The Great Budget 4wd Trip Around Australia – Week 1

By on Published: April 11, 2016 | Last Updated: December 12, 2019 in AUSTRALIA, Travel Stories with 0 Comments

Our first week of our adventure was fun, slow going, but fun – it was so great to finally hit the road.

We left behind our home on the idyllic Sunshine Coast and set sail for some exploring in Central Queensland.

The day before our departure was spent with good friends in Kin Kin (in the Noosa hinterland) and it was a lovely way to start our journey.

After that, we set the course in the Garmin and we were off.

Spot of the Week:

Carnarvon Gorge National Park, QLD

Tip of the Week:

Remember how large Australia is and how long it takes to get anywhere! Take the time you estimate it will take to get somewhere and then add an hour.

Disaster of the Week:

Almost crashing the car by swerving to avoid cows crossing the road in the dark, not once, not twice, but 3 times.

Budget ($AUD)

Fuel – $70
Groceries – $185
Camping Fees – $48
Internet – $30
Showers  – $5
Total – $338 (way over budget, need to get down next week!)

 

Day 1 – Kin Kin to Miles

G on Landie

Never in a hurry, we certainly took our time to get to Miles (358km), a solid 8 and half hours of loitering in each town we came across.

Gympie was the first stop where we fuelled up and did our grocery shopping for the first few days, and some work on the blog.

We then made our way through the dry countryside of south Queensland to Chinchilla for a short break, before heading onto Miles where we caught up with some friends for dinner and an overnight luxury stop.

 

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Day 2 – Miles to Carnarvon Gorge National Park

SQ Country

After looking around Miles and using the great free wifi at the Miles Library in the morning, we hit the road (late as usual) and hightailed it to Roma for a fuel top up and grocery shop for the next 5 days.

We knew we would be arriving late into our destination that day, so we decided to stop for a stretch and a snack at the town of Injune in the last of the day’s light.

The final hour or so of the journey to Carnarvon Gorge National Park was well and truly done at nighttime and our strong focus became avoiding kangaroos and cows – any thought of a respectable arrival time went out the window!

When we reached Carnarvon around 8pm, so it was finally time for a well-earned sleep.

 

Day 3 – Set up Camp and Rested!

Carnarvon Gorge Campground

Wow, what a treat! As it was dark when we had arrived at Carnarvon Gorge National Park, we had no idea of the beautiful surrounding we had set up camp in.

The cockatoos and kookaburras aroused us from our sleep not long after dawn, and then it was time for a coffee and to take in the sights of our fabulous new home.

Surrounded by towering gum trees, ferns and tropical palms we knew we were in for a great 4 days here.

 

5 ESSENTIAL PACKING ITEMS FOR AUSTRALIA

#1 Good Camera – You will be pretty much snapping non-stop in Australia and will need a good camera to do this gorgeous country justice. I highly recommend the Sony A6000, which I use for all my travels and love, not least because it’s light, compact and robust!

#2 Good Walking Shoes – There will be a lot of walking in Australia – from cities to national parks! Make sure your feet are comfortable therefore with a pair of New Balance Trainers. Perfect for stylish strolling, I love mine.

#3 Good Guidebook – I’m still a massive fan of the Lonely Planet Guidebooks and do think their Australia edition is well put together.

#4 Good Water Bottle – Travelling in hot old Australia can be thirsty work, so make sure you have a metal water bottle that you can refill as you go, because tap water is drinkable… and free!

#5 Good Sun Hat – And there’s no denying you’ll need a good sun hat for protection in Australia too. In my opinion you can’t go past this Hello Sunshine one, which is both gorgeous and ideal for keeping the rays off your face.

 

Day 4 – Dawn Walk to Bulimba Bluff

Carnarvon Gorge sunrise

We were a step ahead of the birds this morning, with our alarm set for 3:30 am.

The reason for this madness was to ensure we arrived at the top of the bluff (cliff) to witness the sunrise … and we succeeded.

We had packed snacks, warm clothes, torches and made a thermos of tea the night before to ensure a speedy and stealthy departure in the morning. We set off in the dark, with our torches on, to make the 3km trek up the colossal Bulimba Bluff from the Carnarvon Gorge Campground.

What a treat, arriving at the top, just as the first sliver of dawn on the horizon was breaking, we got the most spectacular show of the day coming to life.

High above the canyon floor, the bluff provided the best view for sunrise and the birds waking up below.

The gorge walls were a spectacle of their own, changing colour and mood with the dawn and the first sun.

 

Day 5 – Carnarvon Gorge Walk

Australia, Queensland, Carnarvon Gorge View

A sneaky sleep-in left our plans of another early start completely shot, but we made the most of a leisurely breakfast and coffee.

By 8:15am, we were ready to set off on the 14km return trip through the spectacular Carnarvon Gorge.

First stop, Moss Gorge, was tucked away in a side chasm of its own.

This was a delightful insight into the beauty of nature we would come to see for the rest of the walk.

Several creek crossings later and we found ourselves in a massive crevice in the gorge wall called The Amphitheatre.

Sitting on the ground, gazing up to the top of the impressive crevice was a spectacle not to be missed.

The respite from the sun and the heat made it even more amazing!

We continued hiking onto Wards Canyon – a very pretty waterhole with some of the world’s last fern – the very rare King Fern.

Lastly, on this very rewarding walk, was the stunning Art Gallery, a huge sandstone wall filled with stories beautifully illustrated by the ancient local peoples of the area.

This was a fabulous way to end the trek deep into the Carnarvon Gorge.

A relatively brisk 5km walk brought us back to the campsite for a relaxing afternoon.

 

Sad to leave our little home in Carnarvon Gorge National Park, but tomorrow it’s time to pack up and hit the road for our next adventure.

Plan is to head into the Banana Shire of Queensland to check out some free camps and quirky towns, before heading back to the coast for a few days at Agnes Waters.

 

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About the Author

About the Author: Creator of Big World Small Pockets, Stephanie Parker is a budget travel addict! Originally from Jersey in the Channel Islands, Stephanie backpacks the world collecting tips, advice and stories, to share with a smile .

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