Weekend parkruns part of the course
caravanning family running its way round Oz
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A YOUNG family of caravanners from Canberra is running
its way around Australia ... well, kind of.
parkrun regulars Kathryn and Michael Sliwinski are using their home
on wheels to wend their merry way across the nation with their daughters
Elle (2) and Eve (4).
And during their travels they are competing in 5km timed runs organised by
parkrun Australia, part of a worldwide organisation. The runs are
free, weekly and timed events organised by local volunteers.
"We wanted to do some travelling before our eldest starts school next
year, so we thought what better way to plan our route then to follow
parkrun," Kathryn said.
The family began its adventures by heading up the east coast and will
follow the outskirts of Australia, which should take about five months.
"We’re hoping to make it to 16 or 17 different parkruns and at
least one in every state and territory," she said.
The Sliwinskis have planned their trip so that almost every weekend they
can take part in a parkrun that they wouldn't normally have the
opportunity to do.
They ran two of the events on their honeymoon and even through two
"Now we take turns pushing the double pram with our girls," Kathryn said.
"We’ve just visited Airlie Beach where Eve did her first junior parkrun,
which was really exciting."
Kathryn and Michael have also volunteered more than 130 times at their
local parkrun and plan to volunteer during their travels.
"I actually volunteered as event photographer in Noosa and will volunteer
at a few more along the way," Kathryn said.
parkrun Australia chief executive Tim Oberg said the Sliwinskis
were not alone because parkrun tourism was really taking off.
"All types of travellers are travelling for parkrun," he said.
"We find that our regulars at least take into account if there is a
parkrun nearby while they are on holidays, while others like the
Sliwinskis take it more seriously."
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The Sliwinki's rig
describes 'unique' journey
KATHRYN describes the family's
caravanning story as being "pretty unique."
"We bought our first ever caravan over the 'phone in January, sight
unseen," she told Caravanning News during a short break from their
"We had never been caravanning or camping before ... we are completely new
at this," she admitted.
"We did a towing course and a few smaller trips away before we packed up
and headed off on our big trip in August.
"We have a Jayco Journey Outback FX, bunks for the kids ... and an inside
toilet was a must have.
"We decided last year that a lap of Australia was what we wanted to do,
and this year was perfect timing before our eldest starts school next
"We've been going really well in the caravan.
"We stopped at a highway roadhouse in outback Queensland to find our
passenger side window smashed on the caravan.
"Flyscreen still intact, but glass gone and we have no idea how.
"We've had major issues trying to get it fixed with no luck in Darwin so
now hoping to get it fixed in Perth in early November.
"We are really loving life on the road and are only doing a few
overnighters in the really remote places.
"I had never been north of Brisbane so am seeing a lot of the country I
have never been to before.
"We chose our route on where the parkruns are, which also dictates
how long we stay at each place.
"It's been incredible and we can now say we will be caravanners for life!"