Adventure To & Within The Gold Coast

Firstly, apologies for the belated blog everyone, the last two weeks have been a little bit busy. I left you guys when were in Taylors Arm at The Pub With No Beer, for the last 10 days we have been in the Gold Coast.

Our journey to the Gold Coast was a long one, on Sunday 26th February we said goodbye to the locals that we had made friends with at The Pub With No Beer and left Taylors Arm. It was surprisingly hard to say goodbye as they were all so keen for us to stay and we really loved the camp area. We headed for Grafton, where there is apparently a good free camping area by the river. The rain was pelting down and so we stopped in at the local pub in Grafton for a rest and a beer. After speaking with the bar man and learning that they were expecting 200mL of rain over the next few days to come we decided not to camp at Grafton to continue north to try and escape the weather.

That afternoon we arrived at Bonalbo. Bonalbo is a really small town in north country NSW. We found a pub called Dog ‘N’ Bull where we stopped to eat and have a beer. We had no set plans but as it was getting late, we knew that we would camp somewhere near there that night. It was at that time that I pointed out to Ben that we had drunk beers in three different pubs that day. Bonalbo has some free camps around it but they also have a small short stay caravan park in the town. It was $25 for the night and had clean showers and toilets and a washing machine, dryer and a kitchenette. We bunked there for the night and left the next morning.

That day we drove and drove and drove, we looked at a few different free camp options and discovered that although WikiCamps is a good app, some of the descriptions and marked camp areas are quite inaccurate. We went through Bonablo, Old Bonablo, Urbenville, Muli Muli, Woodenbong, Unumger, Grevillia, Rukenvale and Kyogle. We had no luck in finding somewhere we wanted to camp for 4 days until we were due in the Gold Coast and the heavy rain seemed to be following us.

After much deliberation we decided to keep driving. We ended up crossing the boarder into Queensland and stopped just outside Logan and Beaudesert in a free camp that was basically a dry grass filled paddock. There is a moderately busy road running down the side of it and there is a river which is the colour of caramel flavoured milk. The river is hard to get to, you need to walk through long grass, over barbed wire and  into a paddock, which very steep. We let the dogs have a swim in it but even though it was hot, it wasn’t inviting enough for us to swim in. We stayed in the paddock for 3 nights, there was back packers that came and went but nobody we really spoke to, we exchanged food with a Brazillian couple which was interesting and had a wild pig visit our camper at night but the rest of the time there wasn’t much happening.

We got to Gold Coast on Thursday the 2nd March (one day earlier than planned – as we could not stand the boredom anymore). We checked in at Big 4 Holiday Park Gold Coast, which is 5 minutes drive from Movie World and Wet ‘N’ Wild. We planned this because we knew that Ben’s Mum, Chris, her husband Mick and our 8 year old nephew Alix were coming up. The holiday park here is really good, the pool area is great and had a water slide. There is a off leash, fenced in dog area and the amenities are modern, well maintained and clean. There is also a jumping pillow and farm animals to feed for kids. There is a BMX track and a cafe near the pool area that has nice and reasonably priced food and drinks. We have seen koalas her, flying foxes, lizards, geckos and plenty of cane toads.

We met a couple, Amanda and Adrian, who are also traveling (going South) with their little girl, Ella and their dog, Jed. Adrian is in the mining business and as he is on a week on week off, fly in fly out, roster they still travel during the weeks he is not working. This work option good for Ben at some stage.

While Chris, Mick and Alix were here we had activities on every day. They arrived Monday, we took Alix to Movie World Tuesday, Wet ‘N’ Wild Wednesday then SeaWorld Thursday. They left Friday afternoon. In the time were weren’t at theme parks, we were swimming with Alix in the pool or going down the water slide or feeding the farm animals or having something to eat. It was full on but it was great to see them and we are so happy that we were able to make it to Gold Coast to spend some quality time together. Ben and I also took Alix to a shooting range and to ten pin bowling one night.

Alix bowling

Movie World was awesome… highlights – seeing Batman, seeing Austin Powers, the rides, the loony tunes.

Wet ‘N’ Wild was loads of fun… highlights – taking Alix on big water slides and seeing him get a little scared but then so excited that he wanted to do it again, the Tornado, the pizza.

SeaWorld was huge… highlights – the dolphin show, Alix getting to go on some rides and getting to see the Ninja Turtles, Shark Bay, the penguins.

The night before Chris, Mick and Alix arrived Ben got a call from reception saying… ‘there are some internationals at reception claiming that they know you.’ Ben and I smiled at each other, of course we know them, we told them, let them in. The German and Swedish backpackers that we had met in Taylors Arm had said that they would some visit us while we were in Gold Coast so we knew it was them. It was great to see Benta, Sebastian and Oliver again, we had lots of drinks and they ended up bringing their van onto our campsite and staying the night. We cooked a roast in the camp kitchen, played cards and had a good laugh and a relax. We may see Sebastian again in Brisbane as he is still keen to go fishing with Ben.

Yesterday we spent the day near Tweed Heads, on the beach watching a team surfing competition. Ben’s uncle is a keen surfer and his three sons have been surfing for almost as long as they could walk. Watching the surfers was an awesome day out. Everybody thinks of surfers as bogus guys with long hair and a care free lifestyle and this is probably one of the only cases where the stereotype is pretty much spot on. The are fit and strong and they tackle the waves like nobody I have ever seen before. We went to dinner that night with Ben’s uncle at a club in Tweed Heads and then crashed at home after a long day on the beach.

The night before that we had a few drinks with Amanda (Adrian is away at work at the moment) from the caravan across the road. Ben played domino’s with young Ella and we all had a good chat and a laugh. We laughed especially hard when Tony, affectionately called Indian Elvis, came to chat with us after he lost his way in the park. He had lots of stories and even sung a tune for us.

All in all we’ve had a great time here on the Gold Coast, tomorrow it’s onwards and upwards to Brisbane to do some work, build up the funds and then move on.

Author: benandleahscamper

I'm a freelance writer and blogger who loves to travel with my husband, Ben. We normally choose our off road camper for adventures but sometimes we'll take a different path. I am also a veterinary nurse. I am also available for content and copywriting jobs.

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