The best way to explore this huge country is definitely THE ROAD TRIP! Here are some tips that will help you to have an awesome trip and avoid unpleasant surprises.
1.Know The Season
- The Australian summer goes from December to February.
- Autumn is from March to May.
- Winter runs from June to August, and Spring from September to November.
- In the North, the rain season (also called suicide season) is between November and March.
- In South Australia, the winter can be pretty cold.
2. Buy A (Good) Car
I definitely recommend buying a 4×4 to explore every corner of the outback, the West Coast (Western Australia) and the North (Northern Territory).
A van is enough to visit the East Coast and the South. The roads are in pretty good shape.
If you come for few weeks and prefer to rent a car, you can find good prices on http://www.rentalcars.com/ We rented a car for 400 dollars for two weeks which was an excellent price at this time of the year (50% less than in a random rental car shop).
3. Sleep In Your Car
Don’t spend for accommodation if you don’t really need to. You gonna save thousands of dollars, trust me. How to build a bed in your car? Watch Adrian building our bed here!
When visiting the cities, we’d always choose a nice picnic area to spend our evenings, having dinner and so on. Then at nightfall, we looked for a quiet street, parked next to the sidewalk and slept in the car 😉 We never had problems.
Just make sure to respect your “neighbors” and don’t leave any trash behind you!
4. Download The App Wikicamps
Yes, it’s 5 bucks, but it’s so worth it! Wikicamps is the perfect app to especially find free campsites.
5. Avoid Driving At Nightfall
If you don’t want to crash into kangaroos, cows and so on, you need to be particularly vigilant at night, avoid a stupid accident and don’t drive!
6. Buy Not Just A Sim Card
I have to admit, Adrian had also with Optus once reception where nobody was able to get it. See here *me in 5 meters high in the tree with my hammock*.
7. Gas Stove. You Need It, You Want It.
The perfect essential to drink a warm coffee in the morning, or to enjoy “good meals”. If you have the opportunity to get a “double fire” it’s better 😉
8. You Can’t Make A Mistake With Dry Food
If you don’t have a fridge, like us, buy dry food. We almost ate every day a delicious meal made out of rice and tuna! We had fresh veggies every time we could find some.
9. Mosquito Net’s Gonna Keep You Calm (FLIES)
Absolutely necessary in the Australian Outback, trust me it will save your life! Make sure to save your money, but maybe not in this case. What I mean by that is, that you can really think about getting a bigger one, because there will be moments you get pissed, and regret is what follows… 🙂
10. Every day is Tarp-Time
If you don’t have a shade form on your car, get yourself a tarp.
It’s a really cool way to build a nice camping spot with shade or to protect you from the rain, yes it’s also raining in Australia! With the tarp you need as well at least 20m rope, to cut it (if needed) to the length you want it to be, and a little bit of skills to set up a nice camp spot.
11. Get An Investor.. ahahah I Mean INVERTER
This little life-saver is awesome to load phones, notebooks and even: EPILATOR! Look at me, in the middle of nowhere, shaving my legs! Easy Peasy!
12. Dual USB Charger
You know what I’m talking about, do you? 🙂
With this perfect invention, you can load 2 devices at the same time✌️ Isn’t that amazing? 🙂 No USB-Charger-Car-Fights anymore!
13. Get A Pocket Shower
With that pocket shower as part of your gear, all you need is water (around 2-3 Liter per person, depends how quick you are) and an object which is higher than you. Or your friend needs to hold it haha! But that’s pretty much it. After a long day of driving by 40 degrees or more, there’s nothing more refreshing than a quick rinse.
If you really need a comfortable shower, use Wikicamps to find caravan parks and public toilets. And don’t hesitate to go to a caravan park, they gonna ask you a few dollars to get a shower.
14. Buy A Shovel
Usually, you can find public toilets in every town but you never know where you gonna be. One great tip to “go to the toilet” in nature: make a hole on the ground, do your business, and bury it! I don’t need to tell you to put your toilet paper in the rubbish bin, do I? 🙂 Take it with you folks! Easy.
15. Get A Water Jerry Can
Check at Woolies or Coles, you can find big jerry can for around 5 bucks. Refill it always on the drinkable water points (you can find the water spots on Wikicamps as well).
16. Is A Petrol Jerry Can Necessary?
My first answer is no. On the East Coast, you definitely don’t need one. There is enough petrol station.
On the West coast, it’s different though. It can be harder to find patrol station near you and because you never know what’s gonna happen, get a petrol jerry can.
Tip: Don’t hesitate to visit a used cars garage, they usually have plenty of used equipment, like these jerry cans. We got ours for free from one guy who had hundreds flying around.
17. You Need Your Own Snorkeling Equipment.
You can find really cheap snorkeling equipment in Kmart. Yes, it’s not the best quality but it’s enough to explore the underwater world! For everyone with a beard, pay special attention now: Make sure to get vaseline to condense. You don’t want to get water in your mask, even with advanced snorkel gear it happened.
Imagine you swim with turtles and hundreds of fishes, it’s like a little paradise. And the West Coast gonna show you what it got! Trust me.
Yes, it’s possible to travel on a budget in Australia.
The most expensive part is going to be the petrol. It can be pretty expensive especially on the West Coast. Hundreds of kilometers no petrol station, so the few which are there go UP with the prices. Don’t freak out when you see prices like 2.00 AUD per Liter.
Sleep in your car on free camps
Don’t be too fancy about the food
= Perfect combination for a long and cheap road-trip.
19. Prepare Your Playlist
When you’re on the road in Australia, the signal can become a real drama! Don’t worry, prepare a big playlist before hitting the road. Looking for some inspiration? Check here 😉
20. Don’t Plan Too Much.
Talk with people you meet, travelers and locals, you always gonna find good spots to go to and to spend more time at. For instance, we actually were talking with a local from Broome and she told us about Quondong Point. The best, I’ll tell you! I mean, THE BEST. We drove there (4×4 only) and stayed at our own little private beach for around 4 days. It was amazing (Read the full story here). So don’t hesitate to change your plan and listen to what locals or other people say. If you like it, go for it! You only live once!
THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR READING! WE HOPE YOU GONNA MAKE YOUR TRIP UNFORGETTABLE! LOTS OF LOVE!
If you want to connect to share more TIPS with us drop us a message and we’ll be in touch asap.
Amandine & Adrian