How to prepare a ROAD TRIP in Australia?

Apr 13, 2020Australia EN blog

Australia is a vast country. You can explore it by flying from one city to another, but it’s best to rent a car or camper van. Road trip is a very popular form of travel, but the huge distance between larger cities, changing weather conditions, left-hand traffic requires some kind of preparation for such a trip


We’ve already done several smaller road trips around Victoria, Tasmania and Far North Queensland. However, we never spent more than 4 days on the road. The road trip ahead of us is not only a vacation, but mainly moving house. On February 15.2020 we are going to leave Melbourne and go to the Gold Coast. There are about 2000 km ahead of us, 3 states, areas where fires have recently raged (2019-20).


If you are planning a road trip lasting several weeks or several months, it is best to buy a car or a small bus with a bed. However, take into account that you will not make any offroad with a bus, you will not develop a dizzying speed eather (the limit is still 100km / h so it doesn’t matter).

There are a few things to consider when choosing a car for a road trip. It is best to buy a car with RWC (Road Worthy Certificate) If the car does not have it, immediately after purchase you have to obtain such document (about $ 150) and the mechanic will certainly find some bullshit to replace just to get paid more because without RWC you won’t go on the road.

There are very few cars from RWC and those are being sold by dealers mainly. After a month of searching from private sellers and after a dozen cars with silicone in the engine, we bought from a dealer. We paid more, but we had a set of documents. The car must also be registered, and the price depends on the car’s age and number of cylinders (at least in Victoria).

Price: RWC –  $150-200 

REGO – $350/3 motnhs

Car – Toyota RAV4 , 2008 $6000

Cars in Australia usually have an alarming mileage for us Europeans. Like from Earth to the moon. And it’s not a metaphor. But don’t worry. Most cars are quite durable. The most popular cars (i.e. those for which it will be easy to find parts) are: Toyota, Mitsubishi, Subaru, Holden (God knows what brand it is), Nissan and Suzuki.

If you are coming for a short time, it is best to rent a car or a van. Recommended and checked rentals:


Vroom Vroom Vroom


Preparations for the road trip – we started about 2 months before leaving. Mainly because we have to close various matters here, such as termination at work, university documents, etc. We also bought a small luggage trailer and it took us most of the time. I suppose, however, that none of you will travel with the trailer, but if so, it is best to look on Facebook – Marketplace and it is best to choose a small 6×4 trailer, because you do not need to register it (there is no approval needed for the hook).

16 useful things you need to take for a road trip around Australia:

1. Water 

Tap water is safe to drink in most parts of the country. The problem is that you won’t find water everywhere. That is why it is good to stock up on large water bottles. Especially if you’re going to Outback. You will find them in Bunnings or even Target. It is also worth having a small cooler with you for smaller bottles. 

2. Maps

There isn’t coverage everywhere in Australia, so if Google GPS lets you down, a paper map will come to the rescue.

3. Sunscreen

Strong one, like 50+ because the sun is incredibly strong here. 20 minutes is enough and the skin is burned. Plus cream / gel with aloe vera. Here, such gels are very cheap. You’ll get a whole big tube for $ 5, and it will relieve burns when you overdo the sunbathing.

4. Tea tree oil and mosquito spray

Personally, I hate tea tree oil because it stinks, but here it is HIT. Aussie use it for hair growth, dandruff, wounds, but also against mosquitoes. Apparently vanilla oil also repels mosquitoes, but this is another fragrance that I do not like, so I get the usual sprays: D

5. Coconut oil

Another hit on everything. Coconut oil can safely be used for cooking (organic), but another trick is to protect your hair from saltwater. Apply a few drops of oil to your hair and you don’t have to worry about overdrying. Plus super moisturizes.

6. Paw Paw Cream

Australia’s biggest hit. Paw Paw is a cream made of fermented papaya. Paw Paw is good at everything. Moisturizes the skin, lips, helps with minor injuries, burns and insect bites. Paw Paw in a red tube you will find in almost every store or pharmacy. The cost is around $ 3. It is also worth buying as a gift: D

7. SIM Card

Friends recommend Telstra. We have Optus and we’ll see how it works. Apparently Telstra has the largest ranges. There are essentially three monopolists in Australia, and the prices are almost identical.

8. Toilet paper and soap

May be obvious but so often we forget about it. Toilets in Australia, in my opinion, are the dirtiest places on Earth. In fact, even when not traveling, toilets in shopping centers, airport often call heaven for vengeance. It’s good to have your paper, soap and a small towel.

9. Snacks 

As a true Polish, I don’t go anywhere without: dry sausages, eggs and sandwiches. Unfortunately, transporting meat or eggs is not the best idea because of the temperature. I recommend fruit, vegetables, cereal bars, and Chinese soups. You can also look at the car fridge that works on the battery from the car. Unfortunately, several of my guests in the hotel I worked for, had to had thair cars charged because the fridge “ate” the whole battery overnight and the car would not move.

10. Insurance

Story from yesterday (Jan 22, 20): two tourists from Croatia were struck by lightning on the observation deck in the Blue Mountains near Sydney. Of course they needed a helicopter. A hospital stay costs an average of $ 6,000, plus helicopter flights, medicine, etc. My ANNUAL insurance of 100,000 euros costs me $ 700. Figure out for yourself what is more profitable.

11. Head lamp – flashlight

It will be useful for sure. Especially in Queensland, which is full of snakes, spiders and insects. I happened to step on the snake because I went out to the garden in Port Douglas (Far North Queensland) in the dark. Stupid!. A headlapm will be useful in many situations, so it’s worth it. Plus additional batteries.

12. Clothes for all seasons

Especially in Melbourne. The temperature can drop from 34 * C to 17 * C in just two hours. I’m not kidding. One day we had a sandstorm at 12 and a downpour in the evening. The day before – hail (golf ball size hail). Take: raincoat, warm sweatshirt or thermal shirt, trekking shoes, protective footwear for swimming (you do not want to step on anything venomous), hat, long sleeve to the rainforest (there live sweet flies that like to drink blood and then pee into your wounds – hideous, I know. And it itches as fu ***).

13. Sunglasses

And decent one, well darkened. Believe me, after a whole day without sunglasses, your eyes will hurt and will be dry. It is also good to take some moisturizing eyedrops, because in a hot climate, your eyes will dry out even faster.

14. First aid kit

And in it: drugs for diarrhea, effervescent capsules for dehydration, painkillers, Panthenol for burns, birth control pills, condoms (the sex life of Australians is quite “promiscuous”, many have more than a dozen or more sexual partners. This promotes the spread of venereal diseases and if you travel solo it is known that condoms may be useful).

15. Your own playlist

The radio even in Melbourne receives only two stations, and when it rains you will not listen to music at all. The further from the city the worse. Another problem is: what’s going on on this radio. My taste in music is not sophisticated 😀 but here they have their 10 hits and it goes on and on. So burn some CDs, or put your favorite songs on USB and you will be saved. Plus some speaker will be useful or a adapter to which you connect PenDrive. In every Chinese store you will get such an adapter for about $ 30.

16. Kitchen set

Cutlery, plates, cups, gas burner (although currently – January 2020, in many parts of the country there is a ban on starting a fire), although on the camping grounds there is often a kitchen or BBQ, with a pot or frying pan. A small pot is enough for Chinese soups.

17. Additional fuel canister and tools

It’s worth having the basic tools (battery charger, pump, duck tape – super strong tape) to repair or replace a tire.

18. Useful apps

Campingsites –  WikiCamps

Sharks alerts – Dorsal 2.0

Weather – The Bureau of Meteorology

Fire alerts can be tracked on the pages of individual states:

The emergency number in Australia is 000.

And what do You always have on the road?

Monika and Edgar

Monika and Edgar

Travel & migration adviser

A Pole and a Mexican living in Australia. Passionate travelers. On the blog, we talk about emigration and life in Australia and England, as well as in Mexico and Poland, about traveling and intercultural relations.
We also publish a magazine NoWhere Else, about sustainable living and traveling.


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