After our amazing dive at the Great Barrier Reef, it was time to get cracking…. book a campervan, look up things that we wanted to see along the way, pack… and leave! We decided to hire a campervan and drive down the east coast to Brisbane instead of getting the coach, because we would have the freedom to stop at some national parks along the way. We decided to book the campervan with Jucy Rentals (trademark green and purple vans) as we’d seen their campas everywhere and had managed to see what they looked like inside. Jucy’s campas were converted Toyota Taragos and were kitted out with a double bed, gas stove, kitchen utensils and sink with water. We arrived at the Jucy Warehouse to pick up our campa and it was the biggest pile of crap we’d seen. The car was really old and battered…dents everywhere and chips in the windscreen. We thought about going north to the Daintree National Park but as we didn’t manage to hit the road until 2pm (5 hours later then planned), we decided just to head south towards Townsville, some 350km away.
After being on the road for an hour or so, we made our first stop at The Babinda’s Boulders National Park. Babinda’s Boulders was full of huge boulders and a beautiful waterfall. The story behind Babinda’s Boulders goes that a young Aboriginal woman had fallen in love with a young man from another tribe, but her parents had arranged her to marry a man from her tribe. As she didn’t want to marry her parent’s choice, she ran away with her lover and hid in the spot that is the national park until their tribes came looking for them. The young lover’s tribe forced him to leave Babinda because he’d already brought a great deal of shame to his tribe. Babinda (the young aboriginal woman) was so furious that she used her powers to make the boulders and waterfall. We spent some time walking around the national park and checking out the view points before it was time to hit the road again.
We then made a stop at Mission Beach which seems to be a popular destination for skydiving. We stopped to have a look at the beach and see what all the fuss was about… it was definitely pretty. I then somehow managed to step on sand which turned out to be a huge puddle of water and was rather annoyed that my trainers were now sopping wet! I went back to the car pretty annoyed when we spotted this huge native Australian bird walking around nearby. The bird was called the cassowary, it was huge and I’d never seen an animal like it. It looked slightly like an ostrich with brightly coloured feathers and huge sharp claws. Everyone was moving very slowly and whispering as they are apparently very dangerous and aggressive birds.
Then it was back in the car for a little snack of rice cakes and water before we hit the road again. It was nearly 6pm and we started thinking about stopping somewhere for the night. I heard there was a free campsite near Ingham with toilets and running water so we decided to head there and set up shop for the night. The campsite was just a roadside campsite and was packed with caravans and campervans. We tried our hand at cooking spaghetti carbonara in our campervan ‘kitchen’ and then called it a night.