Van Life Australia
Yeww, road trip baby! We love a good road trip and have become quite the pro’s at packing the basics and planning them well. Australia’s warm weather, incredible scenery and wonderful wildlife are in our minds the top 3 inspirations for a road trip.
Spontaneity is key to any great adventure but so is planning. On a road trip to anywhere in Australia can be challenging if you are not prepared and holidays are about stressing less so take the time to plan beforehand so when it’s time to go you are in the know!
Van life Australia starts with a great van. We love a good van but so are kitted out 4WD’s and buses. With so much choice on the type of vehicle you can choose you really need to think about what best suits you and your travel ambitions.
Van’s are a great option, they’re easy to drive, easy to park, pretty cheap on fuel and if done well, super roomy. Ideal for 1-2 people the Toyota Hiace’s and Mitsubishi Express vans are a great option. They are super popular so easy to get parts for and both have solid motors. You can pick a van up from $6,000+ dollars and they often come completely fitted out which is always the go when you are travelling for a short time but hey if you have the tools and the skills you can go nuts with a custom fit out.
4WD’s are probably our favourite given what we do but they are not cheap we’ll tell you that and you need to be mechanically minded if you are venturing off into the wilderness. A decent 4bie is the go if you are planning to do some of Australia’s most famous 4WD routes like to Cape York or the Kimberly’s.
Buses, well they are next level. We love a good bus fit out but they are a bit restricting and can be tricky to sell on after your travels so unless you are a bus buff and really know your stuff we wouldn’t recommend a bus.
Whatever vehicle you choose it’s important that you are a super confident driver. It’s always best to have at least 2 of you that can drive too because she’s big and it can take days to get from one place to the next. After all, van life Australia is better with a mate!
Be wary of the weather
The weather changes over here as quick as you can do a shot of tequila! It’s awesome but it can seriously catch you out. It can be glorious sunshine 1 minute to torrential rain the next. Australian’s do more than just check the weather they check the radar. Yep, we check the radar. Download an app called Willy Weather and forget your apple weather app! You can check the forecast as you would expect from a weather app but you can also check winds, tides, moon phases, project rainfall and the radar. Van life Australia is just a little different!
It can be hard to pack when you go from a busy rainy city to a quiet and extremely hot outback town in a matter of hours, so just pack it all. Warm clothes, summer clothes, the trusty rain coat and your sexy swimmers.
Across the six states and two territories that makes up Straya, the climate is quite different in each place. Australia does have four seasons but depending on where you are you can have a British summer or Hawaiian summer, it’s really that different depending on whether you are north or south.
The Northern Territory for example can we so hot and dry that you need plenty of sun protection and water storage, even over winter. Other states like Tasmania cool even in the summer.
Be warned, she’s wildly different with wildlife just as diverse as its weather. There is so much of it to see and road tripping is the best way to see it all. You are on the ground and can take your time so tick them off!
- Tasmanian Devils
- Manta Rays
- Humpack Whales
- Birds – Cockatoo, Kingfisher, Kookaburra, Eagle, Owls to name a few
It is so wonderful when you spot wildlife in the wild, it makes us so happy! Don’t be a donut though they, respect that we share this land and sea with so many other incredible animals that don’t wear clothes like us but they too need to eat, need shelter and like their own space.
- Please drive carefully to avoid wild kangaroo and other land animals
- Close your doors at night (especially in outback areas) to keep your mobile home free of curious critters
- Don’t leave food or rubbish behind – dispose of scraps so that wildlife are not put at risk if they consume it
- Don’t approach animals – they might be beautiful but they can be dangerous!
- Never leave campfires unattended!
- Swim between the flags at beaches
Parking and pooping
Australia has so many holiday parks, National Parks and free camping areas to choose from whilst you are travelling around so it’s truly really easy.
One of the most important things to do when choosing where to stay overnight on your Australia road trip, is to ensure you are picking somewhere legal to stay the night. You could be in for an unwelcome fine if you park illegally, so always check first and save your money for the fun stuff.
Other things to consider are:
- Plug in and power up. Ensure you are using a route that has powered sites along the way. Some areas of Australia are very remote so this is a pre-planning must if you are replying on regular power top ups.
- Bin day. This is generally every few days so get rid of it little and often to save yourself any hassle.
- Toilet and Showers. Managing stops to take a dump and freshen up can be tricky so think about your set up. Most free camp sites have no facilities and do require you to be self sufficient which means a toilet and shower on board.
Your adventure plans will of course influence what you pack for the trip, but there are some items that you just cannot forget to remember…
- Sun protection! a proper hat with a brim, polarised sun glasses, sunscreen and a long sleeve shirt.
- Walking shoes, they don’t have to be full on hikers but a decent sports shoe that is comfortable is a bear minimum requirement.
- Layers – in some areas such as outback Australia the weather can drop dramatically in temperature overnight so light layers are ideal and relatively easy to fit in. Layer up before you get cold too!
- Water bottles and water containers – the water in Aus is beautiful so no need to be spending your cash on water mate, just fill up where you can and stay hydrated.
- Poo paper, you’re mad if you don’t always have at least a couple of rolls stashed.
- A decent torch, these are great if you can pick one up… oh and don’t rely on your phone, it’s just not the way forward trust us.
- Kitchen towel, just so handy.
- Cooking equipment of course.
- Small tupperware is super handy to save you money on food and it’s just a dream to pack into your fridge. It’s also a great idea to buy things in jars as you travel so you can use them to store your left overs food and nipples in.
- Shade, either an umbrella or an awning.
- An inverter if you want to charge a laptop
You really don’t need much ay, just the basics so don’t go nuts!
and read up on road rules man!
here are the basics…
- Always drive on the left.
- Always have your license on hand.
- Distance is measured in kilometres not miles.
- Read the signs.
- Fasten your seat belt, don’t touch your phone, and don’t drink drive!
- Park in line with traffic.
- and please keep your eyes peeled for wildlife.