Thursday, 15 February 2018

New-Zealand, here we go!

The year 2018 is going to be interesting and promise a lot of changes. After few years in Taiwan dedicated to our professional careers, it is time to take a break and get back on the road. New-Zealand is going to be our next destination for an epic road trip and enjoy the beautiful landscapes. 

Why New-Zealand? 

Since our three months spent in the Australian bush, New-Zealand has always been in our thoughts, especially mine. We heard from our friends, that spent a few months there, that New-Zealand is special and full of beauty. The landscapes are similar to the ones of Tasmania and it's worth giving it a try... Many years that the idea is going around my head and why not walking all around!  
However, New-Zealand is quite huge! Split in two main islands, North and South island, New-Zealand surface is about half of France with 270,000 km2. For my taiwanese friends, you can fit 7.5 times Taiwan into New Zealand.

Where is New-Zealand?

Located about 2,000 km from Australian coasts, New-Zealand is located in the South Pacific Ocean on the Southern hemisphere. This means that the seasons are reversed and that water turns in the opposite side in your sink! 


In few days! I couldn't write before to explain a bit more about the preparation of the trip. However most of the tasks are now organized. Just like we did for the preparation of the Australian road trip. Departure is planned for February 20th 2018.

In total, we will spend 45 days there to discover both of the main islands. To make travelling from point A to B easier, we are renting a car. Back then, when we travelled three months in Australia, the traveling time took us 15 days in total between train, bus and car - with the car it should be much faster.

What to visit in North Island

In term of accommodation, we've decided to camp for most of our nights there. That way we can be close to the nature and enjoy New-Zealand's unique landscapes.

Saturday, 10 August 2013

Time lapses from Australia

In our previous posts, we explored in depth the technique we used to produce some nice time lapse video without having to use a fully fledged computer.

Today, is video time! Here are the collection of all time lapses recorded during the trip. Enjoy!
(Note: if you are reading this by email, visit the website if the video doesn't display properly in your email client)

Enjoy and Share if you like this! Next step will be to edit all of these together in one video. As soon as I get the time.

Saturday, 3 August 2013

Creating time lapses on the road!

Today, we are back with a quick tutorial which I'm sure many of you will like.

What is a Timelapse?

Tim is quite a fan of time lapses, but what is that? Basically it consists of taking a lot of pictures with a few seconds between each, and then paste them together to create a movie.

The final result usually is mind blowing and helps to show what it was really like when we were somewhere special.

Making a timelapse without a computer

Today, you can make timelapses with your smartphone. There are tones of apps out there that allow to set a capture interval on your smartphone camera, and generate a video from it. But most of us have smartphones that remains mediocre for picture taking.

What if you want to use your digital camera but like me you are on the road and can't take your laptop with you?

Basically all you need is:
  1. A DSLR camera
  2. A smartphone or tablet with an app to render the timelapse (preferably with 3g so you can share what you produced)
.... Something is missing? Yes! You also need a way to transfer your pictures from the camera to your smartphone.

The ADATA Dashdrive AE400

We received one of these pocket drives from our partner ADATA before the trip.

I will be using the DashDrive to load the pictures from my SD-Card to my Smartphone.

Timapse without PC - Step by step

Instead of boring you with too much text, here is a picture tutorial on how to use the above listed gear to create Pro-like timelapses.

Step 1: Take the pictures with your camera
(You might want to get one of these cheap intervalometers from eBay - about $30)

Step 2: Wait and enjoy the sunset

Step 3: Transfer the pictures from the SD-Card to your Smartphone

Using the ADATA DashDrive,  insert the SD-Card and launch the ADATA DashDrive Elite app.

(Make sure that you have connected to the drive over WiFi. Default password is 12345678)

In the app, go to Pictures. This should load all the picture files you have on your card.

Click on one picture download icon (right)

and then if you only have the timelapse shots on the card (which I recommend), select all (small icon at the bottom left of the app) and hit the Download button.

Wait a bit, the time it transfers all shots to your phone. It took for me about 5-8 minutes for 280 shots.

Step 4: Load the files into the timelapse render app.

To render my timelapses, I use and recommend LapseIT Pro. Its just the best and easiest to use (believe me).

In the app, go yo Gallery, and click the load folder button (second icon at the top right)

Now, browse to the ADATA Elite folder where your pictures have been downloaded to. (The folder should be at the root of your phone's storage)

For me, I just had to click once on the "..." to find it.

The pictures are in that folder. Select it and import.

The new project with all the shots should appear in the app gallery.

Step 5: Edit, tune and render your timelapse

Now is a bit more personal time. Select your project and hit details. There you can adjust in different tabs the settings of your timelapse video.

For reference, I export always in "very high" quality, mp4 codec at 1080p full sensor. For the frame rate, I use 24, but 30 is fine.
This gives the best output.

When you are ready, go to the Render tab, name it and hit ... render!

Step 6: Wait, get a coffee or something it might take between 5 to 15 minutes depending of your phone for a 10 seconds timelapse.

Step 7: Share your pride!


Share this timelapse which I hope you love and enjoy!

Here is the final result:

More videos

So this is it for this tutorial. big thanks to ADATA our partner for this truly fantastic device!

We made a few more time lapses, but we keep this for another posts later next week. But if you can't wait, check here.

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Oz, Epicness along the way

Along our three months of trip in Australia, we've got the chance to walk, sleep and live in strange and sometimes exceptional places. As our spendings for accommodation show, we spend most of our nights out in the tent and this resulted in visiting un-habitual spots. Our walks brought us to see breathtaking landscapes that are otherwise not accessible by car.

In this post, I'll try to summarize some of the most epic moments we've lived.

On hikes

Some of the places we've been to where just extraordinary. We walked about 917km to discover Australia and we've tried both car and hikes. Even though things are easy by car, there is a second truth to it ... you become lazy and you definitely don't see as much.

Among the best hikes we've done, here are the ones that will stay in out heads for a long long time:

  • 7 miles beach - NSW: 30 km in two days
  • Wine Glass Bay - Tasmania: 10 km
  • Lorne - Great Ocean Road - VIC: 25 km
  • Port Augusta - South Australia: 60 km in 4 days
  • Uluru - NT: 19 km
  • Kata Tjuta - NT: 14 km
  • King's Canyon - NT: 14 km
  • West MacDonnell Ranges: 56 km in 3 days (Larapinta Trail)
  • Katherine Gorge - NT: 33 km in 2 days


Then there are landscapes. Australia is all about landscapes and not matter if you travel by bus, train or car there are landscapes for every tastes. We will especially remember:

  • Caves and Scotland alike landscapes of Tasmania
  • The 12 Apostles on the Great Ocean Road
  • The l'Outback gateway with the Flinders Ranges and it's red sand (Port Augusta)
  • Cook and thé Nullabor Plain (flat, no trees, no water) and the longest straight train tracks in the world - 478 km long.
  • The South of Perth with it's turquoise water beaches and giant tree forests
  • The pinnacles, a scientific mystery
  • Uluru, Kata Tjuta and King's Canyon - the "must do" of Australia
  • West MacDonnel Ranges that were once as bug as the Himalayas - millions of years ago.
  • The giant thermite mouds of the Litchfield National Park
  • The many tropical forests, gorges and mountains all around Cairns that makes the place look like Taiwan
  • The Great Barrier Reef with tropical fishes and shells

Camping with a tent in Oz

With about 60 or so nights spent in the tent, it happen several times that we pitched it in some strange and fun places. This is clearly what made the adventure.
Early in the trip, we used to camp a lot on soccer fields (called ovals here). Ideally located, these field of fresh cut grass where ideal ... even though it happened that we needed to wait for the training to finish before setting up camp.

Then there was the parks. Australia invests huge amounts of money into their parks. Not just national parks but also city parks, botanical gardens etc. For example, the city of Adelaide is completely surround by parks.
Aside of Alice springs, where it is not "recommended" to sleep out in town, most of the city parks are safe to camp. We've pitched the tent for example directly in the Melbourne CBD - and one day we've been waken up by a strange noise ... the launch of balloons. Trust me, it's even more fun when you didn't noticed the launch pad on the evening!

Third there are the beaches. Being an Island, Australia is surrounded by water and there is a lot of beaches where you can camp without bothering anybody. We practiced camping on beaches in Tasmania, south of pert, Darwin and also Cairns. If you do this, make sure to check how high the ties comes in before getting to sleep!

Finally, the Outback. In the middle of nowhere with no living human kilometers around, the outback camping is a great experience. Sleeping in rocky mountains, forests, near lakes or within national parks - we kinda tried all of the possibilities. Be prepared to heard wild animal noises. Hoping kangaroos, howling dingos, possums and much more ...


Monday, 22 July 2013

Key numbers of the gig

Before starting this trip, we decided to log as much as possible data from our trip with in mind to pull together statistics from it when the end would have come.
As many of you know, I like to play with numbers - Check this out!

For those of you that are not big fans of math, no worries .. me neither. I tried to set things up to make it fun and interesting to read. Let me know if you have questions along the way.

Trip analytics

What did a "standard" day looked like for us? We recorded everyday of the trip how distances were made. Either by walk, or using various means of transportations - it is quite interresting to see how the most time consuming part of the trip was spent.
Also, we kept detailed records of the money spent. The idea is to share with you these numbers and help you budget and plan for your own trip.


Spending wise,  we spent a total of 9,043AUD for this trip (which on todays rate accounts for 6,300Euros). 
As you can see, as we decided to camp, accomodation accounts for a ridicule part of the budget (only 1.7%). The biggest part is dedicated to transportation.

Australia being a large country, make sure to allocate sufficient founds for it!

Detailing our transportation spendings; On 40% total, 35% went into our train tickets, 32% for car rental (should be less if you are over 25yo, 17% goes in our plain tickets and finally 11% for public transportation within the cities.

Km counter

  • Transportation (train, car, bus, plane, boat): 28 272 km
  • Time spend on the road: 366 hours (15 days)
  • Distance made by walk: 917 km

Arid Botanical Garden - Port Augusta - South Australia

Key numbers

  • Longest distance walked: 25,7km in Lorne (Great Ocean Road) on Avril 30th 2013
  • Longest distance made in one leg: 4 352 km from Sydney to Perth from July 10th to 13th.
  • Longest leg: 67 hours on the Indian Pacific train from Sydney to Perth.

Hike in Lorne - VIC

On an average day

Overall, in 90 days, we made 314 km in 4 hours by transport (train, plane, boat, car) each day. We walked, (in towns or hikes) for 10 km and spent 50 $ each (35 Euros).

Sunday, 21 July 2013

Our adventure in Oz step by step

Three months - that's the time it took us to accomplish this trip around Oz.
Three months - that's the right amount of time anyone should dedicate to visit Australia. Actually that's the minimum time you should allocate for it.

In this post, a quick overview of where we've been! Hopefully this will give you the taste of traveling in this great country!

The map

To start, find below a summary map of our track across Australia. As you can see, we passed several times through Perth - no wonder we ended up there as a conclusion of our trip.

Saturday, 20 July 2013

The end ... almost!

It is true that we haven't seen as much as we could have from the east coast. The first reason is that after having seen so many things already in three months, most of the east coast are just more beaches, more of the same thing.

The second reason is also that we've had while a Brisbane a phone call with Jon. Jon is a friend from Perth. He offered us to sit his house while he's on vacation in Japan and get us some work once his back.

He lives in Perth, which, if you remember is on the other side of Australia. It is 4000km west of Sydney. Our unlimited train pass expiring in less than two weeks, we decided to jump on the opportunity. Especially since the train allows us to travel for free with a luggage allowance of over 40kg each! Ideal for moving all our stuff.

Byron Bay

Brief stay in Sydney

Before starting our trip, we left a few things in Sydney at Dino and Frank's - both good friends of Tim and Adeline. We plan to stay three days in Sydney, gather our things and hop on the train for another three day towards Perth.

We arrived in Sydney around 6am. I can tell you the temperature there was cold! Nothing like Sweden of course, but cold enough to require a bit of thermal protection.  We spent most of the day hanging around the Sydney harbor / Opera house. We also visited the modern Art gallery which we didn't had the chance to check out earlier.

Luckily we had great weather, we've been told that it was pouring for two weeks prior our arrival!

For the evening, we stopped by our old flat to visit our ex-flatmate Balaji. Invited for dinner, we spend the evening there with him, sharing the story of our trip and of course eating the traditional curries.

We spent this first night back in Sydney not far in the nearby park, while the two following days we slept at Frank's place. Adeline enjoyed to hop back at her old workplace and see that she hadn't forgotten any of the old reflexes - she still makes great coffee!

Operation - Get the luggage back!

It's hard to imagine how much things you have before you actually do have to carry all of them from one place to another. We had one huge luggage, a smaller one + our two backpacks and some more bags with shoes etc in it.
In total we might have close to 90kg. Way too much stuff if you ask me.

We will definitely need to sort things out and get rid of a few things before moving again. (especially some computer stuff ... yeah >< way to heavy).

Arrival in Perth...

On Wednesday morning, we picked-up all our stuff and went to the train station. This is the third time that we are taking the Indian Pacific. In the train we meet again the same crew members, it's kinda fun. The trip is 67hours long and for 4352km. The train being somehow a touristic train, it stops several times along the way: Broken Hill, Adelaide, Cook, Kalgoorlie and Perth.

Broken Hill, Outback NSW

This is the only city we didn't had the chance to visit yet. This small town in the middle of no-where is famous for it's mines of silver, copper and steel. Today most of the mines are closed.

Old mine shaft in Broken Hill

Perth, our new home

We left Sydney on Wednesday and arrived in Perth on Saturday morning. Out of luck, the train station that acts as a main hub in town is closed due to construction works. So to get to our destination we need to walk, take the train, take a bus and walk again ... all this with our 90kg remember?

But we did it! Finally we are arrived and now it's time to relax, unpack our luggage and work on finalizing the last blog posts before going back to work.

Plenty of cooking and geek-ing is on the menu - of course!

More Picutres