Sep 24, 2012

Quintessential Queensland: Self-driving

(Daddy recounts)

For our recent trip to Gold Coast, there was only ever going to be one option for us when it comes to getting around Queensland. And that is to self-drive.  

If you ask us, travelling with tour groups is totally out of the question. We prefer the freedom to plan our own travel itinerary. More importantly though, we want to be able to tweak our travel adventure according to the monkies' mood levels. I already see lots of parents nodding their heads in agreement.

A self-drive holiday is about freedom on wheels, as we get to explore places at our own pace. Also, we would not have to worry about figuring out how to get around using public transportation, especially since we now travel with 3 big suitcases (in addition to 3 cheekiemonkies!).

So for our 8-day trip in Queensland, Hertz had kindly provided us with our own set of wheels which came in the form of a Toyota Camry.

We had previously gotten a hatchback on our previous trips to Australia and it was just enough for our family of four then. Now with another addition to the family, that wouldn't do for us so it was great that our holiday car came with such a huge boot.

It was also great that we had pre-booked our car before departure. So once we arrived at Gold Coast Airport, we were good to go as the car collection process was a breeze!

And breeze was the word too as we coasted along the highways in the Gold Coast, enroute to Lillydale Farmstay which was our first stop of the trip.

The fantastic thing about self-driving in Australia is the ease of driving. The roads are relatively well-maintained and well-signed, with an added bonus of being extremely scenic as well!

Hertz had also provided us with their Hertz NeverLost® GPS Navigation System, which provides voice and visual prompts to guide us from our current location to the said destination.

During our previous Australia trip in 2009, I had relied on maps - those hard-copy, paper ones - to get to our destinations. Coincidentally, we were also on our way to Lillydale Farmstay when we got lost. Faced with the prospect of fast-disappearing daylight, I turned on the 3G on my phone and sought help from the maps app. We finally did make our way to Lillydale before night fell, but it came with a price - $350 worth of data roaming charges to be exact.

So I can't tell you how thankful I was for this little device. For one, it eliminated the stress of having to find my way in unfamiliar places. Also, with three monkies yakking away in the background throughout the journey, it can get a tad stressful if I had to keep my eyes perpetually peeled for the road signs (which whizz by ever so quickly).

And we did reach Lillydale Farmstay earlier this time around. In fact, we could afford a short rest before joining in for the 4.30pm animal feeding!

For the middle part of our trip, we headed up to the Glass House Mountains for a 2-night stay where we also grabbed the chance to explore the scenic driving route to Maleny, Montville and Mapleton.

I will share more about what we did there in my next 2 Queensland posts but suffice to say, the boys thoroughly enjoyed their time up in the mountains.

As for Ale, she definitely enjoyed snacking in the car!

Thanks Hertz, for taking the fuss out of our driving experience in Queensland! It would have been better if our car was a convertible though.

I'm only kidding.

For more details or to make a reservation, book online at or contact Hertz Reservation Centre at 1800 370 3388 (local toll-free) or email

This post is part of our Queensland Holiday series of posts. Do click the label "Queensland" to view all posts related to our vacation. We would like to express our sincere thanks to Tourism Queensland and the respective hospitality operators for their amazing support!

See MORE photos of our Queensland Adventures in our photo album on our Cheekiemonkies' Facebook page HERE

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