Saturday, January 1, 2011

A Week on the Road

I had the desire to go on a road trip for some time—ever since I read Jack Kerouac’s On the Road a couple summers ago—and I got the chance at the beginning of December.  For a little over week Tommy, Tina, Richie, and I made our way up the coast from Sydney to Brisbane, in style.  We rented a campervan to make the trip and stayed in caravan parks at night.  We spent nights at Port Macquarie, Byron Bay, and Coolangatta on the Gold Coast.

Our house on wheels, taken by Tommy.

The road trip was a good first attempt.  There are some things I will do differently the next time, like for one not spend so much money.  On top of the campervan rental we had to buy a lot of gas, pay for the surprising expensive nights in the caravan parks, buy food and groceries (a necessity I guess), and pony up for attractions along the way.  It was also difficult because everyone on the trip was working from a different budget.  I ended up spending way more than I intended, but I had a great time so I can’t really complain.

During the day we spent a lot of our time at gorgeous beaches.  We also went to two World Heritage-listed rain forests.  I think they were both Gondwanan so the vegetation was the same as it was hundreds of millions of years ago.  I’ll get photos from one of my friends soon.  At the second one, Mt. Cougal National Park, there was a rain forest stream that we drank from and as we were standing in the water Tina noticed a large object moving around next to us.  It was dark red and about a meter long with arms and legs, so I think it was a huge salamander or something of the kind.  Definitely up there for coolest animal I’ve seen in the wild.  It didn’t stick around long though, and just after we caught a glimpse it quickly swam away.

The nights in Byron Bay were fun.  We saw a lot of live music both in bars and on the street corners.  But the first caravan park we stayed at there—Tourist Village—was awful.  To me it seemed like a maximum-security prison: barbed wire fences around the perimeter and you had to enter a code to just walk out of the park.  We moved to a better spot (First Sun Caravan Park) the next night and didn’t look back.

The last day we were on the Gold Coast, which is renowned for its theme parks so we spent the afternoon at Wet ‘N’ Wild water park.  It was worth it.  The day was cloudy and a little drizzly so #1 I didn’t get sunburnt and #2 the crowds really thinned out towards the end of the day.  We went on the best ride three times in a row.  Overall, for the first attempt at a road trip it was successful.  Next time, though, I'll try to channel more of the frugality and spontaneity of Kerouac and Cassady.


  1. barbed wire and key codes, welcome to south africa

  2. Great thoughts you got there, believe I may possibly try just some of it throughout my daily life

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