All throughout Australia there are caravan parks owned by the franchise company Big4. They are normally higher end camp grounds, and in great locations, of course costing a little more than your average and or pleb town caravan park. However they normally do not differ much, especially if you are on a tented and non-powered site.
As stated in our previous post, we checked into the South Mission Beach Big4 caravan park for one night. The park was situated right on the beach, cabins lining the road and then the tented spots down the back. That was where we were, in a beautifully shaded space right next to rainforest.
This particular park had recently been renovated as it was under new management, you could definitely see they had done a nice job.
On the evening we checked into this caravan park, we first went to the beach, with only Alex and Chris game enough to swim in the icy water. We later learned that some people don’t swim there because of crocodiles, but who knows, they didn’t get attacked so we were good.
Afterwards we cooked up a delicious meal and then enjoyed some sambuca in the camper’s kitchen. Chris made a friend whilst cooking and so he joined us for a drink also.
We ended the evening with sounds of the water in the background and otherwise silent surroundings. Definitely what you want whilst camping!
The next morning when we checked out, I believe it was Chris and Alex who found out that there were two other Big4 campsites heading south of South Mission Beach, that offered a discount if you stayed in more than one of them.
Now we had received a discount on staying there as my dad is a Big4 member, but this ensured we received even more of a discount. The other campsites were on the beach and so the decision was made that we would stay at all three on our way down to Brisbane.
Our next destination was then the small town of Rollinstone.
We arrived at night so we did not see our surroundings on the way in, but the next day we saw fields and fields of pineapple plants. And excuse me for sounding possibly stupid for a moment, but who knew they grew this way?!
But I am getting ahead of myself. Venturing from South Mission Beach down to Rollingstone took us first to something falls, because I can’t remember the name. And as such it was not so spectacular but the sugar cane fields we stopped at to take pictures were.
After that we headed to a place I had been waiting for: Wallaman Falls. The highest waterfall, or the longest waterfall in Australia, either way you can see it is a spectacular site and a really cool place to see and check off that bucket lost.
The drive there was steeply uphill and a little scary, but it was curbed by thick rainforest, which helped with the whole steep incline on a cliff thing. On the way down I conveniently, for myself, fell asleep. I won’t share the picture Chris took of me, it is just too embarrassing. I’ll let you imagine it instead.
So Wallaman Falls, tick. We were ready for our campsite, so after a stop at Woolworths to restock we were back on the road again. As mentioned we arrived at night time, setting up in the dark.
A lovely man next to use, who obviously had a bit of time on his hands, continued to offer us a light, but we managed without, given all four of us now were skilled camper seterupers.
As it was dark we unfortunately missed out on the sunset and views of the beach, but we were close. In fact it was our tent site, a road, a bit of grass and then the beach. By far the closest camping spot we have had by the beach so far on our trip!
We cooked our dinner in the campers kitchen where there was a bit of light and less wind, the only downfall of camping right on the coast. Our bedtime came early, firstly because the campers kitchen light switched off at 10pm, and we wanted to see the sunrise.
As you can imagine Alex and I did not make it to the sunrise, we saw it from our closed eyelids, or from the light streaming into our very un-blackened out tent. But Chris and Annette were up and they took some beautiful pictures.
As you can see we were right on the beach, not bad at all! Even better we had received discount to stay there and otherwise we are sure we sadly would not have known about it otherwise.
Breakfast on the beach courtesy of the campsite BBQ’s was a great way to start the day. We then ventured out and amongst the pineapple plants. As mentioned before we did not see these when we arrived, but Annette and I inspected them when leaving the next day, me a little too much.
Now you know we are heading south. We were in fact making a little bit longer of a trip in the car to get to Airlie Beach, because the next day we would be departing to Hamilton Island. Off we went, we only stopped on two significant occasions. The first was to buy fresh pineapples from the side of the road. The other was to have lunch in Townsville, which luckily we made just in time at around 2pm. We found a little laneway in the heart of the city that had an abundance of café’s and restaurants, for us only one was open but it was great. The rest of the city was a little sad, hardly anyone was around and it looked deserted, defiantly making it a quick stop.
Our day ended with arriving in Airlie Beach and finishing our Big4 caravan park trifecta with a night there. On this occasion we booked a cabin as we departed early the next day on the boat and needed a quick morning. The place had a small kitchen with a microwave, and outside nearby they had BBQ’s, but we wanted to use our own.
We set it up just outside our room, cooked up a storm, made a bit of noise, drank lots of wine and ended of course with the customary Sambuca.
Overall our Big4 trifecta few days was pretty spectacular. If you are ever in the area we would definitely say it was worthwhile staying at all three of these location, but especially in Rollingstone!