Even though I have never travelled on my own, I have always wanted to do it. I got the chance to do a relocation from Brisbane to Cairns within five days. I was so excited and asked the friends I have made the last months in Australia, if they wanted to join me. Unfortunately they all had to work. Thank god for couchsurfing! After my post on couchsurfing about the trip, I found five random people to join me. The vehicle, an Apollo Euro Deluxe, is suitable for six persons and looks like a small apartment! The other travellers were backpackers and were planning to stay in Cairns. Everyone hold an International Driver license, because I could not drive the route by myself.

On the first of November I picked up everyone and we drove to Bundaberg. A little later than expected (1.30am haha) we arrived there. It was a four hour drive and on the way we had dinner and we decided to do the dishes already to keep the vehicle clean. For that night we parked the motorhome just at a parking lot because all caravan parks closing after six pm and we wanted to be back on the road early in the morning.

I love that from Australia, everywhere there are public toilets and sometimes even showers! So in the morning we were all ready to get back on the road.  We bought breakfast the other day so we had breakfast at the supplied camping chairs and table in the sun. Further north we drove to Tannum Sands for some big shopping. In the motorhome I made a reservation at a caravan park in Airlie Beach for the night, so we could charge the motorhome and use all the facilities. We had lunch in Tannum Sands and after that we drove up to Airlie Beach.  This drive was so long and boring. The signs along the Bruce Highway told us to play Travian, so we did. Oh and we all did auditions for the X-Factor in the car so everyone stayed awake haha.

We stayed at the BIG4 Adventure Whitsunday Resort and we were all so glad we booked here. This really was a resort. Especially in comparison with the crappy camping sites my parents took me to when I was younger! We asked if we could enter the park after nine pm because the trip took so long from Bundaberg to Airlie Beach. That was okay and we had a nice powered site between the palm trees. We connected to mains power, provided on the camping site so we could enjoy the motorhome at its best (super easy to connect by the way!). The caravan park was really clean and there was a swimming pool and bbq facilities. The next morning we had breakfast outside and we booked a Whitsundays tour at the reception. We drove to the harbour so we could be back on the road to Cairns after Whitsundays. So we got on this boat which showed us a few of the 72 island group, the Whitsundays. We spend 2,5 hours on Whiteheaven beach which was breathtaking! Watching the sunrise from the boat while enjoying a delicious buffet on board, this roadtrip couldn’t have been better…

Well actually it could.

Our motorhome was waiting in the burning sun at the harbour of Airlie Beach, ready to take us closer to Cairns. We drove to Townsville in about 3,5 hours. Since it was already dark we decided to just park the motorhome at a big car park (yes, there was a public shower and toilet again!) and we made some pasta with salad.  The next morning I almost burned out of the motorhome, I still have to adapt to the high temperatures even at 7am haha. I got out and saw we located the motorhome in front of the beach. There was no better way to have breakfast with our camping gear then in front of the beach. Back on the road for our last long drive up to Cairns. We saw lots of wallabies along the road and also some bush fires. The nature in the surroundings looked so dry and sometimes we had the feeling we were in the middle of nowhere or in the outback. In 4,5 hours we made it to Cairns. We booked another powered site this time at the BIG4 Chrystal Cascades. It was situated at the foot of a big hill. The tropical nature was just amazing and we rented free bikes at the reception to do some shopping. It was a bit quiet and we could choose our own powered site but that was perfect since everyone was tired from the whole roadtrip. Three of the group were preparing a delicious bbq while the rest were enjoying a refreshing swim in the pool. I wanted to dive in the Great Barrier so bad that I booked my first two dives at the reception for the next day. Since we had two days left before drop off, the others brought me to the dive location. I had an unforgettable day at the Reef and after my dive trip we all went to the lagoon on the Esplenade. We bought some dinner for the evening and morning and decided to stay another night at the BIG4 caravan park. The next morning we cleaned the entire motorhome and even cleaned the outside. The whole front was full of bugs and the park was provided with a little do it yourself car wash. We returned the motorhome with a full tank at the Cairns branch and got a lift to our hostel!

We spend some wonderful days in the motorhome and we have seen a beautiful part of Australia’s East coast. The best was from this self- drive holiday was, we could go whenever and wherever we wanted with our own stuff and leave it in the motorhome… Thank you Aussie and Apollo!!

 

Paulina Boersma