Article Discover the most popular cities in Australia with the Campervan
Besides the great nature you can explore in Australia there are also pulsating cities on this side of the world. In addition to the largest cities of Sydney and Melbourne, in this article we want to present you with four more cities which are well worth a visit. Do you ask yourself questions like: “What is the climate in Alice Springs?”, “When is the best time to travel to Perth?” and “Where exactly on Australia's hugh east coast is Sydney located?” You will find the answers to your questions here. Find out which sights you should not miss and what you can discover in the vicinity of these impressive cities.
Sydney is located on the Australian east coast, right on the Pacific Ocean. With about 5 million inhabitants, it is the largest city in Australia and attracts several million visitors annually. In order to explore Australia with a motorhome, we have summarised the most important information for you below.
Australia has several climatic zones. While temperatures in Europe are freezing in December, the sun is shining in Sydney with a balmy 25 °C. So, if you want to escape the cold winter of the Northern Hemisphere,, Australia is a good option. On average, January and February are the warmest months. But even in November and March, you can experience long hours of sunshine. In the remaining months, the temperature drops, but the Australian winter is very mild and the temperatures usually do not fall below 5 ° C. As best travel time, we recommend the months from November to April.
If you want to explore Australia with a camper and fly to Sydney, you should not hit the road straight away with your camper. Because of the long flight and the big time difference, it can be dangerous if you start driving tired. You should also not miss discovering Sydney if you're there anyway.
One of the most famous attractions in Australia is the famous Opera House. Take a leisurely walk to the harbour and admire the UNSECO World Heritage site. Afterwards, you can take a boat trip on Circular Quay or go straight to the next nearest attraction: the Harbour Bridge. The Sydney Harbour Bridge is about 134 m high and it is possible to climb the approximately 49 m high arch of the bridge. If you are free from giddiness, be sure to enjoy the exceptional view of the entire city. Nearby, you will find the historic waterfront: "The Rocks". You will find museums, galleries, beautiful weekend markets and winding streets. A bit off the beaten track but still very popular is Bondi Beach. The beach is a focal point for surfers from all over the world. Try to tame the best waves or just take a break on the beach.
If you feel like exploring Sydney’s hinterlands by camper, the Blue Mountains are 60 km from the CBD. These are World Heritage Sites and offer breathtaking plant and animal diversity. The wildlife includes a total of about 65 species of animals, including martens, kangaroos and koalas, as well as more dangerous animals such as dingoes. The flora is dominated by eucalyptus, but you can also find rainforest. In the Blue Mountains National Park you will also find the sandstone rock formation, "the Three Sisters". Not far away, you can also explore the oldest open limestone caves in the world.
If your time exploring Sydney and the surrounding area has revived you, now you can start your journey with the camper. One of the most popular routes starts directly in Sydney. The Pacific Coast Tour takes you north along the coast to Cairns. On this route you can, for example, discover the well-known tourist highlights of the Gold Coast and Brisbane. More detailed information about this route can be found in our article Explore the best itineraries in Australia with the Motorhome.
Where to stay in Sydney
Right on Simpson Bay, surrounded by tranquil nature, you find the Bonnie Vale Campground. The campsite offers over 70 RV berths as well as showers and toilets. You can relax on the beach or take a ride on a kayak before continuing your trip.
Near the Lane Cove River lies Lane Cove River Tourist Park. Here are about 206 sites to park your motorhome. There are showers and toilets available and WiFi access. From there you can quickly access the M2 motorway, which will take you to the M7 southbound.
After Sydney, Melbourne is the second largest city in Australia. It is located on the continent’s southeastern coast. You asked yourself when to travel to Melbourne and what to discover? Find out here.
The best travel time for Melbourne is also between November and April. Keep in mind that the weather is very variable in Melbourne, especially in spring and summer. Due to the temperature difference between the Australian inland and the South Pacific, there are more frequent heavy rains, storms and rapid temperature drops.
If you fly to Sydney you can rent your motorhome there, start your travels in Sydney and drive to Melbourne. So you can already discover some of the red continent on the way to Melbourne. If that's too stressful for you, you can also fly from Sydney to Melbourne or fly to Melbourne from your home country directly.
Once you've arrived in Melbourne, you can take a look at the city centre: Federation Square, which regularly hosts fashion shows, festivals or concerts. There are also many romantic cafes and great restaurants. If you like street art, you should visit Hosier Lane near the square to admire the works of local and international street artists.
The skyline of Melbourne is very spectacular, with its skyscrapers and glass buildings. The best location to see the entire skyline is the Shrine of Remembrance. If you want to see the city from above, we recommend the Eureka Tower. With the elevator you travel to 297 m and have a breathtaking view over the whole city. A ticket for the tower costs about AUD $18.
Even on a budget, you can still discover Melbourne. You can get around the city for free with the City Circle Tram. It travels around the city center and passes many sights. The "I'm Free" tours are also free, obviously. These take about 3 hours and will show you some insider tips on the city. The guides are very easy to spot, in their neon green T-shirts. As most of the guides are students, they will always welcome a donation at the end, if you felt the tour was worthwhile.
You can take a nice walk along the Yarra River and watch the city’s famous black swans. On St. Kilda Beach you can not only take a walk, but, with a little luck, you might also see little penguins. If you're not lucky there, you can drive to Phillip Island, about an hour away, where spotting penguins is guaranteed.
If you are traveling with a mobile home, you definitely want to make a small road trip around the country and not only visit the city. In addition to the beautiful national parks such as Grampians and Wilson Promontory, you will find the start of the Great Ocean Road about 2 hours away from Melbourne. This will take you 243 km past the south coast of Australia. Read more about a Road Trip in this area in our article Explore the best itineraries in Australia with the Motorhome.
Where to stay in Melbourne
Carrum Downs Holiday Park is located near the coast. If you aren’t interested in swimming in the sea, you can also refresh yourself in the pool. In addition to showers and a disposal station you will also find washing machines, which you can use with coins. The Holiday Park has a separate area for the perfect barbecue. You will pay AUD $34 for a night with all its comfort and free WiFi.
Over the bridge, you will reach Phillip Island with the Phillip Island Caravan Park. On the "Penguin Island" you can spend a night for AUD $36. You are provided with WLAN to plan your further route. If you stay for a few days, you can not only relax by the sea, but also exercise. Basketball and volleyball equipment is available at the campsite.
Adelaide lies in the south of Australia, on the shores of the Saint Vincent Gulf. The city is the capital of the state of South Australia and is also called the Festival City. This name comes mainly from the fact that the Glenelg Jazz Festival and the Adelaide Festival of Arts take place there. You will find information about Adelaide and the surrounding area here.
Adelaide and its surrounds provides a perfect, dry “mediterranean” grape-growing climate. While its winter months can be cool, in the summer months of December to February, the average temperature is above 25 °C and it can easily climb to 40 °C. For that reason Adelaide is well suited if you are looking for a hot summer holiday. January and February are the most warmest months, with an average temperature of around 28 °C.
If you are traveling in and around Adelaide with a camper, there is much for you to discover. But if you have just arrived, you can first relax in the coastal city. You can even visit one of the well-known festivals and enjoy the atmosphere.
The center of the city is not directly on the beach, but you can still reach the coast, where you can spot dolphins, very quickly. Another great place to get close to animals is the Cleland Conservation Park where you can see indigenous Australian wildlife; kangaroos, emus and koalas. A really special, not to be missed experience at this park, is the opportunity to hold a koala.
Close to the park you will find Mount Lofty, where you have a great view at the coast. For a brief stop over, or just a nice walk, the Mount Lofty Botanical Garden is perfect. If you do not want to travel too far from Adelaide, you will also find a great botanical garden in the city center. Overall, there are many parks and green spaces in Adelaide.
Museum lovers will love the Art Gallery of South Australia and the South Australian Museum. However, if you think that you can only experience culture here, you are wrong. Even shopping is an experience in Adelaide. You can go to the street Rundle Mall or visit the Adelaide Central Market.
Another highlight of the area is Kangaroo Island, which you can reach best when taking your camper on the vehicular ferry. Before taking the ferry you drive through vineyards and winding roads. The Morialta National Park is well suited for adventurers. In this park you can hike through scrubland and see impressive gorges.
A good road trip to start from Adelaide is the Great Ocean Route. The endpoint of this route will be Melbourne. You can also reach one of Australia's most popular photo opportunities via the Great Ocean Route: The Twelve Apostles. Find out what else you can discover here.
Where to stay in Adelaide
Christies Beach Tourist Park is right on the coast next to a popular surfing beach. At the campsite you have the opportunity to do your laundry and you will also find a well equipped kitchen. In the immediate vicinity you will find vineyards, so you can enjoy delicious wine directly from this coastal region.
Marion Holiday Park is located north, about 4 km from the coast. A campsite costs about AUD $43. The campsite is equipped with several pools. You can also relax in the beer garden and your kids can enjoy the large playground. It is also possible to enjoy sports at a tennis court or the gym.
The city is located in the north of the east coast, in the state of Queensland. The area can be catagorised as a rainforest region. Cairns itself is located directly on the sea, but has no direct beach access. An artificial lagoon with salt water has been created for this purpose. Cairns is a very popular destination for travellers, due to the many attractions of the city and its surrounding areas.
Cairns has a tropical climate, especially in the summer and early autumn months from November to April, when temperatures of about 30 °C are very common. The humidity year-round is very high. In general, the climate is characterized by wet and hot monsoons. In the period from May to October it is also very warm and rarely falls below 20 °C.
If you know something about Australia, you might know that the Great Barrier Reef is located in the north of the eastern coast. From Cairns you can reach the reef in a short 90 minute boat trip. It is a must-see whilst in this part of Queensland.
There are some more natural spectacles to discover in the city’s hinterland. The Daintree National Park is about 100 km away, Kuranda about 30 km and the rainforests are just a few kilometers outside of Cairns. In the Barron Gorge National Park, a cable car passes over the treetops of the rainforest.
Cairns is a perfect starting point to discover nature in particular. If you want to discover the city, you can stroll through the streets and discover many great buildings. If you want to relax with a swim after an exciting day, Esplanade Lagoon is the perfect place. This is the artificial lagoon previously mentioned, where you can swim without danger.
Once you've explored Cairns and the surrounding area, you can hop in the campervan to start the Pacific Coast Route. Most people usually start in Sydney and end the trip in Cairns, but you can, of course, travel the route from north to south. How exactly this itinerary runs and what you can discover on the way to Sydney, can be read here.
Where to stay in Cairns
Cairns Holiday Park is located directly in Cairns. It is equipped with a pool, Wi-Fi and a complimentary fruit and herb garden. From there you can explore the beauty of Cairns or just sit back and relax. Regardless of whether your travel is about recreation or adventure, you can continue your journey with your motorhome very easily.
Lake Placid Tourist Park is not located directly in Cairns, but even from there you can quickly reach any place in the region. The campsite is not far from the airport but is still quietly located on the Barron River. You will also have access to free Wi-Fi and you can relax by the pool. You can book tours of the area through the campsite as well.
Perth is located in the state of Western Australia, on the Indian Ocean and is divided into small communities. Greater Perth is the largest city in western Australia. The actual city of Perth is very small and isolated from the rest of urban Australia. The nearest major city is Adelaide and is about 3,000 km away. The Swan River, with its black swans, wends through Perth and empties into the Indian Ocean. The river’s origin is a spring in the Walyunga National Park.
Perth has a very mild climate. From November to April rarely falls below 20 °C and in January and February, it is regularly well over 30 °C. In the afternoon a stiff breeze blows on the coast and cools the air a bit. Overall, the summer months in Perth are very dry and hot. In winter, it can still be up to about 17 °C. Most rainy days are between May and August. During this time, the region also has its fewest hours of sunshine.
Perth is often forgotten as a travel destination because of its isolation. This is a great shame because the city has so much to offer, especially if you are interested in the outdoors. As the climate is very mild, you can enjoy your time outside year-round.
The city also offers culture. In the Perth Cultural Center you can explore three museums in one place. These include the Art Gallery of Western Australia, the Western Australian Museum and the Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts. In the Art Gallery you can see exhibitions by Rodin or Monet, as well as a substantial Aboriginal art collection. Learn about the history of Western Australia at the Western Australian Museum and discover contemporary art at the Institute of Contemporary Arts. In addition to these museums, you will also find a theater and an event center at the Cultural Center.
If you prefer to spend your time outside, we recommend a visit to Kings Park and Botanic Garden. With over 400 hectares, it is even larger than the New York Central Park. You will discover wild flowers and natural bushland as well as a memorial to the soldiers of the region who fought in the world wars. If you want to relax with a day on the coast, Cottesloe Beach is an absolute must. You will find a white sand beach, perfect for snorkeling and surfing.
Western Australia itself is also great for exploring by camper. A particularly popular destination is the Ningaloo Reef. Unlike the Great Barrier Reef, Ningaloo Reef is only 100 meters from the mainland. The reef belongs to the Ningaloo Marine Park and comprises about 220 coral species. Apart from the impressive corals, you can also spot sting and manta rays, tropical fish and even sharks. Between June and November, humpback whales are regularly to be seen on the coast and whale sharks are regularly spotted in May to July. Ningaloo Reef is one of the many UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Australia.
Where to stay in Perth
Like all the campsites mentioned so far, the Discovery Parks - Woodman Point is a good place for the first night in Perth. Right on the coast, the site has Wi-Fi and a pool. The site also has washing facilities. Your kids will not be missing out here, the place has a nice playground and a big air cushion where your kids can jump around.
Also, right on the coast, you find the Burns Beach Sunset Village. The campsite is about 30 km from Perth and offers water activities on the beach. You will also find a restaurant and a café right on the square overlooking the sea. Shops and famous sights can be reached in less than 30 minutes. You also fine the possibility to wash your laundry.
The only major city in the direct center of Australia is the Northern Territory city of Alice Springs. Accordingly,it could be viewed as an authentically “outback” town. It is a good starting point to visit the popular landmark of Uluru (Ayers Rock). To discover this, and many more natural beauties, it is perfect if you rent a motorhome there. But before your trip begins, take the time to explore Alice Springs and the surrounding area.
Since Alice Springs is located in the outback, it can sometimes be up to 36 °C in the summer months. Australia probably also owes the name "Red Continent" because of Alice Springs. Even in the city you can find reds in all shades. In the summer months from October to March, the temperature seldom drops below 30 °C. Even in the winter from April to September, the average temperatures are just below 20 °C. Each month you have at least 8 sunny hours. The humidity in Alice Springs is quite low, especially in summer.
Discover Alice Springs
Within Alice Springs you will find many old buildings that have been turned into museums. For example: Adelaide House (first hospital of the city), The Residency (formerly the seat of the Governors) and Panorama Guth (former residence of the Dutch artist Hendrik Guth).
A few miles from the city, you will find Alice Springs Desert Park and the West MacDonnell National Park. In both parks you can see the extraordinary animals and plants of the desert area. From kangaroos, to emus, to birds of prey, everything can be seen here. Alice Springs Desert Park even offers you a bird of prey show.
Let's get to the highlight, which you can reach from Alice Springs: Uluru / Ayers Rock. Many tours start here and lead you to this landmark in the desert. If you are traveling with a mobile home, you can also experience this alone.
About 30 km from Ayers Rock you find Kata Tjuta, also called the Olgas. These and Uluru belong to the Uluṟu Kata Tjuṯa National Park. The Olgas consists of 36 mountains. The largest one is Mount Olga with a height of about 1,069 m. Tourist access is limited because Kata Tjuta is sacred land, owned by the local Aborigines and they perform rituals there.
Another highlight in the Northern Territory is the King’s Canyon. About 245 km from Alice Springs, this is located in the Amadeus Basin. The canyon consists of several rock walls, some of which are over 100 m high. The colors are impressive, ranging from red to yellow to white. In addition to the rock walls, you can also discover deep canyons and King’s Creek. From the parking lot there are three different trails through the canyon.
Where to stay in Alice Springs
Heritage Caravan Park is located in Alice Springs, near Todd River. The campsite has a large pool and a new playground for your children. On hot days you can cool off in the pool or take a walk along the Todd River.
Wintersun Cabin & Caravan Park is also close to Todd River. Many of the sites are in the shade, but you also have a small pool to cool off. Shops can be found in the immediate vicinity of the square. If you want to stay longer or you want to empty your cassette, this is possible here.