Surfing the East Coast Road Trip

dcoco1's picture
dcoco1 started the topic in Friday, 10 May 2013 at 1:26pm

Planning on buying a van travelling from victoria through New South Whales and surfing all the way up the coast pretty much until the great barrier reef kicks in at Agnes Waters. Just wanted to know if anyone had experience in travellin the coast, could recommend some camp grounds or any other travelling and camping tips?

indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming commented Friday, 10 May 2013 at 8:01pm

Done the east coast run between Victoria and Queensland many many times including twice in a kombie once with mate, then once with a GF both times for about 3 months.

Did it virtually on no money, was young and on dole, so never stayed at caravan parks, just use to park on the side of the road or car parks this was in late 90,s but reckon you could still do it, just got to keep a low head and keep away from residential houses if you can or not stay in busy obvious kind of car parks.

I also don't think its a good idea to say hang out at one beach carpark all day then stay there at night, i think you have to move around a bit, otherwise rangers/cops will see you there during the day and if they see your van there at night may hassle you.

Also don't make it obvious your sleeping in your van, dont leave towels hanging off you mirrors or boards under your van etc, keep everything in your van which is also good if need to get away quick.

Also must have is curtains for privacy and so people cant see your sleeping in your van, although curtains are a bit of a giveaway i guess but you've got to have them.

A few times have had rangers or cops knock on window, but have never been fined just asked to move on.

Shower wise is the hardest part, but service stations with truck stops often have bathrooms with showers or we often snuck into the odd caravan park, even used beach showers at night when not too cold.

Also get one of those special key/tools to turn on taps that have no handles finding taps with handles to fill up bottles of water etc can sometimes be a pain in butt as lots of public taps dont have the handles on them i guess to stop people using or people leaving taps on.

Edit= because my grammar and spelling was so bad last night :P

Please Stunet give me an ignore button for Talking Turkey, Shatners Basoon, Dale Cooper, Factotum, Pupkin, and any new fake profile he decides to create.

zenagain's picture
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zenagain commented Friday, 10 May 2013 at 11:31pm

Ben, Stu I reckon you'd be well served (if he would agree to it) to get Indo onboard with his own little 'Ask Indo' column.

Indo, once again, love your work.

1173

indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming commented Saturday, 11 May 2013 at 11:41am

Ben, Stu I reckon you'd be well served (if he would agree to it) to get Indo onboard with his own little 'Ask Indo' column.

Indo, once again, love your work.

By: "zenagain"

Ha ha thanks....don't know about that though, just helping a fellow traveling surfer out.

Please Stunet give me an ignore button for Talking Turkey, Shatners Basoon, Dale Cooper, Factotum, Pupkin, and any new fake profile he decides to create.

dcoco1's picture
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dcoco1 commented Sunday, 12 May 2013 at 5:37pm

Thanks Zenagain, really helpful tips mate. Love em! Just hoping my van dosen't breakdown!!

brainiac's picture
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brainiac commented Sunday, 12 May 2013 at 9:30pm

dcoco1
i will give point you to a few spots in vic/far south coast NSW worth a visit , not necessarily the best waves, can be fickle and lots of on shores , but as with any spot it can turn on.Also they are truly some of the most beautiful and unspoilt environments in the land. respect them. These places you will most likely be in the water by yourself.
Far east gippsland-- ; cape conran, point hicks, up through Croajingalong national park to Mallacoota. Far South coast NSW , Saltwater( quality when on),South of Greencape area, Mimosa rocks national park,congo's. Many other spots in this neck of the woods. Pack your fishing rods. Some of these places are remote/ isolated and you will need a sense of adventure to find, and get to the waves.Good luck, respect the locals wherever you go.

indo-dreaming's picture
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indo-dreaming commented Monday, 13 May 2013 at 3:26pm

My favourite go to spot on that coast is Bendalong, such a fun beachie and bit of swell magnet, also love Merimbula bar but super super fickle and crowded when on, but such a perfect set up and such a good wave when on, that whole coast is packed with jewels if you know where to look and when.

Please Stunet give me an ignore button for Talking Turkey, Shatners Basoon, Dale Cooper, Factotum, Pupkin, and any new fake profile he decides to create.

indo-dreaming's picture
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indo-dreaming commented Monday, 13 May 2013 at 3:28pm

Thanks Zenagain, really helpful tips mate. Love em! Just hoping my van dosen't breakdown!!

By: "dcoco1"

ha ha..i got ripped off :P

Please Stunet give me an ignore button for Talking Turkey, Shatners Basoon, Dale Cooper, Factotum, Pupkin, and any new fake profile he decides to create.

dcoco1's picture
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dcoco1 commented Monday, 13 May 2013 at 6:00pm

Sorry Indo-dreaming that comment was meant for you! Thanks for the advice, much apperciated. Also thanks to brainiac for the advice, i'llm be sure to check out those spots and of course all locals deserve due respect!

indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming commented Tuesday, 14 May 2013 at 11:21am

Sorry Indo-dreaming that comment was meant for you! Thanks for the advice, much apperciated. Also thanks to brainiac for the advice, i'llm be sure to check out those spots and of course all locals deserve due respect!

By: "dcoco1"

Ha ha..no problem.

BTW. Once you get going on your trip you wil appreciate car parks with good views of waves, nothing like surfing then hanging all day with a good view of the action.

Please Stunet give me an ignore button for Talking Turkey, Shatners Basoon, Dale Cooper, Factotum, Pupkin, and any new fake profile he decides to create.

carpetman's picture
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carpetman commented Tuesday, 14 May 2013 at 12:57pm

Some great tips here. If you get those far East Gippsland and far South Coast NSW spots when they're on you'll have a ball with only a small few in the water. Also, most spots through croajingolong are free or use the honesty system.

sypkan's picture
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sypkan commented Tuesday, 28 May 2013 at 4:50pm

Ive done this trip a few times too, obviously not as much as Indo D who has pretty much summed it up. Especially regarding keeping a low profile, he has given u some great tips.

Regarding this you really need to try and move around, when you find cranking waves and a nice spot it is hard to move but cops, rangers and locals all get a bit grumpy after a while. so move around, also try to find the out of the way spots, it is too tempting to rush to the well known consistent spots where life as a bum is much harder because people have been doing it there for years and you will see others doing it whereas on the mid north coast for example you might be the only bum in the carpark.

Indo D has given great advice avoiding rangers, trouble etc. I would just add if you can park where you can drive out forwards and reverse ie. dont park front row beachfront (the best spot I know) because when the yahoos come to the beach at 3 in the morning after the pub you are not blocked in. They can bang on your windows, park behind you, do all sorts of strange things just to scare you (I am guessing they are pretty harmless really, just pissed with nothing better to do).

But on one occasion parking like this saved my arse. The story was something like this, surfbum spends a couple of days in Sydney (partying, generally looking around), makes it to the Northern beaches, notices a burnt out car in the carpark, spends a night there no problem, wakes up second night to two pissed minders, laughing and talking, looks out curtain and sees two pissed minders with a jerry can and a lighter ready to pour petrol all over my car. surfbum jumps in front seat and drives out forwards, stops to challenge/abuse pissed minders who just laughed.

Sydney may not be the best place to bum around but I have spent a lot of time there with no other problems and you see lots of others doing the same. Actually it is amazing how many people you notice doing this shit when you are. Regarding showers the east coast is luxury with a shower at nearly every beach, yeh they are cold, but coming from SA on tap drinking water is a treat never mind showers!!

amb's picture
amb's picture
amb commented Tuesday, 28 May 2013 at 5:49pm

Thought you must be from SA sykan.."minders"...i think you mean "mindas" ie Minda Home. For non SA ...Minda is slang for spastic.

But good advice non the less.

When i did the trip i painted my combi vans windows with white paint on the inside for privacy & help keep the heat out...the curtains kept failing down.

Have a ball dcoco1.

jasper99's picture
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jasper99 commented Tuesday, 28 May 2013 at 10:23pm

Pretty sure theres a website that can tell you where there are free camp grounds australia wide.....www.australiancampsites.com.au ........obvisiouly you want the coastal ones but Im sure if you look on there you will find something.

Done this trip a few times as well and found plenty of waves everywhere,mind you was in the mid 90's pre internet so things were different. So many waves down south.you just got too be smart,swell direction,winds etc. Such a good place though.

I was fortunate to have a good panel van when I did it so it was little less obvious with what I was up to.

Enjoy mate,wish I was doing it again

old-dog's picture
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old-dog commented Thursday, 30 May 2013 at 5:47pm

I did this road trip for the first time in 1974 age 17,four of us all with blonde hair down to our anuses in the HR wagon with 10 boards on top and S.A. number plates that stood out like dogs knackers.Everywhere we went we got told to fuck off tourists,first stop Portland and some low prick smeared fuck off in human excrement on the rear window.In Ulladulla our tyres were slashed while tuning some local ladies at the pub.As soon as we hit Sydney we were fined for not wearing seat belts,the cop calling us a bunch of cowboys and to get out of town asap but at least all the surfers were big city ladyboys and gave us no trouble.Next stop Cresent head and a kid on a bike yelled out piss off and spat at us through an open window ,we chased him down and covered him in snot.At Yamba we were given the fingers and told to fuck off no less than four times but still scored the point at 6ft.without any bad vibes.The only time we stayed in a caravan park was at Byron where four boards were stolen off the roof while two of us were asleep in the car.On the Goldy we slept in the Burliegh carpark and were stoked to have it all to ourselves all morning for a week as back then none of the locals got up until 10am and life was pretty good until our unit with all our worldly possessions got stolen on New years eve never to be seen again.After a few more trips up there I decided there is too many heroes and a-holes on the East coast,give me the wide open spaces of the West coast anyday.

rattle's picture
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rattle commented Thursday, 30 May 2013 at 6:11pm

There are some great contributions here. Have done this trip many times and always on the cheap.

Our favourite trick was to sneak into caravan parks after 9pm and leave in the morning before anyone got up freshly showered. This was so easy to do on the earlier trips but its now pretty hard with keyed entry etc. But, the last trip we had the use of caravan parks and their hot showers during the day, especially the ones backing onto beaches ... easy just walk off the beach with towel and follow some dad in white socks into the shower block!

I think its already been said but its best to make your car look as ordinary as possible, keep everything inside at night and mostly you can park /sleep anywhere you want. We have taken to parking at service stations (the ones off the highway) like the car needs repair and its parked there overnight. There are still lots of highway parks where you can sleep.

Finally, I reckon these trips are best tackled with the least amount of gear as possible ... 2 boards, a sleeping bag & mat and some of that really good hiking/camping cooking gear (e.g. MSR).

Its a great way to see the place and explore all those waves, bugger it, I wish I was off again tomorrow.

Don't forget to pack your smile ....

dcoco1's picture
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dcoco1 commented Thursday, 30 May 2013 at 11:18pm

Thanks for the epic advice guys, really making me look forward to it. Although Old-dogs comments make me somewhat skeptical about some of the circumstances that can may arise. I was just wondering if anyone had a rough estimate of the costs involved for a 3 month trip? would i be looking at 2 grand spending money? mainly due to fuel and food? i know its hard to give an accurate estimate because of variations in lifestyle and other such things. However just any rough estimates or own experiences with the fianances involved would be apperciated!

Keep the good advice flowing, Cheers!

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floyd commented Friday, 31 May 2013 at 8:33am

Fuel is the most costly expense on a trip like this but if you keep your car light with gear and no roof racks and keep the speed down you could save heaps on fuel costs ... maybe 15%. There is a real art in driving to save fuel, its worth trying. The next most expensive item will be food especially if you like take away food and coffee. Make and cook your own food and you will be able to extend your trip by weeks and weeks. Count on spending what you usually do at home, or have that amount available just in case you need it ... you will remember this trip for years to come so don't cut it short by not having enough cash.

ACB__'s picture
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ACB__ commented Tuesday, 17 Dec 2013 at 9:56am

Although you may have already done the trip, save yourself the hassle of dealing with rangers and bored cops. When I've done the trip Sydney to Tweed (5 or so times) I've just called and booked non-powered sites in caravan parks. You're looking at between $20-$40 a night... bargain. Most places will also have laundry's and shitters.

Also you will be surprised at the amount of national park camping spots that are right on the beach of some rad little spots eg. (yagon)

The trip east coast trip IMO is one of the best trips in Australia if not the world, any old right hand turn off the pacific hwy often leads to a secluded little beach that's all yours.

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ACB__ commented Tuesday, 17 Dec 2013 at 9:59am

dcoco1 wrote: Thanks for the epic advice guys, really making me look forward to it. Although Old-dogs comments make me somewhat skeptical about some of the circumstances that can may arise. I was just wondering if anyone had a rough estimate of the costs involved for a 3 month trip? would i be looking at 2 grand spending money? mainly due to fuel and food? i know its hard to give an accurate estimate because of variations in lifestyle and other such things. However just any rough estimates or own experiences with the fianances involved would be apperciated!

Keep the good advice flowing, Cheers!

I did 3 days at splendour in the grass, and 10 days driving back and spent $1000. biggest expense is petrol. also must be willing to eat snag sandwiches and noodles for weeks!

ACB__'s picture
ACB__'s picture
ACB__ commented Tuesday, 17 Dec 2013 at 9:59am

dcoco1 wrote: Thanks for the epic advice guys, really making me look forward to it. Although Old-dogs comments make me somewhat skeptical about some of the circumstances that can may arise. I was just wondering if anyone had a rough estimate of the costs involved for a 3 month trip? would i be looking at 2 grand spending money? mainly due to fuel and food? i know its hard to give an accurate estimate because of variations in lifestyle and other such things. However just any rough estimates or own experiences with the fianances involved would be apperciated!

Keep the good advice flowing, Cheers!

I did 3 days at splendour in the grass, and 10 days driving back and spent $1000. biggest expense is petrol. also must be willing to eat snag sandwiches and noodles for weeks!

Niert's picture
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Niert commented Wednesday, 20 Jun 2018 at 7:35pm

Hey guys!
Tons of valuable tips here!!!
I am going to do a surf road trip around the east coast in August/18. I am planning to hire a campervan with shower and toilet in order to save money on camper sites.
My wife and I are planning to spend 1 month from Cairns (QLD) to Bells (VIC). As I am living on Gold Coast, I do not want to spend many days around here, once I can reach the surrounding on weekends.
I have just started to plan the itinerary, but I do not have much knowledge related spots out of Goldy. I would much appreciate a help on that. Doing a quick research through the internet I got some places, such as:
-Double Island Point
-Noosa
-Broken Head
-Yamba
-Crescent Head
-Bendalong
-Bells
Any help is welcome! Thanks a lot!!!

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marcus commented Wednesday, 20 Jun 2018 at 7:45pm

..

i remember the internet when it was just for intelligent people but.

groundswell's picture
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groundswell commented Wednesday, 20 Jun 2018 at 7:46pm

If you can live on tuna and bread sandwiches for a while its very cheap to live. and no washing up. Im doing this next week on a trip to red bluff.
You should also include on that list ulladulla area, bawley point area if you like slabs, tongo if you're in a 4wd and like quality beachies.Someone said pick up a copy of mark warrens surf atlas which i agree with also check out wannasurf.com for spots.

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Blowin commented Wednesday, 20 Jun 2018 at 9:41pm

I’d hold off on that trip if I was you Groundswell. Winds look suspect.

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lostdoggy commented Thursday, 21 Jun 2018 at 11:04am

.

groundswell's picture
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groundswell commented Thursday, 21 Jun 2018 at 2:01pm

Note taken Blowin, its looks a bit NE for a few days but if it blows SE i might head up there before the school holidays. I imagine it would be packed then.