Surfers Paradise, Noosa, Helensvale, Byron Bay, Port Macquarie & Blue Mountains
29.03.2012 - 13.04.2012 26 °C
Before we got to surfers we had to return the green love bug back to Brisbane where driving with no map and no idea where you're going is definitely no fun, but we did manage to get there (without killing each other) courtesy of google maps. Next stop was the train station for the hour and a half journey to Robina where the Backstreet boys biggest fan was waiting to pick us (Lee Roper)! It was a wicked to catch up with Roper and Laura as we had'nt seen them for over a year and its always a good laugh when Ropes is around. We spent the next four days pretty much drinking and firing up the BBQ.
Before we got to Noosa we caught the train back to Brisbane to pick up our upgraded new home and stayed in a campsite near Brisbane airport as Gems mum was flying into joins us on our roadtrip to Sydney.
We arrived at the airport and could'nt find anywhere to park due to the height restrictions of the carpark meaning we were breaking the law doing u turns on one ways! We both managed to be there at arrivals waving our cardboard sign for Mum to walk through. It was 7am so we started the drive up to Noosa with a stop off for a cuppa and some good 'english' chocolate courtesy of Mum (aussie chocolate tastes different as it has some kind of preservative to stop it melting). On the way we also stopped off at the 'Glass House Mountains' where we took a short walk and the first photos showing the great Australian backdrop. The sun was shining so it was a good start to Mums holiday (or 'roadtrip'). We found a lovely campsite in Noosa and as Mum had been on a 24hr flight she wanted a bit of 'comfort' so we stayed in a motel room on the holiday park so we could all get a good nights sleep in readiness for the nights ahead in the campervan!!! The next day we drove into Noosa to discover a lovely beach where we had breakfast on a picnic bench and a walk around the shops. That evening we had our first night in the campervan with a BBQ and bottle of wine watching the parrots and then rather large bats fly around.
The next morning we were up and ready to drive to the Australia Zoo (1hr south of Noosa). The place didn't seem as busy as we thought it might be but then i think we're just used to queuing in England for big attractions! The zoo was great and even laid on a free breakfast as it was Good Friday. We got to see Bindi, Terri and Robert Irwin in the Crocoseum show and recognised some of the Crocs from the TV show.
As it was the Easter weekend everywhere was pretty busy so we could only find room in a campsite in Helensvale which was about a 20 minute drive into Surfers Paradise. We met back up with Lee and Laura for a nice meal and showed Mum the beaches around the area. Overall we had 3 nights there but used one of the days just to chill with another nice BBQ before heading to Byron Bay.
We arrived in a busy but quirky Byron Bay and here we stayed in another motel as it was quite cosy in the campervan, so it was nice to have some space to lay down and relax. We spent the afternoon around the pool with some more BBQ food. The next day we drove into the small town and had a wonder on the beach and around the shops. The weather was slightly overcast so we decided to drive up towards the lighthouse stoping off at the 'Pass' for a lookout point and a nice milkshake in the cafe. The lighthouse has some great views but that day was sooooo windy that it was difficult to stand still without being blown away (wearing a dress was not a good idea that day).
This was a place we stopped off as we had started to do a little more driving as we needed to get to Sydney for Saturday morning to return the van. It was late afternoon when we arrived in the campsite so with some advice from the owners where to eat we ended up in some boat club house eating a rather large roast dinner and then playing several games of Kenno (like Bingo)......yes we are getting old but it was actually good fun .
We arrived in a campsite quite late and tired after the 'SatNav' had taken us the completely wrong way into Sydney (as Gem claims but she actually put in the wrong address).
That night was very cold in the campervan so we did question (Mum and Gem) if this part of the roadtrip was going to be worth it and the next morning we found out. The Echo point lookout had an amazing view with the sun shining again. We had really clear skies to see the 'three sisters' (3 mountains) and the backdrop behind that seemed to go on for miles so we quickly forgot about the cold night. On the other side of the valley there was a 'Scenic World' where you can go on the worlds steepest railway, cable cart and skyline so we headed there for the afternoon for more great views. Before heading back into Sydney we sat in a lovely picnic area for lunch and a glass of wine.
That night we stayed the night in a motel on the edge of Sydney and after returning the campervan in the morning we got a taxi to the hotel into Sydney's centre. I think we were all ready for some comfort, especially after having to get up in the middle of most nights to go to the toilet!
Our trip down from Brisbane to Sydney was perhaps less scenic than the first half in the Jucy van, but it was still good fun and a good experience with Mum especially as it's not something she would usually choose to do as a holiday. It was also great weather everyday with only the odd cloud so we were glad for no cyclones/flooding with Mum on board.
If we could sum up our visit during our roadtrip to Sydney in 5 or so words/statements.
1) Great weather (especially for the time of year in Oz)
2) Great beaches
3) Some good GRUB...on the BBQ
4) Great having Mum on the journey.....helped with the cooking! (Only joking)
5) Gem is not to use the SatNav again!
Random sights/things during the roadtrip to Sydney.
1) Mum having her first ice cream in Oz at the zoo, but managed to drop the double scoop of ice cream in front of everyone when walking into the Crocoseum (and it cost £5)!