If you want to experience campervanning in Australia, you will not regret it! The country offers a lot of places to explore and a breadth of experiences. From remote Outback destinations, stunning coastal stretches on the East and West Coast, national parks, and tropical rain forests, Australia will not disappoint you. You can also find detailed itinerary ideas for Australia for travelling with a campervan.
Is Renting a Campervan in Australia worth it?
Yes, hiring a campervan in Australia is worth it, especially for solo female travellers over 50 seeking a unique and adventurous experience. Australia has an extensive network of well-maintained highways and scenic routes perfect for a campervan journey. Travelling by camper in Australia gives you the freedom to explore at your own pace and visit only those places you genuinely want to see. Additionally, it’s convenient because your accommodation travels with you.
Reasons Why You Should Travel in a Campervan Around Australia
Travelling around in a campervan in Australia allows you to reach places that are not easy to access by trains and tourist buses. Aside from this, if you’re one of the following, you should definitely consider doing so.
Who is fit for an Australia campervan experience?
- Long-term travellers going on a trip for at least 2 months;
- Tourists from overseas travelling for at least 1.5 months;
- Budget travellers who want to save money on accommodation;
- Solo travellers;
- Retired or semi-retired individuals;
- Students or career persons on a gap year; and
- Individuals who are relocating.
Let me explain more in the next section.
Pros & Cons of Touring Australia in a Campervan
Travelling in a campervan is great, but it is not without its limitations. Surely, for most people, the pros outweigh the cons. For a more realistic about this experience, allow me to present its advantages and disadvantages.
Here are the best reasons for touring Australia in a campervan:
● More destinations – As mentioned, driving around a campervan allows you to reach places not easily accessible by trains and buses. Because of this, you have the option to add as many destinations as you want to your itinerary! If you are a tourist from overseas, this is a great way to tick off as many boxes on your bucket list as you can!
● Freedom of choice – In contrast to travelling on a guided tour, you have the freedom to customize your own itinerary since you will be travelling privately. Having such kind of adventure is a huge plus for individuals on a gap year and who want to take a break from the grind!
● Flexibility – Since you will have your own itinerary, you will have room for spontaneity. If it turns out that you belatedly found a great destination accessible to your route, you can suddenly take a stop there!
● Slow travel – In a campervan, you can travel at your own pace. This is a big advantage for retirees or semi-retirees who want to take their time when visiting particular places.
● Dive into local culture – Since you have the option to take your time, travelling in Australia in a campervan allows you to not just visit tourist spots but to visit towns and get to know more about their cultures.
● Lower cost – When talking about campervan costs, it is relative depending on your priority. One way of looking at it is that travelling in a campervan is cost-effective since you’re paying for accommodation and transportation in one. Aside from this, since you are on the road, you’re actually saving travel time, instead of staying in a hotel for a night! Touring by campervan is great for budget travellers, long-term travellers, and those relocating. If you’re taking a long-distance route, you might even get discounts, which is a great way to save some dollars if you are a solo traveller! Relocating campers is also something to look into if you’re trying to make your trip as budget-proof as possible.
● Not having to pack – For many, packing is their least favourite about travelling. Fortunately, in a campervan, you do not have to pack as often, or ever, since everything you need will be in it! This is a convenient option, especially if you take a lot of stuff or will relocate.
● Comfort – Comfort is a debatable topic when it comes to campervans. But through the eyes of a homemaker who loves to travel, having access to your own kitchen while being on the go is unparalleled.
● Easy parking – While it is illegal to park your campervan and sleep anywhere in Australia, parking is relatively easy. There are plenty of options. Just take the time to research camper spots and take note of restrictions!
● Transportation freedom – With a campervan, you spare yourself from booking flights, trains, and buses separately and being subject to their schedules.
On the other hand, the following are the downsides of campervanning in Australia:
- Lots of planning – Campervanning demands a lot of careful planning. Aside from an itinerary, you must have a reasonable budgeting plan, convenient equipment, and campervan insurance. In the case of less ideal situations, having backup plans for unexpected problems is a must, too.
- Hard work – Life in a campervan, albeit temporarily, takes a lot of work. You must check your water levels, monitor electricity usage, and eliminate waste. You have to clean and maintain the vehicle regularly. People, especially couples, who like to share chores, will not have a problem with this!
- Can be exhausting – Driving can be tiresome, especially if your route stretches great lengths of Australia. If you are travelling in pairs or groups, it is best to switch drivers occasionally, but if you’re a solo traveller, make sure to plan enough stops and rest time along the way.
- Less comfort – In the aspect of comfort, campervanning has a downside. The vehicle is small and has limited resources. Hence, you may find it challenging to move around freely and limit your water use (no long showers!).
- Driving difficulties – The greatest views sometimes entail not-so-convenient paths. Heads up, it can be difficult to drive through tight roads in a campervan. Hence, only pick these roads if you’re an experienced driver.
- Less privacy – Because of the limited space, staying in a campervan means you will have less personal space if you’re not travelling alone. Plus, if you lounge outside, consider it a public space. But the great thing about the latter is that you might turn strangers into friends!
Things to know before Renting a campervan in Australia
If you have a time frame of 4-6 weeks and love a more relaxed pace for your explorations in Australia, then renting a campervan is probably the best way of getting around Australia. It also depends on the route you have in mind and the experience you want to gain from travelling in a campervan in Australia.
Travelling inland to Australia’s heart or along the East Coast from Sydney to Cairns or on the West Coast from Perth to Broome is one of the classic campervan itineraries that everyone would like to experience.
This guide will show you how to find the best campervan deals, what you need for them, and how to choose the best.
What you should consider when travelling Australia in a Campervan
- You are travelling with a companion or in a small group.
- The road trip itinerary is at least 1000 km, and you will travel over a 7-day time frame.
- You want to save on accommodation in Australia and have a more relaxed pace.
- To hire a campervan, there is a minimum of 7 days for one-way campervan hire in Australia.
- You need to pay a deposit 6 weeks before the camper pick-up.
- Additional camper insurance is necessary for travelling around Australia by camper.
- You should be familiar with the basic campervan essentials and the kind of experience.
What is the Cost to Hire a Campervan in Australia?
A campervan rental in Australia ranges from $100 to $200 per day. These figures do not include gas and toll yet.
How much does it cost to park a campervan in Australia?
The expense of parking a campervan in Australia depends on the season and location. Typically, a powered camping site costs between $25 and $65 per night.
How to Find Cheap Campervans in Australia
There are many campervan companies and comparison sites. I can recommend DriveNow for the best camper prices comparison and booking online. This site provides a wide range of vehicles and companies country-wide and has monthly deals of discounted campervans up to 75% country-wide. Furthermore, it also offers campervan deals for New Zealand.
The same goes for hiring a car. You can use the site with fast and easy searches to compare and find the best camper for your Australian adventure. Booking is Online, and the deposit payment must occur 6 weeks before the camper pick-up.
When to book a campervan?
As a rule of thumb, you should try to book between 2 and 3 months in advance. This is the minimum time frame to get good prices and strike a sale. The closer to your travel dates, the higher the prices and the lower the availability of all camper types. So plan well and carefully to save on campervan prices.
If you plan a campervan holiday in the summertime, during school holidays, Christmas and public holidays, it is highly recommended to start searching at least 4-5 months ahead. This is the only way to secure campervans at a reasonable price.
Australia is a top destination for campervan holidays, which are beloved by the locals, too. This means campervans get booked out quickly. There are various types of campervan vehicles. These suit all different needs, itinerary length, the type of roads and landscapes you will be driving through, and the type of adventure you are looking for.
Below is a list of all the things you should consider when choosing the right campervan for Australia.
How to choose the right camper for your campervan holiday in Australia
- Small Camper 2-Berth
The 2-Berth Camper is ideal for a solo traveller, a couple or a family with 1 child. Most campers have an equipped kitchen, aircon for the driver’s cabin, and inside the camper. Some have a shower and toilet and extra adds-on like a TV and DVD connection.
You can check out more details of the Britz Camper 2 Berth no shower.
- Outback 4WD-Camper
The main difference between a 4WD-Van, and a standard campervan is an engine that allows you to drive on unsealed gravel roads in the Outback. You will need one of these Outback Vans if you plan to drive across North West Australia or some remote areas in the Red Centre Centre and the country. They are excellent vans for all rugged terrains, and some of them also have a tent that you can put up on top of the roof. This is the ideal camper for 2 to 4 people looking for a real Outback campervan holiday in Australia.
More info here: Britz 4WD Safari Camper.
Motorhomes are larger campervans, and these are suited for a group of 6 people. Furthermore, they offer higher comfort and quality equipment. These have equipped kitchens, top showers and a bathroom, modern Wi-Fi, TV and DVD connections, larger water tanks, and the like. All campervans in Australia are powered by Diesel. I’d recommend using an automatic campervan for an easy drive especially if you are not used to driving on the left side of the road. More info: Luxus-Camper with 6-berth
8 Campervan Australia Tips for the Perfect Experience
Below, I’ll share my best tips on how to diligently and comfortably travel in a campervan and for the best holiday experience in Australia:
Practical tips for booking campervans in Australia
- Early-bird camper booking
Booking early is essential to grab a good deal and secure the lowest camper prices. Australians love their summer campervan holidays, and they book them early and fast. So bear in mind to book at least 3-4 months ahead if you plan to travel during the school holidays.
- Don’t forget to book the powered sites
If you travel by camper around Australia in high season, you must book in advance. And you can do it before leaving for all booked campsites.
- Pay road tolls online
Depending on the camper itinerary that you have picked, you are likely to pay road tolls. So it’s better to open a road toll account online for faster payments.
- When to fill up your camper
The best days to fill up the campervan are Tuesdays and Wednesdays Diesel prices are the lowest on these days.
- Camper with aircon
In the summertime, you will need campervans with air-conditioning. This is very important for surviving the heat and the high humidity typical of the tropical and sub-tropical regions in Northern Australia.
- Plan your daily campervan itinerary and routes.
There is a lot to see in Australia. Wherever you go, and even in the Outback regions, you will be amazed by how much you can do and see. So plan enough time for your routes and never underestimate the long distances in Australia. If you like spontaneity, you can start with a small itinerary and expand it as you move along. Again, there is a lot to see in Australia. If your time is not enough, you can always add new destinations for your next campervan trip!
- Plan stops when driving campervans
It would help if you plan a stop for every 100 km at any resting area. Also, you and your companions should swap behind the wheel every 2 hours.
- Take breaks in places where a campervan is not necessary: A breather from driving is a must, especially if you’re campervanning for months. For this, consider staying in and roaming around cities and big towns for a day or two.
Best Destinations for Campervanning Australia
Australia has a wealth of itinerary ideas and hidden gems. You’ll never run out of places to go to! If you’re wondering about which one to select first, let me walk you through the best Australian campervan routes!
For the East Coast, a campervan hire from Sydney is the most convenient. From here, you can drive all the way up to Cairns. But if you prefer a shorter trip, take your van from Sydney to Brisbane and stop at Gold Coast and Byron Bay. If you plan to go south, the drive to Melbourne will bring you past Jervis Bay and Philip Island.
If you plan to explore the South Coast of NSW, the drive from Sydney to Melbourne will bring you past Jervis Bay and Philip Island. Other options are renting a campervan in Melbourne and road-tripping to Adelaide or even all the way to Perth. This route will bring you past the Great Ocean Road and Experance. Alternatively, go for campervan hire in Adelaide. A road trip to Perth will let you explore the Barossa Valley and the stunning Nullarbour National Park.
Don’t forget, an island adventure in Tasmania is an option, too!
When it comes to the West Coast, Perth is the best launching pad. A convenient campervan trip on the South West Coast is a circular route starting and ending in Perth that will bring you past Margaret River, Cape Le Grand National Park and Kalgoorlie. For a real adventure in one of Australia’s lesser-known parts, make your way up to Broome and explore the Coral Coast along the way.
An adventure to the Northern Territory is unforgettable. A campervan hire from Darwin to Uluru will give you the chance to see the Kakadu and the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Parks! For a shorter trip, the Kings Canyon between Alice Springs and Uluru will make your trip an unforgettable one.
Frequently Asked Questions About Campervan Rental in Australia
How do I plan a campervan trip to Australia?
Planning a campervan trip to Australia takes careful research. Determine your destinations, map out your routes, set your budget, and do your resource planning. Having a daily itinerary will be awesome, just make sure you have room for flexibility and take note of school holidays! More importantly, book a campervan months before your trip!
How long does it take to travel around Australia in a campervan?
The duration of an Australian campervan travel experience depends on your itinerary. But typically, an average campervan trip for the best destinations takes between 6 and 8 weeks, which will give you a day or two at each stop. But if you want to see all of Australia in one go, then you’ll be spending months if not years.
Where is the best place to rent a camper in Australia?
All the major destinations are good bases to rent an RV in Australia. One-way rentals are common but keep in mind that you’ll pay an extra fee. Some companies might waive it if you rent for a longer period. The drop-off fee in remote locations such as Broome is typically a lot higher.
What licence do I need to drive a campervan in Australia?
If you are a local Australian resident, you need a standard driver’s license to operate a campervan. If you’re a foreigner, your foreign license would be enough. If it is not in English, an international driving permit written or translated into English is an additional requirement.
Can I sleep in my campervan anywhere in Australia?
Parking and sleeping in your van just anywhere is against the law in Australia. But don’t worry! There are a lot of stop options. I suggest you plan early and book campsites as soon as you book your campervan.
Conclusion: Ready for an Unforgettable Experience Campervanning Australia?
Travelling Australia in a campervan surely has its pros and cons, but the benefits outweigh the negatives if you ask me. The beautiful sights alone make the experience worth it. Just make sure to create an itinerary that best fits your preferences!
Hire a campervan in Australia? Here is a link to the page with all campervan brands available in Australia. Let me know your experience or if you have questions. Would love to hear from you!
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First published in June 2012, last updated in August 2023