Most people struggle to pin-point the single best moment on their RTW journey. Many people travel for a few months or even a year or more so there will undoubtedly be hundreds of amazing moments but, for me, my single best moment is clear. It was one night spent camping on a beach in Tasmania. Myself and four friends had spent the day hiking, fishing and exploring. We’d caught a massive fish so made a fire on the beach to cook it up for dinner. We were having so much fun on the beach that it was 10pm before we knew it so we decided to stay for the night and camp under the stars. Drinking warm beer, eating toasted marshmallows and sharing travel stories until the early hours of the morning, I can honestly say that was the best night of my life.
I’ve been speaking to lots of backpackers in Australia and I’m always surprised how few go to Tasmania and do anything like this. They all think it sounds impossibly difficult to get over there and hire a car but it honestly isn’t. All you need to do is book car hire in Tasmania with DriveNow grab a map and you’re good to go. You can find maps that are especially designed for camping so they have campsites, toilets and great places to stop marked on the map already. If you can pick up a map from a backpacker then it’s even better because you can find their notes and dog-eared pages already marked.
Despite the scary stories that come from films like Wolfe Creek, Australia is an amazingly safe country so it’s really safe to camp. Tasmania is a small island so you don’t need to worry about getting lost out in the outback or breaking down and no one finding you. I would recommend packing plenty of water and food and a warm sleeping bag because it can get chilly at night and whatever happens, as long as you have food you’ll always be fine.
The more people you have in your car the better because it means you can share the costs of petrol which can be pricey. If you plan to sleep in your car, make sure you have an estate so you can get an airbed in the boot. If there are 4 or 5 of you, pack a tent for extra space.
The campsites in Australia cost about $25 a night and have excellent facilities. There are always loads of BBQs, fridges and nice, clean bathrooms with hot showers. Make sure you pack a torch in case you need to head to the bathrooms at night!
If you don’t plan to camp then there are plenty of budget hostels or cheap hotels for you to stay in. Hostels are a great place to meet other backpackers and chat to people to get their tips and advice for things to see and do. Guidebooks are brilliant but you’ll always get the best advice from your fellow travellers.
And my final piece of advice for anyone travelling around Australia in a car is to pack light. You have so little space and it’s virtually impossible to travel with a lot of luggage. Try to restrict yourself to a 40L backpack so you don’t have any space to overpack.
Have you every travelled around Australia by car? If so, do you have any tips to share?