This is a guest post written by Manuel Cadaing for Retreat Caravans – a family-owned and operated company that builds sturdy and reliable off road caravans in Australia.
Pause for a moment. Let it sink in. You are living in one of the most beautiful, amazing, diverse and fascinating countries on earth.
And you only spend all your time in front of a computer? I don’t think so!
Work is causing you stress, your neighbours are driving you mad and you’ve had enough. It’s time to do something legendary, something that will change your life for good.
It’s time for an epic adventure; it’s time for an Australian Road Trip.
Sure you can decide to fly straight to your destination, but you’ll miss out on all the beautiful views below.
Gorgeous scenery, freakish wildlife, meeting new and interesting people, and picking up souvenirs from all over the country.
These are the joys of a road trip alright. Go alone, take someone you love, or pick up a hitchhiker (that last one was a joke). That’s the beauty of a road trip: there are no limits on who can come along, what can happen and where you can go.
It’s going to be fun, fascinating and full of surprises.
Going on a long trip is amazing, but before you get too excited, you need to be prepared. There’s a lot to do before you set off to your adventure of a lifetime.
Choosing the Right Caravan
Why a caravan? You deserve to travel in style and comfort that follows you everywhere.
No reason to spend your nights in a random hotel, right? Nah, why leave it to chance?
To make the most of your experience, you need ultimate comfort and no unwelcome surprises. When you’re in a Retreat Caravan, you know exactly what you’re getting.
Spacious, modern, comfortable and equipped with everything you need, it’ll be like driving your house.
After a long day on your great Australian road trip, the last thing you need is to settle into a hotel that looks nothing like the ones you saw in pictures. Hands up if you’ve been in that situation before.
You want guaranteed convenience, that’s what your handpicked caravan will get you.
Preparing For The Long Road Ahead
So what do you need and how do you get it?
Begin with the personals
What you pack depends on the trip you’ve chosen. If you’ll be travelling along the coast, you’ll need your water sports gear and canoe/kayak if you have one.
Your road trip will probably take you across different terrains with different weather conditions, so be sure to check the weather forecast before you take off.
Be sure to carry items you might not find in remote locations such as your medication, favourite brand of crisps and plenty of water. You shouldn’t go anywhere without plenty of water.
Prepare your gadgets
Towing aid, towing mirror, caravan jack, fire extinguisher, wheel chocks, extra coolant, oil and fuel, and a sway control device are absolute essentials.
Don’t forget the spare tyres for your care and the caravan.
Run a safety check
If you haven’t driven with a caravan before, this will be particularly helpful. Get used to how the caravan feels with your car and also practice going on reverse.
Triple check the caravan to make sure that it is securely fastened. And make sure all drawers, doors and loose fittings are securely shut.
Have pre-assigned roles and responsibilities
A lack of organisation can really hurt your Australian road trip. Who handles the music? Who assists the driver? Who navigates and who takes cute candid pictures?
Travelling in a confined space can feel a bit invasive, so keeping people busy is a good way to get their minds off it and on to what really matters: taking time away from your boss.
Learn how to set-up and dismantle
So you’ve had a great day on the open road, you’ve met cute koalas and a feisty kangaroo and you’ve made it to your campsite. Now what do you do?
Before you leave, practice setting up the caravan and putting things back in place.
You also need to know how long it takes to do said tasks and who will be handling what.
Take a course
A caravanning for beginners’ course will help you plan your trip better.
An Australian road trip is magical, and will be a great experience for you and your family. Make it enjoyable and undertake every precaution to make it go as smoothly as possible.
When you’re in a new place you need to know everything — the weather, activities to do, which diner to avoid, how to get a racoon to give you back your camera etc.
Make sure someone knows where you are going and when you’re leaving. You may also want to avoid “suggestions” from well-meaning strangers telling you of short-cuts. Instead, find an expert and keep in touch.
Now that you’re all packed and ready to go, it’s time to hit the road. But, where to?
Recommended Australian Road Trips
How do you choose the right destination? Well for starters, it depends on where you live. Next, you need to factor in your interests: water sports, cultural sights, nature, wildlife or dealer’s choice?
Dealer’s choice it is.
1. Hit the Pacific Coast
Ahh! Fresh ocean breeze cleaning the stuffy air of the city out of your nostrils. You feel your body come alive as you whiz along from Sydney to Brisbane, or as far up the coast as you please.
From Sydney, you can drive straight to the Central Coast, for a taste of watery delights.
First you’ve got the Bouddi National Park, just an hour away from Northeast Sydney. Bushwalks, camping, fishing and swimming are the highlights of this destination.f
Then you can go surfing at Avoca, or visit the protected beaches of Toowon Bay. More water sports like canoeing (did you bring yours along?), water-skiing and sailboarding await you at Tuggerah Lake.
From the Central Coast, make your way towards the beautiful vineyards of Hunter Valley. You’ll have 120 wineries to choose from, where you can taste the region’s acclaimed shiraz and other favourites (but none for the driver, shame).
Proceed to Port Stephens, where you can kayak, stop by the Nelson Head Lighthouse or swim with bottle-nosed dolphins.
Stockton Beach might tickle your fancy, that is, if you like quad-biking on sand dunes. Who doesn’t?
Ready to catch your own breakfast? Go fishing at Seal Rocks, while you travel down to Coffs Harbour.
You can then visit the World Heritage site of Barrington Tops. Bushwalking, white water rafting and volcanic eruptions are some of the highlights. Oh don’t worry, the volcanoes are extinct…sadly.
Ride a camel at Port Macquarie, deep sea fish in the warm waters of South West Rocks, or visit Big Banana, and probably eat a few big bananas.