Our first year in Australia

Kuranda Jai

March 2018 we arrived in Australia after being one year in Asia. We flew from Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) to the Gold Coast. From the Gold Coast, we started our Aussie trip.

Polarsteps worldmap
Our trip around the world so far!
Koala
Welcome to Australia

We first worked in Caboolture on a strawberry farm planting strawberries. After two weeks we quit this shitty job, planting 3.000 plants for just €60,- a day wasn’t worth it. So we decided to buy a Van. We wanted to be free and go wherever we want to go! Travelling in Australia without a car is really hard and expensive. Everything is too far apart.

Daria strawberry
Packing Strawberries
Jai painting
Jai painting our Van. We bought an empty Van and wanted to make it as we like
Daria painting
Painting new side panels made by Jai

Painting the van

Rainbow Beach
Rainbow Beach

 

Our plan was to drive to the North of Queensland. But first, we wanted to visit friends in Biloela, Central Queensland.

 

First night
First night in the Van

 

We ended up staying in Biloela for four months because we could work on a herb farm, so why not!

Herb farm
Here we are weeding on a herb farm together with our friend Alisson. We did this job for four months!! If you want to have a second-year visa in Australia you have to work on a farm for a minimum of three months 😦 but we had fun too!
Roo's Biloela
Beautiful animals. They were in the fields every night, eating all the crops (the farmer was not happy with them)
Biloela
On Sunday we go exploring. This one was taken in Biloela

Callide Dam Biloela

When we finished working on the farm, Jai’s mom came and visit us with her friend. They came for six weeks and we travelled further north. We did a road trip from Rockhampton to Cape Tribulation. It was absolutely beautiful!! We came through many National Parks and beautiful beaches.

Rocky
Welcome to Australia Annie and Too! They rented a campervan to travel with us for a couple of weeks
Camping in Byfield
Camping in Byfield National Park
Stoney Creek
Morning Mist at Stoney Creek
Byfield
Apero time at Byfield National Park, Life’s Bad…
Forest Walk Daintree
Daintree Rainforest
Daintree Beach
Daintree, where the rainforest meets the beach

After an amazing holiday with Jai’s mom, they had to go back to Sydney for their flight to Europe. When Jai’s mom left we were in Cairns and we didn’t really know what to do. Do we want to work again or are we going back south? Our goal was to drive to Cape York, in the Tip of Australia, but when we start looking it up we realized that this road is for 4WD only. Our little Van would not make it at all!! 😦 Unfortunately, because going to the Tip of Australia is quite special, not many people have the chance to go there. It’s really remote with a lot of Aboriginal Communities. The roads are pretty rough and it is a 1.000km dirt road only from Cairns, which isn’t a big distance when we’re talking about a country the size of Australia. But still too far for our car.

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Whitsundays
The Whitsundays
Kookaburra
The Laughing Kookaburra
Rainbow Lorikeet
Rainbow Lorikeet

Cockatoo

After hanging around in Trinity Beach (north of Cairns) for a week, we posted an ad on gumtree (online marketplace) that we were looking for a job. And yes, a couple of days later we got a reply. If we would like to travel to Aurukun for a job. We discussed it and googled the place first. Aurukun is an Aboriginal Community in the Tip of Australia, run by the Aurukun Shire Council. Yes, you read that right, the Tip of Australia! We were so happy that we were offered a job in the area we wanted to go. We thought why don’t we give it a try! If we wanted to do the job we had to decide in two days because we could catch the first plane going there and we could leave our Van at the manager’s place in Mareeba, not too far from Cairns. It is 4WD only and about 14hrs from Cairns, we were happy to fly there instead of driving. The flight took about two hours, we flew from Cairns to Lockhart River and then to Aurukun. We took the job and ended up working there for four months. Aurukun is a special place and we have a lot of stories to tell. Click here to read the Aurukun blog!

FNQ
Map of Far North Queensland
Flight to Aurukun
Absolutely stunning flight above the reef to Aurukun, FNQ
Croc Daintree
Wild crocs
Mac
Jai and Mac on the farm in Biloela

We finished our job in Aurukun in December 2018, just before Christmas. When we went back to Cairns and we spend a couple of days in the city. We slowly started to drive back south. Bye Bye, North Queensland 😦 Cairns and surroundings are so beautiful and we were a bit sad to leave but we had to keep moving. Our visa would end in March so we had roughly three months left.

Milla Milla Falls
Millaa Millaa Falls, QLD

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Lawgi- stars
The Milkyway (not very good quality)

We had a nice, but rainy Christmas in the van. On the 31st of December, we went for a day to Magnetic Island and spotted some wild koalas. In Townsville, we spent New Year’s Eve. It’s not the best and fancy place to have NYE, but hey, we had a lot of fun! We watched the fireworks from the main beach and went for a night out in the city.

Christmas 2018
First Christmas in the Van
Magnetic island
Look who we found sleeping in a tree on Magnetic Island

After Townsville, we drove more south and visited a lot of places along the coast. Somewhere in January, we were back in Biloela where our dear friends live. Jai wanted to replace the breaks and do some small repairs on the Van. While in Biloela our friends offered us to stay in their holiday house on Curtis Island, an island just in front of Gladstone. We stayed there for a couple of days and it was absolutely beautiful! When we left Biloela we had about 1 1/2 months left, we decided to drive until Byron Bay. We stopped in Brisbane and Gold Coast first, just for a couple of days. There is a big outlet not too far from the Gold Coast, in Ashmore. We did some serious shopping there, haha.

Bilo
Back at Don and Di’s place to do some repairs on the car
Van
Little upgrade: Jai also made a pull-out bed and a little pantry
Curtis Island
Curtis Island

We left Queensland and drove into a new state, New South Wales! We stayed in Northern New South Wales, what a stunning piece of Australia! The coast is so nice and the colour of the water is just unreal. One of our favourite places was Kingscliff, a little village next to Cudgen Creek.  Meanwhile, we bought a stand-up paddleboard, the creek was perfect for supping. After Kingscliff we drove slowly to Byron Bay, stopping in almost all the villages on the way. Byron Bay was so busy and expensive! It is a popular place in Australia and a good surfing spot. Our favourite beach in Byron was Wategos Beach, Jai even saw dolphins while he was surfing! Also, you can find the most Eastern Point of the Australian continent there. In the end, we drove a little further than planned, we made it until Ballina. Ballina is a fisherman town 35km south of Byron. Just a beautiful and quiet town. Not as crowded and expensive as Byron.

Wategos
Wategos Beach, Byron Bay
Byron
Byron Bay Lighthouse

Meanwhile, it was already March and we had to drive back to Queensland. We were going to leave Australia on the 11th of March for Bali, Indonesia. We could leave our van in Biloela with our friends because we are planning to come back to Australia at the end of 2019.

So, on the way back to Bilo we stayed again a couple of days at Kingscliff, just because we love this place! When we arrived in Biloela we started to clean out the van en start packing our stuff, and my gosh…  we collected a lot during this year in Australia!

Mackay
Camping in Mackay
Tip of Australia
The Northernmost Point Of The Australian Continent, Cape York
Ballina
Ballina, Our average day…

We had an amazing year, Australia is so beautiful! We learned a lot, made new friends, visited stunning places and so on. We are really grateful for this. Sometimes we had to pinch ourselves to say that this is real life, we are living the dream, literally. We are excited to see the rest of Australia, we mainly did Queensland this year and there are still a lot of states to visit!

Whitsundays
Whitsundays

Thanks Straya, See ya soon mate!!

 

Don’t forget to leave a comment below! 🙂

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