One of the most popular things to do if you are a backpacker in Australia is to see what the beautiful east coast has to offer, one great way of experiencing it is to rent a campervan. Last year myself, Rhys and 3 mates took the plunge of packing ourselves into 2 camper vans and we drove the 2,000 miles from Cairns to Sydney in 4 weeks. It has definitely been my favourite experience whilst being in Australia so far.
9th March 2016 – Cairns
After spending 3 days exploring Cape Tribulation and Port Douglas, chilling in Cairns manmade lagoon and having a leech stuck to my foot (nice) in the Daintree rainforest, it was time to pick up our camper van!
We went with Travellers Autobarn, a popular van rental company that provides vehicles to folk all over Australia. There are plenty camper van companies that do pretty much the same vans with the same specifications, (apart from the amazing little leopard camper in the featured image we saw in Byron Bay) it just depends on how much you want to pay and what deals they are offering due to the month you are renting – easter time, holidays etc are more expensive. Usually if you are renting for more that 21 days the companies give you a discount.
Myself, Rhys and Lewis went with a 3 berth Kuga, basically a Toyota Hiace converted into a camper. Whilst our other two friends, Mike and Laura, went with a 2 berth Chubby, a converted Mitsubishi Express. Looking back at receipts we paid $2,300 to rent out a 3 berth Toyota Hiace – Kuga for 4 weeks.
Inside the Kuga there was plenty of space, there was small kitchen but packed with all you needed, a sink (which had a tank that could be filled to have running water), a small sized fridge, a 2 hob gas stove and a microwave, 4 drawers full of cutlery pots, pans and dish towels, 2 cupboards with shelves which provided plenty of storage for dry foods. There was also storage above the kitchen/front of the camper which could hold more than 1 backpack.
It also had dining come sleeping area, a padded bench on each side of the van that made a generous sized seating area which had storage underneath, big enough for a rucksack under each bench and a table in the middle, this all folded down into a double bed. The other bed folded out wooden panels with padding above your head, this made a large single bed.
Travellers Autobarn provided 3 sleeping bags, 3 pillows and sheets to make the padding of the bed more comfortable. Aswell as 3 clean bath towels, more than we expected.
With both the Kuga and the Chubby, if you park up into a paid campsite (ranging between $15-$30 per night) that provides electricity you can plug into the mains port at your camping site.Your camper should come with a long cable make sure before you set off. We kept saying we weren’t going to keep going to paid sites as there are plenty of free sites down the coast… I think we spent a total of 3 nights at the free sites. The paid sites literally saved our lives, okay maybe not our lives, but our sanity… because we were able to plug our fans in and have them on full blast throughout the night. FYI the east coast is freaking hot in March, WHO KNEW?!
Thanks for reading! – A Long Way From Home