Road trips are one of the best ways to see and explore Australia’s expansive outback and its vast and sandy coastline. Today, many young Aussies are turning to campervans to do so.
Compact, affordable, and with the freedom to go where you choose, the new generation is rocking Australia on these self-propelled and accommodated vans, capturing it all on their GoPros and video cameras to later share with friends.
Each year, on average, Australian campervan and caravan travellers are covering almost 12,000 kilometres – that’s the width of Australia about five times, or a third of Australia’s coast. So, if that’s not enough, here are some of the top reasons to use a campervan for your next road trip.
For a long-term investment, you can buy a campervan, or there’s the option of buying one and then selling it after the end of a trip. Alternatively, you can also hire campervans, and at $45 a day or more, you’re going to save a lot on hotels, restaurants, and transportation. And then that money can go into a longer trip and more experiences, or into other things you may need in life. Otherwise, if you go down the road of an investment, the Caravan Industry of Australia says the average life of a campervan in Australia is 17.9 years – so your investment should last you a while.
With that affordability, comes convenience: no searching out hotels at each destination, no booking ahead, no calls to hotels when you spontaneously change plans, and no seeking out restaurants in the middle of empty grasslands when you’re craving a hearty late night dinner. Campervans make for much more comfortable sleeping than tents and when hiring them, they typically come with all the essentials; pots and pans, plates and other utensils, bathroom accessories, and more. Sometimes, you can pay extra to rent fishing or snorkelling equipment, DVD players, and other bonuses. Plus, you know there’s nothing like a cold beer or a hot coffee while parked in the middle of the outback and watching the sun set.
In a campervan, you have the freedom to explore and to wander off the beaten track, and away from the hotel and transport hubs. You can make spontaneous decisions and stay on somewhere longer, or take a side trip recommended to you buy a local. Further, campervans, unlike cars hauling caravans, are often not much bigger than a regular van. This means you can usually park them in normal parking areas and drive them just about anywhere.
Otherwise, Australia is full of caravan parks where you can hook up to electricity and other services.
A campervan is an experience in of itself – it’s something a bit different that’s worth writing home about. But beyond that, its a way to wake up somewhere new every morning, to travel independently, learn on the go, and get to know Australia.
A road trip is an experience that can stay with you for life. Australia has so much to see. There’s the whole Great Ocean Road – often a single trip in of itself – with its diversity of plants, scenery, and wildlife, as well as landmarks like the Twelve Apostles. Australia has zillions of unexplored, pristine empty beaches. There’s some towns with strong character and usually a cool pub to hang out in, and there’s Byron, Brisbane, Fraser Island, and Rainbow Beach. You could head south and drive your campervan onto a boat to cross over and visit Tasmania and all its natural beauty, or head inland to the red centre, north to tropical Queensland, or follow Australia’s best outdoor adventure sports around the country. Park on the edge of a forest and listen to the crickets and parrots, or discover the incredible red sandstone gorges in the West MacDonnel Ranges. The little rock pools there can be just the thing for a cooling down.
The list really is endless, and that’s precisely why, if you have the time, an unlimited campervan road trip is the way to go.
Finally, a campervan can be a bit on the cosy or intimate side of things. That makes it great for couples, small families or groups of friends to bond in, and at the same time, to disconnect from constant phone checking and the Internet. It’s a vehicle for quality time with loved ones and mates, for real conversations without distractions.
So get out there and have a ball – but watch out for the roos!
Whether you’re a first-time campervan traveller or a seasoned van lifer, check out our other handy Campervan Travel Tips before you start your Aussie adventure.