About me

Last day of a 2000km hike, a double bibbulmun track 2021, looking scruffy.

In 2014 I sold up and swapped my sedentary life in the burbs for a life that flowed a little differently and since then I’ve been trying to “live experiences”. I’ve traveled all over country, dug gemstones in almost every state then carved some and polished them to be sparkling gems. I’ve hiked and climbed mountains in Tasmania climbing 3 mountains in 3 days. I camped on the edge of the great Australian bight and walked through ancient meeting grounds where stone tools littered the ground. Woke up next to the Snowy river, watched the sun set over the Murray river and camped in the dry bed of the Todd river near Alice springs. Spent weeks following the wildflowers of Western Australia as the flowers bloomed from Broome down to the south coast. Slept through a wild lightning storm camped in the mud at Cooper Pedy, drove across the Tanami desert and was moved to tears at the power felt walking around Uluru.

I’ve through hiked 1000km of the Bibbulmun track then 3 years later did it again twice, hiking for over 100 days and covering more than 2000km. I bought an empty van and transformed it into a luxurious little mobile home, then lived and traveled in it for almost a year. Right now at this very moment, I’ve spent the last 6 weeks hunting orchids across the south west of W.A., I’ve found rare and unique orchids in out of the way places spending my days wandering through the bush photographing the beauty I find.

There’s still so much to do so much to experience, a wet season in Darwin, a winter in Tasmania, living in a house boat on one of our rivers, and so many things I haven’t thought of yet.

 

 

8 Comments

  • Reply Jurie Prinsloo January 20, 2019 at 4:58 pm

    Hi Joel,
    I love your photos, beautiful. You are living my dream, enjoy it.
    My wife and I love to travel as well and enjoy camping very much. Photos taken by me is definitely not in your league but more as a quick reference to the past travels.

    • Reply joel January 23, 2019 at 8:25 am

      Thanks Jurie. Keep at the photos, it’s just practice, practice, practice, and taking many thousands of dud photos. lol

  • Reply Ian January 27, 2019 at 1:24 pm

    Hey Joel,
    I love reading your stories and following what you do. I have a fascination with troopys and have been keen on buying one to live out of for quite some time.
    Did you find the troopy too hard to live out of? What were the pros and cons.
    I’m not sure if i’m stuck in a fantasy of a troopy and freedom when in reality it’s impractical. The solution would be to just hire one and see how it’s really like. But if you have a chance i’d love to hear your feedback. Obviously you’ve moved away from the troop to something bigger.
    Cheers

    • Reply joel January 28, 2019 at 6:43 am

      G’day Ian,
      I loved the troopy and I still miss it, and I imagine that I’ll have another one at some stage in the future because as an all purpose vehicle they are great. I guess it all depends on what you need from it as to how well it will suit you. I’m in a situation where I don’t have a base or home to store things, I used the caravan for this but got tired of going back for it. If you retain a base where you have things stored then the troopy is great, it’s small and with 4×4 can go anywhere, it never let me down but for a car known as being unbreakable, I spent a lot of money on it, I’ll go into more detail in a post coming soon.
      Weight was an issue, I had to get a GVM upgrade to be legal, it’s surprising how things add up, roobar, winch, water tank etc, etc.
      Fuel economy wasn’t great, about 14-16L/100km blowing out to well over 20L/100 when I towed while in the sprinter I’m getting 8-9L/100.
      It was a bit cramped in there, I got stuck in non-stop rain for a couple of days and it’s no fun stuck inside a canvas poptop for days at a time.
      Personally I found I didn’t use the 4×4 aspect very much but then I’ve never been one to go out 4x4ing, I’d rather park up and walk along a beach, it was handy to have but when I sat down and thought objectively about it , for me, having more comfort, bigger living space, more storage and better fuel economy outweigh the loss of 4×4.
      And hey, I sold a 10 year old troopy with 175,000 on it, replacing it with a 4 year old vehicle with 70,000km and 5 grand change. OK, it’s not fitted out with anything and I’m spending a lot on my current fit out but I could do a similar basic fit out for 5 or 6 grand. They are almost the same length and both fit in standard parking bays, I can carry 2200kg vs 900kg odd in the troopy, 1,276L of carrying capacity vs 10,500L.

      OK now I sound like I’m trying to talk you into a sprinter over a troopy, or perhaps talking myself into it. Really depends on what you consider important because everyone is different. But yes, you should hire one for a bit and see how you go, though try to be objective about it especially if you plan on being it in full time for a while, don’t just hire one in spring/summer then go sit on a gorgeous beach for weeks, hire one in winter and go to Tassie… 🙂

      Good luck
      Joel

  • Reply Alain October 25, 2020 at 4:07 pm

    Hi Joel,

    I recently came across your blog. Thanks for sharing so much information.
    For us it’s a wonderful source as we recently acquired a Kea Troopy.
    Seeing a photo of your rear set up I would like to know where you did find this swing away alloy box. We have a swing away bike rack but would prefer to have more storage.
    Waiting for your next newsletter and your response.
    Cheers.
    Alain

    • Reply joel October 25, 2020 at 7:25 pm

      Hi Alain. No worries, my pleasure… The box wasn’t done by me, but I know the guy who did the modification. The vehicle had a Kaymar wheel carrier for spare wheels with one on each side, he simply removed one of the arms and cut off the upright spare wheel carrier, welding on some angle iron supports to the arm he then bought an aluminium “generator box” and bolted it onto the angle iron supports. I’m not sure that my explanation is clear but if you have Kaymar or similar swing away carriers on the back it’s not a difficult thing to do, any metal fabricator could do it for you.. Hope that helps a little. Joel

  • Reply Tully June 14, 2021 at 4:14 pm

    Hi Joel,

    I hope you get this, I cannot believe it! I was researching Fowler’s Bay and your blog popped up and I started reading and then read the ‘about me’ section and wham! It’s Joel! Aquaponics Joel. This is Tully!
    I live right near, and am related to, Gemtree mob and really enjoyed your blog on the area.
    Where are you now?

    • Reply joel June 15, 2021 at 9:28 am

      Haha.. hello tully… Yeah it’s your fault the whole aquaponics thing..😂😁. I’m in WA at the moment in the middle of the bush walking the bibbulmun track, 1100km down about 900 to go.. where are you? You in da? Ahh small world hey..

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