Brits and Aussies do not always see eye-to-eye on everything (particularly cricket scores or what constitutes a decent pint), but if there is one thing that these old friends agree on, it's that Australia is a country best seen by road.
Traversing this magnificent country by campervan is a truly classic - and for many, a life changing - trip. Australia is truly vast and many of its most fascinating areas are entirely remote. A campervan allows you to enjoy self-sufficiency and forget the agenda, going anywhere the whim takes you.
Planning your trip
If you book ahead and keep a careful budget travelling by campervan can actually be quite cost effective. Firstly, do price comparisons to find competitive providers and book as far in advance as possible to secure good rates, and availability, of your chosen model.
Plan the route carefully. Be very mindful of where the next gas station is coming from. Bear in mind that climate conditions can change dramatically in different parts of Australia and the roads can be hugely varied too.
For example, if you decide to travel across the Nullarbor desert or the famous Outback, you need to be prepared for vast expanses where no signs of commerce, or often other human life, will be seen. No food, no gas stations, no power, no mobile reception, no services and no water. In fact, some Australian campervan hire companies won't actually let you take their vehicles out to these destinations at all because they are considered to be a risk. Don't let pride overtake common sense here. Listen to people who know the country and follow their advice. Even where you are given the green light to travel, make sure you are incredibly well prepared.
Tips for making the most of your trip
Bear in mind that it can take several days to drive between Australian cities, so stock up on food, water, petrol and other essentials. Make sure you have a range of print map itineraries. Do not rely on GPS as you won't have a reliable signal for much of the journey and print is always the safest back-up.
Look for Australian public information websites to find maps, guides and local information, and check on the climate. You will likely need a range of clothing and bedding to suit all contingencies. For example, summer in South Australia can reach above 45-50 degrees Celsius, but if you are in the desert the night-time temperature can rapidly drop from boiling to absolutely freezing.
When to travel
Autumn and spring are generally thought to be the best times to travel as their conditions are moderate and they avoid extremes. Remember that in the northern territories, summer can see fierce storms and flooded roads, and in the south, winter can mean snowfall and incredibly chilly camping. Remember too that Melbourne in particular is famous for being a city which can have four seasons in one day, so prepare accordingly.
Remember to stay in caravan parks to access facilities, access a power hook-up and recharge your power cells. You will also meet other like-minded travellers and get to swap stories.
Bio: After Jonathan completed the sale of his surf lodge in the UK, he travelled in Australia, South America and Europe using the proceeds to develop and sell properties.
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