A U ST R A L I A    2 0 1 6


5 weeks in a camper van solo

Cairns to Sydney



Australia has been a dream since childhood and I landed in Sydney 2016 after a long flight.

I took a flight up to northern Australia. Cairns in Queensland where my adventure began


Cairns


I rented a camper one way to Sydney. And hit the road on the wrong side (Left side).

My God, all the controls are on the wrong side to.

But it went well. First I wanted to explore Cairns.and first out became the 

Kokoda Hall Military Museum.


Then it was off to Skypark Cairns. Located a few miles outside the center.

Skypark Cairns is a rainforest world of adventure that needs to be seen to be believed.

Offering a range of exciting experiences, with something for everyone - from the thrill seekers to the spectators - and home to Australia’s ONLY Bungy, Giant Swing and Cairns’ highest viewing platform.

I Tried Bungy, Giant Swing and it was a nice experience. You could say a little adrenaline kick


The next day I drove down to the port of Cairns Marlin Marina.

The ad says .....

"Discover the marine wonderland of the outer Great Barrier Reef, just a 90-minute boat trip from Cairns. We’ll spend five hours at the reef and visit two stunning dive sites. These are expertly chosen from our exclusive moorings on the Norman, Saxon and Hastings reefs to bring you the best quality conditions and diverse marine life, from colourful corals to inquisitive Nemos, turtles, stingrays and giant Maori Wrasse."


The reality is that the coral reef was almost dead. A big disappointment. Made two dives at 15 meters



Townsville 


Early the next morning I drove 340km down to Townsville. I passed the harbor and saw the Red Baron Seaplane.. Suddenly, I found myself sitting in the cockpit of a Grumman Sea-cat.

The historical Grumman Sea-Cat starred in the movie 'The Phantom' and is now being cast in a new adventure. It's the only two passenger, open cockpit bi-plane on floats in the world. Billy Zane flew in it, Catherine Zeta-Jones flew in it, now it's my turn to fly in the Red Baron Seaplane for an experience of a lifetime..........

This is clearly a thing that outshines everything  like romance and adventure. You feel warm wind in your face and the view is admirable. Is nothing else I wanted to put money into more than this...

Took a short walk over to Reef Headquarters Aquarium


Reef Headquarters Aquarium

One of the richest, most complex and diverse ecosystems in the world, the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park begins at the tip of Cape York in Queensland and extends south to Bundaberg, over 2300kms!

At Reef HQ Aquarium visitors could experience the Great Barrier Reef without getting wet, at the world’s largest living coral reef aquarium. As the National Education Centre for the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, Reef HQ Aquarium would open your eyes to an amazing world filled with thousands of charismatic marine creatures. With impressive exhibits the aquarium offered an ever changing, always fascinating experience, showcasing rare and extraordinary features of the Great Barrier Reef.

Parked my camper at BIG4 Rowes Bay Beachfront Holiday Park. Can recommend BIG4 if you travel to Australia. Slept most nights on various BIG4s on the way down.

Wonderful is short and soon I was on my way again and next stop....


Rockhampton

Stayed and ate a steak at famous "Criterion Hotel"

The Criterion Hotel Motel Rockhampton is an iconic symbol in the history of Hotels in Australia. Specializing in Accommodation, Steak, Beer, Food & Entertainment. Its famous cousin the ‘Breakky Creek’ Brisbane was built in same year 1889 with very similar architechture, the Criterion having one extra floor. Following the Canoona gold rush of the 1850’s the embryo of the Criterion Hotel, Palmers store was situated on the banks of the Fitzroy River opposite the Criterion.


Satisfied after a big steak, I drive to Capricorn Caves

Capricorn Caves It was first discovered in 1881 by a Norwegian migrant john Olsen. He went on to claim the land under a lease hold title and open the attraction publicly in 1884. The property was later reclassified to free hold land and is today one of the largest privately owned cave systems in Australia. The attraction is open to the public and is one of the longest-running tourist attractions in Queensland.

Next drive to Hervey Bay


Hervey Bay

Parked my camper at Fraser Coast Holiday Park. and after some food, I drove over to Fraser Island

Drove around the whole island

Eli Creek, the largest creek on the eastern beach of Fraser Island, pours up to four million litres of clear, fresh water into the ocean every hour. Eli Creek is a popular picnic and swimming spot, with a boardwalk that follows the creek inland through banksia and pandanus. Swimming or floating down the swiftly flowing creek from the bridge at the far end of the boardwalk is an invigorating experience.

Take care when driving through the creek on the beach, as its fast-flowing water can gouge out deep channels. At high tide it’s best to take a break and go for a swim until you can cross the creek at the lower end of the beach.


Float down Eli Creek,

Check out Maheno Shipwreck

Champagne Pools

Lake McKenzie


Absolutely beautiful day with a lunch on the beach. Took the opportunity to book a Whale Watching Cruse. Can recommend it. Wonderful to see these big animals so close

I return to my little camper tired but happy. Tomorrow there will be parachuting over the sea..


Woke up and ate crocodile meat for breakfast. Now that I have tried it, I return to regular breakfast with eggs and bacon. Not because it was too bad but not for me.Today it will be Skydive Hervey Bay.


" Feeling risky? Looking for something to get the adrenaline pumping? Feeling daring Try Hervey Bay Skydiving?

Then we have just the thing for you! At Hervey Bay Sky Divers you will be taken either 10,000ft or 14,000ft into the air for the time of your life.

You will take your jump with a professional jumper who has done literally hundreds of jumps and be shown beforehand all the techniques you will need to take this jump.

The costs are around $250-$300.00 per jump and if you wish to land on the beachfront, this will incur a smaller surcharge."

Next day ......Sunshine Coast next


Sunshine Coast

After a hot day, it's nice to dive with tubes. Now it was diving with sharks. Hope they ate before I jump in.

I visited SEA LIFE Sunshine Coast Aquarium.

Now it was time to show if I have the courage to step in when you see shark fins breaking the surface. Nice to have a diving certificate and do not have to worry about equipment.

Everything in my body said no. This is not normal. You should not dive with predators that have you on the menu. But luckily they have eaten before. The dive was good and exciting. Lite adrenali kick.

After the dive, it was nice to go out to the famous Mudjimba Beach. Swimmed and looked for sharks. hahah Parked on Mudjimba Beach Holiday Park and the day was over.


Byron Bay

Early in the morning I drove to Byron Bay. I wanted to try two things. Gyrocopter and hot air balloon. To go with a balloon, I need to be there early before the sun warms the air.

It is wonderful to float high above the ground. Completely quiet except when the burner is on from time to time. With great accuracy, we reach the landing site. A must if you travel here.


After some breakfast it was time to get on the Gyrocopter. It's a mix of airplanes and helicopters. 30min TI Flight Byron Bay Lighthouse $ 169.00 (Byron Bay Gyrocopters Australien)

Time goes fast when you have fun, but it's a nice feeling hovering over CAPE BYRON LIGHTHOUSE

early in the morning.

It’s been on my bucket list for years to be the first in Australia to see the sun rise one day. In order to do that, you need to be at Australia’s most easterly point, which happens to be in Byron Bay.


On the way to Sydney I visit Australia Walkabout Wildlife Park North of Sydney. Worth a visit.



To make a very long story short. The whole trip has been wonderful. Have met people along the way. Have taken the opportunity to write my book. But let's see when it's done. When I drive into Sydney to leave my motorhome, I take the opportunity to visit the Opera House and many other famous places. But it takes too long to tell. Hope you had a nice read. Ps! As my English grammar is not so good, feel free to help me.

Just email and I will change.


Regards Tintin

Watch my video with very poor resolution. I have a parachute certificate but do not have a permit over water.

Red Baron (click to enlarge)

Frasier Island (click to enlarge)

Gyrocopter (click to enlarge)

Diving with Sharks

(Click to enlarge)