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What To Bring On Your Campervan Camping Trip


Campervan travel is one of the best ways to experience Australia. Whether you are traversing outback roads, exploring ancient rainforests or spending your days lapping up the waves on Australia’s endless beaches, a campervan gives you the chance to experience it all. But what should you bring on holiday when exploring Australia?

Australia has a very mixed climate - temperate in the south, tropical in the north and dry-hot desert inland. Your packing list will vary depending on where you choose to travel, but there are some travel essentials that should be on every holiday packing list for when you explore Australia.

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Why packing the right gear for your campervan trip is important

Australia has plenty to enjoy, from beaches to wineries, hiking and outback adventures. One of the best things about an Australia road trip in a campervan is that you have the ability to explore them all. Each region hosts vastly different conditions, so in order to get the most out of your campervan adventure, it's good to come prepared with the right gear.

If you are exploring coastal areas and small towns, you won't always have access to fully stocked shops. This is even more so in regional outback areas. In very remote areas, there may not be shops at all. If you choose freedom camping, you may need to be self-sufficient with water and food. So it's important to take advantage of shopping hubs in cities to stock up on these essentials. That way, you aren’t caught out on your trip.

What you need to know about camping in Australia

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Australia is a premier destination for camping. There are so many options of where to camp on an Australian road trip.

Where you can camp in Australia

Australia has a number of types of campervan sites available, including holiday parks, national parks, roadhouses as well as free camping spots. When camping, there are a few things to be aware of:

  • Camp in designated areas...You can’t park just anywhere, so always check before you stay. Parking illegally can result in a fine, so it’s important to obey local signs.
  • Respect sacred sites...Some sites are sacred to the Aboriginal people meaning you can’t park there.
  • Be aware of time-restricted bays ...There can be limits on how long you can stay at some sites so always check how long you are permitted to park to avoid parking fines.
  • Be respectful of wildlife...You should always be mindful of the beautiful Australian wildlife, and be respectful of their home. Be sure to take your rubbish with you and use your self-contained on board toilet.

For more advice on camping spots, read our guide on where to stay in Australia.

Holiday parks

Holiday parks are paid parks that offer anything from cabins to powered camping sites and unpowered sites. Sites can range from $25-$100 and include a range of on-site facilities. Campsite facilities at holiday parks typically include:

  • Toilets
  • Showers
  • BBQ areas
  • Playgrounds
  • Pools
  • Laundry

National parks

National parks offer camping in some of the most scenic spots, often right near top Australian attractions. There is usually a small fee and a limit to how long you can stay. While these generally have more simple facilities, national park campsites are a great way to get out into nature and stretch your travel budget on a campervan holiday.

Roadhouses

Roadhouses are often regarded as safe places to park in outback or remote areas. There is usually a small fee, and they often have some basic offerings such as convenience stores or a small shop. Sometimes there’s even a restaurant, given there isn’t much else in the area.

Freedom camping sites

Freedom camping spots are free to stay. They generally don’t have many facilities so are ideal for anyone travelling in a fully self-contained camper. These freedom camping spots can be anything from a rest area on the side of a highway, to a campsite with toilets. Some things to keep in mind when taking advantage of free camping:

  • Take your rubbish with you
  • Only stay at approved locations
  • Respect the environment
  • Leave no trace

With so many options to choose from, you are spoilt for choice when it comes to places to camp in Australia.

The weather in Australia

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Weather varies hugely from state to state and even within the same state, depending on the time of year. The more southern regions experience four seasons while the northern regions can have hot weather year-round. The northern regions can be prone to flooding in the summer months, while inland areas can become very humid. This makes it vital to pack for where you are travelling to, for your own safety and enjoyment.

A coastal trip may mostly involve swimmers and shorts, but these areas can also be prone to unpredictable weather. When venturing inland to the outback, you could encounter extreme heat and heavy rain depending on the season that you travel. It’s always best to check out the forecast before you leave a major centre and do some research into the season and region you are travelling to. That way, you are prepared.

For more information on Australian weather, refer to the Bureau of Meteorology. This resource will give you up to date weather forecasts for all major centres and rural central, weather warnings and sea conditions for those heading to the reef or planning to surf.

The wildlife in Australia

Australia has an amazing amount of wildlife that you will spot on your travels, be sure to bring binoculars and a camera! There are a few things to be aware of with Australian wildlife:

  • Keep your distance... It’s important not to approach wildlife unless you know it’s safe.
  • Be careful driving at night... Be careful on the roads as some wildlife roam freely. Driving on outback roads at night is not advised as animals can become a hazard.
  • Be mindful of keeping your gear outside overnight... You want to bring them inside, so you don’t get any visitors inside your shoes!
  • Check local signage... These signs will give advice on nearby wildlife such as crocodiles in waterways and so on.

What to pack for your campervan camping trip

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Now that you know what to be aware of when camping, let’s dive into our top tips for your travel checklist. Here’s what to consider when deciding what to bring on your Australia road trip.

Outdoor gear

Australia has much to offer in the outdoors, from hiking to water adventures, beaches, national parks, wildlife experiences and natural wonders. Some top outdoor gear to consider for your upcoming Australia road trip include:

  • Camping chairs
  • Beach towels
  • Esky/cooler/chilly bin
  • Bikes

Suitable clothing and footwear

You can experience many types of weather, so it’s best to be prepared with the right attire. Some clothing and footwear to consider bringing include:

  • Rainjackets
  • Sun protection
  • Sturdy footwear
  • Light layers of clothing

Personal care

Be sure to bring along items that make you feel at home - that is a big bonus of travelling in a camper! Some personal care travel essentials include:

  • Medications
  • Hand sanitiser
  • Tweezers
  • Shampoo
  • Bug spray
  • Sunscreen

Emergency supplies

Pack a basic first-aid kit for a road trip around Australia. This is important in case there’s an accident on the road and can help to prevent detours. Some emergency supplies to add to your travel checklist include:

  • Band-aids
  • Pain killers
  • Compression bandages (these can be great in the case of a snake bite)
  • Torch

If there is a medical emergency or you’re unsure, it’s still important that you dial 000.

Campervan tech and entertainment

It’s a good idea to have some tech or entertainment for your downtime. Some fantastic options include:

  • Portable DVD player/projector
  • Speakers
  • iPad
  • Books/tablet
  • Board/card games

Kitchen supplies

Stocking up your pantry can save you money and keep everyone happy on the road. This is easily one of the top tips for a cheap campervan trip in Australia. Some travel essentials to add to your travel checklist include:

  • Tea and coffee
  • Snacks
  • Reusable containers for leftovers
  • Extra rubbish bags for disposal

Mighty campers are stocked with the kitchenware you need, but you can bring your favourite items such as coffee machines, reusable coffee cups, or anything else that will make your trip more convenient.

Kids supplies

Keeping kids happy on the road will make the trip more fun for everyone. Be sure to bring all your safety items too. Kid-friendly travel items to add to your packing list include:

  • Carseat (ensure that this meets the Australian guidelines if you are bringing your own from overseas)
  • Toys/comforters
  • Pillows and blankets

Miscellaneous items

Some other travel essentials to remember to pack include:

  • Driving licence
  • Coins for parking or laundry
  • A torch for navigating campgrounds at night
  • Device chargers

Navigation gear

Stay on the right path with navigation gear. The last thing you want is to go off in the wrong direction! Download navigation apps such as the thl Roadtrip app. This is helpful for finding dump spots, campgrounds and other campsite facilities.

If you are travelling to outback areas where service may be limited, it is worthwhile to bring maps or download maps on your phone. Using a GPS device to help you navigate around places you are unfamiliar with. This will also ensure you don’t get lost or waste fuel getting off track.

Ready to stock up the camper and head away on your adventure?

There is a lot to consider when it comes to packing for a campervan trip, but with a little know-how and preparation, packing will be a breeze! If you are looking for more tips on packing or are just looking to get inspired, visit our blog.

Ready to pack your bags and start exploring? Book your Mighty camper today in a branch or online.

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