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.
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.
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)
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.
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.