We packed up and left Nimben after spending over a week in the area, feeling refreshed and most of our mozzie bites healing (itch, itch...). Doug our host at the Rainbow Retreat had traced out a scenic route for us to take from Nimben into Queensland over some mountain passes eventually coming out near the Gold Coast. Our next target was Fraser Island which was still a fair way up the coast passed Suffers Paradise, Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast so we decided to spend the next 3 days mainly travelling and camping light.
To save time and effort I took to sleeping outside under the vehicle awning on a blow up mattress because we were travelling everyday it was too much effort to unpack and setup tent every stop... and there weren't any crocodiles yet! Tony slept in the vehicle which he found comfortable. Unfortunately we both got ravished by mozzies again, me especially as I was sleeping outside! We’ve learned a lot and evolved our strategies for dealing with biting insects, including covering up skin at night, using mosquito deterrent spray (it actually works well, we used Bushman Plus a DEET formula spray) and trying to pick camping sites away from swamps or water. Some of the best nights where right beside the beach with a keen sea breeze keeping the biting insects away!
We whizzed through the Gold Coast, only stopping for a quick beer and some photos. Huge long beaches stacked with high rise buildings along the coast and stuffed with tourists and bars. Also did a quick in and out fly through Brisbane to buy a few things including a new camera battery and some camera cleaning accessories. Brisbane is an impressive modern city with new high rise buildings and a lovely river snaking its way through the centre, slightly reminding me of London, it even has a South Bank full of theatres.
Driving out of Brisbane up the Bruce Highway heading for Fraser Island with the sun beating down on a hot humid afternoon. The Bruce highway is quite impressive going North out of Brisbane, 8 lanes of traffic making up Queenslands main artery up the coast. Fraser Island was still a good distance so we would need to camp one night on the way. As we drove up the Bruce Highway pointy tipped mountains covered in forest started to appear on the horizon so we decided to check out camping sites on or near them. The mountains ranged from 200 – 400 metres high and rose out of the flat surroundings as we approached. We stayed right by the beach in a charming little seaside town called Caloundra. Tomorrow we would arrive near Fraser Island and camp another night before getting the vehicle stocked up with fuel and provisions before catching the barge to Fraser.