Cairns to Sydney: One Way

With only three months to see Australia, driving long distances seemed like a great way to see a lot in a short period of time. Through a little research Erik discovered the joys of relocation. Campervan companies ask for one way drivers who don’t have to pay any rental fees and even sometimes get some reimbursement for gas. Just in time we booked a small camper that needed transfer from Cairns to Sydney over four days.

DSC02850WThe “Hippie Camper” we picked up was humorously ugly but fun to drive and quite comfortable to sleep in.

DSC02848WIt also had a small sink, stove, fridge and cooking utensils in the back. I think Erik’s hair just fit.

DSC02846WIt was great fun to drive along and wave to every other campervan we passed going the other direction, as if to acknowledge the inside joke, we both know that everyone here is driving on the wrong side of the road.

DSC02852WAustralia is a great place to car camp. Every 20km on the main roads is a well lit road stop with public bathrooms and water. Evidently, these main one lane roads see their share of accidents as signs every mile told us to “take a rest and stay alive.” The speed limits are very strictly enforced with a no excuses approach thanks to the hundreds of cameras along the highways that don’t ask questions, just send you a $200 bill in the mail when they catch you speeding. So, everyone drives exactly at the speed limit or slightly under. The roads also become quite empty come nightfall as the danger of hitting a nocturnal kangaroo skyrocket.

DSC02851WAlthough four days is not a long time to drive 1650 miles, we did manage to make a few stops. On our second night we stopped into Brisbane to visit one of my good friends from high school who is in medical school there. We were treated to a delicious homemade meal which is priceless when you’re traveling and had a great time sipping Belgian beer and catching up.

DSC02855WWe also made a second lunch stop in a small area called Red Rocks that had a beautiful coastal park with beautiful trees and bright blue water set against golden sand and red rocks. Other than that our drive was luckily uneventful, although I was glad to have had the five weeks of practice driving a manual car all on the wrong sides at our housesit. It went so well in fact, that we are considering doing something similar to travel from Sydney to Melbourne next week.


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