Today’s blog comes from Kieran Sandhu and Hannah Sparkes who left the drizzly UK in February to follow their dreams of travelling the world!
We started planning our Australian road-trip in the UK and took the time to choose our camper carefully, it was going to be our home for 2 months after all!
After much thought we opted for the Mighty Jackpot, which sleeps 3 (we need our space!) and has a sink, fridge and a gas cooker. We decided to be daring and chose not to add in Sat-Nav. Well it’s just one long road right? How hard can driving nearly 7000km up the coast of Oz be?
We set off after two weeks in Adelaide and were both excited and nervous at the prospect of driving more than the length of Europe. Our first experience with our new home was nerve-racking, neither of us had ever driven anything larger than a Ford Fiesta! With no set plans and nothing but our backpacks and a map we set off.
First stop was Coles supermarket. Not exactly what you visit Oz to see, but Kieran’s first priority was filling the fridge with beer and meat. Totally fair. We passed through several small towns on our way to the Great Ocean Road and spent our first night watching the sunset over Robe beach, a cold Cooper’s to hand and the obligatory Ozzy BBQ sizzling away. Bliss.
The Great Ocean Road
Situated between Adelaide and Melbourne, this was one drive we never wanted to end (though granted it was early days). So many incredible beaches, extraordinary wildlife, and views like no other (hello to you 12 Apostles), this was the most amazing stretch of road we had ever experienced. We were stopping the camper every five minutes to jump out and see yet another mind blowing view!
We cruised into Melbourne as the sun was setting over the city skyline, certainly a welcome to remember. After that initial excitement, we then spent the next 2 hours trying to find our campsite for the evening which was not easy. Top Tip: Sat Nav and a bit of planning wouldn’t have been such a bad idea.
City to City
After a stop in Sydney see the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House (well you have to don’t you) we headed off to Brisbane, the real Surfer’s paradise. The Goldcoast region boasts miles of unbelievable beaches with huge waves lashing at the sand. We parked up the camper right on the main beach, made ourselves a packed lunch and headed straight for the sea.
Mainland too mainstream? There were a few occasions where we left our beloved camper to visit some incredible islands.
Kangaroo Island (KI) was a highlight, it’s so big! It’s actually larger than Tasmania but, with only 4200 inhabitants compared to Tas’ 515,000, it feels very wild and untouched.
Fraser Island was also unforgeable, Lake Mackenzie and Lake Wabby are both absolute must dos. Have fun driving along the 75 mile beach used as the island motorway, gawp at Central Station Rainforest, take a dip in India Head and Champagne pools before making a stop at Moheno ship wreck before it’s eaten up by the sand and sea.
All sound amazing? Well the Whitsunday’s topped the lot. Whitehaven beach is one in a million, literally, it’s been voted one of the top 10 beaches in the world.
It’s a paradise of shallow, crystal clear waters 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 unbelievable and we really cannot imagine doing it any other way. Of course we were lucky enough not to have any unexpected “meetings” with kangaroos, but do keep a lookout, those guys will put more than a dent in your precious van.