Me and a friend are in the middle of planning a 6 month trip to oz in late nov, from Melbourne to cairns and just need a bit of advice. We are considering buying a car and camping with hostels now and then, or getting the greyhound and doing hostels all the way.
Not surprisingly there is a big price difference in the two, so naturally we are swaying towards the cheaper camping option! We realise that there are downsides to this, as we are 23 and really want to socialise and party when poss. So with buying a car and driving all the way, using both hostels and camping, we are a bit stuck....do you have to pay to park and camp in oz? I know here in england parking costs a fortune lately, and you can only camp on camping sites. And is it easy enough to park in the cities? Obviously safety is a priority too, with all these horror films and stories u hear it could r put u off!
Has anyone had any experience of this who could offer some advice please? Thankyou!
Have you tried asking www.travellersautobarn.com.au?
They specialise is selling/renting cars and will know about camping.
Suggest you look at these sites also: www.bugaustralia.com (for alternatives to Greyhound) and www.standbycars.com.au (especially the campervan section). Some advice: do not camp anywhere off-road, only at designated campsites. This is for your safety, not only in regards to 2 legged animals, but, this summer saw some very serious bushfires mainly on the East Coast towards the lower third of the continent, Tas and SA . Yes, you do have to pay at camping grounds to cover use of the facilities, but it is not very expensive, and you will meet many locals, including many 'Grey Nomads' (retired or semi-retired people touring in campervans around Australia) and families with young children. At least this was my experience 6-8 years ago, when I did 2 x 30 day group camping tours through the Centre, Top End and WA, also a 14 day camping tour between Sydney and Cooktown.
The other piece of advice is to be aware of school holidays. These are from mid December to end January, when your options for accommodation, etc. will be very limited. This is the most popular time for people to take their holidays and many places are booked out and higher tariffs. I would also suggest you look into the weather patterns at the time you plan to be in various places, eg. the wet season up north during the summer months. By the way, Tasmania is a compact, beautiful state to visit also.
Please do not think I am trying to discourage you from coming, because I do love Oz, but I think if you have a choice, perhaps the beginning of March would be ideal to start your trip from Melbourne to Cairns (school and uni students back studying, and the weather is likely to be more favourable).
Whenever you come, have a fantastic, memorable time.
check out the national parks websites, there is one for every state, they have lists of campgrounds that can be free, or next to it, with varying degrees of amenities.
Wouldn't recommend camping on the side of the road, not so much for the safety side of it, just because, who wants to sleep next to a road? There are a lot of beautiful camp sites all over the country, and a lot are free, so enjoy them! thats why they are there.
[ Edit: Edited on Apr 2, 2007, at 3:13 AM by AndyB24 ]
Thankyou so much everyone, thats great advice, given me lots more to think about anyway, cheers!
We travelled oz for a few months and found that the best way was by campervan.
If there is 2 or 3 of you, this is definatley the cheapest and most comfortable option.
The east coast of oz is really nice.
Campervans are really easy and lets you explore off the beaten tourist track, small towns like Jervis Bay on the NSW south coast.
Have a great trip
south coast of nsw was really beautiful, dont miss it.
[ Edit: Sorry, no promos please... ]