10 weeks to go

It’s only 10 weeks till my boyfriend and I disappear for a while!

On the 3rd January, we’ll board a flight to Australia where we’ll stay for two months before flying to New Zealand for a further two months.

We land in Cairns on the 4th January, stay one night in a local hostel, and then pick up our campervan first thing the next day. We chose a Britz Hitop, as the luxurious Venturer (with its much-desired toilet and shower facilities, sigh) is around £2,000 more expensive. Considering how great the camper park and public facilities are rumoured to be, I’m feeling pretty good about our decision to save the cash.

After picking up our mobile home, we plan to drive down to Airlie Beach over the course of a few days while we familiarise ourselves with the Aussie coastline, before taking our first planned trip: a day of sailing and snorkelling around the Whitsunday islands. We have three days to explore the local area, sunbathe and stock up our mini fridge with beer and beans before we set out on our second mini-adventure to the Great Barrier Reef.

After Airlie, the world (well, the east coast of Aus) is our oyster. We plan on exploring as many national parks, sleepy fishing towns and coastal gems we can find on our journey down the A1, as well as well-known hotspots such as Byron Bay, Fraser Island, Sydney and Brisbane. Our camper is due for delivery in Melbourne at the end of February, so we have around five days to enjoy Australia’s answer to Shoreditch before we’re due to jet off to Auckland.

So far, we have much less planned for New Zealand. My boyfriend’s auntie and uncle are based in Auckland and have a summer house two hours south, so we’ll make best use of their local knowledge and offer of a roof over our heads!

We’d definitely like to skydive at Lake Taupo and check out the surrounding areas on the North island, but have a more extensive list of cool places to visit in the South. I’ve heard Milford Sound is unbelievable at sunrise! Any recommendations are welcome, as well as tips on how best to get around while we’re there.

I have a long list of to-dos before we leave which I’m slowly working my way through. There’s so much to think about when you up and leave, from changing your car insurance and gym membership to getting your head around the fact that you’ll be swapping thick jumpers and a Great British winter for bikinis and a 42° Australian summer.

I’m really looking forward to getting away from it all for a bit. I won’t be able to sit and trawl through Instagram and Facebook feeds, or shop online for things I don’t need, or rush around like a mad woman, always thinking about what needs to be done to get from one day to the next. It’s going to be an adventure.

Stay tuned.

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