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There are many ways to see this beautiful country, by car, bus, motorbike but the best by a country mile has to be by campervan. Just google campervan hire Australia, there are many shapes and sizes to choose from.
No longer are you tied to short day trips out and then back to the motel for a nights sleep. Yes you could go proper bush veteran and tent it up, but believe me its not as easy as Ray Mears makes it look! You’d need a transit van to cart around all the gear he uses to make super noodles 😉 Now if you’re a camping master like Bear Grylls then maybe….
For all the rest of us a campervan is the happy medium, the middle ground. This way you can still be at one with nature but also not take six months to set up just for one night. Also, sleeping in a tent takes you closer to the critters that wander the forest floor at night I.e the terrifying huntsman spider and many species of deadly snakes. That foot of ground clearance makes all the difference!
Where can I hire a campervan.
Tourism being one of Australia’s most important industries means there is no shortage of places to hire a campervan/motor home. Get on google and you’ll find an abundance of providers offering everything from small economical 2 manners to Winnebago style fuel budget destroyers. There’s even some that offer 4X4 campers. Most of the larger providers will let you pick up from one location and drop of at another, say pick up in Sydney and drop of in cairns in a months time. Sometimes for an extra fee mind.
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What’s the damage?
Now this is where it gets pretty damn scary!!!
- For a standard 2 manner where talking $50 per day
- For a standard 5 manner where talking $80 per day
- For 4×4 they range from $90-$200 per day
- Proper flashpacking mobile (motor home) are roughly $180 per day
The standard vans are somewhat basic I.e double mattress with storage underneath and to cook on the stove its a case of opening the backdoor and standing outside, oh and forget having a fridge, they’ll be a cool box, but a cool box in a tin can on a 40C day. As much use as a handbrake on a canoe! This is OK for a few days but gets pretty tedious pretty quick and if its raining (it does rain in Australia yano) timtam anyone!?!? As for going to the toilet well, dream on…..you better be packing your shovel! The company Wicked Campers do offer a monthly deal to take the bite out of these prices a little but if you’re planning on hitting the road for any amount of time then it works out being cheaper to buy your own van.
Where can I camp?
This is where Australia really comes into its own. Pretty much any road, anywhere will have plenty of free campsites dotted along it. Some of these are basically just laybys round the back of bushes but are flat, what else do you need eh? Quite a few have free BBQ’s while other’s have fire pits with a griddle, go find some fire wood and your away. Some have toilets…. These are on the most part horrific!! Clamber up the steels stairs, open the door and be welcomed with a wall of flies and a stench that feels like its about to turn your face inside out! “If you’ve gotta go ya gotta go!” As well as finding some firewood you better find some leaves also 😉
P.s don’t drop anything down there…… You’ve seen trainspotting right!?
The best ones I found somewhere in NSW had showers, toilets, BBQ’s all situated at the side of a stunning river complete with Pelicans feeding on the fish your trying your damnedest to catch on the stale bread you bought yesterday (it doesn’t last long in heat especially if your a cheapskate like me and bought Coles own “1 dollar bread” I’m sure its stale as soon as it leaves the oven). All that and no one else around for miles.
There are some in national parks, these have a board explaining local walks and things to see, also a little donations pot, fire a few dollars in these as camping in those places for free is unbelievable. Although normally pretty busy go visit them as the scenery is the stuff of dreams.
Seems like hard graft why don’t I just be soft and stay in a hotel?
There’s only one answer to this you need…. The sky at night!!!! As soon as you get away from civilization and all the light pollution we create, the sun goes down and the stars come out. When I saw the milky way for the first time! speechless! It really does look like the pictures in astronomy magazines.
Even though that really is the only answer you could ever need, there are some others to bear in mind when debating hiring a campervan…
- If there’s two of you then it works out to be cheaper than renting a private room in a hostel, plus you’ve also got transport.
- Some larger campervans can fit 3/4 people which means you can share the costs and driving to make life even easier.
- If you find an amazing spot, and believe me there are many you can quite easily just decide you want to spend another day there and sleep there for the night. Everyone else without a campervan or tent will have to drive the 2 hours back to the hostel and then come back the next day. Nightmare!
In short any longer than a couple of weeks you’ll need a motor home and any longer that a couple of months you’re better off buying your own with pop-top and internal kitchen.
Again share the knowledge, fill the comments with amazing free campsites that you found! Where? Facilities? Activities?