Australia is the absolute behemoth. When travellers think of Australia, they envision a sprawling, sunburnt country with flat desert plains populated sparsely by stranger-than-fiction wildlife. That part of Australia does exist but that’s not all there is!
Australia is a continent that houses a hugely diverse array of ecosystems and terrains, including arid deserts, shrublands, subtropical zones, tropical rainforests, mediterranean woodlands, temperate forests, alpine tundra and even snow-covered alps.
The primary way of getting around Australia, without flying, is driving. Combine this with the nation’s sublime natural beauty and you have hundreds of ridiculously stunning campervanning options at your disposal. It is undeniably tough to choose just one. The good news is that on a self-driving trip, where you go is up to you!
We have curated a list of the top five spots to van-castion to get you started.
Great Ocean Road
Known as one of the epic road trips of Australia, the Great Ocean Road will take you from Melbourne to the regional Victorian city of Allansford. The trail hugs the coastline tightly around the full south-eastern bend of Australia and is known for its awe-inspiring ocean views. The road trip is also steeped in geographic history where you can see natural sandstone and limestone formations like the 12 Apostles, sheer vertical cliffs faces, rainforests, island archways and volcanic plains. Nature-lovers, this is one campervan trip you would not want to miss out on.
The Nullarbor might be a surprising addition to this list for those in the know - its name literally means ‘no trees’. The Nullarbor Plain is semi-arid desert best known colloquially as part of the ‘outback’. It will take you from the west coast (Perth) to the south-east coast (Adelaide, or Melbourne if you want to push on) in about 28 hours. That’s around five days if you drive at a leisurely 5-6 hours per day. On this trip you’ll find the Fraser Range, the Great Australian Bight, the Sapphire Coast, Australia’s longest stretch of straight road (122kms), and more stars than you ever thought possible. It also links in with the Great Ocean Road toward the end.
Pacific Coast Touring Route
This trip will take you from Sydney to Brisbane and is probably the most action-packed of the lot. On the Pacific Coast Touring Route, you can quad bike on sand dunes, ride camels across beaches, swim with wild dolphins, join whale-watching cruises, kayak off Byron Bay, go surfing, skydiving and of course enjoy plenty of wildlife-spotting along the way. Either end of the trip is a fantastic place to rest up and recharge before or after a long drive. In Sydney you get the Opera House, Bondi Beach, the Harbour Bridge and the Royal Botanic Gardens. In Queensland, you get Surfers’ Paradise, North Stradbroke Island and Mt Cook. This is a campervan trip for busy bodies!
Round Trip Tasmania
Did you know you can drive around the entire coast of Tasmania in less than a week? The Tassie lap will leave you spellbound. Popular among campervanners, it will have you traversing the stunning Derwent Valley, Cradle Mountain, the flaming Bay of Fires and artsy urban hotspots like Launceston and Hobart with plenty of time to spare. Of course, Tasmania being an island and all, you might be wondering how to get a vehicle onto it. You have a few options: you can ferry with your car from Melbourne in about 10 hours, or you can easily hire a campervan for a more luxurious experience when you fly in.
Top End Tours
Last but certainly not least, the ‘top end’. This local term mainly refers to the Northern Territory, but we like to include the top end of Western Australia as well. Both states' northernmost regions are absolutely stunning campervanning material and both are full of UNESCO World Heritage sites. Coral Bay to Darwin is a popular interstate option, but perhaps the best-known route is Darwin to Alice Springs. Passing by Kakadu National Park, Katherine Gorge, Uluroo and a whole lot of red desert country, this one is perfect for those who want to learn more about and cultivate their appreciation for First Nations people.
Aching to put the pedal to the metal? Contact your local agent to find out more about Australian campervanning trips.