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Epic Adventures: The Ultimate Road Trip Planner Australia

Welcome to Road Trips Australia, the road trip planner Australia where passion for exploration meets meticulous planning! I’m Felecia, a devoted travel enthusiast, and I’ve curated detailed, adventurous and achievable road trips from every capital city in Australia. Join me on a journey through the diverse landscapes, iconic landmarks, and hidden gems that make road-tripping through Australia an unforgettable experience. Your road trip of a lifetime begins here!

Best Road Trip Planner Australia: Crafting Unforgettable Journeys

Capturing coastal splendour:, into the heart of the outback, mountain escapes, township chronicles, historical and cultural exploration, discover regional produce, iconic australian landscapes and national parks, free road trip planner australia: unlocking affordable adventures, caravan trip planner australia: unveiling the nomadic wonders, tailor-made road trip planner australia: your personalized adventure, conclusion: your road trip adventure awaits.

Curating the best road trips requires an understanding of the diverse landscapes Australia offers. Our Road Trip Planner Australia is a collection of carefully crafted itineraries that capture the essence of each region. The Best Road Trip Planner Australia is more than just a helpful guide; it’s an initation to explore the diverse regions that define this vast continent.

What do I get with my Road Trip Planner Australia?

  • Choose a 7 – 14-day crafted itinerary for your chosen state.
  • Achievable daily driving distances averaging 300 km per day.
  • Suggested things to do and places to see.
  • Suggested places to stay to suit accommodation seekers, RV’s (Recreational Vehicles), and camping.
  • Each road trip planner has a map you can share with your device.

Further, we make trip planning easy: check out our meal planning guide , packing list , and the best navigation and travel apps to assist in a successful journey!

Road Trip Planner Australia

Helping you discover Australia piece by piece with Road Trip Planner Australia!

Road trip planner australia: marvelous driving holidays.

Escape the ordinary and embrace extraordinary adventures with our Road Trip Planner Australia for driving holidays tailored for 7 and 14-day journeys ideal for annual leave and school holidays. Unfold the ideal roadmap to explore unique pockets of Australia, piece by piece. Extend your trip to discover a new region of Australia: Perhaps fly-and-drive WA, Tasmania, or the Northern Territory, the possibilities are endless.

For those enchanted by the allure of the sea, dive into road trips along the mesmerising coastlines. Wind your way along the iconic Great Ocean Road , Victoria, be amazed by South Australia’s Fleurieu Peninsula or discover hidden coves, the peaceful beaches of North Queensland and charming seaside towns that dot the Australian coastline.

Road trip planner Australia

Venture into the heart of Australia with road trips that traverse the rugged beauty of the Outback. Feel the red earth beneath your feet at the Simpson Desert , witness the surreal landscapes of the Red Centre , and camp under a blanket of stars that illuminate the vast, open sky in Outback Queensland . The Best Road Trip Planner Australia unveils the secrets of the outback and the stories etched into its ancient rocks.

Guide to the Simpson Desert Crossing

Escape to the tranquillity of the mountains with road trips that lead to the high country. Explore the peak of Mount Kosciuszko National Park , the iconic Blue Mountains, or the Alpine region of Tasmania at Cradle Mountain , a haven for hikers and nature enthusiasts. Continue your journey through elevated vistas and charming mountain villages.

Road trips from Sydney

Each town becomes a chapter in Australia’s story. From historic pubs to the coastal charm of Port Fairy, the Best Road Trip Planner Australia invites you to wander through towns that have preserved the essence of Australia’s past. Explore heritage-listed buildings and local museum s , and engage with the stories that define these unique regional areas.

Venture beyond urban confines to discover the heart of Australian heritage in regional areas. The road trip planner beckons you to explore the remnants of the gold rush in Victoria , trace the convict history etched in the landscapes of Tasmania , and feel the ancient pulse of Aboriginal heritage in the windswept terrains of the Red Centre .

Victoria High Country 4x4 itinerary

For the connoisseurs of life’s pleasures, our road trip planner journeys by wine, distillery and food opportunities through Australia’s renowned regions. Taste the exquisite drops of the Coonawarra , savour fresh local produce along roadside stalls, and indulge in culinary delights across Tasmania or South Australia’s Coffin Bay Oysters . Discover a journey that excites your palate and elevates your senses.

Discover the breathtaking beauty of Australia’s iconic landscapes and national parks on our journeys. From the remote gorges of North Queensland’s Savannah Way to the Alpine National Park , our road trip planner directs you to these natural marvels. Immerse yourself in the pristine environments of national parks, where Australia’s unique flora and fauna come to life. Experience the awe-inspiring landscapes that define the continent, ensuring your journey is not only affordable but also rich in the unparalleled beauty of the Australian wilderness.

Savannah Way Itinerary

Embark on explorations with our Free Road Trip Planner Australia, tailored for all kinds of travellers, from those seeking accommodations to RV enthusiasts and budget-conscious wanderers. This planner is not just a guide; it’s a key to unlocking affordable adventures across the diverse landscapes of Australia. Whether you’re chasing sunsets in the Outback, navigating coastal roads, or seeking serenity in the mountains, this free planner ensures that the thrill of the open road is accessible to everyone. Let your journey be a testament to the idea that adventure knows no price tag and the beauty of Australia awaits.

For those seeking the freedom of the open road with your RV (Recreational Vehicle), Road Trip Planner Australia is your gateway to nomadic wonders. Explore the vastness of the Outback, coastal retreats, and lush hinterlands while enjoying the comforts of your caravan or RV. From the sun-kissed beaches of Queensland to the rugged beauty of Western Australia, our road trip planner is your roadmap to caravan adventures that redefine travel. Should you have the luxury of time, join the road trips together for an extended adventure.

So, no two travellers are the same, nor should their road trips be. Our Tailor-Made Road Trip Planner Australia presents the opportunity to have a customised adventure. Choose your departure destination and preferred places of interest, choose activities that align with your interests, and we can create a road trip that reflects your unique travel identity. It’s your journey, your way.

Contact us for the creation of your tailor-made road trip Australia!

At Road Trips Australia, we believe that every journey should be an exploration of self and surroundings. Whether you’re drawn to the coastal allure of the Great Ocean Road or the vast beauty of Australia’s Outback, our road trip planner Australia is created to inspire and guide. Start your engines, pack your sense of adventure, and let the roads of Australia unfold before you. The ultimate road trip adventure awaits – are you ready?

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The Ultimate Australia Road Trippin’ Guide — 10 Itineraries For The Perfect Adventure of a Lifetime

road travel planner australia

From cities to coasts and national parks to natural beauties, an epic road trip is the best way to explore Australia!

Recently, I rented a Blue SG car with my best friend and had a wild time driving 17km from Yishun to Hougang. It barely qualifies as a road trip, but it reminded me of my last trip to Australia . If you didn’t know already, it’s one of the sweetest places for a truly epic road trip!

Driving in Australia - Australia ETA (Visa Application)

Across the country, there are tons of routes packed with scenery, action and adventure. And it’s friendly for beginners (a.k.a. driving noobs) too!

It’s a bummer we can’t travel right now, but I’ve found that an instant mood lifter is to get your ‘ revenge travel ‘ plans in order (i.e. a long post-COVID-19 trip that makes up for lost time) — so here are 10 of the best Australia road trips to go full throttle on once we get the green light! 🟢

Overall Map of Australia Road Trip Itinerary

1) Coastal drive from Sydney to Melbourne

Coastal Drive from Sydney to Melbourne Australia Road Trip Itinerary Map

Journey time: 4–8 days (~1,300km) Starting point: Sydney Airport (~8hr flight from Singapore)

Between two of Australia’s largest cities, the coastal drive from Sydney to Melbourne (or vice versa) is sensational. Every inch of the way from New South Wales to Victoria offers quirky seaside towns, golden beaches and wondrous ocean views.

Part of the route includes the Grand Pacific Drive , a 140km stretch along New South Wales’s South Coast . It covers gorgeous attractions like the Royal National Park and the stunning Sea Cliff Bridge .

The drive from Sydney to Melbourne is perfectly beginner-friendly. There are many stops along the route whenever you need to stretch your legs.

Read more: Sydney South Coast Road Trip — 7-Day Itinerary From Sydney to Eden

Skydiving over Woollongong - Australia Road Trip Itinerary

Now, onto the epic must-dos. First, sign up for some adrenaline-pumping skydiving over Wollongong . Above the magnificent coast, you’ll freefall at speeds over 200km/h, wayyy faster than you’ll ever go on your road trip!

Kiama Blowhole - Australia Road Trip Itinerary

Photo credit: @kattgao via Instagram

After Wollongong, drop by the Kiama Blowhole and be blown away. Well, not literally, but there’s a good chance of getting soaked.

Alternatively, if you’re road trippin’ during summer, spend a night or two in Jervis Bay . You might be lucky enough to catch the phenomenal sea sparkles , or bioluminescence.

Penguin Parade on Philip island - Sydney to Melbourne Drive

Once you’ve crossed the border into Victoria , get ready for even more wow’s (and aww’s ). For nature lovers, don’t miss the adorable Penguin Parade on Phillip Island . It’s a heart-melting treat watching these little fellas waddle out of the ocean and scuttle around the beach.

Check out other island activities like scenic walks and visiting the cuddly Koala Reserve too!

Cape Schanck Trail at Mornington Peninsula - Australia road trip itinerary

Photo credit: @helenabradbury via Instagram

Before you reach Melbourne , make one last stop at Mornington Peninsula . Here, you can drink deep at exquisite wineries and explore the stellar coastline at Cape Schanck (recommended by Chris Hemsworth 🤩).

Got another week to spare? Extend your road trip from Melbourne to Adelaide just next door! Alternatively, if you’re flying out from Sydney , make the return drive from Melbourne to Sydney via the inland route . After coasts and busy beaches, you can now enjoy the quiet countryside and historic gold-mining towns.

2) Ultimate Australian Outback road trip from Darwin to Adelaide

Outback Darwin to Adelaide Australia Road Trip Map Itinerary

Journey time: 10–14 days (~3,000km) Starting point: Darwin Airport (4.5hr flight from Singapore)

Cutting across the vast outback, the drive from Darwin to Adelaide takes you through a series of wonderful and unusual landscapes. You’ll pass miles of red earth in the Northern Territory before reaching South Australia’s world-renowned wineries.

This adventurous route is more suited for seasoned travellers as you might be driving long distances (depending on your itinerary). Petrol stations are also few and far between, so plan carefully and refuel at every stop.

To eager first-timers, don’t let the long drives stop you from diving into this road trip! Just add a few more days for exploration and extra rest.

Uluru Ayers Rock in Northern Territory - Australia Road Trip Itinerary

Photo credit: @exploreuluru via Instagram

Deep in the heart of the Red Centre , the hallmark of this outback road trip is the monumental Uluru . Get to know it your way — see it from above with a badass helicopter ride , or join a cultural tour and learn about the sacred land and Aboriginal culture.

Coober Pedy Underground Comfort Inn Motel Room - Australia Road Trip Itinerary

Photo credit: @nealjennings via Instagram

Eight hours away lies the strange town of Coober Pedy . It’s the opal mining capital of the world, but the show-stealer is that the locals live underground to avoid the scorching heat!

Staying a night here is a must. It’s not every day you get to live in a posh B&B carved out of natural sandstone, especially one located 25m below .

Aerial view of Wilpena Pound in Flinders Range National Park South Australia - Australia Road Trip Itinerary

Photo credit: @alan.timms1 via Instagram

If you thought Coober Pedy was mind-blowing, wait till you hit the Flinders Ranges .

The national park is home to incredibly dramatic landscapes like Wilpena Pound , a massive bowl-shaped crater made up of craggy mountains. The best way to see it is through an exciting scramble up to its rugged ridges or a relaxing scenic flight .

Barossa Valley - Australia Road Trip Itinerary

Photo credit: @ashhughesphotos via Instagram

After days of non-stop adventure, wine down in the Barossa Valley — reputed as one of the world’s greatest wine regions. There are over 150 wineries and 80 cellar doors, so take your time to swirl and sip Australia’s finest Cabernet Sauvignon or special Barossa Shiraz.

The excitement doesn’t have to end in Adelaide ! Not too far from the city, there are plenty of jaw-dropping coastlines that are ripe for exploring, which brings us to our next route…

3) Scenic South Australia road trip — Southern Ocean Drive from Adelaide to Kangaroo Island and Mount Gambier

South Australia Southern Ocean Drive Road Trip Map Itinerary

Journey time: 5–7 days (~500–1,200km) Starting point: Adelaide Airport (~7hr flight from Singapore)

With an abundance of coastal scenery, tasty wines and native wildlife, the Southern Ocean Drive is one of the loveliest, lesser-known road trips in Australia. In fact, some consider it a ‘sequel’ to Victoria’s Great Ocean Road drive (more on this later)!

The route is great for beginner road trippers as there are plenty of stops to pull over at. Plus, attractions are relatively nearby one another. It’s likely you won’t drive for longer than three to four hours each day.

Fleurieu Peninsula McLaren Wine Region - Places to visit in Adelaide

Photo credit: @officialfleurieupeninsula via Instagram

South Australia produces half of all the wine in the country, so there’s no excuse not to indulge! Make your first stop at McLaren Vale in Fleurieu Peninsula . It’s home to some of the world’s oldest grapevines, and serves the most delectable wines and local produce you might ever taste in your life.

Wild Kangaroos on Kangaroo Island - Places to Visit in South Australia

Photo credit: @promotemytown via Instagram

Nature and wildlife lovers would adore Kangaroo Island . A good part of it is protected in nature reserves, so it’s no surprise to meet wild ‘roos and see other wildlife roaming free!

Cape Willoughby Lighthouse Cottage - Australia Road Trip Itinerary

Photo credit: TripAdvisor

To make your Kangaroo Island experience more unique, stay the night in a quaint cottage by Cape Willoughby Lighthouse . You’ll enjoy a well-deserved package: Exclusive privacy, calming sounds of crashing waves, and a magnificent sunrise view.

If you only have a few days, keep the road trip short and explore Kangaroo Island fully. Otherwise, take a ferry back to the mainland and continue your coastal journey.

Blue Lake Mount Gambier - Australia Road Trip Itinerary

Photo credit: @discover_mount_gambier via Instagram

Situated along the Limestone Coast , Mount Gambier is a city built atop an extinct volcano. Its main attraction is the mysterious Blue Lake , a huge crater lake. From April to November, the water is a distinct greyish-blue colour. But once November rolls around, it transforms into a striking turquoise blue.

The Blue Lake is not permitted for swimming, but its smaller cousin is! Satisfy your urge to dip at the Little Blue Lake , a giant sinkhole filled with pleasantly cool waters. It’s free to enter, and makes an awesome photo spot too!

Little Blue Lake Mount Gambier - Australia Road Trip Itinerary

Photo credit: @sarahafindlay via Instagram

4) Northern Territory Top End Nature’s Way Drive from Darwin to Katherine

Northern Territory Nature's Way Drive Road Trip Itinerary Map

Journey time: 8 days (~900km) Starting point: Darwin Airport (4.5hr flight from Singapore)

Top End Nature’s Way features a fantastic mix of tropical wonders and the fascinating Australian outback. Peppered with spectacular national parks, timeless Aboriginal culture, and the charming town of Katherine — this triangular route is especially geared for outdoor lovers.

Adventurous as it may be, the drive from Darwin to Katherine is actually easy. Main attractions are about three hours from each other. Roads are also well-paved, so you don’t need four-wheel drives (4WD). What you do need, though, are your best hiking shoes!

Kakadu National Park - Australia Road Trip Itinerary

Photo credit: @_danieltran_ via Instagram

The first must-visit is Kakadu National Park , Australia’s largest. Take a walk through  Burrungkuy (Nourlangie) , an ancient rock art gallery that showcases Aboriginal traditions. Or, pack your bathers and dip in the beautiful Gunlom Plunge Pool .

Crocodile Spotted at Kakakdu National Park - Australia Road Trip Itinerary

Photo credit: @traveling_yorick via Instagram

The huge park is also home to boatloads of exotic wildlife, including 10,000 crocodiles ! Feed your curiosity and join a croc-spotting cruise — you might catch these prehistoric beasts basking lazily in the sun, or silently stalking their next meal.

Canoeing at Nitmiluk National Park - Australia Road Trip Itinerary

Photo credit: Tourism Australia

In Katherine, travellers usually make a beeline for Nitmiluk National Park , and it’s easy to see why. The highlight is the Nitmiluk (Katherine) Gorge , a deep sandstone gorge that transports you to another realm.

While cruises are available, enjoy a bigger thrill by hiring a canoe . During the dry season (May–Sep), you’ll get enchanting views while paddling through ancient landscapes.

Swimming at Litchfield National Park Waterhole - Lesser-known things to do in Australia

Photo credit: @fewdaysbetween via Instagram

Finally, after days of fast-paced action, cool off at Litchfield National Park on your drive back to Darwin. The park has plenty of lush swimming holes, great for refreshing soaks.

In need of more adventure? Fly down to Alice Springs from Darwin and explore the Red Centre Way ! The route snakes through mighty attractions like Uluru and Kings Canyon . Seasoned travellers can rent a 4WD and zip through Mereenie Loop , a dusty dirt road.

Read more: 40 Lesser-Known Things to Do in Australia Highly Recommended by Locals, Travellers and Celebrities  

5) Grand Tasmania road trip — Great Eastern Drive from Hobart to Bicheno and the Bay of Fires

Tasmania Great Eastern Drive Road Trip Itinerary Map

Journey time: 2–5 days (~300km) Starting point: Hobart Airport (~8.5hr flight from Singapore)

Whether you’ve got a week or a weekend, Tasmania’s Great Eastern Drive promises a road trip getaway that’ll clear your head. Expect breathtaking coastal drives, pristine beaches and some of the freshest seafood around.

The drive from Hobart to Bicheno is mainly on sealed roads and highways, making it suitable for both beginners and seasoned travellers. Plus, attractions are less than two hours from each other!

Tasmania Maria Island Hike to Painted Cliffs - Australia Road Trip Itinerary

Photo credit: Maria Island Walk / Great Walks of Australia

Start your trip by disconnecting from civilisation. Take a 30-minute ferry ride from Orford to Maria Island . Hike to the Painted Cliffs , made magical by its bold swirls of earthy colours. The best time to view it is at sunset when the colours truly pop — just be sure you make it back to the ferry on time!

Sunrise at Wineglass Bay - Places to Visit in Tasmania

Photo credit: @itsworthashot via Instagram

Back on mainland Tasmania , dedicate a full day for Freycinet National Park . Wake early (or try your best to) and follow the Mount Amos trail to see Wineglass Bay at sunrise. The famous azure bay looks completely different when it’s bathed in a warm orange glow.

For the rest of the day, treat yourself to juicy, succulent oysters from Freycinet Marine Farm . Or, you could always work a little harder and harvest oysters straight from the waters.

Bicheno Penguin Tour - Australia Road Trip Itinerary

Photo credit: @lady_siu_mei via Instagram

Wildlife lovers, stop by Bicheno for a cute penguin tour . Every evening, little penguins splash out of the waters and waddle around their burrows on the beach. The tour lets you get up close to watch them go about their adorably busy routines.

Couple relaxing at Bay of Fires - Places to visit in Tasmania

Photo credit: @_aswewander via Instagram

Finally, drive an hour from Bicheno to the legendary Bay of Fires . Clumped together on the white sand beach, the orange lichen-covered granite boulders are a great place to rest, swim, and take lots of lit photos .

Read more: 16 Picture-Perfect Places Every Australia Itinerary Needs

6) Best of Victoria road trip — Great Southern Touring Route from Bellarine Peninsula to Great Ocean Road and the Grampians

Victoria Great Southern Touring Road Trip Itinerary Map

Journey time: 5–8 days (~850km) Starting point: Melbourne Airport (~7.5hr flight from Singapore)

No Australia road trip is more iconic than the Great Southern Touring Route ! You’ll feast well at the gastronomical Bellarine Peninsula , before winding along the marvellous coastline of the Great Ocean Road , and end with adventures in the Grampians .

The weeklong, round-trip drive is great for beginners. Most attractions are within two to three hours from each other, and there are plenty of stops along the way for rest and photos. Add more days if possible — this is one brilliant journey you don’t want to rush.

Bellarine Peninsula Little Mussel Cafe - Places to visit in Melbourne

Photo credit: @littlemusselcafe via Instagram

If you’re travelling to the coasts first, make a quick detour to the Bellarine Peninsula . Bring an empty stomach — the up-and-coming region serves delicious local produce, from insanely fresh seafood to full-bodied wines and decadent desserts.

Recommended eateries include the Little Mussel Cafe , Scotchmans Hill , and the Scandinavian Ice Cream Company . Or, plan your own yummy Bellarine Taste Trail !

Great Ocean Road 12 Apostles - Australia Road Trip Itinerary

And now, the main event: The Great Ocean Road . Take your time for this leg of the journey! It’s totally normal to stop every few minutes and take photos of the unbelievable coastline. But, make sure you’ve allocated enough time to see all its classic sights — the 12 Apostles, Loch Ard Gorge, the Arch and the Grotto.

Pinnacles Hike Grampians Victoria - Australia Road Trip Itinerary

As you drive back inland, stop at the Grampians , another must-visit attraction. The National Park is popular with outdoor lovers and travellers, who come to rock climb or conquer its adventurous treks.

If you only have time for one hike, make it the Pinnacle Lookout , one of the park’s highest peaks. The journey from Wonderland Car Park is moderately challenging, but filled with scenery that makes it a highly Instagrammable spot .

MacKenzie Falls Grampians Victoria - Australia Road Trip Itinerary

For a less gruelling hike, head to MacKenzie Falls . It’s one of the largest waterfalls in Victoria that flows all year round.

Read more: 8D Melbourne Road Trip Itinerary — The Ultimate Road Trip Around Victoria’s Best Adventures

If you’re craving more coastal scenery, extend your Victoria road trip from Melbourne to Adelaide . The route includes Port Fairy , a whimsical seaside town, and picturesque Mount Gambier .

7) Hidden gems in the Australian Capital Territory — Canberra and Coast road trip

Canberra and Coast Road Trip Itinerary Map

Journey time: 5–6 days (~650km) Starting point: Canberra Airport (8hr flight from Singapore)

For an unhurried escape, go on a picturesque road trip around Canberra and the South Coast . This round-trip route meanders from the city to the countryside and coast, topped with a mix of culture, adventure, and best of all — food!

As the road trip is relatively short, it’s great for beginners. Depending on your itinerary, you might be driving for a maximum of three hours a day. But there are many places to rest and take a breather along the way.

Hot Air Balloon over Canberra City - Places to Visit in Canberra

Photo credit: @balloonaloftcanberra via Instagram

Canberra is Australia’s capital, but not many travellers get to know the place! Rent a car and explore the city, teeming with friendly locals and cultural gems.

If you’re big on views, sign up for a fancy hot air balloon ride over the city. If not, tour around the impressive Australian Parliament House or the scenic National Arboretum .

Hunting for Truffles in the Truffle Farm - Things to do in Australian Capital Territory

Photo credit: @avenuehotelcbr via Instagram

After ticking off the city’s attractions, drive out to the peaceful countryside. There’s an abundance of fresh, farm-to-plate produce to savour, so bring your biggest appetite! During truffle season (Jun–Aug), many truffle farms offer hunting experiences, where you get to team up with a cute truffle dog that’ll sniff for this superb delicacy.

Other places to check out include traditional cider from Sully’s at the Old Cheese Factory , and Tilba Real Dairy for some rich, premium cheeses.

Breakfast in Tilba Lake Camp - Australia Road Trip Itinerary

Get some peace and quiet with some overnight glamping! There are many sites to choose from in the South Coast, but the one that holds a special place in our hearts is Tilba Lake Camp . Located in the middle of a sprawling green pasture, you get a cosy lotus bell tent, a comfy bed and a delicious homemade breakfast.

Bermagui Blue Rock Pool Sapphire Coast - Australia Road Trip Itinerary

Further down the coast, dip into the beautiful Bermagui Blue Pool . The good news is the natural rock pool offers some of the best views of the ocean, but be prepared — the waters can be quite chilly!

Once you’ve soaked up enough of the coast, end your road trip in Canberra.

8) Fun-filled Western Australia road trip — Indian Ocean Drive from Perth to Kalbarri

Western Australia Indian Ocean Drive Road Trip Itinerary Map

Journey time: 5 days (~1,800km) Starting point: Perth Airport (5hr flight from Singapore)

Few road trips are as vibrant as the Indian Ocean Drive . From Perth to Kalbarri , you’ll get a splash of colour driving past earthy landscapes, pink lakes and rich, red gorges. Arrive between Jul–Oct, and there’s also an explosion of multi-coloured wildflowers.

This route is part of Australia’s Coral Coast , and highlights some of the most exotic things you’ll ever see in the country. It’s also fairly easy for first-timers as there are many rest stops along the way. If you’re a seasoned traveller, don’t overlook this stretch — you might just discover something new!

Sandboarding at Lancelin Sand Dunes - Places to Visit in Perth

Photo credit: @szjanko via Instagram

Just two hours from Perth, kickstart your adventure with some rad sandboarding at Lancelin Sand Dunes ! It’s a great winter sport substitute if you’re not a fan of cold or frozen snow. Plus, the fine sand makes a soft landing too!

The Pinnacles Desert at Night - Australia Road Trip Itinerary

Like the ruins of an ancient city, the Pinnacles Desert at Nambung National Park is one of Western Australia’s definite must-sees. Each limestone structure stands perfectly unique, eroded by centuries of wind. You can stroll around in the daytime, but we’ve found that this place makes an exceptional stargazing site once night falls.

Pink Lake Hutt Lagoon in Western Australia - Places to Visit in Perth

Hutt Lagoon is a classic case of “you must see it to believe it”. The high salinity is what gives the lake its striking pink hue, which changes with the seasons and time of day. Naturally, it’s an Instagram hotspot — so dress your best and get snapping!

Nature's Window Kalbarri National Park - Australia Road Trip Itinerary

The final stop in the Indian Ocean Drive is Kalbarri National Park . It’s one of the most spectacular parks, with beautiful natural attractions around every corner.

Peek through Nature’s Window at the rocky gorge beyond, or check out the Kalbarri Skywalk . The park’s newest addition hovers more than 100m over the Murchison River, offering panoramic views of the arid landscape below.

If you’re here between Jul–Oct, wander around the Everlasting Wildflower Trail . The space comes alive with a burst of pretty, blooming wildflowers .

Kalbarri Wildflower Trail - Australia Road Trip Itinerary

Photo credit: @roadtrippersaus via Instagram

Afterwards, follow the road back to Perth on your final day. But, if you have more time, extend your road trip down the Coral Coast .

Read also: 11D Western Australia Itinerary — Coastal Road Trip From Perth To Ningaloo

9) Epic Queensland road trip — Great Beach Drive from Noosa Heads to Rainbow Beach and Fraser Island

Queensland Great Beach Drive Road Trip Map Itinerary

Journey time: 4–7 days (~420km) Starting point: Noosa Heads (~1.5hr drive from Brisbane Airport, 8hr flight from Singapore)

Here’s something for the young, wild and free! The Great Beach Drive to Fraser Island is as rugged as Aussie road trips get. In a comfy 4WD, you’ll cruise over 100km of beaches, sandwiched between wild bushland and the dazzling Coral Sea.

As the road trip requires a 4WD for off-road driving, it’s perfect for seasoned travellers. The backseat drivers can handle the road trip playlist and the vehicle access permit 😛

Wild Kangaroo Lazing at Noosa North Shore - Australia Road Trip Itinerary

Photo credit: @t.becs via Instagram

Starting from Noosa Heads, take a 5-minute ferry ride from Tewantin or make a 40-minute detour to Noosa North Shore . In this unspoilt paradise, enjoy some beachside activities, or play a game to see who can spot wild kangaroos the fastest.

Teewah Beach Great Beach Drive - Australia Road Trip Itinerary

Photo credit: @manuelo.pro via Instagram

Further up, bask in the endless white sands of Teewah Beach . It’s only accessible via a 4WD so this is where your beachy journey begins! It’s also largely undeveloped — check that you’ve packed enough water and supplies, especially if you’re camping overnight .

Rainbow Beach - Places to Visit in Brisbane Queensland

Photo credit: @tracks.we.travel via Instagram

Continue on to Rainbow Beach . The lovely coastal town is famous for its coloured sand cliffs, caused by minerals staining the sand over thousands of years. Take a slow stroll and observe the natural swirl of colours ranging from white to ochre and red.

Maheno Shipwreck at Fraser Island 75 Mile Beach - Australia Road Trip Itinerary

Photo credit: @alexxsadventures via Instagram

Finally, brace yourself for the grand event! From Inskip Point, take a short ferry ride across the ocean to Fraser Island . It’s the world’s largest sand island, and many come to conquer the glorious ‘highway’ that is 75 Mile Beach (that’s ~120km, FYI).

During your drive, swing by the Maheno shipwreck for photos and the Champagne Pools for a natural bubbling ‘jacuzzi’. Be sure to visit Fraser Island’s amazing rainforest too — it’s the only one on this planet that grows on sand!

10) Legendary Pacific Coast Touring Route from Sydney to Byron Bay

Legendary Pacific Coast Drive Road Trip Itinerary Map

Journey time: 9–14 days (~1,000km) Starting point: Sydney Airport (~8hr flight from Singapore)

The Legendary Pacific Coast is another iconic route. The drive from Sydney to Byron Bay up to Brisbane is full of quintessential Aussie experiences — bucket-list-worthy adventures, soft, sandy beaches, and countless places to surf.

The route itself is a 10-hour stretch, but it’s pretty manageable if you break the distance down over two weeks. Following this, beginners would drive for a maximum of two hours every day on smooth, sealed roads.

Bouddi National Park Putty Beach - Places to Visit in Sydney

If you’re not keen on exploring the famous Blue Mountains , opt for the quieter Bouddi National Park . Hop on the many scenic tracks , which feature sandstone cliffs, isolated beaches and vibrant native bush.

Group of People Quad Biking on Stockton Sand Dunes - Places to Visit in Sydney

Photo credit: @sand_dune_adventures via Instagram

Further up north, the adventures begin! Port Stephens is where you’ll find the Southern Hemisphere’s largest moving coastal dunes — and there’s no better way to explore this shifting desert than with quad bikes (your first step to a 4WD!).

Read also: 9-Day Australia Road Trip Itinerary Around The Best Of NSW — Sydney, Blue Mountains and Beyond

Byron Bay Main Beach - Australia Road Trip Itinerary

Warning: Once you’re in Byron Bay , you might find it terribly hard to leave. The sun-kissed seaside town is arguably the best-kept secret in New South Wales , and there’s absolutely no shortage of things to do.

Read also: Byron Bay Guide: 25 Things to Do in NSW’s Ultimate Hipster Paradise

Experiences we 100% recommend include surfing at Main Beach , dining on fresh seafood at Catch-A-Crab , and watching the sunrise at Cape Byron Lighthouse . Meanwhile, Chris Hemsworth recommends diving at Julian Rocks (no kidding!).

Wet N Wild Theme Park - Places to Visit in Gold Coast

Photo credit: @goldcoast_themeparks via Instagram

If you’re itching for more road trip adventures, drive a little further up to the Gold Coast or Brisbane in Queensland . Take your pick from hair-raising Gold Coast theme parks or the mellow Brisbane Brewing Co .

Read more: 2-Week Australia Road Trip from Sydney to Byron Bay — Discovering NSW’s Legendary Pacific Coast

Driving tips and planning for an unforgettable road trip in Australia

Long Road in Western Australia - Australia ETA (Visa Application)

In a land so vast and wondrous, not exploring Australia on a road trip is a real shame. Even then, whether you decide to stay in the cities or hit the road, this country won’t have any problems curing your wanderlust !

All you need to do is find underrated things to do , or seek out socially-distant natural wonders . Hey, safety is sexy, no?

Renald and Sherry Reviewing a Map

Speaking of safety, here are some useful driving tips for the long road ahead 👇 (1) Rent a GPS or download offline Google maps. Mobile reception isn’t available in remote places like National Parks. (2) Follow the speed limit — even in rural areas. Take it from us, the fines are hefty. (3) Watch out for wildlife on the roads. Drive at the recommended speeds, so that you can slow down or brake in time if an animal crosses in front of you. (4) Similarly, avoid driving in the dark as animals are more active then. If you do, use your high beam to see further ahead. Drop it when there are cars in the other direction (they’ll do the same too).

Need more ideas to plan your next Australia road trip? Find more guides and detailed maps for self-driving itineraries here !

Featured and Facebook image credit: @tracks.we.travel via Instagram

Which Australia road trip are you keen to go on? Share your plans in the comments!

This post is brought to you by Tourism Australia .

For more travel inspiration, follow us on Facebook , Instagram , YouTube , and Telegram !

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All Destinations , Australasia , Australia , Road Trip Itineraries

Road trip in australia: an itinerary for the whole country.

road travel planner australia

G’day mates, I’m here to take you on a 6 month long road trip in Australia.

Well, I’m not actually taking you (although maybe I’ll get the chance to do guided road trips around this beautiful country at some point, watch this space!), but, with this 6 month itinerary for the ultimate Australian road trip, you’ll know exactly where to go and when .

This Australia road trip planner is customizable depending on your wishes, but I’ve added suggested lengths of times in each location. I

’m recommending at least six months to orbit Australia (this Australia road trip itinerary takes you into the centre as well).

Australia is big and some days will consist of just driving.

Also, this itinerary doesn’t include for rest and admin days – so do take that into account when you plan your road trip in Australia.

I’ve also got dozens of more detailed itineraries for different segments of the road trip, as well as city and region itineraries for different parts of the country.

You can click through to them using the links below – all links open in a new window.

So wherever you’re visiting on this island, and whether you’re backpacking in Australia or on a road trip with toddlers , you can use this 6 month itinerary to plan your ultimate Australia road trip.

Shall we begin?

When to take the road trip in Australia?

road travel planner australia

I recommend that you begin the road trip in Melbourne in March or April.

Of course, you don’t have to begin at this time, or even in Melbourne. Most travellers fly into Melbourne or Sydney, and as Melbourne is the most temperamental weather – wise, I thought it would be nice to give you two chances to see it in its glory.

Plus, Tasmania, which I’ve put on the end of this road trip Australia itinerary, is accessible from Melbourne.

I’d recommend starting your road trip from Melbourne in March or April, as this should give you the best weather everywhere – it’ll be a bit cold in the south at first, but it will quickly warm up.

Then once you’ve returned to Melbourne, you’ll have a summer there!

Of course, if you want to start in Darwin (which is the cheapest place to fly into from Asia), then you could do this loop starting in September or October, skipping the rainy season in the north and arriving back there for the high season.

Bear in mind that some parts of the north, like Kakadu and the Gibb River Road, are inaccessible during the rainy season.

The south is still great during the winter, but may be a bit chilly and it is more rainy. Some rough outback roads all over the country can be closed when it rains.

What to pack for the Australia road trip

road travel planner australia

I’m going to be writing a full road trip Australia packing list very soon, but here’s some staples you’re not going to want to forget:

  • A car or van (just in case you forget!). If you want a car like my Subaru, you can find deals on a Subaru model on KBB, BCP, Edmunds and other huge sites. For my budget, I couldn’t have asked for a better car in Australia. It’s a great vehicle for road tripping, with AWD capacities and a fantastic reputation for reliability – actually, its Outback model is on the Consumer Reports’s best road trip vehicle lists!
  • High quality tent if you’re not sleeping in your car/ van
  • High quality sleeping bag suitable for both tropical and temperate climates
  • Mattress – a blow up, camping mat or full on double inflatable mattress (you might want to opt for the latter if you’re camping for six months).
  • An esky – that’s Australian for coolbox, by the way – or a cooler bag .
  • A camping stove
  • Gas for said stove
  • Pots and pans
  • High quality torches
  • Coolant, oil, jump leads, and a spare fuel tank for the car
  • Ask for some of these gifts for campers for Christmas as some extras!
  • If you’re planning on doing some serious off-roading and have a 4×4 (only do off-roading in a 4×4!) You might also want some quality 4×4 accessories. Check out Lifestyle 4x4s range here. 

If you haven’t left your home country yet, check out my what to pack for Australia list to check you’ve got all of the essentials covered.

Where to stay during your road trip around Australia

road travel planner australia

I’m presuming you’ll be camping around most of Australia – download the app WikiCamps to help you find free and paid campsites, and check out my free camping in Australia post to get the basics.

In places where campsites, free or paid, aren’t readily available, I’ve recommended some hostels and hotels.

You can also of course use Airbnb (click here for money off your first booking) and Couchsurfing, depending on your travelling style.

Road Trip Australia Itinerary for 6 Months on the Road

Melbourne: 3 days.

road travel planner australia

There are so many things to do in Melbourne; it’s been voted the world’s most liveable city time and time again for a reason.

From the wealth of museums to the amazing coffee, to cultural attractions like the AMCI and the Victoria Art Gallery, to the many vintage stores, to the beautiful library, you certainly won’t get bored during your time here!

You might not quite have seven days in the city, but this Melbourne itinerary will help you get to grips with the place.

Oh, and are you conscious of not spending too much at your first stop? I got ya! I had an erm… interesting time in Melbourne where I only had about $14 to my name.

Check out my tips for visiting Melbourne on a budget here.

There aren’t many places to free camp near Melbourne – I stayed at Urban Central Hostel, which is decent (although no free parking). You can book in by clicking here .

Victoria Hotel Backpackers is 5km from the city centre, but does have free parking. Click here to book .

Want to stay somewhere a bit more upscale? The Novotel Melbourne is a good option, close to the centre and with free parking. Click here for rates and to reserve .

Melbourne to Sydney: 1 week

road travel planner australia

The Melbourne to Sydney road trip is one that’s well-trodden with travelers, but it still isn’t hard to find somewhere that’s a little off the beaten path.

Highlights include Wilson’s Promontory National Park , Lakes Entrance , Eden , camping in a NSW state forest and Jervis Bay .

Once you reach Jervis Bay, if you want, you can take a detour inland to Canberra , the nation’s capital and to the beautiful Blue Mountains National Park – a must-see about 3 hours west of Sydney.

Sydney: 3 days

road travel planner australia

Sydney’s the most famous city of Australia, and one that all tourists want to visit, but there’s more here than just an opera house. Once you’ve seen the crowning glory from a few different angles – from Darling Harbour, Mrs Macquaries Seat and of course, up close are my favourites – check out some of the other things to do in Sydney.

It’s famous for its beaches of course; Bondi, Glebe and Manly are firm favourites. Click here for my three days in Sydney itinerary. There are some really great hostels in Sydney – although they’re bladdy expensive.

Bounce is really well facilitated, but it’ll set you back around $40 for a dorm room. I also really like YHA Railway Square, where you can stay in dorms in train cabins! Click here to book .

If you want free parking, you’ll need to stay a bit further out. I’ve also stayed in Cambridge Lodge Budget Hostel which is near Newtown – it has cheap dorm rates (for Sydney) and free parking. Click here to book .

If you’re looking for a hotel, Veriu Broadway is in a good location and has free parking. Click here to book .

Sydney to Brisbane: 1 week

road travel planner australia

The Sydney to Brisbane road trip takes in some amazing nature spots, as well as my favourite place in the world, Byron Bay.

Driving north, you’ll reach Newcastle fun things to do in this town here (check out some ) and Port Macquarie before turning inland towards the Waterfall Way .

This hinterland is beautiful, so give yourself a bit of time to properly absorb it all.

Then head out toward Coffs Harbour and up to Yamba , a chill beach town with some great natural spots.

Then it’s time for Byron Bay and its surrounds – check out these great things to do in Bryon Bay and don’t forget to see its hinterland.

Then you’ll cross into Queensland – the Gold Coast is your first point of call, with Surfer’s Paradise being a place to let your hair down before relaxing on some of the other beaches!

Finally, you’ll arrive into the capital of the sunshine state, Brisbane .

Brisbane: 3 days

road travel planner australia

Brisbane is often an overlooked Australian city, but it’s well worthy of a spot on your road trip around Australia. It’s a chilled out, breathable place, with lots of attractions to pass a few days in.

Check out the Brisbane Botanical Garden, the Brisbane Museum, the City Beach and the sunset from Kangaroo Point Cliffs.

If you’re already missing nature, head to Stradbroke Island which is very close to the centre and feasible as a day or overnight trip. You could even go camping at Adder Rock if you don’t want to return to the city for accommodation!

City Backpackers HQ is my preferred Brisbane hostel – and it has free parking! It’s reasonably priced and has a bar, a pool, a terrace with city views and $10 nightly dinner deals. Click here to book .

For a hotel option, Ibis Styles is a great option in the middle of the city. Click here for rates and book today .

Brisbane to Cairns: 3 weeks

road travel planner australia

The most popular one of all the Australian road trips, Brisbane to Cairns is the one where you’ll see the most travellers – and for good reason.

There are tons of amazing spots here, and it’s also the perfect spot to make some friends!

Highlights include Noosa National Park , Fraser Island , surfing at Agnes Water , the Aboriginal cultural centre at Rockhampton , the Whitsunday Islands , Magnetic Island , diving or snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef , and the beautiful Daintree Rainforest .

Cairns is another place you’ll probably be wanting to stay in a hostel – all of the free campsites are quite far out.

Gilligans has free parking, and the rest – it’s a really well facilitated place, with lots going on, but is only for those who are dedicated to partying!

If you want somewhere a bit more chilled, Cairns City Backpackers has free parking as well and has a calm courtyard and good atmosphere. It’s a 15 – 20 minute walk from the centre. Click here for rates and book today .

Want a hotel? Double Tree Hilton Cairns is a great place to relax and unwind! Click here for rates and book today .

road travel planner australia

You’ll need a four-wheel drive for this segment of the road trip; and it’s somewhere really off the beaten track. Think rainforest, crocodiles, rugged tracks and beautiful beaches, eventually making it to the tip of Australia.

Accommodation on the way will be free camping, and there’s only the odd roadhouse or pub – this is proper off the grid living.

Cape York was a spot I didn’t make it to (and I can’t wait to return to Australia and go!) – here’s a great 7 day itinerary for the trip to the tip .

Cape York to Uluru: 1 week

road travel planner australia

From the base of Cape York, rejoin the highway and head westwards, towards the Northern Territory border .

You’ll see a really distinct landscape here as the terrain changes, and experience towns like Karumba and Burketown (if you take highway one) or Charters Towers and Mount Isa (if you take the A6).

Either way, it’s a lot of country towns, desolate scenery and hot temperatures! Once you reach the Stuart Highway, turn down and head towards your ultimate destination: Uluru .

You’ll be able to see the attractions on the Stuart Highway on the way back up, but by all means stop at them on the way down as well!

Uluru is an unmissable place in Australia and at least 2 full days should be spent here.

Take some time to walk around the base and see the rock art, do some of the walks in the area to the gorges, and see Katja Tutja on the Valley of the Winds walk.

Uluru to Darwin: 2 weeks

road travel planner australia

After some time at beautiful Uluru, make your way north. If you have a 4WD or an AWD (or you can do it in a 2WD if you’re daring – do double check road conditions before you head out though!) take on the Red Centre Way .

This is a loop that takes you to King’s Canyon and then to Alice Springs the back way.

You’ll get to check out the West McDonnell Ranges , which are really spectacular, and drive along rough, outback roads. You might see wild ponies and camels!

Then head to Alice Springs for a couple of nights.

Next, head north to Tennant Creek , stopping in Wycliffe Well – the UFO capital of Australia – and at the Devil’s Marbles . You’re approaching the top end now; after Tennant Creek spend a night at Daly Waters , a fantastic pub and campground.

Mataranka has some beautiful springs and sweltering Katherine is your next stop, with the Nitmiluk National Park . Then it’s on to Kakadu National Park and finally, to Darwin .

Darwin: 3 days

I love and hate Darwin at the same time.

It’s a great place to let your hair down and party, if that’s your scene – but the backpacker crowd is typically pretty OTT.

There are some fun things to do in Darwin , however – the Military Museum is a must, as is the Art Gallery and Museum of the Northern Territory.

If you have the funds, a day trip to the Tiwi Islands is a must-do as well.

Plus there’s Charles Darwin National Park and the lagoon which is perfect for a dip on a sweltering Darwin day.

Darwin hostels are… interesting. If you’re there to party and don’t mind sacrificing on sleep and erm a certain standard of cleanliness, Youth Shack is an option – I found the dorms and bathrooms not the cleanest, but there is a really nice pool area. (Have I sold it? Click here if you want to book after my rave review 😉 )

Melaleuca has higher cleanliness, but is even more of a party place (if possible!). Click here for more information .

If you want somewhere chill on a budget in Darwin, I’d recommend staying at a campsite out of the city, finding somewhere on Airbnb – use this link for $44 off your first booking – or Couchsurfing .

I’ve done all of these in Darwin!

The Argus Hotel is modern, comfortable and clean and has a pool and on-site restaurant. Click here for rates and to book .

Darwin to Broome (via the Gibb River Road): 2 weeks

road travel planner australia

Heading south, your first stop should be Litchfield National Park .

I don’t find it as breathtaking as Kakadu, but it’s worth the stop.

Then head west, towards the border with Western Australia. It’s a long old drive, but once you’ve crossed it, head into Kununurra and check out some of the town’s attractions.

Then it’s time for Lake Argyle – this beautiful spot is perfect for kicking back in for a couple of days. Make sure you stay in the Lake Argyle campsite and enjoy its amazing infinity pool!

If you have a 4WD or AWD (I did it in an AWD, much to a lot of people’s disbelief!), take on the Gibb River Road .

This is my favourite part of Australia – 660 kilometres of gorges, waterfalls, secluded campsites and unmissable nature.

You’ll get off the road at Derby, from which it is a 2-hour drive to Broome.

Broome to Perth: 3 weeks

road travel planner australia

Spend a few days recharging in beautiful Broome , making sure you don’t miss a sunset!

If you’re there during Staircase to the Moon, it’s well worth checking out.

Gantheaume Point is amazing for dinosaur footprints and cliff jumping, and if you have a 4WD Cape Leveque is a great spot to head up to.

Broome town centre has some interesting attractions which nods to its Indigenous heritage and history as a pearling town. If you’re wanting to stay in the heart of Broome or Cable Beach, you’ll need to pay for accommodation.

I spent a month at Cable Beach Backpackers, which is a small hostel with a really nice atmosphere. Click here for more information and to book .

If you want to stay in Broome town Kimberley Klub YHA is a good option. Click here for rates and book today .

For somewhere a bit more private, try Broome Vacation Village. Click here for more information and to book .

Once you hit the road again, your first stop will be 80 Mile Beach and then Port Hedland .

From Port, you can head southwards to Karijini National Park – one of the best in Australia.

Then head out to the west coast to Exmouth and the Ningaloo Reef .

If it is the right time of year, you can go snorkeling with whale sharks here; a bucket list experience.

Diving at the Navy Pier is also incredible. From Exmouth, head south to the country town of Canarvon and then Shark Bay .

Going south more will take you to Kalbarri National Park , Geraldton and then the Coral Coast .

The Indian Ocean Drive here is incredible, as you drive right next to the sea. The Pinnacles, Lancelin and New Norcia round off your west coast itinerary before arriving in Perth.

Perth: 4 days

road travel planner australia

Perth is my favourite Australian city .

I love the spaciousness, the blue skies, the copious amounts of water. Spend a day in the CBD, seeing the attractions there like Elizabeth Quay and King’s Park.

Day two should be spent in funky Fremantle, a hip suburb with lots of attractions .

On day three, head to the Perth Hills to see another side of the city.

Finally, take a ferry over to Rottnest Island for a slice of island livin’. Billabong Backpackers in Perth offers free parking and also has a pool, a large common area and free breakfast. Click here for more information and to book .

If you’re wanting to stay in Fremantle, the Old Fire Station is the one – check out my review here and book using this link .

OFS does have parking but it’s kind of expensive – I used to park at South Beach and take the free CAT bus there.

For a hotel option, Tribe Perth is clean, contemporary and has free parking. Click here for more information and to book .

Perth to Esperance: 1 week

road travel planner australia

Once you’ve had your fill of Perth, head back down south (you could stop back into Freo on the way down, I wouldn’t blame you!) toward Margaret River .

This is a beautiful area where you could easily spend a few days. Next on your trip is the karri forests of Pemberton and swing by D’entrecasteaux national park .

There are some amazing beaches around Denmark and Albany , as well as some intriguing natural attractions. Then head to Fitzgerald River National Park and check out the unique biosphere here.

After, it’s time for Esperance , which has a picturesque ocean drive. Head to Cape le Grand National Park after, which has famous white sand beaches and lots of kangaroos.

If you have a 4WD, Cape Arid National Park is worth a visit too, before you head back to Esperance and start the drive north to the Nullarbor Plain.

The Nullarbor: 3 days

road travel planner australia

The Nullarbor Plain is a place of mystery; it’s a long, arid stretch of road with not much at all to see. But it’s really beautiful, and the feeling of being so in the middle of nowhere is unbeatable.

Take three days to drive it, as you’ll want to take it in properly and avoid driver fatigue. Highlights include Australia’s longest straight road, various quirky road houses and the beautiful Great Australian Bight .

You can free camp near here and watch the sunrise in the morning – it’s a magical experience. At the end of the Nullarbor, the seaside towns of Ceduna and Streaky Bay are worth popping into.

The Eyre Peninsula: 2 days

road travel planner australia

The Eyre Peninsula juts down at the bottom of South Australia, and is a great destination for 4WDing, beautiful beaches and wild camping.

The terrain varies from what you’ve just experienced on the Nullarbor, and there are a few small towns that are worth checking out around the peninsula.

Port Augusta to Coober Pedy: 4 days

things to do in Coober Pedy - big winch viewpoint

At the top eastern side of the Eyre Peninsula, arriving in Port Augusta will feel like you’ve reached a city. It’s time to head north, up the Stuart Highway, to a town called Coober Pedy.

This is a 550-kilometre detour (plus the return trip) to see a population 3,500 town where everyone lives underground; and I do think it’s worth it.

If you love the weird and wonderful, you’ll find lots of entertaining things to do in Coober Pedy . The drive up there is pretty mesmerizing as well!

Coober Pedy to the Flinders Ranges: 5 days

road travel planner australia

And the good news is you don’t have to go back the way you came; from Coober Pedy, you can head south east on the Oodnadatta Track – an unsealed but generally in good condition (check before you head out) road connecting the Stuart Highway with the Outback Highway.

You’ll drive around the south side of Lake Eyre (if you have a 4WD and a sense of adventure you might have the chance to go off the track and see it more) and experience even more outback living.

It’s hard to ever get enough, really!

The Flinders Ranges are a beautiful national park that twin mountains and outback – looking otherworldly.

Adelaide: 3 days

road travel planner australia

From the southern end of the Flinders Ranges, it is about a fiv hour drive to Adelaide (and this is their local national park – told ya Australia was big!).

Adelaide, like Perth, seems to get a reputation for being ‘boring’ but it’s actually a bundle of joy.

The city is really gorgeous, with markets, museums, a great state library and there’s lots of nature around the city, including beaches and vineyards. Make sure you check out the Barossa Valley.

Backpack Oz in Adelaide has a great atmosphere with a bar and organized trips, and is set in a historic building. There isn’t free parking right by the hostel, but there are spots nearby – the hostel staff can advise you. Click here for rates and to book .

If you’re after a hotel, Pullman Adelaide is a good option with free parking. Click here for more information and to book .

Adelaide to Melbourne: 1 week

road travel planner australia

Between Adelaide to Melbourne, there are a few great attractions, both coastal and inland. Coolong National Park and Mount Gambier are great spots to visit with South Australia, and once you cross over the border, head north towards Gariwerd (The Grampians) National Park .

A couple of hours east from here is the historic city of Ballarat , with attractions geared around its gold-rush history.

From here, zig-zag back down to Warrnambool, where you can enjoy the gorgeous Great Ocean Road. Spend a few days here enjoying the beaches and attractions before completing your loop and reaching Melbourne city once again.

Tasmania: 3 weeks

road travel planner australia

But your trip doesn’t stop here!

From Melbourne, catch the Spirit of Tasmania over to Devonport .

From here, you can do a circuit of the island state, enjoying attractions like the Bay of Fires, Wineglass Bay, the Tasman Peninsula, the capital Hobart (which is worthy of a few days in itself) and the mighty Cradle Mountain . Make sure you check out the north coast and the beautiful town of Stanley as well.

Three weeks is a great time to see everything properly, although because Tasmania is small compared to the rest of Australia, you can do it in less.

You’ll be able to free camp most of the way around Tasmania, but in Hobart, I recommend staying at Montacute Bunkhouse. It’s a beautiful boutique hostel with lots of features to make a really pleasant night’s stay. Click here for rates and book today .

If you want a bit more space, Riverfront Motel and Villas makes you feel like you’re still in nature while being very close to Hobart city! Click here for rates and to reserve .

Then take the spirit back over to Melbourne and conclude your road trip around Australia!

End: Melbourne, VIC in SEPTEMBER OR OCTOBER

You’ve done it! You’ve circumnavigated Australia, seeing the very best of the country.

If you’re in the country on a year’s working holiday visa, you’ve arrived in Melbourne just as the summer kicks off and the city comes alive. You’ve even got time to do your regional work for another year down under!

Pin Me if You’re Happy!

Planning a road trip in Australia? This road trip Australia itinerary takes you to the best spots in every state. It is a 6 month Australia itinerary covering more or less the whole country. Check out the Australia highlights by visiting this post! #australia #roadtrip

13 thoughts on “ Road Trip in Australia: An Itinerary for the Whole Country! ”

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Oh my goodness, this itinerary is AMAZING!!! What an adventure you would have had!! This is a total dream for my husband and I. I’ve stayed at the Urban Hostel in Melbourne, it’s a great little hostel. I wonder did you do much freedom camping? We dream of kitting out a van or minibus but we’ve heard it can be hard to find places to camp free. Will be bookmarking this itinerary to come back to if we’re lucky enough to get to do this trip someday!

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I’m glad you enjoyed this Rhiannon! Are you based in Australia currently? It’s a cool spot isn’t it! Yes I did mainly free camping 🙂 Wikicamps has lots of options and I never had any issues – many of them are serviced by pubs or roadhouses so I just spent a little in the establishments. I have an article about free camping in Australia as well! I hope you get to do this trip, it’s not too expensive and it’s the adventure of a lifetime!!

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Hi Claire! Going to Australia early in may to do my 3 months of work asap after arrival. Hopefully i will be ready to kick off my roadtrip somewhere in september starting in Southwestern Aus and travelling the country in a –> (N) <– looking route if you can understand what i mean. Doing this because a want the eastcoast summer and will probably stay there for a while. Im guessing this will take me approximately 7 moths to complete, I dont really have a timeline, but would like to get a full year on my second year visa to settle down and work etc.

What do you think about the route, does it make sense to you considering the weather and all or does it sound completely crazy?

Thank you for your inspo, noted many tips from you! 😉

I think it’s a great idea to do your farm work as soon as you get there. You should be able to find something in Southwestern, I’m not sure what the harvest seasons are like in Margaret River but I know it’s a popular spot for farm work.

In September I actually think I’d go the other way. It’ll be warming up by then down south, you’ll get over to the east coast around November and will still be there for summer (although you don’t really need to be there then above Brisbane, I’d say spring/ autumn are better weather, it is rainy season during the summer as well!), and then after summer you’ll get to enjoy the NT and the Kimberleys after the wet season (when waterfalls are at their best).

The other way would work too, but you’d need to rush the west coast/ Kimberleys/ NT to get it done before the wet season starts and they’re not places you want to rush, trust me!

But do whatever you think is best depending on your preferences 🙂 Let me know if you have any more questions and I’m glad the blog helped!

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This looks like an awesome trip! I will probably fly to Australia at the end of august/ beginning of september. Not sure where I will be landing yet, keeping my options open for now. If I would want to start this roadtrip , where would you suggest me to start if i would want to start in september?

Your blog is very helpfull btw!

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Hi Claire, We are a family of four (kids 3y and 5y) living in Rocky for one year. We are thinking of a roadtrip Rockhampton-Cairns-back to Townsville-Alice springs- Kings canyon- Aderlaide-Melbourne in 1,5-2 months. What do you think about that? We have a 2w car at the moment, would that be enough? Also thinking about getting a camper trailer for this roadtrip, or du you think it would be enough B&B, motels or hostel on the way to be ok? And we are thinking about doing it between May-August sometime. Or is it preferable a 4W car doing that roadtrip? We are just in the beginning of this plan, so I am happy with every advice you can give me. Regards Frida

Amazing! Your itinerary sounds good, although I’m guessing with kids you’ll want to add some time on so I’d definitely go towards 2 months in your case. As far as I know the only way you’d get from Townsville to Alice Springs on a 2WD track is via Tennant Creek, certainly doable but it will take a while. There is the Outback Way that stretches from Queensland all the way to Western Australia via the red centre but that’s 4WD only.

I love camping and would always recommend it, it does save a lot of money as well. If you’re happy to use tents they’re a great option without having to get a camper trailer! If not, you could probably just about get by without (staying at roadhouses and hostels in bigger places) but I wouldn’t want to say 100%.

May – August is a good time! It might be a bit cold in the south, so you might want to opt for some indoor accommodation then, but it’s still beautiful.

Let me know if you have any other questions!

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Claire, I have been planing a solo Australian cross country driving trip from Sydney to Darwin. What have learned is that car rental in Australia is different then USA. My original plan was to land in Sydney, rent a suv and start driving but it doesn’t seems that easy due to your car rental laws.

That said would you be able to advise the best approach to achieve my goal.

Kind regards Tom K. [email protected]

So I’m actually British but spent a long time in Australia, I bought a car in Melbourne no problem and sold it again 8 months later. I did however rent a car in Australia and didn’t have any issues. What is the problem that you are finding with the car rental? Let me know and hopefully I can help!

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Hi Claire, I am planning to do road trip with roughly the same itinerary, and I was wondering wether you think a 4*4 car is necessary or not ? And weather 4 or 5 months would be enough to do it? Thanks, Taís.

' src=

Myself, my partner and our 2 yr old son are planning to go from Melbourne to Broome via Perth along the West Coast. Then possibly up to Darwin and back down through Alice Springs to Melbourne. We are taking a caravan with us. Firstly, do you think it’s going to be too long and uncomfortable for a 2 old to cope with being on the road so long. And also is 2 months long enough for this trip?

' src=

This is a great itinerary! I’m looking to come to Aus and do a roadtrip of as much of the country as possible without rushing too much. I’ll be there late May-August. How much do you think is doable for 3 months? What would you cut out to squeeze this itinerary down?

Thank you!!

' src=

hi lovely! wow your trip looked incredible! what an experience. i have 2 months with hubby and 2 kids to do round trip… any tips? i am using some of your stop off as the base 😀

starting in canberra.. wondering if we should head clockwise or anticlockwise? will be starting in june next year (ideally). driving in a 4wd with pop top tent.

thank you any feedback would be amazing. i have no idea where to start..

love from an amateur

Comments are closed.

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Home » Oceania » Australia » 10 EPIC Australia Road Trips: Big, Bold, and Beautiful

10 EPIC Australia Road Trips: Big, Bold, and Beautiful

Australia: a continental landmass of crocodile-wrestling locals, man-eating dropbears, and gigantic expanses of endless red dirt. Maybe only one of those things is true.

That said, there is truly, truly massive amounts of red dirt. On any Australian road trip through its gargantuan “Red Centre”, you will see endless horizons of ochre hues. Words cannot describe the scope of this untameable land.

In Australia, one can easily drive for days on end without the scenery changing at all and with only the occasional roo – jumping out in front of the car on a suicide mission – to break up the routine. But if you can handle the distances and duck the kamikaze kangaroos, the country can be one hell of a setting for some epic Australian road trips.

Of course, embarking on Australia’s road trips isn’t so simple. First, you’ll need a vehicle. You’ll also need to manage the equally untameable cost of travelling in Australia. (Damn you fuel prices in Oz!)

And of course, you’ll need to decide on which of the best road trips in Australia you’ll be Mad Max-ing. Spoiler: they’re all bloody magnificent.

So that’s why I’ve written this guide to travelling Australia by car (or van). A roundup of the most epic Australian road trips you can possibly sink your teeth and adventurer chomps into!

Fire her up cause we’re headin’ out back, mate.

Kangaroos in Australia plotting to ruin a road trip

Exploring Australia: Prepping for the Road Trip

Top 10 epic australia road trips: she’ll be right, 10. kangaroo island, some safety advice for australia, let the great australia road trip commence.

The word Australia is now pretty much synonymous with the word “backpacking”. This is primarily because countless backpackers from all around the world now flock here annually, either to take long working holidays (yay for obscenely high minimum wages) or to try and start a new life.

Meanwhile back in the rest of the world, (certainly in India, South-East Asia and South America) it often feels like most of the other backpackers you meet are Australian (closely followed by Germans then Israelis). In summary Australia = Backpacking . Right?

Despite this, the former prison colony has still not really been properly explored save by only a handful of very brave and foolish souls. Australia is massive, it’s red, it’s angry, and it’s often damn well deadly and therefore, most folks (residents and visitors alike) end up sticking to the coastlines .

Australian outback as seen from a central area road trip

However, if you want to discover the real Australia then you need to head away from the beach and into that deliciously daring ‘outback’ . For a proper adventure, you gotta get away from humanity and into the sheer undulating arid heat. If you’re going to do that, then you’re going to need to get yourself a car and set off for an epic road trip in Australia.

The road is calling.

How to Travel Australia by Car

Firstly, you will need a driving licence . A serious traveller may even want to get an International licence although most “Western” licence (US, EU, etc.) will be perfectly valid down under . Be sure to get this back in your home country because everything is expensive in Australia.

You’re also going to need a vehicle for a road trip in Australia – no brainer! There are three ways to go about this:

  • Hire a car or van in Australia – Renting a car in Australia is easy albeit expensive and much better suited to a short trip. There are heaps of car rental services in Australia but I recommend Wicked Campers . They’ve been in the game as long as I remember and gypsy travellers parked by the beaches of Byron Bay is a time-honoured Australian tradition almost as much as a beer and fish and chips. Probably also in Byron.
  • Buy a car or van –  This is option two and the true backpacker way to have a road trip in Australia. Backpackers buying and reselling vehicles in Australia is incredibly common (given the sheer scope of Australia) and acquiring a pre-loved gypsy warhorse and selling it again later is super viable. The best way to go about this is through online listings: social media groups, car sales websites, Gumtree , traveller/hostel message boards, or even dipping into your personal network.
  • Steal a car or van – Jokes, don’t do that. Remember how I said Australia was an ex-prisoner colony. Dem fuckers be crazy.

Travel Australia by Van or Car

Campervan travelling in Australia

Right, so you may have noticed how I specified van  OR  car. That’s because both are viable, however, I do have a special love in my heart for living and travelling in a van. And truth be told, Australia’s barren empty wilderness and endless beaches are simply built for the vanlife.

Ultimately though, the choice is yours. A car is cheaper to acquire (generally) and requires less mechanical knowhow, but you won’t have the sheer magnificent awesomeness a home with wheels. That said, vans can be absolute primadonnas and konk out on you at the worst possible time so it’s a matter of choice and desire.

Lastly (and most importantly), it is worth noting that not ALL of Australia will be open to you in a standard van or car. A lot of Australia’s landscape is incredibly harsh and some of the absolute best road trips will only be doable with a four-wheel drive.

Either way, the vehicle type you choose is going to affect your packing for the great Australian road trip . To that end, here is some more recommended reading:

Car Camping in Australia Resources:

  • The Ultimate Road Trip Packing List
  • The Camping Master Checklist
  • Best Budget Backpacking Tents
  • Best Sleeping Bags
  • And don’t forget a sleeping pad!

Van Travel in Australia Resources

  • The Full Guide to Vanlife
  • Campervanning in New Zealand Guide

(Yes I know it’s New Zealand but bar the much smaller scope and lack of murderous animals, the countries are quite comparable.)

Oh, and here’s a kickass post discussing the cost of a road trip in Australia . Ta-dah!

A Word on Australian Visas

Pretty much everybody will need a visa to enter Australia. The immigration policies and staff are zealous and you will be given the once over.

Travellers from most Western Countries can enter for tourism purposes on an Australian ETA (subclass 601) . Whilst these are amongst the easiest type to obtain, do remember to apply before you fly or you risk deportation

Car camping under the stars in the Australian desert

Ok, no more blabber-blabber: the best road trips in Australia! Let’s hop to it and get this show on the road!

So. Many. Puns.

So. Little. Time.

1. Gibb River Road – Western Australia

Accessible only by four-wheel drive, and completely impossible to do in the wet season, this road is one hell of an adventure. Bringing you 660 km down a dirt track from Broome to Kununurra , you’re likely not to see another soul on the road.

Countless waterfalls and natural springs greet you along the way – just make sure to check for freshwater crocs before you hop in! It’s one of the best routes you can take for an Australian road trip.

Australia road trip on the Gibbs River Road

2. Cairns to Cape York – Queensland

At the northernmost tip of Australia, practically touching Papua New Guinea, lives a place called Cape York . Far from the backpacker trail, it’s an amazing place to explore. (Other than the saltwater crocodiles lurking in the water. Australia’s wildlife: the reoccurring theme of this guide).

The road travels down dirt roads with many river crossings, so you definitely need a four-wheel drive, much like most of the best spots in an Australia road trip. As you travel up from Cairns , you’ll pass through Cape Tribulation – a tiny town nestled in the rainforest, with the Great Barrier Reef a mere 30-minute boat ride away. It doesn’t get more idyllic than that.

Cape York Australia

3. Darwin to Uluru – Northern Territory

While this one can be done with an ordinary two-wheel drive vehicle, the route is definitely far from ordinary. A hundred kilometres south of Darwin , you’ll reach the gorgeous Litchfield National Park . With more waterfalls than you can handle, a ton of different bush walks, and a unique (and odd) type of termite mound, you could spend weeks in the park.

Continuing south you’ll get a true taste of the Outback, with roads stretching far into the horizon. But don’t worry, you won’t get bored; those suicidal kangaroos will keep you on your toes as you cruise to the red hot centre of Australia. Be sure to stop in at Alice Springs on your way to Uluru – yes, the famous giant red rock – to check out some traditional Aboriginal art  as well as the stunning views you won’t catch anywhere else on earth. You’ll find a few great hostels in Alice Springs as well. A great route to choose for an Australia road trip!

Traditional Australian Aboriginal dot art

4. Great Ocean Road – Victoria

The Great Ocean Road is widely mooted as the “greatest” amongst the epic Australian road trips, and one of the best road trips in Victoria . For all those in love with the ocean, this road is an absolute must. Gliding along from every surfer’s paradises to massive plunging cliffs, the road is nothing short of spectacular.

Starting 275 km west of Melbourne , you’ll find the world-famous Twelve Apostles , where huge rock stacks rise from the waves. Love surfing (or the movie Point Break)? Get to Bells Beach , the setting of the last scene of the film, as well as Rip Curl’s surfing competition.

Be sure to stop in at some of the villages along the road as well; from Victorian-era buildings to small fishing communities, there are some great destinations along the Great Ocean Road.

Australia’s Great Ocean Road & Twelve Apostles Road Trip

5. The Greater Blue Mountains Drive – New South Wales

Mountains in Australia? Blue mountains ? Yep, they’ve got more than just kangaroos and koalas out there.

Taking you from the metropolis of Sydney right up the middle of the Blue Mountains , this drive is anything but ordinary. From Jenolan Caves , filled with crazy limestone formations, to the Three Sisters rock formation in Katoomba , you will find plenty to do in the area.

And if you get bored of the main route, no worries! The Bluies (a bit of local lingo for ya there) is an absolutely massive mountain range with awesome hostels to stay at tonnes of branching tracks:

  • Running from Sydney to Lithgow is the Great Western Highway (the main route).
  • Parallel to the Great Western on the other side of the Grose Valley is Bell’s Line of Road .
  • There are heaps of dirt roads and fire trails running into the bush everywhere to explore.
  • And tonnes of branching roads in other directions. Check out the  Megalong Valley or head towards  Oberon for some more eye candy.

blue mountains

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6. The Nullarbor Plain – West Australia

The long road to Perth takes in 2000km of red Australia at its harshest. It’s flat, it’s long, it’s arid, and it’s a big wide open space so don’t get acrophobic on me now. It’s also an utterly rewarding adventure and one of the best of the epic Austrian road trips you can do.

It’s fair to say that doing the proper crossing of Australia by car is both an Australian and backpacker rite of passage. Take a friend or get used to your own company because it’s a lonely journey and not for the faint of heart. But my god is it a journey.

If, however, this all sounds like too much then see number 7.

Nullarbor Plain - The Great Australia Road Trip

7. Tasmania’s Heritage Trail

Tasmania is Australia’s best-kept secret. The region boasts beauty in abundance but has somehow escaped consumption by the backpacker trail. It’s also a lot smaller and compact to travel; like a miniature New Zealand!

This was once the gateway to Australia and was where the original convict chain-gangs were set to work colonising the country. The highwaymen that once haunted these high-ways and by-ways are now gone but you still need to be mindful of those damn roos who may surprise you! This is quite a short and pleasant drive – it’s a lot greener too – so is the perfect contrast to the above Australian road trip.

Pretty sunset while on a road trip in Tasmania, Australia

8. The Alpine Way – New South Wales

Did you know you could fit the entirety of old Wales into New South Wales several times over? However, this route is only 121km long so should only take you a day (plus stops).

The best time to come here is in early spring when the snow is melting (yes, Australia gets snow) but you still get the alpine scenery. There are also loads of great, and safe, places to wild camp along the way.

Alpine Trail - An epic road trip in Australia

9. Sydney to Melbourne

Ok, so we did kind of dissed the folks who stick to the coast back there. However, the reality is that if you’re gonna fly all the way to Australia, you will most likely either fly to Sydney or to Melbourne first – two of the best places to stay in Australia . Therefore you may as well make a road trip out of it, right?

There are loads of little coastal towns along the coastal route (think Summer Bay from Home & Away) as well as idyllic little spots for fishing and bird watching. This trip is also perfect if you’re short on time, an inexperienced explorer or if your car is not up to the harder, inland roads.

Lady clicking the wall art in Hosier Lane, Melbourne, Australia

If the mainland somehow feels too big, then take the ferry from Adelaide across to Kangaroo Island . As the name suggests, it’s an almost untouched animal sanctuary so you can expect more kamikaze kangaroos then we care to mention. To battle stations, comrades: they’re rebelling!

You can take your car onto the ferry (it’s the same deal for Tassie by the way) but if you are renting one, please check that the rental company allows you to do this.

Kangaroo Island off the coast of Australia

Seriously, there’s a whole other post in this but ok. Pickpockets, terrorists, murderers: these aren’t a concern so much in Australia (Ivan Milat notwithstanding) . There are other concerns, however. Especially for travellers unwitting to Australia’s harshness.

The wildlife is, of course, the bad joke of the global community. Crocs, jellyfish, snakes, spiders, sharks… hell, an emu can kill you if it wants. Generally, you stay away from them, then they’ll stay away from you. The big exception is crocs.

Crocodile in Australia

Any area where crocs are common in the water (northern areas of Australia in particular), be hella safe swimming. In fact, probably just don’t swim. If a croc gets you, you’re dead: end of story. Australia isn’t some landscape of bloodthirsty man-eating monsters like people seem to think, but you need to pay attention.

Next, swimming safety. A lot of the beaches are rough and tourists have died going past their limits. Be careful swimming on Australia’s beaches: swim between the lifeguard’s flags, watch out for surfers, and if you get stuck in a rip, let it take you until it subsides. Common sense prevails when swimming in Australia.

Are you done, Dad?  No. Two more things

One More Thing: Australia Road Trip Safety

Road trips in Australia are very different from the States, Europe, or most other places for that matter. Maybe it’s comparable to a hot Siberia.

Populated coastlines are different but in rural areas and especially in the Outback, there are a number of things to be careful about:

  • Supplies –  Always have enough food, petrol (including extra tanks),  WATER ; it’s quite possible to go days without seeing another human in Australia’s most vast areas and if you breakdown without these things, she’ll probably not be right.
  • Stop, revive, survive – Famous safety motto in Australia: take frequent rest breaks and naps if necessary when driving. It’s actually amazing how many people die on Australia’s long, straight, empty roads – counter-intuitive, right? It’s easy to lose concentration when you’ve been driving in a straight line staring at the same dot on the horizon for 6 hours. It’s easy to fall asleep at the wheel and flip your car or smash into a pole at 120+km/h. Be smart.
  • Watch out for wildlife –  All the jokes aside about suicidal kangaroos, imagine hitting one. That can be 6+ feet and 80+ kilograms of proper red-blooded Australian muscle and bone crunching your bonnet and coming through your windshield. It’s the same as hitting a person. Hitting wildlife on an Australian road trip can be just as bad for you as it is for them. Plus, they’re so damn cute! Just watch out for them.
  • Roadside Drug Testing –  Can be common in some states and areas and the laws are an absolute mess. Just sayin’…

Last Thing! Get Insured Before Travelling to Australia

What if the kangaroos really do form an army and rise up. Do you know how many kangaroos there are in Australia? We’ll never stand a chance!

Na, you’ll be fine. You know why? Because you’re a smart cookie and you got travel insurance!

A wise man once said that if you can’t afford travel insurance, you can’t really afford to travel – so do consider backpacker insurance sorted before you head off on an adventure! Traveling without insurance would be risky. I highly recommend World Nomads .

ALWAYS sort out your backpacker insurance before your trip. There’s plenty to choose from in that department, but a good place to start is Safety Wing .

They offer month-to-month payments, no lock-in contracts, and require absolutely no itineraries: that’s the exact kind of insurance long-term travellers and digital nomads need.

road travel planner australia

SafetyWing is cheap, easy, and admin-free: just sign up lickety-split so you can get back to it!

Click the button below to learn more about SafetyWing’s setup or read our insider review for the full tasty scoop.

There! Done dad-ing you now. Now you can go and get yourself killed in Australia!

Kidding! You’re not gonna die. You’re gonna have an amazing time. You’ll see some sights like no where else in the world, you’ll face some challenges that’ll help you grow, and at the end of it you’ll say:

“Strewth, mate! Too bloody right. That was pretty fuckin’ orright!”

Have fun, amigos. Australia is truly breathtakingly beautiful and she offers something no other country in this world can. Truly, she is special.

So go hit her up! Take her for a drive – some epic Australia road trips – and go see something you never have before! Take some weed too. It’s a long fucking drive.

orange camper parked in australia

Updated: February 2020 by Ziggy Samuels at Zigz Writes Things .

road travel planner australia

And for transparency’s sake, please know that some of the links in our content are affiliate links . That means that if you book your accommodation, buy your gear, or sort your insurance through our link, we earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you). That said, we only link to the gear we trust and never recommend services we don’t believe are up to scratch. Again, thank you!

Aiden Freeborn

Aiden Freeborn

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For those who are planning their first visit to Australia, here’s just a taste of what awaits on this vast continent.

Picture this awesome combination of sights –tanned surfers chasing the perfect wave on endless golden beaches, some of the world’s oldest, lushest, and most spectacular rainforests, and, towering above, snow-covered mountainous peaks. Where else in the world do you meet people who are so friendly and full of zest for life that they’ve adopted the slogan, "No worries mate!" as their approach to life? And the language… so full of charming slang that no one else will understand, and the accent…so incredibly delightful. This is Australia, my friends!

Melbourne is a cosmopolitan, trendy city with an exceptional blend of culture, nature, arts, sports, and cuisine.

Australia's most popular city offers superb beaches, amazing surrounding nature, an iconic harbor, fine architecture, and more.

Alice Springs

Alice Springs, or "Alice" as it’s called by the locals, is a remote town in Australia’s Northern Territory and the heart of Australia’s Red

Fraser Island

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For those who are planning their first visit to Australia, what do you need to know? There are countless outstanding experiences to be had– here’s just a taste of what awaits on this vast continent with its extraordinary variety of landscapes and cultures.

Nature lovers, don’t miss the opportunity to dive among the endless colorful corals and tropical fish in the Great Barrier Reef – the longest coral strip in the world- off the coast of Queensland or to hike in the dramatic Blue Mountains, a preserved site, whose name derives from the bluish hue which rises from its cover of eucalyptus leaves. Speaking of hikes, visit Kakadu National Park in the northern part of Australia’s Northern Territory with its canyons, swamps, and lagoons, and tour Nambung National Park in Western Australia which contains the Pinnacles Desert – a unique area with the surreal site of thousands of tall limestone formations -as well as beautiful beaches and flowering plants. And don’t leave out a stop in Tasmania, the island off the coast of the continent with unspoiled landscapes and outstanding treks.

You can also experience Australia’s spectacular beauty on a ride on the winding scenic train of Kuranda through the world’s oldest rainforest, and by driving on the Great Ocean Road , one of the most picturesque roads in the world winding along the southeast coast of Australia. A visit to the Outback, the unpopulated, red heart of Australia is an unforgettable experience, especially seeing Uluru, the giant red monolith and the most sacred place of the Aborigines. Visit the country’s wild life parks and watch the koalas, jumping kangaroos, and other animals which are endemic to Australia.

Spend a few days in Sydney , Australia’s largest city, which is the cradle of European settlement on the continent and among the world’s most beautiful cities. The iconic Sydney Opera House is a must-see – in fact, for the full experience, we recommend that you visit at sunset and sit in one of the many local bars, beer in hand, watching the incredible views. The Bay Bridge- another Sydney icon- is stunning, and a visit to Darling Harbor, surrounded by lively, fun-loving Australians is a unique, enjoyable way to spend an evening. Be sure to wander around Sydney's Chinatown and taste the delicious local food.

Visit Melbourne , with its charming Victorian buildings, spectacular botanical gardens, widely diverse cuisine, and fascinating multiculturalism. Enjoy a rich ethnic meal after a stop at the huge Victoria Market . Spend the late afternoon on the incredible Phillip Island watching the penguins marching from the sea back to their lairs.

And, last but not least, a visit to Australia wouldn’t be complete without touring a local winery and sipping the finest wines.

Here are some fun facts about Australia… The entire continent is located south of the equator and south of most of the countries of the world – hence its nickname “Down Under.” Australia was the home of the native Aborigines for at least 50,000 years before being settled as a penal colony by the British. It later became a welcoming home for many immigrants, initially Europeans and then migrants from around the world.

Yet, even today, there are no more than 26 million inhabitants living on this vast continent, most of them in its coastal regions, while its center is largely void of people. Australia's name comes from the ancient Latin term, "Terra Australis Incognita," which means "the unknown southern land,” and implies its very late discovery. Captain Cook arrived here in 1770, declaring it as a British colony – though, in truth, he was preceded by Dutch and British sailors. In 1901, Australia transitioned from a British colony to an independent country, though it does maintain a symbolic connection with the British Crown.

And now? Time to start planning your trip to this fascinating continent.

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Australia Travel Blog

Australia road trip planner: plan a perfect aussie road trip.

road travel planner australia

Australia is one of the most beautiful continents on this planet. With an abundance of staggering places and versatility in wildlife, a tourist has all the opportunities to explore until they have their breath.

If you’re thinking about going on an adventure through the marvellous Aussie landscapes, seashores, and mountains, you need to be fully prepared and equipped for the challenge. We’re sharing six essential steps or pieces of advice on how to get ready for such an event. Follow up for an Australia road trip planner made from our experience.

1. Carefully choose where you’re headed

Australia has many opportunities for travellers and tourists. Whether it is one of the big cities, like Sydney, Melbourne, or the others, or some of the parts where wildlife dominates, like Tasmania, Kangaroo Island, the Great Barrier Reef, or the others, you can be sure that you’ll have a wonderful time.

Before going anywhere, though, you need to scrutinize the area and know what you can expect. Also, you need to know where you’re headed. If you don’t like diving and water, the Great Barrier Reef will surely not be for you. If you don’t like crowded cities, you might want to avoid them – pick the suitable adventure for you.

2. Mind the season and think if this is the best time for it

Once you decide where you want to go and what you want to see, you should check if it is the right time to do it. Some seasons are not the best to go to some places. It may be too hot or too cold in some areas.

Sydney has a perfect spot and can be visited throughout the year, but Melburn is best in summer and the hotter months. If you’re a non-Aussie reader, mind the difference between the northern and southern hemisphere seasons.

Tasmania is located in the deep south of the continent, and winters can be cold. Summer is the best season for going there. On the other hand, Queensland and the northern territories are very hot in the summer, and it is best to visit them during winter.

3. Plan every day and make sure you have the time for your plans

Perfect road trip planning means thinking about every day of it. You’ll want to make a schedule and plan every hour of the day. This is the only way to be sure that you’ll visit and enjoy everything on your list.

Australia is a vast continent and just travelling from one location to another takes a lot of time. If you want to explore everything and thoroughly visit all venues, you’ll probably need a couple of months. This is why it’s essential to give it more thoughts and make thorough plans.

4. Pick your transportation device

Going by plane and then taking a guide to get you through the most valuable places to see is one way to get around quickly, but it lacks comfort and enjoyment. Most people within Australia will choose their own vehicle. The best type is a UTE because you can store more items inside.

The UTE can go through all types of terrain and withhold any conditions. This is why it is considered the best option and most people are using it for their travels. If you see this as the best solution, store everything you want inside and enjoy the vacation.

5. Get the essential items for your plans

Before taking off, you need to be sure that you’re prepared for the occasion. If you’re going to Tasmania, where wildlife is outstanding, you need to take sprays against mosquitoes, sunscreen if it is too hot, and anti-venom solutions for any case.

If you’re going on a trip in the desert, you’ll want a knife, enough water, fire matches, and anti-venom from scorpions and snakes. Injuries do not happen often, but you need to be prepared and never risk anything.

6. Make sure you have cash

Always carry cash with you. You can’t be sure which parts accept cash, and you may find yourself in a situation where you need something urgently. Without cash, you may be left on the curb.

If you don’t like carrying a pile of dollar bills, you can plan stops in major cities and find ATMs where money will be accessible. Carefully plan how much you will spend and ensure you have enough for the entire trip. Always leave about 20% for emergencies because you never know what may happen on the road.

road travel planner australia

These few points are enough for you to make a thorough plan and see some of the most beautiful parts of Australia. Before going anywhere, it’s crucial to make a thorough plan and be prepared. Surprises are great, but the best adventures happen when you have everything sorted out previously.

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  • Best Road Trips in Australia for Campervans

Australia Road Trip Planner

18 of the best road trips in australia.

Australia Road Trip Map : Click on the route for a link to the itinerary, or browse below.

Tropical North Queensland

East Coast Australia Road Trips

These east coast Australia road trips combine two or more of the above road trips. Itineraries range from 1 to 7 weeks.

Cairns to Airlie Beach Drive 348 km | 7 hrs drive  | 1 - 2 weeks 4 days for the road trip plus 10 days to explore the Whitsundays, Great Barrier Reef, Daintree, Port Douglas, Undara Lava Tubes and the Atherton Tablelands. 

Brisbane to Cairns Drive 2, 177 km | 26 hrs drive | 3 - 4 weeks Explore the tropical northern stretch of the East Coast. 11 days for the road trip, plus 10 days to explore Brisbane, the Gold Coast, the Great Barrier Reef, the Whitsundays, Atherton Tablelands, the Daintree and Port Douglas. 

Melbourne to Brisbane Drive 2,930 km | 54 hrs drive | 5 weeks 28 days for the road trip, plus 6 days to explore Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and the Gold Coast. 

Sydney to Cairns Drive 3,487 km | 55 hrs drive  | 5 weeks Nearly all of the east coast. 26 days for the road trip, plus 10 days to explore Sydney, Brisbane, the Gold Coast, the Whitsunday and Cairns. 

Melbourne to Cairns Drive 4,787 km | 55 hrs drive | 6 - 7 weeks Explore the entire East Coast of Australia from end to end. 30 - 40 days for the road trip, plus 10 days to explore Sydney, Brisbane, the Gold Coast, the Whitsunday and Cairns.

Road Trip Around Australia

We have three key routes for a road trip around Australia. 

  • The first route is a simple circumnavigation of the continent, but this misses the important central desert region with Uluru, the Olgas and Coober Pedy. 
  • The second route includes central Australia and can either start in Cairns and end in Adelaide, or start in Adelaide and end in Cairns. 
  • The third route builds upon the second route by looping in Broken Hill, Mungo National Park and rural New South Wales. Its start and end points are Cairns and Sydney.

Road Trips by State

  • NEW SOUTH WALES
  • SOUTH AUSTRALIA
  • WESTERN AUSTRALIA
  • NORTHERN TERRITORY

campervan hire location in Australia

Driving in Australia

Australia is larger than you might think - as large as the USA without Alaska and three quarters the size of Europe. It is also extremely diverse with everything from snow-capped mountains to lush tropical forests, the outback desert and rolling green pastures. If you jet set from city to city, you'll miss all this.

The best (and cheapest) way to experience Australia is to hire a campervan and take a road trip. That way you have the freedom to can set your own itinerary, be spontaneous, take the road less travelled, and stop where you want for as long as you want.

With a kitchen in the back seat, you can pull into a stunning location, make lunch and soak in the views. It's the most convenient, affordable and memorable way to dine. And at the end of an adventure-filled day, your home is where ever you park it. 

You will soon discover the camaraderie of the campervan community - kindred spirits who like to get off the beaten path, who appreciate the beauty of Australia, and are eager to share a few tips and their favorite camping locations with you. As Edith Wharton once said  "One of the great things about travel is you discover how many good, kind people there are."

In this Road Trip Planner we detail some of the best road trips in Australia to help you plan your campervan self-drive itinerary.

  • Cairns day trips
  • Atherton Tablelands & Wooroonooran National Park
  • Kuranda and Barron Falls
  • Cairns to Hinchinbrook Is.
  • Cairns to Cooktown
  • Cairns to Townsville  
  • Townsville day trips
  • Townsville to Cairns
  • Townsville to Airlie Beach
  • Queensland Outback  (Townsville - Cunnamulla - Brisbane)
  • Airlie Beach to Townsville  (and Cairns)
  • Airlie Beach to Brisbane  (and Gold Coast)
  • Brisbane to Gold Coast
  • Brisbane to Airlie Beach
  • Gold Coast to Sydney
  • Gold Coast day trips
  • Brisbane day trips

New South Wales

  • Sydney's National Parks
  • Sydney's Top Walks
  • Hunter Valley wine region
  • Central Coast
  • Port Stephens
  • Blue Mountains
  • South Coast
  • Southern Highlands
  • The Snowy Mountains
  • Sydney - Melbourne Coast
  • Sydney - Canberra - Melbourne
  • Sydney - Gold Coast
  • Broken Hill
  • Canberra 
  • Grampians | Murray River
  • Great Ocean Road
  • Mornington Pensinsula
  • Phillip Island
  • Wilsons Promontory
  • Victorian Alps | High Plains
  • Yarra Valley | Dandenongs
  • Melbourne - Sydney coast
  • Melbourne - Canberra - Sydney
  • Melbourne - Adelaide

South Australia

  • Barossa Valley wines
  • Murray River
  • Kangaroo Island
  • Mt. Gambier
  • Coonawarra wine & Naracoorte Caves
  • Adelaide Hills & Hahndorf
  • Adelaide Hills Activities 
  • Fleurieu Peninsula & Coorong
  • Adelaide to Melbourne
  • Outback: Adelaide to Sydney
  • Adelaide to Darwin Road Trip
  • Adelaide to Perth Road Trip
  • Coober Pedy
  • Eyre Peninsula

Western Australia

  • 3 days in Perth - things to do
  • The Perfect WA Roadtrip (South of Perth)
  • Yanchep National Park
  • Pinnacles Desert
  • Bunbury and Busselton
  • Margaret River
  • Pemberton Forests
  • The Kimberley - Broome to Darwin in 6 days
  • Broome to Perth in 19 days
  • Perth to Adelaide in 16 days

Northern Territory

  • Litchfield National Park
  • The Pilbara
  • Nitmiluk National Park (Katherine Gorge)
  • Mataranka Hot Springs
  • Alice Springs
  • Uluru and the Olgas
  • Macdonnell Ranges

Other Blogs & Relevant Information

  • Driving Distances and Petrol Prices
  • Oz Parks Australia's Newest National Caravan & Tourist Park Chain
  • Top Islands to visit in Australia
  • Top Australian cultural experiences
  • Top Australian animal experiences
  • 7 reasons why Cairns is the adventure capital of Australia
  • 10 movie locations to visit in Australia

Itineraries

Gold Coast to Sydney Road Trip Itinerary

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Campervan hire depots, airlie beach.

Heart of Reef Shuttles, 48-50 Carlo Drive, Cannonvale, Queensland 4802 Phone: 1800 216 223

490 Nudgee Road, Hendra, Queensland 4011 Phone: 1800 216 223

440 Sheridan Street, Cairns, Queensland 4870 Phone: 1800 216 223

273 Elizabeth Street, Coburg, Victoria 3058 Phone: 1800 216 223

23-25 Erskine Rd, Caringbah, Sydney, NSW 2229 Phone: 1800 216 223

Do you have any questions or need additional information?

road travel planner australia

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Australia Trip Planner

Top destinations in australia.

Sydney

Top attractions in Australia

Sydney Opera House

Other notable attractions

road travel planner australia

Australia throughout the year

  • Australia in January
  • Australia in February
  • Australia in March
  • Australia in April
  • Australia in May
  • Australia in June
  • Australia in July
  • Australia in August
  • Australia in September
  • Australia in October
  • Australia in November
  • Australia in December

Q&A about Australia

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Ben & Michelle

Road Trip Around Australia | Getting Set Up

Posted on Published: October 14, 2020

  • So you’re planning a road trip around Australia?

We’ve been through that same exciting process of planning to travel Australia by road: but finding the answers to the many questions I had, proved time-consuming and a little bit frustrating. Though we searched high and low, the answers were all over the place.

So we decided that we wanted to help others; those that are as excited about travelling around Australia as we were, who have a seemingly insatiable desire to read everything they can about the topic, and who love planning everything that they possibly can before they go.

I mean, if you’re anything like me, then the planning, the anticipation, the lining-all-your-ducks-up, is almost as fun as the going.

But don’t get too bogged down in planning your road trip.

Sure, do it because it’s exciting and helps the time before the trip pass more quickly. But don’t wait until you have absolutely everything sorted out.

And that’s half the fun of a trip like this, the learning and experiencing and changing tack because you discovered something new.

So heads up, this is a loooong post…

road travel planner australia

So before you start reading, I just want to warn you that this is not a short post.

Coming in at over 16,000 words, this is the most comprehensive post I’ve ever written and it covers EVERYTHING I could think of that would be important for getting set up for a road trip around Australia.

I recommend that you use the table of contents below to guide you to the sections that are most important to you.

And bookmark this page so that you can refer back to it, or pin it on Pinterest.

1. The benefits of a road trip around Australia

2. the mistakes we made (that maybe you can avoid), 3. understanding the different types of vehicles, 4. how to rent a motorhome or caravan in australia, 5. how to buy a motorhome or caravan in australia, 6. how the camping works in australia, 7. how to set up your rig for self-sufficient camping, 8. being prepared for disaster, 9. how to keep in touch with friends and family when you’re on the road, 10. how to plan your route around australia, 11. how to pack for a road trip around australia, 12. how driving in australia is different to the rest of the world, 13. how much does it cost, 14. how to fund your road trip around australia, ready to make a road trip around australia a reality.

And at the end of the post, I’ve provided a planning checklist to help you gather together everything you’ve learnt and tick them all off the list as you go through them.

Since this post is so large and comprehensive I have to warn you that it is not for everybody!

DO read this post if you:

  • Want to drive around Australia and will camp each night.   That may be camping in a motorhome, caravan, campervan or tent and it could be in a caravan park, national park or a free camp.
  • Are coming from outside Australia.  International travellers, I answer all your questions in here too.  With that in mind, there may be a few times where Aussies reading this article will think, ‘well duh, of course you can drink the tap water’ but that’s not obvious for someone from another country. (Whether it tastes any good is another story.)
  • Are going for 2 weeks, 12 months or heading off full-time.

DON’T read this post if:

  • You’re after a travel guide of all the things you must see while you’re in Australia .  There is soooo much to see and it all depends on whether you’re a city person or a bush person, whether you’re into museums or waterfalls, and it certainly will depend on your budget. There is so much information to be found on the internet of all the places you can visit, so I’m not covering that here.
  • You are already travelling around Australia.  There’s nothing new or ground-breaking in here. There’s nothing you wouldn’t have already experienced yourself, whether by trial or error.

This post is full of the basic information that you just don’t know when you’re either from another country, or haven’t camped in Australia. And if you’re on the road already, that’s not you.

Let’s get stuck in!

Please note: some links in this post are affiliate links which means that if you decide to purchase I will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Please see our affiliate disclosure for more information.

The very fact that you’re reading this post tells me that you don’t need to be convinced that taking an extended road trip around Australia is a great idea.

You already know why you want to do this. You may want to spend more time with your family, or see more of Australia, or just not work for a while!

But here are some other benefits that you may not have thought of.

Problem solving skills

When you’re on the road and something goes wrong, you don’t always have the luxury of being able to call someone up to deal with it for you. You have to deal with it, you have to get your thinking cap on and problem solve. You have to reach out to people to ask for help. You have to research a topic you know nothing about to see if you can figure out what’s wrong. You have to try and fix it, and either be pleasantly surprised that you got it right, or learn one way NOT to do it.

And it’s not just you that benefits from this, your kids do to.

Have you ever had the time to teach them to fish, or to light a fire, or to dig a hole to go poop? In our increasingly fast paced and electronic world, they often aren’t given the time or opportunity to learn tactile skills. When you’re camping they can take the time to learn how to light a fire, and practice dozens of times until they’re confident.

All of you will learn great problem solving skills.

A new appreciation for nature

How many sunsets have you missed simply because you were inside and didn’t realise the sun was setting until it was time to turn on the lights? Or you couldn’t see it anyway because you’re surrounded by lots of buildings.

We may be a bit cuckoo, but we got so much enjoyment out of simple encounters with the local wildlife.

It was delightful to make friends with a magpie and feed her scraps of meat, and be totally entertained by her as she frolicked around our campsite.

And we felt special with each night that one frog would come and sit on our outdoor table and greet us (okay, frighten us me) as we headed to the toilet in the middle of the night.

I had never thought about ‘compromise’ as being something that was important for the attainment of my goals. But being on this road trip has certainly taught me that.

Doing this road trip has been a dream of mine for many years. But I thought that I only wanted to do it if I could be in a nice motorhome, with an onboard bathroom, and nice decor and a great solar set-up. And I wanted to do it without having to work or worry about money.

And so if felt unattainable.

But when we decided we’re going to do this trip anyway, there was certainly a lot of compromising that needed to be done.

A camper trailer instead of a motorhome, no onboard bathroom but staying at caravan parks and using their bathrooms, definitely no nice decor and an okay solar set-up.

While there was compromise, it certainly felt nice to not be compromising on our dream. For once.

Yes, a lot of people talk about the benefit of time when you’re on a road trip. Not only time with your loved ones and time to relax. But time to pursue the things that are important to you. Time to read. Time to create.

Time to discover what’s really important to you.

When we started on this road trip, we thought that it might be something we’d like to do for the foreseeable future, but we weren’t sure.

So we said that we’d try it for a year and then reassess.

We also gave ourselves the ‘out’, that if either of us didn’t like it, we could stop whenever we wanted. No harm no foul.

As it turns out, we LOVE this life, so a few things have needed to change in the way that we’re set up.

Picking the right camper for us

I think it’s pretty common, no one’s first purchase of a home-on-wheels is the ‘right’ one. It’s not until you’ve travelled in it, realised what type of travelling you like to do, the comforts that you don’t want to give up, and those features that you just don’t care about.

You have to take it around with you for hundreds of kilometres, set it up, pack it down, be stuck in it in the rain, sleep in it in the heat, cook in it, eat in it and clean it. Then maybe, you’ll have an idea if it’s the right type of vehicle for you.

For us, we got it quite wrong.

The camper trailer was great for a first-go because it was cheap and light, and it certainly was everything we needed for our first four months.

But now that we want to be on the road for at least a couple of years we’ve realised a few home truths about ourselves. We will happily get a caravan and sacrifice those hard-to-get-to places in order to have some more comfort, an easier time setting up and packing down… and a toilet.

Funding our trip

We have loved our trip so much that it’s made us want to live this life for the foreseeable future.

Six months, well, it was actually more like almost 5 months, just isn’t enough time for us to see this country. We don’t want to just drive through all these wonderful locations, we want to set up camp and stay for a couple of days, if not weeks. We want to live on the road.  

So we have to figure out how we’re going to make money. I’ve got a whole section below on ‘ funding your trip ’, but in hindsight, it would have been better if we’d had that sorted before we left.

We’ll start off with a bang and get straight into talking about vehicles. This will be your largest one-off expense and determines so much about your trip.

We’ll have a look at the different types of vehicles commonly available here in Australia and the pros and cons of each.

Just a note for my North American readers, you’ll find that large rigs are pretty rare here. You’ll be hard pushed to find an RV or travel trailer over 30ft and fifth wheels are pretty rare, but becoming more popular.

The list below is in order of the most popular, widely available and most seen options, to the least seen options. (Based on our own travels around half of Australia. The point is, caravans are everywhere, Class A RVs and fifth wheels are not.)

Australia is definitely a caravanning nation (that’s a travel trailer to my North American friends). There are thousands of these traversing the country at any one time.

The pop top is also very popular. The little effort required to pop up the roof when setting up camp means that the overall caravan weight is reduced as well as reducing the wind-resistance/drag of the caravan. Which equals cheaper fuel bills.

road travel planner australia

We’ve done lots of research on caravans to help you decide which is best for you:

road travel planner australia

Motorhome / Class C

You’ll find lots of these mid-size motorhomes around Australia. They’re a popular choice for renting because they’re large enough to be comfortable, but small enough to be not too stressful to drive.

Check out my favourite motorhome here .

Camper van / Class B

These are great little units; small, compact and having everything you need for a road trip. (Except a toilet, and that’s a deal breaker for me.)

While many are built on a van chassis like the Toyota Hiace, I would also include in this category, the mini-vans or people-movers like the Toyota Tarago or Honda Odyssey.

You’ll see lots of these around Australia, the rented ones painted bright, and somewhat gaudy colours, so you won’t miss them

road travel planner australia

If you like the idea of a campervan but would only be interested if they have a bathroom onboard, this post on small campervans is for you. I’ve only included  camper vans that have a toilet and shower.

road travel planner australia

Pop-up trailer

These seem to be great for families.

With beds at each end, a small kitchen, a seating area and some built-in storage the pop-up trailer is a good compromise between quick set-up and light weight.

There isn’t too much set-up (well, not as much as a tent anyway) but they’re not as heavy as a caravan.

Pop up trailer extended up, ready for camping.

Camper Trailer

Camper trailers are very popular in Australia. They are light weight, manoeuvrable and stand up well to the rigours of harsh Australian roads and 4WD tracks.

They come in either soft or hard floor. The soft-floor are cheaper and allow you to have a large tent space (like ours) which is great for families who need the space for all the beds.

The hard-floors are quick to put up and bring the tent area off the ground but it does mean that the inside the tent space is limited.

road travel planner australia

There are lots of camper trailer manufacturers here in Australia, we’ve compiled a big list below, as well as the pros and cons of our own camper trailer.

road travel planner australia

Tent / Roof top tent

The roof top tent is a design that will not limit where you can go.

Quick and easy to set-up, your bed is off the ground (and away from any wild animals), yet it packs up into a compact unit that sits permanently on the roof of your car.

This is a great option for serious 4WD enthusiasts, not needing to worry about towing anything and not adding too much height to their vehicle. It’s perfect for the person that wants to be outside all the time (except when they’re sleeping), because that’s where you’ll be.

The Right Set Up for your Road Trip Around Australia - Which would suit you and your travel style best? A caravan, campervan, motorhome, rooftop tent or... should you just stay in hotels?

Bus / Class A

I do look on these a bit jealously sometimes.

With all that space, and huge windows, it’s as close to an actual home on wheels as you can get, I think.

But the idea of having to drive one of these things make me shudder, and then having to park it!

That’s why the bigger the bus, the more likely it is to have a car being towed behind.

road travel planner australia

Fifth Wheel

There are not as many fifth wheels in Australia as there are caravans, but they are around.

While they are large in both length and height, they do look like they could have every mod-con (so you can get your laundry done without having to find a laundromat) you could want.

There are a couple of manufacturers in Australia but not heaps.

I can’t wait till they take off here in Australia and New Zealand and the prices start to come down (I might just be dreaming about that) because I would love one of these.

road travel planner australia

Love the idea of a fifth wheel, but not enthusiastic about their massive size? These are all the fifth wheels we’ve found in Australia that are small (less than 25ft).

road travel planner australia

To Rent or Buy?

You’ve got two options for a vehicle to road trip around Australia, you can rent one, or buy one. There are two main factors which will determine the option that will suit you best.

  • How long are you coming for? If it’s only a couple of weeks, then it certainly doesn’t make sense to go through all the hassle of buying a vehicle. If you’re planning on staying for a couple of months? Well then it starts to make more sense financially, if you buy a vehicle.
  • The other factor to consider is whether or not you’re planning to go off-road. If it’s a 4WD drive adventure that you want, purchasing your own vehicle may be best option.

Some of the best views and campsites can be found down the dusty dirt roads, if you’re looking to escape the crowds and explore the raw (and often harsh) Aussie outback, then you may want to leave the sealed roads.

Having said that… you can travel all the way around Australia without leaving the seal. Just keep this in mind when you’re deciding whether you’re going to rent or buy.

If your Australian road trip is a couple of months or less, and you want a campervan or motorhome, then renting a vehicle will probably be your best option.

Just a couple of things to note:

Insurance – particularly for off-road

If you’re going to go off the sealed highway (at all!) then make sure you get the right vehicle and insurance package to go with it. It will cost you more, but if anything happens while you’re on the unsealed road you could be up for a hefty insurance excess … and that’s if you’re lucky enough to still be covered.

One-way rentals

You would need to fly into a main city and pick up your vehicle there. Main cities include: Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane, Adelaide, Cairns or Darwin. But if you’re planning on doing a one-way rental, for example flying in to Perth, driving a rental vehicle across to Sydney and leaving it there, make sure to check out the costs. One-way rentals can be very expensive here in Australia.

Renting a caravan

There are places where you can rent a caravan, but then you’ll need to hire a tow vehicle as well. While it can be done, they are not as popular as campervan and motorhome rentals, and you will likely have to do a lot more searching for this. Campervan and motorhome rentals are everywhere, you can easily pick up your rental at the airport making it super easy and convenient.

Guaranteed Buy Back

There are some campervan hire companies that will sell you an ex-rental campervan and give you a guarantee to buy the vehicle back from you at an agreed price. They’ll buy it back at approx. 30-50% of the original purchase priced, based on when you bring it back (it needs to be within 12 months). You just have to have it regularly serviced.

This option looks like it’s set up to appeal to the young backpacking crowd, as I’ve only seen older vehicles in this category which are on the lower end of the price scale, but there’s no reason why it should be limited to the young. ☺

road travel planner australia

If you’re going to be in Australia for more than a couple of months, then this option probably makes the most sense for you.

Dealership or Private Sale

In Australia, there are two main ways you can purchase a vehicle, caravan, campervan. By buying from a dealership, or from a private party.

When you buy from a dealership it’s less hassle than buying privately. A dealership:

  • Will have inspected the vehicle and made repairs if necessary
  • Gives you more legal protection because they can only operate within strict laws
  • Will handle all the paperwork such as transfer of ownership
  • Must provide a history check of the vehicle
  • Can offer extras such as warranties and road side assistance

I suppose the biggest turn-off about dealerships for most people, is that you’re dealing with professional sales people. While I don’t want to tar all used-car sales people with the same brush, many of us have had experience with that one salesperson that made us feel uncomfortable, or duped. Obviously, they’re not all like that and there are things you can do to protect yourself, such as getting a pre-purchase inspection.

Generally, the biggest benefit to buying private, rather than from a dealer, is that the seller may have more room to negotiate on their price. That can mean a saving of thousands of dollars, but offers less security for the buyer.

Petrol or Diesel

Having only ever bought regular 2WD cars before, I have never considered whether or not I should buy a petrol or diesel vehicle, they’ve always just been petrol. But once you start looking at 4WD vehicles, there are many that are diesel.

You can get both fuel types, pretty much everywhere around Australia.

Personally, I’ve found that in more metropolitan areas there are fewer diesel bowsers at the gas station. If there are 10 bowsers, then maybe 2 of them will be diesel. (But then, there are less diesel vehicles in metro areas too.)

The more rural you go, the more often diesel is found. I’ve read that in some of the really remote places, you can only buy diesel, and if you happen to get stranded with no fue, a passing motorist, local road workers or nearby farmhouse, is more likely to have diesel than petrol.

I like having diesel because I feel it’s safer to transport, and we have two 20L jerry cans which we carry with us.

Research before you get here

Once you’re figured out which city you’ll be starting from, start looking for the vehicle that you would like to buy, and follow the marketplaces websites.

These are the websites that I recommend keeping an eye on.

The reason why I recommend this, is that it gives you an idea of what types of vehicles are available, the prices, and which types of vehicles sell faster than others. This can help you to get an idea of prices, the condition you can expect a car to be in (at a particular price range) and the availability of different types of vehicles.

Gumtree.com.au – for cars, caravans and motorhomes. Gumtree is probably the equivalent of eBay or Craigslist and both dealers and private sellers advertise on here.

CarSales.com.au – for cars

CaravanCampingSales.com.au – for caravans, camper trailers, motorhomes etc

Just a note – I know that for Gumtree, I wasn’t able to contact any of the sellers (their contact details were hidden from me) because I was in New Zealand at the time that I was doing all the research. When we got to Australia, Gumtree still thought I was in New Zealand and still wouldn’t allow me to see the sellers contact details. A quick phone call to their Helpdesk confirmed that I was now in Australia and they were able to clear my account.

Checks that need to be done prior to purchase:

Rta checks for ownership – by different states.

If you’re doing a private purchase, then you must do a check of who is the legal owner and if there is any finance on the car. This is easily done online at: https://checkrego.com.au/

Pre-Purchase Inspection

Regardless of whether you’re buying from a dealership or a private party, I would still recommend getting a pre-purchase inspection of the vehicle. If you’re confident to do that yourself, that’s cool, but if you’re as clueless as me about all things mechanical, you’ll need to book a pre-purchase inspection with a local mechanic or an organisation like the NRMA.

We chose NRMA , which is a nationwide organisation that does insurance and road-side assistance.

We ordered two pre-purchase inspections through them and found them to be great. It seems that they have inspectors out on the road all the time so once you book they’ve got a team of people they could assign the job to.

For us in Sydney, this meant that we were able to ring up for the inspection and have it conducted within 24 hours. They provide you with quite a comprehensive report (emailed to you) and give you a fairly good idea of what you’re getting yourself into.

We’re so glad we did this.

The first car we had inspected was, in our inexperienced opinion, okay. It was a good price and there didn’t seem to be anything wrong with it. The pre-purchase inspection showed that there were a number of items that would need some serious work in the near future.

The second vehicle we had inspected actually gave a glowing report and we’ve been really happy with our purchase.

The pre-purchase inspections, while not fool-proof, give a bit of peace of mind for those of us mechanically challenged.

Checklists for inspecting a second-hand caravan / camper trailer etc

I’d like to say that I have a comprehensive checklist for anyone purchasing a second-hand caravan or camper trailer. But I don’t, which is pretty much how we ended up with the camper trailer that didn’t have half the features that were listed on it’s ad. But it was road-worthy and safe, thank goodness.

Here are some checklists that will help you on your initial inspection.

Camper Trailer Checklist

CamperTrailerAustralia.com.au – Buying a Used Camper Trailer

AussieLeisureLoans.com.au – Checklist for Buying a Camper Trailer

Caravan Checklist

CaravanBuyersGuide.com.au

Big4.com.au – Important Tips for Purchasing a Used Caravan

Outdoria.com.au – Ultimate Guide to Buying a Used Caravan Online

Campervan Checklist

Camplify.com.au – Ultimate Guide to Buying a Used Campervan

RollingSolo.com.au – Killer Checklist for Buying a Motorhome or Caravan

Motorhome Checklist

Buying a second hand motorhome becomes a little bit trickier if you’re planning on buying privately. When buying privately, you have no recourse should you find issues with the motorhome. From my research, it seems that the sensible option for buying a motorhome is to buy one from a dealer. Unless you’re able to do the inspections yourself, of course.

There are companies that will do an inspection for you, however there are not as many as there are vehicle inspectors, which makes sense.

Ownership Costs

Of course, there is always costs associated with owning a vehicle. For any international visitors, here’s what you’ll need to consider for Australia.

Car registration

Vehicle registration is different in each of the eight states of Australia. But here’s the general information:

  • Registration lasts for a year
  • You may need to have your vehicle inspected (at a registered inspection centre, such as a mechanic) for road-worthiness
  • If the registration runs out while you’re on your trip, you may need to return to the state that the vehicle is registered in, to re-register.
  • You are required to purchase Compulsory Third Party (CTP) insurance when you register your vehicle.

The rules and costs are different for each state, so if you already know where you’re going to buy your vehicle here are the links to each states vehicle registration information:

Australia is not like the USA where you need massive insurance in order to just walk down the street, but you will want to have vehicle insurance.

In Australia we have Compulsory Third Party (CTP) insurance which is paid when your vehicle is registered (you can’t register without it). CTP is not comprehensive insurance, it only provides the driver cover for any legal liability for injury or death as a result of an accident for which the insured is responsible.

You can easily purchase comprehensive insurance online. When we bought our car, I organized our insurance over the internet (on my phone) while Ben went through the sale process with the seller. By the time we drove off, we were fully covered.

Roadside Assistance

This isn’t a pre-requisite of owning a vehicle, but it’s a very, very high on the list of ‘should haves’.

Unless you’re a mechanic yourself, travelling with all your tools… and spare parts, then you should have road side assistance. ESPECIALLY if you’re travelling to remote areas. You’ve got to remember that in some parts of Australia it could be 300kms to the nearest town, and by town I mean a pub, general store and a gas station. Getting a tow truck could cost you thousands and if your vehicle is broken down, you’ve got no way to tow your home. It gets very complicated, very quickly. Just get roadside assistance, okay?

Options include:

The various RAC is each state:

Once you’ve got your vehicle sorted, you’ll be looking for somewhere to park each night…

I want to talk about camping in Australia, because the type of camping you want to do will help determine the type of set-up you need and any of the accessories you’ll likely want.

Caravan Parks

Caravan parks can be found all over Australia. In every city and town and sometimes even in the very smallest of towns that, if you blink, you’ll miss it.

All caravan parks will have the following facilities:

  • Powered sites – where you can plug into 240V power and water, and drain your grey water.
  • A facilities block – with toilets, showers & laundry room
  • A kitchen – with basic cooking (sink, stove, fridge, bench space) but many have extra things such as toaster, oven, blender, pots and pans, crockery and cutlery.
  • Dumping – so you can empty your toilet cassette or black tank.

Caravan parks can vary widely, from a basic campsite with not much appeal (or grass), to resort-like complexes with multiple pools, children’s play areas, cafes, games rooms and mini-golf.

Private Camping Sites

With the popularity of WikiCamps (an app that lists all the campsites around Australia – see section ‘How to find campsites’ below) it’s been much easier for people to set up campsites on their private property. Since campers will use the app to find their next campsite, the private campsite owners don’t need to spend a fortune on traditional advertising. They just list their campsite on WikiCamps and that’s it.

This could include farms, lifestyle blocks, the local pub with a big garden out the back or some other business with space out the back.

Since this is not regulated, you will get a huge range of options. It may just be grassy spot down by the river with no facilities, or a powered site with water and access to a bathroom block.

Prices are also variable, it can be quite pricey if you’re in a popular tourist area, or it may be ‘free’ but with the expectation that you will buy a drink and/or a meal in the pub.

National Parks

There are National Parks all over Australia and they provide some of the best outdoor experiences. Each of the National Parks is managed by the state government, so they’re all different.

You will find that there is a huge array of camping options, from free camping with no facilities, to fully managed campsites with power, water, dump points and a kitchen.

Some of the National Parks require that you pay a fee to enter the park, and then you pay camping fees on top of that. But they’re all different, so search the website of the National Park for each state. These links should get you started:

Free or Low-Cost Camps

First lesson… you will not find free camps in very touristy areas.

For example, if you’re travelling anywhere along the east coast, don’t expect to find any free camps on the beach. For free camps, you will need to head inland and further away from the main touristy areas and then you’ll find HEAPS of free or low cost camping options.

The one caveat I have to not being able to find free camping along the east coast, is rest stops. There are quite a lot of roadside rest stops where you’re able to stop for the night. But they’re not exactly in scenic areas, can be noisy since they’re right beside the highway and may or may not have facilities. Most will have at least a long drop toilet, but that’s about it.

Oh, and don’t park in designated truck parking areas, these are rest areas for truck drivers only.

More info on free camping in Australia:

road travel planner australia

How to find campsites

Here are the two most common ways to find campsites in Australia:

This app is a crowd-sourced database of all the campground and caravan parks across Australia. It shows the details of the campsite, the facilities available, the cost, as well as other information such as whether they allow dogs, local sites to see and the proximity to other amenities. The value of the app lies in the comments, ratings, photos and updated costs of fellow campers.

The app also shows places of interest, dump points, day use areas and even has a map feature to direct you straight to the campsite.

At just $7.99 it is worth every single cent.

Camps Australia

This is a physical book – now I haven’t used this myself, but people that I’ve talked to have been pretty happy with this book. They also have an app which is still only $9.99. I think that the main difference with the Camps Australia list of campsites, is that they’re all verified sites.

Okay, so now that you know the different types of camping that you can do in Australia, hopefully you’ve got an idea of the type that you and your companions will want to do.

If you’re going to be staying in caravan parks for the duration of your trip, then you will be fine with a more basic set-up; you can use the caravan parks’ toilet, shower, kitchen and laundry. You can charge up your electronic devices each night using the supplied power, you can get fresh drinking water and dump your toilet (if you have one).

But if you’re planning to do free or low-cost camping then you’ll need to be self-sufficient . And that means having access to the following things:

  • Water supply
  • Grey water disposal

When you’re free camping you probably won’t have access to drinking water, so you need to take enough for you and your travelling companions, for the number of days you plan to stay.

Your caravan/motorhome/campervan is likely to have a water tank already, but consider how big the tank is, and all the things you’ll be using that water for such as: drinking, cooking, washing (dishes and people) and the toilet.

In order to extend your stay you’ll need to think about ways to conserve water, carry more water or have a way of re-filling your water. This may include things such as:

  • Taking navy showers, or no showers, especially if there is a river or lake where everyone can go for a swim. (No soaps in the waterways though!)
  • Taking extra water such as a tank in the tow vehicle, water jerry cans, water bladder or even just extra plastic bottles of drinking water.
  • It may be that you’re able to fill your water containers (e.g. jerry cans) when you’re out and about sightseeing and use these to fill up the tank in the caravan.

You’ve got to remember that in some areas of Australia (i.e. the whole middle of Australia) water is scarce and you need to be mindful of where you’re going and if there’ll be water.

It’s no problem in built up areas, but you’ll need to think about this fact when travelling in remote areas.

When we first set out on our road trip around Australia, I had thought that an on-board toilet wasn’t such a high priority. I figured that if we’re free camping with no toilet facilities, then I’d just go in the bush. But not all free camps are out in the bush. Some are beside the highway, or in an open field, or jam-packed with other free campers.

This is where it really comes in handy to have your own toilet on-board.

There are a couple of different types of toilet, that I think it would be handy to know about.

Cassette Toilet

road travel planner australia

This is the most common caravan/motorhome toilet that you will find in Australia. It’s not too dissimilar to a regular toilet, you open the flap at the bottom of the bowl, you do your business and when you flush it empties into a small holding tank/cassette, and then you close the flap.

Emptying the cassette involves taking the cassette out (usually accessed from outside the caravan or motorhome) and dumping it into a dump station or in a toilet.

road travel planner australia

Holding Tank Toilet

These are the most commonly found toilets in large RVs in North America; where the toilet empties in a holding tank (black tank) and can be pumped out at a designated dumping point. These are not hugely popular in Australia, they are around, but cassette toilets are well and truly the most popular.

Portable/Chemical Toilet

road travel planner australia

The porta potty or chemical toilet is a self-contained unit you can use anywhere. It works on the same principle as the cassette toilet above, but the porta potty comes in two parts with the holding tank or cassette part right under the toilet seat part. You can easily separate the bottom half of the toilet from the top half so that you can dispose of the contents.

The porta potty can be easily moved around (just pick it up, it’s not attached to anything and doesn’t have any hoses etc) which makes it a great emergency loo.

Store it anywhere on your rig and just bring it out when it’s needed.

road travel planner australia

In less populated areas of Australia, it’s acceptable to go to the toilet out in nature. However, there is a bit of etiquette involved in this.

Here’s some basic tips for going bush toilet in Australia:

  • Be discreet. No one wants to see you flashing your bits around and definitely no one needs to see you defecating.
  • Number two’s require you to dig a hole. Don’t just break ground , but dig a decent depth hole that isn’t just going to have the dirt blown away.
  • Toilet paper – now this is really important. We have a little bit of an ongoing problem with toilet paper being disposed of incorrectly and creating a despicable scene at some of our most beautiful spots. DO NOT leave your toilet paper behind. Don’t bury it, because it will get dug up by some curious critter. You have two options:
  • either put a match to your toilet paper and burn it (although not in the middle of a dry field or during a fire ban!) OR
  • just put it in the rubbish. Take a little rubbish bag with you and put your loo paper straight in there after use. It’s so easy to do, yet some people seem to think they’re exempt from this problem and refuse to dispose of their toilet paper properly. Once you see toilet paper strewn around, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about, and you’ll be as annoyed (and flabbergasted) by it as I am.

Central to your power solution is your batteries. You’ll use them to keep power hungry things going, like:

  • Electronic devices such as laptop, phone, camera equipment
  • Microwave, coffee maker, TV

But you’ll need to keep the batteries topped up, and you do this by recharging them by either:

  • Charging from the car alternator when driving
  • Solar panels
  • Battery charger when connected to mains power or a generator

road travel planner australia

If you’re renting a motorhome or campervan, then this is most likely to be set up already. But if not, here are the BASICS of what you’ll need.

1. Battery – Deep-Cycle Battery

road travel planner australia

First question I get is: can you use the battery that’s already in your car – the one that’s used to start the car – to power everything?

No – you need another battery that is a deep-cycle battery. You may hear this referred to as an auxiliary, secondary, or a dual battery system. This is the battery that will be used to power the fridge, lights, devices etc.

A deep-cycle battery is a lead-acid battery designed to be regularly deeply discharged using most of its capacity. In contrast, starter batteries (e.g. most automotive batteries) are designed to deliver short, high-current bursts for cranking the engine, thus frequently discharging only a small part of their capacity.  Thank you Wikipedia.

There are different types of deep-cycle batteries, the most commonly used types in Australia are the Lead Acid Battery and the AGM (Absorbed Glass Mat) battery.

 Lithium batteries are becoming more and more popular as they are more efficient, lighter (in weight) and last a lot longer.  They are also much more expensive, you can read more about them in  this article.

The deep-cycle battery can be fitted under the bonnet of some cars (if they have a space already available) or they can be fitted into the cargo area of your car or in the camper trailer/caravan. It will depend on the type of battery you have and the space available.

What do the different sizes mean?

The battery size is determined by the Amp Hours (Ah) of the battery. If the battery is 100Ah, this means that you have 100 Amp Hours of power available (theoretically).

If you have power consumption of 10 amps per hour (for example, you’ve got a fridge that uses 5 amps of power per hour, lights that use 2 amps per hour and other devices that are using 3 amps per hour) then that means the battery will last for 10 hours before it is completely flat.

Unfortunately it doesn’t quite work like that, AGM batteries should only be discharged about 60-80% before you need to recharge them again. But the Amp Hours is a good way of defining the size of a battery.

Now let’s talk about how a battery is recharged.

2. Recharging by Driving

Your deep-cycle battery can be charged by being hooked up to the start battery in your car, which is charged up by the alternator when you’re driving.

he Basics of Battery Power for Camping - one way of recharging your deep-cycle batte

If you’ve heard of things like a DC-DC charger or VSR (Voltage Sensitive Relay) these are pieces of equipment that go between your car’s start battery and the deep-cycle battery, this is to make sure that the battery is charged enough, but not too much and to make sure that the start battery never gets drained.

3. Recharging with Solar Panels

If you want to recharge your batteries using solar panels you will need to have a solar controller or regulator between the solar panels and the battery. The solar controller ensures that the battery does not get overcharged.

he Basics of Battery Power for Camping - solar panels are one way of recharging your

The size of the solar panels you need, will depend on how much power your devices consume. A set-up with a large fridge, multiple lights and devices will need more solar panels than a smaller set-up. I’ve found a very informative article on Hema Maps on the  The Basic Guide to Camping with Solar Power .

4. Recharging with a Battery Charger

attery Power for Camping - when you're at a spot that has mains po

When you have access to mains power, you can also recharge your AGM battery with an AC battery charger . You just plug the charger into the power point and connect it up to the battery.

Battery chargers come in different amp sizes, the larger the amps the quicker the battery will charge. For example, a 10A battery charger will take about 12 hours to recharge a 120Ah battery. Whereas a 20A battery charger will take 5 hours.

Or from a generator – If you have a generator, you can use the AC outlet to plug in the battery charger, and use it just like it were mains power.

5. Powering your 12v devices

Anything that uses 12v can be plugged straight into the battery . This includes things like your portable fridge or lights. You need adaptors or a battery box that are connected to the battery so that you can plug the cigarette lighter plug into the battery.

6. Using 240v devices – you need an inverter

There are other electronic equipment that doesn’t use 12v power, things like laptops, microwaves and toasters. They have the normal plug that you use in your house and run on 240v AC power.

In order to power these devices, you will need an inverter that will convert the 12v DC power of the battery, to 240v AC power for your devices.

he Basics of Battery Power for Camping - you can use your deep-cycle battery to powe

The size of the inverter you buy, will depend on the power consumption of the devices you’re running (i.e. the watts). For example, charging a laptop uses less power than running a microwave, so you will need a bigger inverter if you’re planning to take a microwave with you.

Air Conditioners

Here’s a question that we’ve pondered ourselves as we’ve sweated away in hot and sticky Darwin, or fried in the dry, but 40°C heat of Dubbo: can we run an air-conditioning unit while we’re free-camping?

From batteries? NO

From a generator? Maybe. I’ve heard plenty of people are able to run their air-con from generators, you just have to make sure you get a generator that is rated high enough to power your air-con.

These should be part of every travellers set-up, as important as your batteries, or your hat, or your phone, but so many people forget these.

First Aid kit

Make sure you have a suitable first aid kit and check that everything is within date (i.e. not expired) and that you know how to use everything in there.

Have you all taken a first aid course? Don’t forget, when you’re out in the middle of nowhere (i.e. much of Australia) then you must all look after each other, and that includes having a well-stocked first aid kit and the knowledge to use it.

Search more first aid kits here.

road travel planner australia

Personal Locator Beacon / Satellite phone

road travel planner australia

Consider taking a Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) with you.

Having this device with you can mean the difference between life and death, particularly in remote areas. PLBs are designed to be used on land, and are designed to stay with individuals rather than vehicles. You should make sure that you get one that has GPS as this means it will be much quicker for emergency services to find you. See the Australian Maritime Safety Authority website for more details.

Another option would be to either buy or hire a satellite phone.

While not as cheap as a cell phone, they do mean that you can make calls even when you’re out of cell phone coverage.

And there are satellite messenger devices like the SpotX , where you can send text messages via satellite.

Search more PLB / Satellite phones here

Fire Extinguishers

This one is a no-brainer really. Make sure you have a fire extinguisher in your vehicle and in your caravan/camper trailer.

Search more fire extinguishers here

Emergency Contact List

This is a simple, free and easy to do thing that will save you mountains of stress should you have an emergency situation.

A piece of paper that is easily locatable to you and those travelling with you, that has all the important contact phone numbers and details.

Things like:

  • Everyone’s mobile number – because you may not have memorised their numbers since they’re all in your mobile phone anyway
  • Phone numbers of close relatives – like parents and siblings
  • Your doctors name and number
  • Your medicare numbers
  • Your car insurance phone number and policy number
  • Health insurance numbers

It’s simple stuff, but when it’s an emergency and your phone happens to be flat, you’ll be super glad to have all this info handy.

I’ve got a free emergency contact form template over here if you would like.

There are a couple of large mobile phone providers in Australia like Telstra, Optus, Vodafone, Virgin as well as many smaller companies.

Without a doubt, the company with the best coverage around Australia is Telstra. They have the largest infrastructure network and therefore the largest coverage of Australia.

Update: I’ve been reading reports of Optus setting up cell towers in some remote towns so it will be worthwhile keeping an eye on them too.

Telstra Coverage Map

road travel planner australia

Vodafone Coverage Map

road travel planner australia

Telstra seem to have a bit of a reputation for not-that-great customer service, but that hasn’t been our experience at all. Yes, you’re going to get put through to a call centre in India, but each time they’ve been knowledgeable and able to help out with our situation.

Also, Telstra is certainly not the cheapest, but with the coverage they have (in both cell service and customer service) they really are the best choice.

If you live in Australia already, then you’ve likely got your phone sorted out already.

If you’re travelling to Australia from somewhere else, then you will probably want a prepaid service. The costs for prepaid phone are not too bad… it’s data that’s the big cost.

Ahh, the bane and blessing of every travellers existence!

Getting internet in Australia isn’t too hard, especially if you don’t need lots of gigs and you’re not in a remote area. But if you need/want heavier internet usage, things get a little bit trickier, and a lot more expensive.

Here’s how you’re going to get internet in Australia:

Free Wi-Fi can be found in all the regular places: shopping malls, airports, MacDonalds, hotels and libraries. Most often this will be capped, so of course this is only good for checking email, social media and browsing.

Hot Spot from your phone or mobile modem

This is a popular, and easy solution. If you’re with Telstra you’ll be able to get internet most of the time. For those on pre-paid it may be your only option.

If you’re not on unlimited data, then please take note, you must change your internet habits!

We found that on the road we had to be a lot more conscientious of our internet usage. You can’t watch whatever you like, whenever you like. You’ve got to stop going down the rabbit hole of endless Facebook or Youtube videos and make the most of free wi-fi when you get it, buy cheap DVDs from the second-hand shop, or read a book. Seriously, you have to get off your laptop / devices for this trip. I think you’ll find that it’s not hard though, there’s so much to see you’ll be glad to see how much you don’t need the internet.

road travel planner australia

TV in Australia

I think people who watch TV while their on their road trip around Australia cop a bit of flak for doing so.

I used to be one of those people that gave them flak. :-/

But now that we’re on the road ourselves, I totally understand peoples desire to watch some TV.

After a day of adventuring and exploring, it’s really nice to be able to relax in the evening, catch up with the news, watch your favourite TV shows and maybe even a movie.

We do exactly the same thing, but we don’t have TV, we use our laptops and internet.

Since TV isn’t my thing, I’m going to refer you to Free Range Camping who know more about it than me.  See their article all about getting a satellite TV kit here .

So you’ve arrived in Australia, you’ve got your home on wheels, you’ve packed in your clothes and bedding, you’ve stocked up the cupboards and fridge and you’re ready to hit the road!

But which way do you go?

Well, that will depend on a few factors; where you’re flying in and out of, the time of year that you’re visiting, how long you’ve got and your bucket list of must-see places. But the main factor that you’ll want to keep in mind is the weather.

Because Australia is so large, it has a wide variety of landscapes… and weather. In the north you have tropical rainforests, in the south and east you have mountain ranges and the centre is one huge dry desert.

So you’ll want to consider the timing of your visit to some of these areas.

The north of Australia is semi-tropical, making it very hot and humid in the summer (Dec-Feb) and subject to monsoonal type rains and tropical cyclones. The rainy season runs from approximately November to April and can severely hamper travel in the region. Some roads become impassable, being either washed away or totally underwater.

The vast expanse that is the middle of Australia is desert or semi-arid. In the summer, temperatures can be in the high 30’s to 40°C (104°F) during the day.

The winter months are a popular time to travel to the centre of Australia because the day time temperatures are comfortably warm, but you do need to be aware that at night the temperature plummets and you’ll want to have warm clothing and bedding.

A more temperate climate is found in the south-east and south-west regions of Australia. While it’s cold for us, it will rarely get as cold as 0°C (32°F) so it’s not nearly as frigid as our northern hemisphere visitors would be used to.

road travel planner australia

Southern Hemisphere Seasons

The southern hemisphere seasons are:

  • Summer – December, January, February
  • Autumn – March, April, May
  • Winter – June, July, August
  • Spring – September, October, November

You will find that many, if not most, people travelling around Australia will travel to the northern half and centre of the country in winter, and enjoy the warm tropical weather while avoiding the monsoonal rains and heat of summer.

Then in summer, they’ll head back south again where it will still be a hot summer, but not as hot.

Shoulder Season

We found ourselves travelling in the north of the country during the spring shoulder season (August/September) and we loved it. While literally hundreds of caravans were heading south as we went north we got to enjoy much less crowded camps but still pleasant temperatures.

Public Holidays & School Holidays in Australia

Being mindful of the public holidays will most likely help you with ‘crowd-control’ more than anything.

Starting your trip in Sydney? Well you DO NOT want to be picking up your campervan from the airport at 2pm on the Thursday before Easter and be heading north. You will be joined by every Sydney-ite desperate to leave the city limits on their first long weekend since summer.

Sure you could do it, but it will save yourself a heap of stress if you knew it was a long weekend and decided to stay the night near the airport instead.

You can find all the public holidays here and since it would also be best to avoid school holidays, if possible, here’s the link to them here too .

Bucket List items

And then, of course, the other thing to take into consideration is those ‘bucket list’ places that you’ve always wanted to see.  

Planning the actual route

For our trip around Australia, it was a case of ‘head north’ and then figure out the rest as we go.

However, if it’s a shorter trip, or you have limited time then you might like to plan out your itinerary a bit more.

Online Trip Planners – these are where you can input your start and finish points, and stops along the way, and it will show you your route along with some tourist attractions along the way. I find them to be a little bit limiting, but they can be a great way to start your planning and give you some ideas.

Here’s one from the NRMA that you may find helpful: Holiday Finder

Pre-made Itineraries – you’ll find lots and lots of itineraries already planned out for you, if you’d like to go that route. For example, Tourism Australia has some great self-drive itineraries here , that you could just follow these trips and you’ll have a great time.

But chances are, you’ll use them as a guide for planning your route, taking note of the things they recommend that appeal to you, and ignoring the rest.

Google Maps – if you enjoy the planning process, you could use something as simple as google maps and enter in your start and finish points, and the places on your bucket list in between.

It’s great how google maps gives you the drive times so you’ll be able to gauge how far you can travel each day.

While you’re there, you can search for local accommodation, restaurants and things to do. You can have a look at the map and see how far away the water is, the next town, the next interesting site to visit.

You can use the information that you find from itinerary examples and online trip planning tools to give you some idea of what would make a good trip, but then totally design it to your own needs, desires, budget and timeframe.

Personally, it’s my favourite way of planning for a trip because I’m in total control.

Packing is a bit of a personal preference and I’m certainly no fashionista, so I won’t be listing out the clothes I think you’ll need. But rather, some of the items that you may not think about bringing.

So of course, bring the shorts, t-shirts, nice dress, button up shirt, comfy undies and high heels if that’s what you want, these are the other things:

Protection against bugs

Light coloured and loose, long sleeve top and long pants.

As dusk approaches and you want to sit outside with your glass of chardonnay or tinnie of VB, there’s a good chance that the mosquitoes or sand flies are also thinking of settling in for their happy hour feast… of you!

It’s no fun wearing longs when it’s so hot, but it’s either that get eaten alive. Or sit inside.

This is a particularly sore point for me, because the insects seem to LOVE me. Insect repellent and long everything doesn’t seem to deter them. They find their way in and it’s no fun.

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This photo is what happened in Darwin when we left our window flaps open. All the doors and windows had fly screens but on one side the weave of the fly screen was a bit bigger than all the other openings, we normally kept it shut but it was so hot we made sure that every one was open. The tiny little blighters got through the bigger weave (which happened to be right beside me) and had a feast of my legs. Itchy. For. Days.

Insect Repellent

Everyone says that the only insect repellent that is any good must have DEET in it to be effective. While I’ve been happy enough to buy this at the supermarket I have to admit, it is a pretty ‘corrosive’ product. We had a roll-on insect repellent that leaked and while I can’t remember what it corroded or stripped, but it was dramatic enough that we did quickly decide that it need to be stored in a zip lock bag from now on. And we put this stuff on our skin!?

I’ve read quite a few recommendations for natural products available here in Australia. I’m not endorsing them, because I haven’t tried them; but I’ve heard them mentioned a quite a few times so I’m putting their website links here for your reference: Good Riddance & The Locals

Heat & Sun

Okay okay, everyone sees pictures of sun-kissed Aussies enjoying the beach, splashing around in their next-to-nothings and looking youthful and happy.

That picture is not so common anymore.

More and more people are becoming painfully aware of our harsh Aussie sun and seeking protection from it.

road travel planner australia

While a cap may look cool, if you’ve got a favourite wide-brimmed hat then I’d bring that with you. If not, you’ll be buying one when you get here anyway.

Long sleeves and pants

You know, when you see anyone that works out in the Australian sun all day (think road workers, farmers, those crazy cyclists and hikers that walk through the outback) they are most often wearing long pants and sleeves and a wide brim hat. Take your cue from them, especially if you’ll be spending your whole day outside in the summer.

In the water is where we are usually having the most fun and so forget to reapply sunscreen. Rashies are so, so popular now, so join the trend. They are especially great for kids, and everyone is wearing them, so you won’t be the odd one out.

It’s not as effective as staying out of the sun in the first place. But if you can’t/won’t keep your skin out of the sun then at least find a high SPF sunscreen and reapply regularly.

Yes, it does get cold!

I’ve reminded you a few times throughout this post that it can get really hot in many parts of Australia, but it’s certainly not hot all the time and in all places!

If you’re going to be in the middle to south of Australia during the winter months, then you’ll need to pack your warm clothes too. Average winter temperatures would get as low as single digits in ° Centigrade (34-48°F).

And don’t be fooled into thinking that the middle of Australia is hot all the time. In the winter, while day time temperatures may be warm, it can get down to zero (°C) overnight and take a couple of hours to warm up again in the morning.

There are a few considerations that you need to be aware of when it comes to driving in Australia. Things that may be quite different to where you come from, so let’s list them out:

International Drivers

In Australia we drive on the left side of the road and the majority of vehicles have the steering wheel on their right side.

You can use your overseas license in Australia for your entire visit, as long as you remain a visitor. If your license is not in English you must also carry an English translation or an International Driving Permit (IDP). Information on the IDP can be found here .

Australian Road Rules

Just like you would in any new country, it makes sense to familiarise yourself with the local road rules. A good article which outlines the major parts of the road rules (especially those pertaining to international drivers) can be found here . (Scroll about a third of the way down the page to get to the heading ‘Australia Road Rules’).

Driving at dawn or dusk

What might be quite different for our international visitors is that it if you are in a country area, it is recommended that you don’t drive at dawn or dusk times of the day. This is when the wildlife is the most active, and the chances of you hitting a kangaroo, wallaby, wombat or other creature, increases greatly.

You may not think that hitting a wallaby is that big a deal, but if you were to hit a large kangaroo that’s decided to bound across the road at the last minute, these can be big enough to cause serious damage to your car.

Driver Fatigue

In some parts of Australia you can be driving for hundreds and hundreds of kilometres, with little change in the landscape and huge distances to cover. Don’t push it. If you’re tired, there are plenty of designated rest stops, so make the most of them.

GPS and maps

You may think, like us, that phones are so useful now and that getting a GPS is a waste of time and money.

Or you may have figured out already, unlike us, that in the middle of the outback a phone is useless if you don’t have any reception. So at the time when you really need reassurance that you’re heading in the right direction to your intended campsite… you have no idea.

Unless you’re able to use an app that doesn’t require an internet connection but still uses the GPS function.

Otherwise, I’d recommend getting a GPS so you can have your navigation running all the time and there’s no arguments when you want to use the phone to take pictures and videos to post on Instagram!

And don’t forget the good old paper map. You remember them, right? You know that a paper map isn’t ever going to leave you stranded because it can’t get an internet connection, or doesn’t have a line of sight to the sky or has gone flat. There is nothing quite so old school, yet safe and practical, as having a physical map. You’ll find these in every Information Centre around the country.

Most Useful Apps

There are gazillions of apps that you could be using to plan and navigate your way around Australia. But for us, there were just a handful that I couldn’t do without:

I mentioned WikiCamps in the camping section and this is, without a doubt, the most used app on my phone. Ok ok, maybe facebook and Instagram are used more often, so I should probably say that WikiCamps was the most important app on my phone. I used it everyday that we needed to find a new camp.

It’s just $7.99 and worth every cent.

This app used to be part of the WikiCamps app but they’ve separated it out into it’s own app. There were a couple of times that we became a little concerned that our fuel was running low but we weren’t sure how far it was to the next town. Or we were at a town with half a tank of diesel left but diesel was $1.55 per litre. A quick look on the app assured us that the next town was 130 kms in the direction we were going and it was $1.42 per litre. So we kept driving. It helped us to save money and, more importantly, keep the stress and anxiety levels in check!  This app is free.

Special Considerations for Outback Travel

I’m just going to put this map of Australia here, superimposed over a map of North America, to remind you of just how large Australia.

road travel planner australia

But while the population density of the United States is 33 people per km 2 , the population density of Australia is a measly 3 people per km 2 .

Population Density – Australia Map ( Source )

road travel planner australia

Once you have a look at the geography of Australia, it all starts to make sense when you see that most of the middle of Australia is largely uninhabited. Sure there are small towns, and even a large town (Alice Springs) but no cities, and lots and lots of space in-between.

See all that pale yellow expanse in the Population Density – Australia Map above? All of that space has a population density of less than 0.1 person per km 2 . So that’s just one person per 10km 2 . That’s hardly any people.

I think I’ve made my point. You get it, that much of Australia is large and remote.

It’s not only remote and sparsely populated, it’s also desert or semi-arid. Which means you MUST ensure that you have enough drinking water on-board your vehicle so that, should the unforeseen happen, you can at least stay alive.

It’s also going to be hot. Depending on the time of year that you travel, it’s going to be really hot. Make sure you’ve got appropriate clothing, that your set-up affords you some shade when you stop, and that you have ways to cool down when you need to.

Some of the ideas we had are a 12v fan, a fridge or freezer for cold drinks, and a spray bottle with water that you can squirt on yourself every now and then.

Fuel & Other Spares

Use the FuelMaps app to see where your next fuel stop is. Carry extra fuel if possible.

Make sure your vehicle is in good working order before you leave on your trip.

Make sure to take the common spares such as oil, water, spare wheel & wheel changing kit, some basic tools.

Road Conditions

Anyone who’s driven on an unsealed back country road will know the displeasure of road corrugations / washboards. Having everything shaken to within an inch of your life is bad enough… doing so for over 500km is just soul-destroying!

We found this out ourselves due to some less than stellar planning. On the road from Burketown QLD to Boroloola NT, I couldn’t understand why the Maps app kept wanting us to go the longer 1,255km route instead of the more direct 523km route.

road travel planner australia

If I’d taken just a few moments to notice the time difference between the two routes, I might have put two and two together.

And hence, we had two days of bone rattling corrugations. Our car and camper trailer handled the corrugations with aplomb – even though EVERYTHING was covered in red dust – but imagine if we’d had a caravan. I think that would have, literally, shaken a caravan to pieces. With our light little camper trailer we could afford to make mistakes like that and be none the worse for wear.

When we get a caravan, we’ll have to be more careful and aware.

We have no regrets taking that road though. What ensued was a great little adventure that involved a lot of laughing as we shuddered down the road, a couple of exciting (to us) river crossings and picking up three locals in the middle of nowhere to give them a ride to the next town… 150kms away!

Alcohol Restricted Areas

Here’s something you may not be aware of:

There are parts of Australia where alcohol restrictions are in place. You will come across these areas in parts of the Northern Territory, Far North Queensland and some parts of Western Australia. The restrictions vary in each state and area, and are constantly changing, but can be a total ban on alcohol consumption or a limit on how much you can buy, when you can buy and what you can buy.

There will be signs on the road as you enter into these restricted areas, but you’ll also be made well aware of any restrictions when you buy alcohol. If in doubt, just visit the nearest Information Centre and they’ll have all the info you need.

In one bottle store I heard a lady complaining loudly that she was a visitor to the area and shouldn’t have to be subject to the same restrictions as the local people.

But you’ve got to remember that while these restrictions may be a bit of a nuisance to you as a visitor because they limit how many drinks you can have at your daily happy hour; the restrictions are certainly not for your benefit.

It’s for the benefit (in terms of safety and health) of the local community. In the aboriginal communities where these restrictions are in place, the goal of the restrictions is to minimise the dreadful harm caused by rampant alcohol abuse and misuse, and associated violence.

Now, this is going to be the hard section to write. Of course you already know that everyone is different so eveyones road trip around Australia budget is going to be wildly different.

If you’re on holiday for a limited time, you may not be so worried about costs because you’re going back to work as soon as you get home anyway; compared to the person who has made being on the road their new lifestyle, and is now a lot more selective about what he spends his limited resources on.

First up, particularly for our international visitors, Australia is expensive.

All cost estimates are in Australian Dollars.

I think the most helpful thing I can do here is to share our budget with you, tell you how we came up with this budget, and whether it proved to be practical on the road.

Setting a budget

This is the budget that we had set ourselves before we’d even left New Zealand . Setting a budget for something when you don’t even know what you’re getting yourself into, can be quite hard. But I did lots and lots of research and did the best I could.

Our budget was divided into two parts, the One-Off or Set-Up Costs that we would incur within the first few weeks of arriving in Australia, and then our Living Expenses for six months on the road.

One-off costs

road travel planner australia

Getting to Australia $2,100 – Fights, rental car, hotel etc. This will be zero if you live in Australia already, significantly more if you have to come from the other side of the world.

Vehicle $10,000 – I had a look at sites like carsales.com.au and gumtree.com.au to see what type of vehicles were available and the price range. While $10k is on the low side for a 4WD vehicle, we were recommended a Hyundai Terracan so I did a heap of research on them and we decided it would be perfect for us and our small budget.

Camper trailer $5,000 – Once again, it was only by looking online at lots and lots of camper trailers, caravans and campervan etc that we came up with a budget of $5,000. We realised that we could get a good quality camper trailer for that price and still afford all the things we thought we’d need.

Toilet & Tent $300 – This is for one of those pop-up shower tents and a porta-potti.

Solar, Battery & Fridge $3,000 – We were hoping we’d get lucky and find a camper trailer that already had a dual/portable battery system, but we weren’t banking on it. So we set this budget of $3,000 after doing lots of looking for batteries, fridges & portable solar panels online and figuring out how much it would cost us.

Insurance $500 – I just used www.iSelect.com.au to figure out what insurance would cost if I purchased one of the cars I’ve been looking at.

Roadside Assistance $250 –  through NRMA

Maintenance $2,400 – I guessed this one. Based on $100 per week for 6 months…ish. Oil changes, punctured tyres, ummm other stuff?

Misc – because there’s always miscellaneous!

Business costs $1,700 – this won’t apply to everyone, but for us I needed to keep some money aside for regular payments for things like hosting, domain name renewals and other business costs.

Other bills or giving – mortgage, car or caravan loans, charitable giving – anything else that you will keep paying regardless of the fact that you’re heading off on a trip of a lifetime.

Six Months Living Costs

When trying to come up with a ‘living budget’ for our road trip around Australia, I racked my brain for all the things I thought we’d need to pay for. I started with the things we already pay for in our lives – rent, food, petrol, phones, internet, entertainment, gifts, subscriptions. And then added all the things that would be extra being on this trip.

The thing is, you won’t know everything. You’ll get some of it wrong, when you’re on the road you’ll realise that you needed to allocate more money to one area and you allocated too much money to other areas. But figuring out a budget beforehand, allows you to know how long your money is going to last you. If you’re waaaay overspending your weekly budget you’ll be able to know in advance that you’re likely to run out of money. Either that’s fine… and you break out the credit card. Or you tighten your belt and cut back on the less important things.

I probably did things a little bit backwards, but I calculated (sometimes guessed) how much we would spend each month and therefore for the whole six months. Then I divided it by 26 weeks to come up with the weekly budget.

road travel planner australia

So here’s how I determined our monthly budget:

Camping fees $400 – would be just like paying rent, or paying for a hotel/motel every night. From some quick online research I could see that $30 per night for a caravan park (unpowered site) was reasonably normal. Ben and I talked about trying to free camp for four nights per week and staying in a caravan park for the other three nights per week. That gave us a budget of $90 per week for camping fees, which I rounded up to $400 per month.

Not exactly a science to my methods, but at least it gives us something to work with.

Food $1,000 – we’ll still eat generally the same things as we do now and in the same quantities, so that shouldn’t change too drastically. Having lived in Australia previously we knew that the food prices between NZ and Australia are reasonably similar.

For any international readers, I would suggest taking the time to go through one of your regular weeks grocery list and jumping on to an online shopping site like www.shop.coles.com.au to price each of the items. It’s a time consuming exercise for sure, but it will give you a really good idea of what you should budget for.

Fuel $800 – it’s gonna be a lot, I mean you are driving around Australia. Here’s how I roughly calculated how much fuel would cost us.

road travel planner australia

Expected KMs – I used google maps to give me an approximate kilometres for a half loop starting in Sydney, following the coast up to Cairns, across to Darwin, down through the middle via Uluru to Adelaide, and then across to Dubbo.

This came to 10,175km. Since this amount is just direct distances between major cities I added on another 50% to account for the fact that we wouldn’t be on the main highway the whole time, and for sightseeing etc. It’s just an aroundabout figure so that I knew we were talking about 15,000kms rather than 5,000kms.

Fuel Consumption per 100km – I found some figures online as I was doing all the general research for this trip, that showed people reporting fuel consumption of 12-20L per 100km. I just took a stab and guessed that ours would be 18L/100km. I guessed this because:

  • we wouldn’t be in a vehicle with a huge engine, towing a massive (heavy) caravan, so it wouldn’t be the highest number
  • but we would be in an older vehicle which I just presumed we have worse fuel consumption
  • I was guessing so I thought I’d better err on the generous side (notice a pattern here?)

Cost of diesel – $1.60 per litre. Online I found people quoting an average diesel price of $1.55 per litre, so I added another .5 for good measure.

Add all those figures into my calculation and this is what I got.

road travel planner australia

I rounded the per month cost up to $800 (because I’m continually adding in padding when I’m doing lots of guessing like this).

Electricity $0 – will now be zero as it’s covered in the nightly rate at caravan parks, or our battery system with solar will cover our needs

Gas – we didn’t have a budget for this because we only used gas for cooking so it was hardly anything. But if you’ve got a gas fridge or water heating system you’ll need to factor that in.

Phone / Internet  $100 – presuming you’ll be going with Telstra, just look up their website and see which pre-paid or contract plan (depending on which suits your circumstances) works for you. For us we figured we’d have two phones with each one on the $50 per month pre-paid.

Spending $400 – yeah, this one is a total guess. You’ll need to think about what kind of travel you enjoy.

While we love a good tour or attraction or night at the pub as much as the next person, we also get a lot of joy from a bundle of newspaper-wrapped fish and chips while sitting on the beach. If it happens to include a glass of Veuve Clicquot then you’ll find me in a world of happiness!

While we would LOVE to have a much bigger budget here, we knew this was the most flexible area of the budget because it is all about our ‘wants’, not our ‘needs’. Just because we’re tight-arses, doesn’t mean that you have to be.

You may find it helpful to break this bucket down even further. Here are some other categories that could go under ‘Spending’:

Coffee – although I love a good coffee, I would only buy one as a treat, so I don’t need a separate budget for it.

Alcohol – this on the other hand… we probably should have budgeted for. :-O

Sightseeing Trips – you’ll need to factor in museum or attraction visits or any of the we’re-only-here-once-so-we’d-better-do-it visits.

You know, things like swimming with whale sharks, a scenic flight over Uluru or a sunset cruise on Sydney Harbour. If there are must-dos on your list, then I would find out the price of each of those attractions (online) and add them to the budget.

Eating out – any takeaways, pub, café and restaurant meals.

Hair and beauty – haircuts and styling, nails, waxing – anything that you know you’ll want to get done while you’re on the trip.

Dog sitting services – if you’ve got an extra family member with you

Kid expenses – I don’t know what extra costs kids have, but I hear they’re expensive. ☺

It cost us…

I kept pretty good records of our expenses for our whole trip and I’m pleased to report that I wasn’t too far off. I had way under-budgeted for in one area, but we made up with my over-budgeting in other areas.

Here’s how it panned out at the three month mark:

road travel planner australia

Not too shabby.

We’re happy with this, we didn’t stress over every dollar, but we did keep an eye on things.

And here are the ‘Living Costs’ for the first three months. Though it fluctuated wildly each week, it averaged out to being on budget .

road travel planner australia

Every person and family will have a different budget, but by taking the time to at least price out what you think it will cost you, it will help you the plan your trip.

This is the question that has always stumped me the most.

For us, not only did we need to save for the caravan or motorhome, but also for our living expenses while we were on the road.

I had always thought it would be at least $100k for a motorhome and then $50k to travel for a year. While that is a HUGE amount of money and already felt out of our reach, the idea of then having to go back to work, well, I think that might have been the most frightening prospect of all.

So a few things had to happen before we could even contemplate setting out on this trip.

  • We had to downsize our motorhome expectations A LOT, and
  • We had to either figure out ways of making money online, or get comfortable with needing to stop and work as needed.

Downsizing our motorhome expectations

I’ve always been obsessed with RVs.

I love reading about all their features and new developments. I love reading blogs from people that have been travelling and working in them. And most of all, I love looking at RV floor plans, trying to decide which layout, size and type would be best for us.

So I decided to start my own blog about RVs, appropriately titled RVObsession.com.

Now, I could read anything and everything on the subject of RVs, all in the name of research!

It was this obsession with RVs and all my reading from so many different types of RVers that it started to dawn on me that we didn’t need the fanciest rig in order to travel. We just needed something we could afford and then we’d figure it out from there.

When I started looking for something that we could afford , rather than something we wanted , a world of options opened up.

We realised that a camper trailer was the cheapest option (while still being a step up from a tent because the bed and much of the kitchen was already set-up) for a road trip around Australia but we would still be reasonably comfortable.

Our budget for a camper trailer and car was $15k… a far cry from the $100k I thought we’d need for a motorhome.

Downsizing our expectations meant we could get on the road in three months… not three decades.

Figuring out ways to make money online

In all honesty, we’ve been trying to make money online for years (and years).

We’ve spent thousands of dollars on programs and tools and information products (probably enough to afford us a nice caravan by now :-O) and, while we’ve made some money here and there, it hasn’t been much.

And only recently we started making enough money from our blogs to cover our living expenses. 

You can read more about how we’ve been making money to fund our travels here:

road travel planner australia

Just a caveat about making money online: we’ve been involved in some really good quality programs and learnt from some really great people.

We’ve done everything from MLM, blogging, affiliate marketing to advertising, creating courses and sponsored posts. We’ve bought ads and traffic, learnt copywriting, created autoresponders and email newsletters.

We’ve done lots of stuff, but we totally recognise that we have lacked focus, discipline (argh) and the tenacity to consistently apply these things to one business idea.

We’ve learnt that we have to fix those things (discipline etc) first, and then consistently apply all the technical skills we have.

All that to say: just because we’ve not seen much success with making online money YET, we still believe it’s a valid and valuable way to fund your travels, and we’re still working very hard at it.

Phew, caveat over.

Okay, so on to what we are doing to create an online income:

We have two blogs (this one and RVObsession.com) where the aim is to make money from advertising on the blogs, affiliate marketing and sponsored posts.

Both RVObsession and this blog make money through ads and affiliate marketing.

It’s always been my goal to make money from blogging, and it’s a slow, long and hard process… not helped by the fact that I’m very inconsistent at posting new content.

Blogging is the long game.

So in the short term, the two other ways we make money online is through offering virtual assistant services and freelancing.

Virtual Assistant

It can be a little tricky to define exactly what a virtual assistant is/does but in a nutshell:

A virtual assistant is someone who helps you run your business, whether a traditional or online business, by doing any online tasks that you need.

This could be ANY tasks that can be completed online.

It could be admin tasks anyone in the corporate may undertake like: diary management, minute taking, email management, answering the phone, ordering stock, managing a database, customer service or cold calling.

Or it may be scheduling posts on your blog, social media management, email marketing or running ads.

Currently, I help one blogger by running her Instagram account, and the other client I have is a motorhome manufacturer who’s Pinterest account I have set up and manage.

I think that being a virtual assistant is a fantastic way of creating an online income. It what I’ve done and this is how I got started as a VA .

Freelancing

Generally this is someone who has a specialist skill that they provide to businesses on either a one-off project or an ongoing basis. This includes services like: writing, website development, design, app development and more.

Currently I have one freelancing gig where I write articles for a motorhome manufacturer every month.

Casual & temping work

This is our least favourite way to make money as we road trip around Australia, but it’s what we’re the most used to and there’s plenty of it around.

When we stopped in Dubbo, Ben had a casual job at a tyre shop. And I had a casual admin job and then a temping contract for a couple of months.

It’s not our favourite way of working because it means we’re tied to the one location, plus you have to wear work clothes every day.

But it’s easy and familiar and as I said before, there’s plenty of it around.

This is the main way we’ve made money on this trip so without it we’d be screwed.

This is just what we are doing to make money and hopefully it will give you some ideas about what you could do if you also need to make an income while you’re travelling.

This topic could be a whole ‘ultimate guide’ in itself, but I’ve written a bit more about ways that I’ve seen people making money while on a road trip around Australia. You can read that here .

I realise that’s a lot to take in and maybe you’re stuck in the stage of, ‘yeah that’s great to know all that stuff… but what to I do now!?’

I’ve put together a timeline planner to help you go through all the steps that you need to think about and set up, in order to turn your dream into a reality.

I wish it could be as easy as saying, ‘follow these steps, and in one year you’ll be on the trip of a lifetime!’, but we all know that a cookie-cutter approach will not work for everyone. We’re all so completely different, with different needs, wants, budget and level of compromise!

This planner will help you to determine what things you should be thinking about, and at what stage. Just go to our Free Resources page to download it.

If you want to download this huge post as a PDF, you can purchase it below for $9. 

Phew, that’s my take on Getting Set Up for a Road Trip Around Australia ! I really hope you got some value out of this tome. If you have any questions, please feel free to add them in the comments below and I’ll get to them as soon as I can.

Save the ‘Guide to getting set up for a road trip around Australia’ to Pinterest

Car and caravan on outback road. Text overlay: Getting set up road trip around Australia

Tuesday 15th of December 2020

Hi Michelle and Ben.

I’ve stumbled across this blog and have found it a brilliant read. So well done! And just what I need! Thank you. I’m all inspired and more confident in giving it a go and making my dream a reality. Thank you x

Olivia Confidus

Friday 3rd of April 2020

Just lucky I found your blog! Great, thanks for the beginner's guide on planning an Australian trip! I hope after quarantine I can do it.

Saturday 4th of April 2020

Yes, once this is all over (who knows how long that's gonna take?) I can't wait to get out on the road again! M :-)

Removalists

Monday 25th of March 2019

Great content, you should also include the removalist services that are somethimes necesessary when moving on Australia. Thanks and looking back for more informative articles.

road travel planner australia

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To use our Road Trip Planner, add your start and end location in the labelled boxes. If you would like to add way points along the route, just use the box provided. To add extra way points just click the plus sign and if you want to remove any way points, just click the minus sign. Click the “Submit” button when you have finished and a map with directions will be produced.

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25 BEST Australia Travel Apps (RoadTrips, Camping, Drinks etc!)

All hail the interweb! Although there certainly are good points and bad points when it comes to an unlimited flow of information, it’s safe to say that in the travel space, travel planning has never been easier. And when it comes to Australia, with its size and wealth of things to see, do and experience in every corner, downloading a set of helpful travel apps is an absolute must.

But in a jam-packed mobile app store and multiple apps seemingly doing the same thing, it can be tough to know where to start and what you really need. And that’s where we come in. We’ve collected our favourite Australian travel apps that we recommend any visitor to Australia (and even Aussies themselves!) download that help make travel planning in Oz a breeze.

Whether you are road tripping, camping, or flying, there are apps to help you find the best deals, routes and fares. While in a destination there are apps for finding your nearest happy hour for discount food and drink, find your zen on the nation’s beaches or stargaze with an astronomy app (and actually know what you are looking at!). And when it comes to managing your money on your travels, we’ve got you covered with budgeting, spending trackers, and receipt logging apps.

The possibilities are endless so to help you narrow down exactly what you need, we’ve grouped them into sections such as must-have Australian Apps, the best apps for an Australian road trip, helpful travel apps for managing your money and, finally, generally the best travel apps that can be used and utilized in any country. And best of all – most of these are also the best free travel apps on the market. So scroll down and start downloading!

Australia Travel Apps Header image of a man sat on rocks next to the water looking at his phone

Table of Contents

  • 1.1 The Happiest Hour
  • 1.2 Wikicamps Australia
  • 1.3 Beachsafe
  • 1.4 The Outbound Collective
  • 1.5 Dawn Patrol
  • 1.6 Netflix
  • 1.7 AllTrails
  • 1.8 Free Wifi Finder
  • 1.10 StarTracker
  • 2.1 RoadTrippers
  • 2.2 Spotify
  • 2.5 Fuel Map Australia
  • 2.6 Toilet Finder
  • 3.1 Trail Wallet (IOS) or Travel Spend (IOS/Android)
  • 3.2 XE Currency Converter
  • 4.1 Whatsapp / Facebook Messenger
  • 4.2 TripIt: Travel Planner
  • 4.3 Uber / Ola
  • 4.4 Google Translate
  • 4.5 Packpoint
  • 4.6 Sky Scanner
  • 4.7 Travello

Must-Have Australia Travel Apps (Camping, Happy Hour, Flights etc)

The happiest hour.

App Interface of The Happiest Hour App

The app also helps users track down happy hour-related food deals, from pizza and pasta to dumplings and almost everything in between. Obviously, the bigger (and busier) the Australian city, the more options the app will display.

Available on both Google Play for Android devices and the App Store for iPhones .

Wikicamps Australia

App interface of Wikicamps showing maps and features

Kept up to date by users as they travel, it is an ever-growing resource packed with invaluable information – making it one of the Top Travel Apps in Australia. And with the offline map function, it’s the perfect app for finding all things camping (and road trip) related. Easily one of the most useful travel apps in Australia. Download it now (on Android or iPhone ) and start planning your next Aussie adventure.

Screenshot of Beachsafe Desktop Website

What you may not realise is that not Australian beaches are suitable for swimming and that’s where Beachsafe comes in. Brought to you by the Australian Surf Life Saving Association, you can search every beach for weather, hazards and water. Although they won’t always have information on dangerous rips, and so we recommend you swim at patrolled beaches between the distinctive red and yellow flags at all times.

Available in the Play Store & App Store – it is a must-have app for travelling in Australia.

The Outbound Collective

The Outbound Collective App header image

It’s the perfect inspirational app for exploring nature near to you when you’re not sure what you want to do or have landed in a new destination and are feeling a little uninspired. It’s one of the best free travel apps for exploring Australia and is available on iPhone and Android . (There’s also a tours and lodging tab – but we recommend sticking with just the local adventures. There are better apps for hotels & tours!)

Dawn Patrol

Dawn Patrol App Interface

While the Dawn Patrol app (linked to your Apple Watch) is really not necessary when you’re trying to catch your first wave, for those who are at home on a board, it can be a great way to track each session in the water and records details about the break, how many waves you catch, how far you travel etc.

Man holding a phone with the Netflix logo on the screen in front of a green wall

Although it’s not free, for a small monthly subscription you can have a range of TV and movies at your fingertips. Download a selection of movies and TV before you head off on your next adventure (using your home internet, rather than data!) – and stay entertained even when the Wifi is weak. (Available on both iPhone & Android)

AllTrails App Artwork

AllTrails have over 200,000 curated trail maps around the world – with over 7000 of them available for Australia.

Get inspired by local walking and biking trails and nature opportunities near you, and read user reviews and tips to find out what to know before you set off. The maps can be downloaded and used to track your adventures in real-time (if you don’t mind paying the annual fee), or can be used for free via mobile data while you’re out and about. You can even use the GPS on your phone to track your trails – which may help you retrace your steps if you get lost!

Free Wifi Finder

Free Wifi sign on a window

You can also use the tracking functions to monitor proposed routes and the app will send you a notification when it’s the perfect time to grab a bargain.

StarTracker

Australian camping in a forest under a starry sky

If you’re heading out into the country, the outback or just one of our incredible national parks, the StarTracker app is great fun for exploring the stars at night. Simply open the app, point your phone’s camera to the sky, and the app will tell you what you are looking at. Stars, planets, or constellations – it’s hours of fun.

(You can also point the phone at the ground and see what stars are on the other side of the world!) Get the App in the Playstore or AppStore .

Top Travel Apps for an Australian Road Trip

Roadtrippers.

Roadtrippers App

Plan your route, find attractions along the way, estimate driving times – RoadTrippers is a favourite road trip travel app has been the go-to app across the globe for putting together itineraries for years. Is invaluable when it comes to navigating the outback on our Aussie roads. Download the app here .

Woman holding a phone with the Spotify App open and headphone dangling on the table below

The real-time reporting of traffic accidents or simply, more traffic than normal, means the app gives you the quickest route, even after you have selected your destination. And if you have a trip scheduled for the next day, the app will alert you if there has been an unusual incident on your route and if you need to leave earlier.

The app also has a rideshare/carpool function, so even if you are not driving yourself, you can use the app to find others heading your way and share the fuel costs; or offer up a spare seat if you have one. You can download the app on iOS and Android here .

Maps.me app on a phone

Pus, one of my favourite features – lots of viewpoints and points of interest built into the app that you can preview to decide if you want to stop along your way.

It’s one of the best free travel apps on the list. Download it on Google Play or the App Store .

Fuel Map Australia

Fuel Map Australia screenshot

Toilet Finder

Wooden toilet hut in the outback

Free Travel Apps for Managing Your Money On the Road

Trail wallet (ios) or travel spend (ios/android).

Trail Wallet App image

For those wanting something just for receipts, we recommend Smart Receipts. This is particularly good for grouping expenses into lists that work for you (destination, category etc)

TravelSpend app interface

Travel Spend is similar to Trail Wallet in terms of spending tracking, adding expenses on the go and keeping track of your budget – and is the best alternative for those who are Android devotees.

XE Currency Converter

XE App interface

The exchange rates are live where you are connected to the internet – and where you are not, it uses the rate saved from the last time you opened the app. (Our top tip if you are relying on hotel wifi – open the app just before you leave your hotel for the day so your app exchange rates are never more than a few hours old.)

The XE Currency App also offers international money transfers, however for the best rates we recommend using Wise – whom you can also get a travel credit card for which lets you hold multiple currencies. This allows you to spend in whichever currency you like, and convert cash at the best rate at any given time.

The Best Travel Apps for Australia (and beyond!)

Whatsapp / facebook messenger.

Whatsapp and Facebook Messenger Logos

TripIt: Travel Planner

TripIt: Travel Planner App screenshots

The app will group together and organise activities and tickets that fall within the date ranges of any return flights, and will track your travels as time passes. The app can also pull tickets out and log them automatically from your email when you link it to the app, and you can manually add them if it misses any.

For busy travel periods, this app is invaluable and as all your trips are stored in the app, can help you keep track of all your past adventures too.

Hand holding a mobile phone with the Uber loading screen visible

Wherever you are in Australia, it is of vital importance that everyone has the opportunity to get home safely, and rideshare apps such as Uber and Ola offer the ability for guests to track their drivers, their route and even share their current location with others.

We recommend having both downloaded and checking your fare on each before making a booking. Depending on surge charging at any given time, one app may be significantly cheaper than the other. (I also love that your Ola account earns you Velocity frequent flyer points, but I’m just a big points geek! )

Google Translate

Google Translate App Image

Sky Scanner

SkyScanner App interface

That’s a wrap, we hope our Australia travel guide to the best Australian Apps for Travel has shown you exactly what mobile apps will help when it comes to exploring Australia. And If you have planned your trip with an Australian travel app that isn’t on the list, be sure to let us know in the comments so we can add it!

Oh, if you liked this post please share on Facebook, tweet or pin – I’d really appreciate it! Click the P in the share bar for the full-size image!

25 Travel Apps for Australia

READY MORE TRAVEL INSPIRATION? YOU MIGHT BE INTERESTED IN THESE RECENT POSTS, TRAVEL ARTICLES, TRAVEL TIPS, DESTINATION GUIDES, TRAVELER RESOURCES, TRAVEL GEAR GUIDES AND RELATED POSTS ABOUT OTHER AMAZING PLACES AROUND AUSTRALIA:

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  • South Australia: Adelaide Travel Guide (Perfect for First Time Visitors)
  • Australian Capital Territory: Top Things to do in the ACT
  • Queensland: QLD Bucket List (inc. the some of the best spots on the East Coast Australia – think Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Airlie Beach, and the Great Barrier Reef) + 50 Top Things to do in Outback Queensland
  • New South Wales: Top Things to do in Sydney, Best Places to visit in NSW (including the Opera House, Blue Mountains National Park)
  • Victoria: The Ultimate Victoria Bucketlist (inc. the Great Ocean Road ), Melbourne Travel Guide (Perfect for First Timers) + Free Things to do in Melbourne , Melbourne Weekend Getaways & Best Time to Visit Melbourne (Month by Month Guide)
  • General Australia Inspiration: 25 Best Places to Visit in Australia (inc. Alice Springs in the NT!)
  • For International travel guides (North America, Europe, Middle East, Africa etc) head on over to MakeTimeToSeeTheWorld.com

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Bassendean family hopes to use electric 4WD to tow pop-up caravan around Australia

A Perth couple has set some big, green travel plans for 2024: to become one of the first families to use an electric vehicle to tow a pop-up caravan around Australia.

Key points:

  • It will take nine months for the family to travel around Australia 
  • Australia's electric vehicle sales doubled in 2023 
  • WA's EV highway is due for completion this year 

They're hoping to circumnavigate the Australian continent without burning a drop of fossil fuel.

But they aren't a group of post-graduate technology students, or a crack team of EV pioneers sponsored by a green start-up.

They're the McLennans. Of Bassendean.

Tim and Renae McLennan are something of a green power couple.

A family of four sitting in their lounge room, a plant wall is behind them.

They helped set up and run both the local repair café, which fixes people's broken items, and the share shed which loans camping gear, party goods and tools, free of charge.

As a former mayor of Bassendean, Ms McLennan oversaw the introduction of one of Perth's first residential FOGO green waste collection services.

A woman in black cloths standing in front of a sign for the Bassendean share shed.

But now it's time for a long — eco-friendly — break.

"Essentially we wanted to get the family to experience the classic lap of Australia but we thought, we've electrified everything at home, can we do it as an electrified trip around Australia as well?" Mr McLennan said.

A family of four standing inside their eco-friendly camper.

"[We] wanted to prove that it is possible and start the ball rolling."

The couple and their children plan to exchange the eco-friendly house they built themselves for an eco-friendly mobile home they have modified. 

A camper van hitched to a grey electric 4WD

All the on-board appliances have been converted to run on solar power and the aerodynamics have been improved.

It will be towed by one of the first EVs in Australia capable of hauling a large pop-up caravan.

The McLennans calculate a maximum of 270kms between charging stations and are confident of making the distance.

But they won't know for sure until they source a special tow bar for their EV.

A man completing solar panels and other eco-friendly modifications on a camper trailer.

"Aerodynamics is one of the biggest killers for EV range, so we've done some aerodynamic mods to the van which has had the extra bonus of adding more solar panels to the roof, so we've got much more collection now and extra storage which is something that campers are usually lacking," Mr McLennan said.

Together, they'll spend nine months travelling around Australia as not so much grey – but green – nomads.

The plan is to set off in March a few months before Western Australia's EV highway is due for completion.

The EV highway is being rolled out by WA power utilities Synergy and Horizon and will provide charging stations from Kununurra in the far north to Eyre on the South Australian border.

It will operate alongside private charging stations and those provided by local government councils.

A family standing next to a four-wheel drive and caravan.

"Our electric vehicle charging stations are just the start," WA electricity corporation Synergy's Executive General Manager Jason Froud said.

"They're intended to incentivise the uptake of electric vehicles and show other manufacturers and providers of electric vehicle charging networks that it's okay to be able to do this and it's possible."

A man wearing a suit smiling.

Australian EV Association national secretary Chris Jones said the chargers themselves are user friendly and don't require a special mobile phone app.

"Having chargers every 200 kilometres, or thereabouts, means every single EV on the market today can do that trip and any EV that can tow is capable of doing that trip as well," Mr Jones said.

EV uptake on the rise

Sales of electric vehicles in Australia doubled last year and, with major manufacturers introducing new models and a developing network of charging stations, it's getting easier to travel far and wide across the country. 

Synergy hopes that means more and more Australians will become confident about switching to EVs for the long haul.

"I think we've turned the corner of EV uptake in this country," Mr Froud said.

"The uptake now is incredibly quick … it was only less than a year ago that we had about ten thousand electric vehicles in the state and that's nearly doubled that already and it's only a year later."

A picture of the Collie electric vehicle charging station in Western Australia

For Tim and the team, part of the excitement is pioneering the fossil fuel-free round Australia trip.

But at the end of the day, being able to travel long distances with loved ones guilt-free is the primary goal of the project. 

"It's not a matter of racing around Australia," Mr McLennan said.

"We want it to be the same as we'd do six months ago but ideally, if we haven't used any fossil fuels, that's success to me."

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  1. Road trip planner

    Which state are you exploring? Find local inspiration and start planning your next road trip with our simple interactive journey planner. Explore the best of Australia and find your perfect getaway.

  2. Epic Adventures: The Ultimate Road Trip Planner Australia

    Escape the ordinary and embrace extraordinary adventures with our Road Trip Planner Australia for driving holidays tailored for 7 and 14-day journeys ideal for annual leave and school holidays. Unfold the ideal roadmap to explore unique pockets of Australia, piece by piece.

  3. Trip Planner

    Check out escapes in each state, explore travel advice, accommodation, car hire, fuel information, maps and much more on the NRMA trip planner. Make sure you check your roadside assistance and car insurance is up to date, so you can have peace of mind where ever you choose to travel. Travel inspiration The best beaches in Australia

  4. Best Road Trip Planner Australia

    Plan your road trip itinerary using our road trip planner below to track each stop. To use our free Road Trip Planner, add your starting location and finishing location in the marked boxes below. Need to add some stops along the way? Add your stops to your road trip by using the box supplied.

  5. Road trips and self-drive journeys

    Explore interactive map Popular road trips Iconic road trips Wildflower road trips Foodie road trips Outback road trips Explore itineraries Duration Category Go on an epic road trip, from calm coastal drives to outback adventures, discover Australia your way.

  6. The Ultimate Australia Road Trippin' Guide

    Michelle Neo - August 6, 2020 From cities to coasts and national parks to natural beauties, an epic road trip is the best way to explore Australia! Summary 1) Coastal drive from Sydney to Melbourne 2) Ultimate Australian Outback road trip from Darwin to Adelaide

  7. Australia Road Trip Planner: Plan The PERFECT Aussie Road Trip

    In this Australia road trip planner I've tried including everything you might need to know about planning your own Australia road trip, including how to find the perfect vehicle, when to visit, where to go, what to pack and more. So start reading and planning your ideal Australia road trip! Contents [ hide] 1 Best time to road trip Australia

  8. Road Trip in Australia: An Itinerary for the Whole Country!

    This Australia road trip planner is customizable depending on your wishes, but I've added suggested lengths of times in each location. I 'm recommending at least six months to orbit Australia (this Australia road trip itinerary takes you into the centre as well). Australia is big and some days will consist of just driving.

  9. 10 BEST Australia Road Trips

    Take some time to learn about the true Australians. 4. Great Ocean Road - Victoria. The Great Ocean Road is widely mooted as the "greatest" amongst the epic Australian road trips, and one of the best road trips in Victoria. For all those in love with the ocean, this road is an absolute must.

  10. The best Australian road trips

    Where: New South Wales. Coastal drives fit into a road trip category of their own, with the endless ocean on one side and sweeping landscapes on the other. One of Australia's most spectacular coastal drives is New South Wales' Grand Pacific Drive. Beginning just south of Sydney, the road clutches the coastline, unfurling onto the Sea Cliff ...

  11. Plan your Trip to Australia

    Plan your Trip to Australia - Free Australia trip planner Australia For those who are planning their first visit to Australia, here's just a taste of what awaits on this vast continent.

  12. Australia Road Trip Planner: Plan a Perfect Aussie Road Trip

    3. Plan every day and make sure you have the time for your plans. Perfect road trip planning means thinking about every day of it. You'll want to make a schedule and plan every hour of the day. This is the only way to be sure that you'll visit and enjoy everything on your list. Australia is a vast continent and just travelling from one ...

  13. Australia Road Trip Planner: The 18 best road trips in Australia

    Australia Road Trip Planner Australia Road Trip Planner 18 of the Best Road Trips in Australia Australia Road Trip Map: Click on the route for a link to the itinerary, or browse below. Tropical North Queensland Cairns to Townsville and Townsville to Airlie Beach 575 km | 3 days

  14. Trip Planner

    RACQ's Trip Planner allows you to find places, get directions or plan your next road trip.

  15. Australia trip planner: make a Australia itinerary & map

    Australia Trip Planner Ready to plan your trip to Australia? Organize and map your itinerary with our free trip planner. Top destinations in Australia 1. Sydney Most popular based on reviews Check out Sydney Harbour, Bondi to Coogee Beach Coastal Walk, and more. 2. Melbourne 55% as popular as Sydney

  16. Road Trip Around Australia

    So you're planning a road trip around Australia? 1. The benefits of a road trip around Australia; 2. The mistakes we made (that maybe you can avoid) 3. Understanding the different types of vehicles; 4. How to rent a motorhome or caravan in Australia; 5. How to buy a motorhome or caravan in Australia; 6. How the camping works in Australia; 7.

  17. Road Trip Planner

    Road Trip Planner Plan your journey using our tool below to plot each way point. To use our Road Trip Planner, add your start and end location in the labelled boxes. If you would like to add way points along the route, just use the box provided.

  18. 25 BEST Australia Travel Apps (RoadTrips, Camping, Drinks etc!)

    2.2 Spotify. 2.3 Waze. 2.4 MapsMe. 2.5 Fuel Map Australia. 2.6 Toilet Finder. 3 Free Travel Apps for Managing Your Money On the Road. 3.1 Trail Wallet (IOS) or Travel Spend (IOS/Android) 3.2 XE Currency Converter. 4 The Best Travel Apps for Australia (and beyond!)

  19. Route planner, Travel information, Victoria, Australia

    Route planner Plan your journey For detailed multi-stop route planning please visit Google Maps route planner Click for Vic Need a car? Attractions More top attractions Melbourne Zoo Sanctuaries, zoos & farms Get up close with more than 250 species as you explore rainforests, bushland and underwater worlds.

  20. Trip planner

    Plan your Queensland road trip. Discover breathtaking locations and unforgettable experiences with our road trip ideas and itineraries. Be sure to plan your trip with Google maps before you head out. The RACQ Trip Planner is still available for members who like plan their trips. Trip Planner.

  21. Driving directions, live traffic & road conditions updates

    Realtime driving directions based on live traffic updates from Waze - Get the best route to your destination from fellow drivers

  22. Road Trip Planner

    The Trippy road trip planner automatically calculates the optimal itinerary including stops recommended by Trippy members, favorite restaurants and hotels, local attractions and things to do based on what people who live in the area have suggested, and more.

  23. Trip planner: Plan your dream Australia holiday

    Use our trip planner to find your dream Australian holiday. From ancient rainforests and famous reefs to outback deserts there's a whole world of experiences to discover Down Under.

  24. How this Perth family plans to make the great Australian road trip

    A Perth couple has set some big, green travel plans for 2024: to become one of the first families to use an electric vehicle to tow a pop-up caravan around Australia. It will take nine months for ...