“Oh, there’s another. Did you see that?”
“Definitely a wallaby, kangaroos are bigger and have a boxier snout.”
“Yeah,” I replied. “Hopefully we’ll get to see a live one.”
Like New Zealand, campervans are a very popular way to see the country. Actually, in most parts of Australia they are the only way to go- which is great news for the rental businesses. On the other hand, due to the vastness of the country it’s not always easy to get the vans back where they need them.
This is where a relocation service like iMoova comes in. The company specifies the period of travel, pickup/drop off location, and sets a daily rate- most run as low as $5 a day. The listings are updated daily and usually only cover the following two weeks, which makes it best suited for people with flexibility and time.
Originally I had hoped for a Brisbane to Sydney trip, but when I saw a great deal for Brisbane to Cairns, I jumped on it. Even though it was Christmas, we managed to get a hightop campervan for three people for an entire week for only $200. It also included 3 free refills and all additional cooking and sleeping equipment. In the words of the booking agent it was, “the deal of the century.”
Noosa Heads was our first stop. The rocky coastline was fringed with eucalypt forests and, if we were lucky, koalas. The water was clear and warm and, unlike most of the beaches we visited further north, we didn’t need to swim in a stinger net (like in the photo above). Summer in northern Australia is the high season for extremely poisonous jellyfish.
Everything’s dangerous in Australia, even the roads. Along the A1 was a series of trivia signs that “may save your life.” Seriously, that’s what they said. Further down the road was a Driver Reviver. These kinds of rest areas were manned by volunteers who passed out free tea and coffee. The Lions Club was there that day and they were very generous with the shrink-wrapped biscuits. I put a few coins in the donation box and thanked the retired volunteer. His colleague had a large bandage on his cheek and was patterned like an aging leopard.
That night in Petrie Park, Tiaro we played Frisbee until the mosquitoes turned us in. The dining table and bench seating became mine and Barret’s bed while the alcove above was Mikayla’s. It had seemed spacious until Mikayla reluctantly crawled up there. Her petite frame expanded like Alice’s did when she nibbled the eat me cake. Suddenly the bunk bed was a claustrophobic cave.
After a minute of forlornly testing it out, a small translucent spider crawled across the fuzzy ceiling. Mikayla killed it and jumped back down. We all grabbed a cold ginger beer from the fridge and held it against our necks. It was going to get warm with the three of us squeezed together. Outside the stuffy van the stars shone, the cane toads croaked, and the breeze languidly blew.
In the morning we knocked a molted cicada shell off our front tire and continued driving. Highway A1 ran through dry eucalypt country and fields of tilled red earth. Blooming Poinciana trees dotted the front yards of rural homes and were a startling burst of color against the green and taupe vegetation. In Childers we photographed a fiberglass velociraptor; in Bundaberg we bought a bottle of rum; in Tannum Sands we barbequed lunch.
This part of the coast had gold sand and murky emerald water. However, between the salt water crocs and deadly jellyfish, swimming was impossible. We just kept on driving, there were still 1,200km to go.
About: iMoova car relocations
About: Noosa Heads
How to get to the Bundaberg distillery: Whittred St, Bundaberg QLD 4670