Last winter, I met a bunch of friends in Australia for a Mythical Road Trip: the East Coast of Australia, from Brisbane to Sydney, then from Adelaide to Melbourne. Here are some tips for those who plan to drive on the red continent...
This road trip in Australia represents around 17 days, 1.952 kms, one hug with a koala, two massive spiders in the car, 4 flights, two vans, 5 friends, 1 jump from an airplane, one 35$ fine, 29 kangaroos suicide attempts, one crocodile pie and one GPS with no sense of direction. Too much happiness!
Discover all our secrets for a dream road trip through Australia East Coast... And don't forget to watch out for the stupid kangaroos on the road!
VISA to Australia
There's no Visa On Arrival in Australia.
Don't forget to send your application to get your Tourist Visa before going (or WHV, lucky adventurer!).
australia's east coast ITINERARies
Australia is more a continent than a country. We'd need hundreds of trips to discover this whole wonderland. We've started by the classic way: the East Coast. We had some great surprises on the way though. We saw wonders we didn't even expect to see. It was a two parts trip : from Brisbane to Sydney, then from Adelaide to Melbourne.
east coast Itinerary : From Brisbane to Sydney - Hunting the surfers
Brisbane - Just hearing the Australian accent makes me thrill. THERE WE ARE! A day to visit the town and see its giant lizards, then it's time to hit the road.
Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary - Bucketlist checked off! I hugged a koala -he even groped me! Great place to get an idea of the Australian wildlife (and to flirt with it, obviously).
Surfers Paradise + Coolangatta - We had the chance to get there right on time for the Roxy Pro Surf contest. We saw champions surfing huge tubes. Impressive show, fantastic atmosphere.
Mt Warning - A two hours night hike to the top of a mountain surrounded by a gorgeous exotic jungle -full of leeches. It could have been better without the rain. And without the leeches.
Nimbin - The road to get there is truly beautiful. However, the
town is super weird. It's an old hippy village. It means rainbow, peace & love signs, dreadlocks... All the clichés! Time has stopped a looong time ago here.
Byron Bay - Australia like I dreamed it. Super cool surf atmosphere & great people. Gorgeous view from Cape Byron -if you're in luck, you can even spot dolphins on the bay.
Red Rock - Incredible aboriginal restaurant where you can eat delicious kangaroo burgers. Stunning sunsets from the beach. And absolutely no-body. One of our favorite discoveries.
South West Rock - The Trial Bay Gaol has a sunset view to die for + hosts a friendly kangaroo colony.
Port Stephens - Highlight of the trip. Wonderful view from Nelson Bay's hill. Anna Bay's sand dunes are a must-see. And One Mile Beach is real heaven on Earth: white sand, turquoise water and hilly landscape.
Blue Mountains - I didn't expect to see such a grandiose nature in Australia. Great waterfalls, lush forest, wide valley, steep cliffs... The scenery is fascinating. -A World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
Somersby - A hundred kms North of Sydney, we jumped from a plane. No words for that. A video, though.
Sydney - I fell for Sydney. Its lovely trendy shops, cafés in every corner, the rooftops, the people, the bridge, the Opera, Clarke Quay, the Rocks, the parks, the vibes... All of it. #wannalivethere
Bondi Beach - Twenty minutes from the city, there is the best place ever for an afterwork. People are surfing, running, hiking, drinking, skating... And with such a view. Mojiiitos time!
east coast Itinerary : From Adelaide to Melbourne - Meeting the wildlife
Adelaide - We just visited the Central Market, to head up straight to Cape Jervis, the ferry pier.
Kangaroo Island - An absolutely stunning nature reserve, packed with an incredible wildlife: koalas, seals,
wallabies, pelicans... A real heaven for nature lovers.
The Great Ocean Road - The legendary one.
Torquay - Sublime. Fine beach, steep red cliffs & charming lighthouse.
Melbourne - The perfect city to close our road trip in Australia.
driving in australia
You can take the bus or hitchhike, but nothing beats the freedom of a campervan, especially in such a huge and beautiful country. It's really easy to drive there, as most of the time, it's open road, straight, quiet and beautiful. We choose the famous & 'classic' Wicked Van. Which was great for our trip -it's unbelievable how easy it gets to meet people when you drive a campervan with a Lego porn illustration on it!
Watch out at dusk for the kangaroos, though. They LOVE waiting for the night to come to bounce right in front of your vehicle. Try not to drive at night anyway, as it can be super stressful to avoid these stupid animals -don't forget that if you kill one, you'd probably kill your car, too.
Camping in Australia
We were surprised that it's not as easy to camp by the side of the road as we thought. It's illegal to do, so there's a high chance the police will move you on in the middle of the night. Especially in the tourist areas where lots of backpackers are trying to camp for free.
Likewise, we had some troubles to find camping, as they close very early (around 4-5pm). Most of the time, we arrived to late to manage to camp 'legally' anyway. That was the question, every morning. Where do you think we gonna end up sleeping tonight? You'll always find a solution...
By the way: don't forget there's a abundant wildlife in Australia. If you don't want to end up with two dreadful giant spiders into your car (which is also your house), DON'T PARK UNDER A TREE. NEVER. Not a good idea. At all.
BUDGET for a road trip in australia
For a 17 days road trip with a flight from Sydney to Adelaide, 5 nights in hotels (Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne), a skydive jump, zero kangaroo killed, a few mojitos, lots of junk food, one museum, and two campervans, we spent around 1.600US$ each (international flights non-included).
#Flashback : video of our amazing road trip on australia's East Coast!
What about you, have you traveled in Australia? What would be your perfect itinerary? What did we miss?
I'd probably need your advices for my next trips in Central Australia and on the West Coast -hopefully soon!