I'm planning on travelling next April with three others and spending approx 1 month in Australia.
The idea of travelling around in a campervan for a month sounds amazing.
Just wondering if anyone has travelled Australia in this way (or is planning on) and has any views on the use of a campervan? Any advice on reliable and trustworthy campervan rental firms would also be greatly appreciated. And if anyone has any suggestions of a better method of travelling Australia i would be grateful.
I was looking into the same thing awhile ago. I found many options, but if your wanting to rent/hire, there was one company that stood out from the rest. I have talked to (in person) many people who used Wicked Campers in Oz. Not one of them has ever had anything negative to say about the service or the journey. I'm sure some people have had issues, as that's just the way the world works, (can't please every one all the time). But, for a month I think the services they offer would suite the month you described. They have various models of campers to choose from, depending on your needs. If I hadn't decided to just buy a van, Wicked is what I would be using, but I'm going for much longer (12-24 months) and the cost of rental for that long is not something I can afford.
Good luck with whatever you choose.
I've heard nightmare stories about Wicked. Please take any recommendation with a pinch of salt Sam!
Wicked is the most popular choice and i have never herd a complaint from the people that have used and are using them
Then you obviously don't read many forums. They are very popular and I'm sure they have many happy customers. They also have some who were less than happy! I think it's important to give people balanced advice when they ask questions. I've heard good things about Wicked and I've also heard horror stories.
yes your right, google anything in the world and there is probably a bad review. Stay in your house and never leave.
next time i will not leave my OPINION... As for forums no your right, I don't read many, I go out and talk to people, find out for myself that kinda thing. Works rather well 😊
We have rented a camper van on 2 occasions, both times for a week, and loved the freedom it gave us. Not only did they provide us with a place to sleep but to cook as well. (If traveling interstate remember quarantine restrictions on fruit and vegetables may be in place). A camper van let us get off the beaten path and see some of the more isolated areas that don't have other accommodations. We have stayed in some wonderful National Parks for free or minimal fees, and at some nice caravan parks. In fact we are preparing for a 10 day 4wd camper van trip for the holidays.
If you decide on a camper van you need to think about how much driving you want to do. We drove from Perth to Adelaide and it took us the full week. Granted we didn't drive straight through and took lots of detours and stops along the way, but it was still a lot of hours on the road. Also, if you are planning to take a camper van off road or on a ferry check with the company about restrictions. I know that the company we rented from didn't let you take the van on dirt roads unless you rented the 4wd--and even then some of the tracks, like the oodonatta, need special permission. We have signed several car rental agreements in Adelaide saying that we wont take the car into the Northern Territory or to Kangaroo Island. So my advise to anyone renting a car/van in Australia to run their itinerary by the company before making the reservation so that there are no surprises when picking the vehicle up.
I am not going to get into the "Wicked" conversation, we haven't rented from them. We have always gone with the company that meets our needs and gives us the best deal.
Hope this helps in your trip planning.
Welcome to TravelBlog.
These guys have just completed a year travelling round Australia; kangaroojack
I have researched this as much as possible and find it quite hard to find info, however I did find a very helpful site that tells you with everything you need to know about buying a camper van, or any vehicle, in Oz and also sells camper vans. You can also go to their lot to buy in Sydney. They are the Kings Cross Car Market. Gumtree also have alot of camper vans.
Hopefully it can help.
G'day! My 2008 trip in Australia was topped off by a campervan adventure from Surfers Paradise to Cape Tribulation. I loved doing this stretch by campervan because I could stop and check out all the great things along the way. Unfortunately it was extremely expensive, but a friend of mine came along to share gas and expenses, and we had planned to camp on the beaches and woods, but ended up wanting to stay in caravan parks because they were little minnie resorts with showers and bbq's and people and internet. So that upped the budget!
Very popular way though. Saw lots of wicked campers, and tents, and other Britz vehicles. Aussie land is set up for this type of tourism...as long as you are willing to pay.
I only wished I had two months, not two weeks to do this east side trip....and I will go back to Australia again and do a Darwin-Perth-Melborne with a campervan.
I thoroughly Reccomend getting a camper to travel Australia. My wife and I did it for three months (Perth-Darwin-Cairns-Sydney) in 2007. It was immense.
We bought our van in Perth so not sure about rental costs. We free camped everywhere we could (easy in W.A. and N.T, not so easy in QLD and NSW), there's a book you can buy which list all the free camp places in each state and what facilities they have. This approach saved us so much money.
I have a blog here which lists other costs if it helps...
The True Cost of Buying a Car and Driving Across Australia!
The one thing I would check if anyone wants to buy and go interstate (without going back) is check the registration details in each state. For example in Western Australia, you can register a vehicle in your name by post so it didn't really matter which state you sell it in, as they could easily do it. I think in NSW you need to be present in the state with the vehicle, so not much good if you buy a car with a NSW plate in Darwin. This was a while ago though so do check as it may (and probably has) changed.
Hope this helps anyone thinking of doing this. I can't think of a better way to do it... 😊
Great post MichaelnFaye! Very very useful.
We're also going to buy a van and travel for 3 months, although we won't be going to the west coast.
Outside of the van, what was your average daily spend between both of you (gas, camps, food, etc etc)? We've got $4k for the van, but it would be nice to know how much you spent day-to-day if you know those figures.
Did you get insurance?
Finally, how did you pay for the van (bankers draft, cheque, cash withdrawal, etc)?
Thanks muchly in advance.
Great decision... My wife and I loved it soooo much we're currently saving to travel to Australia, buy ANOTHER camper (or car/caravan) and travel around the country with our two (very young) sons. We're hoping to eventually settle somewhere, not sure where yet, but I've got a feeling it'll be WA or QLD.
With the WA Rego (registration) you get third party personal insurance included so you're covered if you injure anyone. You can buy third party property insurance separately which will cover their car. Assuming you hit their car, you may have rammed into their lounge... etc... And of course comprehensive is possible. We never got any of these which seems stupid now, but perfectly sensible at the time when every cent counted. Not sure about other states, but I think NSW requires you to have some kind of insurance (pink/green slip??????). Maybe some of our Oz peers can comment better on this.
We bought the van cash, which was a pain. As it was our plan to do this as soon as we landed we started withdrawing our daily limit on our Nationwide cards (3 cards, 2 accounts, free withdrwals abroad at the time). We gave ourselves 2 weeks but found one in 4 days so we had to start drawing off our emergency cards, which as they hadn't been used for months were cancelled, but were quickly reinstated with a quick skype call. These cards were with Barclays and it really hurt once they shoved all THEIR charges on top. We also sold the van cash, again giving ourselves 2 weeks. It only took two days thankfully so we had two weeks to kick around it Sydney (not a bad city to find yourself stuck in for two weeks 😉).
As for daily expenditure... All I can say is 'not a lot' I've just grabbed my notebook and opened it on Oz.. here's one of the weeks.
$3.5 - Ice
$32 - Gem Wash (fossicking)
$120 - Gem cutting
$52.95 - Petrol
$73.20 - Groceries
$43.31 - Petrol
$3 - Laundry
$24 - Crap shark killing exhibition (I actually wrote that in my notebook)
$3.50 - Ice
$98 Australia Zoo
$19.80 Photo Processing
$19.60 - Steve Irwin Mercandise
$39.41 - Petrol
$3.2 - Parking
$6 - Internet
$6 - Parking
$4.20 - Snacks
$3.80 - Ice
$42 - Petrol
$11.60 - Pies
$3.50 - Ice
$6 - Ice cream.
So as you can see our main expense was Petrol.... We bought food from the supermarket and used that for breakfast/lunch and dinner most days. Not bad at all, it's amazing what you can do on small gas stove/open fire. Some days I didn't open my wallet at all. I found one entry titled gas for $16, those little gas canisters certainly hold a lot. All the ice was for our Esky (coolbox) which we used to keep our drinks and milk cold (for tea and breakfast cereals, we are British after all). not sure what kind of person you are but my wife and I aren't all that young, and getting 'wasted' doesn't appeal so there's not a lot of 'drink' expenses in there.
hope any of this helps...
Excellent stuff again, many thanks.
I think I need to do some homework on the insurance sitiaution. As for payment, our plan is to load our credit card with the $4k we've budgeted. Then we can withdraw this from the card at a bank. I think I'll call the cc company to check I can do this.
I was hoping the daily costs wouldn't be too great - good to see you did just fine. We'll be covering half the distance so should save on petrol, but we may have to pay for a few more camp sites. We have a daily budget of £50 between us. I think this should be ok going by your figures (even with the crappy exchange rate).
We're not that young either (36 & 28) so booze won't be too high on our priority list. We're just looking forward to exploring wherever takes our fancy. Of course this will be after 5 months in Asia, so it seems miles away. Still very excited though.
Did you get your van checked out by a mechanic before you bought it?
"Not sure about other states, but I think NSW requires you to have some kind of insurance (pink/green slip??????). Maybe some of our Oz peers can comment better on this." - MichaelnFaye
Yes all cars are required to have compulsory third party personal liability before you can get your car registered.
Cheers Aaron - could you recommend any companies?
Here is a little reading for the basics of Third Party Insurance for cars. http://www.greenslips.com.au/
Greenslips is a generic term for compulsory third party insurance. Greenslips are also referred to as CTP Greenslips, green slips, green slip, greenslip insurance, CTP and CTP Insurance.
Your greenslip covers injury to other people when your vehicle is involved in an accident.
Your greenslip does not cover damage to property, other vehicles or to your vehicle, nor does the greenslip cover theft. Insurance for those occurences is obtained through different policies, which you should consider taking out.
This information is excellent!
Mike, I will be starting to read your RTW blog soon.
Chris, I imagine you are getting very excited (and maybe a little nervous? I imagine I would be). Can I ask what you mean about loading your credit card with the money for the van and withdrawing it? I have never heard this before and I am not too sure what you mean.