Doing your own road trips in Australia can be budget-friendly with the right approach. By taking advantage of relocation hires, scoring discounts on petrol and food, and opting for free camping, you can enjoy a cost-effective adventure on the road.
Road trips – Helpful things you'll want to know
Road Trips in Australia: Road trips are gaining popularity among backpackers and travellers visiting Australia. Given the country's vast and isolated areas, it is crucial to be well-prepared and have a solid plan in order to ensure a smooth, enjoyable, and safe trip.
Road trips – What vehicle?
In Australia, it is common to come across vibrant minivans adorned with colourful paintings while driving for less than an hour. These vans are specifically designed for hire, catering to travellers who wish to embark on road trips across the country.
If you are planning a short trip to Australia, renting a vehicle is likely the most suitable choice. This is particularly true if you have a flexible schedule and do not have any specific time constraints for reaching your main destinations. Additionally, if you are not planning on venturing off the popular tourist routes extensively, renting a vehicle through relocation deals can be a great option. Make sure to find a deal that takes you to your desired destination.
Rental relocations are a service provided by rental companies when they hire a van to transport someone from one location (point A) to another (point B). Once the travellers reach their destination, they return the van to point B. However, the rental company still needs to find a way to bring the van back to its original location (point A).
The company offers a van rental service for travellers who are relocating. The cost is typically only $1 or 2 per day, but you will need to cover the cost of petrol. It is important to adhere to the rental company's timeframe and stay on the designated route without taking major detours.
If you're looking for an affordable way to reach your desired destination, consider using the services of relocation companies in Australia. A simple Google search for “Stand by Relocations in Australia” will provide you with a wide range of options for hiring relocation services.
Road trips – Where can I hire?
Below is a list of companies that offer car, van, and motorhome rental services to travellers. Each company is linked for easy access.
- Camper van Hire Australia – Wicked Campers www.wickedcampers.com.au
- Car Rental Camper van and Camper Hire – Jucy Rentals www.jucy.com.au
- Camper Hire – Hippie Camper www.hippiecamper.com
- Camper van and Motorhome Rentals – Apollo Camper www.apollocamper.com
- Britz Camper van and car rentals – Britz www.britz.com.au
- Thrifty car rentals – www.thrifty.com.au
- Mighty Cheap Camper van hire – Mighty Campers www.mightycampers.com.au
Road trips – Buying a vehicle for long-term trips
If you are staying in Australia for an extended period of time, renting a van, car, or motorhome will be quite expensive. However, purchasing a van is a smart option as it allows you the freedom to avoid costly rental fees, not worry about damaging the vehicle, and maintain it in good condition to avoid repair charges upon returning it.
When purchasing a van, it's important to consider the upfront cost, which can be significant. However, this initial investment can lead to long-term savings by eliminating the need to pay high rental fees. Additionally, it's worth noting that car sales companies may have higher prices for vehicles in certain states.
If you are in Western Australia or the Northern Territory, it is important to be aware that prices for goods and services tend to be higher in these areas. To get an idea of the prices for cars, you can visit websites such as carsales.com.au, carsguide.com.au, or tradingpost.com.au. If you are considering purchasing a vehicle from another traveller privately, it is recommended to have a mechanic inspect the van to ensure it is running smoothly and does not have any faults.
Having third-party insurance is crucial to protect yourself financially in the event of an accident. This type of insurance covers the costs of any damage caused to the other vehicle involved. If you plan to sell your van after your trip, choosing a busy and tourist-oriented area as your final destination can make the selling process easier.
One effective way to promote van sales is by placing advertisements in popular hostels and utilizing online advertising. The demand for vans is high in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, and Cairns, as these cities have a significant number of hostels and attract a large number of travellers. Since most visitors to Australia tend to visit at least two or three of these cities, targeting these locations can greatly increase sales opportunities.
Arrive here solo and want to hire a van? – road trips
Travelling solo in Australia is generally safe for both males and females. However, if you choose to do so, keep in mind that you will be responsible for the full cost of hiring a van or car, as well as the expense of petrol. It's worth noting that the journey from Melbourne to southern Queensland alone can add up to hundreds of dollars in fuel costs.
If you are interested in sharing the expenses of a rental van and fuel for a road trip across Australia, there are plenty of fellow travelers who are also seeking the same experience. You can inquire at popular hostels or post an advertisement to easily find companions to join you on your journey.
Road trips – Accommodation on the road
Australia offers a wide variety of accommodations, including hostels, hotels, motels, campgrounds, and pubs. This range of options is available not only in major cities but also in smaller villages and towns throughout the country. These establishments provide basic accommodations for travellers looking to explore different parts of Australia.
If you have a limited time to travel around Australia, consider these options as they provide opportunities to connect with fellow travellers and exchange valuable travel experiences and advice.
If you're in need of accommodation, there are a few options you can explore. One option is to search for available accommodations online using websites such as Hostel World, Hostel Bookers, and Booking.com. Another option is to inquire about motels and hostels upon your arrival at your destination.
It is important to note that if you are travelling during peak season or for a special event, it is likely that most accommodations will be fully booked several months prior.
If you decide to rent or purchase a van, you will have the option to sleep in the van at any caravan and camping park. These parks offer a range of amenities, such as laundry facilities and a general store, in addition to the standard toilets, showers, and power supply. This means you can charge your electrical devices even if you don't have access to solar power.
In Australia, there are numerous free camping sites available. These sites vary in amenities, with some offering toilet facilities while others have no facilities at all.
To locate free camping sites, visit websites like findacamp.com.au or australiancampsites.com.au. If you're interested in meeting locals and experiencing couch surfing, you can learn more about it here.
Road trips – Maps
Having a GPS device for your vehicle is extremely valuable when driving in a foreign country. It enables you to focus on the road and the other vehicles around you while providing turn-by-turn directions and guidance on which direction to follow. With a GPS, there's no need to constantly pull over and consult a paper map every few kilometres to ensure you're on the right track.
Currently, GPS devices are available at affordable prices, typically starting at around $80 for popular brands like Garmin or Navman. These navigation units can be purchased from various reputable retailers like The Good Guys, Dick Smith, JB HiFi, as well as well-known multipurpose stores such as Target, Big W, Kmart, and Myer.
Road trips – fees
In addition to petrol, accommodation, and food, it's crucial to consider other expenses when planning a trip. Some National Parks may require visitors to pay entrance fees or parking fees, which can vary from being free to quite costly. To avoid any surprises, it is recommended to research online and check if the specific parks you plan to visit have any additional charges.
Australia is home to several popular National Parks. Here are a few noteworthy ones.
Tidal River Campground at Wilsons Promontory in Victoria offers free entry and camping. The cost per night is $23.50.
Kalbarri National Park in Western Australia offers free entry and provides numerous camping and accommodation options for visitors.
Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, located in the Northern Territory of Australia, charges an admission fee of $25 per person.
The Bay of Fires in Tasmania offers free camping opportunities. However, it is important to note that there are no facilities or water available on-site. The nearest showers can be found in St Helen's.
Located in Queensland, Carnarvon Gorge offers accommodation at $5.75 per person per night or $23.00 for a family. The facilities include accessible toilets, showers, and picnic areas. However, please note that there is a nominal fee of $1 for using the coin-operated hot showers.
Washpool National Park, located in New South Wales, requires a vehicle entry fee of $7. Additionally, campsites within the park are available at a rate of $10 for two people.
Road trips – petrol
Petrol prices can vary between towns. Typically, rural areas tend to have higher petrol prices compared to urban areas.
When it comes to pricing, larger regional cities tend to offer the most affordable options. Following that, metropolitan cities come next, while smaller towns tend to be more expensive. The highest prices, on the other hand, can typically be found in rural and remote areas.
To save money on fuel, it's recommended to fill up your tank when you come across a lower price. However, it's important to note that in rural towns, there may be limited options for petrol stations, often requiring you to fill up regardless of the price. To locate petrol stations in your desired areas, you can visit websites such as https://motormouth.com.au or www.racq.com.au.
Road trips – foods
In most cases, dining at cafes and restaurants tends to be more costly compared to buying groceries and preparing your own meals at home.
If you're looking for the most affordable prices, it's a good idea to consider shopping at supermarkets such as Aldi, Woolworth, Safeway, and Coles. Among these options, Aldi consistently offers the lowest prices for all types of goods.
Smaller supermarkets like IGAs and FoodWorks are typically pricier and primarily located in regional, rural, and remote areas. To easily compare prices across different stores, visit grocery.bestpricedirectory.com.au
Facilities while on the road
Truck stops can be found abundantly between cities, offering various amenities to cater to travellers. Some truck stops provide basic facilities like parking spaces and picnic tables, while others offer additional conveniences such as restroom facilities. Moreover, certain truck stops are equipped with petrol stations and food stores, making them ideal for those passing through and in need of refuelling or grabbing a bite to eat.
Petrol stations like Big BP along highways offer clean toilet facilities that are accessible to the public, even without making a purchase. Additionally, they often provide showers specifically for truck drivers. However, it is worth mentioning that if you do buy petrol or make a purchase at the store, politely asking to use the showers is likely to be accommodated.
For those considering road trips in Australia, this information will be useful.