Travelling Oz…Settling into our new home

Almost ready to travel. We have folding washing baskets of stuff that go on the bed during the day and on our bench seats at night. I got this idea from watching a vanlife video. We are now putting my basket on the bench to travel to cut down the weight on the overhead peak.

Yesterday we didn’t plan to drive all the way to the Glass House Mountains, but our stop on the way (a showgrounds) wasn’t available due to an upcoming event and as I had had a coffee at lunchtime I felt able to continue for another 50 kms even though it was late in the day. We arrived at our new camping area (a sportsground In Beewah) at about 4.15 p.m. This is $20 per night with power, water and nearby flushing toilets. There is a swimming pool that offers cheap showers as well. We had a bit of a battle with Google Maps to find the correct entry (wrong street name, correct instructions), but with help from a local we made it.

Cooking on my lovely three burner cooktop.This cooktop becomes our dressing table at night. With the lid down over the stovetop we have a lot of space.

The drive here was partly on the M1 and partly on the M3 and we may have incurred some road tolls. The licence is still in the dealer’s name until we get back to WA, so I’m sure she will forward the bill to us. I didn’t plan it exactly, but we ended up driving through Brisbane along the river and got to see the places we had been from the perspective of the motorway. It was a nice farewell.

The sink is on the other side of the room and is a really good size. This can also become a bench top with the lid down. The glass covers for the stovetop and sink are stronger glass than we’ve had before and seem to be very good quality.
The bed with some of our stuff on it.
The stove top bench which becomes a dressing table overnight. We also use the cab area for storage of backpacks, etc. overnight. The opening is a pass through, we can’t really use it for getting from the house to the car. I could probably get through in an emergency, but I wouldn’t do it just for fun. In that sense, it’s more like a caravan.

We’ve found that whichever way we go, leaving here and heading west, or going up to Rockhampton, then west, is about the same distance to Mt Isa. Rockhampton offers free camping in the town, which makes it seem traveller friendly, and at the moment that is our preferred option.

For today we want to do some sightseeing. The Glass House Mountains were given that name by Captain Cook as he found it reminded him of his home. The mountains look interesting in photos as they have high points due to volcanic activity thousands of years ago and stand out from the rest of the landscape. I haven’t used my real camera for a while and looking forward to having landscapes to photograph.

Driving at speed can feel a bit ‘floaty’. The camper is much more affected by wind and passing trucks than the Adria. The suspension upgrade also contributes to the ‘float’ as we have a far more comfortable ride. The house box is well protected against jarring shocks, a side effect, the upgrade is necessary for this vehicle to be able to handle the load. We went to a weighbridge first thing yesterday and found we were just within the weight limit. It was reassuring that we still have so much onboard without going over.

I’m looking forward to going on our first gravel road. The Adria couldn’t handle it at all really, we had to creep along and there was no chance of going fast and smoothing out the corrugations. I am hoping for the same experience as the Subaru, that is, we can travel comfortably up to about 60-70kms ph on most gravel roads.

We don’t expect it will have the same beautiful ride experience of Marie and Geoff’s Ford Territory. That has exceptional suspension and we have travelled on a gravel road in the Adria and then been driven on the same road in their car, and it was like being on a completely different road.

We don’t have the upgraded wheels and tires that were on the other Sherwood in the sales yard. Ours look like normal car wheels and tires. Another pointer to not being a fully off road vehicle. So, we won’t be driving on beaches or through deep water crossings or really rough roads that need a very high wheelbase.