About – trip
Our plan? Very simple: drive to Europe from Australia.
Reality? A long process of preparation, with many, many hours spent making lists, creating spreadsheets, negotiating visa bureaucracy, researching websites and DIY projects.
We hope all the hours of planning and preparation will be worth it.
If you just want to know what we’re up to and where we are, go to ‘On our way’! That’s where you’ll find our trip blog, including latest (mis)adventures and photos.
If you are interested in our plans and preparation for the trip, you’ll find all things we have learned and discovered in the many months of preparation in the ‘Planning’ section. But for information about visas you’ll have to look under each specific country (in the ‘Countries‘ section). You’ll find the ‘official’ info we found on the web before we left (or after calling the embassies), but also our experience at the actual border.
In the ‘Countries‘ section we are also adding the more detailed country by country information like our route, food and shopping, fuel and sim cards.
Some of you might spend hours on Lara’s page – our white Land Rover Defender 110. We’ve listed every modification and what we’re taking, including the list of spares. And at the end of the trip we might be able to tell you what fell in the category ‘useless’. 🙂
Then there is the ‘useful links’ page. Don’t think that one needs any explanation. We’ll expand after the trip with any other useful sites we might have found along the way.
And here, as you can see, on our home page we’ve put the trip overview map and a bit about who we are and why we’re doing this.
If you would like to be kept up-to-date with our adventures, the best thing is to ‘Follow’ the blog. You can do this by adding your email address in the ‘Follow our progress via email’ section on the right of every page. Once your email has been added you will automatically receive an email every time we post a new story. How easy is that?! (You do get an email first to ask if you are sure you want to follow this blog, you’ll have to click on the link in the email to ‘confirm’ and then you’ll get the emails automatically. If you don’t get this email in a day after signing up check your junk mail folder!)
(Click on it to see a larger map so you can see a bit more detail or go to each country individually in the ‘Countries‘ section if you want to see a more detailed map of each section after we have been there. Most countries we won’t plan in detail before we get there, so we will only add those maps later).
Our basic route (country by country) is:
- Malaysia, departing 1 March 2013
- Russia (Lake Baikal area)
- Russia (to cross into Kazakhstan)
- Croatia (including Bosnia-Hercegovina)
- The Netherlands / United Kingdom for a family Christmas 2013!
(go to ‘Countries‘ for dates in each country)
To drive to Europe from Australia, there is one pretty obvious problem: the ocean between Australia and the Asian continent… This means we are shipping Lara (this is our Land Rover Defender for those of you who haven’t met her yet) from Brisbane to Kuala Lumpur.
We did look into shipping into Singapore as that is the start of the Asian continent, but unfortunately you are not allowed to drive a foreign camping vehicle in Singapore (2013). KL was simply the next best option. Malaysia does require us to have a carnet de passage to enter (and, most importantly, exit) with a private vehicle. We also need one for Iran, and possibly Laos, so this wasn’t a huge problem. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves now.
Why are we doing this?
One evening in the honeymoon suite on a beautiful tropical island, we discovered that doing an overland trip was something we both had listed on our individual lists of what we wanted to experience in our lives. Fast forward about 7-8 years and we’re on another beautiful island, this time a big sandy island (Fraser, the biggest sand island in the world) off the coast of Queensland. We were spending Christmas there with some friends and on one of the drives exploring the island, we talked about dreams and plans we had, and when we were planning to do some of them.
The seed was truly planted this time as a few months later (April 2012) Jon started researching on the internet and found Kym Bolton’s blog and the rest is history as they say… We discovered that Kym and Lyn lived close to Brisbane and we visited them shortly afterwards.
It is now the end of September (2012) and we have an action list with 69 items on it, which we wrote on yet another sandy island off the Queensland Coast (North Stradbroke Island). Over the past few months we have been preparing, planning and researching for this trip and now we are getting
- very excited and
- a bit stressed about all the things still left to do! We know most of the activities are on track, but it can be frustrating waiting for parts when they have a 10 week lead time…
The rest of the route was selected on the basis of security, interest and combining plans with others who will be crossing China at the same time – more detail on that in the Planning section though.
If you want to get in touch, either leave a comment on any of the pages or posts or contact us via jonandjude ‘at’ gmail ‘dot’ com. As we are on the road it might take a few days or week before we can respond, but we promise we will.
Dear Jon & Jude, I came across the pictures of your trip to Tajikistan and I saw a very good one with the ruins of an ancient house at Sarazm. That picture would be very useful for a publication I’m going to submit, therefore I wonder if you could be so kind as to authorize me to publish it and, in case you do, to give me information about the credit (Courtesy …).
I thank you a lot in advance and hope to hera from you soon,
Hi Ciro, no problem. I am not sure which image you are talking about. Can you send us an email with the image perhaps? We can also send you the full-sized image if you need. We can then also tell you who to credit. Thanks for contacting us. Cheers, Jon & Jude
Hi Jon and Jude… would love to get in touch with you. Was told about you by a Russian friend of mine (Vera Chizhova) whom you met at Lake Baikal if I got the info right.
I am planning a 4WD trip across Russia and am looking for people who have done something similar. Are you in Brisbane now?
Hi Irena, yes we are in Brisbane right now and always happy to help! And yes, we met Vera and her students at Lake Baikal. We had a wonderful time. Did you meet her when she was in Brisbane? We did notice her Mt Coot-tha tea cup 🙂 I’ll send you an email as well and we can take it from there!
salam how are you doing dear? hope remember me, we meet each-other in silence tower in Yazd! i was the guide of Austrian family remember?! good to see you here and happy that you ended your trip successfully. please send me your email to keep in touch better or if you have any facebook profile let me know, take care dears Jon & Jude
Dag Jon en Jude
Kunnen jullie bellen met 0620405964, redactie BNDeStem Bergen op Zoom
Jan van de Kasteele, verslaggever
Hi Jon & Jude
How great to meet you at the fuel stop today! I will enjoy reading all the info you’ve posted on your site – thanks!
Safe travels and have a great time with family.
Hi Anne, lovely to meet you and good luck with any plans you have! More than happy to answer any questions if you have any. Happy new year!
Hi Jon & Jude
I’m Raymond from HK & meet you in Uzbekistan . I drive Defender with Zebra pattern .
Hope you everything goes well in this trip !
Harris & Raymond
Hi zebra Harris & Raymond, great to hear from you and fantastic to see you again in Buchara. We’re looking forward to reading your story (once somebody writes it at the end?), hope you will enjoy our adventures. We’ve made it to Khiva today, hope your border crossing into Turkmenistan was smooth and quick! Cheers, Jon and Jude
Hi Jon and Jude
Are you still going through Kazakhstan? We will be there in about a fortnight in our white Aussie land rover. When do you plan on passing through?
It would be good to meet up!
Bron and Seane
Hi guys, yes!! We are in Kazakhstan right now (Turkestan) and are on our way to Almaty. We’ll be there in a few days. Where are you coming from? After Kazakhstan we will continue to Kyrgyzstan. Hope to be able to meet you somewhere! Cheers, J&J
Hey Jon and Jude,
how I wish I’d met you in Brisbane before you left on your adventure! We live there and are planning a similar trip in 2014/15 and I’ve only just started to realise the value of local knowledge!
I drove around Africa in 2008 in my Defender, came over to Aus after winning the Best Job i the World and now want to do the drive back to the UK with my wife as we need to get out and travel more. You understand 🙂
My main reason for getting in touch was to ask about the company you used for your overland travel through China. Knowing what a difficult, expensive place it is for self drive I hoped you’d be able to help out with some info?
Ideally we want to drive from Laos to Nepal via China and want to see how we can reduce the quoted cost of $7500 for 18 days down to something more manageable. Did you meet up with others enroute or was it something you arranged in advance?
Would be great to hear your advice when you have the time. Enjoy your travels and keep the posts coming, they’re very inspiring!
Ben and Sophee Southall
Love your posts and photos, great to see how you’re enjoying your big adventure. Can’t pick my favorite panorama photo, too many great ones to choose from.
All good here, but miss you guys! xM
Thanks M, definitely enjoying it! How are the Tuesday nights going?! Missing you too and our Tuesdays, but we’ll be back before you know it, time flies! J&Jx
Hi, Your blog brings back some great memories and gives us a chance to relive the adventure. Cheers Kym n Lyn
Thanks Kym & Lyn, hope you’re planning your next adventure!? Or are you still on the road at the moment? Cheers, J&J
Machtigevreis en schitterende verslagen, wij lezen ze met plezier.
Jon hoogtevrees???? Nooit wat van gemerkt in eerdere foto’s of verslagen 🙂
Fijne reis en ga vooral door met ons op de hoogte te houden hoor!
Hij verbergt het goed 🙂 blij dat jullie van de verhalen genieten. We gaan zeker door met schrijven, want we genieten niet alleen van alle dingen die we doen maar ook van het schrijven!
Al veel weekenden op de boot door kunnen brengen? Of werkt het weer nog niet mee? We kunnen in China geen Facebook zien, dus kunnen jullie Posts nu niet lezen…
Looking forward to China, an area of great interest and interestingthings
We’re in China now, but still have a few posts about South East Asia first… We’ll get to China posts in a few weeks!
Will be following your blog with interest we are currently looking at similar for next year
Peter & Gill
Exciting! Hope you enjoy and good luck with planning and prep work. Let us know if we can help. Jon & Jude
Thanks for your comment the info that you are supplying via your blog at this stage is fantastic, we are really enjoying reading it. Were leaving Melbourne in a couple of weeks to cross the Simpson so are looking forward to that.
One of my biggest questions relates to quality of fuel – would certainly be interested in your findings thus far
Quality of fuel so far has been good. No problems at all. We try to fill up at ‘bigger’ stations, but haven’t had water in diesel or any other problems at all.
Happy Birthday, Jon!
On the weekend I met 2 guys who are riding their bikes around the world. They are from the UK, one is a school teacher and one is a commercial diver. They have already travelled through USA, NZ and Australia. They have some amazing stories to tell – they kept me in fits of laughter for hours on Saturday night.
They are flying to Singapore this week to start their ride to London over the next 7 months (they have already been away for the last 7 months). They are not exactly sure of their route yet but would you mind if they contacted you if they get stuck and need any advice on routes or visas etc? Thanks so much!!!! Roxy
Thanks for the birthday wishes says Jon (I’m now his secretary) and of course they can always contact us. Don’t think we can advice them much on route as they will have completely different plans with their bikes I’m sure but always happy to help if we can! Who knows we might see them somewhere along the way… How’s the training going (and the racing of course?!) What’s the next big one? Cheers, Jude
One country down … a gazillion to go! It was a pleasure hosting you in Singapore. We will watch your journey with envy and of course toast your successes with a few more G&Ts on top of Marina Bay Sands!
🙂 It was awesome catching up with you again and meeting Kaida of course!! Thanks again for making us feel so at home, we really enjoyed it all! Enjoy the blog posts and see you on the flip side!
Have an awesome time guys, what an epic adventure!!! We’ll be living through you guys for the next year! xxx JJSH
thanks guys!!! looking forward to hearing all the news about the renos 🙂 Jx
Hoi Jon en Jude,
Ik kreeg jullie link voor je blog van Joep Buijs. Dat is mijn neef.
Ik ben zelf Landrover idioot en overland gek. Ben zelf ook mijn Defender 110 “Nellie” aan het optimaliseren voor een grote reis…. ooit….. Ga jullie dus eens volgen Succes met jullie grote avontuur.
Als jullie in Engeland zijn, moet je maar langs komen voor een bakkie. We wonen in de East Midlands vlak bij Northampton.
Hi Michiel, bedankt voor je berichtje en de goede wensen! Leuk dat je de blog volgt, er zullen nog wel meer fotos bijkomen van Lara. Succes met de optimalisatie van Nellie (leuke naam) en wie weet tot over een jaar 🙂
ha Judith en jon,
Schiet al op he, alles gereed?
Gaat maar net in de container. Was het al de bedoeling dat er nog een auto bij kwam?
Kunnen jullie wel alles kwijt in de auto (als je ziet hoe onze auto afgeladen is voor 3 weken vakantie…..)
Succes met de laatste loodjes, alvast goede reis en groetjes van ons allemaal.
Dini Hans en kids
Het schiet heel erg hard op ja… maar nu nog druk het hele huis aan het inpakken! Het voelt dus nog niet alsof we er bijna zijn… Hopelijk volgende week als we niets meer in hoeven te pakken en we een weekje kunnen ‘relaxen’ en afscheid nemen van vrienden hier.
En ja, het was altijd al de bedoeling dat er nog een auto bijkwam. We zien deze auto weer in China, daar reizen we samen mee, met nog 3 andere trucks! Hahaha, ja we kunnen alles in de auto kwijt, maar ze is nu wel redelijk vol. Ik zal eens wat fotos nemen als we in Malaysia zijn en die op de blog erbij zetten. Hadden we geen tijd meer voor hier. Vandaag verder inpakken en een opslag ruimte vinden voor een jaar. Alles moet deze vrijdag naar de opslag ruimte!! Nog zoveel te doen! We houden jullie op de hoogte van de avonturen 🙂 groetjes, Judith X
Just stumbled upon you website. Best of luck with the adventure. We shipped our 1989 white county to Vladivostok a couple of years ago and drove across Russia. We had all sorts of shipping issues including the container going back to Shanghai and not getting off loaded in vladivostok, so prepare for plans to go out the window. We leave our land rover in the EU and go back every year driving around. I noticed you had WA rego, we had an issue crossing back into the EU through Latvia as they would not accept our WA rego paper (you know the green one). They kept saying it is a vehicle licence and a receipt, not the rego and we were stuck at the border for 12hours. If you have a carnet you might be ok, but you should consider getting a “letter of full disclosure” (I think that is what they are called) from the department of transport to aid evidence of registration.
We will be in Kazakhstan / Russia in Aug / Sep, perhaps our paths will cross!
Bron & Seane
Hi Bron & Seane, Thanks for your message and thanks for the tips! We will certainly look into that. We do have a carnet as we need it for Malaysia (we are shipping into Malaysia), so hopefully that will help us avoid any dramas. We’ll hopefully be entering Europe via Turkey so maybe that changes things as well. Do you have a blog / website? Love reading what other people are up to and yes, who knows our paths might cross in Kazakhstan / Russia! Cheers, Jude
Hi Jon and Jude,
Good luck with your trip I am sure you will love it. We left Oz in 2009 for our around the world trip..
9 months travel 3 months home. Sofar we covered East and West Africa- Northern Europe and Russia (in Winter) Mongolia-China-Laos-Cambodia-Thailand-Malaysia.
Currently in Holland, next week we fly home to Cairns. April we start travelling again and we may meet as we travel India-Nepal-Pakistan-Iran and the Stan Countries. How did you get your Tibet Visa we have been refused due to political unrest in tibet.
Robert and Clary Van Den Hoven
Hi Robert and Clary, thanks for your message! I had a quick look at your website, it looks great! It looks like you are traveling in an EarthCruiser? You’ve got an awesome travel plan lined up! And already have done quite a section of it, I’m looking forward to reading more of your blog once the house is packed up. I’ll send you an email as well to answer your question about the visa! Hopefully later today, but otherwise definitively later this week. Enjoy cold Holland for another week 🙂 Cheers, Jude
Hey Jon and Jude, good luck with this adventure. I drove a bit in India and Nepal, at least everything happens slowly! You’ll think 40km an hour is speeding after a while. The trip from Kathmandu to Lhasa is awesome. The border might be an issue. But the drive up the Bhote Khosi ( we did the first descent of this) is spectacular, and the the drive across the Tibetan plateau is just mind-blowing. Have a great time.
Thanks Mike! After this trip I might be ready to work for you 🙂 We’ll try to entertain you (and make you jealous for a change hahaha) during the trip – enjoy and see you when we get back and visit Perth again! No doubt I will see many photos of you in awesome locations in 2013 on Facebook too!
Ok, so now I’m logged in, hooked up and in the loop. Hope you are cooking with gas re all the preparations. Merry Xmas in a mulititude of very ethnic and exotic languages..
Nice work Kat, I’m impressed 🙂
Let’s start planning where to meet next!!!! Jx
Wow what a journey!! Sounds fantastic and as far as Judith behind the wheel in strange places… I am not at all worried after seeing her take command and steer the jeep to safety with the drunken guide in the backseat in a remote South American desert many many years ago (way too many…).
Good luck guys, and we will be following your blog closely. I am already excited to hear about all those beautiful sites, crazy officials, dubious food and wonderful people you will come across.
And if Lara should ever float ashore in Canada, you know where we are!
Merry Christmas to you both and my greetings to your people back in Holland.
Hi Jenny, you are right, way too many years ago since we last went on an adventure!!! We’ll have to do something about that some day soon. Hahahaha, can remember that interesting journey in the middle of nowhere, that was a great trip. And you never know where we might end up with Lara! Canada has been on our list of places to visit for a while now, it will happen one day! Hope you, Jas and Clara have a great Chrissy too and a fantastic 2013 full of fun adventures 🙂 Hi back from everybody here! Big hug, Jx
Jealous much…. Nah!!!!!! (Have to say I’m lying though)!
Have the most amazing time and embrace all of those crazy opportunities that come your way.
thanks gorgeous, so happy we could catch up before we leave! keep us posted on renovation progress!! (with photos) and see you in a year! xoxo
dat moet een super trip worden!!veel plezier met de hele familie met de kerst.
en jon rij voorzichtig… pas goed op mijn nichtje. hit de road
groetjes van theo&rina
🙂 leuk om je even te zien Rina! En ik heb dus vandaag uitgevogeld hoe ik comments hier kan beantwoorden! tot volgend jaar (in Turkijke in December :-)?)
Hoi jongelui, we hebben net jullie plannen gelezen, wat een reis wordt dat zeg! Schitterend, Nicolette zei gelijk dat ze dat ook wel zou willen.
Heel veel succes met de voorbereidingen en we hopen jullie volgende week te zien, alvast goede reis en groetjes van allemaal.
dank jullie wel!! en gelukkig gaat dat goed komen met elkaar zien deze week! tot morgen!
Well done you guys! Surprise indeed, surprise and envy 🙂 I am really looking forward to following progress. Enjoy your 2013,
xoxo Laura and Linden
we like to surprise (others and ourselves :-)), have a great year and we’ll have to catch up in 2014!! Jx
loved reading through the site. keep the updates flowing! Tim
will do! and thanks for your xmas tunes! have listened to your message, and have added songs to i-tunes and will play them when we get to Germany. Have a great time with Wayne and Steve over xmas!!
Great First blurb/blog/thingo! My Holiday brain can’t find an eloquent phrase!
thanks Karen, enjoy your holiday! hope the east coast was great, and maybe we’ll see you somewhere en route?!
interesting comment Mick… it looks so lonely that dot, I thought I’d add some more to my reply so it’s not so lonely anymore…
Ups – now I get your news swell:)
I just love the way you and Jon are embracing the life – you will never ever regret it!!!!!!! 🙂
🙂 the only way to live! hopefully we’ll see you somewhere in that year? anyway, we’ll see you in a week or so!!
Gaaf hoor! Maar er komt meer bij kijken dan ik dacht…succes met alle voorbereidingen, maar eerst kijken we uit naar kerstmis 2012!!! x sandra
dank je!! nog maar een paar daagjes en dan is het kerst! tot snel xxx
Hoi Judith Jon, zo te zien een prachtige reis door Azië en Europa, veel succes met de voorbereidingen en we horen en zien wel hoe ver jullie komen.
Pa en Ma
bedankt!!! en nu kan ik ook antwoorden op de posts, weer wat nieuws geleerd…