Especially the west coast of Australia is best traveled by campervan. The same goes for our insider tip Tasmania. You can find our highlights in Australia here.
15. July – 14. September 2011
Australia did not disappoint us even on our second visit. Despite the abrupt departure from Western Australia due to the Tiger Airways disaster, we were and are again thrilled by the landscape, wildlife and the road trip. The national parks in the Top End of the Northern Territory are worth the sometimes endlessly long drives, as well as Karijini and Cape Range are must-sees. In the southwest we liked Esperance and surroundings best. Sydney and Melbourne are two metropolises that are really worth living in. Situated by the sea, both cities offer vibrant life and beach recreation close by. On weekends, it is easy to roam through nature away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
Unique is the variety of animals that can be observed without much effort: Crocodiles, flying foxes, kangaroos, wallabies, koalas, whales, dolphins, dingoes, penguins, snakes, blue-tongue and other lizards, wombats, platypus – all are part of daily life depending on the region. At the Ningaloo Reef we could snorkel with turtles, rays and schools of fish. Our “punk friends”, the mohawk-wearing cockatoos, have accompanied us almost everywhere we go.
Tasmania – our insider tip for Australia
As an insider tip away from the German high school backpackers on the east coast and the arthritis gypsies with their megalo-mobiles on the west coast, we definitely throw Tasmania into the race. Varied, anything but overcrowded and full of fantastically located camping spots that are explicitly free to use.
Free camping in Australia
The supply with food and gasoline worked Down Under also in the unpopulated sections without problems. The supermarket chains Woolworths and Coles with their affordable private labels can be found almost everywhere. We rarely had cell phone coverage with Vodafone (better invest a few dollars more and take Telstra), but the internet coverage with the Telstra Elite UMTS stick was much better than we thought. Western Australia and the Northern Territory are ideal for campers. Most of the time we could camp wild without any problems, at the latest every 80 km you will find rest areas branching off the highway.
Australia – do not drive at night
An overnight stay in the national park costs around seven dollars/person, but even here the staff is far from making their rounds every day. Latecomers and early risers have no bad chances to escape the ranger radar. How strictly penalties and reprimands are dealt with in case of being caught – no idea. As soon as the sun goes down, you should plan a stop for the night, after that the kangaroo/wallaby/possum-on-the-hood risk increases rapidly. Our handful of dark drives turned into nerve-wracking episodes, which only ended smoothly due to evasive maneuvers and snail’s pace.
When it comes to camper rentals, it’s definitely worth looking away from the omnipresent Britz (expensive as hell), Wicked (small and poorly equipped) and the like. to inform. The smaller companies (like our Travel Car Centre) sometimes have first-class offers, but usually present themselves in the Google rankings (if at all) only under the distant second. We can only recommend the Camps Australia Wide-“bible” with all information about – especially – free and cheap campsites Down Under.
We have often met travelers who were disappointed by Australia. If we were traveling around the east coast by bus and staying in hostel bunkers, we probably would be. But the red continent does not only consist of single sights like Opera House, Great Barrier Reef or Uluru – traveling in a rented or own campervan, the dreamlike beaches, the loneliness, the endless expanse, the unique nature and animal world, all this makes Australia a dream destination for us.