An ‘On The Cheap’ Winter Week Off Work

Wouldn’t it be great if there was a really cheap way to travel around the country with accommodation included? Oh, wait, there is! How ’bout relocating a campervan for a hire company? It’s a road trip waiting to happen. 


Relocation, Relocation, Relocation

As a lover of microadventures and weekend getaways, I’m often frustrated by my lack of access to a car. To reach those untouched locations out of the way of public transport can be tricky and expensive. However hope is not lost. With a little patience your dreams of to escaping the drone of the city traffic to open vistas and starry skies can become a reality.

Recently a friend and I found a relocation deal on a campervan needing to be taken from Sydney back to Melbourne by the end of the following week. Most major car/camper rental companies have these deals where you get massively reduced rates on rental, some as low as $1 a day.

We grabbed the opportunity as we could see the magical possibilities of vehicle access unfurling in front of us. All in all the rental was $15/day each, once insurance was added on — a toe tinglingly low amount considering we would not need to pay for any accommodation on the trip and they also threw in a free tank of fuel!

Sydney To Jervis Bay

We set off from Sydney on a stormy Sunday morning, driving down the coast and across the Sea Cliff Bridge; a truly stunning piece of architecture hugging the jagged cliffs and rounding the headland. We jumped out into the rain, keen to get some good photos with the moody clouds shadowing the bridge and the choppy sea beneath. We found a track leading underneath the bridge where you can get the best views of the bridge itself.An ‘On The Cheap’ Winter Week Off Work, Mike Pidgeon, Sea Cliff Bridge Bowral, ocean, grey sky

After drenching ourselves we continued on to Jervis Bay (whitest sand in the world) where, despite the torrential downpour we went for a speedy dip in the chilly waters. After a quick cuppa and with the heaters on full we ploughed on through the rain and made it to Akolele in the darkness. We parked up in Camel Rock car park and with alarms set for the morning we got some much needed z’s.

Horse Head Rock

Still in darkenss we awoke and set off along the beach to find Horse Head Rock. The tide was higher than we had expected, so we had to scramble and climb round a few small headlands to stay clear of the oncoming icy waves. We rounded the last headland just as the clouds were turning amber and pink to light up us Horse Head Rock in all its glory. As the tide had come in we had to stay on the beach for 2 hours until it lowered enough for us to return to the car (ample time for photographs and exploring the beach and caves there).An ‘On The Cheap’ Winter Week Off Work, Mike Pidgeon, Horse Head Rock, rockpool, shoreline

Wilson’s Prom Via Eden

From there we hit the road with the tunes blaring and drove down to Wilsons Promontory National Park stopping at Eden for another cuppa (true Englishmen at heart) and a spot of whale watching from the lookout (they must have had the afternoon off).

We reached the national park in darkness and, while we were glared at by a few kangaroos, we found a car park at the base of Mount Oberon to park up in and sleep for the night.

We awoke to our alarms in darkness again and threw on our walking boots and headed along the winding well-paved track up Mt Oberon for sunrise. The weather was not in our favour once again, however the 360º panoramic views of most of the coastline around Wilsons Prom and the surrounding summits was spectacular, even beneath the cloud cover.

The Big Drift

The Big Drift was next on the agenda and it was surprisingly easy to access from the Stockyard Campsite near the entrance to the park. The well signposted path took us through rolling green fields that made us think we were back in the English countryside until we rounded a bend and the path disappeared into a wall of sand.

An ‘On The Cheap’ Winter Week Off Work, Mike Pidgeon, The Big Drift, sand dunes, clouds, sky, fish eye lens, footprints, legs, hiker, look up

We spent an hour or so at The Big Drift exploring the dunes with the view of crashing waves on the coast in the far distance. It was great for a few photos as, for the first time, the sky had opened up and it was glorious sunshine. If we’d had another night we would have stayed there, explored the dunes at night and laid under the starry sky with a bottle of wine, but alas we had to be going.

Another cup of tea and we were off, heading to up to Melbourne to hand the car back and finish off our adventure.

Essential Gear

  • Campervan or car and a good tent (or kill two birds with one stone with a Kombi Tent!)
  • Head torch
  • Lots of layers for the chilly mornings
  • Any camera
  • Waterproof for the rainy winter weather

Activities

    • Swimming
    • Hiking
    • Scrambling
    • Beautiful driving

How To Get There

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Distance Covered

Roughly 1245km covered over three days.

 


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