Alright folks, well we are two weeks into our two month camper van journey up the east coast of Australia! Click HERE for the 411 on the details. Transitioning to van life has been surprisingly easy. We’ve found little nooks for all our items and we have our routine down pat for transitioning the “living room” into the “bedroom” and vice versa. We haven’t quite nailed getting everything pinned down, and every time the van stops, there’s inevitably some sort of crash as our items fall all over the place. A camera has been the only casualty thus far.
There are still some kinks to work out. How do we prevent the van from getting unbearably hot at night? How do we balance work and travel? How do we resist all the budget busting tasty treats along the way?
All in all, it’s been a wild success and the setbacks and downsides are muffled by the travel euphoria.
Our itinerary has been spontaneous to say the least. Here is a list of the cities and sites we’ve hit:
- Picked up the van in Brisbane (click HERE for more)
- Lamington National Park- Coomera Circuit (1 night)
- Nimbin (1 night)
- Byron Bay (2 nights) click HERE for more!
- Ballina- The Big Prawn (1 night)
- Killen Falls and Protestor’s Falls on the way to Nimbin (1 night)
- Springbrook National Park- Purling Brook Falls, (1 night)
- Gold Coast- weaving through the small towns and dealing with torrential down pours (3 nights)
- Glass House Mountains (1 night)
- Sunshine Coast- exploring from Caloundra up to Noosa (3 nights)
Some spots were hits, some were misses. Here were the absolute hits!
1.Coomera Circuit, Lamington National Park
Our very first adventure was the Coomera Circuit on the Binna Burra side of Lamington National Park. The track was just under 13 mi/22 km, and it was the ultimate waterfall palooza! The track takes you through dense jungle, over rivers, and past 14 or so waterfalls. We even saw a random blue lobster in the middle of the hike! My legs were admittedly exhausted by the end, but it was well worth it.
2. Daisy Hill Koala Center
On the way from the Glass House Mountains (a bit over rated if I’m being honest) to the Sunshine Coast, we hit the Daisy Hill Koala Center. For the two week journey, we’ve seen countless koala crossing signs, yet no koalas. What’s up with that?! I have a complete fascination with Australian wildlife (click HERE to learn about platypuses and echidnas), and the Daisy Hill Koala Center seemed like the perfect free option to get my koala fix. The facility was lovely, and the koalas were outrageously adorable.
I learned that eucalypt leaves are hard to chew and digest while being poor in nutrients. This is why koalas get 16-22 hours of sleep a day. Yet, it’s all koalas eat! As to how the species still exists with such an inefficient diet is shocking.
There was a brief glimmer of sum amidst a 6-day rainy streak, so we bolted out of Ballina and towards Protestor’s Falls in Nightcap National Park. The van had a challenging time navigating the pot-hole peppered dirt road, and I had a white knuckled grip on my seat for the 45minute drive waiting for a flat tire to happen. After a short and extremely pleasant hike through the jungle, we arrived at Protestor’s Falls and it was simply jaw-dropping.
Blue, warm, clear ocean water water, soft sanded beaches, green verdant trees, and no cares in the world. Could you ask for anything more? Noosa is an idyllic Sunshine Coast beach town that is nothing short of stunning. We checked out the national park, strolled the downtown area, and mostly soaked up the sun on the beach! After non-stop rain and a go-go-go itinerary, taking time to just stop and relax was glorious.
These were my 4 highlights of the journey thus far!
Stay tuned for more adventures ahead!