Lizzie and I drove across and down Australia in a camper van over the course of 5 weeks. We split the trip up into two parts: (Part 1) Sydney to Adelaide; and then got a flight up to Cairns and began (Part 2) Cairns back to Sydney. It was an incredible adventure.
Part 1: Sydney to Adelaide
Sydney => Kiama => Mystery Bay => Mount Kosciuszko => Lakes Entrance => Wilsons Promontory => Melbourne => Great Ocean Road => The Grampians => McLaren Vale => Adelaide
Part 2: Cairns back to Sydney
Adelaide => Cairns => Daintree Village => Port Douglas => Great Barrier Reef => Townsville => Rockhampton => Brisbane => Byron Bay => Gold Coast => Hunter Valley => Killcare => Sydney
A Brief Note on Campervan Hire
We rented three camper vans on this trip:
Juicy from Sydney to Adelaide
The Juicy van was by far the most expensive; in hindsight we probably would have taken a cheaper option. However, the benefits we had from the Juicy van were: (1) it was like driving a car; (2) it was the most recent model; (3) it had the best fuel efficiency; and (4) Juicy allow you to only pay for the toll-roads that you use, whereas Apollo make you pay-up for a fixed amount of $40. A downside of the Juicy vehicle is that it is really easy to speed in: the Australian roads have a low speed limit and the roads are long, straight and empty; with such a fast vehicle it can be a recipe for disaster.
Camperman from Cairns to Brisbane
After renting three vehicles this trip, this was our favourite. It just has much more space so that you can manoeuvre inside, and it is also pretty easy to drive. Camperman also had the nicest customer service. We did a relocation van for this part of the trip, which meant that Camperman gave us the vehicle for free to deliver it from Cains to Brisbane in 6 days with a $200 fuel allowance. Given that we only had 6 days anyway to get to Brisbane this was a great deal for us; relocation vans are a great tool for any travellers that just need to get somewhere at little cost.
Apollo from Brisbane to Sydney
This was definitely the worst vehicle of the trip and Apollo were the worst provider. However, Lizzie and I thought that if we were to own a camper van ourselves this model would be the best one to customise. Reasons why it was the worse: (1) Apollo gave us the vehicle in a bad state – there were ants, and there were small gaps in the doors, which meant that driving was noisy; (2) it was the oldest most dated vehicle; (3) fuel consumption was the same as the bigger camperman one above; (4) headspace in the back was not as high as the Juicy one; (5) Apollo staff had terrible customer service; and (6) Apollo made us pay an additional $40 for toll-roads instead of just allowing us to pay for the tolls we use like Juicy. The Hippie Camper was however the cheapest.
Do not speed in Australia! They have low speed limits and lots of hidden hidden cameras, even in the most rural of places, and the speeding fines are very heavy. Unfortunately we found out the hard way.
- Spend longer in the South Australian Wine Regions (McLaren Vale, Barossa Valley, Adeleide Hills etc…)
- Ghan Expedition (click link) from Darwin to Adelaide; going to see Alice Springs, Uluru (Ayers Rock), Kings Canyon and the other National Parks in the Northern Territory that are occupied by the Aboriginal Australians.