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The wonderful world of car share in Australia
One of the best ways to get around this vast continent, wether it be for work or just to explore is sharing a car/campervan. Ideally one of the first things you do when arriving in Oz is buy a reliable “shed on wheels”. Here in the UK if someone says yeh the shop is just down the road were thinking of a gentle 5 minute stroll, you need to be thinking more like 30 mile. I survived on the “harvest trail” where work is seasonal and a 1000 mile journey to the next job wasn’t unheard of. So let’s see what the car share in Australia scene is all about.
Some people have small family hatchbacks, many have campervans and a few have 4×4’s. For some of the more exciting journeys off the beaten track 4×4 is the only way to go. 4×4’s hold there value well in Australia and are expensive to buy/run but for all the cost means you can go pretty much anywhere, a fair compromise if you ask me.
Fortunately if buying your own car is not a possibility then there’s always fellow backpackers who are happy to let you tag along, providing you can fit into their schedual and are on route or close by for pick up. The etiquette is to share fuel costs and drive time if you’ve got a license. In Oz anyone can drive any car as long as the car has valid “rego” (tax & insurance combined to you and me).
- Meet likeminded people: With so many adventures to be had in Australia, you’ll not be the only person exploring. Meeting new people who are interested in doing the same can only ever be good, there’s so much to learn from other backpackers.
- Share costs: For example, the trip from Melbourne to Cairns is roughly 3000kms, it’ll only cost you 750kms if you go with 3 other people.
- Stop and sightsee enroute: You can be in the most amazing place in the world but it’ll always be much better with people to share it with.
- You don’t know who’s car your getting in: Be carful people, you never know who is offering you a lift… Ever heard of Wolfe Creek!?
- That nice chap 500 miles ago is now the bain of your existence: Once you commit to travelling the east coast for 2 weeks with someone. you’re stuck with them. Maybe arrange to meet up before agreeing to car share.
Finding a travel buddy/car share
The places to find a car share are: social media groups such as Australia backpackers 2018 group, hostel notice boards but I found Gumtree most useful.
All in all, if you want to see as much of Australia as possible for the least money possible, then car share in Australia maybe the way to go. Get on Gumtree/Facebook groups, get talking to people, find some travel mates and happy adventures…