Brisbane is great – 10 months camping around Australia summary
That’s it! Our 10-month trip around Australia has ended successfully.
As of February 20th, we have both landed jobs in Brisbane. I was incredibly lucky to find a job after my first application, whereas Marius had applied for at least 8 jobs before getting one. And now, we have moved to Brisbane – our new city.
New city, new life. We’re excited to see what the future holds for us.
Preparation for a new life
Upon our arrival in Brisbane, we decided to stay at Newmarket Caravan Park. It was a convenient location for us to start looking for a place to rent and find suitable childcare for our daughter Nell. We knew that we had to get everything sorted before starting our new jobs on March 12th.
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Everything seemed so different in the city. We were not used to the crowds and the busy street traffic. During our 10-month trip around Australia, we mostly stayed in quiet places where we could relax and unwind.
As a result, it took us a few weeks to adjust to the bustling city life in Brisbane. However, we eventually began to feel more comfortable and started to appreciate what the city had to offer.
Despite the initial culture shock, we quickly realised that we liked Brisbane. There was a vibrant atmosphere, plenty of things to see and do, and a diverse range of food and entertainment options.
We were excited to explore the city and see what else it had in store for us. Overall, we were looking forward to starting our new life in this city and seeing where our journey would take us next.
Brisbane – our new home
In addition to its beautiful parks and river, Brisbane also has a vibrant cultural scene. The city is home to a number of museums and galleries, including the Gallery of Modern Art and the Queensland Art Gallery. The Queensland Performing Arts Centre is another popular attraction, hosting a variety of concerts, musicals, and plays throughout the year.
For those interested in history, Brisbane also has a rich past to explore. The Story Bridge Adventure Climb offers a unique way to experience the city’s iconic bridge and learn about its history.
The Boggo Road Gaol is another popular attraction, offering tours of the historic prison that housed some of Australia’s most notorious criminals.
Also, the suburb of Mount Coot-tha is home to a popular state forest and Brisbane Botanic Gardens. Right on the top of Mount Coot-tha there is a restaurant with a stunning view of Brisbane.
The river itself is popular for fishing and boating. Other popular places are Story Bridge adventure climb or rock climbing at the Kangaroo Point cliffs. Brisbane City is not as crowded as other major cities.
We did not have to rush to go and see as much as possible because it would be our home soon. So, occasionally we were going for a drive to the seashore, city or Southbank. There was no ‘holiday’ feeling anymore.
Brisbane is also a great base for exploring the surrounding area. Just a short drive from the city, visitors can explore the stunning beaches of the Gold Coast or the natural beauty of the Sunshine Coast.
The nearby Moreton Bay Islands are another popular destination, offering a variety of outdoor activities including hiking, snorkeling, and wildlife viewing.
Camping around Australia Summary
After spending ten months camping around Australia we decided to write a trip summary and point out some good or bad things that happened to us.
Before the trip, our family and friends were shocked when we told them about our plans to travel around Australia. “Selling everything and going for a long drive with a small child? You must be crazy!” they said.
But would we do it again? Absolutely.
This trip was about more than just travelling; it was about breaking barriers and norms, and experiencing freedom. We were able to wake up whenever we wanted, go wherever we wanted, and see whomever we wanted. After a few months, we completely lost track of what day of the week it was. We were free to make our own decisions and were not dictated by our boss, family, or friends. Many of them warned us against the trip, saying it was too dangerous.
But we did the opposite. We prepared well and had the best time of our lives. We learned to be self-sufficient and self-reliant, and our little girl Nell thrived in the outdoors. She was exposed to different people, cultures, and environments, which enriched her experience and understanding of the world. We discovered that we didn’t need much to be happy, and that the most important things in life were the people we loved, the experiences we shared, and the memories we created.
Of course, there were some challenges and setbacks along the way, such as car breakdown, harsh weather, and occasional loneliness. But we faced them with determination, resourcefulness, and positivity. We met some amazing people who inspired us with their kindness, generosity, and resilience. We also saw some breathtaking landscapes, such as the red deserts, the blue oceans, and the wet forests.
We were well prepared for driving and camping around Australia. Before the trip, we took a 4WD driving course to make sure we know our vehicle and learn how to react in an emergency.
To make sure we had everything we needed, we also made a comprehensive checklist of all the gear we would need for the trip, including camping equipment, cooking supplies, and clothing. We made sure to bring enough supplies for several weeks at a time, as we knew we wouldn’t always have easy access to stores or amenities.
Our car was fully equipped and our trailer was an off-road van that we could take everywhere (maybe with some exceptions).
In the car, we had a fridge and two drawers. One filled with spare parts and tools and the second filled with food (car pantry).
We had two jerry cans for diesel, a shovel, and a sixth spare tyre on the roof rack. We considered that if something happened to the trailer, we would still have the car, so we made sure that the car was prepared very well.
One of the best parts of the trip was getting to explore some of the more remote parts of Australia. We visited some truly stunning and isolated locations, such as the Gibb River Road in Western Australia and the Kakadu National Park in Northern Territory. We were able to camp in some truly breathtaking locations, far away from the hustle and bustle of the cities.
Before the trip, we had a strange feeling of venturing into the unknown. Our imaginations played with us, and at times we had expectations that were vastly different from the reality of camping around Australia. We really did not know what it means to do camping in the outback.
However, Australia is not as wild as it used to be, or as some people may think. Wherever we went, we encountered many tourists.
There were also some places we visited that were very isolated, such as Gibb River Road, Kalumburu Road, Great Central Road, and Plenty Highway, where we didn’t come across anyone.
We considered every place we stayed as our home at that moment, and we felt comfortable with it. After a while, we even started to feel like Australia was our home, no matter where we parked our trailer.
Looking from a technical point of view, we encountered a problem with the car when we put some contaminated diesel in the tank and had difficulty starting the car. It turned out to be a costly fix, so we learned some valuable lessons for the future.
Our advice is not to fill up your tank in dodgy places, and if you have to, try to carry a funnel with you. Additionally, you can install an additional fuel filter to prevent contaminated fuel from damaging your car.
In terms of driving distances, we typically drove no more than 350-400 km per day. We didn’t want Nell to feel uncomfortable, so we made sure to take breaks and let her stretch her legs. Occasionally, we drove more or less depending on the situation.
Our longest driving distance was 550 km from Perth to Kalgoorlie-Boulder. At the time, we were eager to escape the big city and drove continuously for 6 hours. However, we usually preferred to take our time and enjoy the scenery. When you’re driving every day, a 200 km drive can feel like a short trip.
our opinion Great Central Road is a really good and wide dirt road, well maintained and easy to drive on. Marius typically used cruise control set to 95 km/h. During the three-day drive, we only saw 5 cars, which gives you an idea of how remote this road is.
To break up the monotony, we counted 237 car wrecks on both sides of the road. The Plenty Highway was not as wide but still drivable, and Marius set the speed to 90 km/h. It was an excellent off-road experience.
However, we were limited in serious 4WD driving. We still drove many 4WD tracks, but there were places we couldn’t go alone. If something happened to our car, we would have to stay on the road and wait for help. It is common for 4WD drivers to travel in pairs so that they can help each other in case of an emergency. I we think its a great idea.
We will remember well dirt roads such as Jim Jim Falls Track, Wunnamurra Gorge Track, Mitchell Falls Track, and Danbulla National Park Track.
We already have a ‘Bucket List’ of places we missed or didn’t visit, so we can explore them in the future. For example, we weren’t able to see Uluru up close because of the heavy smoke, and we missed out on the iconic journey to the top of Australia’s Cape York because we arrived too late in the season.
During our trip around Australia, we had the pleasure of meeting some amazing people.
During first week of our trip, we met a man in Mildura who advised us to change the direction of our trip. Initially, we had planned to drive through Nullarbor and around to Perth, but he suggested that it would be better to first visit Darwin, then travel through Kimberley and Perth, and return via the middle of the country.
Thanks to his advice, we made the right decision and were able to visit all the places we wanted to see at the right time.
Talk to people and ask for advice if you were not sure about your next destination. You may get some useful tips.
What is also worth to recall: a funny situation happened in Ubirr while we were there. We decided to climb the big rock for the always stunning sunset view. While there, we heard a woman’s laughter, and it sounded familiar to me.
We walked over to where the laughter was coming from and, to our surprise, it was the same lady we had met the previous year in Victor Harbour, South Australia. She was traveling with her husband and two young kids, and they happened to be in Ubirr at the same time as us.
Can you imagine the odds of that happening?
While staying in Jabiru at Kakadu National Park, we met an older lady who we encountered in many of our walks. She surprised us by giving Nell a present for her third birthday.
In Bungle Bungles National Park, we met an elderly couple and had such a great conversation that they even invited us to taste their freshly made damper after the walk. They extended an invitation for us to have lunch at their home in Rockhampton, which we took them up on six months later.
During our visit, we spent a really good time with them, and even had the opportunity to attend a Rodeo on New Year’s Eve. Later, they invited us to their kids’ homestead inland to experience real country life, which was an amazing experience.
While traveling on the Great Central Road, we came across Nathan and Renee who were stranded with a broken-down trailer. We helped them to call for assistance, and after two days, we reunited with them and watched the rugby finals together in one of the pubs in Alice Springs.
We learned during our trip that being friendly and open to fellow travelers can be rewarding, as we were able to meet some truly amazing people along the way.
While we did encounter a few tourists who were noisy or rude during our travels (mostly in really crowded ‘touristy areas’), these incidents were few and far between. Overall, we found that people were friendly and pleasant to be around.
During our camping trip around Australia, we stayed in a mix of caravan parks, national parks, and free camping spots.
Camping in caravan parks was generally enjoyable, as we could take advantage of the park facilities such as swimming pools and playgrounds for our daughter, Nell. The only downside was during peak times, like school holidays, when the parks could get quite crowded.
We particularly enjoyed camping in national parks, as we were able to immerse ourselves in nature and capture some great photos. The only time we didn’t enjoy it was at Gunlom campground, where a loud concert with drums kept us up at night.
Free camping was also a great experience, but we took precautions to stay safe. We made sure to chat with other campers, secure our valuables, and lock up our trailer at night.
Fortunately, we didn’t have any accidents or thefts during our camping trip around Australia.
One of the main reasons we decided to go around Australia was to see all the amazing natural beauty it has to offer. It’s hard to put into words just how stunning Australia is, and how much more we fell in love with it during our journey.
During our trip we have seen:
- around 50 gorges (Our favourite was Kings Canyon)
- 40 waterfalls (Our favourite was Mitchell Falls and Wallaman Falls)
- incredible rock structures and formations
- deserts (Great Sandy, Great Victoria Desert and the Simpson Desert)
- unique rocks (Kata Tjuta)
- stunning lookouts (Our favourite was Saddleback Ridge Lookout and Castle Hill)
- numerous rivers and river crossings too,
- Whitsundays Islands
- World Heritage Daintree National Park
And many, many more…
We went on many nature walks where we learned about the local flora and fauna. As we hiked, we frequently came across informative signs that provided descriptions of the various plants and fruits we encountered.
We also learned a great deal about both saltwater and freshwater crocodiles, and were fortunate enough to see them in their natural habitat as well as at animal sanctuaries.
The big highlight of our trip was the birds that we met.
Australia is home to many bird species and we always made sure to spot them and take great photos. Whenever there was a birdwatch place or wetland, we would stop and stay there for a while.
We thought for a while about which was our favourite bird that we spotted, and we decided that our top there was the brolga, jacana, and jabiru.
Diesel Prices (2011)
- Dearest – Warburton (Great Central Road) – $2.56
- Gibb River Road – $2.00 – $2.20
- Stuart Highway (Port Augusta – Mataranka) – $1.75
- High max – Karumba (October) – 39 degrees with 90% humidity
- Low max – Alice Springs (May) – 16 degrees
- High min – Karumba (October) – 28.5 degrees
- Low min – Alice Springs (May) – 6 degrees
Driest period: May – September – No single drop of rain
Driest town – Coober Pedy
Wettest town – Daintree (December)
Longest drive (without civilisation) – Laverton (WA) – Yulara (NT) – 1100 km
Longest drive without stopping – Perth to Kalgoorlie – 590 km
Total kilometres – 30000 km
Camping around Australia – Final Word
Our camping trip around Australia will always stay in our minds forever. This journey changed our perceptions and how we see the world.
We learned that sometimes you have to make unpopular or difficult decisions to open your mind and give yourself a chance.
We now feel braver and know that travelling is great, and camping in Australia is awesome. People are often afraid of the unknown, but we believe that with proper preparation, the unknown is not that bad, actually its great.
After driving 30,000 km around Australia, we now know that we can go anywhere.
We have not finished our adventure, we have only paused it for a while, as there is so much more to see in this beautiful country.
We will do it again. That’s for sure!
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