Sunshine Coast to Cairns & Further North – Road Trip, Australia

After I finished my time as an AuPair on the Sunshine Coast, my plan was to travel up north once again so that I could leave Australia from Cairns to go to Bali.

Even though I’ve already travelled the East Coast with my family in a caravan from Cairns to Sydney, we only had a very short time for this long distance and therefore I didn’t felt like I had actually seen much of it.

Luckily a friend of mine, that I met right at the beginning of my travels in Melbourne about 8 months before wanted to join me for this trip and so we had a really great road trip together.

Before, we already did a little mini road trip in Wilsons Promontory, Victoria for a few days, to see if we would fit together travelling in a small camper and after travelling on my own for a long time, I was really happy to share this experience.

IMG_6541

Home on Wheels

We rented a camper at travellers-autobarn for little over a month in Brisbane and he picked me up on the Sunshine Coast, where we stayed for the first two days.

In the beginning, when you get your new car, everything feels weird, not homie and you might wonder how you are going to survive five weeks in this little space. But after everything has it’s place and you are into a routine, you can really imagine how people live in vans fulltime.

IMG_6597

On the Road

Because we had over 5 weeks for our trip, we could really stop wherever we wanted and only had to plan for a few days in advance, never rushed to get anywhere in time.

I know that is not the case for everyone, but I will just share out experience and the best places we visited and you can pick and choose what places you actually want to/have time to go to and I bet that there are still places that we haven’t visited ether – Australia just has so much to offer!

WQOI9063

Money Money Money

I tried to write down what we spend on this trip, but it is really hard to remember. Also, the costs really depend on season, if you try to find free camps as much as possible, if you eat out or do lots of activities and trips.

I’d say we spend around 700$ + 600$ for the costs of the van for those 5 weeks. So it was definitely not a cheap month on my travels. But on the other hand we went to soo many places, did so many amazing things, had the freedom of our own car to go places and that was definitely worth it.

When you first hear camping and van life, you think of a very cheap way of travelling. But actually renting a car, fuel & campgrounds are pretty pricey. It’s probably cheaper to travel by Greyhound Bus and sleep in cheap hostels but you don’t have the freedom of your own car to go places…

IMG_6429

FOOOOOD

As I said, the costs of your trip also really depend on what you eat, what you buy & cook and how much you eat out. And we definitely weren’t super thrifty.

Food is a really big passion of mine. I love eating out, trying restaurants and healthy eating and cooking is important for me and I would rather spend a bit more money on it – in my opinion, that’s worth it.

We did cook mainly vegan (meat and cheese is pretty expensive anyways). Lot’s of chickpea curries, wraps with egg or falafel, avo toasts, porridge, burgers & sandwiches…

IMG_7140IMG_6845IMG_6667IMG_6664

But we also loved a good Aussie brekkie in a nice café and with an epic view. Coffee is also pretty expensive, so I’d recommend not having coffee out all the time.

App Recommendations

There are some apps that have been really helpful to plan our trip, find free camps, find campgrounds, free toilets, water to refill our tank and to find cheap fuel.

  • Campermate
  • Fuel Map
  • Here we go
  • Wikicamper

As well as google maps obviously :D

VQIT3596

Our Trip

Our trip started on the Sunshine Coast, where I was living with my AuPair Family at that time. James picked me up and we spend one day in the Hinterlands of the Sunny Coast with another friend of mine.

We went to the Glasshouse Mountains, Maleny & Montville. A very beautiful landscape and drive and two very cute little mountain towns, that are pretty touristy (in a good way) and offer a lot for daytrippers.

DSC03561

Then we continued to Rainbow Beach and had a night in Maryborough, before we went to Hervey Bay & Fraser Island.

IMG_6534DSC03516DSC03479

In the Bundaberg region we went to Coral Cove and Mon Repos Conservation Park. A very beautiful place where you can learn a lot about sea turtles and if you are lucky (and there at the right time) you can even see baby turtles hatch and make their way to the ocean.

IMG_6549DSC03500

We further north to Rockhampton and Yeppel, where we stayed for two nights to have one full day on Great Keppel Island. A very small and beautiful tropical island where you can hike, explore, snorkel and enjoy – without many other tourists!

IMG_6609IMG_6632

In Mackay, we stayed at my friend’s families place and explored Eugella NP. I would really recommend going there as you can very likely see wild Platypus at Broken River
– which is really special, as they are super shy. And the Finch Hatton Gorge is very nice to have a cooling bath as well.

ERSM2666IMG_6640DSC03591

Afterwards, we went to the famous Cape Hillsborough NP where you can experience a sunrise with Kangaroos at the Beach. Unfortunately, it was foggy in the morning, but nevertheless, this place is really beautiful.

Also, I can highly recommend doing the walk to the Turtle Lookout as we saw soo many turtles and the water has an epic colour.

IMG_6686IMG_6667IMG_6708FYFG6312IOFI0378

We spend a few nights in Airly Beach. Had breakfast at the Fat Frog with a beautiful view. Went to the Cedar Creek Falls, did a two-day sailing tour with Southern Cross to the Whitsundays and to snorkel & I also did my very first SkyDive which was such an epic experience and a really awesome view!

EBIF9989IMG_6567

Further north we stopped in Bowen for a night and went snorkelling at Horseshoe Bay – a really nice place to go to.

IMG_6885IMG_6874IMG_6845IMG_6931

I really fell in love with Townsville. The view from the Castle Hill for sunset is amazing and we also enjoyed an adventurous day on Magnetic Island.

Magnetic is really great for snorkeling, hiking, exploring and they also have some cute cafés, but it is definitely a more common and more touristy place than the Keppel Islands – very worth it though.

DSC03570LNQK3802WXMJ5905

Next up was exploring Little Cristal Creek, Jourama Falls and Wallaman Falls. A very beautiful area and we had so much fun exploring all day, swimming and wondering around.

IPZR8212

Mission Beach is probably a really beautiful place, but unfortunately, it was not the best weather, so we couldn’t really enjoy it to the fullest. We still did some rainforest walks and did a little Lookout drive around.

IMG_7098 (1)

Somewhere I really wanted to go was the Milla Milla waterfalls circuit. A bit off the Coastline but so worth going there in my opinion.

IMG_6650

In Cairns, we again stayed at my friends families place at Palm Cove / Clifton Beach and I can really recommend this area. Central Cairns isn’t really that special, but the northern Beaches are so beautiful!

The lagoon in Cairns is really nice as it is a free swimming pool area and the Art Gallery is really nice as well if you like to see some local and aboriginal art – it’s free to visit too!

IMG_7212IMG_7165

We went on a day-trip to Fitzroy Island, which I can really recommend, to snorkel on the Great Barrier Reef from the Island.

IMG_7161
Also went to the rainforest village Koranda for a day to explore the markets and go to the Butterfly Sanctuary.

DCIM100GOPROGOPR0358.JPGDCIM100GOPROGOPR0336.JPG

Obviously, we had to do another boat trip to the Great Barrier Reef for a day. They are so worth the money as it is so fun to snorkel and I also did my very first scuba dive trial which was a lot of fun as well.

GUSD8738IMG_7244IMG_7288IMG_7283IMG_7324IMG_7276IMG_7318

From Cairns, we went up further north: along the famous beach with stone architecture to Port Douglas, to then go even further to Daintree Village to do a Croc Tour on Daintree river.

We crossed the river with the ferry to go into Daintree rainforest. The ice cream at the Ice Cream Company is really amazing and so worth a stop as they have flavours of fruits you have never seen or heard of before – and they taste so epic and tropical!

That’s why I also decided to do a fruit tasting in Cape Tribulation to try all different kinds of tropical fruits and learn about them – so interesting, fun and delicious.

IMG_7329

We had such an epic time on our road trip and even though I would say I’ve seen a lot of Australia and had such a long time there – I still feel like I really need to come back to explore more and to go back to places I love.

Being in Australia for 10 months and really feeling like I belong there. I am already excited to come back!

IMG_7399
My last picture in Australia <3

My Medicine Bag and Practical Things every Backpacker Needs

Before you start travelling longterm you think about what you could need. What situations are likely to happen. And what is actually necessary to carry around.

But you are never fully prepared, you never think about ALL the things that are actually handy to have and obviously, everyone’s needs and focus is different as well.

So with this blog post I want to show you a few things I am really glad to have with me and are actually approved by 6 months of travelling (so far). And I’ll also show you the insides of my medicine bag that is very minimalistic but still holds everything I need on hand (because everything special can be bought when you actually need it).

DSC03456.jpg

My Medicine Bag

I don’t get sick very often and I don’t think it’s necessary to travel with a lot of medicine on hand. You can always buy something when you actually need it and that’s far better than carrying everything for every situation with you around. You won’t need it all. There is no need to be prepared for everything.

Obviously, it depends on where you are travelling and what you are doing and you need to adjust your medicine bag from country to country (and person to person).

This is just an idea of what I took with me for one year of backpacking through Australia.

DSC03458.jpg

  • Bandages. I’ve got way to many with me! I don’t even remember when the last time was that I needed one…
  • Nurofen Painkillers for Teens. They still work for me when I have a headache, so I still use them. I try to always use the minimum amount possible (while still taking what is necessary).
  • Strong Painkillers. Never needed one, but it’s good to have some on hand in an emergency and then I can buy more if necessary.
  • Eyedrops. For minor infections, itchy eyes or too much salt water in eyes.
  • Anti-Diarrhoea tablets. In a new country with new food… you never know.
  • Nose spray. A little cold can always surprise you, especially after flying or strong changes in the weather.
  • Throathies. Having an itchy throat is so annoying and happens so quickly when you are in cold Aircon air a lot. (Not in the picture bc already used up…)
  • Homeopathic Globuli. I know, not everyone is a fan of stuff like that, but my family is into that stuff and it doesn’t hurt to take these to help your body and feel better.

My mom helped me decide what to take and she also made a sheet with when to take which Globuli. We always buy all our medicine at an online pharmacy at home. Online pharmacies like Shop-Apotheke deliver all the medicine you need to your doorstep wich is super practical.

Until now I only had to buy Nose spray (bc I didn’t take any with me – I don’t know why) and some caught medicine because I had a cold from the cold shopping centres.

DSC03436.jpg

Practical Things for Backpackers

Along my travels, there were a few things that ended up being super handy and some other things that I felt like missing and bought. So here are the things that I find really handy as a Backpacker and some of them, you might not think about yourself when packing.

Besides that, I obviously also have a lot of other handy things with me. Here you can see What’s in my Backpack for longterm travelling through Australia.

DSC03447.jpg

  • Reusable Water Bottle. To always have something to drink with you. Never pay any money for water and save the earth from plastic.
  • Cotton Shopping Bag. As a beach bag, handbag, for plastic-free shopping…
  • Tupperware Containers. To store leftover food or for cheap & healthy meals on the go.

DSC03449.jpg

  • Spices. To make your food taste like something and because most hostels only have salt. Cinnamon for sweets. Turmeric because it’s healthy. And the All Purpose Seasoning contains mostly salt, paprika, garlic and some other herbs and makes every savoury dish really yummy (and it’s so easy!).

DSC03451

  • Mueslie Bar. I always carry a safety bar with me when I go out for a whole day. You never know when you need some extra energy and it’s not always worth spending money on takeaway food.

DSC03453.jpg

  • Pen.
  • Headphones.
  • Baby wipes. Or hand sanitiser for disgusting phones, hands or…
  • Cream. For dry skin and lips especially.
  • Vitamin B12. For veggies.
  • Multivitamin. I don’t take them daily, but here and there if I feel like I am not getting all the nutrients I need through my diet.
  • Ohropax. For hostel rooms or loud aeroplane rides.
  • Playing cards. It’s always fun to play some cards with friends and it’s a great way to make new friends in hostels.

DSC03442.jpg

I hope you found this blog post helpful and you got some ideas for things to not forget on your own travels!

Am I missing anything in your opinion? What do you take with you?

DSC03438.jpg


WERBUNG / ADVERTISMENT

* This post is sponsored by shop-apotheke.com. Everything I say and recommend is still 100% honest and true to what I have with me / use.

The Ultimate SYDNEY Guide | Important Tips, Places to See, Things to do

In total, I spend almost one month in Sydney. Living in Bondi Beach for 2 weeks and the rest in the City centre, so I would say I can give a good overview on places to see, what to do and tips for an awesome time in one of the most liveable Cities on the planet.

And because Sydney (and Australia in general) is a healthy/vegan/pretty Café and Food heaven there will be a Food Guide coming soon as well!

IMG_8043

I can definitely say that Sydney is one of my favourite cities now. Especially living in Bondi Beach (or Manly), but I could not choose between Melbourne or Sydney (if we cut out the weather fact :D ) cause both have such different personalities and I really love them both for different reasons.

That’s why I would highly recommend visiting both when you plan to go to Australia. Here you can find my Travel Guide for Melbourne with all the essential tips and places to go and see.

DSC02422DSC02406DSC02393

Important things you need to know!

  • If you arrive at the airport in Sydney, avoid taking the tram to the centre (if you are on a budget). They are really expensive (about 20$ one way). Either take an Uber if you are several people that share the costs or take the Bus 400 to Bondi Junction and go from there to your destination (if you have the time, cause it takes longer).
  • On Sundays, you only pay 2,80$ for the whole day of using public transport (usually the daily maximum limit you could pay is 13$) so make sure you make use of it and take the Ferry or other long/expensive routes.

Things to Do

Opera House. See a show or a ‚behind the scenes‘, we watched the behind the scenes of the ballets Spartacus and the Nutcracker and it was amazing to see the ballet dancers in their training, it was only 29$.

DSC02451DSC02398DSC02393

DSC03053.jpg

See the Opera from many different perspectives. From the Harbour Bridge, the Botanical Garden, the Ferries that go to Manly or from the other side of the harbour.

IMG_8056IMG_7978IMG_7979

Botanical Garden. The Botanical Garden of Sydney is huge and shows many different plans from all over the country and the world. You can explore different sections with plants of different parts of Australia. The place is ideal for a nice picnic in the shades of palm trees and from the waterfront walk and Mrs. Macquarie’s Point you have a beautiful view over the Harbour, the Harbour Bridge, the Opera House and the Downtown Skyline.

 

National Art Gallery of New South Wales. The Art Gallery located in The Domain is definitely worth a visit showing beautiful Aboriginal Art as well as modern Australian artists and exhibitions.

IAWW8568 (1)

Museum of Contemporary Art. Another very nice museum with beautiful exhibitions and a great view from the Skydeck over the city and Harbour Bridge.

DSC02459DSC02390DSC02451

Walk on Harbour Bridge. When you walk on the Bridge you have a beautiful view over the Harbour, the Opera and the waterfront houses. There is also a Skydeck on one of the towers. The entry price is pretty high, but the view is for sure great.

IMG_8112DANR2874IMG_7794

Darling Harbour. This vibrant place is best to visit in the evening when everyone is out for drinks and dinner or at lunchtime when you can see the real Sydney-business people coming out of their Skyscrapers for a quick bite to eat and a chat with friends and colleagues.

IMG_8153

Shopping. Great places to check out for shopping are around Town Hall and the Queen Victoria building.

AVQF0108

At the Queen Victoria building, there is also the Jet Café & Bar that I can highly recommend to eat Carrot Cake. I went there every time I was nearby and it is the best carrot cake I’ve ever had and for the location definitely not overprices.

IMG_8328

Peddy’s Market and Chinatown are also good to check out. It’s not as big as in Melbourne for example, but in the Peddy’s Market there is a section of fresh fruit & vegetables that are fairly cheap and good quality and the IGA upstairs is super interesting because they mostly sell Asian food and you can find some cool stuff to try out.

ss.PNG

Once a month there is also a completely Vegan Market with lots of street food and great brands. For more information have a look at their Instagram @sydneyveganmarket. I am super sad that I never made it there…

Newtown. This part of the city reminded me a bit of Melbourne with all the street art, Vintage and Second-Hand shops and the people that walk around. Very hipster and cool. There are also many vegan restaurants and cafés located here like Gelato Blue, Golden Lotus, Lentils as Anything, Buddha Bowl Café, Gigi’s Pizzeria and more.

VOKG7376

Surry Hills. Another lovely part of the town with many nice lunch spots and restaurants, shops and little boutiques. I lived there for one week in an Airbnb with my cousin and it is definitely the best place to live in the city centre because it is located very central, near the Centra Station that takes you basically everywhere and it’s not too far to walk to the Harbour and it’s still very quiet and calm and nice.

IMG_1682

Manly. The ferry ride from and too Manly is already worth going. You have the most amazing view over the skyline, Harbour Bridge and the Opera House. But Manly in general is a super cute part of town you shouldn’t miss. The beach is really nice and the pedestrian streets are great to stroll around, shop and eat some yummy food. I can also highly recommend doing the walk along the water and West Esplanade. You can see some beautiful houses, lovely views and pretty birds. I would check out Shelly Beach if you have the time as the walk is beautiful to get there and the beach is supposed to be one of Sydney’s best beaches.

IMG_2096

Rose Bay Beach. I went there several times when I was in Sydney in January because it is a beautiful beach. Not very busy and mostly locals going there, you have an amazing view and can see the city centre and Harbour Bridge in the background and the beach is a dog beach so you see many cute puppies playing in the water.

ALEU2662

 

Bondi Beach

I lived in Bondi for 2 weeks, so I definitely know my way around and have checked out many places. I would always recommend staying in Bondi Beach for a few days if you have the time or at least visit the are of Sydney for one full day (or more!).

If I would have to choose a place to live in Sydney, I would pick Bondi Beach. I just really love the vibe: health, fitness, summer, surf and motivated people. Everywhere you look there is people working out, going for walks or surfs, enjoying the sun, healthy vegan cafés, smoothies and acai bowls and walking around in only a bikini and barefoot is no problem.

IMG_7675

I stayed at Surfside Bondi Beach Backpackers twice and I can highly recommend it. Super great vibe, not such a big hostel, the owner and workers are really nice and it is located perfectly: 2 minutes to the beach and right near the main street.

You obviously can’t miss the famous view over the Icebergs Bondi Pool at the ocean just like the beach promenade and the lovely sunset colours over the ocean.

ARMO2248

There is also a Coastal Walk along the beaches that is worth walking to see the best ocean views, nicest beaches and prettiest (and most expensive) houses of Sydney.

Shopping. I liked shopping in Bondi better than in the city centre because it is more casual and less stressful. Great shops to check out are Nimbleactive, Playa, the Vintage store on Hall street and all the nice boutiques and shops on Hall Street, Campbell Parade and Gould Street. There is also a big Westfield Shopping centre in Bondi Junction.

I will also share my food favourites of Bondi with you soon in an extra Sydney Food Guide so stay tuned!

IMG_7989


Have you ever been to Sydney? What were your favourite places? Do you want to visit Sydney one day?