geoff solo as Dara kicked back and enjoyed the ride, all the while ensuring Catherine kept her foot on the clutch, mind the left and dodge adventurous animals crossing the road.

We finally picked up the man of our dreams. The first time behind Geoff’s wheel was nerve wracking.  Both Dara and Catherine’s stomachs did flips and flops as they traveled through the busy city streets of Melbourne.  Small beads of sweat drip down both their brows as the girls and Geoff plowed through peak hour. Thankfully we received more cheers and whistles than honks and F-You’s. One guy even shouted, “Welcome to Melbourne!”

If we had an Aussie dollar for every time Catherine stalled we’d be millionaires.Check out the video!

It was time to kiss our friends at Autobarn good-bye and set sail to Tassie. We gave ourselves plenty of time to arrive at the Port, knowing something would go wrong, and as we suspected, it did.  We parked Geoff and went through our belongings only to realize we had left our internet USB back at our friend Emily’s. We had to jump on a tram and switch to a train in order to retrieve our much needed world-wide-web access.

What’s a road trip without a few hiccups, right?

After retrieving our much needed modem, we downed a quick Strongbow to calm our nerves.  We headed back to our beloved Geoff and hitched a ride to Tassie on the massive ferry boat, “Spirit of Tasmania.” Approaching the gate to pick up our tickets the guy at the window said, “I heard about you guys.”  We laughed as he told us they figured we’d get lost and miss the boat. Gee, thanks guys!

Unfortunately, Catherine couldn’t quite make it up the ramp to board the ship.  A nice Aussie bloake in a neon vest and walky-talky in hand jumped in the van and helped us on.

We kicked back with a nice bottle of Shiraz Cabernet and stared off into the sun-kissed horizon in our plush, ocean-view reclining chairs.

Look out Tassie, the Yanks are coming! 


Tags: australia, campervan, dara & catherine, road trip, tasmania, travel, van-tastic adventures, vantastic, world nomads, worldnomads.com


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