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Part 1: Outback driving with 3 kids under six. Madness or adventurous mayhem?

How do you prepare to take 3 kids under six, 2,500km across the desert in a car – from Alice Springs to Perth? Will it be a self-drive holiday of a lifetime or would have travelling by plane with a friendly, patient air stewardess made more sense? We follow Katherine Seddon and her family as they make the journey through the far reaches of Central Australia and Western Australia. Katherine is a mother of three cute ratbags, an ENJO lover, wife and desert dweller. She likes sharing leaf tea with friends, camping and coming home for a hot shower.

DAY 1:

From the outset, I want to make it clear; we are not one of those crazy outback families that can just put up with anything. I live in Alice Springs, but let me tell you, I’m not cool with snakes living in my backyard, red backs in the shed or dingoes surrounding my tent. I’m not particularly thrilled that I live thousands of kilometres from the beach, or a city, or even a large town. I don’t think it’s romantic that there is no mobile reception much beyond the outskirts of town.

But today we embark on a 2,500 km trip across the middle of Australia, without mobile reception, or any towns in between, with three young kids. Voluntarily. It will take six days, and then there’s the return trip. What kind of emotional state my husband and I will be in is anyone’s guess.

We decided upon this foolishness late last year when a business trip to Perth came up. Unwilling to be without my man for anytime at all or miss out on seeing WA – a state I have not yet visited – in a moment of utter madness, I suggested that because flying is so expensive, we should just drive there instead. My more adventurous hubby jumped at the idea. Deep down I knew he would.

So here we are, looking down the barrel of four solid days of driving a red dirt road with a six-year-old, a four-year-old and a two-year-old, driving a car of questionable roadworthiness. After the fourth day of rutted dirt road, aptly named the Outback Way, we will reach Kalgoorlie where we will stay for one day and then simply pop on over to Perth, a mere 600 km away. But by then, that will be a walk in the park…surely.

Next update: Beating the Boredom while driving in the Outback with young children

P.S Leave tips or commiserations for Katherine here!

This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. Rob and Bib says:

    Love the preamble, can’t wait to hear the real story about what actually happened. We are in a beautiful house overlooking the water and with Auckland in the distance. Cool and a few showers around. You should have phoned Macka while you were travelling for your 15 minutes of fame.
    Love Mum and Dad

  2. […] you missed Katherine’s first installment just before she left visit here. Katherine is a mother of three cute ratbags, an ENJO lover, wife and desert dweller. She likes […]

  3. maureen says:

    Love to be travelling with you. (Especially since I’m now back at work.) You’ve done the hard yards already i.e. raising 3 kids and actually getting them and all the gear into the car altogether. Can’t wait to hear all the adventures and kid’s reactions to the trip as well. Will think of you all as I have a nice hot shower and climb into my nice comfy bed.
    Love Maureen & Jim

  4. Lianty Jonas says:

    I just read your three entries, so interested to read your next installment of your big trip. Love what you are doing! and from the comfort of my couch I can’t help but romantisce your big adventure. Spare a thought for all of us bound up with the trappings of a routine family life & how we long for stretches of idle time as a family. Have a fantastic trip!!!
    P.s- if your stash of “entertainment” activities runout what about collecting sticks & leaves & making a college of the “stop off”. Would be great to add to your photo album later on.

  5. Kiersten says:

    Katherine!!! I only heard about this trip from Elisha during the week. You are MAD but I LOVE it!!! Can’t wait to read the next 2 instalments. xxx

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