Last June, I came home from 14 months of travelling in Australia, New Zealand, Vietnam, Thailand and Myanmar. By far, Australia was our absolute favorite. We stayed for one year and we lived and travelled for three months in our own campervan. Our own house on wheels. I really can’t think of a more awesome way to discover this country. In this blog I want to share my experiences and give some useful tips for the ones who are thinking about travelling in a campervan. And if you weren’t thinking about travelling in a campervan, you will be convinced when you finished reading.
Get off the beaten track
Driving with your own (bought as we did, or rented) vehicle through Australia isn’t only the most awesome way of travelling, I think it’s also the best way to get to know the country for real. Because you’re not depending on a standard bus route, you can easily go wherever you want. Next to the coast, where all the busses are going, we discovered the outback and visited many national parks. Especially the national parks, added value to our trip in my opinion. Mainly because if you’re just visiting the coastal towns, you’ll be spoiled with stunning beaches every day, so going inland and seeing waterfalls and forest, is a lot more special by then. And last, because you don’t need to book hostels, you cannot just go where you want, but also whenever you want. Ultimate freedom I’d say!
In Australia, there are a lot of places where you can sleep for free! Unfortunately not hostels, but many camp spots are free of charge. The perfect app to find these camp spots is Wikicamps. This app shows you all (un)paid places to park; from very comprehensive, paid sites to the most basic ones without any facilities. In three months time, we only slept about 10 times at a paid spot. Mostly the free camp sites were fine, but only a few times we weren’t very happy to sleep there. But in fact, for us it didn’t really matter if it was a little bit nasty, as long as it was a safe place, because we could stay inside our little house.
Save a lot of money
By camping for free you can save a lot of money, since one night in a hostel will cost you around $25. Next to that, if you maintain your vehicle well, you can sell it for a good price. In most cases, you will sell it for approximately the same price as you bought it. Which in fact means that in the end you only paid for petrol and maintenance. This is only a tiny bit of the price other backpackers have to pay for trips, bus tickets and accommodation!
You’ll learn so much more
What would you do if you’re in the Outback, in the middle of nowhere, sun is about to set, you didn’t see a fellow road user for the last 3 hours and you get a flat tire. Oh, and you don’t have any tools or at least you don’t know how to use them. Right, you probably have no idea what you would do and you will never find out. Until it happens to you and you know you have to solve it yourself. Of course, it would be easier not to experience these kind of situations. To us these kind of situations happened a few times and it learns you to be creative because no one is going to solve this problem for you. Travelling with your own vehicle gives you a feeling of responsibility which you will never learn in any kind of education!