We have now been ‘on the road‘ for one month and what a month it has been! We have gone from chilly South Australia to stinking hot Queensland and reached the Northern most tip of Australia. During this time we have done so much, learnt a bit, realised how much we don’t know, been amazed by the beauty of this country and found plenty of good times along the way.
Our first week was simply legging it to Cairns to begin exploring Cape York early enough into the season before it becomes overrun with people during school holidays. This meant a few hours in the car, trekking on some backroads in outback NSW and QLD. It was fantastic and we definitely went through way to fast but we hope to get back at some stage.
Cape York is such a large area full of diverse landscapes; from rugged coastline, dense rainforest and open eucalypt scrubland. It is meant to be a fishing mecca, Steve is not happy this has not been the case so far, with only a small Jewfish and 30cm Barramundi caught and released, but we will keep trying! There is adventure galore, in traversing some epic 4wd tracks and challenging the limits of your car, as well as danger with plenty crocodiles lurking around. But we have seriously loved so much of Cape York so far, we spent 6 nights on the Old Telegraph Track, made it to the northern most tip of Australia, ate fresh oysters, camped along coastline, swam in waterfalls and enjoyed stunning sunsets. We are in no rush to finish the Cape and will probably spend at least a few more weeks north of Cairns, because we seriously cannot get enough of this gorgeous region which is still so remote and wild.
Our little canopy and roof top tent set up is working like a dream. Amy has almost slipped off the side rails on the car only once when setting up the tent (on day 28), we would say that is a success. There are some things that are still finding their spot to live in the canopy but we aren’t missing any of the extra ‘things’ that we had at home. Even the minimal wardrobe is only getting half used currently! No extra issues have arisen with the car, except for the newly modified exhaust thanks to Palm Creek. This has been a nice relief considering our efforts before we left of numerous car issues and expenses.
Free camping for the majority of our time on the road was our aim to reduce costs and to experience more of Australia. We have been able to do this pretty well and managed to spend a 16 day stint out of paid campsites and without a hot shower, Amy survived (mostly). Over the month we have paid for only 8 nights out of 31 days and this has certainly helped with putting us under budget even with all the kilometres that we have driven and a couple of other big expenses that have come up that we won’t have every month. (CLICK HERE for a quick rundown of our expenses so far)
Our favourite place has been the Tele Track because of the gorgeous freshwater creeks that are stunning with private waterfalls and pools for afternoon swims. The landscape changes so much over the couple of hundred kilometres and so does the condition of the track. The people we have met along the way has made it even better, with their crazy shenanigans, helpfulness and a genuinely good chat with top notch people enjoying their holidays. The other highlight was getting to complete the CREB Track with John and Tammy from Winch and Unwind and spend the day with them, they are seriously great people with a similar mindset on traveling Australia and adventure.
What we have learnt
- There is such a thing as too much sleep. After a couple of weeks of getting 10 hours each night we were no longer sleeping properly at all so our bedtime is no longer 8.30pm.
- Sandfly bites are way worse than mosquitoes or march flies, and sometimes the sheltered campsite is not the best.
- You can meet some of the best people on the road as well as some interesting characters. Including a local who takes their pet chicken camping!
- That one white top, is not any good anymore, there will be no more white on this trip.
Steve’s Collection- the ‘things’ he has found along the way
• 2 good clothes pegs
• A piece of chain
• 4 broken crab pots- repaired into 3 good pots
• QLD number plate in Logan’s Ford on the Old Tele Track. Now at home at Bramwell Junction Roadhouse on the number plate tree.