Nick flew across the world and met me in Brisbane. We rented this snazzy little campervan and named it Dave. Dave was pretty great!
In Australia you drive forward on the left side of the road. Also, the steering wheel is on the right side of the car. This meant that we had to use our left hand to shift gears, and our right hand to work the turn signal, and really... everything was quite backwards! Driving with these changes wasn't as terrifying as I had imagined but it did take a little while to get used to tricky intersections or remembering who had the right-of-way in the round-a-bouts.
Anyway, our first night on the road consisted of just a few hours of driving before we started looking for a place to sleep. I hadn't made any reservations, and to be honest I didn't really know what to expect, or how far we'd drive, or what sorts of things we'd even see along the way. We just started driving. We made it to a small town called Yandina (middle of nowhere) and found a caravan park which was FULL. Figures! So we got back on the road in search of any place where we could rest.
Two seconds later we were pulled over by the police. What?!!! "Nick!!" I said nervously, "What did I do? Am I on the rights side of the road? Did I do something illegal? Was I speeding? Are the lights on?".... What the heck? But the officers were calm and polite and informed us that they were just performing random checks and they needed to test my breath for alcohol. That was a first experience for me. I had to breathe until the machine beeped and then everything was peachy-keen and we could take off again.
In our predicament, I figured I'd ask the officers if they knew of any place for use to sleep. They looked at us, said "You don't look very high maintenance" (not sure if that was a compliment)and then said, "Follow us!" They drove us to a little free roadside camping circle. It was like a rest area, only made for people to camp for the night. No power or water, and just a homely pit toilet, but perfect for us!
And there we camped out for the night.
In the morning we met our neighbor (don't remember her name) and her dog Bessie. Bessie was VERY excited to meet us. We learned that these little camping areas are quiet common along the highways (awesome for people on a budget!) and we learned a few more tips for road-tripping through Queensland. So strangely, I'm really thankful for getting pulled over on that first night of driving. Those police officer's set us up for an excellent driving adventure.