Words| Jamie Burnett
Images| Mooski Creative
“I wish I started a journal from the beginning where I took a photo of everyone I met. We didn’t think we’d meet so many amazing people that have become such amazing friends.”
You can hear the smile in Sarah’s voice when she starts talking about the characters she’s met over the last year and a bit. One half of Mooski Creative (we’ll get to the name later), Sarah and her twin sister Amy have been living the van life, taking in the unique beauty Australia has to offer. But while the amazing locations were expected, it’s the people in these places that have been the real surprise so far.
“It’s one thing we didn’t realise at the start. And now that’s the biggest and best part about the whole thing. We cannot believe we made this decision and that’s led us to these people. That’s the biggest takeaway for us. It doesn’t matter where you are, it’s who you’re with and you’re having a laugh with people you’ve just met. Then after a couple of nights you’re all family. You create a family on the road and they’re amazing connections,” explains Sarah.
While they’ve made some lifelong mates, the Mooski twins have also created some lifelong memories. It was in May last year they took off from their Newcastle (New South Wales) home to discover more of Australia. It all happened pretty fast too, with the girls buying a van a week or so after throwing the idea around.
“We already had a massive sense of adventure. We travelled quite a bit before but van life was a new idea. We thought that Australia was somewhere we’d love to see but thought it’d be something we did when we retired. Then we had this thought of why wait? Let’s just do it now! A few months later we had our van fully converted and we were ready to rock ‘n roll.”
The girls have continued with the free flowing vibe on the road. After leaving home, they drove north before cutting through the middle of the country and looping around the southern states. All that before a monster cross-country drive from Newcastle to Broome.
“The best thing to do was to keep to the seasons. Obviously up north you can’t do much in the wet season and it’s way too hot to survive in a van, so we went up north for a few months and then started heading across outback Queensland. We cut through the middle of Australia as it started to heat up in September and October. It was the perfect temperature in Uluru where we had the best time and then we went further south to South Australia. We both agree that South Australia is really underrated. After that we followed the coast along Victoria, had a six-week stint in Tasmania and then we had to go back up to NSW and home for a brief period.
“Then in seven days we shot from Newcastle to Broome, so straight to the other side of the country and now we’re doing the other loop. We did a big loop without WA and now we’re back to Broome and we’re going to finish off the lap and head down the west coast along the bottom, smash out the Nullarbor and that’s the plan. That’ll take us another four months or so but when you’re on the road you meet so many great people and have such a great time that you end up changing your plans and staying longer.”
Broome has been home base for the twins for a few months. They’re normally in one place for no longer than a week, but they’ve bunkered down in the Kimberley hot-spot before another van leg through Western Australia.
“It’s absolutely beautiful, it’s definitely one of the most gorgeous parts of Australia. The original plan was to pass through for a friend’s wedding, but we stuck around for a bit longer. The funds were getting low and it was the season in Broome so we thought it was a perfect chance to stick around for a few months. We got here in April and we are leaving this month (October). It’s been a good base and we’ve explored. The Kimberley region is massive and we want to do it justice with a four-wheel drive on another trip.
“Before this trip I didn’t know much about Broome. I didn’t know where the Kimberley region was. I didn’t know what a wet season was. I was ignorant to all of that and I feel it’s been such a great experience to live somewhere else in Australia and spend some time in such a beautiful place, we’re so lucky.”
The Mooski girls will spend the tail end of 2019 exploring the rest of Western Australia. It’s a tough time to be away from home, but it’s something they’re getting used to. And in a way, they’ve got family to thank for the a big part of this adventure – their name.
“Mooski isn’t our surname, it was a nickname that was given to us by our mother at a young age. It’s been a very personal name and only the family have known about it. When we decided to make the Instagram page we just needed a name that suited us both. We chucked out Mooski as a joke but our best friend was with us at the time and she said you’ve got to do it, go with Mooski. It’s just stuck and we love it.
“We’ve inspired her (mum) so much. She’s travelled, but a long time ago when she was younger. However since starting Mooski and the van life, she’s now gone on so many trips and is constantly thinking of where she can go next. She sends us texts about meeting up and she’s next in line for our van Betty.”
We’re glad the van will be staying in the family, “Mooski mum” certainly has a ring to it.
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