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Car Hire vs Camper Vans

Travel Forums Australia / New Zealand & The Pacific Car Hire vs Camper Vans

1. Posted by Ali74 (Budding Member 5 posts) 11y

Ali74 has indicated that this thread is about Australia

We're currently planning a RTW trip and will be in Oz for a couple of weeks in October. We're planning to spend 2 weeks driving between Sydney and Cairns and can't decide between car hire and camper vans!! Any thoughts?


2. Posted by stevieh (Respected Member 612 posts) 11y

You need to rethink your plans. No matter how many times you've heard how big Australia is, nor how many numbers you look at on a map, you really can't appreciate it until you get there.
But take heed from people who been and driven that route - Australia is immense.
In all seriousness, it will take you almost two weeks just DRIVING.
You will barely get out to stretch your legs. You cannot enjoy that journey in two weeks, unless a pure 'Roadtrip' is your aim. In that short space of time you really must go to one place and see as much of it as you can (e.g. Sydney, Gold Coast or Cairns)- that way you will get a feel for Australia and spend time with its people, rather than behind the wheel of a car/van.

3. Posted by serene.y (Full Member 15 posts) 11y

hi ali,

I'm going to Brisbane next week and we've hired a camper van. Have not done this before, but reckon it saves the time of travelling to and fro the hotel/hostel and provides more freedom... esp for you doing RTW.

Here's a link you may find useful
Choose wisely and have fun!!


4. Posted by Ali74 (Budding Member 5 posts) 11y

Thanks for the info. We'll be spending 5 days in both Sydney and Cairns on either side of the road trip and have allowed 2 weeks for the journey between the two. Would it be better to fly from Sydney to Brisbane and travel onwards from here? Unfortunately we're limited for time as the entire trip is 7 weeks with 3 weeks solely for Australia.

5. Posted by maba (Inactive 227 posts) 11y

Brisbane to Cairns by camper would be the way to go as serene.y says. This is a distance of 1700 Km (1000+ miles). It will also alow you flexibility of the route you take. Accomodation will not be a problem especially if you don't go too far inland and stick predominantly to the coast (Bruce Highway) as there are plenty of Caravan (Trailer) Parks. Also many rest areas allow free overnight camping (some 48hr). The roads are sealed so travelling will not be stressful but be aware there are some long distances between some locations eg. Rockhampton to Mackay which is 350Km. Do your research and plan your main stops as 2 weeks could be limiting if you stay at one place too long.

Allow time for Fraser Island (only 4WD allowed - maybe make it a day trip from Hervey Bay). Also further North allow a few days for the Whitsundays area (Airley Beach etc.).

Enjoy your time down under...

6. Posted by Ali74 (Budding Member 5 posts) 11y

Thanks for all your help, still undecided!!!

Serene, let me know you get on with the camper hire, have a great time!!

Maba what you mean by the roads being sealed? and thanks for the helpful advise

7. Posted by soliqa (Respected Member 284 posts) 11y

hi ali,

when mabo says sealed he means bitumen roads, unlike many of the roads in rural australia which are gravel/dirt and much harder to drive on!!