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Family campervan trip to Australia

(18 Posts)
Summersunny Wed 31-May-17 14:43:18

Ok i am in the incredibly early stages of planning a dream family gap (half) year. Our current idea is to hire a campervan and see Australia.

I googled campervans but am just lost.

Anyone done this? Any advice? Good sources? What kind of van? How expensive?

When we go, we'll have a 4-year-old and a 14-month-old.

This feels like the perfect time as it'll be 6-8 months before the (then) 4-year-old starts school and feels like a bit of a "last chance" to do this before school starts and we won't want to be away for it!

Would love any tips.

Alternatively - any other travel ideas. We are in very early research mode!

Dailystuck71 Wed 31-May-17 19:43:34

You might be cheaper buying one and then selling it again.

Summersunny Wed 31-May-17 21:06:24

Yes I started to see people doing that when I looked online! Any ideas of good places?

Dailystuck71 Thu 01-Jun-17 06:23:10

What do you want to see? Where do you plan on flying to? I can give you links but no point if you are in QLD and the links are WA.

Aebj Thu 01-Jun-17 06:38:22

We have driven from Perth to Canberra. It took us 5 days. Once you leave the big cities there really isn't much in between.
What time of year are you thinking of driving? In the summer the south is hot, bloody bot so make sure you have a van with good air con. Remember you will need to have a generator to keep it going through the night. Cyclone season will hit the north of the country through the summer but lovely during the winter.
Often there isn't anything for 200km and then it's just a small petrol station and motel. Some of these motels are very basic.
It would be good to get a radio . You can then talk to the roadtrains. Good if you want to overtake them.
Are you happy to share the driving?
What do you want to see?
Attached are a couple of photos are Nullarbor trip!

specialsubject Thu 01-Jun-17 09:33:40

As mentioned, can be enormous gaps of nothing unless it is Tasmania. Go to new Zealand instead, plenty there for six months!

mummymeister Thu 01-Jun-17 09:44:12

Unless you have set your heart on Australia I would take a look at a few other destinations. if I could do this it would be Canada. very child friendly, not too hot for little ones and loads to see and do.

perhaps make it more of a 2 or 3 centre trip?

Summerysunny Thu 01-Jun-17 12:27:50

We actually don't have our heart completely set! I've never been and would like to see Sydney, the Gold Coast, and so on. But have been considering NZ and the west coast of the States and up to Canada too.

I think we want to see lots, but without it being stressful as we'll have such young kids!

Anyone travelled with young kids for a long time (six months at least)? What was your most successful trip?

miked99 Thu 01-Jun-17 13:18:59

OP - Go for it
I live in Sydney and have done a camper van trip with a 6 year old from the East Coast round to Coral Bay at Ningaloo reef to see the Whale Sharks and Manta Rays. My son loved every second of it - especially the 'empty bits'. Half his school friends have done something similar , some for over a year !
If you have a camper van then you don't need to worry about motels, though it is nice to have a real bed once in a while, there are heaps of guides online about places to stop with a van, what you will and won't need etc. I asked my son for his highlights and they were Ningaloo Reef, camping in Wilpena Pound in the Flinders Ranges, climbing the Gloucester Tree at Pemberton, playing golf along the Nullarbor, feeding the dolphins at Monkey Mia, and the stars in the night-sky !

We met loads of other families with kids doing the same thing, so there's always someone to play with, I simply can't recommend it highly enough.
We actually got a fantastic deal on hiring a van - it was a special off-season, but once you get to a certain length of time buying then selling probably makes more sense.

As campervans are a favourite of backpackers, Lonely Planet, Rough Guides etc are a pretty good source of information to get you started, with suggested routes too.
Many Australian National Parks have stunning settings and usually very good facilities for campers and vans, and outside of school holidays are empty, here's the website (with lots of photos) for parks in NSW that might give you some ideas.

If you have never been to Australia before , a trip down the East Coast is probably the way to go as that has most of the more famous sights including the Gold Coast , Sydney the GBR etc and you'll never be far from a playground for the children, but really you can't go wrong anywhere.

Good luck - you won't regret it

K1092902 Thu 01-Jun-17 13:22:36

No advice just to say this is my face right now


Have a wonderful time OP

Summerysunny Thu 01-Jun-17 15:42:19

Wow miked! You've made me even more excited!

toffeeboffin Thu 01-Jun-17 15:48:27

We did the West Coast (two adults) for three weeks and while it was fun I wouldn't do it with kids as there is nothing much to actually do and see with small children, except the beach.

Bear in mind too it's massive distances with no towns i. E. Supermarket, gas station etc in between. So driving for hours and hours which I can't imagine to be fun with little ones.

I'd do the East coast in a campervan and then maybe do short term apartment rentals somewhere like Mooloolaba (sp??) and Tasmania.

Definitely recommend Tasmania, it's lovely.

toffeeboffin Thu 01-Jun-17 15:50:16

Might sound like a total no brainer but don't even consider doing Canada in the winter in a campervan grin

Summerysunny Thu 01-Jun-17 20:50:20

Thanks toffee! Yes more and more convinced it's the east coast I'd like to do.

Gosh yes winter in a campervan in Canada sounds too tough!!

Summerysunny Thu 01-Jun-17 22:43:19

Anyone advise on the cost of living in Australia? (Groceries, fuel) so I can start to budget? In the meantime, will start to Google...

Dailystuck71 Fri 02-Jun-17 06:44:29

It's been a long time since I lived there but you could do a fantasy shop online with coles or Woolworths to get an ideal on food costs.

Wine and beer comes from a bottle shop not a supermarket.

Fuel is about $1.22 at the moment. There are fuel watch pages.

mummymeister Sat 03-Jun-17 10:14:12

I would also start asking around about travel insurance. many have a 30 or 60 day limit so for 6 months travelling you are very likely to need one of the more specialist policies.

also if you own your own home and are leaving it for 6 months decide if its going to be tenanted or empty. if empty then your buildings and contents insurers need to know and may have their own requirements about the place being left.

final thing is to make sure you have someone/anyone that you trust who can open your post for you and forward on anything vital or urgent.

I would also start involving the children particularly the older one in the planning and preparation because at 4 you are talking about being away for an eighth of his life. he will miss his routine and friends and although he is with you he still might get a bit homesick if not properly prepared.

GraceGrape Sat 03-Jun-17 10:18:15

Been a few years since I was there, but I found groceries very expensive. Camp grounds were fairly reasonable and widely available.

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