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1. Do your research
Doing your research ahead of time will help you make the most of your Australian road trip. Researching the different things to do and what Australian attractions you want to see will help you to plan your journey. Taking the time to do some route planning will mean you can just pick up your van from a maui branch and get straight to exploring.
Use a guidebook
A good guidebook or other independent sources of travel information will enrich your trip. Following their advice will help you pinpoint rewarding experiences and illuminate the places you travel to.
Visit a local tourist office
If the trail runs cold, visit a local tourist office. Their staff will point you in the right direction.
Take advice from fellow travellers
Along the trip, you are likely to meet plenty of fellow travellers who will give you useful recommendations on what not to miss along the way.
Read up on popular routes
While it's important to stay open to new opportunities as you travel, it can be helpful to have a set itinerary in advance of your trip. This will ensure you don’t miss anything as well as help you budget for fuel for your journey. If you are looking to get inspired, check out our popular routes.
Check the forecast
Australia’s weather varies significantly depending on the region you are visiting and time of year. Here you can experience anything from extreme heat to rain and flooding. Ensure you are going at the right time of year (some destinations are best visited during certain seasons), and be sure you are packed with the right gear.
Know the road rules
Each state has different road rules to adhere to. It’s worthwhile looking over the rules of the states you intend to visit during your holiday, whether that be:
Read up on Aboriginal culture
A big part of travelling around Australia is understanding Aboriginal culture. Many natural attractions are spiritually and culturally significant to the Aboriginal people, so it's important to respect these places when you are visiting them.
There are plenty of ways to learn more from the native Aboriginal people, including:
- Take walking tours
- Visit Aboriginal art centres
- Visit sacred sites and take time to learn their Aboriginal history
Get inspired with travel content
Still not quite sure where to start with route planning? Check out our top guides for travelling Australia to get inspired.
2. Pack the essentials
Many everyday essentials are included with maui campervan rentals, such as kitchen equipment and bedding. In saying that, you will need to consider what other travel essentials to pack.
Pack your luggage in soft bags
Use soft bags to pack your gear. That way, you can stow bags under the seat rather than have bulky cases taking up room once you've unpacked everything.
Follow our list of what to pack
To take away the hassle of deciding what to pack, we’ve created a helpful list of essentials. Our adventure holiday must-haves include:
Items to keep the kids occupied
- Board games
- Insect repellent
- First aid kit
Clothing and footwear
- Sturdy shoes
- Woollen clothing
- Wet weather gear
- Sun hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen
Personal care items
- Snacks for the family
- Extra water
3. Carry a road atlas
Having a car GPS is a travel essential for a road trip around Australia. There are a few different options when it comes to choosing a GPS or navigation tool.
Use an in-vehicle GPS
All maui campervans are fitted with an in-vehicle TomTom GPS tablet to help you at every stage of your campervan holiday.
Use a digital navigation device
Yes, digital navigation devices are a godsend, particularly when it comes to getting you out of a pickle in urban situations or finding activities and attractions. In saying that, a road atlas is handy as a backup, especially if you are planning on travelling to rural areas where there may not be any internet service.
Use printed maps
Easily readable, reliable, and practical for pre-trip planning, printed maps give you the big picture.
Download the thl roadtrip app
When gearing up to explore Australia, it's good to have a road trip itinerary planner.
The thl Roadtrip app is available for both Android and Apple and is the perfect road trip planner and travel companion. The app allows you to view and save campsites, petrol stations, dumpsites, public toilets, and more.
4. Relish the journey
A tight timetable will wreak havoc on your adventure holiday. Bear in mind that driving times are often much longer than the distance chart suggests, especially if you want to stop and smell the roses. Follow a realistic route while making the most of the flexibility a campervan allows. Campsite bookings are only required at the busiest holiday spots in peak season, allowing you to explore, detour, and linger when you hit a highlight.
Travelling by van isn’t only for the fast-paced traveller looking to get from A to B. Van travel is about soaking up the views, stopping where you want, coming across hidden gems, and enjoying everything in between. A few things to keep in mind for your campervan trip to help you relish the journey include:
Avoid a tight timetable
A tight timetable will wreak havoc on your adventure holiday. Bear in mind that driving times are often much longer than the distance chart suggests, especially if you want to stop and smell the roses.
Follow a realistic route
Follow a realistic route with a variety of camping spots so that you can make the most of the flexibility a campervan allows.
Don’t stress about booking in the quiet season
Campsite bookings are only required at the busiest holiday spots in peak season. This means you can explore, detour, and linger when you hit a highlight.
Enjoy the benefits of travelling in your home on wheels
There are so many reasons to explore Australia in a campervan:
- Create your own meals in your kitchen using local produce
- Enjoy beverages whenever you feel like it without leaving the camper - coffee, cocktails, and locally bought wine
- Head to remote areas and see something new. There’s no need to worry about finding accommodation!
5. Mix up the camping grounds you stay at
Australia has thousands of vehicle-accessible campsites. These options range from free or low-cost state and national park camps, to the relative luxury of upmarket caravan parks. To experience Australian camping and the outdoors from as many angles as possible, stay at a range of camps. Your maui motorhome is set up for every situation.
Try out Holiday parks
Holiday parks and caravan parks are a great way to power up and use the campsite facilities. Powered camping sites can cost between $25-100 per night depending on the location, time of year and facilities available.
Top tip: Don’t forget to take advantage of the 10% discount on all BIG4 Holiday Park bookings as a maui customer. BIG4 Holiday Parks is the premier Australian holiday park and campground group, which offers a complete range of affordable self-catering holiday accommodation and camping facilities.
Save money by freedom camping
Freedom camping sites can be anything from a gravel patch on the side of the highway to a beautiful free camping site in a campground. These spots usually have limited facilities and are perfect for those long drive days where you just need a place to rest. There are plenty of beautiful free camping spots around Australia, so you will not be stuck for choices on your campervan trip. There are a few rules to be aware of when freedom camping:
- Leave no trace
- Respect wildlife
- Respect sacred Aboriginal sites
Stay in nature at National Parks
National parks are the perfect balance of being immersed in nature while staying close to the action. They’re also often a hub for natural Australian attractions meaning that you can get an early start on hikes, adventures, and activities. National park camping site fees cost roughly between $5-15 per person per night.
Make use of Roadhouses
Roadhouses are rural hubs that act as a mix of a restaurant, petrol station and accommodation in rural areas. These are considered safe spaces to stay overnight in otherwise very rural regions. These usually start around $10 per night but can vary depending on the location.
6. Embrace your fellow campers
The folks sharing your campsite are a valuable source of travel information. Be sure to quiz them about what's hot to what's not, which walkway was closed or which cafe had a delicious cake.
Talk to others for travel information
Especially in Australia, there is a great community spirit on campsites. On your travels, you will most likely come across some welcoming locals or Australian travellers. More often than not, these people are keen to share some local tips with you.
Make new friends
Fortunately, the relaxed, communal environment of campgrounds encourages personal interaction. You may be sharing wine and swapping addresses before you know it.
7. Look for farmers' markets
Enjoy a real taste of Australia by loading up with fresh produce and artisan goodies such as bread, fruit, cheese and chocolate at some of the best farmers' markets in Australia.
Load up with fresh produce and artisan goodies
These are great places to stock up on fresh produce, and some markets are also good spots to shop for locally made clothes and souvenirs. Plus while you're at it, keep an eye out for wineries and breweries if a tipple tickles your fancy.
Follow a farmer's market list
Local market days vary from place to place. Check out the comprehensive list of markets and their operating days at the Australian Farmers' Markets Association.
8. Picnic anywhere you fancy
The beauty of a maui camper's on-board kitchen is that a picnic can happen pretty much anywhere, anytime.
Park somewhere picturesque
Park somewhere picturesque, then pop on the kettle and raid the fridge.
Enjoy local produce
Local produce from farmer’s markets like cheese, meat, and baked goods are the perfect ingredients for a quick and filling lunch on the go.
Check out our recipes
If you need some inspiration, check out our recommendations for cooking delicious meals in your motorhome.
9. Embrace the night
The fun doesn't stop when the sun goes down, especially if you're 10 years old and you've never camped on the edge of the bush before! There are so many ways to spend your evenings when travelling in a campervan.
Go for an evening walk
Rug up warm, grab the torch, and go for a walk to spot wildlife.
Sit out under the night sky
Or maybe just stare at the night sky or roast some marshmallows over a campfire with fellow travellers.
Enjoy the night with new friends at your campground
Relaxed evenings are a great time to bond with whoever you are travelling with. So just lean back, sip a glass of wine or hot chocolate and reflect on the day's adventures.
Enjoy local evening attractions
Check out what is happening in the local area. There might be night markets, shows, and nighttime only events such as glow worm cave tours. Take a sunset cruise or enjoy a beverage while taking in the local views.
Inspired to make use of these tips when travelling Australia in a campervan?
Inspired to make use of these tips when travelling around Australia in a campervan? To get started, book a maui campervan today. Or check out our latest deals on our range of premium motorhomes.
For more inspiration for your upcoming trip, check out our popular routes and travel itineraries for campervan travel around Australia.