Going on a road trip in Australia? Awesome! Having your own wheels is the best way to explore this massive and wonderful continent. Here are some tips to make your road trip even more perfect…
1. Keep an eye on your fuel level
Distances in Australia are big and while petrol stations are readily available along most stretches of (high)way it’s always smart to keep an eye on your fuel level. Don’t push it, it’s better to fill up a bit more often than to be stranded. Of course, going to the outback is a whole other level and it’s wise to carry extra fuel with you.
2. Use maps.me
Maps.me is a great free app with maps of every country in the world. If you download the maps before your trip you can easily navigate around Australia without using any data. No getting lost for you ?
3. Always carry some backup food with you
Sometimes plans change, that’s the fun of a road trip. You may find yourself on a quiet (picnic)spot that allows overnight camping thinking: why don’t I stay here for the night? In that case it’s very convenient if you have some extra food to cook dinner so you don’t have to drive to the nearest town and look for a supermarket. Also, in some little villages shops may be closed on Sundays and you wouldn’t want to go hungry because you don’t have anything to eat left in your van…
4. Clean up your campervan before driving away
Develop a routine before you set off for another day of adventure. Check if you closed the windows of the campervan. Turn off the gas. Secure every item in the back of the van. Don’t leave anything on the kitchen counter, because it will fall off.
5. Avoid driving in the dark
Australia is lucky to have lots of wildlife like kangaroos, koalas and cassowaries. To minimize the risk of hitting one of these wonderful creatures avoid driving at night. Plus, you’ll miss out on the amazing scenery.
6. Use the Travellers Autobarn app
In the TAB app you can find tips about maintaining your vehicle, the addresses of all TAB branches, information about (free) campsites, important phone numbers and much more. So download it at the TAB office when you pick up your van and safe yourself a lot of time and effort!
7. Bring a warm jacket
You may be thinking: Australia is hot, I only need summer clothes. While this is probably true for the majority of your trip, it can actually get cold at night. Especially at higher elevations the temperature can drop significantly during the night and you’ll be happy you brought some extra layers.
8. Make your own coffee
Australia is the land of great coffee and while it’s fun (and convenient) to get your daily cuppa at a local café it’s not the most economical. Instead, buy (or bring with you from home) a little stovetop espresso maker and make your own freshly brewed coffee. Your campervan will smell like a little café every morning! You can even buy a small handheld milk frother to create your very own cappuccino or latte.
9. Use the Motormouth website or app
Fuel is expensive in Australia, so finding the cheapest option available definitely helps to save a couple of bucks. On the Motormouth website/app you can find price levels of petrol stations all around Australia. As you can see there can be quite a big difference between stations, even though they are only a few kilometers apart
10. Don’t underestimate the size of Australia
Australia is so big it counts as a continental landmass instead of just a country. With 7.692 million km² it is the 6th biggest country in the world and it’s important to realize this before planning your itinerary. While it’s technically possible to drive from Cairns to Melbourne in two weeks, this will leave you no time at all to explore and actually see places along the way. A month would be much better or choose to drive a smaller distance if you are limited to two weeks.
One bonus tip:
Get a local SIM card, Vodafone often has good deals and good reception along the East Coast, Melbourne and the Great Ocean Road. That way you’ll be able to contact TAB in case of an emergency and send lots of selfies to your jealous family at home.
Enjoy your Aussie road trip!
About the author
Lotte is born and raised in the Netherlands but is trying to explore as much of the world as possible! Up until now she lived in Barcelona, London and Amsterdam and visited 41 countries.
Lotte writes about her travel adventures on Phenomenal Globe Travel Blog (www.phenomenalglobe.com). It’s her mission to inspire other people to travel and help them plan their trips. In 2017 she made a 5-week road trip along the East Coast of Australia in a Kuga campervan from Travellers Autobarn.