How to Prepare for an Australian Road Trip

One of the best ways to explore the natural beauties of Australia is to take a road trip. Being on the road is a great way of escaping the daily routines, broadening your mind and learning more about the country and yourself along the way. In order to make it memorable and worthwhile, the key word is preparation. This doesn’t necessarily mean it will be an exhausting process. Simply break it down into several stages and take one step at a time.

Here are some suggestions for what areas to cover.

The budget

Planning your budget is certainly an important part of making your road trip come true. Even though Australia is one of the most expensive countries in the world, it’s still possible to organize an affordable road trip. Plan in advance and calculate the cost of your vehicle, food, camping and various other expenses. And don’t forget to set aside some extra cash in case of unexpected costs.

The equipment

If you decide to rent a car or an RV in Australia, your biggest concern is to have it well stocked and equipped. Sometimes they already come fully or partially equipped, but whatever the case, this is the recommended gear you will probably need: camping equipment, tools for orientation and vehicle repair, first aid kit and toiletries and some fun stuff, such as board games, playing card, a football, badminton racquets, surfboards and Frisbees.

Surely, don’t forget your own personal equipment, such as your swimwear, beach towels, sun cream, sunglasses, shirts and shorts, but also be sure to pack a pair of good shoes for hiking and some warm clothes, too, for when the nights get cold.

The weather

Although Australia is located in the Southern hemisphere, the Sun doesn’t shine there all 365 days of the year. To be well-prepared, make sure you check the weather of each state. Generally speaking, summer is from December to February, autumn is from March to May, winter is from June to August and spring is from September to November. The biggest contrast is between the rainy season in the north, when it gets really hot and humid, and the winter in the south, when temperatures drop to about 5 to 15 degrees.

The vehicle

Going on a road trip means you’ll need a sturdy and reliable vehicle that won’t let you down halfway through. Therefore, it’s imperative that you have your car or RV thoroughly checked and serviced before you leave in order to avoid any possible future inconveniences. The best and safest advice is to give it into the professional hands of a reliable and trustworthy mechanic who will service your vehicle according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. In this way, you’ll have one worry less on your mind, and you’ll be able to relax more and focus on other aspects of your trip.

The roads and wildlife

An interesting fact about Australia is that it doesn’t really have highways. 80% of the roads on the East Coast are one-lane roads and the usual speed limit is between 65 and 80 km/h. It might be a bit higher in the Northern Territory and Western Australia, but be ready to take things slow.

Even when going slow, there’s always the possibility of meeting wildlife, such as wombats, koalas and kangaroos on the road. They are extremely attracted to the roads, especially at night because of the car lights. It is best to park when it gets dark and take a break till the next morning.

The route and destinations

Your itinerary really depends on your starting point. There are many roads to take, but some of the most often taken ones are the East Coast from Cairns to Brisbane, the Pacific Highway from Brisbane to Sydney, the Great Ocean road from Melbourne to Adelaide and the Stuart highway from Adelaide to Darwin, which will take you cross-country through heart of the land and the desert. You can also opt to see the south-western part of the country as well, by taking the route from Adelaide through Perth and up the coast to Broome.

In the end, it’s all about the journey, not the destination, and a well-planned and organised road trip will give you the best opportunity to enjoy the ride. Pack your precious gear, your charger, cameras and other essential gadgets, arm yourself with endless enthusiasm and hit the road.