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The third week of our camping adventure in Australia has passed and we had some real highlights this week (also some let downs, but just some minors things), so we are still amazed by Australia’s beautiful wildlife and nature and still not so amazed by the camping thing ;-).
After spending a nice day at the campground near Yeppon we decided to drive some greater distance the next day, since we didn’t find so many places nearby we would have been interested in. So we drove all the way up nearly till Mackay and spent the night at a parking space at the ocean, nothing special.
The next day we did some grocery shopping in Mackay and then went to Cape Hillsborough National Park. There is a camp site there, it’s not very luxurious, but you will park between palms, the amneties were okay and the beach is nice. We spent some time at the pool and the beach and Daddy Frei even caught a little hammerhead shark (and released it again of course). They even have some Kangaroos chilling on the camp site. But the highlight was the next morning, we got up really early before sunrise and went to the beach, where a lot of Kangaroos just hang out. So we experienced the sunrise with the Kangaroos – what a magical morning!
After breakfast we drove to Airlie Beach, where we decided to stay for two nights in the BIG 4 Adventure Whitsundays Resort, which is a really nice camp site, we had an ensuite site, the pool with slides was fun for the girls and they have been super friendly. We then drove first into Airlie Beach, to check some day trip options for the Whitsundays. We had the feeling Airlie Beach is more a backpacker destination, they have a lagoon which is okay and a lot of travel agencies – all lined up in the same street. So we checked 4 of them, just to hear about the different options there would be and what would be the best with the kids. Luckily we checked the last agency, since they had a special offer for a sailboat: the Providence, the girls were free (normally you have to pay when they are 4 years old) and we liked that we would be on a sailboat. So we booked this for Wednesday. Tuesday was a pool and relax day, all of us just needed this, after having spent every day somewhere different for the past 3 weeks.
On Wednesday we got picked up by the sailboat crew early in the morning at the campground (we could leave the camper there at a parking space) and we went to the Harbour to get on the Providence. It was a really nice boat with a lovely crew. They explained everything, the girls could help to hoist the sails and after 2 hours we had coffee and cupcakes. Our first stop was the Tongue Bay and the Hill Inlet Lookout, a short walk up the hill and you can oversee Whitehaven Beach, that’s the spot where all the typical Whitsundays pictures are taken. We then went down to the beach and yes it is really really white. We spent a hour at the beach in the shallow water, took lots of pictures and luckily there haven’t been too many people. Back on the boat we had a really yummy lunch with wraps and quiche and then we went to the next spot at Dumbell Island where we could do some snorkeling. The girls managed it pretty well, but after some time, they just wanted to float with the life jackets, which was fine as well. We did some snorkeling and then went back to the boat. It took us ca 2 hours to go back to the Harbour and they offered some fruits, cheese and snacks – also really nice. It was a super nice day on the Providence and we can really recommend it!
They took us back to the campground and we decided to drive to the next stop, even though it was already a bit late. This was a mistake we would find out later that night. We wanted to stay at the beach in Bowen, Daddy Frei had spotted a nice place on google Maps. So we drove there, but they had “No camping” signs everywhere :-(. We tried several spots, but weren’t lucky and since it was past 8 already, it was too late for a camp site. And we where running out of fuel and since the girls had already fallen asleep in their seats we decided just to park in a parking spot and get some rest and drive on early the next morning. We got woken up at 3am by a friendly police officer who let us know we could not stay there or we would have to pay a high fine. So annoying, so we had to wake the girls, put them in their seats and we drove back to the highway and parked at a fuel station, got some more sleep till the station opened and had breakfast in our pyjamas at the truck stop ;-). So much for the adventure…
Since we expected it to be like this all up the northern coast till Cairns and did not want to spent our nights at highway rest areas we looked up campgrounds that are as close as possible to the beach and found the Big4 Rollingstone Beach Front Resort. And this was such a pleasant surprise. We had an absolute beachfront space, the amneties were super clean and the pool is really nice. And it was one of the cheapest we have been. So if your are looking for a real beachfront campground: go there!
Next day we drove to Mission Beach, just strolled through town a bit and then went to the campground in South Mission Beach “Beachcomber Coconut Caravan Village”, which was okay, the beach is near, but no beachfront spots. And we realized it was already Friday again, wow the week passed so fast! Next week will already be our last week in Autralia before we fly to the Fijis. I won’t pretend, I will not miss the camping, but I’m also so thankful for the nice places we have seen so far and the animal encounters we could have!
Have a nice week everyone!