We're on the road again!

Trip Start Sep 02, 2007
1
23
35
Trip End Sep 01, 2008


Loading Map
Map your own trip!
Map Options
Show trip route
Hide lines
shadow

Flag of Australia  , New South Wales,
Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Tom found out about a sweet deal with a campervan rental company where you can get relocation deals really cheap. We managed to find a van to take from Cairns back to Sydney. The idea of the relocation deal is that the company wants someone to take their vehicle back to its original depot after it has been driven in one direction. We found an awesome deal with a 'luxury' campervan company for 7 days at $1 a day! The van was great - basically a long wheel base transit but it was kitted out - flat screen TV, DVD player, air con, toilet & shower - the works! So we waved goodbye to Sonia and Tracey and hit the road in our house on wheels.

Our first stop was to Airlie Beach, the gateway to the Whitsunday Islands. We'd been dreaming about going there since Sonia gave us a calendar with some incredible pictures of the islands and beaches when she stayed with us in England 3 years ago. We had a days sail trip on a very purple catamaran and the day was all inclusive - Tom made the most of that and raided the beer fridge often! We also had a BBQ on board. The highlight (apart from the drinks and food) was visiting Whitehaven beach. It's a gorgeous expanse of pure white sand backed by trees. The sand has a very high silicon content so never gets hot no matter how strong the sun and sounds and feels funny underfoot - like walking on snow! We also got to do some more snorkeling where Tom saved a Japanese girl who panicked in the water and probably would have drowned otherwise!

Back in our van we carried on South hitting lots of other beaches including Mission beach, Agnes Water & town of 1770 (strange name but it really does exist!) and Noosa. Whilst we were in Tropical Far North Queensland the road was surrounded by palm trees, banana plantations and sugar cane and generally a lot of very luscious green countryside. The beaches were incredible and we stopped regularly to lie in the sun and have a swim (being very careful to stay between the flags, never did stop thinking about those sharks).

Have I mentioned how awesome the van was? We loved it, especially being able to watch our collection of DVD's from Thailand and cooking cheap pasta meals on the stove. We only stayed in a campsite one night and all the rest 'free camped' - that is pulled up in rest stops that line the highway. As it gets to dusk suddenly lots of campervans appear in the rest stops. It's funny when you arrive the first one there and realise in the morning how many people joined you during the night. We found that a lot of the beach areas had showers in the public toilet blocks so we could often be found parked up for a shower to save the water supply in our van!

We made a brief stop at Brisbane, the capital of Queensland. It was a gorgeous sunny day so we made our way to the riverfront and sat at a cafe to watch the world go by. We'd left Tropical Far North Queensland behind a while ago but the scenery was still stunning - the coastline was everything we'd hoped for. That is all but the Gold Coast (Queensland) which is a shockingly large area of high rise development towards the bottom of the Queensland coast.

Our last complete days stop on the way back to Sydney was Byron Bay. It's a popular place for Aussies to holiday and we really enjoyed it. The town was big enough to enjoy walking around and the beach was really great. Whilst here we decided we'd enjoyed the campervan experience so much that we booked another campervan from Sydney to Adelaide. We had driven just over 3000km (1900 miles) in 7 days but had so much fun doing it and seeing the country, that it really didn't feel too much at all.

We had an unexpected overnight stay in central Sydney as we had planned to arrive back late afternoon, pick up the other van and head straight out but the other rental company mucked up the booking. Anyway, we hit the road the next day to Adelaide in another relocation van that was smaller than before but did the job. We had five days to get there which was no problem.

The weirdest things on the journey were the road side adverts. It seems they can get away with a lot when they advertise things here. One advert for VB beer stated "Bloody great beer mate!" and another advert, intended to stop speeding, is best seen so have a look at the photo we've put on.

At the border from Victoria to South Australia we had a lime and garlic confiscated from us by a very serious border control man. He said to us at the border " G'day folks, got any fruit or veg in the van?" I replied, part jokingly " We've got half a lime and a few garlic cloves in the cupboard" he said in a slow, drawn out way " Yeah, gonna have to take those from you mate" They are very serious about fresh produce moving from one state to another here because of the importance of farming and the problem of diseases and pests spreading.

Along the way we saw many 'giant' roadside objects including in no particular order of greatness; an avocado, an orange, a Merino sheep, a pineapple, a prawn, a banana, and a crab. Made the outback a more interesting drive.
Slideshow Report as Spam

Use this image in your site

Copy and paste this html: