Setting off on our journey after two weeks in Adelaide, we were both excited and nervous at the prospect of driving more than the length of Europe up the east coast of Australia. Our first experience with our new home for the next two months was a nerve wracking one, with neither of us having driven anything larger than a Ford Fiesta before, the camper-van seemed huge. With no plans and nothing but our backpacks and a map we set off on our 7000km journey!
The drive from Adelaide to Great Ocean Road featured a number of small towns, one of which was Kingston. This was a town which was no more than 2km long set on a single stretch of road. It actually also featured the world’s largest lobster statue… Make of that what you will!
Many of these small towns had the same derelict vibe with very few people and even fewer visitors. On the whole locals seemed pleasant but there were a few occasions where we got more than our fair share of stares for not wearing double denim in temperatures of 50 degrees!
Great Ocean Road is where our journey really took off. Situated between Adelaide and Melbourne, this was one drive we never wanted to end!
After a few days of long drives between areas of nothingness, we finally made it to Great Ocean Road and it definitely lived up to expectations. With an abundance of incredible beaches and extraordinary wildlife, this was the most amazing drive we have ever experienced. The 12 apostles were the highlight of the journey, giant limestone towers protruding out of the rough surface of the sea.
The only downside was that this place is no secret and if you do make the journey, try to stay clear of the more obvious lookouts as they were often swarmed with selfie sticks and tripods.
From meeting wild koalas, hundreds of miles of secluded beach spots to simply taking the drive of a lifetime along the coast, Great Ocean Road is a must for any traveller driving the East Coast of Oz.
Melbourne was one of our favourite city highlights of Australia. From the modern skyline and multiple riverside restaurants to the abundance of boutique coffee shops. We managed to arrive in the city just in time for the Melbourne Food and Wine festival, our favourite kind of festival!
With so many food and drink options, we spent our days enjoying live music and watching the cricket World Cup with an ice cold cider, perfect! We also treated ourselves to a night in the Crown Casino. Not quite Las Vegas, however, it was still a fantastic place and when you come out 10 times better off than what you went in with, you know it was a great experience!
Sydney is famous for the Harbour Bridge and Opera House and these were the main highlights of our time in the former Capital. We managed to park our camper-van very close to the city centre for free, a luxury you could only imagine in London! Another highlight here was being around for Mardi Gras, a fascinating event which made our venture even more enjoyable. We also had a date night at Gold Class Event Cinema which featured flowing cocktails and ongoing bowls of Lindt ice cream in reclinable sofas at a reasonable cost.
We can’t talk Sydney and not mention Bondi beach, what a fun place this was! The beach is packed out and although you could find a number of quieter, clearer and more secluded beaches, Bondi is Bondi, definitely worth a visit.
Brisbane was a real Surfer’s paradise. The Goldcoast region features miles of unbelievable beaches with huge waves lashing at the foot of the land. If you love surfing, you will be in your element here, but that’s not all Brisbane is about. The city has a number of museums and a great night life with so many bars to visit. There is something for everyone but Australia wasn’t about the cities for us, it was about much more than that.
We left our beloved camper-van a few times while in Australia which included some of the best trips of our travelling journey!
Our trip to Kangaroo Island (KI) was fantastic! This huge island off the South Australian coast is actually larger than Tasmania and is sparse with regards to inhabitants. A few highlights include Remarkable Rocks, various vineyards and tastings and having a kangaroo steak in Kingscote.
Fraser Island included two of our most fun days while in Australia, probably made best thanks to the great people we met. Driving around the island on a crazy 4×4 coach, jumping over sand dunes and crashing through trees, we managed to arrive safely at some incredible locations.
Lake Mackenzie and Lake Wabby are both absolute must dos and you will definitely have fun driving along the 75 mile beach used as the island motorway. Central Station rain forest was an area draped in history and some amazing wildlife, India Head and Champagne pools are also some great spots to visit but our favourite tourist attraction was the Moheno ship wreck. The ship is slowly being eaten up by the sand and sea so time is of the essence if you’re planning a visit.
Finally, our trip to the Whitsunday’s topped the lot. From snorkelling in the Great Barrier Reef to visiting Whitehaven beach, words cannot do it justice but we can try…
The Reef really does live up to expectations, the place looks even better than it did on Finding Nemo! With a vast variety of fish, plants and coral, it really is a whole new world once under the surface of the sea.
Whitehaven beach is one in a million, literally, being voted in the top 10 beaches in the world. It is a huge paradise of shallow, crystal clear waters which are filled with wildlife. Within minutes of arriving we were swimming with wild baby sharks, huge stingrays, jellyfish and a multitude of other marine life. A magical end to our favourite spot in Australia.
Experiencing Oz by camper-van was fantastic, and we really cannot imagine doing it any other way. Evenings spent watching the sun set over a beach whilst BBQ-ing and enjoying a cold Coopers to us cannot be beaten! A few other of our highlights included canoeing the Goulbourn River, driving the camper through the Glass Mountains and the many nights spent with the exciting (or frightening) wildlife! You could some up our trip in three words, beaches beaches beaches.
If you’re considering travelling Oz by Camper then get in touch with STA Travel!