Every time we go away, I do wonder how on earth we will settle back into “normality’. To a slower pace of life. Well, compared to the “busy life” of being on the move travelling and exploring every day.
Each time it happens all too quickly, with clothes unpacked, washing machine on, fridge stocked with fresh food, appointments made and completed, catching up with folk. When all completed and our first few days at home, the inevitable question is always asked,
“Did we actually go away?”.
The answer is, yes we did, and I have a few tales to share of our time over there.
Hopefully, the sharing will be completed before all those mental photographs become dim with time or embellished beyond recognition. For me, those mental images can be more precious than the ones I capture with a camera.
Luckily I have enough of both to share some of the highlights of our trip. I am pretty sure you don’t want to read about everything that happened while completing 5000kms [give or take a few kms due to a wrong turning].
Unlike previous trips, we went up a notch in the style sphere, from a campervan to an 8m motorhome. With that change came an increase in size and a few luxuries.
The luxury of having space, to move and to relax in with ease.
One of the biggest bonuses there was no making up the bed at the end of the day. After a long day exploring and travelling, it was great to have a separate sleeping area from where we relaxed with a cuppa or had a meal. Believe me, when you are road tripping for weeks on end the small things become big and gnarly. So for us, having a few luxuries ticked off the wanted list was worth the extra cash outlay.
Then there is the ultimate luxury in having our own kitchen to whip up something to eat when we don’t feel like heading out to dine. When there are no cafes in most areas “in the middle of nowhere” as in the Outback or one of the gorgeous scenic National Parks.
The company we dealt with on this trip and previous ones were GallivantingOz. We found them professional and easy to work with in choosing which motorhome would suit us. “Lets Go Motorhomes” was the company we choose from a wide range of options, we picked it up from Cairns.
Before embarking on our roadtrip, we decided a few days in Cairns were needed to adjust to the warmer climate. Perhaps tweaking our itinerary which we did on numerous occasions and this trip was to be the most unstructured ones we have completed.
The few days in Cairns was relaxing with short walks, cafe visits, thought-provoking displays in the local art gallery. Then there were the beautiful sunsets capturing the last light surrounding the mountain range, which was where we would be heading next. It was a great way to start our holiday.
After a quick “how-does-that-work?” and the necessary paperwork was signed, we and our lap of luxury were headed further north to Port Douglas.
Our first stop along the coast was a very tasty slice of tropical paradise sandwiched between the Daintree Rainforest and the Great Barrier Reef. Why? It was both a feast for both our eyes and stomachs. The local market enjoyed during both our first visits, where we purchased fresh and delicious tropical fruits and other local treats. As well as a popular cafe for coffee and cake. To be honest, some of the more delightful cafes were away from the touristy areas and where the locals head to be caffeinated and fed.
Visiting the market is a must-do and believe me, when I say it was well worth getting out of bed early on a Sunday morning. This was a place where local artists and creatives showed their wares, and I was really impressed with the high quality of goods. There were undoubtedly more than enough jewellery on sale, and I found it hard to chose and landed up not making a decision. No big deal, as we weren’t there on a spending spree for “things” it was to experience nature and the World Heritage Sites.
The 4-mile beach [which is more than 4-miles] was flat and long enough to satisfy most fitness and relaxation requirements of all ages. The biggest bonus it was patrolled by the local lifesaving crew, swimming was enjoyed in warmish water without the accompaniment of a jaw snapping crocodile or snark. Always an added bonus in my book.
After a day exploring, we finally purchased tickets to go snorkelling on the Great Barrier Reef. This was basically our main reason for stopping in Port Douglas as the camping facilities [visualise being packed in like sardines, though the showers and camp kitchen were usually largish and well equipped] are very overpriced and the area has a leaning towards supporting the luxury resorts than motorhomers wanting a good deal at the local camping site.
That aside, our boat trip was to be the major highlight of our trip [more on this at a later stage, too many words and photos to be placed here].
All in all, our first taste of the Tropical North exceeded our expectations.
Our second stop for a few days was to be another World Heritage Site.
The Daintree Forest.
That gem will be written up in Part 2.