Dan Wright has been a motorhome enthusiast for 20 years, and spent many of those years producing travel features and motorhome reviews for Practical Motorhome magazine. He’s enjoyed more than a hundred motorhome adventures at home in the UK, and in overseas destinations that include Romania. These days Dan tours with his wife Tuti.
It’s a big country and you’re never going to see it all in one lifetime, let alone one break. Here are seven reasons why a motorhome is the best way to extract the maximum smiles per mile in Australia.
1. The views are amazing
Driving west into the sunset along Mount Lindesay Road was one of the most magical experiences of our trip. The panoramic views through our windscreen encompassed the remains of a 24 million year-old volcano, and a rainforest whose ancestry stretches back to the days when the world was made up of a single land mass. We saw parrots flying across the valley and stopped in a pretty little town called Woodenbong for a cup of tea en route to our campsite in Killarney.
2. Driving is easy and enjoyable
The roads are newer and wider on average than those in Europe. We found it easy to park and drive even in small towns. I’ve driven motorhomes through most Western European countries and all round the UK and can vouch for the fact that driving a motorhome in Australia is much easier and more enjoyable – even a fairly big one like the one we hired. You drive on the left-hand side of the road and it’s easy to follow the road signs.
3. Move where you want, when you want
We stayed with family on their land for a few days at Mullumbimby, then headed off down the coast to Lennox Head for a couple of days, then came back. Then it rained a bit and we made our way inland to Killarney and the scenic rim. We were able to change our plans to suit ourselves, which was a lot less stressful than being tied to a strict itinerary.
4. Be pleasantly surprised by places you hadn’t planned to see
Visiting in November, we managed to do all our Christmas shopping in places we stumbled across – including a local art shop run by a Swiss-German in Lismore and a vineyard cellar door and a mini coffee-plantation on Tamborine Mountain. We had a lovely chat with a chap called Jim and saw some incredibly far-reaching views from Mount French, which we drove up on a whim. Driving back from Lismore to Mullumbimby past little villages like Eureka was just as rewarding, with lush, pastoral landscapes rewarding us for taking the time to stop and take it all in.
5. Be outdoors as much as possible
The weather’s awesome, so you’ll want to cook outdoors, sit outdoors, have a beer outdoors. Just park up during the day or pitch up at a campsite at night, open the door and you’re in your own back yard. Having a kitchen, bathroom and lounge with you at all times is incredibly handy. If you choose to venture into Australia’s beautiful natural parks, it’s easy for you to stay fed and watered and leave nothing behind but footprints. Or you may just want to put the kettle on and have a cup of tea and enjoy the view. All of the campsites we stayed on had a barbecue area with gas-fired hotplates, washing up sinks and picnic tables. We used them to cook breakfast and dinner whenever we had the opportunity.
6. Visit friends and family without imposing
We stayed with my brother-in-law and his family but we didn’t need to trouble them to put us up. We were fortunate enough to be able to pitch our motorhome on their land and enjoy their spectacular countryside views, but when we got itchy feet and wanted to go exploring, we didn’t have to impose on them to host us.
7. Take your own space with you wherever you go
The freedom of having a motorhome is the ability to take your own space with you: whether that’s somewhere to have an afternoon nap with the air conditioning on, to stow away your shopping, or to make a quick cup of tea. You can enjoy all the adventure of finding new places, with the comfort of a home-from-home wherever you are.
Whether you choose a large, comfortable camper like ours, something simpler or a rugged 4x4 to explore the outback, a motorhome gives you the optimum freedom, flexibility and comfort. There’s nothing like a day’s exploring, not knowing quite where you’ll end up, but certain that you have everything you need with you for a good meal, a relaxing evening, a peaceful night’s rest and some breakfast in the morning.
For details of fly drive holidays with the Club, visit the website or call 024 7767 0638.