East coast road trip: Car + Hostels vs. Campervan
Replies: 8 - Last Post: Jan 2, 2013 9:46 AM Last Post By: winearoundoz
Dec 7, 2012 12:23 PM
East coast road trip: Car + Hostels vs. CampervanHi,
A mate and i will be on the east coast of Oz for 4-5 weeks in April/May we're going to attempt to get from Melbourne > Cairns (not sure which way yet...) and trying to figure out what would be better....
Car + hostels or get a campervan???
I've known this mate for 20 years and there isn't much we haven't already discussed, needless to say we're keen to mingle - so getting a cheap car and hosteling sounds like a good idea.
But at the same time camparvan seems pretty convenient/care free/stay anywehere. But may be a bit more isolated?
Obviously we have to think about money too. Would appreciate anyone's views on how these optoins stack up from an experience and cost perspective?
Dec 7, 2012 12:37 PM
1Why not do both? There is a company in OZ called "Wicked Campers". I've just googled them and got a quote for $1800 for 5 weeks hire of a campervan (Iconic Model) which includes a $400 one way drop off fee. That way you could do the hostels thing in the major centres but also a bit of free camping in the in between areas.
Dec 7, 2012 3:57 PM
i think a campervan is only a better deal if you have at least 3 people traveling together. Yes, you save money by not staying in hostels, but all the other costs are higher: staying on (powered) campsites, you spend more on petrol, cooking is quite inconvenient, you will have a hard time finding a parking spot in the city etc.
i would not recommend wicked campervans. The cars are run-down ex rentals and breakdowns are not uncommon, and the funky paintjob makes them a prime target for thieves who expect to find expenive gadgets like cameras, cellphones or laptops inside.
Dec 7, 2012 5:38 PM
3Oh please ... anyone (like #2) who suggests Wicked Campers has clearly never seen one. They are dodgy deathtraps and shouldn't be on Australian roads.
Also, there is no such thing as 'cheap car rental' here in Australia. The rent-a-wreck companies that are out there generally end up costing more to rent a car from than the mainstream companies. And they are far more reluctant to return your 'deposit' at the end of the rental. A car from a reputable rental car agency and staying the night in hostels would be my advice.
Dec 7, 2012 9:20 PM
4My personal recommendation would be to rent a half decent car as #3 suggests and buy a cheap camp set-up. You can stay in hostels in areas where hostels are lively with lots of people to meet, and camp in less touristy areas for about $10 a night each (including car permits). A car will also be easier to drive to National Parks etc. If the budget allows, consider hiring an AWD (if not a 4WD, I'm unfamiliar with rental price variance sorry) for at least a little extra ground clearance. Some great campsites don't necessarily require 4WDs to access, but can be a bit intimidating in standard sedans.
You can buy cheap tents from BigW for about $100.00 a camp stove for about $30 and camp chairs for about $6 each. I love camping, so I would consider that a great investment!
Dec 8, 2012 3:47 AM
5My personal recommendation would be to rent a half decent car as #3 suggests and buy a cheap camp set-up
I agree completely.
Anyone considering renting a Wicked Camper should do a search for them on this site before committing to the rental.
And there is barely room for two inside them.
Also, at the time you are here, you should get the best weather conditions by starting in Melbourne and ending in Cairns.
Dec 8, 2012 12:00 PM
6I heard you can get cheap Campers by NOT make a reservation. Just fly to Auckland and shop around on the airport.
NOT in summer season off-course. Is this possible ?? we would like to go mid march. Should we give it a try???
Dec 8, 2012 3:42 PM
7So you want to rent a Wicked camper?
Let me Google that for you
Don't forget that petrol costs heaps here. Around $1.50 per litre in the cities - more in the country. And most campers guzzle gas. Small car, hostels and possibly a cheap tent is definitely the way to go.
Dec 9, 2012 5:01 PM
8You can do both and you would be mad to go Wicked. They have the reputation for being "cool, cheap and funky" but you will spend your time being cool and funky on the side of the road waiting for a tow.
There are a plethora of cheap campervan hire companies , just go to www.ecampervanhire.com for a list of every campervan hire in Australia. You can search by city if you are leaving from Cairns.
Vans aren't the best when you are in larger cities so don't use one in Sydney but for all the cities you'll pass through you should be right. Maybe some problems in Brisbane.
Get an iPhone app called "show the loo" and that shows you all the public toilets in australlia, find a loo that is open 24hrs and I can assure that there will also be a pub nearby to meet people at - this is Australia after all.
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