A Classic Way to Travel Across the Vast and Diverse Land
How to Plan a Campervan or Motorhome Trip in Australia
A Classic Way to Travel Across the Vast and Diverse Land
Seeing Australia by way of a campervan is a classic road trip. Many areas of this vast country are remote enough that in order to enjoy the quiet splendor of the Australian landscape you need to be relatively self-sufficient. And Australian campervan holidays are not only a popular option for those visiting from overseas, but native Australians are also renowned for loving the campervan and caravan circuit.
A lot about how to plan an itinerary, keep the cost of an Aussie campervan holiday low, and how to budget for it next time around.
Here is a guide to planning and budgeting for your own Australian campervan adventure.
Planning Your Campervan Route and Itinerary
Before you even choose your wheels, it is best to plan what you want to see in Australia. It is a huge country, with varying climate and road conditions. Some stretches of road (for example through the Outback or across the Nullarbor desert).
Be wise about how long you plan your Australian road trip to be as well. Unlike Europe—where you can drive for a few hours and end up in a different country—in Australia you can drive for days between cities. It is best to allow more time than you expect you will need, so you are not under the gun to get to the finish line.
Climate in Australia
The Gulf Savannah extends from the Great Dividing Range in the east, to the Northern Territory border in the west – covering around 186,000 sq kilometers. There are vast flat plains around the southern Gulf area stretching to the south. To the east and southwest of the region there are rising uplands. Savannah grasses, shrubs and trees along with a rich variety of wildlife provides a landscape which really is – amazing!
The southwest area of the Gulf region is heavily mineralized and is part of the north west mineral province. The Gulf’s land area can be compared to being approximately 80% the size of Victoria. There is an annual water run-off equivalent to almost 30% the national total – this is larger then the Murray Darling basin!
The Gulf Savannah features a tropical climate – wet season in the summer and dry season through the winter. The temperatures range from a daily average maximum of 33°c and minimum of 20°c, with an approximate rainfall of 900 mm per annum.
There are two bio-regions in the Gulf:
The Northern Gulf – Resource Management Group – NRM and
The Southern Gulf – Catchments – NRM
The role of these groups is to produce strategies for the management and protection of the bio-regions. Supporting this process at the catchment level, are catchment co-ordination and Landcare groups.
There are 20 wetlands in the Gulf region and the Gulf is drained by 28 drainage basins, with the majority of streams flowing north and northwest into the Gulf of Carpentaria. These river basins include the Mitchell, Flinders, Gilbert, Leichhardt, Nicholson, Norman and Staaten.
The regions water courses provide a range of natural and economic functions, including habitat and nursery grounds for marine life, water supply for domestic, natural and agricultural purposes, sport, tourism and recreation as well as the overall role in the supporting the complex Gulf eco-systems.
This backdrop provides the perfect setting for an incredible diversity of birdlife including numerous migratory species – and many avid ‘twitchers’ and birdwatchers travel to the region each year. Karumba, being located on the coastline offers the unique situation of bringing this Savannah Outback environment to the sea. The marine plains extend inland for up to 30km and as well as the prolific birdlife – provide a home for the fascinating prehistoric saltwater crocodiles.
Gulf dolphins, dugongs, sharks and all manner of fish and marine life abound in the Gulf waters. There is also a stark contrast between the wet and dry seasons each year – bringing migratory birds to the area.
Mutton Hole Wetland – between Karumba and Normanton, covers 9000 hectares in the Gulf Plains bio-region. The Mutton Hole area contains Karumba plains wetland vegetation communities. These amazing wetlands are of local, state, national and international significance for breeding, feeding, moulting and drought refuge for a variety of water-birds that include Whistling Ducks, Sarus Cranes, Brolgas and waders. The wetland is listed under the National Estate, to be the leading light of how local communities and government can work together to protect important nature values, cultural values as well as maintain an income for local businesses.
The Savannah Way is a themed tourism adventure drive linking Cairns in the east and Broome in the west – this route actually passes through 4 World Heritage areas and 15 National Parks
Choosing Your Wheels
Campervans are typically utility-sized vans that are outfitted with the basic essentials for you to be self-sufficient: beds, sinks, crockery, cooking facilities, and a fridge. Depending on the size of the vehicle, you may also find toilet and shower facilities, but these are often reserved for larger motor homes. Alternately you can choose to go with an even smaller vehicle than a campervan (such as a station wagon, minivan, pop-top, or 4×4), and supplement it with traditional camping gear.
Your choice of vehicle will be dependent on how many people there are in your party, where you want to go, your budget, and the level of comfort you require.
To Rent or To Buy?
Many campervan and other car rental companies offer an option for you to buy or purchase the vehicle. If you buy it, a buy-back guarantee often comes with the price, so you may be assured that you are not stuck with a vehicle you can’t sell at the end of your trip. The buy-back amount varies, but is often around 50% of your purchase price. More often than not, you will fetch a better price by selling privately, but the buy-back guarantee can provide peace of mind in case you are in a bad location to sell or run out of time.
The general guideline for the cost-effectiveness of renting versus buying is as follows:
It is almost always best to rent, no matter what vehicle you choose.
More than eight weeks: It is more cost-effective to purchase a car, minivan, or pop-top vehicle.
More than 16 weeks: It is more cost-effective to purchase a campervan or small motor home.
Tips for Renting a Campervan in Australia
Book well in advance, as this form of travel is popular and vans are reserved well in advance.
Be prepared to drive standard; most campervans have manual transmission.
You drive on the left-hand side of the road in Australia.
You usually have to be at least 21 years old to rent a campervan.
Although it is common to pick up and drop off your vehicle in different locations, check with your rental company to ensure they have a drop off location at your desired final stop and confirm if there are any extra fees to do this.
Insurance charges vary from company to company; some have mandatory charges while others do not.
Advise the rental company regarding your desired itinerary. There are a number of roads that rental companies will not allow you to travel on, including unpaved or remote roads. At other times of year, some roads are impassable or require a special vehicle with a snorkel. The rental company should fit you with a vehicle that is appropriate for your planned route and time of year.
Equipment and conveniences included with the campervan vary. Make sure you have everything you want. Be prepared to supplement along the way with creature comforts like extra blankets for the cold climes, or a coffee pot for your morning cup.
BOOK NOW! for November, December, and January. You may also do advanced booking for February, March, and April.
Postal Address: Karumba Point Sunset Caravan Park, PO Box 61 Karumba Queensland 4891
Tel: (07) 4745 9277
Fax (07) 4745 9480
Tags: #Carpentaria #Barramundi #Barra #Fish #BarraFish #BestFishing #Accommodation #Hotel #Cabins #Villas #Powered #Unpowered #Campsites #Tour #karumba #Barra #Barramundi #Fishing #BarraFishing #Sports #FishingSports
Tags: Australia, Welcome To Carpentaria, Karumba, Karumba Point, Sunset Caravan Park, Karumba Birds Life, Karumba Wild Life, Karumba QLD, Fishing, Fishingsports, Accommodation, Hotel, Cabins, Villas, Powered Sites, Unpowered Sites, Campsites, Sports, Tropical North Karumba, North Karumba Qld, Travel, Tour