Everything You Need To Know About a Motorhome Holiday in WA

If you only have been to Australia’s East Coast, you are missing half the fun of your visit in this awesome country. So, this year, go instead to the lands of arid outback  and magnificent sunsets: Western Australia (WA).

With a land area of 2.646 million square kilometres, Western Australia is recognised as the second largest state in the world. How big is that? About half the size of Europe. Getting around this state is challenging, even if you have your own vehicle. To help you plan your motorhome holiday in WA, we’ve put together a few tips for y0u.

Going North or South

Exploring the entire WA landscape will take you months. If you only have a few days or a week of vacation the best option is to choose whether to go north (Monkey Mia, Exmouth, Shark Bay, etc.) or south (Albany, Margaret River, Esperance, etc.).

Perth is the usual starting point of motorhome or campervan renters, because of the city’s many attractions and accessibility to more remote tourist areas. Visit great spots in the city like the underground tunnels of Fremantle Prison, the 82.5-metre Bell Tower, and the relaxing Rottnest Island.

Once you have chosen which direction to go, plan your trip carefully by visiting tourist spots that are near each other. For example, you can do The Indian Ocean Drive, by travelling from Perth to the Abrolhos Islands, and back in four days.

Esperance_Bay

"Esperance. WA. Views of Observatory Beach." by Amanda Slater available at https://www.flickr.com/photos/pikerslanefarm/3413430227 under a Creative Commons Attribution. Full license available at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/ BY Amanda Slater

When is the Best Time to Visit WA?

Western Australia has three climate zones: Perth, South West and Margaret River, and North West and Broome. The state has a generally sunny climate with an average of 3,000 hours of blue sky a year. From the south’s Mediterranean climate, the east’s desert-like environment and the north’s tropics- WA is renowned as a year-round holiday mecca.

Perth is bathed in sunshine nine hours a day, making it the sunniest capital city in Oz. Average summer temperature is 29 °C, but can climb up to more than 40 °C in February. Winter temperature averages 12 °C on the months of June to August.

The south-west region has a Mediterranean climate which contributed to the biodiversity of the region. Margaret River’s mild weather has made it one of the best surfing capitals and a distinguished wine region. The best time to visit the beach is in December when the temperature is between 25 and 35 °C.

Broome and Kimberley are top spots for winter sunshine. Temperatures during April to September dry season peaks at only 29 °C. Green season in the region (October to March) are very humid and brings tropical rainstorms.

Getting a Good Motorhome

Motorhomes and campervans are the most convenient way for non-locals to go around Western Australia. You can easily book a vehicle online and pick it up in the rental company’s branch. In WA, it is likely in Perth.

When you walk in to get your vehicle, check if it has an up-to-date log of mechanical work to ensure that it is in good condition. Don’t accept a unit that has maintenance and repairs carried out without receipts or records. Examine the most crucial parts of the motorhome as they are often subject to damage. These are the engine, brakes, gears, steering wheel, instrument panel, windscreen and coolants.

Cheapa Campa motorhome

Motorhome Fine Prints

Advise your motorhome or campervan hire company of your itinerary in WA. Some may not allow you to travel on off-road tracks and non-national highways. Check their terms and conditions first before booking a vehicle.

Driving Around West Australia

Limit your driving mileage to 400-kilometres and take a break every few hours. Stop driving before 4 P.M. if you want to take an uninterrupted view of WA’s magnificent sunset.

Set-up your campsite two hours before dark. For foreigners, Australia’s vehicles are left-hand drives. If you are from a country that has right-hand drive cars get yourself familiar first with the vehicle you rented before driving long stretches.

Fuel Price Range

The price of oil is down for quite a while. Here are the latest fuel prices around Western Australia:

Town or City Price of Petrol per Litre Price of Diesel per Litre
Albany $1.24 to $1.26 $1.21 to $1.24
Bunbury $1.20 to $1.23 $1.13 to $1.16
Kalgoorlie $1.32 to $1.35 $1.30 to $1.32
Mandurah $1.17 to $1.18 $1.18 to $1.19
Rockingham $0.99 to $1.0 $1.15 to $1.18
Perth $1.15 to $1.20 $1.24 to $1.26

 

**Based on WAFuelFinder.com fuel price tool (February 10, 2016)

Caravan Parks

Research the available campervan parks on your planned route and mark them on the map. Some campervan parks allow online booking, but others implement a first come first serve policy. On average you will spend $35 to $60 a day for unpowered sites and $75 to $ 120 per night for powered sites, depending on the park’s location, season and the number of people in your group.

You can also ask the locals or other travellers if there are cheap caravan parks or free camping sites in the area you are currently in. See locations of caravan parks in Western Australia.

Motorhome_Campground

"Arrowtown Born Of Gold Holiday Park" by studio tdes available at https://www.flickr.com/photos/thedailyenglishshow/5585764500 under a Creative Commons Attribution. Full license available at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/ BY studio tdes

Cutting your Expenses

More features and equipment for your motorhome means more expenses. To cut down on spending, choose a unit depending on your priorities. For example, you can replace a $20 solar shower bag for a built-in shower. If you need entertainment during the trip, instead of a DVD player or TV, go for books, a music player, a deck of cards or even a guitar.

If you don’t want to re-charge your motorhome hire in a park, carry your own solar panel which will allow you to charge your gadgets without stopping in any city and paying for more fees.
This pretty much sums up the things you need to know about a motorhome holiday in Western Australia. Make sure you do your research before coming to this vast tourist hub. For more travel tips and other resources, keep on reading Cheapa Campa blog.

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestmail

From Sydney to Katoomba and Back: Your 2-Day Self Drive Itinerary

Sydney is without doubt, the most famous city in New South Wales. Home to the iconic Opera House and Harbour Bridge, the city welcomes millions of visitors every year.

“Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge” BY Arturo Pardavila III via www.flickr.com/photos/apardavila/23333250221 under a Creative Commons Atribution 2.0 Generic. See full license terms at creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

“Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge” BY Arturo Pardavila III via www.flickr.com/photos/apardavila/23333250221 under a Creative Commons Atribution 2.0 Generic. See full license terms at creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/ BY Arturo Pardavila III

Rightfully so, because as far as tourist attractions, festivals and dining experiences go, Sydney never disappoints.  However, New South Wales has more to offer the self-drive enthusiast. After spending time immersing yourself in the city’s sights and sounds, an easy drive to the Blue Mountains is a great way to cap off the last few days of your holiday.

Katoomba is by far the most popular town in New South Wales’ Blue Mountains region. Famous for the Scenic Railway and Scenic Skyway, you are definitely in for some of the most breathtaking sights of your life. So take a break from the noise, heat and crowds of the city and marvel at the natural beauty that Katoomba and the rest of Blue Mountains has to offer. Rent a campervan now and let’s start this 2-day self-drive holiday from Sydney to Katoomba and back!

DAY 1 – Sydney, NSW to Katoomba, NSW

From Sydney, drive westward for one hour to Glenbrook, NSW the first town at the base of the Blue Mountains, via the M4 motorway. Make sure you research toll rates, though so you can avoid hassles during the drive.

Stop by the Glenbrook Visitor Information Centre if you want to book guided tours or ask for any local events you may be interested to participate in. Next, head south and drive for 14 minutes via Bruce Road to Euroka Campground.

Park your campervan and relax amidst lush greenery. Take photos of the birds, kangaroos and other wildlife running free in the area.

Red Hands Cave is your next stop because you should never leave New South Wales without seeing the best showcase of Aboriginal rock art in the country. Drive north west for 20 minutes via The Oaks Fire Trail.

From Red Hands Cave, turn back and follow Oaks Fire Trail heading back to Bruce Road where you will turn left to the Great Western Highway or A32. Drive for half an hour, heading to Wentworth Falls.

Here, you will find the most awe inspiring views of the region’s valleys, ,waterfalls and escarpments. Stop by Wentworth Lake for a picnic and spend a few hours swimming. There are also plenty of walking trails if you’re feeling a little more adventurous.

After swimming or hiking, it is back to your campervan for a quick five-minute drive to Leura. Head south onto the Great Western Highway again and take the Leura Mall exit after 4 kilometres.

With its beautiful gardens, Leura is appropriately called the Garden Village in the region. Apart from its chic boutiques and art galleries, the town is also home to the largest teapot collection in the world. Stop by and shop for souvenirs in Leura mall or take a leisurely stroll along Everglades Gardens.

The last leg of the day’s adventures will take you to Cliff Drive, which is the scenic route up to Katoomba.

Continue driving to Echo Point and stop to marvel at the breathtaking sights of Three Sisters, Jamison Valley and Mount Solitary. Book a guided tour to Scenic World where you can descent to one of the world’s steepest incline railways and “float” above the Jamison Valley on board the Skyway.

Spend the night at Katoomba Falls Caravan Park, which is one of the most popular in the area. The caravan park has facilities such as coin-operated laundry machines, electric barbecues and even toilets and showers. So park your campervan for the night, and rest up for the following day’s drive.

DAY 2 – Katoomba, NSW and Back to Sydney

From Katoomba Falls Caravan Park, it’s an 11-minute drive via the Great Western Highway, to Medlow Bath and the famous Hydro Majestic Hotel. Learn about the rich background of the Hydro Majestic by taking part in their history tour and explore the Hydro Majestic Pavillion’s vibrant displays of unique, local food and wine selections.

The next part of your self-drive tour takes you west for 20 minutes to the magnificent views of Blackheath then on towards the quaint village of Mount Victoria. From Mount Victoria, drive south west via the Great Western Highway for 11 minutes and make a slight left to Old Bathurst Road.

Your next destination, Hartley Historic Site, is home to exquisitely preserved 19th century courthouses and buildings.

Stop for lunch at one of the cafes in Hartley Valley and shop for local produce and crafts. After dining and shopping, it is back to the campervan for a 15-minute drive to Lithgow, a town famous for its industrial heritage. While you’re in town, don’t forget to make the 5-minute drive to Hassans Walls, the highest and most scenic lookout in the region.

The Blue Mountains Botanic Garden is your next stop so drive along Botanist’s Way Drive that stretches from Lithgwo to Mount Tomah. The 33-minute drive features breathtaking views of the Gnose Valley cliff walls. Stop to rest and admire the sights from Mount Tomah while enjoying a cup of local tea.

Time to head back. From Mount Tomah, it is an hour’s drive through the fruit orchards of Bilpin. Stop to take snapshots if you wish. Afterwards, take the M7 motorway straight back to Sydney.

Clearly, two days is more than enough time to immerse yourself in the beauty and culture of towns just an hour’s drive away from the big city. So what are you waiting for? Book a Cheapa campervan and start your 2-day self-drive holiday right now!

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestmail