Our first week in the camper-van has come and gone, actually even the second one is almost finished! I am a little behind sorry guys, but I will start to tell you all about our first week as a family in our camper van.
So imagine a reasonably small camper-van, and then placing 2 adults and 3 children inside… Yes exactly, it is sooo cramped! To be honost, we as a couple of dreamy people did not expect it to be a disappointment. But it was, the camper is simply a bit too small for all of us. Luckily we are over excited, head over heels, just go for it, type of people and have booked for 7 weeks! Don’t worry, we’ll make do, that is our specialty 🙂
And that is exactly what our first week was about, we spent quite some time adjusting to the limited space we have in the van. We bought an extra tent after our second night, because Julien is not a small man, and therefore just does not fit in the bed LOL! We also had to figure out a good way of having internet everywhere we go. It took us about the first three days to get a bit more organized and to figure out how to do this “van life” as a family, but we are ok with it now.
Now we were very ready to go see all the beautiful spots that Australia has to offer, so off we went to our first real destination, which was just under an hour drive from Brisbane. The Sunshine Coast, we chose Kings beach as our first stop as it came out really good in reviews we read online. And for good reason, it is a wonderful beach! Plenty of safe spots for the kids to play, even a playground, a free swimming pool and nice clean amenities. After spending most of the day on the beach we were able to make our dinner at the park just next to the beach. Something we find so cool about Australia is that almost all the parks have bbq areas and picknick tables where you can prepare your meals. The kids got to play at the playground and we were able to cook our meal outdoors, it was a great way to end the day.
Something we found to be a bit more difficult with our van is where to park it at night. You are not aloud to just find a nice spot and camp out unfortunately. Also, most of the free camping spots are much further from the coastal towns. For us this meant that after seeing a place during the day, we spent about an hour driving towards our free camp spot for the night. This, as you can imagine is quite exhausting. Especially when you have to set up a tent, change the camper van to sleep mode and get three already tired kids ready for bed.
We realized after about two or three of the free camping spots that this is not going to work for us. It is just a little too far to drive up and down every day between sight seeing and finding free camp spots and it takes the fun out of the whole adventure for the kids. So we chose to go for more of the paid camping spots which are easy to find and where you can stay longer than just one night.
Driving down the east coast all the way to Sydney, we are bound to visit some of the amazing beaches that people talk about. Now we had already been to Kings beach, and a little more down the coast we also visited Dicky beach. Another great place to go with kids. It was at Dicky beach that we decided to get one of the body boards that we had seen so many people with, and give our boys their first taste of what riding a wave feels like! They loved it, and it was even fun for mom and dad to try seeing that the waves here at the beaches are pretty big.
After seeing some of the beaches, we also wanted to have a look at what the “hinterland” of the sunshine coast looks like. There is just so much to see, but we chose to visit the Kondalilla waterfalls. An amazingly beautiful place! Coming from the Netherlands, where there are no mountains, waterfalls or rain forests, this place was a real treat!
There are different routes you can follow at the national park. There was one short walk to a view point and to the rock pools that lay above the waterfall and then there was a circuit you could follow to view the big waterfall as well. We weren’t sure which one to take but when we arrived at the rock pools, we felt like we couldn’t stop there without seeing the full 80 meter waterfall that was so close by.
Obviously, we chose a little too much… as we always do! And ended up walking the full waterfall circuit that was just over 4 kilometers of breathtaking forests views and scary cliff side walk ways. It was really beautiful but we had to be very creative in getting our boys to walk the last half an hour as there little legs were so tired of going up and down the mountain side. We were super super proud parents though, as they did complete the entire walk!
Since this first week to a lot of getting used to and going up and down between free camp sites, camping stores and view points we didn’t see much else that was really worth mentioning. Although just driving through some of the towns and little mountain roads is already very beautiful.
By the end of the week we drove down to the Gold Coast to spend a few days there. We found a nice camping ground right next to the beach and after all the up and downs we had the past week, decided to stay there for a few days to just relax a little and figure out how we were going to go about the next couple of weeks.
For the upcoming week we have a few spots on our list that we would like to visit as we are driving down from the Gold Coast. We will tell you all about those adventures in our next blog. Our vlog about our first week in the camper van will come some time this weekend!
Have a great weekend everyone and see you out there, the Meijer’s.