The Big Lap – 10 things you need to know about driving around Australia

21st Jul 2021

The big lap is a common Australian dream that is on every adventurer’s bucket list. If you’re thinking about embarking on a trip around the country’s border, here are 10 things you need to know before you hit the road.

  1. The best time to go

One of the best times to go is from October to February to make the most out of your trip. You’ll experience long summer days and the opportunity to take advantage of Australia’s amazing beaches. If you’re looking to find snow and see a winter wonderland, the perfect time to travel would be from May to September.

When you are planning your big adventure, here are a few questions to ask yourself when choosing the best time to travel:

  • Where do you want to visit?
  • What season do you want to travel in?
  • What do you want to experience?
  1. There is a lot of preparation involved

From prepping your RV to identifying your route and depending on your circumstances, it can take up to six months or more to plan. We recommend being over-prepared, especially when you are living on the road for a long time.

Here are some things to consider while you are preparing:

  • Financials and budgets on the road
  • Admin and paperwork including healthcare cover, personal documentation, car and other insurance
  • Any work or employment on the road
  • Preparing your kids for remote learning or home schooling
  1. You need to give yourself time to adjust

Taking your life on the road for months may not be easy. You will feel a whirlwind of emotions and might experience homesickness. For some people, it is challenging to adapt to a new lifestyle.

Don’t worry if the first few weeks are not what you expected. It can take a while to get into the swing of things, so factor in some days to decompress and give yourself time to figure your new routine. The more you adjust on the road, you will discover tips, tricks and hacks to packing and unpacking, cooking, camping, sightseeing, as well as getting used to long-distance travel.

  1. What to drive

Preparing a RV that suits your needs is the most essential thing you need for the big lap. Your vehicle will take you from Point A to Point B and will be your home for the entirety of the journey. Not sure what caravan is most suitable for you? Ask yourself these key questions:

  • Will most of your trip be on main roads or off-road?
  • Who is travelling with you?
  • How much space do you need?
  • Will you be towing, or will you be using a campervan?
  1. Must visit destinations

There is no doubt that you will come across the most spectacular landscapes, lush forests, unique flora and fauna and mesmerising lookouts. Australia has numerous landmarks, from oceans to dirt roads, but you might not have enough time to see them all.

To help you plan your big lap, here are some must-see destinations:

  • Ningaloo Reef, Western Australia
  • Karijini National Park, Western Australia
  • Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Northern Territory
  • Mereenie Loop, Red Centre, Northern Territory
  • Kakadu and Litchfield National Parks, Northern Territory
  • Lake Eyre, South Australia
  • The Blue Mountains, New South Wales
  • Lawn Hill Gorge, Queensland
  • The Great Ocean Road, Victoria
  1. What to pack

A packing list is essential for a successful trip. Key items that you will need are: first aid kits, maps and navigational devices, clothes, and accessories suitable for any weather, storage containers and boxes, food and drinks, toiletries, camping gear and equipment, tools, safety equipment, technological devices, cameras, phones, and board games just in case.

It’s going to be challenging to pack your ‘whole life’ with you, so be mindful of how much luggage you bring on your trip. Don’t stress too much if you forget something. You will pass countless supermarkets, department stores and local shops along the way.

  1. Preparing for an emergency

Emergencies can occur at any time on the road; therefore, packing the right tools and supplies will ensure you can proceed with your trip.  Safeguard yourself from unexpected events by organising the following:

  • Breakdown cover
  • Emergency money funds
  • Emergency plan and fire plan
  • Insurance
  • Security and surveillance
  1. Unexpected turn of events

There will be occasions where things don’t go to plan on the road, and that is expected on a mammoth journey. It is fantastic to have a day-to-day itinerary, but also be prepared if something unexpected happens.

Here are some things that might not go to plan when you are on the road:

  • The weather
  • Traffic and travel delays
  • Closures of sites, attractions, national parks, and landmarks
  • Injuries and health issues
  • Food poisoning or sickness
  1. You can travel with pets

A trip around Australia is not complete without a man’s best friend. Bringing your furry friend is fantastic for the company. We also know that they will be very excited to experience new locations and atmospheres. However, there is a small limitation when you bring pets.

Although many camping grounds and caravan parks are pet friendly, there are animal restrictions with visiting national parks. Make sure to investigate pet restrictions in your research of where to visit.

  1. Make the most out of the experience!

You will be amazed by the diverse scenery you will see. From beaches and the outback to abundant rainforests and waterholes, Australia is truly a country of many landscapes and backdrops.

A traveller’s dream is to wake up with the sunrise and clock off to the sound of the ocean. However, you need to be prepared that some of your time will be spent on secluded parking lots, highway pull-outs and city streets. To ensure you find killer camp spots, do a lot of research beforehand.

There is no right or wrong way to complete the big lap. The only rule is to enjoy yourself and make the most out of each experience. So, what are you waiting for? Start planning now and make it your reality.