Planning a Trip Around Australia by Van
Life is a journey, and van life lets you explore places at your own pace.
Planning a trip around Australia is no easy task, but it is without a doubt the best part of all planning!
Are you planning on travelling around Australia? Here is our round-the-country road trip itinerary.
How did we decide on the Travel Itinerary?
Our road trip itinerary was literally built with a map of Australia in hand and Google Maps on the computer. Defining the best starting point, which roads to travel, how to fit the best times to pass through each state, avoiding extreme temperatures and periods of high flow in very touristy places were some of the things we considered.
Something to point out is that several times we had to convince ourselves that, even if our plan was to GO ON A TRIP AROUND AUSTRALIA, we are not going to visit ALL OF AUSTRALIA. When it comes to Australia, there are some places that even the hardiest adventurers won’t be able to reach. Whether off-limits for wildlife protection, military manoeuvres and sheer inaccessibility, there are certain places that we are just not going to get to. Cape York and some other remote places are an example of that.
The truth is that all these variables form a challenging puzzle to put together. In addition, it is necessary to accept that the future is uncertain and that, no matter how much we plan the best route, we will always be susceptible to changes. We are also aware that over time our desires change, opportunities appear, and we want to be open to any changes that need to be made during our Australian road trip.
In saying that, we designed our best estimate of the route, which passes through Australia’s six states and two territories over 1 year of travel.
The adventure begins on the Northern Beaches in Sydney, New South Wales, where Dani and I lived before jumping in the van. From there, we plan on going to the Blue Mountains for a few days and then travel north and follow our big lap to amazing places. You can see below our planned road trip around Australia.
What do you need to consider when planning your route around Australia?
Driving At Night and Kangaroos
We do not advise driving at night due to the large number of kangaroos that will jump in front of your campervan. If one jumps in front of your van, it will not only cause damage to your vehicle, but you could also kill or injure the animal.
Kangaroos are often hit by cars and need to be rescued. If you see one on the road, check its pouch for a baby kangaroo if it is safe to do so! There are several kangaroo rescue centres around Australia. You should always google their phone numbers and addresses if you need their help.
If it’s late, a good advice is to stay at caravan parks or just park at free camping spots and leave your next adventure for the next day.
Australia is a vast country with many different climate types. The outback covers three-quarters of the country’s land which means that most places are semi-arid, with sparse rainfall.
The enormous, dry middle of Australia, which includes Alice Springs, is hot year-round, with temperatures around the high 30’s to 40°C (104°F), during the day but can get very cold at night. Visiting Central Australia during winter is an adventurous and rewarding experience. The daytime temperatures are comfortably warm, and you will have warm clothing and bedding to go through the night in the red centre.
The southern half of Australia, including Tasmania, has warm summers and mild winters.
Further north, seasonal variations lessen. At the Top End, which includes Darwin, Katherine, Kakadu and Arnhem Land, has a tropical climate with just two seasons: the dry season (which runs from May to October) and the wet season (stretching from November to April), with its monsoon rains and occasional tropical cyclones. Each season lasts for about six months.
Covering an area as large as the United States of America or the entire European continent, Australia’s landscape is highly diverse; it ranges from the dry Outback to lush rainforests. It also includes 36,000 km (22,300 miles) worth of coastal land!
The Best Way to Travel Australia is by Campervan
Hiring or buying a campervan, other than being the cheapest way to explore Australia, also allows you to do it at your own pace, be spontaneous, change plans as you travel, stop wherever you want to for as long as you wish.
The best way to enjoy an adventure-filled day is to have your home wherever you park it, with a kitchen right behind the driver’s seat. You can pull into any stunning location and make lunch while soaking up views of all that nature has offered you during this grand journey! It doesn’t get more convenient or affordable than this.
Wade & Dani
Hi! We’re Wade and Dani, We’re currently travelling around Australia in our 2017 Mercedes Sprinter Camper van and sharing our best experiences, stories, reviews and adventures as we go along. Make sure you follow long on our Instagram