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So imagine embarking on a 14 , 000 - kilometre trek with two kids under five — on tandem bikes . "Are we there yet?" is a frequent backseat complaint but these kids have been far from bored. Almost a year ago, a Tasmanian family began a journey with a difference: mum and dad riding tandem bikes , with
Are we there yet? is a frequent backseat complaint on long family journeys, but the two kids on this two-wheeled adventure around Australia have been far from bored.
Many adventure-seeking families take the opportunity when the kids are young to set off to travel the country, but it usually involves a campervan.
So imagine embarking on a 14,000-kilometre trek with two kids under five — on tandem bikes.
"Are we there yet?" is a frequent backseat complaint but these kids have been far from bored.
Almost a year ago, a Tasmanian family began a journey with a difference: mum and dad riding tandem bikes, with the kids in tow.
Nicola and Andrew Hughes hail from quaintly named Flowerpot, south of Hobart.
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Tasmanian wilderness hut shelters trekkers suffering hypothermia during trek : Tasmanian family travels 14 , 000 kilometres around "Are we there yet?" is a frequent backseat complaint on long family journeys, but the two kids on this two-wheeled adventure around Australia have been far
Traveling to Mexico? Start getting some of your money back , we'll make it easy for you! The NBL enforces a soft salary cap, which allows clubs to spend as much as they want, as long as they pay a Tasmanian family travels 14 , 000 kilometres around Australia with two kids on tandem bikes .
They set off on January 7 with Hope, now five, and Wilfred — also known as Wilfy — who has just turned four, to explore "the places and people north, south, east and west".
"We just see it as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity while the kids are the right age to get them out of our normal life and put big challenges in their lives," Mr Hughes said.
"But also let them see the great diversity of people that make up Australia and realise that our little place in Tasmania is very special, but it's not all that's out there."
Classroom on two wheels
Along the way, their trip has doubled as mobile classroom with several schools taking part in projects by sharing the family's experiences on the road via Skype.
When it comes to what they've learnt as a family, the Nicola and Andrew say they have been "slightly surprised" at how the kids have coped and how adaptable they are.
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Bike touring, that’s on a bicycle, self-propelled, is a great way to really see Australia . Sure you can rip a circuit on Highway 1 but maybe that can wait until you turn 70. If you are keen to really experience the Australian Outback, to have a trip to remember the rest of your life, you have to ride off that blacktop.
"Kids are very capable of doing not only doing physically challenging projects, but they are mentally up for it, long days on the bike and being out in nature," Mr Hughes said.
They think it will take a few years for the children to absorb the experience. For Hope, it's been a "confidence boost".
"She will run up to a group of kids in a heartbeat now and she will be in a game with them almost immediately," he said.
The family has also seen the benefits of limited screen time.
"Watching their imaginations grow and they way they have developed play has been really interesting," Ms Hughes said.
"That idea of thinking 'we need to take toys on the trip for them to have something to do', well now we pull up at a camp site and they will grabs some rocks and make a racing track or set up a cubby.
"They've had a little bit of [screen time] but on whole very little and their imaginations have just skyrocketed."
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Indigenous Australians inhabited the continent for about 65, 000 years prior to European discovery[ 14 ] with the arrival of Dutch On 1 January 1901, the six colonies federated, forming the Commonwealth of Australia . Australia has since maintained a stable liberal democratic political system that functions
Want to know everything about travelling Australia with kids ? Read about other families that are out there and already TAWKing via our Featured Families Page, where TAWKers share their experiences and answer our TAWK Ten Questions.
Not all about the scenery
Both agree another of the other high points has been meeting fellow Australians.
"That 50 kilometres around the coastline where 80-90 per cent of Australia lives, we've generally avoided that and we've been in the empty part," Mr Hughes said.
"The people that are in those quiet parts of the country are generally more friendly and we've made good friends really quickly.
"The less people there are the more friendly they are."
But they have encountered some negativity from people who disapprove of their mission and think it is dangerous.
"They might not like bikes on the road, they might not like the fact that we've got kids on busy highways but we don't see that as disappointing," Mr Hughes said.
"It's rare we get that. We much more likely to get 'it's good to see the Australian spirit of adventure alive so keep on going'," Andrew said.
'Big, deep breath'
They have taken on some tough challenges in remote areas with no water or phone service.
In Western Australia they cycled what's known as the Trans Access Road linking WA and SA — a 150-kilometre limestone track on the Nullabor Plain with no phone reception.
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Are you thinking of traveling to Australia with kids , but are not sure what to expect? In this article, you can read about our experience visiting In Australia , there are so many places where you can visit a zoo or a wildlife sanctuary where you can feed kangaroos or cuddle a koala or even a Tasmanian devil.
Could YOU live off roadkill for a year? Family travel around Australia and feed their young children Young family spent 14 months bike -camping along east coast of Australia The family -of-four covered 6000 kilometres and survived on the land After having almost , 000 donated to their cause, the family purchased a new camera, bicycle
"That was a big deep breath we took before we set off from there," Mr Hughes said.
He said safety had always been paramount.
The family spoke to locals about conditions before setting off, checked in with police, station owners and family at home. They also travelled with an emergency beacon.
And they had a strategy for the tougher days.
"The only thing we modified was to go a bit easy and do shorter days because the kids need to run around more than we do," he said.
So close, yet so far
When the family finally rides into Hobart on December 18, it won't quite be the end of the journey.
Once they are back on Tasmanian soil, in true family style they are not taking the easy route down south, instead opting to tackle even more hills going via the Central Plateau.
"It's been such a big year," Ms Hughes said.
"We could fly but it's kind of nice to have that time think about what has actually happened this year."
Their first stop will be Campbell Street Primary School in central Hobart.
Then the next day they will make a "very quiet entrance" back into the local Woodbridge community before tackling what Ms Hughes says will be the hardest leg of the journey.
"We will finish up riding up our very steep driveway — it will probably be the steepest hill we have done on the whole trip. And it's gravel."
A man just gave away $12,000 in Christmas toys, starting at the low-income complex where he once lived .
When a man asked the apartment manager if he could hand out toys, she was skeptical. “Don’t play with me,” she told him.He wanted her to gather residents so he could distribute early Christmas toys to the children living there.