After spending a couple of weeks in Darlington Park near Beaudesert in South East Queensland, we were ready to move onto somewhere else. We chose to stay in the showgrounds in Canungra, a pretty little town in the Gold Coast Hinterland.
The campground costs $8 per person per night and has a nice amenities block with flush toilets and hot showers, plus it is only a 15 minute walk into town, so I had no problems with getting a decent mobile internet connection. We found a nice spot down near the picturesque Canungra Creek, which has a great refreshing swimming hole to splash around in on hot days.
We were quite happy here… until it started raining.
As it turned out, ex tropical cyclone Oswald was making its way down the Queensland coast, and it was heading our way.
Over a couple of days the rain and wind began to increase, and on the Sunday morning, I awoke to find that Canungra Creek was already flooding, and it only had about a metre to go until it was in our campsite. It was time to pack up and head to higher ground.
Since I had to work that day, we headed into Brisbane for the day while I worked my 10 hour shift. It was this day however that the storm would hit the region in its full force. The rain was heavy and the winds strong by the afternoon, but since we were booked into the Canungra Showgrounds for the next two nights, we had to try and make it back.
We got about halfway while driving through the treacherous weather until we reached a flooded road and were forced to seek an alternate route. After a huge detour, we made it to within about 20kms of Canungra until we were once again cut off. The storm was now raging, and we were left with few other options but to head back towards Brisbane and try and find somewhere to spend the night.
It was about 10:30pm by the time we had to just pull over in a roadside rest stop to ride out the storm, and after a couple of hours of restless sleep, I had to go to work again the following day.
The storm had moved past by Monday afternoon and the rain and wind had eased off, so we tried once again to get through to Canungra, however like many of the other parts of the state, everything was in full flood and we had no chance of getting through.
It wasn’t until Tuesday that we managed to find our way back to the showgrounds, only to find that our old campsite was completely destroyed by the flooding. Luckily, the main part of the showgrounds is built on higher ground, so we were still able to call the place home for another week.
Living out of a van isn’t always fun, but it certainly creates a lot of memories and interesting stories to tell, and I’m sure that there will be many more over the next few months.