Travelling in a caravan is one of the best ways to truly experience WesternAustralia and really get to know your road-trip companion (maybe a bit too well).
Whether you’re a seasoned professional or a newbie ready to explore WesternAustralia for the first time, we have 8 tips that you’ll need to know before setting off!
1. Get Up Early
Get on the road after dawn and off the road before dusk. Travelling in darkness is both dangerous and a missed opportunity (you can’t experience the best of Australia in the dark).
Many WestAustralian animals show themselves at night, most notably Skippy (the Australian Kangaroo). Kangaroos move around more at night and are known for causing some pretty bad collisions. Although more common at night, look out for animals at all times. Take note of wildlife warning signs and remember that animals can’t read (at least we don’t think so) and may wander outside these signs.
Getting into your camping spot in the afternoon will keep you well rested and give you some time to experience new surroundings.
2. Prepare for Fuel Costs
Petrol can get costly real quick, so it is important to be prepared for changing fuel prices. Check out websites that watch fuel prices in each state. Fuel per litre can fluctuate up to $1 so make sure you take this into account when budgeting for fuel.
It’s also a great idea to check out if petrol stations have mechanics if anything seems off. Getting a strange smell checked out can be the difference in a smooth trip and a breakdown disaster.
3. Keep Cool
Even if you are experienced in hotter climates, WestAustralian summers can be piercing. There are a few things you can do to ensure that you stay cool while camping, both during the day and while you are asleep at night. Block out the heat by making sure all your caravan blinds are shut while all the windows and doors are open. This creates airflow throughout your van which you’ll be thankful for when it’s time to sleep.
Attaching an awning to your caravan is a great idea especially if there isn’t much natural shade available to you. Other good tips include setting up your site under shade, setting up a hammock under some trees, and cooking outside.
4. Take Turns Driving
Driving can take its toll, so switch it up. Take regular breaks and use extra kilometres for side trips which can be the most memorable. Fatigue is a major player in road accidents so make sure you are well rested; sleep is the best cure for tiredness.
Take turns to enjoy the view from the passenger seat while making the journey safer, especially while driving off road caravans.
5. Be Flexible
Spontaneity is important but have a rough guide of where you are going. You will need to make a plan, so you know where fuel stations, supermarkets, and camping areas are located.
Make a copy of these plans and give them to a friend or family member. If your caravan breaks down and you have no power for communication devices, having people know your approximate location can be vital.
6. If You Break Down, Stay Put
The great thing about WesternAustralia is there will always be someone willing to help you. Although it may seem like you haven’t seen other people in a while, eventually someone will drive by and assist you.
If you wander off from your vehicle to find help you may end up walking in scorching temperatures for hours. Stay cool and calm, help will find you.
Whether you’re buying a new luxury caravan or a used caravan, if you buy from a licensed dealer, the vehicle should be reliable due to the exhaustive checks they go through.
7. Be Prepared
WesternAustralia is a dry place and the heat can get pretty intense. It is important to keep plenty of water available for drinking, food preparation, and emergencies. Supermarkets often sell 10-litre bottles so definitely make sure to stock up before you leave!
Non-perishable food is a must on road trips. Should you break down or have a long stretch without a supermarket, cereal bars, dried fruit, and nuts are a game changer. Avoid salty foods that will dehydrate you and make you hungrier.
Tip: Bushfires are common in WesternAustralia, especially in the summer when it’s dry, so always make sure to keep your campfire under control and have extra water available if it needs to be put out.
8. Be Careful of Australian Wildlife
WesternAustralia is full of beautiful landscapes and exotic wildlife. Although it is unlikely that you’ll run into serious trouble, it is important to be prepared for a bad situation.
Make sure your caravan is kitted out with fly screens and insect repellents. It is also very important to have a first aid kit full of cream for insect bites, antiseptic spray and wrapping for wounds, snake bite compressions and spraining.
Become aware of flora and fauna that is toxic to humans as well as animals to keep an eye out for. Although plants may look like familiar fruits (look scarily like an orange tree), to be safe, don’t ingest any foreign plants.
Also, be VERY careful of Drop Bears (Thylarctos plummetus). It is a known fact that these carnivorous marsupials prey on tourists more-so than Australians. The Australian Museum suggests that smearing vegemite behind your ears can be used as a repellent. Just remember to “Look Up & Stay Alive”.
- Book campsites ahead of time in peak season. Dry season (April – October) are likely to be busier with fauna going into overdrive and beautiful (bearable) temperatures.
- Bring heaps of music. Even if the music is just on in the background, it can help with the atmosphere of your trip. Also, make sure to bring along a speaker!
- Bring tweezers and scissors. From removing a splinter to cutting those jeans into shorts, these tools will definitely come in handy.
All in all, leave the kitchen sink at home, don’t be a backseat driver, and enjoy beautiful Aussie beaches, bright red dirt and the occasional glass of wine with the sunset.
If you are looking to buy a caravan or motorhome, contact us today for more information on how to buy the right vehicle for you to get you started on your trip.