Summer might not be quite here yet, but the warm weather has well and truly arrived and we’re already planning this season’s adventures. With months of beautiful warm days rolling out in front of us, it’s time to pack up the car and head away for the weekend. And if you're local to the Sunshine Coast like us, away can be right here in our backyard. Erin from Drifters Campervans shares some of her favourite spots to camp on the Sunshine Coast and why they believe in exploring your own town.
Why are you a fan of exploring locally? Why do you think it's important to take time off in your own town?
We believe you can explore so much in your own backyard and should make the most of every day by seeking out adventure! You don't need to fork out on expensive overseas flights or arrive jet-lagged somewhere to experience something new, just hit the road and see where you end up. The Sunshine Coast is also the perfect place to do this because we are blessed with such a diverse landscape. We've got miles of pristine beaches, mountains to climb, rivers to paddle, waterfalls to chase and forests to get lost in - all of the things people look for in a holiday is right here.
Where would you take anyone visiting the Sunshine Coast?
Let's say we have 24 hours? I'd start with a surf at our local beach. It's become a little ritual of ours and, whilst I never thought I'd be happy at 7am on a weekend anywhere other than bed, it's the best start to any day you could ask for. Following this, salty and hungry, we'd hit Little Boat Espresso in Marcoola for coffee and brunch. The smashed avo is delicious and their brownies are to die for.
I'd wile away the rest of the morning browsing the shops in Peregian Beach, there's some cute little independents full of awesome Aussie brands. On the way back we'd grab coffee at Compound Surf & Espresso in Coolum and buy some dinner from the supermarket. A long afternoon drinking beers and having a BBQ at home would be the perfect end. We'd watch the sun set over Mount Coolum and the stars come out to play.
In terms of taking them camping, I have two favourite spots nearby, these are totally personal preference and I like them because they're both about an hour away from Drifters HQ, but you feel like you're somewhere else entirely.
The first is Noosa North Shore Beachfront Campground. It's truly beachfront and you can wake up with a view of the ocean better than any 5 star hotel! You catch the ferry from Tewantin over to North Shore and I love the feeling of leaving the mainland behind (even though I know this is technically not true) and escaping to somewhere quiet. There are lots of friendly goanna's and it's a beach in Noosa you can have all to yourself.
The second is Amamoor State Forest. It's part of QLD national park camping so it costs about $6 per night and you sleep under the trees, in complete peace. There's a fresh creek to swim and platypus can be spotted (we didn't have any luck) and, because you're in the middle of nowhere, at nighttime it's so dark you can see the Milky Way. There aren't any showers (just a toilet block) so it's a bit more like 'proper camping' but it really doesn't matter for a night or two.
Other favourite places to camp on the East Coast?
Byron Bay, for sure. Specifically, Clarke's Beach campground which again is beachfront and if you're lucky to get a spot at the top you can look over the bay. I love Byron, the mix of hippies and hipsters is great for people watching and you're spoilt for choice if you want a bite to eat or a cold beer - everything is within walking distance.
What are the must-have essentials to pack in your van when going away?
All you need when you hire our van is yourself, your toothbrush and the clothes on your back. We include everything else you could need plus a few extras to make your camping trip next level. The van has a double bed with hotel-quality 100% cotton bedding and feather pillows. Bath towels and a beach blanket are packed in for you. There's a camping table and two chairs, a gas stovetop, cooking equipment, crockery and cutlery, a GPS and a torch. We also have an Aeropress coffee maker, kettle and fresh Padre coffee for perfect brews on the road (and there's tea if you're more into that!). We always include milk and water in the fridge plus if you book 3+ nights you get a whole case of Stone & Wood beer included!
Other extras we have are a hammock, fairy lights in the van, power outlets & USB sockets for charging, a Bose Bluetooth speaker, books & games (you can't camp without UNO haha), a rechargeable fan, a pull-out 3m awning and solar panel on the roof so you'll never run out of power. We promise camping in our van is nothing like camping in a damp tent!
To book your own weekend away (or not away), check out www.drifterscampervans.com.au