The next adventure on our Bunac working holiday turned out to be a six week trip up the East Coast from Sydney to Cairns in a camper van. Pardon the crude title but it is the name we have currently crowned ourselves in jest and I couldn’t leave it out.
On Thursday 19th Febuary we set off from our hostel carrying our luggage in search of Jucy Camper Van Hire with whom we had booked the ‘grande’ option they offered. Catching the bus from the Railway station after being shouted at by a very angry bus driver (why are they all so angry!!) we set off to get our van.
Or so we thought…
After about three stops and clearly no idea where we were going, we had reached the end of the line.
Wrong Bus You Idiots!!!
Not the best start to our adventure considering we would need a good sense of direction if we ever hoped to get to Caurns and we couldn’t even get out of the city centre.
With our tails between our legs we got back on the same bus with Mr Angry the Busman and eventually found the hire shop.
When the ‘Grande’ pulled up it became apparent that getting four girls into the van including all of our luggage that this was going to be a cosy journey.
After a quick tour round the van, the main driver was handed the keys and directed to give it a test drive. Id like to give Jucy a little advice; probably not that best idea to park two of your rather expensive vans fairly close together. After a dubious start. nearly accelarating into another camper we were off.
Next stop: Port Stephens
Arriving rather late at a nature reserve/Camping ground we met with fellow BUNACers who were staying there. Here’s a tip kids: Unless you want to be woken by a very angry man banging on your van windows and telling you to leave; don’t park illegally.
I know, I know, we are really stupid, but the reception was closed, we had no where else to stay. We are four young girls in a bright green and purple van which is hardly discreet. We needed somewhere safe to sleep, so it was worth a try!!
It turned out that the guy was really understanding and he ended up letting us stay. The best bit was the reserve had a resident Kangaroo named Josie who loved to be scratched under the chin and a few possums who liked to chill out around the shower blocks. Bit odd brushing your teeth with a possum watching you though.
Port Stephens turned out to be a fairly small town although it offers plenty of activities such as jet skiing and whale watching. As a group we decided that we would like to go dolphin watching and booked it for the following morning. The boat had a boom net and a slide that launched you into the sea. We were kids again.
As for the dolphins we seen quite a few but at a distance as they had learnt to avoid the boats. I would recommend going for the more expensive option and swimming with them if you want the full experience.
We then moved on to Coffs Harbour, unfortunately we caught the tail end of the bad weather that had been moving through Australia at the time. We made it to the beach once but it wasn’t sunbathing weather. The only other attraction Coffs Harbour seemed to offer was a big banana, it was as weird as it sounds. A good day out for kids with a small water park and toboganning, as a group of twenty year olds we weren’t overly impressed.
We decided to stop off in Yamba next just for one night and managed to find a very well equipped camp site. The site had two swimming pools that were great for just chilling out, it made a nice change not being covered in sand for days from the beaches. That night we walked to the local pub and had a meal looking out over the harbour.
It had been a very relaxing start to our camping trip and after a few days we were looking forward to reaching the notorious Byron Bay and doing some more partying.