Beautiful Far North QLD.
It is hot, it is tropical and the vibe is friendly and relaxed. I get a bit of a Fiji type feeling when I travel the coastline up there. Blue water with little to no waves ( but beware of where you swim because there are a few cheeky animals and stingers that could be a danger. Always follow signs)
I love the balmy weather and everything is just a lot slower than the Gold Coast. It’s lovely!
Over the years, my family have all gradually moved away from my home town of Kingscliff and headed north, so this Christmas gone, ( 2019) Blake and I took the kids on a road trip up north to spend the festive season with them.
Why drive you ask? Well we decided to drive because…
a) Flying with 2 kids at Christmas can be expensive and we would need a hire car anyway. This way we stuck to our budget but still got to see family!
b) We were able to stop and visit whoever we wanted along the way without extra flights or transfers.
c) We bought a camper trailer for adventures, so adventures we will have!!!
If you are thinking about doing a road trip with kids I recommend it. I was apprehensive at first due to the anxiety of how to keep the kids happy on the drive and maintain our sanity, but with preparation and planning it went so well! The kids were actually amazing!
How did we do it with the kids? These are my tips-
- Leave early if possible each day to maximise the time they sleep while you travel. e.g. – we left at 3am the first day so they slept nearly 4 hours to start with. We then stoped to eat and burn energy and then after some car activities they napped again!
- Take lots of snacks. Like A LOT!!! And gradually offer them. Do not give them all at once
- Plan activities – I took a bag of toys, colouring in, play dough, stickers and music. If they started to seem restless I would get out an activity. I used a TV dinner camp tray to sit on Judes lap so he could colour in and do play dough easily. I sat next to them in the back sometimes to so I joined in the activity with them. They loved that!
- Ipad or movies when in need! Our last resort for boredom was the iPad or my phone which with put into a holder on the back of the headrest so they could watch tv shows.
- Stop when you can and let them run!!
Australia is such a beautiful place and there are so many small towns that you can visit when you chose to drive instead of fly.
Here is the outline or our itinerary for those that have been asking and our travel recommendations. Let me know if you have any questions xxx
DAY 1 –
Leave 3am and Drive GC – Childers (4 hrs) – The kids slept nearly the whole 4 hours.We stopped at Insane Caffeine for breakfast and a play. Childers is a very cute town to stop.
Drive – Childers to Rockhamptoon – approx 3.5 hours. We made a stop or two at a servo but the kids slept so were pushed on. We camped the night at Discovery Park Rockhampton. It was amazing there and the pool facilities were great. The kids had a ball playing ( and burning energy)
DAY 2 –
Leave 6am – Rockhampton to Carmila – approx 3 hours ( maybe less) We stopped to visit family.
Carmilla – Bowen – Stopped to check out the Big Mango and stretch our legs and have a late lunch.
Bowen – Townsville – Stayed at Discovery Parks Townsville. Right on the main road but you wouldn’t know. It was fairly quiet at night. The pools were great too!”
Day 3 – Townsville – Cardwell – This is such a cute town. Beautiful coastline views and nice cafes. We stopped to have one of their famous crab sandwiches. Very relaxed town.
Townsville to Port Douglas/ Cooya Beach. We stayed 7 nights with Family.
Things to do there– Port Douglas is a beautiful town. We love to wander the town and check out the local shops and cafes. The pubs are great and have well priced lunches and great happy hours. The Marina is a nice spot for checking out the boats, the Hemmingways Brewery, and lots of nice cafes. There is the BallyHooley train which runs Wednesdays and Sundays which is fun for the kids to ride. Sunday markets are beautiful with lots of home made things and fresh produce. I love the coconut guy who serves up fresh coconuts!
The beach is lovely but be sure to swim inside the nets.
There are lots of amazing reef tours and fishing tours which I highly recommend doing. You have to see the reef!
Mossman Gorge is beautiful and a must do! We also took the kids to the wildlife Habitat which they loved because they got to see crocodiles!
Also playing Golf if you are that way inclined, as there are some of the best courses in Port Douglas!
Oh and of course swimming in he pool is a must! hahaha.
There are loads of other locations nearby as well to do day trips too and so many palm trees!
Day 8 – Cooya Beach – Mackay- Big haul of 9 hours 33 mins. Stayed with family for 3 nights. Lots to do in Mackay! Fishing, day trips, Eimeo Pub is super cute and a great location, Art Gallery, Local pool/ lagoon ( its awesome and its FREE!) Loads of nice cafes. The town is quite big and worth a wander through on foot to check out the shops. Its close to Airlie Beach too if you want to do some Island Day trips.
Day 11 – Mackay – Yeppoon – 4 hours approx
We camped at Beachside Caravan Park in Yeppoon for 2 nights.
We chose here because it was right on the beach and not too far from the centre of town. They have a coutrousy buts to the local lagoon ( which looks like a resort pool) and also free transfers to the day tours to Great Kepple Island. We had the best time fishing, swimming, having afternoon BBQs and of course our day trip to Great Keppel Island was just the most magical day!
We will be back!!
After all this we headed home and started the 20 kilos of washing hahahaha!
I love holidays and will making sure we do many of them this year!
Obviously at times travelling with kids can be NOT relaxing. Sometimes it can feel like you are just doing the same shit but in a different location ( Making snacks, wiping bums, bed routines you get the idea) BUT travelling with kids creates memories for all of you and that is the most precious thing.