This was our first trip to Australia and we wanted to have an unforgettable experience. Travelling with sisters made the trip a whole lot better and enjoyable. (It was sort of like a couple’s retreat).
Australia is huge and there were so many places we wanted to visit!! We were pretty adament on covering much of Australia as we possible can so we narrowed down to 3 destinations : Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney. We realised the best option was to do a campervan road trip!! This would allow us to visit plenty of different places enroute from Adelaide to Sydney. Who wouldn’t like the idea of campervaning around Australia for 15 days!! (Sounds like a lot of planning huh!!) The perks about a campervan trip was that we could go to so many interesting places one would have never thought of going. There were plenty of times where we didn’t know what to expect at our next destination. We would just get there, head to the visitor’s centre and talk to the locals to find out the interesting places to go. It was a unique experience indeed!!
Of the 15 days we were in Australia, 11 days were spent travelling on the campervan. We arranged to pick up our campervan from Adelaide and dropped it off in Sydney. We drove about 350km everyday (thankfully all 6 of us had a driver’s licence), sleeping at 8 different towns until we arrived in Sydney. We ate, sleep, and cooked in a 6 berth campervan for almost all the 11 days (It wasn’t difficult since all the necessities for cooking came with the campervan). You can choose any campervan size to fit your needs (ours had a toilet attached too). We rented our campervan from this company : AussieCampervans.
It is the law to park at campervans sites at night so we slept in a different campervan site every night. Big4 Holiday Parks is one of the largest company that has campervan sites all around Australia. Note that you have to pay per car/per head to stay at the campervan sites (prices vary according to the location). Campervan sites provide hot showers, electricity for your campervan, laundry room (around AUD2 per wash) and a kitchen to do your cooking.
Here’s a list of places we visited along the way.
Pit Stop 1: Adelaide (2 nights)
Cleland Wildlife Park
Adelaide Hills – Vineyards. (Where the wines are good and cheap!!)
Pit stop 2 : Naracoorte (1 night)
Naracoorte Cave National Park – Caves (haven’t got any nice pictures. Bad quality due to the lack of lighting in the caves)There was a campervan site near the national park that we pay for a cheap fee (no one was tending the site. It was based on integrity that we placed the money in an envelope filled with necessary details).
Pit stop 4: The Great Ocean Road : Loch and Gorge , 12 Apostles Port Campbell national park, Apostle whey cheese, Gorge Chocolate Shipwheck Coast (Free cheese and chocolate tasting!!)
Pit Stop 6: Melbourne (2 nights days)
We saved money on having to park at a campervan site here because we went to a local friend’s place and parked our vehicle there instead. It was a good thing they owned a caravan so they had a plug leading from their house that could supply electricity to our Campervan. We travelled to Melbourne City by bus and train.
Victoria Central Market
Pit stop 7: Lake Entrance (1 night)
Pit stop 8: Eden (1 night)
Killer Whale Museum
Pit stop 9 : Batemans Bay(1 night)
Pit stop 10 : Kiama
The Kiama blowhole is created by the rock formations at the coast such that when a strong enough waves hits the rock, the seawater gushes upwards to create a blowhole effect (like a whale’s blowhole).We literally stood there until the waves were strong enough just to take a picture.
Horseback riding was interesting because we were given free reign and we rode around Oberon for 2 hrs. We decided to go with this company for our horse riding experience since it was not only cheaper but they cater to smaller groups of people as well. We sort of had a private horse riding lesson (Some companies have like 20 people to a group). The horses there are well trained to follow its master so there is not need to be worried.
Accommodation in Blue Mountain: We actually rented someone’s house to stay while we were in blue mountains. Harry’s Lookout can accommodate 6 people at a relatively cheap price(Price varies with the number of people so do email them to check). It came down to about AUD$44 a night per person. We even had a bbq and wine party on our last night in blue mountain since the accommodation had an outdoor electric grill.
Getting there: We took a train up from Sydney
Pit stop 12: Sydney (1 night)
Sydney Harbour, Sydney Opera House, Speed Boat Ride
We only stayed for 1 night in Sydney at a backpackers hostel : Wake Up!
(AUD$40 a night for a 6 person room)
We spent just above S$3000 per person including air-tickets, meals for 15 days, accommodations, transport, petrol, leisure activities and entrance fees to museums (Of course some spending money to get souvenirs). For majority of the time, we cooked our own meals in the campervan or at the campervan site where the kitchens are larger. We would say it was money well spent. It’s good thing none of us were interested in shopping (pretty much spent a very short time in the main cities). All we wanted was to explore different towns along the way (best way to experience the local culture).
Tips on planning a campervan trip:
- Plan your routes before going there. (Although things doesn’t always go according to plan, it is good having a rough idea of where you want to go). We collected maps from travel fairs so we had a rough idea where we wanted to stop.
- Always check your GPS route the night before set off and plan by what time you have to reach your next destination. (We compared it with the maps so we know we were on the right track). Setting GPS in Australia can be confusing. You have to set the territory correctly or the GPS may take you on a different route.
- Check where the campervan sites are (it will usually determine where your pit stops are).
- It may be worth it to pre-book your slot at your preferred campervan site during peak season (We didn’t pre-book since we travelled in a low season and only decided which campervan site we would park at the night before).
- Create a central fund so that it is easy to pay for petrol and food.