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Make Adventure Yours Blog

 

Welcome to the Apollo RV Holidays Blog, here we will share our tips for making the most of your road-trip adventure. Whether you have never considered a self-drive holiday, or a seasoned veteran who lives the #vanlife every day we aim to provide you with some tips and tricks to make your adventure easier.

 

We have put together how to guides, destination overviews, recommended routes, destinations you may not have considered and stories from our guests to help inspire you to take the plunge into the wonderful world of campervan and motorhome holidays, we swear you won't regret it. 

Apollo Team
/ Categories: AU Blog

Bald Rockin Road Trip

National Parks, Lush Valleys and Chasing Waterfalls across the Queensland and New South Wales border

 

This was created in partnership with Wildkinds Studio

 

 

 

 

 

Apollo Hitop driving through a lush valley on the way to Lake Moogerah

Cruising into Lake Moogerah

 

 

People seem to think that exploring our beautiful country is difficult or expensive. I’ve been on a few campervan trips now (I think this is my 7th) and I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be. Campervan travel is a great way to get out, have the camping experience while still enjoying the creature comforts of home (a proper bed & kitchen!) and without all the packing up of tent camping.

 

Today I’m sharing my recent experience travelling to Bald Rock National Park, a 4-day round trip from Brisbane, with friends. We travelled to beautiful Lake Moogerah to spend a night under the stars, then chased waterfalls along the famous ‘Falls Drive’ before making our way to Bald Rock National Park (roughly 3.5 hours from Brisbane) near Tenterfield, NSW.

 

 

Summit of Bald Rock

The Summit of Bald Rock

 

 

This road trip is great for campervanning beginners as civilisation is never far away! I’ve included all of the links to book accommodation & details of things to do at the end of the blog.

 

 

Pre Trip Tips: 

 

 

  • Check the weather and pack accordingly - You don’t want to be caught out in the cold and you also don’t want to overpack. The Apollo campervans are spacious, but you don’t want to be rummaging through 100 bags.

 

  • Be protective of your relaxation time – It’s easy to over fill your day and rushing from A to B isn’t relaxing. I limit myself to 2 activities max per day.

 

  • Plan your route. Don’t drive more than 2 hours at a time without a break and try to avoid driving at dawn or dusk as this is when some of Australia’s native animals are most active. Kangaroo’s in particular love to bound across our roads at the last minute.

 

  • Buy your supplies the night before – Once your holiday begins you’ll want to hit the road straight away, not walk around a supermarket!

 

  • Pre-cook your food. The campervans have fridges, make use of them. I pre-cook some of my meals and reheat them on the stove top. Easy as! If you don’t want to pre-cook the vans have all the utensils you need to cook up delicious foods, saving you a tonne of money.

 

 

Flynn's pre-made meals fit perfectly into the Apollo Hitop's fridge

Making full use of the fridge space

 

 

Day 1 – Brisbane To Lake Moogerah

 

 

Starting the first day on our relaxing holiday bright and early we arrived at the Apollo depot in Brisbane to collect our vehicles. We travelled in a Hitop camper, and my friend Byron opted for a 4x4 Trailfinder. The collection process with Apollo is super easy and quick, you’ll need to watch a couple of safety videos, sign your paperwork then the friendly staff will give you a tour of your new home on wheels.

 

 

Flynn Graham behind the wheel of the Apollo Hitop

Flynn Graham behind the wheel of the Apollo Hitop

 

 

We loaded up the campervan with our supplies and headed for our first destination - Lake Moogerah. Lake Moogerah is situated 1.5 hours away from Brisbane in the aptly named Scenic Rim. A popular weekend destination for boating enthusiasts & campers alike the Lake Moogerah Caravan Park has all the facilities you need to have a very comfortable stay - toilets, hot showers, a small store and most importantly fire pits!

 

 

Byron setting up the fire pit in front of the Hitop

Getting ready for fire time

 

 

Friends sitting in their campchairs by a fire, in between an Apollo Hitop and Apollo Trailfinder Camper

Firepits at Lake Moogerah

 

 

Tip: If you’re wanting to have a fire during your stay, you’ll need firewood – this can be bought at the caravan park for $15 a bag, or you can buy it with cash from nearby locals who usually have it advertised on their driveways (much cheaper). 

 

We had the best seats in the house to watch the colours blaze as the sun drift down over the horizon and the stars came out to play. 

 

 

Sunset at Lake Moogerah

Cracking sunsets by Lake Moogerah

 

 

Milky way overhead, girl sitting by the fire

Milky Way blazing overhead | Fire, Wine & Sunsets

 

 

View of the Sunset over Lake Moogerah

Sunset at Lake Moogerah

 

 

Day 2 – Lake Moogerah to Bald Rock National Park

 

 

Dusty pink and blues of pre-dawn at Lake Moogerah

Pre-dawn colours at Lake Moogerah

 

 

As dawn broke, we awoke early to watch the low-lying mist swirl around the lake & surrounding mountains. The serenity of sunrise is a gift that we often don’t get to fully enjoy in our busy lives, so we were grateful for the opportunity to have it at our doorstep.

 

Taking the morning as slow as possible we packed up the van, had hot showers at the park facilities then brewed a coffee for the road. One of the real benefits of campervanning over traditional tent camping is the lack of actual packing up to do – once you’ve made sure your campervan is unplugged and everything is secured, you’re pretty much good to go!

 

 

Byron making a coffee in the pull-out kitchen section of the Apollo Trailfinder Camper

Byron making a coffee in the Apollo Trailfinder

 

 

Inside the Hitop Camper, the kettle is on to brew one last tea for the road

Getting one last tea brewed for the road

 

 

All packed up, it was time to go chasing waterfalls through the Falls Drive! The drive winds its way along steep mountain roads and through lush valleys. The views afforded are unforgettable, and there’s a couple of spots you can stop for a photo – the main one being Carr’s Lookout. The next stop is Queen Mary falls, the falls has a park up top which is a perfect spot to get lunch then do the short walk down to the base of the waterfall.

 

 

Apollo Hitop along the Falls Drive

The Falls Drive

 

 

View from Carr's Lookout

Carr's Lookout

 

 

Apollo convoy winding through lush valleys

Apollo convoy winding its way through lush valleys

 

 

Queen Mary Falls

Queen Mary Falls

 

 

Moving on from Queen Mary Falls the next waterfall is Daggs Falls which you’ll be able to see from a lookout that you can drive straight up to, and the final waterfall on the journey is Browns Falls. Browns Falls requires a longer walk along a nice creek which starts from the rest stop, if you want to get to the base of this waterfall it’ll take you roughly an hour return (1.2km).

 

 

Daggs Falls Lookout

Daggs Falls Lookout

 

 

Daggs Falls

Daggs Falls

 

 

After the falls drive you’ve got a few options on where to go next, if you’ve got time you can stop for a coffee in Warwick. We recommend Belle Vue Café, located on the main strip, as their coffee is amazing, and they have great vegetarian options too! This is a great opportunity to get supplies if you need to stock up before Bald Rock NP.

 

We were running out of time & with rain setting in, we headed straight for Bald Rock National Park, arriving just before dusk. The drive into Bald Rock is stunning at the moment, the bushfires have come through and now the trees are bursting with green regrowth, making for the perfect welcome to one of NSW’s best national parks.

 

 

Apollo convoy in the rain driving into Bald Rock National Park

A little bit wet as we drive into Bald Rock NP

 

 

Day 3 – Bald Rock National Park

 

 

Hitop near a fire on a rainy morning in Bald Rock National Park

A rainy morning in Bald Rock NP

 

 

Bald Rock National Park has great facilities (fire pits, toilets & designated camping spots) and a variety of walks that will suit adventurers of any skill level, with the summit walk being the jewel in the crown. The walk is surrounded by beautiful Australian bush, then rises gradually through granite boulders and onto the summit of Bald Rock.

 

 

Green regrowth after the fires in Bald Rock National Park

Green regrowth at Bald Rock NP

 

 

The awe-inspiring views from the top of Bald Rock are world class, with the summit being the perfect spot to watch sunrise or sunset. We recommend you take a thermos filled with a warm beverage as it can get quite cold, especially if the wind is blowing.

 

 

A stunning view at the summit of Bald Rock National Park

 

Another stunning view at the summit of Bald Rock National Park

Stunnings views at the summit of Bald Rock NP

 

 

We had set our alarms early with the hope to see sunrise from the summit of Bald Rock, but when we awoke, we were greeted by the gentle sounds of rain on the roof. We opted to have a sleep in and fully enjoy what nature had provided for us. Making coffee and laying in the comfort of the van, we listened to the rain and caught up on some reading. When the universe provides you with the perfect lazy Saturday who are we to say no?

 

 

Apollo Hitop and Apollo Trailfinder Camper on a rainy day in Bald Rock National Park

Rained in!

 

 

Flynn getting ready to brew up in the Apollo Hitop

Best thing to do is brew up!

 

 

You could easily spend a few days around this area, hiking Bald Rock and then going to explore nearby Tenterfield and Stanthorpe. The region is well known for its great food and drink (wineries galore!), so you’ll never be bored.

 

The rain subsided in the late afternoon, so we were able to use the provided fire pits to stoke up a roaring fire, sit and talk into the late hours of the night. This is what camping is all about, spending quality time with friends and being fully present in the moment without our phones or technology.

 

 

Campers set up with a fire to perfect!

Fires come out to play!

 

 

Day 4 – Home

 

 

A crispy morning in Bald Rock National park with the campers set up

Crisp mornings at Bald Rock National Park

 

 

Byron staying warm by the last camp fire before the end of the trip

One last fire, we couldn’t resist

 

 

We saved our best meal for last, tucking into premade pancakes with yoghurt and maple syrup! So good! The premade pancakes you can buy are great, super tasty and they pack small. If you don’t feel like cooking Brinx Café & Deli is a special favourite of ours in Stanthorpe, their coffee is great (they serve Campos coffee) and the food is to die for!

 

 

Flynn flipping pancakes in the Hitop for the final breakfast of the trip

Intense concentration on the pancake flip

 

 

Enjoying pancakes in the campgrounds

Breakfast time!

 

 

After we packed down our final campsite, organised our gear and cleaned the vans we hit the road. Wanting to see some different sights along the way we opted to take the highway back to Brisbane, going through Cunningham’s Gap. If you got up early and have time, there’s an amazing walk up to the summit of Mt Cordeaux which is relatively easy 6km return (allow yourself about 2.5 hours). The hike up to Mt Cordeaux starts from the Crest Carpark (Cunninghams Gap), and features views out over the Scenic Rim & Lake Moogerah. You might be able to spot your first night campsite from here!

 

 

Signs at Mount Cordeaux track showing the hiking distance

Mount Cordeaux Track

 

 

View from the summit of Mount Cordeaux

Views from the summit of Mount Cordeaux

 

 

Our journey ended back at Apollo HQ in Brisbane, where we said goodbye to our home on wheels. The drop off process for Apollo is simple & quick, with a service station just around the corner makes fuelling up before you drop the camper off very convenient as well. Overall, we spent about $120 in fuel which is great for 4 days!

 

 

Flynn enjoying the moment out the front of the Apollo Hitop

Coffee at Bald Rock NP

 

 

The end of any adventure is always bittersweet, but we were incredibly grateful for the experiences we had and the ease in which the campervan allowed us to travel. We hope seeing our adventure inspires you to get out and explore your backyard this year, get back in touch with nature and have a truly relaxing holiday. 

 

If you’d like to take this journey yourself (and you definitely should!) we’ve made life easy for you by providing links to all the accommodation & we invite you to share the experience with Apollo on Instagram by tagging @apollomotorhomeholidays with all your amazing road trip snaps.

 

Till next time, happy adVANturing.

 

~Flynn Graham

 

 

USEFUL LINKS

 

 

Our Route

 

Lake Moogerah Caravan Park 

 

Queen Mary Falls

 

Bella Vue – Warwick

 

Bald Rock – Summit Track

 

Bald Rock - Campgrounds

 

Brinx Deli & Café – Stanthorpe

 

Mt Cordeaux – Car Park

 

Mt Cordeaux – Hike Details

 

 

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