IMG_8492, Port Augustus, SAust caption

Thinking of a road trip?

There are around 2,620 holiday parks around Australia, and coupled with great weather it’s no wonder that people love to camp and caravan. It’s a fabulous way to get out and see the country if you’d like to discover places at grass roots level, so to speak.

And Western Australia is a jewel for a road trip.

The roads aren’t as busy as over East for a start and with a natural geography that’s ancient and breathtaking WA is a favourite destination for caravan-equipped adventurers. You’ll find on the road young families, retirees, and thrill-seekers from all over the globe.

Much of the population of Western Australia resides on the western edge, leaving the rest of the large landmass mostly wild and unoccupied but if you’re looking to experience WA in its most raw and natural state, a caravan trip to the northern Kimberley region would probably be your best bet.

western australia by caravan
Red earth and huge open spaces encapsulate the outback  and the magical Kimberley region in north Western Australia an area which attracts campers, adventure tour companies and caravanners.

Known as one of the last great wilderness areas of the world, The Kimberley region is gorgeous but for the unprepared there is an element of danger in its remoteness.

You might also like: Why you should escape to The Kimberley in West Australia

For a 2-3 week road trip, and lots of great destination ideas, check out this post The Best Western Australia Road Trip Itinerary by Amy from Two Drifters.

Going on a Road Trip with a caravan?

Don’t Forget These 5 Must-Haves!

1. Spare Tyres

Traversing the rugged terrain in the Western Australian wilderness is not always easy. You’ll likely cross through rough desert plains, rocky roads, trickling streams, and fields of grass during your journey.

Tyres take the brunt of the pain. Because they are the only part of your vehicle that comes in contact with the ground, every movement begins to wear them down that little bit more. For regular use in your caravan though, general wear and tear is going to be normal – that’s not to say you shouldn’t have a few spares for backup though.

What you need to prepare for is a flat tyre that could leave you stranded in the middle of nowhere. Always carry a spare tyre at all times. Ideally, you should have a couple on board. This simple preparation can keep you and your travel partners out of some very frustrating situations.

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Bilyuin Pool by Jill Harrison from Life Images by Jill

2. Extra Fuel

The northern part of Western Australia is a vast landscape covered by plains, mountains, plateaus, and valleys. Getting around to seeing all sights will take a lot of time. One of the worst things that could happen is getting stranded out in the wild because you’ve run out of fuel. It’s absolutely crucial you’re well prepared for your trip – even if you don’t think you’re going to be traveling for long.

Your caravan should be stocked with plenty of backup fuel. It’s better to bring more than you think you would need in preparation for an emergency situation.

3. First Aid Kits, Fire Extinguishers, and Other Emergency Items

Speaking of preparing for the worst, emergency items are a definite must-have for any serious outdoor adventure.

When you know that you’ll be spending time in very remote and hazardous places, it’s best to bring along a sizable number of survival supplies. Firstly, a first aid kit should always find its way into your backpack. Even when you leave the caravan to do some sightseeing on foot, make sure to bring along a first aid kit which contains all the essential tools to patch up and disinfect wounds.

Next, ensure that you have a fire extinguisher in the vehicle. You never know when a fire could spark up. With people using electric appliances more frequently today the risk for fires is now higher than ever.

Other emergency items include flashlights, rope, a survival knife, non-perishable food and water, fluid containers, extra clothing and blankets, fire starting tools and more.

It might be impossible to prepare for every situation, but having more resources on hand will always give you a greater chance of making it out alive.

4. Durable Footwear

On a trip up north, most caravanners would prefer not to stare at the inside of a vehicle all day.

When possible exploring the amazing scenery on foot is usually the best way to make the most of the experience. Just stepping outside and breathing the fresh air, or standing on new ground far from the madding crowd, can make you feel really special.

More adventurous types might prefer to take long hikes into uncharted territory, so if you’re included amongst those ranks, remember to wear heavy-duty boots for maximum protection.

The scenery might be beautiful, but the land itself could be very rugged and harsh. You’ll want to minimise your risk of getting sprains, scratches, bites, and any other injuries while you’re out there because help could be a long way off.

5. Electric Hook-Up Cables

Many popular campsites provide caravanners with electricity. To make use of it, however, you must supply your own hook-up cables to connect to the hook-up points. Having electricity supplied is a major convenience, as it will power most of your on board appliances without draining your battery and fuel.

Access to electricity is also very useful during an emergency as you’d be able to call for help, charge mobile phones and laptops, etc.

When shopping for a cable, go for the longest one that you can find. More length gives you more flexibility when you might desperately need it.

Great Places to Visit in Western Australia

Australia’s northwest region is full of natural wonders for you to explore. You could start your adventure in Broome, a top tourist city known for gorgeous Cable Beach and the Staircase of the Moon  phenomenon. While in town, you can indulge in different local cuisine, do some shopping, and get pampered at one of the fine resorts or hotels.

You might also like: Top 15 Amazing things to do in Broome

western australia by caravan, cable Beach Broome, western australia
Cable Beach in Broome

Broome though, is just the beginning. The Kimberley offers other attractions including the GyornGyorn Paintings, the Gibb River Road, the Bungle Bungle Range, the Horizontal Waterfall, Karijini National Park, and so much more. Visiting any one of these sites would surely be a rare experience to remember.

You might also like: 3 Awesome gorges in The Kimberley

western australia by caravan, Kimberley Outback Australia, western australia
Emma Gorge has a waterfall that drops 30 metres.

Fantastic Storage Solutions for Your Caravan

Not all of us have the luxury of a huge caravan with adequate storage, and when you’re armed with the essential goodies they can take up a lot of much needed space.

Here are a 3 space saving storage solutions to consider when packing for you trip.

1. Use broom holders to store your flashlights: Flashlights will be your best friend whilst caravanning so it’s essential you have them stored in an easy-to-find spot. Bolting broom holders to the inside of your door can be the perfect space saving and ensure your flashlights are right where you need them.

2. Install hooks on the side of shelving: Chances are your caravan will have built in shelves. Make better use of this space by adding a few hooks to the side when you can hang any emergency items or kitchen and cooking utensils to better utilise the space.

3. Hang organisers off the back of the front car seats: For those items you’re going to want to find quickly, store them on the back of the car seats in an organiser. This can be ideal for maps, mobile phone, water and first aid kit for quick access.

Author Bio

This post was written by Jayde Ferguson, who writes for Skeeters Online – Australia’s online warehouse with the highest quality products including essential caravan cables for your next trip. You can catch Jayde on Google+.

If you’re looking for more great travel reads around the web: Travel Photo Mondays and Travel Photo Thursday

So ZigaZagers – who’s for a caravan trip then – or have you done one – where?

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  1. some great caravan tips and thank you for featuring some of my pics!
    There are so many options for caravan selection these days, but there are also standard must haves too especially if you are going to go off the beaten track. And don’t forget to wear a hat and carry water when you are out walking in the Aussie outback or bush.

  2. I think the options would be mind boggling, Jill. I’d probably end up taking the car and a tent 😉 As you say the basics are the most essential – a caravan, a spare tyre, extra petrol are essential but once you’re out in the bush the must-haves of hat, water and suntan cream are not to be forgotten. Thanks again for supplying some fab photos.

  3. I agree entirely that Western Australia is a must see destination for caravan travellers. Having just returned from this wonderful state, I was blown away by its beauty. The caravan tips were also extremely helpful.

  4. I was following your caravanning adventure eagerly Kathy – so glad you enjoyed our lovely state.

  5. We travelled in a Nissan E20 Campervan from Perth to Townsville over the top 35 years ago and will one day soon return in a caravan. We purchased a caravan a few years back just to see if we would like one. We decided yes but sold that one and currently are looking for the perfect one. We have a 2 tonne towing weight to consider so it cannot be too big. So you might see me over there one day Jo. Great tips Jayde.

  6. Sounds like a great trip Jan! Thanks for the feedback and hope the tips in the article help you out for your next adventure 🙂

  7. Can’t wait Jan! Have fun looking for the perfect van, can’t wait to see what you come up with.

  8. We travelled Australia with our van in 2001, fantastic experience. We loved the south west of WA, only got as far north as Perth before we had to turn around and head back home after 6 months on the road. One of these days we will get back and do the top end – which looks sensational from these pics!

  9. Wow, I didn’t know you did a 6 month road trip back then Janet. Definitely time for another and a trip to the north of WA.

  10. Good tips for another way to be a tourist in Australia. RV touring is popular in the U.S., too, especially in the western part of the country with its bevy of scenic national parks.

  11. Thanks for these great tips. As a foreigner visiting Australia, the remoteness of some places can be a bit intimidating, but looking at photos like the Broome beach and that red earth road make me want to visit. I’ve heard that some new cars in America are now being sold without spare tyres, just inflation kits. That wouldn’t work on a Western Australia road trip.

  12. What a comprehensive look at camping equipment and tips for making the trip more enjoyable. Should I find myself with an opportunity to camp in Australia sometime, I will certainly refer to this post!

  13. That’s interesting Michele. No, our outback requires a spare tyre. Thanks for popping by.

  14. Would love to visit and RV tour around your lovely national parks in the West too, Dick.

  15. Bernadette

    Great tips! We plan to buy a caravan next year and take off with “The Grey Nomads” around Australia. No time is set as we will be retiring and setting off for as long as we like.
    Rent the house out and look for our final destination to live out our retirement. Looking forward to it!
    Your tips are so helpful and we hope you post more tips in the future.
    Thank you

  16. If I wereonly the least bit interested in caravanning, I would find this a really useful article. Even as a ‘non-caravanner’, I had to admit there were some very interesting and innovative ideas presented to us.
    However, I’m waiting for the article on 5 tips to get the most out of luxury accommodation, fine restaurants and general pampering – and madly saving so that it could become a reality to have this kind of holiday!

  17. Righto-Denise, point taken! In fact I think an article about 5 star luxury should be next on the list 😉 Thanks for your comments 🙂

  18. Thanks Bernadette! It’s great to hear that you are excited about the next stage in your life and having an adventure to find a dream retirement spot. Can’t wait to hear about your travels and where you end up. Please keep commenting and letting us know won’t you?

  19. Back in 1980 I traveled around Australia for a month. I loved it, expect for that red dust. I think it took 6 months to get it washed out of my clothes 🙂

  20. Oh the ubiquitous red dust! Yes, Nancie it’s like small feathers … a reminder in your pockets of times past!

  21. Thanks for the post Jo and Jayde. There are some terrific tips to keep close at hand for our next road trip adventure.

  22. Thanks Wanda – hope your next adventure is just around the corner.

  23. Tanmay Kapoor

    Amazing post Jo and Jade.We are eager to follow your style of adventure on road trip.
    Thanks a ton…

  24. Love that red dirt track photo – that dust can get into every nook and cranny! Broome is a favourite of mine and now that we have a 4WD any future W.A. trips will encompass more off-bitumen-road experiences. We hand hooks inside our caravan cupboards for the individual keys that new caravans come with. Everything has an individual lock. We have tagged each one with what it is and having them hanging individually instead of fossicking around to find the correct one is very time and sanity saving. We also find that the compartmentalised carrying bags that you get from target (when you buy glasses) or the bottelo when buying multiple bottles of wine (who does that!) make perfect storage containers for glasses in the drawers in our van.

  25. Alex Hawkins

    Great advice Johanna! My partner and I quit our jobs and are 2 years still travelling!
    How great are WA road trips.
    If you’ve got a couple minutes I’ve got a video traveling across The Kimberley to Cairns, alot of footage from the Gibb!

    Hope you like!

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