Off the Beaten Path Tips from the road...for independent and adventurous budget travellers

Backpacking Australia: Tips for the Ultimate Road Trip

AUSTRALIA | Friday, 24 September 2010 | Views [9234] | Comments [2]

Australia is a vast country, spanning from rugged outback to glittering beaches. One of the most common ways for backpackers to explore Australia is to rent a campervan, pack up a few mates and take a road trip. 

Last year, WorldNomads.com sent 7 teams of lucky travellers around Oz to film and document their experiences on the road (check out their adventures).  Now they weigh in with their tips for the ultimate Australian roadtrip

Tips for the Ultimate Aussie Roadtrip:

1.) Take your time.

There is so much to see and do in Australia that you could spend months and months seeing just a small section of it. I like the idea of just doing one section of it at a time and seeing as much as you possibly can and then come back one day and explore another part of the country. – Patrick Shine, roadtrip Western Australia

2.) Go coastal.

Mostly stick to the coast, take your time, go cliff jumping, whale watching, sand-boarding, surfing, do as many water activities as possible, camp on Cockatoo Island in the middle of Sydney Harbour.  You could also visit the giant prawn, but this is not essential.  – Carly Stark, roadtrip New South Wales

3.) Explore the parks.

National Parks! It's like travelling back in time but without the dinosaurs! Although some of the wildlife is just as shocking! – Tim Ackroyd, roadtrip Victoria

4.) Get your own wheels. 

Buy a van and see the whole country. Every little bit. I’ve done most of Australia except Darwin to Perth. I would highly recommend South Australia to anyone. Not so many backpackers go there but I’d tell them to go and do everything we did. Drive the Great Ocean Road, go shark cage diving in Port Lincoln, go swimming with sea lions, party at the Fringe Festival in Adelaide, sandboard and Kayak on Kangaroo Island, get drunk in the Barossa and have a barbie under the stars in the Flinders Ranges. But I would tell them to do it all. Go 4x4ing on Fraser Island, go sailing in the Whitsundays, chill out and surf in Byron Bay, party in Bondi, go to Alice Springs and do a tour to Uluru. I love Australia.  – Victoria Brewood, roadtrip South Australia

5.) Take a hike.

Bushwalks, bushwalks, bushwalks! They are free, fun and beautiful. – Dara Simkin and Catherine Fleming, roadtrip Tasmania

6.) Don't skip the smaller towns.

Spend a few days in each town – it’s a huge country, and it’s not worth driving straight from city to city, as there’s so much to do and see in between!  Some of our best experiences were in places we’d never heard of, like Yamba, where we got to go cliff jumping, feed pelicans and surf every day. – Kirsty Stark, roadtrip New South Wales

7.) Introduce yourself.

It's not just the places that you travel to, it's the people you meet along the way that really shape your experience. There are many ways to meet people. You can go to a bar and shout into someone's ear. You can ask someone to rub sunscreen on your back at the local swimming pool. Or as we did you can hop into a 4WD convoy with 18 fun lovin strangers from 9 different countries, literally bounce around Fraser Island and have one hell of a good time. - Hamish Cross and Adam Rikys, roadtrip Queensland

8.) Discover the Outback.

I would recommend that backpackers heading to Australia head into the Outback. It might not be as densely packed with activities (and civilization) as the coasts, but it offers up, in my opinion, the most authentically Australian experience there is. The locals have thick accents, the terrain is a challenge, the wildlife is completely unique. And there are mindblowing sights everywhere – the Devil’s Marbles, the waterholes, the desert that stretches on and on forever, the big sky. It’s a trip not many people make, but it’s totally worth it.

But my biggest advice to those going through the Outback already is to go to every swimming hole you can find. Especially at Litchfield National Park. – Andrew Adams, roadtrip Northern Territory

9.) Get off the beaten path.

I would recommend they follow our same route from Adelaide to Darwin through the Stuart Highway. I feel like the NT is Australia’s best-kept secret. Roatripping to Darwin is a unique journey that strays far from tourist attractions and focuses on experience. -Willie Concepcion, roadtrip Northern Territory

Tips for Staying Safe on the Road

Our friends at Traveller's Auto-Barn have put together a three part series of things you need to consider before you take your Aussie roadtrip and what to watch out for on the road. 

The Roadtripper's Guide to Driving Australia:

Part 1: Choosing Your Wheels 

Part 2: Tips for Driving Safely

Part 3: Stop, Revive, Survive

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Tags: australia, backpacker, beaches, campervan, outback, oz, road trip, roadtrip, travel, van-tastic adventures

Comments

1

8) "But my biggest advice to those going through the Outback already is to go to every swimming hole you can find. Especially at Litchfield National Park." – Andrew Adams

Enjoyed the 'tribute' to Australia's outback but when you give out advice like this please remember that some swimming holes are deeply sacred and should only be visited by the local aboriginal people. The local visitor centre at Litchfield will have the details.

Travel safely and travel sensitively.

  Tracey Oct 24, 2011 3:36 PM

2

Hi all!
If you are travelling on a shoestring (like we did) you might be interested in relocating cars. We did it twice – the first time from Perth to Broome and the second time from Byron Bay to Sydney. You pay like 5 dollar a day and get a normal rental car, in our case it was a car from Britz. We even had a bed and a kitchen, so accommodation was included as well. For travelling Australia I can recommend the website Hi all!
If you are travelling on a shoestring (like we did) you might be interested in relocating cars. We did it twice – the first time from Perth to Broome and the second time from Byron Bay to Sydney. You pay like 5 dollar a day and get a normal rental car, in our case it was a car from Britz. We even had a bed and a kitchen, so accommodation was included as well. For travelling Australia I can recommend the website http://www.coseats.com/campervan_relocation. On the website you search for “relocation offers”. You book the deal and coseats contacts you. Very easy and cheap.
Have a good trip and save travels!

  Nadja Feb 10, 2014 10:44 PM

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