An Australian Holiday, But Not Mine.

As those of you who read Monday’s article will know, I am now on holiday. But I still did want to put a post online today provided I could get an Internet connection here in Adelaide. Well, I can.

But hold on! I’m supposed to be on holiday, shouldn’t I take a rest? No worries, Karl to the rescue.

Karl is a regular reader who has commented on this blog and emailed me on several occasions and he, too, has had a holiday and just like me, it was in Australia.

Except Karl doesn’t live here, he’s from the UK.

If I remember, Karl sent me an email just before he started his trip asking me if I could put a stop to the rain for his trip. In a moment of bravado I said I would but obviously I couldn’t, and as you know, it got worse, a lot worse. In fact Karl and his wife couldn’t have picked a wetter place on earth to visit right now.

The Sunshine State

Karl enjoying the "Sunshine State"

I did think of them a few times as we were getting soaked, then the other day I got this email from him. He has kindly allowed me to reprint it here and use his photos.

Over to Karl…..

Glad to hear you and yours are well Bob. As you may remember my wife and I booked a 5 week camper drive up the east coast (9-12-10 to 14-1-11).All was going well till we got to Hervey Bay just before Christmas when all the floods took a grip.

We could not get any further north, hence not being able to get to Cairns where we had arranged to drop the camper off. We phoned the camper company to see if we could drive back to Sydney and return the camper there. They said “fine, but it will cost you $500 for re-location of the van”.

We took this and decided to head back south. We got to Port Macquarie and booked internal flights, Sydney to Cairns as we had a hotel booked there. We then carried on south to ‘Hawks Nest'(again) where we planned to stay a couple of nights before heading to Sydney. Just to confirm the ‘drop off’ we again phoned the camper company. They indeed confirmed the $500 drop off charge but then  told us that they had forgot to tell us that on top of the $500 there was also a  $1200 charge to be added!!!!!!.$1700, we said “thanks but no thanks!

As you can imagine we were devastated. Lisa was in bits. Her daughter (who also had a camper with her husband, so that was 2x $1700) was also in bits. We felt like we were being SHAFTED so we sat down as a group, had a few beers and decided to try and drive back north. This meant loosing our internal flight money, $220 each but there was no way we were going to pay $1700 per van!

Next day we AGAIN headed north. We got to Hervey Bay again but the weather north was even worse.


Let’s take a short break here. It’s me again, Bob. At this point in his email my heart had sunk so low it was deep in my boots. I felt so much sadness and anger at what was happening here. Anger at the camper van company, what were they thinking?

The major roads up north were in pieces, impassable in many places. Queensland was a disaster zone. And sadness that someone could visit this great country, on a holiday of a lifetime, and experience such shocking weather, then see Australia and the “Sunshine State” in such a bad light.

Then the punch line. Back to Karl’s email….

With no way of getting any further north we pleaded our case to the camper company. Amazingly they took pity on us all and said we could drop the campers off in Brisbane with NO extra charge. So AGAIN we headed back south, booked more internal flights (Brissie to Cairns).That Bob, is our story. Even though I drove a total of 4417km it is still the best holiday we have ever had. We found the Oz people warm and friendly. Before the kids broke for the holidays we found our selves on the most glorious deserted beaches.

We visited some great places. Bondi, Byron, Coffs, Nambucca, Hervey, Noosa, Rainbow Beach, Crescent Heads and many many more (Brisbane 5 times lol). Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary was Lisa’s highlight as she got to hold one and feed the roo’s.

Lisa with a koala

Lisa with a koala

Lisa also fed a wild possum…

A wild possum

A wild possum

After all that happened, this has not put us off Oz. We are looking to go back in a couple of years, Sydney to Adelaide, with a camper that this time has air con!!!! lol. Glad, as I said, you and yours are well and safe Bob. Things looked tough and I’m sure they were. Puts our problems into some sort of prospective. When I put the photos on the laptop I will send you some.

All the best mate,


So there you go. Even a holiday in Australia at probably the worse time in history ever to come to Australia is still a great holiday. My thanks to Karl and his wife Lisa for providing today’s post and pictures.

What more can I say? Except…… “Cheers Karl!”



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{ 8 comments… add one }
  • BobinOz January 25, 2011, 9:44 pm |

    Well, as you probably know, Adelaide is famous for it’s chocolate, some locals say it’s the best in the world.

    Mind you, you Belgians are pretty good at it too, but I prefer your strong beers.

    Good luck with the move.

  • K. January 25, 2011, 9:36 am |

    Hi Bob, yes we also had the pleasure to get acquainted with Adelaide, and even more: our best friends have started up their lives there as well! He’s gonna start up a chocolate business (Belgian kind, jummie) over there, is already a beloved teacher at the Adelaide’s Chocolate school! We do hope that we can move in by the end of the year 😉
    Still, enjoy your vacation… and hopefully, no more water pumping for the Brissies et all !!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • BobinOz January 23, 2011, 12:25 am |


    For sure, you don’t get this sort of intensity at Butlins. As for Adelaide, we were really impressed. Very friendly people, acres of beaches, a Mediterranean climate and some very fine local wines. I think you’ll like it there. Let me know how you settle in.

  • BobinOz January 23, 2011, 12:21 am |


    I have no idea! But they are so out of sync with most of the rest of the residents of Queensland, I’m guessing that at some point they realised what idiots they were being. That’s probably why they changed their tunes. And I should think so too!

  • BobinOz January 22, 2011, 9:59 pm |

    Hi Devin

    Yes, the heat is different depending where you are here in Australia. The further north you go the more humid it gets. So north Australia is like Florida and South Australia is like California. I’m in the middle, in Brisbane, so for us I would say we have just a couple months year where the humidity can be annoying at night.

    During those months, yes, I get all sweaty. But my wife, she just has a light glistening glow.

  • K. January 22, 2011, 7:47 pm |

    a very nice story indeed, what a lot of emotions they must have lived through!! as for u bob: have a splendid time down in adelaide, our future hometown! greetz, K. Belgium

  • Liv January 21, 2011, 8:51 am |

    What was the van hire company thinking? There have been so many stories about people volunteering and helping each other & that was their reaction to the worst Natural disaster Australia has faced in years? It’s amazing! Hats off to Karl & his crowd for having a great time despite the odds!

  • Devin January 20, 2011, 11:27 am |

    hey, Just wondering does the heat every get annoying ? like perhaps at night time when you get all sweaty ? or is it pleasant.I remember someone comparing Florida to California both hot but the California heat feels better, whats the oz sun like?

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