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Young man and women sitting on beach in front of Apollo rental campervan

Heather Schiller
/ Categories: Australia, AU Blog

From Rome to Roma

COVID changed our plans from Rome, Italy to Roma, Western QLD and I couldn't be happier

Words by guest Jo Stone

 

Family in front of Winton sign

 

 

It was supposed to be the trip of a lifetime to Italy. We were excited about a driving holiday from Rome to the bottom of the boot, lacing our way through the warm summer countryside in an Italian Fiat. Of course COVID meant plans had to change and Rome became Roma in Western Queensland, the Fiat morphed into a motorhome and it turned out to be another trip of a lifetime that we will never forget.

I should start by saying I’m not much of a camper, despite spending a lot of my 20’s pitching tents with mates. Nowadays I like a mattress that doesn’t deflate at night and as a mum of two, I want holidays to be a break for the whole family, including me! Campsites are magical places for kids to roam free but for parents you’re trying to wash the oily sausage pan in a plastic basin, the air mattress has a slow leak and the ice in the esky is melting AGAIN! Don’t get me started on the midnight toilet dash when your nightie gets caught in the tent zipper and you can’t find your shoes in the dark.

I’d never considered a motorhome but it turned out to be the solution that delivers the rough and tumble fun of camping with the comforts of home.

As COVID wreaked havoc on our travel plans and Rome was off the cards we went looking for a holiday close to home. I have always wanted to see the dinosaur footprints at Winton in Western Queensland but we could never find the time, work and life got in the way and holidays were spent in overseas destinations. Then COVID gave us the nudge we needed, the kids were old enough to remember and the destination had to be in our backyard. The idea of the motorhome was floated one night. The next minute we were charting a course that would take us through Roma, Charleville, Longreach and Barcaldine then out to Winton before circling back through the stunning Carnarvon Gorge on the trip home.

Children climbing on Winton Dinosaur

It was the start of a wonderful trip through Western Queensland, punctuated by roadside pit stops in some of the state’s smallest towns, deep comfortable sleeps and cold sundowner drinks, while the kids ran around with new friends in the campsite twilight.

The Apollo motorhome solves ALL my camping bug bears – there’s hot water for the post-food wash up, a stove top for a speedy dinners and a fridge to keep the sandwich ham (and the tonic and beer) cold! We used the toilet only at night if we needed it, meaning no midnight dashes. The shower option was there and we used it occasionally if onsite facilities were exceptionally busy.

The team at Apollo were fantastic, we had a full rundown on the motorhome bells and whistles and we were off. It was so easy to drive, the kids played card games and listened to podcasts in the back and we chatted happily in the comfortable front seats.

The moment I realised I was a motorhome convert was actually about two hours into the first drive - we pulled over at a park and made a cup of tea while the kids had a run around and stretched their legs. Bliss!

We also took a little coffee machine for that touch of luxury and the kids made us morning cups in bed.

We loved it all so much we booked another motorhome adventure straight away and I am sure the memories of these motorhome holidays will be some of our fondest. It wasn’t the trip we had planned but I wouldn’t change a thing – we’ve discovered a wonderful new way of travelling.

Now we’re thinking Europe in an Apollo is the way to go!

Stone Family in Western QLD

OUR PACKING LIST

  • Spray and wipe
  • Torches
  • Fishing rods
  • Pegs Scissors
  • Glad wrap
  • Tissues
  • Mat for the door (sometimes it can be good to wipe muddy shoes)
  • Small garbage bags
  • Dishwashing liquid
  • Dish cloths
  • Spray oil
  • Paper towel - for campsite
  • BBQ’s
  • Powerboard for chargers
  • Containers for food leftovers
  • Soap for the showers
  • Shopping bags for the market trips
  • First aid kit
  • Raincoats
  • Umbrellas
  • Washing powder and a bag of $1 coins for the campsite washing machines
  • Closed plastic container to store toilet chemicals - they have a powerful smell!
  • Helmets for bike riding - you can hire bikes in most places
  • Small backpacks for walks
  • Sunscreen
  • Mozzie spray
  • Cards/Games
  • Coffee machine – can be used when you plug in at powered sites
  • Walkie Talkies – great to keep track of the kids at campsites

 

Dinosaur Statue Shadow in Winton, QLD
 

 

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