In the first part of RV in Australia, I tried to give a sense of the country from a newly arrived road trave enthusiast’s point of view.
This time I will be looking at what you can expect to find if you rent a campervan, as we call them. There are two or three National companies, like Kea or Britz that rent these, with availability in all capital cities. There range includes two to six berth vehicles, with all supplies, such as cooking utensils, dishes bedlinen etc. These are roughly equivalent to what would be supplied in a vacation apartment if you stayed for a week.
The vehicles are commonly Ford, Mazda or Volkswagen based, 4 or 6 cylinder turbodiesel with manual transmission. They include a 4×4 Land Cruiser conversion.
The daily rate for a short term rental (less than 3 weeks) varies up to $300 Australian. (AU$1=US$0.75). Longer periods are slightly less. You will pay up to $345 for a full package with full insurance cover, plus “extras” like outside table and chairs.
Even if there are only two people travelling, it is worth getting the 6-Berth for the extra space, plus no folding of seats etc.
Many smaller companies serve local areas, for instance 4×4 safaris from Perth.
The roads generally good quality on the main routes between capital cities, some of the minor routes can be less satisfactory, some still have no bitumen. A hazard on some long distance truck routes, in the Northern Territory especially, can be the Road Trains. These are large semis with two trailers. It is a good policy to keep out of their way! The drivers are very capable, but their vehicles can only be driven within their limits!
Take heed of the long distances I mentioned in the first article. Often in 40+ degrees C (105+F) the hundreds of miles of straight road with a featureless landscape, although beautiful, can be mesmerising.
Don’t let all this put you off! This is a wonderful country, unlike anything you’ve experienced. You don’t have to stray far from the big cities (Sydney 4 million Melbourne 3.5 etc). But it would be a shame if you missed it! After all, is New york City typical of the US? or London typical of England? Paris of France?
I don’t think so! Give it a go!