melbourne to thredbo, australia | coastal drive + camp spots

There’s a feeling that I will never be able to put words to. It’s a feeling that actually makes it hard for me to write about my trip to Australia. The feeling of absolute bliss and travel wanderlust that makes you long for that moment to happen again and again, but it’s also the feeling of knowing that it won’t ever come back, not in the same way.

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I stepped out of the Melbourne airport after 30 hours of traveling to be greeted by a tall Aussie boy who I met last summer in Whistler, spent many warm mountain nights with and had some epic adventures with in Hawaii. He, like myself, prefers to be in the wilderness, and so with nothing but a glance at the city as we sped by – that’s where we headed.

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If there’s one thing I can say for sure about traveling – it’s to take the road less traveled. It holds a promise of untouched terrain, minimal traffic and the most authentic experience with a country.

The first beach I laid eyes on was southeast of Melbourne, on Phillip Island. It was stunning and magnificent, and all of the things I wanted to see when I got to Aus.
That was the start of the feeling – the start of the magic.
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Victoria is known as the ‘granny state’ and as we cruised down the highway we were warned by sign after sign to “take a rest or die,” (believe me, it said that). Taking the sign’s advice, we found our first campsite off a dirt road that we had to 4WD down, as per recco of a camping app that gave reviews for free spots in epic locations.
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Pulling up beside sand dunes and hopping out of the truck to watch the sun set behind the trees and lay a canvas of colour over the ocean was my stunning first evening experience in Australia.
– and cue the feeling.
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The next few days we spent driving, stopping in odd tiny towns for food and fancy coffees, sleeping by the mouth of the snowy river, cooking jaffles and listening to the fish jump all night, and more 4W drives on remote roads to find epic camp spots.
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Waking up beside the ocean, staring up at clouds moving swiftly through the sky, listening to ocean waves land on the shore is quite possibly my favourite way to start a day. Frolicking along beaches where no one else was and admiring oddly shaped shells and creatures that washed up along the rock shoreline. The simple life and the simple things are the good things.
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And the feeling.
It’s the quiet moments that bring me so much joy when I travel – the way the grass blows in the wind, or how the sun hits the water and creates a reflection. It’s the smell of trees, or how a cloud reminds me of a unicorn, or the way the sand feels between my toes.
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Something about the unknown road and the way less taken… and Australia and the bush – resonated in my soul, it was a life force.
It created an even stronger desire to live simply and appreciate all of the small things that make up the bigger picture. This introduction to the South East Coast of Australia set me up with a pace for my whole trip – sheer simplicity of the present moment.
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