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We have just completed two months of travel around Australia, covering a distance of 7,500km. During this time we spent 30 days of the journey in our Britz Campervan, driving from Sydney to Cairns. There are many reasons why our family enjoys travelling in a campervan, like we did in New Zealand last year. We have found it to be the best way to really experience the diversity of landscape and scenery whilst having a great family holiday.
Here are our top five reasons to love campervan travel in Australia:
There is nothing like waking up in the morning and seeing wallabies outside your bedroom! Our biggest highlight from travelling in Australia was the abundance of wildlife that we experienced. We didn't even have to travel far, we saw most of it at our campervan sites. At Barrington Tops National Park, we saw our first carpet snake and woke up to the sound of the amazing lyrebird. At a freedom camping site, we saw wallabies. We encountered 70 species of birds and for my enthusiastic birdwatching husband, this was paradise! Some days we just sat outside our campervan and watched the many different species – common ones like kookaburras, brush turkeys, ibis – and other unusual ones like the black kakatua and apostlebird.
We were fortunate enough to travel through some of the major food growing regions across Australia. In Queensland and New South Wales, we had to stop several times on the roadside where they were selling local fresh fruits and vegetables. We were able to enjoy it all and buy as much as we wanted since we could store it in our refrigerator. We also prefer having only organic milk and free range eggs. Having a campervan allowed us to stock up the fridge with our preferred choice of food. The best part was being able to cook healthy and wholesome meals while on the road, which is never the case when we do road trips in a car and staying at motels.
Freedom of travel with a campervan
This is by far the top reason we prefer travelling in a campervan. We like exploring off the beaten track, unknown hidden gems, and unexpected places that pop up on our radar as we travel. A good example would be pebbly beach, Murramah National Park. We were driving from Narooma to Wollongong and had already booked accommodation there. We stopped at Pebbly beach as it was recommended by another traveller. The drive to enter the pebbly beach caravan site was stunning and surrounded by forest. We were taken back by wild kangaroos, beautiful beach and a lovely forested campsite. Another time, we just wanted to get away from the coast and explore some of the inland national parks. As we carried our accommodation with us, we were free to deter from our chosen route along the coast and travel inland.
We love our coffee in the morning and we love good food. Budget travel doesn't always allow for that. Most days we paid $9 for coffee on the road for the two of us; however, carrying our kitchen with us in the campervan and having access to a fridge, freezer and microwave allowed us to save a lot of money, especially on breakfasts and and lunch. The average cost for all the campervan sites we stayed at (and we stayed at some really swanky sites with resort style pools) was on average $35-$65. Few sites we stayed were free. The cheapest hostel we could find for the four of us is $120 and that is no guarantee if booking at the last minute. We stayed in Sydney, just 10 minutes walking distance from the train, half an hour train to the CBD area, and it cost us $40. For 30 days of travel, staying right on the beach many of the days were a bargain in our campervan.
Location of campervan sites
This follows up from the saving costs by being able to stay at such stunning locations at a decent cost. In Narooma, Port Stephens and Ballina we stayed five minutes' walk from the beach. In Barrington Tops, Eungella and Daintree National Park, we were as close to nature as it gets, surrounded by rainforest and wildlife. When we wanted five star luxuries with big swimming pools and lots of activities for the children, we stayed in places like Big 4 that are located all over the country. Basically you can have your pick of whatever type of environment you are looking for, as close to nature or as close to amenities, as you want. On our last night, we splurged (by which we mean that we paid $65) to stay at Coconut Resort in Cairns – adult spa, two swimming pools, free pancakes and movie night. A great way to end our 30 days of campervan travels in Australia!