East Coast Australia

We are on the Road for 5.5 weeks now and have done the East Coast from Brisbane to Cairns in 4 weeks.

In  average we were  driving 170km a day and tried not to drive for more than 2h when kids were having a nap.

It’s an easy drive on the Bruce Highway all the way to Cairns and can be done with any type of car.

Agnes waters

Polarsteps is another great free app that lets you share your travel destinations and creates a map which can then be ordered as a photobook with all the pictures and descriptions after the trip and can be used for any country.
We have seen the East Coast 10 years ago and have decided to make other stops this time but we couldn’t drive past Airlie Beach which is a little City.

We didn’t recognize it anymore as so many things have changed and it has grown! It’s still a little Backpacker town but we loved it.

Airlie Beach

The Reefstar Cruise Day trip to the Whitsundays was worth it again and we loved the glass bottom boat so we could see the Great Barrier Reef and didn’t have to go snorkeling as the kids are too small for it.

Whitehaven Beach and too sunny for the kids

Another really kids friendly City was Townsville and ‘The Strand’ which has a long Esplanade with a free Aqua Splash Park, 5 playgrounds, a Lagoon and Cafes.

Townsville The Strand
Townsville Castle Hill Lookout

No wonder it’s one of the fastest growing Cities on the East Coast as people love what they see and decide to move!

Unfortunately swimming is not possible in the beautiful Ocean in most places above Rockhampton as crocodiles might be in the water but most bigger cities have a free Lagoon anyway.

Cairns Lagoon

You can use a lot of free camp sites on the road and all bigger cities are more expensive.

Cairns was the most expensive city so far and has high season in winter. We have stayed in Cairns for a week at the BIG4 Coconut Resort which is a 5 Star Resort with cabins, campgrounds, playgrounds, pools, entertainment and the biggest jumping pillow in the world!

Biggest jumping pillow in the world
BIG4 Coconut Resort Cairns

Sign up to become a BIG4 member and get a 10% discount each time at any BIG4 caravan park.

The place was the best one we had so far and was very safe compared to other cheaper campsites in Cairns.

We also went to Hartley’s Crocodile Adventure Farm which is only a 30 min drive up north (use your BIG4 card to get 10% off) where we saw a lot of crocodiles and you can even try their meat! It’s one of 14 crocodile farms in Australia.


This were just a few stops we had but we have experienced and seen much more!

Now we need a break from our holidays and are flying home for 2 weeks to have holidays with family !
We are looking forward to continue our Trip from Cairns to Darwin and have made many friends in Cairns who we will hopefully meet on the way.

If you see us on the Road say Hi 👋🏼

Check our fb page where we have uploaded a little Video of some of our best moments so far!

How much does it cost to travel in Australia with 2 kids? 

Let’s talk about money, the most important factor when traveling….

We are on the road for 4 weeks now and still loving it! 

When we were budgeting our travel expenses we have calculated with daily expenses of $100 for all of us. 

We have crunched the numbers today and we are only slightly above our daily budget with $122 per day. It looks like food is our biggest expense (must be the Happy Meals and Frappes) although we avoid to eat out and cook in the caravan most of the times.

I’m the biggest fan of Apps and we are using the free version of Housekeeper! 

Here are our expenses:


Transports are our Fuel Expenses and our Audi’s Diesel Fuel consumption is 9 l without towing and about 12 l when towing.

Clothing are our Laundry Expenses.

We are traveling slow, so slow that even Trucks and Road trains are overtaking at 100 km/h but we are not in a hurry and so far have made approx. 2500 km (plus a few km on the bikes) 

But we are only 1372 km from home which might be a lot for other countries but Australia is big!

It takes a while to put the kids to sleep sometimes and so we drive around or explore the Cities while they nap. 

A life on the Road is cheaper than owning a house, is much more fun and is less work! We don’t miss the big cleanings, garden work or pool maintenance. 

The following Video is the reason that our Leisure budget was higher but how could you miss the Whitsundays and Whitehaven Beach when you travel the East Coast in Australia ? 

Free camp, caravan park or low-cost campground?

We try to do a mix of free camping, caravan park and low cost campgrounds and so far did 2-3 days of free camping per week and if the kids need some entertainment or we need to do laundry, then we go to caravan parks which are between $35-45 a night for a caravan.

The best app to find a place is Camper Mate as it has a great map and comments about all the stops. There is also one available called WikiCamps.

Low-cost campgrounds/caravan parks usually attract a lot of permanent living people which makes it look unattractive and scary. Some of them are mining or farm workers and some of them live there as it’s cheaper than renting a place. 


Horizon Kangaroo Sanctuary Agnes Water

A stay at the Horizons Kangaroo Sanctuary in Agnes Waters was one of our best experiences.

 The price for a site was $30 unpowered and the money goes towards raising little orphan Joeys. 

The place has a good kitchen, toilets with hot showers and a beautiful view! It’s accessible for every car but a bit narrow for very large caravans. 

As it is a small campground it was great to sit at the campfire with all visitors and share stories which you usually don’t have at the caravan parks with mostly retired people. 

Another top low-cost campgrounds we stayed at was a farm stays called Alkoomi Adventure Farm in Marmor (between Gladstone and Rockhampton) which is $5 p.P per night with hot showers, toilets, kitchen and a camp fire with all visitors. 

Collecting eggs at 4:30pm which are sold there
Camp fire and marshmallows
Sunrise
Farm Adventure

All money goes towards a charity and they offer farm activities for $50 for 2h which include horse riding, quad, motorbikes or kayaking. The owners are a lovely couple who enjoy their farm life and like to give this experience to their visitors. 

Free campsites are usually near the motorway and are sometimes a bit noisy, most of them have a 20h stay rule and if you just want to stop for a sleep or to safe money, they are fine but for most of them you need to be self-contained if you travel in a caravan and rangers drive around to check. 

The best free camp site so far was in Childers which had water, toilets, playground, BBQ area and even free wifi! It is behind he main road and CBD and you can’t hear any traffic.

Childers free campsite
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Saint Lawrence has also a great stop with free coffee and tea provided by the Qld Department of Transport and volunteers. 


The further we travel north, the cheaper the caravan parks get and so we try to pick the BIG4 or TOP Tourist parks which offer a lot of entertainment for the kids and during school holidays it’s even better as they have a program every day! Prices for a non powered site are around $33-40 per night. 

Own washing machine or public laundry?

Kids will go through a lot of clothes when you travel and doing laundry is an essential part of our trip.

Before we started we were thinking if we would need a Single or Twin tub washing machine which you can get for about $100 from eBay or if it’s easier to use a public laundry and after 2 weeks on the road we know what suits us! 

Single tub washing machine which could only hold 2 shirts and 2 undies

Here are the Pro’s and Contra’s.

Washing machine

  • + Washing can be done everywhere and anytime
  • – Needs a storage space 
  • – Can’t wash big loads 
  • – Requires warm water and not always possible with our caravan if we free camp
  • Requires power

Public laundry 

  • no storage needed 
  • + one big load can be washed 
  • + no power and water needed 
  • – have to wait for it to finish and empty immediately

Caravan parking washing machine 30 min, $4
My little helper
Even the kids can be washed ☺️

Conclusion

We are washing 1 big load per week for $4 (30 min) at the caravan park and decided to pack more clothes instead of storing and connecting the washing machine which also saves us time. Some urgent items can be hand washed if required. 

Let us know in the comments what you prefer! 

How are the kids feeling?

After 10 days being on the road and living a life in a caravan, we can now share with you how our kids are feeling about it!

So far the kids woke up and were happy but  on some days the mornings got a bit stressful, especially if they wake up at 6 am and that’s the downside of living in a small space and everyone needs to wake up at the same time and start the day. 

Emily (3) loves playing at the different playgrounds every day, feed the dolphins, ride with us on the bicycle and other activities that we do while Alexa (9 months) doesn’t really care where she is as long as she has food and clean nappies.

You can find a playground every couple of meters

Remember there is a great App we mentioned on Facebook? It’s called Playground Finder 

The 3 year old constantly reminds us that she doesn’t have to go to Kindy anymore and is happy about it as she already wants to go to school.

Getting ready to feed the dolphins

They enjoy the time spent with us together and the 3 year old is hugging and kissing us all day, if we buy her something she says: Thank you mummy for buying me this, I love you! 

As we used to work from home, we have been together 24/7 which wasn’t easy but now that we are on the road, we are much more relaxed and don’t have all the jobs around the house and business and get to know our kids much better. 

Daddy’s girls

The 10 months baby was only with mummy  and never wanted to go to daddy but now they spend more valuable time together and she is happy! 

Playtime

We use a recycled plastic mat for $30 for Alexa’s play area.

The 3 year old is missing her friends from the Gold Coast and is too shy to make friends at the caravan parks. She is also asking us when her cousins, who are living in Germany, will come to visit us? 

Emily is missing her friend

We have a product in our Shop, a Keenz Stroller Wagon!

We are so excited to offer you a Wagon that we use on our daily trips whether it’s the shops, playground, beach or simply a walk to put the kids to sleep! 
After our Germany trip in February where we used a “Bollerwagen” to transport our kids, we decided to get one in Australia which wasn’t easy as nobody knows them here so we bought one from China first but discovered that it wasn’t suitable for the kids and the wheels fell off after using it for 3 weeks, so we started looking for a better quality one!

For those who know us, we love the “German Quality” and found a great one in America where they are already popular. 

People stopped us on the streets, took photos and asked where we got it when we tested it and we can now offer them in Australia.

Keenz is the first folding wagon that is also certified as a stroller with inbuilt 5 point harness, retractable roof with mesh sunscreen, side awnings and brakes!

It can be easily folded, fits into most boots and is 13 kg. Loading capacity is 50kg and we usually pack it with sand toys, food, clothes, groceries and 2 kids! 

If it’s nap time, we simply use it as a portable cot and the roof protects them from the sun. 

We love the front basket which also has a cooler bag to keep the drinks cool and the kids shoes can be stored below. 

Check it out in our online Store and we will include a Cup holder and Cooler Bag for free! 

Available in 4 colours

Not the best start but we are on the Road

We had a 2 days delay as we couldn’t finish a few things at home, were waiting for the postman with our water tank and locked a room with the car keys inside.

But the best part is yet to come…after packing the caravan, we decided to weigh it and realized that we have packed 200kg too much and therefore went home to unpack and load some heavy items on the roof. What seemed like and empty caravan, ended up being loaded with 500kg and no Idea where it could all fit!

Swapping our big home for a caravan life
Our first stop was Caloundra where we decided to stay at a caravan park with a heated pool for 3 days. 

Heated pool in winter

We did two bike trips along the Coastal Walkway and explored the area. The best way to explore the area is on bikes and we are glad we bought some. The kids seats are only $45 and $60 and can be ordered here.    Child bike seat 

We love them, they are easy to install, can fit on any bike and you don’t need the predrilled holes on your bikes. They also perfectly fit on the caravan bike rail with the bikes. 

Super girl is ready for her bike trip
Coastal Walkway in Caloundra is perfect for bike riding

Caloundra is also called God’s waiting room as most of the people are retired but they still have a lot of playgrounds every couple of meters where they take their grandkids.

So Will has made friends with them at the caravan park and playgrounds. 

We went to the market and met a person  who is making kids hats, we couldn’t resist the beautiful prints and good quality hats and bought some for our kids which Emily doesn’t want to take off now! Hats are very important in Australia, even in winter.

She is selling them at the markets or Etsy.

Today we are trying a free camp as we have a self contained caravan and right now we enjoy that the kids are having a nap in the car while we relax at the beach! 

Our office today while kids are asleep
Bushwalking in the National Park

Conclusion after 3 days:

We love our life! Finally we feel free again, concentrate on the kids and do what we love ! 

Everything is possible, even with little kids. 

Only 2 nights to go!

It was a crazy week with a lot of things to organise and pack and you notice how much you stuff you actually have at home!

We love to declutter regularly but it still feels like we can live with less.

We were worried that we might overpack and overload the caravan but turns out that we will have enough empty storage and even the car boot will be empty.

Initially it was our plan to start on Sunday but as we haven’t received our water tank yet, we will have to start on Monday.

The bike racks have been installed and the child seats attached to the bikes, we did a pest control in the caravan as we had ants laying eggs in a drawer which is common in caravans and we were told that if they will get into the walls, it’s almost impossible to get rid of them.

Will has attached mudguards to protect the Caravan from stones and a few more small jobs.

Fiamma Carry Bike Pro 
Ray from Bugguy is doing a Pest Control

Today we got some great help from our friends Anna and Alex who were keeping Emily busy and did a few jobs around the car and later Emily was surprised with a visit from her friend who took her for a sleepover and so we could pack and relax after 10pm.

Anna and Emily are having a beauty day

This will be the last time that we’ll  get help, soon we will be together 24/7 and hope we won’t go crazy!

Organising some last payments
Caravan is ready to be packed
Lunch break

A big thank you to Mantas, Grace, Anna, Alex, Ray form Bugguy and Valerie for the massage!

 

Getting ready for an Adventure around Australia!

Exactly 10 years ago we have travelled Australia as backpackers und fell in love with the country which we call home for the last 7 years.

We have settled on the East coast in Brisbane and after meeting a couple who is travelling the world for 8 years on their bicycles with 2 sons, we got the travel bug again!

This time we want to travel in a caravan with our kids aged 9 months and 3 years. We haven’t planned a route yet and will just hit the road as we learned last time that the best plan is no plan!

Will was renting 4WD’s from home and has now given the job to somebody else and Tanya is currently on maternity leave.

It is very common in Australia to do the big lap with families and some people do it 2-3 times. Some do it clockwise and anti clockwise the next time.

We will travel with the weather and anti clockwise as it will be warm in northern Queensland in winter and cooler when we drive south.

On the 1st of May we have spontaneously decided to travel, on the 2nd we have already found our caravan after an online nightshift. On the 3rd we have bought it for $21000.

Sterling Europa 540 from 2005; 5.2 m with 6 beds for $21000.

It’s an Import from England and has got a Heater instead of an Airconditioning which is a benefit for us in Winter.

Our new kitchen

Since we bought it, we are researching and learning everything about caravanning and purchase things like Solar panels, Washing machine, Batteries online.

A preparation with kids is not that easy but we are a good Team.

In order to have more money while travelling, we have asked our Bank to lower the interest rate, a lot of unwanted Items have been sold on gumtree and our full house is available for rent on several booking websites.

The first big booking is from 2 German couples who are finishing their travels and just want a place to relax, therefore we have to leave by the 20th of June and move into our house on the wheels.

We have purchased a few Items that we will be selling on the Road or Markets in order to earn some pocket money for Emily’s lollies.

There are a few useful Apps that we have downloaded (WikiCamps, CamperMate, Navmii, TrackMyTour, Housekeeper Money Budgeting App and of course a Playground Finder App.

The caravan needs some optimising so we can free camp and Will has installed a second battery, Solar panels, TV and a second water tank.

Will is looking for a suitable place for a bigger battery.
A TV is a must to keep the kids occupied during meal preparations.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Emily is already very excited and has chosen her bed but her biggest joy is that she doesn’t have to go to Kindergarten anymore and can spend every day with us.

Emily’s Bunkbed

We are looking forward to our Road adventure and our new chapter and hope that our posts are helpful and can motive other families to travel!

Our Preparations continue

We have just brought our family to the airport which was here for 2 weeks and are busy preparing for our big adventure caravanning around Australia.

Our time is running out and we have decided to tow with our Audi Q7 as it has everything we want and need and is definitely a better towing car than our Mitsubishi. We have to modify it a bit to make it outback ready and therefore the 22″ alloys had to be replaced for 18″.

At the end of the week we will get a tow bar and Anderson plug installed to charge the batteries while we are driving and to keep the fridge running.

The roof will get a basket and an awning and the AUDI is ready to go!

Bofore
After the Downgrade

Luckily we have found a reliable person who will clean and manage our house, garden and pool.

Our house is advertised as a short term accommodation on several pages like  Airbnb, Stayz or Booking.com and we will continue to manage the bookings online.

We are about to store all our personal Items and are selling some online. Will’s 4WD’s have all been picked up already which is a big relief for us and we can now concentrate on our final preparations.

Emily was already asking why she still has to go to kindergarten if Daddy doesn’t work anymore and has time to play with her all day?

There are about 70 4WD’s in total in Australia which the company owns and they can be rented on this website.

Will was a 4WD Hiring Agent from home

We love to travel with a minimum of stuff required and are curious how much we will end up packing with the kids as they usually require much more than us!

Finally we can be free and unbound again, enjoy the nature and life and spend more time with the kids outdoors and on the road!

Read it in German