Caravan Travel Adventures in Australia from Mountains to Oceans

What can I say back to Australia? It is a huge country. For the travel and exploration, one needs months. With nice people, breathtaking scenery and wildlife there is something for every traveler. My heart got conquered with beautiful beaches, and animals like koalas and kangaroos. There is a colorful underwater world of the Great Barrier Reef. There are lively cities like Melbourne and Sydney.

This trip for me was different than the previous trips. I travel as a classic backpacker, had my backpack with me. I stay overnight in hostels in the multi-bedroom. I spent half of the travel time in homestays, two nights in the wilderness under the open sky. A partial distance was in the car and overnight stays were in motels. Otherwise, I am happy that I have met a lot of crazy and hearty people on the way.

There are some nice memories of the cozy beach life on the east coast. The New Year's Eve spectacle in Sydney was exciting. Kangaroo Island has an unspoiled nature, dream beaches, and almost unnatural looking wildlife. There is a campfire atmosphere and the Roadmovie feeling along the Great Ocean Road.

There are the Twelve Apostles, London Bridge, rainforest areas and great coastal roads. I get fascinating insights in the exceptional vintage and restaurant scene of Melbourne! The only thing I was uncomfortable at the back was the high prices. In Asia, one pays only one-tenth of the amounts.

No, the landscape cannot change at all for a distance of 2000 km. All in all, I was on the road for six months, I like traveling and taking my time. I rent a 4x4 van, which we had designed with mattresses and bought a gas cooker. Traveling with a van is the best thing you can do if you like to travel easy!



Australia Route along the east coast


The classic route for many visitors leads along the east coast as there is much to see. I recommend you to start in Melbourne, make a detour to the nearby Great Ocean Road. And then move northwards, whether by plane, car, camper or one of the buses. By the way, you can also see kangaroos passing by. You should inform yourself about the weather. The seasons are our winter means summer in Sydney.

On the almost 3,000 km between Sydney and Cairns, you will pass countless great corners. A detour from the highway always worthwhile. You find the lonely and most beautiful beaches. For the route, you should schedule at least 3-4 weeks.

On the almost 3,000 km between Sydney and Cairns, you will pass countless great corners. A detour from the highway always worthwhile. You find the lonely and most beautiful beaches. For the route, you should schedule at least 3-4 weeks.

Book a tour on the Great Ocean Road by bus or the rental car. The 243-kilometer road runs along the sea to the rock formation of the Twelve Apostles. You can see surf beaches, koalas at Cape Otway and many nice restaurants and cafes. Keep your eyes on the kangaroos on the road! You can also find them at the Anglesea Golf Course.

Melbourne - city with beach, cakes & culture

My favorite city in Australia was Melbourne, the second largest city in the country. It has a beach in the St Kilda district. There is a street with loud confectioneries, the world's best coffee and a lively music and art scene. See that you visit them in the spring, summer or autumn. The winter can also be cool and wet there.

Sydney - Opera House, Beaches & Outings

To Sydney, the largest city in the country, almost everyone wants to visit Australia. I felt there 1 million photos of Opera House, I have been there on a tour and I have an opera. Especially the beaches like Bondi or Manly (not quite as full as Bondi) have done it to me. And you can go away at the harbor in the evening.

Coffs Harbor and Byron Bay

If you have enough time, you can stay here a few days and take a surf course. The nightlife also has a lot to offer. In the relaxed hippie town of Byron Bay, I swung myself on the board.

Gold Coast

Here, one village joins the next, the transitions are fluid. Depending on your preferences, you can live in some quieter or more lively areas. A nice beach, for example, the quieter place "Burleigh Heads".

A livelier city is "Surfers Paradise". There you will find most of the Backpacker Hostels and also the younger and more party crowd. The beach here is fantastic, but you are not alone here. If you are a sun worshiper, you can set yourself up from late noon, early afternoon on a funny "shadow escape".

If you are there between June and November, you should definitely make a whale watching trip. I never thought it was so spectacular. The huge whales came right up to the boat. It was indescribable, fascinating and photos cannot reflect how exciting it was.

Recommended on the Gold Coast is definitely the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary. Here you can marvel at pelicans, koalas, kangaroos, dingos.

Airlie Beach

Airlie Beach has a beautiful lagoon where you can swim. An absolute highlight of the east coast is the Whitsunday Islands. There is an island group off Airlie Beach with many small uninhabited islands. There are absolute dream beaches like Whitehaven Beach. A sailing trip is a must do.

Sunshine Coast

We decided for a cheap small car and overnight stays in hostels, B&Bs, and motels. We found the nicest accommodations in Noosa on Sunshine Beach and in Rockhampton. Noosa is very scenic.

No insider tip but my absolute highlight was the sailing trip to the Whitsundays Islands. When planning my trip to Australia, I knew that I had to, absolutely HAD to visit the largest reef in the world! 2000km of reef sounded like a dream to me, only one problem, I am deathly afraid of sharks and will therefore never attempt to go diving. I wondered if I would get the full experience by just going snorkeling and decided that if I wasn't satisfied I'd maybe attempt to face my fear.

I thought the best way to go was through Cairns but when I arrived in the land of OZ I was inundated with flyers at every travel shop about the Whitsundays sailing boat tours. A 3-day tour was pretty inexpensive and gave me food and accommodations, not to mention that the Whitsundays is a UNESCO World Heritage site so I decided against Cairns, for now. Leaving out of Airlie Beach which is south of Cairns, I headed to my boat with my case wine in hand (the one thing they don't provide) and met my small group of about 15 people. Every day was a wonder.

One morning we woke up to sea turtles in front of our boat, one afternoon we saw a school of dolphins having some fun nearby. The first night I decided to sleep on the deck. I lay out and looked at the stars, I saw the southern cross and the milky way not to mention some shooting stars. I had never seen stars so clear in my life. That morning I woke up first at sunrise before anyone else and stood in awe of the beauty of the sun rising above the water in complete silence except the sound of the occasional wave hitting the boat.

When everyone woke up we headed out to our first reef of the day. The skipper let us off and I was amazed at all the beautiful fish I saw, with colors that I didn't even know existed in nature. I would even follow them. I tried to follow a manta ray but the bugger was too fast for me!

At one point the skipper came by with a small boat and had loads of bread in his hand. At first, I didn't understand what he was doing. He started throwing the bread in the water and hundreds of little colorful fish came to the surface. I could feel their scales on my cheeks. They were everywhere, it was the most amazing thing who knew fish ate bread? Who needs to face their fear of diving? Not me!

The next day we went to the Whitsundays, I had seen many pictures online of this gorgeous beach called Whitehaven, voted #1 beach in the world. The pictures all had swirls of sand and water looking a like a dream, they looked like those photos you see but it doesn't actually look like that when you get there.

When we got to the lookout I couldn't believe my eyes, it looked EXACTLY like the picture and it took my breath away. After this experience, I couldn't imagine what Cairns could offer that would be better than this and it didn't since when I got there a cyclone had arrived at the same time and no boats were going out for the entire 3 days I was there!

Sometimes things just work out for the best.

An absolute must is the Australia Zoo at Brisbane. It bears the legacy of the late Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin. There are other kangaroos, koalas, crocodiles, dingo giant turtles and birds of prey. Otherwise, you should go to Fraser Island, Rainbow Beach and the Sunshine Coast.

One of the best beaches I've ever seen is Whitehaven Beach. He winds far into the land. I visited him on a three-day sailing trip, which I booked from Airlie Beach. In fine weather, it is a great experience to sail around the 74 islands. The snake-shaped sandbanks and Whitehaven Beach, the whitest beach, are a dream! The sand is so fine that it squeals while walking between our feet.

You can also visit the Australia Zoo by Steve Irwin at Stop 4 on the Sunshine Coast near Noosa. A bit bigger, more expensive than Currumbin but also very worthwhile.

You can spend more time in Hervey Bay, or on the offshore Fraser Island, the largest sand island in the world. The Aborigines call it paradise and that is exactly what it is. The highway of the island is the 75-mile beach, so a beach.

In Australia, I first saw whales. It was a fantastic experience! We drove out with a small boat from Hervey Bay until the first whale appeared next to us. Many saw only the water fountain or tail fin, but some also jumped out of the water. The curious dolphins were swimming near our boat. It also serves as a runway for small planes.

You want to drive in a car with four-wheel drive on the beach? You can do this on Fraser Island, the world's largest sand island. It is 124 kilometers long and an average of 15 kilometers wide. There you can go on a multi-day tour with your friends, you camp on the island. Great is Lake McKenzie with its white sand and turquoise waters. In the evening, by the way, we saw at the lake Dingos, the wild dogs.

A sightseeing tour of Fraser Island is worthwhile. Furthermore, there are countless freshwater lakes. The most beautiful are Lake Mckenzie and tropical rainforests. On Fraser Island, you should spend a few days. On Fraser Island, I marvel at the starry sky, including Milky Way and Shooting Stars. I washed my hair with quartz sand. I went to the silent village in the open at night, armed with a stick against wild dogs (dingos). A real outdoor adventure!

Rockhampton

In Rockhampton is the crossing of the Tropic of Capricorn. For me, the visit of the Monument at the Wendekreis was a highlight of the route. Otherwise, Rockhampton is not very spectacular. Here you have to fight with Stingers, poisonous jellyfish in early December. Bathing in the sea is definitely not recommended.

Cairns

The end of the route. Here is a dive or snorkel trip to the Great Barrier Reef a highlight. But also the Landesinnere is beautiful. The Crystal Cascades is definitely worth a trip. You can bathe in the freshwater ponds and waterfalls in the tropical rainforest. It is a good alternative to the sea in the jellyfish in the high season.

Cape Trib north of Cairns is one of my favorite places. Crocodiles and Cassowaries on the way! I saw huge, striped fish, turtles and reef sharks on the Great Barrier Reef, the largest coral reef in the world. With a catamaran we drove out from Cairns, then we went with snorkel mask into the sea. I have been snorkeling and dive in many parts of the world. The underwater world of the Great Barrier Reef has not been able to beat anything!

Esperance and the Cape Le Grande National Park are remote and deserted. Nature gave her best with the 70-meter high Karri trees, which you can climb completely.



Western Australia Route


Another highlight for me was the Ningaloo Reef and Exmouth. There the reef starts on the shore and only with snorkel mask you can see lemon sharks, rays, and sea turtles. Of course, most of them come to Western Australia because of the whale sharks. An absolute must for sea lovers!

On a road trip in West Australia, there are a few places where you can wild camp. You should avoid driving at night because the kangaroos and other animals come to the road.

At almost any place, whether in town or on the beach, you'll find free BBQ grills. Anyone can use it. Australia has super delicious coffee. Almost everywhere you'll find delicious Flat White.

Exmouth and the Cape Range National Park were definitely one of the highlights of our tour. We were swimming there with sharks!



Australia Travel Tips:


Australia is huge. It has only about 25 million inhabitants. You can, apply for the Australia visa online and receive it free.

Australia is an expensive destination. In Sydney, simple hotel costs as much as a 5-star hotel in Bangkok. Food and transport are usually more expensive. If you want to go on tours, you have to plan a budget.

Australia is a fascinating and gigantic country. It is easy to underestimate the distances when planning a trip through Australia. There is usually a monotony experience while driving. It is not like a road trip in New Zealand, where every 50 km the landscape changes.

Do you want to spend your entire road trip in Australia in the car? I would rather stay longer in a place, which pleases me and see less from the country. Prepare your vehicle for the road trip! Check tire pressure, engine, oil and leave a bridging cable and spare tire in the trunk.

With a gas cooker, you only need to buy a new gas cartridge from time to time. You can build your own kitchen at the nicest places. Most of the time we stayed in streets outside of big cities or small villages by the sea.

When driving in Australia, check the speed, otherwise, it will be expensive. We drove 9 km/h (on a Sunday) too fast and paid 350 $.

Contrary to my other habit I pre-booked all accommodations. But that would not have been necessary for most places. Only on the days from Christmas to New Year's Eve, this was sensible.

Do not spend New Year in Canberra, there is nothing going on.

My absolute highlights on this tour were Kangaroo Island. Here you should spend at least three days.

The Lamington National Park at Brisbane is one of the Gondwana Rainforests. During a hike through the jungle, you can see a lot of colorful birds, lizards, and crabs.

Sydney immediately captured me with this incredible casualness, which is immediately felt there. This is the most relaxed metropolis I have visited.

This tour was not Australian because I was not in the outback but in the greenest part of the country. But for connoisseurs, the route was great, with many wineries and great restaurants.

From the airport or the Circular Quay in the city center, you can get there by bus to Bondi Junction. Change there and get off before Noah's. The bus stop is right outside the door.

In general in the main season from December to January, everything is twice as expensive.

Book flights to Uluru early, which are quite expensive.

If you stay several months in Australia, you can also buy a car and sell it again at the end of your trip. There are specialist suppliers for this. The variant is riskier and more complex. If everything works out you can save a lot of money.

The weather can vary in the regions, which is why one should deal well with the travel season. Anyone planning a surfing holiday should get prepared for cold water. Because Australia is close to the Antarctic. From the high temperatures of 40 °, the cool water is often a relief.

For backpackers and budget travelers to Australia, travel is not as easy, as there are few hostels in some places. Even these can be quite expensive. For solo travelers, there are rarely single rooms. It means that the accommodation price in hotels and hostels is high unless there are Dorms.



What about Free Wi-Fi?


There is free Wi-Fi in many public places such as Bondi Beach. If you plan a couple of weeks on the road, buy an Australian SIM more like I did it on my first trip.



My Bucket List for Australia


Fly to Melbourne, go to concerts and eat more chocolates.

Visit the charming beach resort of Noosa (the St. Tropez of Australia). There learn to surf better, observe the parrots and meet them at the National Park. When I was there and we came back from the meal in the evening, a Python had rolled up in front of our accommodation.

With Whitehaven Beach visit one of the most beautiful beaches in the world.

And diving at the Great Barrier Reef, there I was only snorkeling so far.

In the northern part of the Kakadu National Park, you can take a Jeep Tour, and sleep there under the open sky. Discover the Aboriginal wall paintings and learn to play the didgeridoo.

Once again see the gigantic starry sky above the Uluru in Outback.

Experience a train ride through the "Red Center".

Visit the west coast of Australia. Did you know there are camels there?

In the west Rottnest Island visit with the cute quokkas, a kangaroo style.