It’s been a whirlwind of mainland madness ever since I left Lizard Island 6 weeks ago. I had a great time at the Byron Blues and Roots Fest with friends from the Lizard Island Resort and saw some really great music over the 5 days we were there. After that I started my Oz Road Trip from Brisbane. I travelled by way of relocating campervans for a rental car agency, which is a cheap and easy way to travel without spending a lot of cash. They only charge you $1/day to return the vehicle and they even give you some of the petrol money – what a deal! My first van was a big Mercedes campervan which I drove from Brisbane to Melbourne, covering a distance of about 2000km in 4km. On the way south. I drove through the Hunter Valley and then stopped at Kosciuszko National Park and hiked to the summit of Mt. Kosciuszko, the highest peak in Australia. It’s only about 2300m, but still it’s another milestone!
In Melbourne I stayed with some old family friends who I hadn’t seen since I was just a bub, but they took me into their home and made me a part of their family for the week that I was there. Thanks so much for everything Dionne! I also caught up with an old hiking buddy from my Tasmanian travels and another Lizard island friend. After one week, I was ready to hit the road again, so I booked another relocation from Melbourne to Alice Springs, a 7 day trip covering more than 3500km. I drove via the Great Ocean Road and the Fleurieu Peninsula south of Adelaide, then up through the red centre.
I stopped in Coober Pedy for a look at the underground opal mining and after a quick look around I was ready to leave until I remembered that I knew an old Lizard Island employee from there, so I stopped at the Info Centre and asked if anyone know Milly. Before I knew it we rang him up, he came down to say hello, and then I was out drinking with him and all his opal mining friends all night long. That was an experience I will not forgot. What wonderful hospitality I experienced there! We ended up at an underground house at 3am watching a very serious poker game take place. Not many tourists get to see that side of Coober Pedy.
From there I headed north to see Ayer’s Rock before returning the van in Alice Springs. I was a bit disappointed about the Rock, but after all, it is only a rock. In my opinion, nearby King’s Canyon is much more spectacular.
Anyway, I’ve been in Alice for a week now staying with yet another friend from the Lizard Island Resort. It’s amazing how we have all managed to meet up again all over Australia! It’s been a fun trip driving all around, seeing more of the country, and catching up with old friends. On the way, I’ve managed to not pay for accomodation either, sleeping in the van in many interesting places, from airport parking lots to free campgrounds. From here, I plan to head north, but there may be another story there in between…….
The one and only Great Ocean Road
Scenes of the outback
Which one are you
Add comment May 15th, 2006