Are you thinking about living the campervan life on a tour Down Under, but don’t know where to start?
There is nothing quite like the sense of complete freedom you experience on a campervan trip, not knowing where you will pull up at the end of the day, what you will see or who you will meet on the way.
If you are a campervan newbie then here are some top tips for travelling around Australia.
Before you leave
Undertaking a little planning before you leave on your road trip is a great way to make the most of your campervan adventure. Here are some things you need to consider:
Choose the right campervan
There are three important questions you need to ask yourself before choosing the campervan you are going to hire or buy:
1. How many people you are travelling with?
2. The distance you are planning on travelling?
3. How long you will want the campervan for?
Have all the right documents
Before you hit the open road, make sure you have all the correct documents you need. These include:
– Your driving license
– Visa information
– Health and travel insurance documents
– Road maps
Plan a rough route
While you still want to keep some degree of spontaneity in your trip, it’s ideal to have a rough idea of where you want to travel to, the route you want to take and how long it will take you to get there.
Australia is a big old place and it can be easy to look at a map and underestimate how long it will take you to drive from one place to another.
Do you need to pre-book a camping spot?
If you are travelling in the school holidays or over a public holiday you may need to consider booking a camping spot in advance to avoid being turned away.
Once you have hired your campervan it’s likely that you will be departing from one of Australia’s major cities, so it’s a good idea to stock up on cheaper food and essentials from a large nearby supermarket.
Buying food and supplies from petrol stations and small local stores on the journey can hit your backpacker budget hard.
While you are on the road
Once you are on your way, here are some tips to help keep you safe on the road:
Stop, Revive, & Survive
It is recommended that you only drive for up to two hours at a time, taking regular stops. It’s likely that you will travel with others so make sure you share the driving. Keep an eye out for driver reviver sites that operate across the country, they are great places to stop for a coffee and a snack.
Buying cheap petrol
The cost of petrol is likely to be one of the biggest outgoings on your road trip. Try using MotorMouth to find the cheapest petrol on sale in your area and think about how much extra fuel you use by having the air-con on all the time.
Always carry enough water
It is essential that you carry enough water with you on your trip. If you’ve seen The Inbetweeners 2 movie, then you know what can happen if you drive into the outback with no water? Well in reality it’s no laughing matter. Always carry enough water for you and your vehicle at all times.
Remember that you are responsible for the campervan while it is in your possession. This means that you should treat it like it was your own vehicle and carry out basic maintainence checks every 500km, such as checking the coolant levels and tyre pressure.
Make sure you know the height of the campervan and be wary of driving into car parks, under bridges or low hanging branches if you aren’t sure.
Out and about at a stop off
Of course your road trip isn’t just about your time on the road – it’s also about the great places you visit.
Australia is a country known for it’s extreme conditions, so here are our top tips for exploring on foot:
Australia is known for its relentless and harsh sun. You must always try to wear sunscreen, at least SPF 30, and remember that it is still possible to get sun burnt even on cloudy or cool days.
If you are heading out to explore the bush then try to make sure someone knows where you have gone.
Most walks will tell you their length and difficulty level, so try and stick to walks that are suitable for your experience and fitness.
Always stick to the paths and don’t head off exploring on your own.
Bushfires are a common occurrence in Australia, so you must always abide by the restrictions set by that particular region.
Each state in Australia has it’s own dedicated bushfire website or app that should be checking regularly. If you do decide to have a campfire then you must always make sure it is completely out at the end of the night and have at least 10 litres of water nearby in case it gets out of hand.
Bastian is the Sales & Marketing Manager here at Travellers Autobarn. He holds a Master of Commerce in Marketing and International Business Management, and 20+ years experience in campervan hire, road trips and travel.