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.

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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.

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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!

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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…

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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…

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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

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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.

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

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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!

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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

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

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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.

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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.

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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!

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My last picture in Australia <3

Life Update – Starting to Work, YouTube, My Plans

My best friend gave me the tip to make a YouTube video talking a bit about myself, what I am doing and what my plans are for new people on my blog and youtube… so here it is!

I thought it would be a good idea to share a little life update because I am not writing my travel diary anymore and you might get confused on what is going on and where I am atm because I am still working on blog post topics from my previous travels, even though I am working right now.

I also wanted to give you an idea on my job and there is a little blog post about finding jobs in Australia and my job coming soon as well, so if you have questions that I need to talk about in that post please message me!

Do you think it’s unnecessary for me to post a blog post when I post a video? I just feel like nobody would find it if I don’t… Do you follow me on YouTube yet? 

 

Q&A – AuPair in Australia

So here we go with my last Q&A for now talking about my time as an AuPair in Australia.

  1. Q&A – Backpacking Australia
  2. Q&A – Work & Travel Australia
  3. Q&A – Solo Travel
  4. Q&A – AuPair in Australia

There is also a blog post with tips, recommendations and information you need to know if you are planning your own Work & Travel journey in Australia in the making.

If you have any further questions or ideas for other Q&A topics, please let me know!


My time as an AuPair has been one of my favourite experiences here in Australia. I am so so glad I got the change to try it, even if it was just for a short period of time. I could not have asked for a better family that will now be my second home far away on the other side of the world and we are already talking about me coming back to visit as soon as I can… and I haven’t even left.

Luckily I found a job nearby so that I can still hang out with them and visit on my free days and it melts my heart when I see how happy the kids are when I am back and spend time with them.

I am just overly grateful for everything and so glad I had this experience!

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Where did you find your AuPair family?

They messaged me over aupairworld.com where you can sign up for free, create an account & profile talking about you and what you are looking for and search for families in countries you want to travel to.

Why did I want to do AuPair in Australia?

One of my best friends told me about aupairworld.com and suggested me to just have a look. And then I ended up liking the idea of becoming and AuPair more and more. I really wanted to experience the REAl Australian family life and I love kids and working with them. Also, it’s a fun and versatile job and I wanted to try it out.

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What are my jobs? What am I doing?

My job is very versatile. I help getting the kids ready for school in the morning, play/entertain/supervise them in the afternoon, do homework with them, help them get ready for bed, prepare school lunches and snacks, cook dinner with my mom and also doing household work like laundry, cleaning, dishes, going food shopping and whatever else was on the plan/my mom needed help with.

But we also enjoyed our time a lot. My mom took me to many places to see the area we live in, going to the beach, for breakfast, shopping, watching Netflix and movies with the kids, reading bedtime stories…

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Is AuPair hard work? Can I recommend it?

It definitely is hard work. Sometimes you need strong nerves and it can get loud and exhausting. But on the other side, it is so fun and funny and the amazing thing about working with kids is, that they always give you something back in return.

So from my side, I can definitely recommend it and I would do it again, but you need to be that type of person that is patient and can be strict while still being nice.

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Do I earn money?

Yes, I get 200$ per week and food and accommodation for free. Usually, your work around 15-20 hours for food and accommodation and the rest is paid.

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Do you speak German or English with your kids?

I speak mostly English with my family, but my mom is learning German at the moment so we practice a lot and say things like: Guten Appetit, Gute Nacht, Danke, Bitte, Hab dich lieb, Ich habe Hunger and stuff in German and the kids pick that up and use it as well which is the cutest.

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If you have any further questions, feel free to ask them down below!