Jürgen surprises me when he presents me with the Quantas tickets and a voucher for a motor home. The trip should go to Australia. As always, the decision comes at short notice, but I’m used to that. Returning the tickets is no longer possible anyway so now only one thing helps …….. to deal with the preparations for the trip.
It wasn’t that short-term ……. after all, I organized everything 2 weeks beforehand (tickets, motorhome, information material, etc.). In addition, you then do not worry unnecessarily and can start the trip impartially …….. right?
We reach Australia after a 30-hour flight (with stops in the United Arab Emirates and Bangkok). When we arrive at the airport in Sydney, we are pretty exhausted. First we take over the motorhome.
In the hustle and bustle, we forget to take the vehicle papers with us from the rental company. We are already on the outskirts of Sydney ………. so let’s go back one more time. 34 hours have now passed. Finally we are north of the city again. Now the essentials are first bought in a small store. A few miles outside of Sydney, we find a secluded off-road spot where we can stay. In a dream, Jürgen meets a flying koala who shows him the way north on the Pacific HWY.
When we wake up at 8 a.m. the next morning, we see a cloudless sky and it promises to be a hot day. The shower is outside with a water hose. We notice that we stopped right at the entrance to a cattle farm.
We notice that we stopped right at the entrance to a cattle farm. On Freeway No. 1 it goes from Sydney via Newcastle towards Port Macquarie. Around noon we stop at one of the numerous rest areas, which are located right next to the freeway in the middle of one of the nature reserves. These are equipped with fireplaces and wooden tables. The fireplaces are even supplied with firewood by the local rangers. So we take a break here after a good 250 km drive. Here we have our first encounter with the local wildlife. A large lizard shoots from the nearby bushes and is looking for space on a tree as we are unpacking our steaks. Jürgen obviously does not miss this and follows the lizard with his camera. It is a beautiful specimen. The lizard has an escape distance of only a few meters. A good opportunity to take enough pictures.
After this experience and the little delay, it’s time to prepare the steaks that were bought yesterday in a butcher’s shop. As we can see, we actually got huge steaks that don’t fit in the pan. Brigitte calls her “toilet lid steaks” because she really almost ……. are great.
Australia – Fireplace – Jürgen makes fire We have no choice but to grill her over an open fire. We are completely undisturbed here. Traffic is light. Every half hour we hear a car whizzing by on the freeway. We allow ourselves enough time for lunch, after all we don’t have a fixed schedule.
We have decided to let everything come to us in peace. The first relaxation slowly sets in after the long flight. The first relaxation slowly sets in after the long flight. The first impressions of the hustle and bustle of the city of Sydney are slowly fading. After eating, the fireplace must be thoroughly extinguished with water. There is a constant risk of forest fires at this time of year. We read in the daily press that just before we arrived a huge forest area around Melbourne burned down.
It is already noticeable that we are moving away from the usual tourist paths. Traffic away from cities is getting less and less. Vehicles rarely come towards us. The freeway is still paved, but is already getting narrower. The first yellow signs to look out for kangaroos are on the side of the road. Shortly before Port Macquarie a truck with an unusual load comes towards us. Without warning, the single-family house rushes past us into the next city ………… a change of residence that is quite unusual for our eyes. As we will learn later, this type of move is part of everyday life.
The next day the freeway becomes even more lonely. It rained heavily overnight and in many places the landscape was flooded to meters high. We drive past large pastures that are completely under water. Every now and then we come across a lonely pick-up, which is driven by a cowboy. Large-caliber weapons pierced the street signs. Apparently the cowboys use the signs as targets, which doesn’t seem to bother anyone here. Long guns are legal for every citizen. Gun ownership cards only need to be applied for handguns. Outside the big cities, most domestic trucks and ATVs are decorated with rifles in the back windows. For us Central Europeans, this is a very unusual sight.
In the extensive farm areas and the endless wilderness, these are surely indispensable tools of hard everyday life. The country is regularly covered by rabbits and rabbit pests, the population of which is completely rampant. In addition, the populations of kangaroos, which are multiplying rapidly, must be checked. There are many saltwater crocodiles in the coastal waters and pools, which are 7 meters long and are extremely dangerous.
Today we spend the night in a quiet spot on the beach. No human soul can be seen far and wide. A small sailing boat lies on the beach, which was deposited here by its owner. We enjoy the beautiful sunset and the silence of the place. The sea is completely smooth. The light rustle of the surf lulls us to sleep after an extensive supper. The next day we get up early and have already completed a large part of our pre-calculated route by noon. That’s why we use a good opportunity to stop at one of the increasingly rare rest areas.
The flora here is becoming more and more tropical. The first large palm trees and banana trees can be admired. For today’s overnight stay we chose a regular campground, which also has the necessary infrastructure such as running water and a power connection. The area is idyllically located and not visited very often. We are looking for a nice place directly under a large fan palm. The kilometer-long sandy beach is 30 meters away. We like the stand so much that we decide to stay a few more days to explore the surrounding area. In this area there are hungry crocodiles and lots of “King Brown Snakes” and other poisonous animals. On the beach we met saltwater crocodiles with an impressive size of six meters and larger several times. After that we became very careful. The small-caliber rifle bought by Jürgen in Cairns no longer helps (you also don’t always have it ready). Swimming in the sea is not really recommended in view of the saltwater crocodiles (meneater – man-eater) and also because of the stingers feared throughout Australia.