14.02.2014 - 20.02.2014 30 °C
Our second week of campervan fun began with us driving a mammoth 12 hours from Airlie Beach to Carnarvon Gorge. This was a massively tiring day of driving, involving near misses with Kangaroos and a 9km dirt track leading to the campsite. In the pitchblack with forestry all around, we again had images of outback murders. We eventually made it at gone 9pm, and after quick sarnies for dinner fell asleep in prep for our following day of hiking the gorge, which was also Ben's birthday!!
Days 8 & 9:
The campsite at The Carnarvon Gorge 'Takarakka Bush Resort' was great with loads of kangaroos and wallabies hopping around. We woke up super early day 8 (Bens birthday) to start our hike through the gorge before the heat of the day - temps get up to 35 celcius! The 14km hike was one of my favourite days - the gorge and creek are amazing and have spectacular scenery! The day started off amazingly, as we were up early enough to see lots of Roos and even hit the jackpot seeing a baby Joey peering out of his Mum's pouch! We felt very lucky.
Our hike through the gorge took us to a part home to native aboriginal wall art which was really cool.
We also saw beautiful caves and cliff-faces...
...Massive, stunning gorges...
...And an amazing secluded canyon where we stopped for a packed lunch.
We arrived back at the campsite early afternoon, and enjoyed bens birthday with beers, cider and a delish bbq.
The birthday boy!
Day 9, we said goodbye to Carnarvon National Park and embarked on our last mammoth journey - a 12 hour journey down to Hervey Bay. So as to arrive whilst still light, we set off at 5am! Again, another tiring day of travel but the huge journeys required for us to see Carnarvon Gorge were absolutely worth it.
We arrived in Hervey Bay late afternoon - another sweet seaside town, with lots of shops and restaurants. Conny and Marcus cooked us an amazing, traditional German meal of Frikadelle (burger/meatball shaped minced meat balls filled with feta cheese and spices), along with a German pasta salad - it was delicious and something we're definitely going to try making at home! The following day, Ben and I spent the morning walking along the beautiful beach and relaxing after our hectic few days. We found a fish and chip take-away so shared a portion of fish and chips on the beach!
Beautiful Hervey Bay.
We left Hervey Bay late afternoon, and travelled down to a free campsite in a tiny town called Tiaro. The campsite was really nice (especially considering it was free!) and we had a lovely evening chilling outside the camper eating the left-overs of the delicious meal Conny and Marcus had made us the night before.
Day 11, we left our free campsite and headed back toward the coast, to the amazing Rainbow Beach - the sand along the side of the cliffs is a myriad of colours, from whites and greys to reds and oranges! We spent a lovely few hours walking the coastline on this almost-deserted beach.
We then made our way from Rainbow Beach to the lovely town of Noosa! We stayed one night in Noosa at a paid campsite, with a pool - we had a lovely dip late evening after a sweaty drive from Rainbow Beach! The following day was spent exploring the beauty of Noosa's national park. We took a 5km walk along the beautiful coast, trying along the way to spot Koalas in the gum trees (without success unfortunately!)
Noosa's beautiful coastline - postcard perfect!
We then spent the night on a free campsite which was really fun, and probably one of our favourite nights. This being said despite the fact I came face to face with a rat whilst going to the toilet - I'd be surprised if you didn't hear my screams back home! Ah well, this just added to the 'true camping experience' we felt we had - we even cooked sausages on sticks over an open-fire (hello food poisoning!!), roasted marshmallows and star-gazed... All we needed was a guitar (and someone with the skills to play said guitar) and a cheesy camping song to complete the night!
Cooking sausages on the fire. Just call us Bear Grylls! (Please excuse my awful sock/flip-flop combo - I was afraid of treading on spiders etc.)
Our last day in the camper (waah waah waah) was spent sightseeing The Glasshouse Mountains - a beautiful mountain range around just 60kms from Brisbane. We drove to several view-points (it was way too hot to do any hiking) and visited one of the subtropical rainforests within the national park - this was really cool as our experience of the tropical Daintree rainforest was a real washout (literally speaking), and plus, there's a huge difference between a tropical and SUBtropical rainforest dontcha know!
Glasshouse Mountains scenery.
Glasshouse Mountains selfie!
The beautiful forestry.
The last day of our trip, we packed up and reluctantly made our short journey on to Brisbane.
Although we were gutted our trip was at an end, we had the best time, and Conny and Marcus made great travel buddies!
We had a fantastic two weeks discovering some of the wonders this fantastic country has to offer, and despite driving over 3000kms in the two weeks (3276kms to be precise), we only saw a fraction of what Australia has to offer. We were so amazed by it's many varying landscapes and climates - one minute the scenery could make it Canada, the next, it could be the Arizona desert. From the monsoon weather through Cairns, to the dry over-powering heat of the outback - and that was just in one day!
We're also really glad we chose to travel with the campervan; it made the trip so much easier, and meant we could go where ever we wanted, as opposed to being constricted by particular bus or train routes. And I'm so glad we experienced some things other travellers just wouldn't do - they're so enamoured by The Great Ocean Road, The Sunshine Coast and all the coastal beach-bum towns, they miss the stunning national parks and fantastic hinterland Queensland and New South Wales have to offer.
We saw absolutely beautiful sunsets (and sunrises) whilst travelling along, experienced amazing wildlife in it's natural habitat, and stumbled across such untouched, natural aspects of the country that we wouldn't hesitate in doing it all again.