It’s been ten years now since my road trip with my two best friends around Australia. There were three of a small camper van and us. From the start things seemed to go down hill for us, well for me at least. My passport had been stolen on my first night out in Bangkok and it had taken me three weeks to get a replacement. In that time I didn’t for a second think about the ramifications that this would have on my Australian visa; the visa from my old passport wasn’t valid and I was detained while getting off my flight from Singapore. Luckily the immigration official in Brisbane issued me a new visa, but they fined the airline $1,100 for letting me on the plane in the first place. I should have really read up a bit on Australian visa laws before I arrived.
The one thing that was going for us on our first day in the country was that we had sorted out our backpacker accommodation weeks in advance, so we had a place to drop off our bags and relax. After a shower we headed out to find a camper van to rent, which would end up being our home for the next three weeks.
Our plan was to head up the coast a bit towards the Sunshine Coast before doing a U-turn and heading for Sydney. It would be the biggest road trip I had ever taken in my life and one of the most interesting. During the trip we’d get the chance to do some awesome beach camping. We also spent plenty of time parking up in residential areas, pulling the curtains and going to sleep. Occasionally we’d get a tap on the window and told to move on, but in the main we never had any problems.
Taking a road trip around Australia is a great experience, but I wouldn’t advise sleeping in a camper van every night for three weeks. With three of us in the back there was little space to move around and it would get amazingly hot. We spent every night looking forward to the chance to rock up at a house of a friend of the family and exchange the steamy back seats for a proper bed. Still, with almost no money between us we made do with what we had.
Although a road trip between Brisbane and Sydney means crossing lots of open desert and following long straight empty roads, the experience was a great one. Every once in a while we would come across a site that would make out jaws drop. If you ever get a chance to do this then it’s something that I couldn’t recommend highly enough.