How to Overland Australia, Sydney to Perth is a recap of my 6 month visit to Oz. I provide details that include maps, costs, logistical requirements and facts as well as links to additional details, photos and videos. This is a self-guided adventure on a shoestring. Follow the links to dig deeper into the adventure.
The actual travel time on this road trip was around two months. The additional time was spent visiting relatives in the Sydney area, finding, purchasing and preparing the car and even a side trip to Nepal for the spring trekking season. This post will focus only on the overland travel part of the trip.
This the second segment of my Overland Oz set. The prior segment is “How to Overland Australia Sydney to Cape York.”
Backpacker driving options in Australia are plentiful. I purchased my car in the Sydney Backpackers Market (a city garage where Backpackers buy & sell with the local authorities approval) and sold it in Perth using Gumtree (a Craigslist type of Internet service). It wasn’t difficult, but I had lots of time on both ends of the road trip.
Registration (rego) in Oz depends on state, but unlike Europe, you don’t need to be a resident of Oz to register a vehicle for road use. Rego on the vehicle lasts one year, so a vehicle with lots of months left is worth more than one with fewer months since at the end of the term you will have to pay for the new rego in the state of issue or transfer it to the state your in. Rego also includes very limited insurance (enough to get you on the road driving). You can optionally buy additional insurance. If the vehicle has a Western Australia rego you don’t need to have it officially inspected by a mechanic on transfer. If a NSW rego you will need an inspection. It varies so check out the rules before you buy.
For those with less time, there are lots of rental or buy-back options available. I’m not talking about rental car agencies, I’m referring to agencies that are backpacker travel specific.
Total Cost Range of this Activity is: $$$
Rather than giving details here, I will simply say that Australia is NOT cheap. The average dorm night stay in a hostel was around AUS $25 pp and doubles around $75. Camping was around $30-45 per night. The must-have tool for overlanding in Oz is the WikiCamps app. It includes paid and free campsites with details and user reviews (very important since some places are dumps).
Overland Australia, Youth Hostels Australia
Join YHA if you want discounted hostels that are clean, cool and fun (but not crazy). There are two types of hostels in Oz. YHA (with dorms, singles, doubles and family rooms) and the others. The others are private and generally accommodate long-stay backpackers. Because Oz is full of 1-2 yr backpackers on the work-as-you-go VISA’s there is a need for long but cheap(er) accommodation. Hence the other hostel option. Unfortunately, this crowd generally wants to party like rock stars. So forget about a quiet night of sleep or anything related to clean if you stay in a non-YHA long-stay hostel.
Note that Australians love to BBQ, so facilities for BBQing (and public restrooms) are in almost every town center, roadside rest area, camp ground, etc.
Auto fuel is also not cheap in Australia although GPL is available in and around most cities for those that manage to find/rent a converted vehicle. The Mitsubishi that I purchased was a conversion, so ran on both GPL and regular petrol. I recommend the GasBuddy app to help you find local and cheap options.
Sydney to Melbourne
Overland Australia Trip Itinerary
|11/14/2015||Arrive Sydney, Visit & Prep|
|12/10/2015||Leave Sydney – Bulli/Thoroa|
|12/12/2015||Bream Beach Caravan Park (edge of Borderee NP)|
|12/13/2015||Jarvis Bay – Borderee NP|
|12/14/2015||Green Patch Camp|
|12/15/2015||Bega Backpackers to Koz|
|12/16/2015||Kosciusko – YHA Thredbo (SM NP)|
|12/17/2015||Thredbo hike to summit Mt Kosciusko.|
|12/18/2015||Mountain biking Thredbo|
|12/19/2015||Lakes Entrance – Campground – Victoria|
|12/20/2015||Wilsons Promontory NP|
|12/21/2015||Wilsons Promontory NP|
|12/22/2015||Wilsons Promontory NP|
|12/23/2015||Wilsons Promontory NP|
|12/24/2015||Philip Island San Remo|
|12/25/2015||Philip Island San Remo|
|12/26/2015||Philip Island San Remo|
|12/27/2015||Philip Island San Remo|
|12/28/2015||Philip Island San Remo|
|1/6/2016||Great Ocean Road|
|1/7/2016||Great Ocean Road|
|1/10/2016||Melbourne to Apollo Bay|
|1/11/2016||Melbourne to Apollo Bay|
|1/12/2016||Port Campbell – Twelve Apostles|
|1/13/2016||Port Campbell – Twelve Apostles|
|1/14/2016||Port Fairy – Twelve Apostles|
|1/15/2016||Tower Hill Reserve – to Grampians|
|1/16/2016||Grampians – Aborigeni Art|
|1/17/2016||Grampians – Aborigeni Art|
|1/19/2016||Mc Laren Vale wine tasting|
|1/20/2016||To Adelaid, Glenelg|
|1/24/2016||Flinders Range – hike|
|1/27/2016||Western Australia Border (free camp)|
|1/30/2016||Frenchman Peak, Cape Le Grande NP|
|2/1/2016||to Margaret River, Valley of the Giants Tree Top Walk|
|2/2/2016||Leeuwin NP – Lake Cave – Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse|
|2/3/2016||Surfers Point – Bunbury|
|2/4/2016||Bunbury – Discovery park, Dolphin Experience|
|2/5/2016||to Fremantle (Sundancer)|
|2/7/2016||Cri Departs for Kathmandu|
|2/8/2016||Freo – Perth|
|2/9/2016||Rottsnest Island – Coco|
|2/11/2016||Cycle to Seals|
|2/12/2016||back to Freo|
|2/15/2016||Rockingham – Penguin Island|
|2/18/2016||Freo to Lanclin|
|2/20/2016||Perth – park the car|
|2/21/2016||Perth City Center|
|2/22/2016||Flight to Kathmandu, Nepal|
|4/1/2016||Flight back to Perth|
|Sold my Car|
|4/13/2016||Perth Flight to Brisbane|
|Hang out Brisbane & prep for Morton|
|4/17/2016||Moreton Island-ferry 2:30pm to Comboyuro|
|4/18/2016||Moreton Island – Blue Lagoon|
|4/19/2016||Moreton Island – SE island|
|4/20/2016||Moreton Island – SW Island|
|4/21/2016||Moreton Island – Wrecks on W coast near resort|
|4/22/2016||Moreton Island ferry 11am return to Brisbane|
|4/24/2016||Brisbane to Sydney train|
|5/1/2016||Flight Depart Sydney|
Visit the Moreton Island blog post for details about the hiking circuit of the island.
Melbourne to Adelaide
Overland Australia GPS
Australia is huge and mostly empty so basic paper maps are fine but to find places in towns and cities a GPS is a must. Yes, Google maps works, but I purchased an old fashion dash mounted unit and it was a relationship saver. Large and easy to see, had alternative route options and showed places of interest (gas stations, supermarkets, etc).
Adelaide to Perth Photos
Overland Australia Healthcare
Australia has great public healthcare, so they don’t turn you away. However, travel insurance is recommended for those who like to avoid paperwork and risk. Note that Australia has a healthcare agreement with Italy. So if you have an Italian passport simply go to any government office that handles healthcare and get a fully covered Australian health card that will cover you for the length of your stay. No fees and no hassle.
Overland Australia Other Adventures posts:
4×4 Fraser Island Queensland
Hiking Around Moreton Island Queensland
Noosa Everglades Canoe Trip Queensland
4×4 Cape York Ride Queensland
Visit to How to Overland Australia, Sydney to Cape York, East Coast Oz