How to road trip in Australia in 2019?

Our guide to prepare your road trip in Australia! An amazing experience is waiting for you!


Guide Summary :

1. Plan your road trip

2. What to bring

3. The van

4. If you don’t have a van or a driving licence


Beautiful beaches, unexpected places, amazing fauna and flora on a 7,5 million km2 territory are few reasons to justify why Australia is the best country to go for a road trip. Get ready to take your van for one of the most beautiful experience of your life!

The road trip is the perfect compromise to visit Australia without spending too much money. Moreover, it is much more pleasant to go across Australia by road and stop wherever you want rather than taking the plane.

Besides the financial aspect, the road trip is an exceptional human adventure. Think about you driving your van on Australian roads, looking for unexpected places, stoping at paradisiac beaches. Imagine yourself going out of your van, having the Pacific Ocean right in front of you, with breathtaking landscapes. Or merely you, in the desert, in the middle of nowhere just close to the Ayers Rock.

The road trip is the best way to escape and live the Australian experience. Do not hesitate anymore and organize your road trip right now, you won’t regret it!


1. Plan your road trip

To go on a road trip is not something you organize from one day to another. It needs some preparation to be a success!


Budget estimation:

You will first have to estimate your budget. Here are the main expenses you will have to do:

  • The purchase of your van
  • The layout and equipment of your van (sleeping bag, cutlery, quilt, pillows, camping stove…)
  • The upkeep of your vehicle
  • The petrol expenses. Even if it is cheaper than in Europe, petrol remains something you have to think about when estimating your budget especially because van consumes 14L/100km.
  • Food and drink
  • Free time activities



What are the cities you want to visit? What are the national parks you want to see? And most of all, how long will your road trip be? According to these information you will be able to set up your itinerary.


Here is a selection of 3 famous road trips we recommend in Australia:


a) Brisbane – Cairns:

It takes between 10 and 15 days to go from Brisbane to Cairns. That is the most famous road trip on the East cost of Australia and certainly the most famous road trip of Australia. Indeed, all along your route you will see the famous areas following: the Whitsundays islands, the Great Barrier Reef, Australians islands (Fraser Island, Magnetic Island…)

You will see cities such as Brisbane, Airlie Beach, Townsville, Mission Beach and Cairns.

From your departure to Brisbane do not forget to go and see Byron Bay. This place on the East Coast is synonym of sandy beaches, surf and lot of activities by night. You should also leave your van and rent a 4WD to visit Fraser Island. This is a life experience.


b) Melbourne – Adélaïde:

This trip will take you weekend if you only do the Great Ocean Road (300km) or 3 to 4 days if you want to go from Melbourne to Adelaïde.

This road trip sometimes unknown is however one of the most spectacular and interesting to do if you have a little time. You will go along Great Ocean road that, as is shown by its name, goes across the ocean. This will be the occasion for you to discover Port Campbell National Park with its famous rocks: the Twelve Apostles. They are one of the most famous images reflecting Australia.


c) Adélaïde – Avers Rock:

You will need approximately one week to go from Ayers Rock to Adelaide.

The Ayers Rock, a 3,6km long rock, is the symbol of Australia. That monolith is part of Australian landscapes as Sydney Opera House is.

Besides this famous rock, you’ll discover the Australian desert. The entrance in Australia’s outback is a complete change of scene when you come from a city like Melbourne or Adelaide. If you have time to travel, you can go up to Ayers Rock directly after a trip to the Great Ocean Road. You can even go up to Kakadu National Park close to Darwin (and discover the tropical climate).

This is just a few examples of all the possible road trips, you can create your own road trip!


2. What to bring

Before going on a road trip we advice you to get the equipment. Here is a quick overview of what you’ll need.


a) For the vehicle:

  • At least one spare wheel
  • A tool box
  • Oil for the motor
  • Liquid for the windscreen wiper
  • Liquid for the cooling system
  • A 20L plastic container to put water in
  • A jerry can of oil
  • A camping stove + gas refill
  • A map of the roads


b) For camping:

  • A tent
  • A sleeping bag
  • An inflatable mattress (with its pump)
  • One or two torches
  • Cutlery
  • Crockery
  • A basin for the dishes
  • A cool box
  • Some dish towel
  • Boxes to put the food in
  • An emergency trouser



3. The van

The best way to see Australia is on a roadtrip, you will probably need to buy a van. This guide will help you chosing the best type of van for your roadtrip, you should also give it a look.


a) The purchase:

It will be easier to find a good van in big cities like Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane because there will be more backpackers going back home who try to sell their van before their departure.

You should know that there is an off-peak period in the sell of vans from March to September (as it is the end of summer). Indeed, there are more people leaving Australia at this time of the year and try to sell their vehicle. It will be thus easier to lower the price!


b) Recommendation by the time of the purchase:

Be careful of the “rego” (registration). It is compulsory to drive in Australia, and lasts from 6 months to one year. However, the cost and methods of getting are different according to the state. For instance, in New South Wales you’ll have to go to an official office to get it whereas you can ask it online in Western Australia. Pay attention to this when buying your van because it could really increase your expenses.


c) The rent:

If your road trip lasts less than two months it is not worth buying a van. Australiance has selected for you some companies renting vans:


– Salamandatravel (you can rent a van even if you are under 21 years old)

– Camperman

– Jucy Campers


d) Relocation:

Another solution much more economical is relocation. That is very simple, you have to bring the van of a private individual or a company from one point to another. The advantage is that instead of paying $80 to $150$ per day it will only cost you $1 to $2 per day and sometimes petrol is even included. Here are some useful links:

Salamandatravel relocation

– Standbyrelocs



In Australia you should be over 21 years old to rent a van or a car. However, some van renting agencies are aware than most of foreigners coming to Australia are under 21 years old and have their driving license, so their accept to rent vehicle for people under 21 years old.

Nevertheless, the bond is more expensive and so are the locations. As for the bond it will cost you around $2500 approximately for a driver who is under 21 years old instead of $500 for an older driver. Be careful to the terms and conditions on the websites.

Do not forget to ask for your international driving license before coming to Australia, as you won’t be authorized to rent a vehicle without it!

Do not hesitate to contact us if you have any question about the organization of your road trip or if you need more information.


4. If you don’t have a van or a driving licence

If you aren’t driving or if you don’t want to rent a car, we advice you to rideshare or carpool ! HopHopRide is a ridesharing website created for road trips in Australia ! With HopHopRide, you’ll be able to seek and find a traveler whom has a van and wants to do the same trip. You will then be able to share an unforgettable experience and discover the magic of the Australian landscapes !



Ask your questions to our team, we will be happy to help you.


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