A Queensland family has just begun an epic road trip around the country that will see them visit 100 destinations in 24 months – living, working and studying from the road.
With a caravan hitched to their SUV, Simon Oldham, his wife and their four-year-old daughter will spent the next two years going from town to town, getting to know the independent tourism operators and little-known attractions all over this great land – and sharing their discoveries with the rest of us.
The family is documenting their adventures on their Talking Tourism social media channels, which will also reveal the sometimes less glamorous realities of living on the road.
Mr Oldham, who runs the digital marketing company Online Tourism, told news.com.au the idea for the road trip was to support the tourism industry during a tough time.
“We’ve seen first-hand how devastated the industry has been with bushfires and then COVID and floods, and in our business as well, we copped it pretty hard,” he said.
Simon Oldham and his family are visiting 100 locations in Australia over 24 months on an epic road trip. Picture: Simon OldhamSource:Supplied
“My wife and I sat down about a year ago and said look, we want to give back to the tourism industry. And we want to be able to promote independent holiday parks.
“The idea behind it is to give these guys more exposure. We want to see people get out and visiting regions they otherwise wouldn’t have gone to, and giving favour to independent parks and smaller tourism operators and attractions, which otherwise would potentially go unnoticed.”
The first stop on the family’s epic road trip is Nobby Beach in Queensland, followed by a range of destinations in their home state, including Mackay and Ingham. They’ll then cross state lines into NSW, hitting up coastal towns like Nambucca Heads, Kiama and Batemans Bay, before moving onto Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia and the Northern Territory, before coming back through Queensland and NSW.
The family expects to hit the 100th and final destination in early May 2023.
Nobbys Beach in Queensland is the family’s first port of call. Picture: Adam HeadSource:News Corp Australia
More Aussies keen to work from the road
At a time when Australian workers are more used to remote working than ever before, new data from Telstra reveals 60 per cent of people working from home want a change in scenery from their home offices, living rooms and bedrooms. Regional holiday homes and rentals are the top dream locations for remote working.
But the research found Aussies do worry about the capability of working from the road, especially about whether they’ll have decent internet access and that technology won’t fail them.
Mr Oldham, a Telstra customer, said solid connectivity was non-negotiable as he ran his business from the road – including some very remote areas – and uploaded Talking Tourism’s podcast episodes, photos and videos content.
As well as that, his daughter Grace, 4, will be having regular video chats with her preschool teachers and classmates, and needed to be connected as she started kindy during the road trip.
“We had to make sure we set up the right technology so we’d be able to continue running the business. If we can’t get good connectivity both from Wi-Fi and cellular, then forget it, because the business is going to suffer,” Mr Oldham said.
The family will be hitting up Batemans Bay as they make their way down the east coast.Source:Supplied
Mr Oldham said he had been using devices like the signal repeater Cel-Fi Go and Nighthawk M5 mobile router, and was confident the family could rely on Telstra’s 5G rollout.
He wasn’t surprised about Aussies’ interest in combining working from home with hitting the road.
“One of the reasons I went down the path of running a digital firm was to have that freedom,” Mr Oldham said.
“If you have good connectivity and good technology, effectively you can work anywhere.
“We want to show other working families you don’t have to be stuck in one place, you can still work from the road, you can still operate as a family unit, and caravanning as an industry at the moment is going crazy.
“There’s a huge amount of people getting out and exploring Australia, and we want to use Talking Tourism as a springboard so they can go to our site, look at the regions, see the top attractions and have it be an essential place for people to look and plan their own trip around Australia.”
More Australians are hitting the road to combine remote working with travel.Source:Supplied
Our dream work from ‘home’ scenarios
According to research by Telstra and YouGov, around 60 per cent of Australians working from home want to combine their work with travel.
The most desired locations are:
1. Rural and regional holiday homes and rentals (22 per cent).
2. Beaches and cafes (18 per cent each).
3. City holiday homes and rentals (15 per cent).
4. On the road, such as in a caravan (13 per cent).
The most desired destinations are:
1. Sunshine Coast, QLD (33 per cent).
2. Whitsundays, QLD (32 per cent).
3. Great Ocean Road, VIC (28 per cent).
4. Margaret River, WA (24 per cent).
5. Barossa Valley, SA (21 per cent).
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