Food, glorious food…

We’re in low single digits, folks. Eeeek! It’s really starting to hit me just how much we have to do, how much we have to pack, and how long we will be gone for! My nights are slowly getting more and more restless as I lay awake thinking through everything over and over, mentally making lists, crossing things off lists, and making yet more lists. D-Day is fast approaching.

This past weekend I focussed on food. I completed the first big shop of non-perishable items (who knows where we’ll be for the next one!) and grabbed the last few non-food items on my shopping list. I’m struggling with the concept of being so self-sufficient which is really surprising me. I’ve always assumed that packing up and driving off into the sunset would be easy but it’s not. It’s actually quite tricky.

Lately I have found myself pondering how much tuscan seasoning should I be bringing with us? And do we need Vegemite and Cheesymite or just one? How much actual cooking do I think I’ll want to do? You’re supposed to be roughing it when you’re camping but what if your camp is your home for the next 107 nights? There’s only so much roughing it this little black duck can tolerate, particularly when it comes to food! So in goes the tuscan seasoning, the cornflour, the pesto, the salad dressing, the breadcrumbs, the Lots-a-Noodles soup, the Coco Pops and the honey oats. Plus lots more. 

We have two tubs for non-perishables. I was actually able to replace the big blue tub with a smaller blue one so I must have packed well!
Here is all that needs to go in the tubs. Let the Tetris games begin…

Did you know you can get tinned tomatoes in square boxes now? Yes, that’s a thing! So much easier for packing!

One thing I am trying for the first time, to help reduce space needs, is dehydrating some vegetables. I borrowed a dehydrator (thanks CF!) and set to work on 3kg of carrots, 4-5 large heads of broccoli and 6kg of potatoes. It was a time consuming process and I’m not entirely sure how they’ll taste afterwards but once cryovac-ed with our 12v rechargeable vacuum sealer, the space savings were certainly noticeable.

Brandon says the broccoli looks like it should have a street value 🤣
The vacuum sealer we have
I may end up saving the dehydrated veggies for times when we can’t get fresh stuff (or it’s hideously expensive) because I’m just not drawn to the look of those carrots! The potatoes turned out the best by far but I forgot to photograph them!

Tetris food packing success 😀

On the topic of food, I also recently had to get Dobby’s food prepped and ready, as he will be staying with grandad while we are away. (Note: when I did this, Lucy was still alive so I was planning for 2 dogs…) We feed our pups BBQ chicken, mixed with rice and vegetables. When you have small dogs this works out cheaper than canned food and is a darn sight better for them (and as another plus leads to less smelly number twos, but we don’t need to go there Lol). So I was needing to get 107 nights worth of doggie bags for 2 pups – that’s 14 BBQ chooks, 2kg of (uncooked) rice, and 21 cans of vegetables. And if you’ve ever wondered what that looks like…

Getting everything ready…
Chooks ‘plucked’ and starting to add veggies…
The mixing trough…

Dobby would have just about jumped in here if his little legs would have allowed it!

4 more sleeps until departure…!!


Vale Lucy Lu Hazelwood

The lead up to our departure was always going to be overshadowed by the health concerns of our lovely Jack Russell Terrier, Lucy Lu. She was diagnosed with transitional cell carcinoma (bladder cancer) about 7 months ago – a diagnosis that usually comes with a 4-6 month prognosis. So we were on borrowed time and needed to accept that a goodbye was imminent and most likely going to occur before we left.

Alas that time came last Tuesday when the vet’s latest report was that Lucy was in extreme discomfort. Her quality of life was pretty poor so we had to say goodbye 😦

We have had Lucy since she was a tiny puppy, 12 years ago. We travelled to Tasmania to collect her and she’s been an integral part of our family ever since. She will be sadly missed. She’s no longer in pain, that has been left behind for us to bare.
We miss you, dear sweet Lucy.

8 sleeps to go…


Welcome to our new blog, Hazelwoods on Tour. We are a family of 3, husband/dad is Brandon, wife/mum is Zoe and daughter Charlotte (we also have two fur children, Lucy-Lou, our Jack Russell Terrier, and Dobby who is a miniature dachshund).

The Hazelwoods








In 6 months we will begin our own ‘big lap’ of Australia, taking some long-overdue long service leave to drive anti-clockwise around this great country we call home. Leaving from our home in Brisbane, we’ll travel north to Cape York, then across the top of Australia to see Katherine, the Bungle Bungles and Lake Argyle. Then we head to Broome, and travel down the West Australian coast to Albany in the south, before starting the eastern trek across the Nullabor (hopefully with time to head up to Uluru). After a quick stop down in Tasmania we turn north and head back home.


We have started this blog as a keepsake of our trip, and to allow our family and friends to share in our adventures as we complete our amazing journey. We are starting the blog now, in January 2017, to include our preparations and the lead up to our departure. We have a lot to do to get ready, including learning how to set up and pack up our brand new camper trailer! We plan to do a lot of weekend trips away between now and when we leave; we don’t want any surprises and we need to know exactly what to expect with the camper while we’re on the road. It will be a long way to turn around and head back if we have forgotten something!

We hit the road in July and that point we will write regular blog posts, including photos and videos of the places we go and the incredible things that we see. Our friends, family and anyone else who might be interested can follow our lap and see what we’re up to while we’re away. Charlotte will also do some posts, to stay in touch with her school friends and show her class what she has been up to while we are on the road.

So why not click the “follow” button and check back with us from time to time – our adventure is only just beginning!