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

Roadtrip to Wilsons Promontory & Phillip Island, Victoria | Back in Melbourne + Vintage Shopping

I had the biggest urge to go back to Melbourne. I could literally hear it calling me to come back again before I leave back to Germany and I couldn’t and didn’t want to resist.

Melbourne is one of my favourite places in Australia and its definitely on the same ranking level as Sydney. I love the vibe, the coffee shops and cafés, the amazing Vintage stores and the alternative places in Brunswick. And it has an extra special place in my heart because I met two amazing people there and we spend a few wonderful days together that I will forever keep in my memory.

So before I started my new job I decided spontaneously to just book a flight and spend another week in Victoria knowing that my friend James (that I met over 6 months ago in Melbourne and haven’t seen since then) would come over from Adelaide as well. And it was a big miracle that my other friend Sabrina from Italy (that I saw in between in Surfers Paradise in January) just texted me a few days before and said that she is going to be in Melbourne for one day as well. What a crazy coincidence!

I had two days to myself in Melbourne that I also vlogged and spend mostly shopping and strolling through the amazing Vintage shops and boutiques, spending time with myself cooking, reading and drinking tea, going to a café by myself and just enjoying the city.

I hope you enjoyed the vlog and like my videos! Feel free to give me suggestions to better or ideas to talk about in my videos. I really want to get more into YouTube and videos as I really enjoy it.  

This video is actually my favourite and (in my opinion) the best video I made so far. Not really because the clips are that nice and cinematic or anything (more the opposite :D ) but just how natural it felt for me to film and talk. So I hope you like it too!

IMG_E3963

This was the cutest store I went to! 100% interior goals and the cutest jewellery. It’s called Folkstore and you can see more of it in my video and also what I bought there.

I have a thing for beautiful dishes and tableware. Especially when it’s handmade and unique. Pity that it’s also so freaking expensive and not really handy to take with you as a Backpacker :D

IMG_4019

My hostel-cooked dinner: fresh spinach and rocket with wholemeal spaghetti and a tomato sauce made of canned crushed tomatoes, onion and carrot.

UFFW0260

Two achievements from my shopping day 1: a black vintage Levi’s mom jeans and a beautiful ring.

IMG_4038

IMG_4046

My favourite Avo smash toast that I needed to eat again in Melbourne. Find out where you get it and more Melbourne food tips in this blogpost!

IMG_4083

Reunited with my first friend I made here in Australia. Crazy to think that that’s already 7 months ago…

I also tried a new place to eat: Vegie Bar and I had a vegan Pizza which was really good!

UHDQ1798

IMG_4095

And I also had t go back to Lentils as Anything because I fell in love the last time and it was almost as good again! We had such a good night talking a lot and it felt like we never left Melbourne and spread apart.


Roadtrip to Wilsons Promontory & Phillip Island

Me and my friend James rented a campervan for 3,5 days to go on a little adventure road trip to the south-east of Melbourne.

We had the best three days even though the weather wasn’t that great and we didn’t explore much, but we just enjoyed the time together in our cool camper. It was that great that we decided to do another, longer one up the East Coast from Noosa to Cairns (and further north) in June and I am already looking forward to that.

IMG_4112

IMG_4115

Breakfast in the van. Not outside because it was rainy most of the time, but really cozy and comfy inside the van.

IMG_4125

First, we drove to Wilsons Promontory and we wanted to hike and explore a lot. Unfortunately, the weather was pretty grey, foggy and rainy but the hike up the mountains is supposed to be really beautiful and you have an awesome view over the national park (when it’s not foggy at least :D ).

IMG_4139

But we were lucky to get some sunshine in the afternoon and did a bushwalk to see wallabies, wombats (my first wild ones) and beautiful colourful birds.

GEYB5107

Behind the scenes of the picture above :P

IMG_4144

Our afternoon view playing cards and watching the sunset.

IMG_4159IMG_4157

This trip made me realise again how awesome camper life is and now I really want to do that more often and have my own van in a few year to travel Europe and make weekend trips as often as I can.

IMG_4182 (1)

After Wilsons Promontory we drove to Philipp Island. A little island, not far from Melbourne with beautiful beaches, crystal blue water and awesome sunsets over the water.

IMG_4257

We probably had the best ever view over the ocean, relaxing in our bed, windows and doors open, enjoying the sun and watching the sunset.

IMG_4214

Our days consisted of driving, talking, listening to music, cooking and eating, reading, playing cards, walking through nature and watching out of our camper windows – just enjoying life.

IMG_4230IMG_4245IMG_4262

This trip has been my favourite road trip I did so far and I am so looking forward to renting a camper again and go explore!

Do you like van life as well? What do you enjoy most about it? What has been your favourite road trip so far and what is still on your bucketlist?

Up North We Go! – Travelling the East Coast | Diary 009

After my cousin and I spend a wonderful week in the big city Sydney, it was time for us to drive through the countryside and explore some cute towns and cities up the east coast as we headed to Brisbane.

Unfortunately, we only had a week time to travel up north to Brisbane because my cousin only had three weeks of vacation in total, so we could only stay for one or two days at each place and had to minimise the stops.

That’s why I will probably travel this part of the East Coast once again myself and go to the places that we didn’t make it to this time.

IMG_8387

Sunday 4/11

Our one and only day in Port Macquarie started with pancakes for breakfast at Port Macquarie Backpackers. The hostel is super cute, very small and I really liked the relaxed and familiar atmosphere there.

We walked to the city centre, strolled through the streets and later on to the koala hospital. This is the highlight of Port Macquarie for sure and it is definitely worth to stop by.

At 3pm they do a free tour of the hospital where one of the volunteers tells a lot about the history of the hospital and its patients, how the koalas get treated, as well as some stories of already released patients.

It was super interesting and so nice to see koalas awake (they sleep about 20 hours per day, but at 3pm it is their meal time so they wake up) and very close, but without them being used as a show animal and to amuse tourists.

IMG_8390

Afterwards, we walked to the beach with the famous coloured stones and back to the hostel to eat and go to sleep early as we had to wake up in the middle of the night to catch our bus to go to Byron Bay.

BDBN2522

Monday 5/11

After trying to sleep half of the night in the bus we arrived in Byron Bay, had some struggles finding a place to store our bags for the day (because we couldn’t check in that early) and strolled through the city centre.

I really like Byron and its chilled, relaxed surfer vibes with cute little cafés, surf and bikini shops and stores with the cutes hippie chic fashion – I love it!

IMG_8417IMG_8486IMG_8432

In the afternoon we decided to do the lighthouse walk and started along the main beach, barefoot in the sand. Later, it got a bit steeper and it was super hot but we made it to the top and had an amazing view. I really want to do that walk once again for sunset as it must be magical lightning at that time!

IMG_8445

On that hike you also pass the most eastern point of the Australian main country and get to the famous lighthouse.

IMG_8461

On the way back you walk through a beautiful forest and see so many birds and plants.

IMG_8475

After the hike, we treated ourselves with some cake. I got a vegan chocolate berry cake and Lisa went for a berry cheesecake.

We checked into the best Airbnb we had on our whole trip. Super big, clean and calm.

 

 

I cooked some yummy cheesy vegan pasta. It only took me about 12 minutes and it’s healthy and delicious –  you can find the recipe and many more in my blog post on Quick, Cheap, Healthy & Vegan Dinner Recipes!

IMG_8507

From that day I got my first little sunburn ever :D I usually never get sunburned, but I probably didn’t apply sunscreen carefully enough. Luckily it didn’t hurt and was already gone after two days.

Tuesday 6/11

In the morning Lisa and I worked out in the Airbnb together and had breakfast afterwards.

We went to Tallow beach that was just two streets away from our home and we were almost completely alone at that beach. It is not the main beach in Byron Bay and very long so it felt almost like we had the whole beach to ourselves. But it was also pretty windy which means it was sandy and after that beach day, we had sand EVERYWHERE.

 

In the late afternoon, we walked to the city and I met Steph again who I met on the Outback tour and I was so so happy to catch up with her and see her before she left to go home to Guatemala a few days later.

 

Wednesday 7/11

The next morning we had a few hours left in the city before we drove further north to Surfers Paradise.

IMG_8561

Surfers Paradise is part of the Gold Coast. A part of the east coast south of Brisbane that is very long and includes many cities without endings and beginnings of new cities – they all flow into each other.

 

IMG_8549
At least the view from our Airbnb was nice :D

We walked through the centre of Surfers Paradise, sat at the beach and later drove to our Airbnb by Uber. That Airbnb was the least nicest and I wouldn’t recommend it, but it was cheap so we survived the two nights there :D

We went grocery shopping at Coles, cooked dinner and enjoyed the wi-fi (a big advantage for Airbnbs! Their internet is always so much better than in the hostels).

FALS0884ASEK6289

Thursday 8/11

We worked out again that morning and had a wonderful view for our daily breakfast: porridge, cooked with oats, cinnamon and water, with fruit and some nuts on top.

IMG_8593

Then we walked to the city which was another good workout (1h 15 min) and talked a lot which made it way shorter and more enjoyable. Because the weather wasn’t that great, we sadly couldn’t make a beach day on the Gold Coast…

For lunch we decided to eat very unhealthy that day because we wanted to (and we deserved it :D ) and we had Domino’s pizza. They have a 5$ deal here in Australia with a few of their pizzas and I tried their pizza and their vegan cheese for the first time – and it was great! If I ever crave pizza again, I’ll eat that one again.

And as a dessert we got the Churros from Dominos that were pretty good as well, but not as good as the ones from the Churro shops here.

IMG_8590

Even though that day wasn’t that exciting, we were super tired and exhausted from all the walking (and eating :D ).

EBKZ2968

Next day we went to Brisbane and I’ll tell you all about our days in Brisbane in the next post!