Wicked Camper: Australian Coast

Not only were things crazy outside of our Wicked Camper on the Australian coast but it was chaos inside as well.

In addition to our clothes and food, we were hauling CD’s skis, poles, boots, and winter clothes. It turns out that sleeping next to a pair of K2 Off Piste while using snow pants as a pillow is not particularly comfortable.

A hostel in Sydney agreed to store CD’s skis. It was like a weight was lifted. Now I could freely roll six inches to the right without taking ski bindings to the ribs. What a relief!

A clinking noise showed up. Once it started, it was consistent and did not change as we shifted or turned. Clink, clink, clink. We turned up the ipod to block it out but it continued. We eventually found the source. I had left the spare set of keys in the passenger side door lock. Easy fix.

By this time, we had listened to nearly every song we own. We met some people. A truck driver cleaned bugs off our windshield with a fancy window bug scrapper. Each afternoon we had wine, cheese and crackers. We chatted with a few bar tenders and drank wine with Kill Bunny at our side.

We weren’t sure where we could camp and slept near other campers in rest areas without really knowing the rules. Port Macquarie offers a great campground in a grassy field.

Free Camping, Wicked Camper: Australian Coast

Sometime around this we bought an atlas of free camping along our route. This book changed our lives! We had a plan and felt informed! It turns out that camping in Australia is much different than in the US. Many parking lots, fields, and town parks welcomed car campers.

One our of best spots was a parking lot on the beach with an ocean view, flush toilets, hot showers, picnic tables, and easy foot access to pubs and restaurants. According to our book, we were welcome to stay there for free for up to 7 days! Wow! A couple of families with kids and a few other couples joined us there during out stay. It was the best!

Whale Watching

Our whale watching trip was cancelled due to strong winds and high seas. We happened across a free spirited boat captain that wasn’t deterred by the weather. I called him “Captain Ron.” The first thing he told us was that his boat had a bar and the second thing was: “tell me if you feel sea sick before you embarrass yourself.” The third thing was: “hold on”. Well, Captain Ron was our guy. We boarded his boat with a couple of other people and hoped for the best. He said things like: “Come on whales, show us what you’ve got.”

Well, it worked. Thank you Captain Ron!

Twin Tails

I thought the whales were a highlight, until my mind was blown the next day. Do you know how pineapples grow? Apparently, I didn’t! Ha!

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Our First Campervan Adventure: Australia.
Wicked Camper: Road Trip, Australia

Road Trip: Cairns, Australian Coast.

Our road trip was complete; we made it to Cairns! We ended our time with Kill Bunny by spending the night at the perfect camp site. Three or four other groups were camped there as well. It was a beach front parking lot with hot showers and all of the amenities.

People were curious as to why we had driven so far. We only met one other person that drove from Melbourne. He arrived in Cairns around the same time that we did but he started his trip four months before us. We hadn’t felt rushed. Actually, we kind of felt slow. CD walked from Mexico to Canada in four months; it would have felt weird to take that long to drive from Melbourne to Cairns but maybe we should have slowed down a bit more. I don’t know.

In any case, we made it! I felt a bit of relief when we dropped off Kill Bunny in one piece. I also felt a bit sad and lost.

Cairns Lagoon. Road trip Cairns

Daintree Rain Forest

It was windy and overcast so snorkeling and diving boats weren’t expected to sail for a few days. We opted for a guided tour to the Daintree Rainforest and were the only guests and our tour guide, Jim, was pretty straight forward and he opened up with “back when I dropped out of society for bit.” He went on to offer advice on mango wine, lemonade fruit, and commune living. Additionally, he warned us about aggressive eight foot long snakes in the sugar cane fields, cassowaries that disembowel their victims, and crocodiles that leap from rivers. The tour included the site of Steve Irwin’s death and favorite local pubs. His dialogue covered politics, religion, hot sauce, Mexican food, human rights, the environment, and tequila.

The Great Barrier Reef

We spent the next few days drinking cocktails and waiting out the weather. The Great Barrier Reef was worth the wait. It was like snorkeling in an aquarium, as far as I could see. There was an oyster so large that it felt like it was out of a movie.

We flew back to Sydney and spent a day walking a hiking trail around the city. Don’t ask me what it was called.

Here are a few things we learned during our Wicked Camper road trip to Cairns.

  • Speed limits can be aspirations more than limitations
  • Brush turkeys can be aggressive
  • Cassowaries aren’t as prominent as the signage would have you believe
  • Sugar cane fields smell like sweet corn
  • It isn’t easy to see a platypus
  • When in danger in the wild I will throw CD to the wolves and run.
Road Trip Cairns
Road Trip Cairns

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Our First Campervan Adventure: Australia.
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