Who can resist the great open road of Australia? I know I can’t! From those expansive skies, open possibilities, incredible colours and unforgettable adventures, the Land Down Under really is hard to beat when it comes to the best country to road trip. From the Red Centre to the Nullabor Plains, the Great Ocean Road to the Kimberleys, there’s a whole heap of this great land just waiting to be explored. So get prepared for your awesome road trip adventure in Australia by taking note of the 9 things I reckon you shouldn’t leave home without.
- Good Company
Half the fun of a good road trip is the people who take it with you, so make sure you round up some good people or a good person to enjoy this Aussie adventure with. There are several key factors to consider when choosing a travel buddy, but having roughly the same plans for your trip is a good start. Then all you have to do is get on with making some fab memories that will hopefully have you reminiscing for years to come.
- Good Tunes
No road trip around Australia is complete without an awesome sound track, so make sure you get this organised before you head off. First, get the stereo and speaker system in your vehicle sorted, buying any additional cables or parts you might need. Think, USB or AUX cables for smartphones and tablets or USB sticks you can load music onto. Then, start getting your sound track together. Consider buying Spotify Premium, as this allows you to download playlists you can listen to without Wi-Fi reception. Otherwise, use your Itunes library to get some fab albums together.
- Good Navigation Tools
You’re definitely going to need some good navigation tools for your Australian road trip as this large country sure is easy to get lost in! While you have phone reception, the ever-wonderful google maps via your smartphone is always handy. Once you get away from the coast and into some of the wilder parts of Australia however, it doesn’t take long for the signal to drop out. As such, consider investing in a GPS system.
If that doesn’t take your fancy, then it could just be the old-fashioned paper maps you’ll have to settle for. Hema maps are great and can be bought in service stations, book stores and newsagents around the country. Otherwise, head into tourist offices as you make your way through Australia and round up the tons of free map resources they provide.
- Tons of Water
Do not underestimate the amount of water you’ll need to carry on board during your road trip. Even if you’re not going remote, all that driving can be thirsty work and don’t forget you’ll need water for the vehicle too. If you’re going out bush, then it’s best to be prepared and take extra water you can wash yourselves and any clothes / dishes with. I recommend at least 5litres per person per day in this instance, more if you’re travelling in summer or through desert areas.
This is, without a doubt, the best app money can buy when it comes to road tripping Australia. Costing only $7 AUD, you can download Wiki camps onto your phone and use it to discover thousands of free, budget or luxury campsites along your road trip route. Wikicamps also gives you info on picnic stops and rest areas, as well as providing you with useful reviews from other travellers.
- An Amazing Inverter
With all the amazing things you’ll be seeing on your road trip, there’s a fair chance you’ll want to be charging your camera or GoPro on the way. If you’re wanting to stay in touch with those at home, then a phone will almost certainly come in handy too. And, if you’re looking to research your next destination or book accommodation, then a tablet or laptop is a must as well. Add into this the need for hairdryers, hair clippers, electric tools and compressors and you can start to see why you definitely shouldn’t leave home without an inverter.
Brilliantly converting 12V to 240V, these handy inventions allow you to run and charge all sort of household appliances off your car battery – a lifesaver when you’re on the road for a while or going off grid quite a lot. The cost of not having to stop at a caravan park to use power for these basic things can really mount up over time, meaning buying an inverter before you start your road trip will certainly save you cash in the long run too.
Check out a review on REDARC’s range of inverters by What’s Up Down Under below.
- A Stubby Holder
Crucial for keeping your beer cold at the end of a long day driving, your life will be miserable if you don’t take a few stubby holders on your Australian road trip. Cheap, light, easy to carry, these gems really are worth their weight in gold when it comes to getting the best out of your frosty one in the strong Aussie sun.
- A Solar Panel
And, talking of sun, what about harnessing all that free energy while you’re road tripping one of the hottest countries on the planet! Buying a solar panel before you leave home is a key way to do this when road tripping Australia. And while a solar powered battery charger can be a big expense, you’ll soon reap the rewards when you’re getting day after day of free power. Easy to setup, use and disable, these handy inventions are one of the best things to take, especially if you’re looking to be a bit self-sustainable during your adventure.
- A Head Torch
Do not, I repeat do not, even consider going on an Australian road trip without getting a head torch before you leave home. Do you know how dark it can get out there and do you know how many potential creepy crawlies you may encounter on your way to the toilet in the night? Enough said. Plus, it’s really helpful when trying to cook and/or eat and/or set up a tent in the dark. Believe me, I know.
So those are 9 important things you shouldn’t leave home without when road tripping Australia. What’s on your priority list?
A version of this post was originally published on Big World Small Pockets