If we had visited Australia when we were young (we're now in our late 60s), we would probably have never come home! Our two-month tour of Queensland this year in a hired motorhome was, quite simply, the best holiday we've ever had.
Queensland is not called the Sunshine State for nothing: temperatures are in excess of 30°C during January and February. Then there is the scenery. Even though most of the state’s population lives along the coast, it is not difficult to find near-empty, sandy beaches. Not far inland are the dramatic uplands of the Great Dividing Range.
We booked our ’van through motorhome hire company Discovery Campervans Australia, which acts as an agent for rental companies. It found us a motorhome with a manual transmission (which we wanted) and sat-nav (which we needed!). We picked the ’van up from Cruisin’ Motorhomes’ Brisbane depot.
Driving in Australia is easy and pleasurable. It helps that the signposting is very good and every road has a name! And at little more than the equivalent of 50p per litre, fuel is very cheap.
Every site we stayed at had a fresh-water supply and waste-water outlet to each pitch. Many also had ‘en suite’ pitches, with their own personal toilet/shower block, communal barbecue facilities, free Wi-Fi and, even on smaller sites, a swimming pool.
Queensland is vast, but we decided to stick within about 500 miles of Brisbane. In the city we visited the Koala Sanctuary and, to the south-east, the Gold Coast, where we found a site next to the beach. Along the coastal strip to the north we fed dolphins and at night spotted turtles on the sand.
We travelled inland to the mountains and high lakes, where we encountered gorgeous wild birds – at one site we were able to feed lorikeets and parrots. We ventured as far as Goondiwindi, where we saw Australia’s cotton-growing area, and St George (about 500km west of Brisbane) where we stayed at the best site of the whole trip.
If you ever get the chance to go to Queensland, especially when you are young, take it. You will not be disappointed – and you might even decide to stay!