OurRoad Trip with the Jucy Car
That's it, after 2 months installed in Brisbane, we repack our suitcases towards Sydney !
Driving our Jucy car (yes, they don't only have campervans as they have just started to rent cars in Australia and their prices are unbeatable , I suggest you take a look at their website if you want a cheap but new rental car in Australia !
We are a bit short of time to travel the 900 km, so better be organized ! Here's an idea for the road
17th, may 2014
Brisbane - Sydney!
in 4 days
Nimbin is a colorful village, located about 1 hour from the Gold Coast. Nimbin is well known for being the first gathering place for hippies in Australia. ( At the occasion of a festival in 1973) . This was followed by the formation of a true hippie community. Here, you feel like you've come to Bob Marley's place. People are laid back, most of the time barefoot and with dreds . If you are stressed out on arrival, don't worry it will be quickly forgotten! For join smokers, this is the place to go in Australia!
Day N°1: NIMBIN and surrounding
Feeling more attracted to the nature than the smoking, we prefer giving a visit to our friends Matthew and Aurélie , who happen to live in an eco friendly house in the bush (15min away from Nimbin). The good news for those who want to relax and going bush: they rent a very nice wooden cottage on the airbnb website.
A night under the stars in the middle of the forest with kookaburras's laugh to wake you up ! Well energised after this good night, we decide to climb all together the Mount Warning. The near by mountain, which is not so easy to climb!
2 hours after leaving the carpark, we found us climbing using a chain to reach the top !
What an adventure ! But the view is worth the effort!
Day N°2: Port Macquarie
Hard to live our friends on this beautiful autumnal morning, but today is the day, we have to drive South to reach Port Macquarie, about 5h30 from here.
Better keep going if we want to get it before sunset (NDLR at 5pm now...).
To be honest, there is not much to see on the road, but it's true that we are in a mood of “okay, let's do this and straight!”
Of course, there is the Big Banana (a giant banana on a roof- this is a aquatic park) where we stop for a coffee, and take a cool picture but otherwise nothing to declare on the Pacific Highway... For those who want a healthy lunch, we park the car in Coff Harbour and eat at The Happy Frog, an organic café which has all you can wish in terms of salads, sandwiches, soups and fresh squeezed juices, yum !
There is also a food store inside :-)
Feeling energised, we keep driving and finally reach Port Macquarie, a lovely beachy town. It reminds us of Noosa in Queensland (Ahh Noosa, such god memories there...). There is the same kind of river (you can cruise at sunset), a marina full of nice houses, the beaches and the classic surf lessons with the Aussie touch :-)
We enjoy our walk along the “Breakwall”, here, the inhabitants of the town have painted the rocks in a original and colorful way. We are not only distracted by the art, but also by playful dolphins and jumping Eagle rays ! (Unfortunately we don't have any picture of the rays, pretty hard to get the perfect moment where they jump above the water!).
We leave our suitcases at the Ozzie Pozzie YHA for the night. Very chilled out and friendly place, where we are welcomed by Cheeky a rainbow lorikeet! The walls are painted (everything seems to be painted in this town lol), palm trees are everywhere and there is a pool in which I just want to have a dip!
Time for the barbecue, I do have the feeling that it's always the summer in Oz! But who's going to complain about that? Not me for sure!
Day N°3: The Vineyards of the Hunter Valley
Bye bye Port Macquarie, we head to one of Australia's most famous wine-growing region: the Hunter Valley.
Radical change of scenery, from the Pacific ocean to the vineyards and its beautiful autumn colours.
After having lived 6 months in an endless summer in Queensland's tropics, it can sound a bit silly but we appreciate looking at red leaves and being able to capture all the shimmering colours that only autumn can offer :-)
This part of Australia counts many beautiful vineyards, but don't expect to visit castles like you could do in France, here it's all about contemporary constructions. Because I'm not the finest wine drinker, I have more fun visiting Mistletoe Vineyard which was a true art gallery inside and outside in the garden as well! Pretty cool :-)
For a really panoramic view over the valley, Audrey Wilkinson Vineyard is the place to visit :-) We park the Jucy car and simply take in the scenery!
We notice a constant French inspiration in the region but we are amused that they got the names wrong most of the time...”Cuveé, Petite Muscat, Petite Fours “ are just a few examples :-) Shall we tell them?!?
For the night, we are invited to one of the Peppers hotels. Located in the forest, the Guest house is a privileged retreat for a romantic and relaxing getaway.
We enjoy our dinner at Chez Pok, the beef was just so tender! A “délice” :-)
Only a few minutes away is another property from the Peppers group, called the Convent. With a more unusual architecture for Australia, we could easily imagine ourselves in a manor in French Normandy !
Day N°4: Sydney and Vivid Festival
This is it, the roadtrip comes already to an end :-( but we are not sad, we can spot the Harbour Bridge from far away and we recognize the famous skyline, beautiful Sydney :-))
We head to the Jucy rentals branch to drop off our Styla, hard to leave her, we quickly get used to it!
But no need to worry with a car in the CBD, we make our way to the Railway Square YHA now, which happens to be a great hostel!
Every day we are amazed by the quality of youth hostelling in Australia and YHA is a perfect example. First, everywhere you go Down Under, you will find a YHA (no kidding) and most of them are quirky places to stay with history or something special. If not, they will be at least clean, safe and offer good facilities. Second, you can organize all your trips with them and get so much % off. Definitely a good deal :-)
To get back to the one in Sydney, the Railway Square: we are just next to the main train station, so close than you can even book a dorm in a railway carriage! (an old one rehabilitated of course).
What's special about this place? It used to be in the early XXth century the “Inwards Parcel Shed”. All the parcels were received here and distributed in the country. It was a central civilising link in Australia's early years. The timber structure has been kept, and the decoration is a mix of ancient and modern materials. We just feel good in this hostel.
Right in the city centre, it makes our walk tour very convenient.
Ok Sydney, even if we know it already (2nd time this year and 5th time for me) we feel the excitation as the countdown to the Vivid festival is on, less than a week :-) (May, 23rd tto June, 9th) and we will be part of the festivity!
The Vivid, is the Event to see in Australia, last year about 800 000 people checked it out! So what this is about? Festival of Light, the Opera, the Harbour Bridge and the main monuments sparkle and shine for 2 weeks. The music is on, giant fountains, lasers and pyrotechnics delight the crowd. This year we have been told it will be even bigger and better :-) so we won't be the only ones to photograph the Opera next week, that's for sure!
Before showcasing the event next week end (May, 24-25th) on my social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter), here are a few pictures from last year to give you an idea :-)
See you next week end on the web!
4 days : $22/day = $88
Stress free insurance: $19/day = $76
( their full cover is just great as it's cheap, it covers everything, there is no deposit to leave at the pick up and nothing to pay in case of accident. On top of that, all the passengers can drive too).
Total: $164 insurance included
Wooden eco chalet close to Nimbin:
$70 with breakfast
Dorm of 6 people: $25
Private Double Room with ensuite $81
Peppers Guest House Hunter Valley:
Suite from $187
Dorm from $31,5
Private Double Room with ensuite: $112
Diner Chez Pok:
$55 per person for a 2 course menu
I hope our little roadtrip would inspire you and to make this trip more concrete for you, we give you below our budget. (prices in AUD$).
If you liked this post, share it with your friends :-)