Sydney To Cairns By Camper – days 10-12

day 10

In going to Surfers Paradise a friend of mine had advised us not to stay in Surfers itself but a bit further down the coast at Burleigh Heads. We opted to stay even further down the coast and ended up at a nice little campsite in Coolangatta for a couple of nights. The wifi was free, and true value for money in that it was all but worthless, but they had a big bouncy ‘pillow’ you could jump about on, and there was somewhere under cover we could do yoga, so it all evened out in the end.

Today was the day we took our trip up the coast to go check out Surfers Paradise. And by ‘check out’ I mean ‘lie on the beach doing nothing’. We just headed up the highway until we saw a sign for the CBD, turned right and drove until we hit the coast, jumped out, and jumped straight in the sea.

This was only the second time we’d been in the sea, the first being Byron Bay, and I”m glad to say the waves were quite forgiving this time thankfully. In Byron the current was a bit punishing, and we had a hard time not getting swept down the beach all the time.


After a suitable amount of time catching a few rays (man it was hot!), and a moment to take a quick headstand shot, a shot which left quite an impression,

headstand imprint

we went into the centre of town to try and find something to eat.

NB: Camper headstand shots will be getting their own post shortly.

My Happy Cow app had decided not to work anymore, so we were reliant on ingenuity and dumb luck to find something nutritious and veggie to eat. Unfortunately all we found were expensive chain restaurants that weren’t to our liking. Still we were hungry, and we were about to buckle and go for a pizza or something like that when we happened across the local Govindas!

govindas, surfers paradise

Wherever you are, if there’s a Govindas, you chould go check it out. Good, affordable, nutritious food, made and presented with love. Just check out this pile I got for about $15.

govindas curry

There’s a load of rice and curried veggies under all that dahl, lol.

To say we were happy with what we got would be an understatement. And they even did vegan cupcakes! What bliss. You don’t get that very often. We bought three. πŸ™‚

After our fabulous meal we headed back to Coolangatta for the night. We finished off the evening with a movie. Did you know you can download rental movies from iTunes and they stay on your computer for thirty days, or until you have watched them, whichever comes first. I didn’t until recently. I’d downloaded a few for the trip, so we wouldn’t get bored in the middle of nowhere. And tonight’s movie? – Dodgeball! πŸ˜‰

day 11

Today we planned on heading to the Australia Zoo, then on to somewhere further up the coast for the night, but not before a veggie fry-up in Coolingatta.

coolingatta koala

The fry-up was lovely, but it did put us behind schedule, so we had to start hoofing it up the coast as quick as possible.

heading north

But even ‘as quick as possible’ wasn’t proving to be quick enough. In a service station along the way we realised we wouldn’t get to the zoo until 3:30pm at the earliest. Time enough to do a headstand, but precious little else. So we abandoned that idea and instead looked for somewhere in the Glass House Mountains to park up.

Once more the local Tourist Information was very helpful (who’d have thought it, lol) and came up with a little gem of a campsite right near the zoo – the Glass House Mountains Campsite – that we could stay at for just $15 a night, powered. After a short drive off the Steve Irwin Highway, a precarious three point turn that had the camper on two wheels (back right in a ditch, left front in the air), we managed to check in only to immediately head out again to enjoy a mountain sunset from the local lookout point.

glass house mountains at dusk 2

glass house mountains at dusk 4

mountain lookout trail

All over Oz are picnic areas with free gas-powered barbecues. I guess they figure that if they provide grills for people there’ll be less flaming barbies on the ground and therefore less bush fires, who knows? But anyway, we decided to make use of one of these and cook ourselves a romantic mountain top dinner.


night time cooking

cooking up a storm

Unfortunately when it came to romance the mosquitos had other ideas! We got chewed up, which kind of put a dampener on things. But you had to laugh. Anyway, we made the food, did a quick bit of washing up, then beat a hasty retreat back to the relative comfort of our campsite for the night.

day 12

Today was a great day. We spent all of it, pretty much, at the Australia Zoo.

It would be pointless me telling you what we got up to, as we did so much. And since a pictures paints a thousand words why don’t I just show you instead; (be sure to play the video about half way through!)

at australia zoo

the crocoseum

that's a snake

the snake got him

blah blah blah


getting the crocs attention

croc in the water


up close and personal


ho ho ho...


koala stroking

more koala fun

koala time

koala tickles

hold the food steady

impressed, unimpressed

happy roo time

I'm not looking at you


look over there

up close with a koala

my new favourite animal

combat wombat in attack position

one eyed wombat


lena elephant feeding

feeding nelly

I’m so glad we decided not to go there for just a few hours and left it until the next day, there’s just so much to do (as you can see) that only going there for a few hours would have been a waste.

We got out of there about 3:30pm. Just enough time to head up for a final look at the Glass House Mountains,

the glass house mountains, looking south

and to go get a very nice pizza at Montville Gourmet Pizza (suitably named, let me tell you),

montville gourmet pizza

before heading to the YHA at Hervey Bay for the night.

NB: On top of everything else today was the day we cracked 2000 kilometres. Not bad going for twelve days eh? And just another 1468km to do in the next six days. Easy peasy, lol. πŸ˜‰


4 thoughts on “Sydney To Cairns By Camper – days 10-12

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