Australia is an amazing country to visit. It’s a particularly popular destination amongst millennials and you’re sure to bump into a fair few backpackers. The appeal is obvious. Big expanses of sandy beaches, great surfing opportunities, a laid-back vibe, and, of course, the amazing weather. Australia is a huge country and getting around outside of the bustling city centers can be challenging. That shouldn’t put you off. You’ll want to travel the length of the country to really experience it in all its diverse glory! The best way to do it? Campervanning of course!
Is Campervanning For You?
There are so many positives about hiring a campervan to tour Australia, but there are some pitfalls too. Even if you do go for the more expensive models, traveling in a campervan isn’t glamorous at all. It will involve sacrificing lots of your everyday luxuries and some essential too (like showering!) However, if you’re willing to give these up you’ll gain so much. The flexibility to plan your own route, to travel and see Australia authentically, and to meet lots of people along the way. There is a lot more responsibility involved in campervanning as opposed to flying or taking planned trips.
Before you start your trip you’ll need to decide on is the route you’re taking. You may think that choosing a campervan is the first thing you should do, but it isn’t. When hiring a campervan you need to know a pickup and drop-off point. It’s also worth bearing in mind that some companies charge one-way fees. Returning your campervan to the point you picked it up from is often, but not always, cheaper. Obviously, the length of your route depends on how much time and money you have to spend.
One of the best routes is the east coast. Traveling from Melbourne to Cairns or vice versa takes you some of the best national parks and beaches Australia has to offer. You’ll journey from cosmopolitan cities to rural communities. You can do this route either way you want but starting in Melbourne is a good idea. Melbourne is a lot cooler than Cairns, so it often breaks travelers into the heat better. It also works particularly well if you’re going to Bali afterward because it’s just a short flight from Cairns. This route looks deceptively short, but it isn’t. It will take a minimum of six weeks to do it justice. Bearing in mind you’ll need a few days at either end to catch your breath!
Hiring A Campervan
There are lots of lots of reviews out there for different campervan companies in Australia. Make sure you head these reviews. Saving money at the hiring stage could cost you later. It’s important to get insurance as well. Most, if not all, companies offer insurance as an add-on. This will keep you covered if anything happens to the van whilst you’re using it. In Australia, it’s well worth getting! As long as you drive carefully you should be fine. However stones, kangaroos, and wombats frequently cause damage to campervans, so it’s better to be safe than sorry.
What You’ll Need
There are some things you’ll need to buy if you're planning on touring Australia in a campervan. Firstly, make sure you have plenty of water. You’ll go through bottles of it a day in the heat and you don’t want to run out. Plus you’ll also need it for cooking on the camp stove. Keep empty water bottles in a plastic bag and fill them up with water whenever you can. You’ll also need to pack light. There isn’t much room in most campervans so only pack the essentials. Buy some vests and shorts from a department store along with a sunhat. Use these Target coupons to get some money off your purchase. Suncream is another essential and you’ll need to use it every day. Pack a first aid kit too with some bandages and plasters. Bringing a book and some speakers is also a good idea. When you're camping you’ll need entertainment in the evenings.
Where To Stay
There are plenty of places to camp along the east coast. To save money, try highlighting the free campsites before you go. You can camp in national parks too, and you really should. These make for fantastic places to stay. With plenty of wildlife and walks, they’re well worth the $12 or so you’ll have to pay. Council-run campsites are also a good idea. There usually very well kept and secure. Keep in mind that not all campsites have showers. Some are remote and very basic.