5 Tips When Planning A Road Trip In Australia

With its exciting wildlife, beautiful beaches, and lively cities, Australia is made for road trips. But whether you’re new to the country or a traveller, there are some essential tips you need to know when planning an Australian road trip. Here are 5 of them to make your trip easier and more enjoyable!

Understand the basics

The best travel plans begin with a solid itinerary. Are you planning to go with your friends, family, or solo? Have you decided the destinations you wish to cover? If you’re unsure about what to put on your bucket list, check out this guide on the ultimate Australian bucket list.

You also want to time your road trip correctly. The seasons in Australia are opposite from the northern hemisphere. Summer lasts from December to February while winters are from June to August. And peak tourist season is during the summer because it’s not too hot and the schools are off. This means getting good deals and discounts can be tricky during summer, but a good travel agent can help. 

In addition, travelling during winter also has its advantages. It’s off-season and the cold is generally mild in northern Australia. This makes it the perfect time to explore the country on a road trip, especially if you don’t like crowds or are on a tight budget.

Finally, make sure to get travel insurance before beginning your road trip. Things sometimes don’t go according to plan and it can get risky. You may get sick, lost, or find yourself in an accident. A good travel insurance plan can cover medical bills, lost luggage, and accidents. At this point, you might also want to consider comprehensive car coverage from Rollin Insurance, which can cover vehicle damage from animal accidents, natural disasters, and theft.

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Plan your route

Did you know that Australia’s Highway 1 is the world’s longest national highway, spanning over 14,500 kilometres? Known as the Big Lap, this highway is famous for attracting all kinds of adventurers, roadies, and tourists alike.

The country also has a plethora of other routes, which means route-planning is crucial before you can set off on an Australian road trip. When planning your route, you want to pay special attention to all the highways, tolls, and gas stations. Australian tolls are within cities, and if you don’t have a toll, you can get a temporary pass made. Make sure to pay the tolls and never take it lightly as fines in Australia are quite hefty!  

You also want to take a look at the driving conditions and decide which type of car you want for the trip. If you want to explore remote places, it’s best to get a 4WD. But if you want to explore the cityscape, then a hatchback can work.

Australia Bucket List

Prepare for the road

Once you’ve decided the route and chosen your vehicle, it’s important to go over the Australian road rules. You can check out the Australian Transport Safety Bureau’s website for detailed information on driving rules. 

Normally, the best time to drive is during the day, and you want to avoid driving at night and during sunrise/sunset hours. You also want to keep your car serviced and know the basics like changing tires. That’s because Australian highways are vast, and it can take time for help to arrive. 

It might also be a good idea to sign up for roadside assistance. If your car decides to break down in the middle of nowhere, this service will be extremely useful. There are many providers all across Australia — some even offer their services worldwide. Roadside assistance is usually added to the renter’s car package but if you’re driving your own car, invest in a 3-6 month package. It will be cheaper than a one-off stranded towing incident!

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Brace for emergencies

If you plan on off-roading or exploring remote wildlife areas, chances are that you will need a satellite phone. The phone service is non-existent in these areas and it won’t do you any good if you are stranded somewhere remote without the ability to contact your friends and family. 

Also, remember to always keep a first aid safety kit in your vehicle. And stock up on extra fuel, water, and food supplies when driving to remote areas. 

You also want to download offline Google Maps so in case you don’t get service, you can still find your way around to safety. And if you can, consider having a GPS tracker installed in your car.

Consider accommodation

When planning a road trip, remember to book accommodation in advance. If you plan on city hopping, then Airbnb can be a good idea. But if you’re an adventurer and wish to explore national parks and camping sites, resources like Wiki Camps can help you choose already reviewed campsites.

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