Eight road travellers have just completed 12,382 kilometres of the rich sights and sounds of Australia. They’ve travelled from Darwin to Cairns, the very long way round. They travelled around Australia in sixty days, as guests of Avis celebrating being 60 years young.
From 15th September through to 13th November 2015 friends Joanna Bridle (29) and Jane Burhop (27), husband and wife team Michael (55) and Collen Kerr (52), couple Eva Koumbaros (34) and Harry Antonakos (34), and mates Max Watson (26) and Will Ross (26) steered their vehicle from Darwin through Jabiru, Katherine, Kununurra, Gibb, King Leopold Ranges, Derby, Broome, 80 Mile Beach, Beach Port Headland, Karajini, Nanutarra, Coral Bay to Exmouth; from Perth through Margaret River, Albany, Esperance, Norseman, Caiguna, Border Village, Ceduna, Port Augusta, Wilpena Pound Resort, Tanunda – Barossa Valley, Victor Harbour to Adelaide; from Adelaide through Mt Gambier, Halls Gap, Port Fairy, Torquay, Ballarat, Daylesford, Bendingo, Echuca, Melbourne, Launceston, Cradle Mountain, Hobart and back to Melbourne; and from Sydney through the Hunter Valley, Crescent Head, Belligen, Byron Bay, Noosa, Bundaberg, Rockhampton, Airlie Beach, Ingham, Daintree, and eventually Cairns.
All eight agree that the experience was “heaps good.” They had encounters they never could have imagined, best of all because they drove their own journey. Their trips taught them personal travel tricks, and truly Australian experiences.
Best Road Trip Tricks:
- Always ask other travellers and locals for ‘hot tips’ of where to visit. You’ll find favourite places through general chit chat. Be super friendly and you will definitely find little adventures that you won’t ever read about in guidebooks.
- As soon as you leave the city, you’d better have a large cooler. In the hottest parts of Australia, when you ask for ice you don’t get cubes; but solid 20 kg blocks.
- Don’t be religious about travel guides. Just get out there, don’t be lazy and pick what you think looks good. You’ll be surprised.
- Driving Australia is the perfect digital detox. Because the road often takes you a long time between phone and internet signals. It’s perfect for truly connecting with people through sharing conversation, laughter and experience.
- Get up early. You will want to see the sunrises and sunsets and allow time for all the tiny towns in between.
- If you can, steer a 4WD. And make sure you know how to. It’ll take you to some breath-taking beauty that lies off the bitumen.
- Just because it’s a driving holiday, don’t just drive. Take lots of breaks and stop at everything!
- Keep your sunglasses close. Morning starts towards the east coast are blinding. Same goes for the afternoon drives west.
- Many roads lead across big sky country – wide open places. So make sure you always travel with the essentials – lots of extra water, sunscreen, insect repellent, even a tent should you break down.
- More bags are better than one. That way you can haul simple overnight supplies, keep your dirty washing separate, and you won’t put your back out by lifting one heavy piece of luggage.
- Pack your boots. Australia is riddled with coastal, forest and hilltop hikes.
- Plan less, discover more! If you plan for getting to a destination at a certain time you will tend to miss out on unexpected gems such as look outs or little discovery walks.
- Road train drivers look out for you. They let you know when to pass, where the best stops are, and where not to buy coffee because it’s so bad.
- Save as many music playlists to your digital device as possible! The great thing with music is that you’ll remember points on the trip when you hear the tracks in future.
- Servos on the open road are the hubs for connecting with other travellers and the local community