Road trip #hack: How to free camp from Brisbane to Cairns

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There’s nothing quite like a campervan road trip, but these days the term ‘budget holiday’ doesn’t always apply. Even though you’re combining your transport and accommodation costs in one, after you account for fuel and food, the holiday park fees can really crunch the budget.

Some companies, such as Apollo Motorhomes, offer incredible last-minute relocation deals which – if you’re footloose and fancy-free enough to throw yourself into a seven-day road trip with one day to plan – will definitely save you big money.

But is it possible to ‘free camp’? We put our planning caps on to find out, and came up with a gorgeous sounding ‘Ye-hess!’. So, in the name of the almighty budget, I say: “Start your engines, travellers – whether you’re driving your own wheels which you picked up for an absolute bargain on Gumtree, or renting a majestic motorhome, we’re about to #hack our way from Brisbane to Cairns.”

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10. DAY 1: BRISBANE TO SUNSHINE COAST

The Sunshine Coast lives up to its name with its sun-drenched beaches, lush green hinterland and iconic Glass House Mountains.

Explore Noosa’s trendy shops, cafes, postcard-perfect beaches or go koala-spotting in Noosa National Park.

The hinterland towns of Maleny and Montville are people-watching wonderlands with every café menu boasting near-grown ingredients and a story to tell.

Free camp: Little Yabba Picnic Area (Little Yabba Creek Park). This pretty spot sits beside a creek with a swimming hole.

Find it: 3145 Maleny Kenilworth Road, 6km south-west of Kenilworth.

Maximum stay: 24 hours.

Caffeinate: Secrets on the Lake Café, 207 Narrows Road, Montville.

Stock up: Kenilworth Friendly Grocer, 13 Elizabeth Street, Kenilworth.

While you’re here: Explore SEA LIFE at Mooloolaba, Australia Zoo or Aussie World; taste the local flavours at the Ginger Factory and Maleny Dairies; or find your perfect patch of sand with this local’s beach guide.

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