MUNDO: Caravan Trip around Queensland Coast

Some of Australia’s best assets are its beautiful beaches, the great opportunities for adventurous road trips and lay back way of living. We experienced all of these in our family caravan trip around the Great Barrier Reef in the Queensland Coastline.

First you need to know:

  • MOTORHOME: Our 26ft Motorhome included 3 double beds (one of which would convert in dining table and couch), good size for us being 4 adults and 2 kids. The kitchen included a mini fridge, basin, microwave and stove. We really didn’t make much us of the bathroom as we preferred to use the ones in the Caravan Parks to avoid dealing with water supplies. It conveniently included several cupboards for storage and folding table and chairs for outdoor setting.
  • HOLIDAY PARKS: We booked beforehand as we took this family trip during the Christmas Holidays Season, which meant low availability (and high prices). We joined Big4 Holiday Parks to access their accommodations in most of the towns and cities we visited. They are great for kids, some with pools, water slides, jumping beds and movie nights. We preferred booking suites (meaning with private bathroom), but due to availability, in some cities had to use the shared bathrooms. We prepared our own meals almost every day and night at the Parks’ shared BBQs and kitchens.
  • DRIVING: Be prepared for long hours of driving, remember to always keep left and buckle up. 

OUR JOURNEY

BRISBANE

A good option for arrival as it has an international airport. Brisbane is Australia’s third largest city.

Our TOP recommendations:

  • CRUISE THE RIVER: Wander along the promenade at South bank and watch the man made beach.
  • MEET THE KOALAS: Hold a koala, hand feed kangaroos and meet a large variety of Australian wildlife in beautiful, natural settings of the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary.
  • SHOP ‘TILL YOU DROP: More than 700 retailers have made their homes in Brisbane. Enjoy malls
    and street frontage as well as the world-class centres and heritage-listed arcades.

BRISBANE to NOOSA • drive 1.50hs

The Sunshine Coast has over 100 kilometres of beautiful beaches stretching through numerous coastal towns like Caloundra, Mooloolaba, Maroochydore, Coolum Beach and Noosa. 

Our TOP recommendations:

  • BEACH HOPPING: Depending how many days you have, take some time to visit every beach and town,  they all offer a unique vibe.
  • NOOSA: Noosa’s town is one of our favourite spots in Australia, the perfect combination of elegance and coastal charm.
  • DINE BY THE BEACH:  Thoughtfully sourced Modern Australian cuisine in a quietly stylish spot at 
     

NOOSA to ROCKHAMPTON • drive 5.50 hs

Rockhampton is one of Queensland’s oldest cities. The city is located on the Fitzroy River, and features beautiful heritage buildings, wonderful restaurants, and shopping and art galleries. You’re guaranteed to get a great steak in Rockhampton because it happens to be the Beef Capital of Australia. 

ROCKHAMPTON to AIRLIE BEACH • drive 5HS

Known as the ‘heart of Australia’s’ Great Barrier Reef, Airlie Beach is the gateway to both the Reef and the 74 tropical islands known as the Whitsundays. Situated on a peninsula, this small tourist town is the perfect spot for lovers of outdoor and adventure sports, such as sailing, diving, fishing, and skydiving. The area is also well known for its nightlife, with numerous clubs, bars, and restaurants and a lively atmosphere.

Our TOP recommendations:

  • MANTARAY CHARTERS: We chose this tour because it  included the two things we wanted to enjoy: snorkelling and visits to famous Whitehaven Beach. First, we arrived to Hill Inlet from where we took photos of the amazing Whiteheaven beach, then we enjoyed some time on the beach (Stinger Suits on) swimming with mantras and lemon sharks (little yellow sharks). Then, we had almost an hour of boat ride to the diving site.  Some of us scuba dive and others snorkelled. Either way it was absolutely incredible, we were surrounded by colourful fishes of all sizes, and most impressive was the coral reef.

  • SCENIC FLIGHT: We didn’t get to do this because of availability but we would have loved to take  the Island Explorer or Reef and Island scenic flight, combined with the award winning Ocean Rafting adventure tour from GSL Aviation.
  • HIDEAWAY BAY: If you like to seek out hidden gems on your travels, Hydeaway Bay should be on your list. This tiny coastal hamlet is set on a long, white, sandy beach on a no-through road about 50 kilometres from Airlie Beach. We enjoyed a picnic by the beach and much appreciated peace and solitude.

  •  HAMILTON ISLAND: Set amidst pristine surroundings, Hamilton Island offers a multitude of activities and accommodation options for every traveller. If you are sating in Airlie Beach, you can book a ferry ticket and visit the island for the day. Only transportation available are golf carts, great for a ride around the island. You will also love the sunset from the highest point of the island and paddle boarding, relaxing and swimming around one of the pools or the beach. 

AIRLIE BEACH to YEPPOON • drive 5.30hs 

Yeppoon is a sunny coastal town with long beaches and parks. A very different sight as the colours vary from turquoise sea and white sands from the islands to darker blues, green and brownish tones. We stayed one day to recover energies for the rest of the travels, mainly enjoying family time at the Capricorn Palms Holiday Village.

YEPPOON toHERVEY BAY • drive 5hs 

Named by Captain Cook in 1770, Hervey Bay is made up of numerous tiny townships, and is the gateway to Fraser Island. 

Our TOP recommendations:

  • FRASER ISLAND: The Fraser Explorer tour around the world’s largest sand island and World Heritage Listed area was fantastic.  Our 4WD took us by the stunning beaches, by the shipwreck and the pinnacles. We had a short walk around tea tree forests and rainforests and refreshed by freshwater lakes. My favourite was Lake McKenzie, a magical place with white sand (good for exfoliating) and clear blue sweet water. The Dingo is also common on Fraser Island with numerous array of mammals including 74 different species of reptiles.

  • HERVEY BAY BEACHES: the long beaches of the area are great for water sports and family activities.

HERVEY BAY to SURFERS PARADISE • drive 4.30hs

There’s a reason why it’s called Surfers Paradise. It’s long beaches with wavy surf are ideal for beginners  and professionals alike. We must advise, it’s a very touristic city, not for the bohemian soul. Still, a great ending to this unique trip around one of the most beautiful coastlines of the world.

Sources: Queensland Coast Holidays  ♦ Discovery Campervans  ♦ Big4 Holiday Parks ♦ Queensland Tourism ♦ Whitsundays Tourism  ♦ Photos: Josefina Luna

 

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