17th – 18th July 2012
Arriving in Ipswich from a very interesting experience in Nimbin, we were ravenously hungry and as it was a Tuesday, we stopped off at Domino’s Pizza to take advantage of their special offers. As we munched in the dark, we had no clue where to park overnight as Smera’s friend was out of the city! As we were being extremely cautious where to park after the fine escapade of Airlie Beach (by the way, we managed to get away paying for it – result! A very apologetic email really works), we were on the lookout for a very quiet spot where we wouldn’t get any hassle.
We found a city park we could park in. It was very dark and there was a rest stop full of facilities of toilets, BBQ area etc but we were still paranoid that we would get fined again. A few cars came to park that reminded us of the dogging night and several park wardens came by. But they could see we were settling down, rather we were cooking dinner in the back of the van. Soon 10pm reached and losing our nerve, we drove to a quiet residential road and settled in without making much noise (closing the sliding door very quietly etc).
We had a fitful sleep thinking a footstep was a street warden to fine us but luckily we didn’t get one and went back into the park to get some breakfast sorted. And guess what? We had a HOT early morning! Browsing through the leaflets from the local tourist information, we groaned at the attractions on offer around Ipswich. National parks. Walks. Waterfalls etc. we had done all that already. And already everywhere seem to offer the same thing. We wanted something different. Nimbin was different for us the previous day.
So we hit up the local shopping mall to do some good old browsing. I knew I would going further south to Sydney and Melbourne and it would be colder. The clothes I already had wouldn’t be adequate enough to combat it as they proved fruitless again the cold nights in Surfer’s Paradise and Byron Bay. I didn’t buy anything but I did ask at a local hearing store about the price of disposable batteries…it was waaaaaaaay expensive! The receptionist saw my mouth drop open and she just shrugged. It’s like £10 for a battery pack! You can get it in Boots for £3! How are deaf Australians getting by without a National Health Service?
Bored of Ipswich and the Campervan, we jumped in and decided to get to Brisbane early.
A short drive and much squabbling between Smera and I about the directions to her friend’s house in Brisbane as we were driving round in circles. Neither of us were to blame. Signposts in Brisbane were pretty non-existent! And we can to continue driving as there weren’t many places to stop to check maps and thus frantic flipping of pages of maps as we drove along. Quite often we found ourselves going into a one way street with the traffic coming the other way!
Luckily, we managed to get to New Farm, a suburb just next to the city centre and pulled up much to our relief.
The rest of the day was spent pretty much chilling out and getting to know Fortitude Valley, a recreational suburb of Brisbane full of pubs, bars and music, where we grabbed a proper steak dinner! Real food! No more pasta! Back to the house, we crashed out ready to see Brisbane properly.
We were finally here! 14 days of Campervanning down the East Coast from Cairns and we made it with no breakdowns, no massive fall outs, cold nights, one fine, and seeing some of the best sights Australia had to offer. You know what? I really really enjoyed it!