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Camping in Australia – General Information

Article Camping in Australia – General Information

Endless adventures and unlimited freedom can be experienced in Australia. You can also explore the land of kangaroos and koalas with SHAREaCAMPER. Discover the most beautiful routes and sights. Whether it's metropolises like Sydney or Melbourne or nature miracles like the Great Barrier Reef and Ayers Rock, Down Under is the place to go for one of the most adventurous trips of your life. Since there is a lot to be aware of when planning your holiday in Australia, we have summarized the most important facts for you. You will find helpful tips for your travel preparation and what you need to look out for during your campervan holiday in Australia.

The right drivers licence

To drive in Australia, you must carry your current full driver's license. However, if this was not issued in english, you also need a certified translation of the driver's license. You will receive a certified translation either in New Zealand at the New Zealand National Transport Agency, at a consulate or at the office where your driver's license was issued. This translation costs about 30 EUR. You can also apply for an international driver's license. But even then it is absolutely necessary to have the original driver's license with you as well, because the international licence is only valid when you carry both at the same time.

Specifics in Australia

In Australia, there are many special features you need to consider. While you're on the road, especially the left-hand traffic and the road trains are to be considered. As you plan your trip, you must pay attention to getting a visa, the climate and the different time zones. Australia has different climates in different regions. But you will learn more in the following sections.

Left-hand Traffic

In Australia, as in New Zealand, left-hand traffic prevails. That means, the steering wheel is on the right side and you are also about to overtake on the right side. If you have never driven on the left, you should slowly approach. Many drivers get used to that change really quickly.

Road Trains

Road Trains are impressive long trucks that cross the roads of Australia. In order to guarantee a safe onward journey, we recommend you to forego your right of way. These vehicles have a very long braking distance. By dispensing on your right of way, you also spare the drivers the tedious braking.

Visa

The type of visa you need to apply for depends on the duration of your stay and the purpose of your trip. If you are only traveling to Australia for a vacation, the visitor visa eVisitor (651) is usually sufficient. This allows you to stay in Australia as often as you like for up to three months at a time. The cost of this visa is about 14 EUR. If you would like to travel in Australia for more than three months at a time, you must apply for a visitor's visa (600). However, you must also prove that you have enough financial resources to pay for the stay and the return journey. Apply for your visa always early and before your trip. You can not enter without a visa.

Our tip: If you are not sure which visa you need to apply for, you can use the Visa Finder of the Australian Government.

Climate

Australia, also known as the red continent has a huge variation of climates. For some regions, certain travel times are better or worse suited. What many people know is that when it’s winter in Europe, there is Australia in summer. What many people do not know is that there is a tropical climate in the north and a moderate climate in the south.

The best travel times

  • New South Wales is located in the east of Australia. Here you will find, for example, Sydney and the capital Canberra. The best time to travel is November to April.

  • South Australia is, as the name implies, in the south of Australia. You will find the city Adelaide here. From October to March you can travel there well.

  • In the southeast you will find Victoria with the city of Melbourne. It is best to travel here from January to March or November to December.

  • Tasmania is an island located in the east with the city of Hobart. The best travel time is October to March.

  • In the northeast you will find Queensland and the popular city Brisbane. From June to October you can travel there the best.

  • Western Australia covers the west of Australia. It is best to go there in March, April or from October to November.

  • In the Northern Territory Darwin is located in the far north. The best time to travel is from April to September.

  • Central Australia is right in the heart of Australia and that includes, for example, Alice Springs. From June to August is the best time to travel there.

Time zone

Australia has different time zones. The least difference lies between for example Germany and the Australian Western Standard Time. For example, Perth is located in the west of Australia (UTC +8). Followed by the Australian Central Western Standard Time (UTC +8: 45), the Australian Central Standard Time with Darwin (UTC +9: 30), Brisbane (Australian Eastern Standard Time) (UTC +10), Adelaide in the south (Australian Central Daylight Time) with (UTC +10: 30) and Sydney with (UTC +11).

Since the flight from Europe already takes a long time and the jet lag can take several days, we do not recommend renting a motorhome directly. It is best to rest a little on the first few days and then start your journey with the camper. Since the jet lag makes you tired for a while and you should not start your journey directly, you should allow enough time for your vacation plans. We recommend a stay of at least three weeks.

Shopping

Food in Australia is much more expensive than for example in Germany. Especially cheese and nuts can cut your holiday budget. You can buy cheaper for example at Aldi or Coles. In Down Under the offers change almost every day. This can often save you a lot of money.

Our tip: Do not throw away the receipts directly. On the back you will always find coupons that you can save even more.

The right camper and road rules

You have decided to travel through Australia? The only thing you need now is the right vehicle. You can also rent the right vehicle for your holiday via SHAREaCAMPER. You can choose between many different models. Be careful with the luggage, because too much luggage makes the vehicle heavier and you can even risk being overweight.

In towns and villages you can drive 50-60 km / h, on the highways 100-110 km / h. If the speed is exceeded, you can expect high fines in Australia. If you drive longer distances, you should still have a canister of gasoline with you. Especially in the outback the next gas station can be far away. If you drive through the outback, you should also have an additional water canister. We recommend to not drive more than 300 km a day.

When driving, also pay attention to the "DIP" and "CREST" signs. These will show you if a sharp decrease or increase follows. Especially with a "CREST" sign should not overtake. Special attention must also be paid to animal crossing. You do not only have to pay attention to kangaroos, but also to cattle and sheep. It is not recommended to drive during the sunrise, at dawn and at night. At these times the animals are more active.

Important: For your safety, whenever you move in the outback, let someone know where you are. If you have a breakdown, you always stay in your vehicle. This way, you will be found faster and there is no danger of you getting lost.

Free camping

There are a lot of campgrounds in Australia, most of them are very well maintained and also offer a lot of comfort. But unlike many countries in Europe, you are also allowed to sleep in designated places in a national park in Australia. Access to a toilet and water is always given, but you have no access to electricity and must not start the generator. But who needs power if you have a beautiful national park right outside the door? In addition to electricity, you must also refrain from fire, as the risk of a bush fire is very high. In designated places Bush Camping is allowed. These places are sometimes even free. In the cities and on private land, camping is not allowed.

Our tip: The App WikiCamps or Campermate shows all pitches with additional ratings and information.

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