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The Ultimate Guide to Preparing for a Lap Around Australia

G'day, fellow adventurers! Are you ready to embark on an epic journey around the beautiful landscapes of Australia in your trusty 4x4 and caravan? Well, you're in for a treat! In this comprehensive guide, we'll take you through all the nitty-gritty details, from planning your trip to essential items and must-visit places. So, strap in, grab a cuppa, and let's hit the road for an unforgettable lap around Australia!

lap around Australia

 

Before You Leave: Planning and Preparation

Planning a trip of this magnitude requires careful consideration and thorough preparation. Deciding to embark on a lap around Australia is an exciting and adventurous endeavor. But why would you want to undertake such a journey in the first place? Well maybe you're retired and have all the time in the world, or maybe you want to take the kids on an epic adventure of a lifetime. No matter what your reasons are, here are a few essential steps to get you started on the right track:

  1. Research, Research, Research: Before you set off, dive headfirst into the internet rabbit hole! Look up popular routes, attractions, and campgrounds along the way. Check out travel forums and blogs to gather valuable insights and recommendations from fellow travelers who have already experienced the joys of a lap around Australia. Planning your itinerary is essential to make the most of your journey. Take into account your interests, the time you have available, and the regions you wish to explore. Do you prefer coastal drives, outback adventures, or a mix of both?

  2. Route and Duration: Deciding on your route is crucial. Australia is vast, and you won't be able to cover every nook and cranny in a single trip. Consider the time you have available and choose a route that aligns with your interests and preferences. Most travelers spend anywhere from 3 to 12 months to complete a full lap around the country.

  3. Accommodation Options: While you're on the road, you'll need to plan for accommodation. Caravan parks, campgrounds, and free camping spots are abundant throughout Australia. Research and book in advance, especially during peak travel seasons, to secure your spot. Consider the facilities available, such as showers, laundry services, and power hookups. Additionally, familiarise yourself with the concept of free camping, where you can camp in designated areas without charge.

  4. Vehicle and Caravan Preparation: Your vehicle and caravan are your home on wheels during this epic adventure, so it's crucial to ensure they are in excellent condition. Take your vehicle to a trusted mechanic for a thorough check-up and servicing. Check the tyre pressure, tread, and carry a spare tyre or two. Test all lights and indicators, inspect the brakes, and ensure your towing equipment is in good working order. Don't forget to pack spare parts, such as fuses, bulbs, and basic tools.

  5. Essential Documentation: Before hitting the road, gather all the necessary documentation. Ensure your driver's license is valid and up to date. If you're traveling from overseas, familiarise yourself with the local road rules and ensure you have an international driving permit, if required. Don't forget to carry your vehicle and caravan registration papers, insurance documents, and any necessary permits for national parks or restricted areas.

  6. Packing and Supplies: As you embark on your lap around Australia, it's important to pack strategically. Consider the essentials, such as clothing suitable for various weather conditions, toiletries, and personal items. Stock up on non-perishable food items and drinking water, especially if you plan to venture into remote areas. Don't forget a good supply of insect repellent, sunscreen, and a hat to protect yourself from the Australian sun.

  7. Communication and Safety: Staying connected and ensuring your safety is paramount during your journey. Invest in a reliable communication device, such as a mobile phone with coverage across different regions or a satellite phone for remote areas with limited or no mobile reception. Carry a comprehensive first aid kit, and familiarise yourself with basic first aid procedures. It's also wise to have a personal locator beacon (PLB) or an Emergency Position Indicating Radio.

lap around australia

 

On the Road: Embrace the Journey

Now that you've laid the groundwork, it's time to hit the road! Here are some tips to ensure a smooth and enjoyable journey:

  1. Safety First, Mate: Before you start your engine, make sure your vehicle and caravan are in tip-top shape. Get a thorough check-up and service to avoid any unexpected breakdowns along the way. Don't forget to carry a well-stocked first aid kit, emergency contact numbers, and a fire extinguisher.

  2. Take It Easy: A lap around Australia isn't a race, so don't rush! Enjoy the scenic drives, stop at charming towns, and take breaks to savor the breathtaking landscapes. Be mindful of your driving hours and take regular breaks to stay refreshed and alert behind the wheel.

  3. Weather Considerations: Australia experiences diverse weather conditions, so pack accordingly. Carry lightweight and breathable clothing for the warmer months and layer up for the cooler regions. Don't forget sunscreen, hats, and insect repellent to protect yourself from the harsh Aussie elements. Check for rainy seasons too, especially if you're heading to the northern states. 

lap around australia

 

Places Not to Miss: Hidden Gems and Must-See Wonders

Australia is a treasure trove of natural wonders and cultural marvels. While there are countless awe-inspiring destinations to explore, here are a few iconic and off-the-beaten-path places you absolutely shouldn't miss:

  1. The Great Ocean Road, Victoria: Prepare to be spellbound by the dramatic coastal scenery, the Twelve Apostles, and stunning national parks along this iconic road trip. Stop at quaint seaside towns, take a helicopter ride over the cliffs, and hike through lush rainforests.

  2. Kakadu National Park, Northern Territory: Immerse yourself in the rich Aboriginal heritage, stunning waterfalls, and unique wildlife of Australia's largest national park. Take a boat cruise on the Yellow Water Billabong, marvel at ancient rock art, and witness the breathtaking sunset over the wetlands.

  3. The Kimberley, Western Australia: Indulge in rugged beauty as you explore ancient gorges, pristine beaches, and the mesmerizing Bungle Bungle Range. Take a dip in the natural infinity pools of El Questro, go fishing for Barramundi in the coastal waters, and witness the magnificent Horizontal Falls.

  4. Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Northern Territory: Marvel at the majestic Uluru (Ayers Rock) and the striking rock formations of Kata Tjuta (the Olgas). Witness the awe-inspiring colors of the rock at sunrise or sunset and learn about the cultural significance of these sacred sites.

  5. Great Barrier Reef, Queensland: Explore the world's largest coral reef system, a UNESCO World Heritage site teeming with vibrant marine life. Snorkel or dive to witness the breathtaking coral formations and encounter tropical fish, sea turtles, and even majestic manta rays.

  6. Ningaloo Reef, Western Australia: Escape the crowds and snorkel or dive in the pristine waters of Ningaloo Reef. This lesser-known gem offers incredible encounters with manta rays, whale sharks, turtles, and an abundance of colorful coral and marine life.

  7. Daintree Rainforest, Queensland: Step into an ancient world as you explore the Daintree Rainforest, one of the oldest rainforests on the planet. Take a river cruise, spot unique wildlife, and immerse yourself in the lush greenery of this UNESCO World Heritage-listed site.

lap around australia

 

Essential Items: Packing

Packing for Adventure Packing for a lap around Australia can be a daunting task. Here's a checklist of essential items to ensure you're well-prepared:

  1. Camping Gear: Tents or swags for the kids sleeping outside, sleeping bags, camping chairs, and cooking equipment are must-haves for a memorable camping experience. Invest in a good quality camping stove, portable BBQ, and cooking utensils to whip up delicious meals on the go.

  2. Kitchen Supplies: Stock up on non-perishable food items, cooking utensils, and a reliable fridge or esky (cooler) to keep your supplies fresh. Don't forget to pack plates, bowls, cutlery, and mugs for your dining pleasure.

  3. Navigation and Communication: Invest in a GPS system or download a reliable offline map app. A portable phone charger and a UHF radio can also come in handy for staying connected on the road. Consider getting a satellite phone for remote areas with limited or no mobile coverage.

  4. Caravan Equipment: Caravan chocks are essential for stabilizing your caravan when parked. These wedge-shaped blocks are placed behind the wheels to prevent any unwanted movement or rolling. If your caravan extends wider than your towing vehicle, it's crucial to have caravan mirrors. These specially designed mirrors attach to your vehicle's side mirrors, providing increased visibility and allowing you to see the full width of your caravan.

 clearview mirrors

 

 

Recovery Items: Prepared for the Unexpected

No matter how well-prepared you are, sometimes things go awry. Here are a few recovery items to help you get out of sticky situations:

  1. Recovery Tracks: When you find yourself bogged in sand or mud, recovery tracks can be a lifesaver, providing traction to get you back on solid ground.

  2. Tyre Repair Kit: Flat tyres are an unfortunate reality of off-roading. Carry a tyre repair kit and an air compressor to patch up punctures on the go. Don't forget a spare tyre or two!

  3. Portable Jump Starter: A flat battery can put a damper on your adventure. A portable jump starter will save the day, allowing you to jump-start your vehicle without relying on external assistance.

  4. Fire Extinguisher and First Aid Kit: Safety should be a priority on any journey. Carry a fire extinguisher suitable for vehicle fires and a comprehensive first aid kit to handle any medical emergencies that may arise.

  5. Air Compressor: A portable air compressor is essential for adjusting tyre pressures when traveling off-road. Lowering tire pressure can improve traction on soft surfaces, while re-inflating tires to the correct pressure ensures optimal performance on paved roads.

RECOVERY

Congratulations, fellow adventurers! You're now armed with the knowledge to embark on an epic lap around Australia in your trusty caravan. Remember, this journey is about more than just ticking off destinations‚ÄĒit's about embracing the spirit of exploration, immersing yourself in the wonders of the land Down Under, and creating memories that will last a lifetime. So, start planning, pack your sense of adventure, and get ready for an incredible experience that will leave you spellbound. Safe travels, mates!

 

 

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