The Lap of Australia; everything you need to know

The lap of Australia has long been considered the Australian dream, and results in one of the biggest adventures you’ll ever go on. Historically it was primarily done by grey nomads, but today there are more families, couples and solo adventurers on the road than you can poke a stick at, and we recently joined the club.

In this post, we cover everything that we’ve learnt and picked up over the years, to make your planning a lap of Australia easier, more straight forward and enjoyable!

Camping with family
What do you need to know for a lap of Australia?

What is the big lap of Australia?

Let’s start at the beginning; the big lap is generally considered as driving your way around Australia (or a big chunk of it), over a long period of time. Some people do 3 months, others do 6 months, and then you get those that have been doing it for 5 years and hardly scratched one side of the country.

You can do it by hopping from accommodation to accommodation, or in a swag, tent, camper trailer, hybrid camper, caravan, motorhome, bus or anything in between. Some people do it as a change of lifestyle, others do it as a retirement gift and then there are people who just want a long holiday!

The below posts go into everything you need to know, along with what’s on the homepage!

Where have we been?

This map shows you every place we’ve camped at in Australia, and the icons link to blog posts we’ve written about each area:

We’re going on the big lap. Why, When and How

Some time ago now, we announced that the big lap of Australia was happening for us too. In this big post, we share everything that has led up the lap, what we’re going in, how long we are going for, our rough plans and heaps more.

We're going on the big lap

What does it cost to travel Australia?

There’s no doubt that you need a chunk of money to travel Australia. How much? That depends on a huge range of factors, but in this post we share what we’ve spent on previous trips, the rough average and we’ll keep updating this as time goes on.

Camping at Barn Hill

Do you really need a 4WD to travel Australia?

There’s no doubt that travelling in a 4WD has a number of huge benefits. The thing is though, do you really need one to travel Australia? In this post we look at the pro’s and con’s, and let you make the final decision.

Gravel driving

Lap of Australia Itinerary

If you’re not sure where you should travel on your lap of Australia, we’ve started a Lap of Australia Itinerary that we are updating every couple of days with all of the amazing places we’ve been to!

Lap of Australia Itinerary

The Lap of Australia is harder than it looks

There’s a lot of amazing photos and videos shared online of people doing a Lap of Australia, and whilst some of it is very accurate, a lot of it is not, and the lap of Australia is often a lot harder than it looks. Before you head off, here’s a completely honest account of what you might be in for.

Cooper with a bandaged knee

100 days on the road; costs, experiences and more

We’ve decided to do 100 day updates, covering our expenses, number of days in different types of camps, how things are going and more, and this is the first of many to come. If you are keen on real life costs and plenty more, have a read.

Camped at Point Brown

200 days on the road; what’s it cost us?

There’s no denying that travelling Australia can be expensive, but how much? Continuing on from our post above, we’ve kept a record of every cost over the last 200 days of travelling around Australia for you to have a look at. I reckon we’re doing pretty well!

Cold morning at Frys Flat

300 days on the road; what’s it cost us?

Yep, we’ve been on the road for 300 days, and have again updated our total spending. This one hurt our hip pockets a bit!

Leaving Blencoe Falls

Cost to travel Australia for 400 days

Here’s our 4th update for costs, travelling around Australia in an Isuzu Dmax 4WD and Hybrid Camper.

Walking to Buderim Falls

A summary of 4 months in South Australia

After 4 amazing months in South Australia, we’ve crossed the border into Victoria and are exploring a whole new world of unknown. If you want to know what our 4 months in South Australia was like, here’s a summary post.

Innes National Park

How to save money to travel Australia

It takes a lot of commitment and money to travel Australia, and in this post we dive into how hard, and how long we worked to be in a position to travel Australia, with a heap of tips to help you squirrel away the much needed money for a lap.

Coral Bay Restaurants

Ways to make money when travelling Australia

There’s a lot of people making money when they travel around Australia, and no, not all of them are trying to recruit you to sell things. In this accurate, blunt and unbiased post we cover the different methods that you can legitimately use to make money when travelling around Australia.

Whyalla Steelworks

What’s gone wrong on our Lap of Australia?

Life on the road isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. Things go wrong, and I’ve been making a bit of a list to share with you. What you’ll often see on social media is the good parts, and everyone forgets to share how things go terribly wrong, but this post dives into our issues thus far.

I cracked our rear bumper

Ways to save money travelling Australia

We’re big into keeping as much money in our pocket as possible when travelling Australia, and have a heap of suggestions, and ways that you can use to reduce your cost to travel Australia.

Our camp site at the Plantation Campground

Do we regret not buying a caravan for a lap of Australia?

After 5 months on the road, are we regretting not selling our Hybrid Camper and getting a Caravan? There’s lot’s of pro’s and con’s to both setups, but we’re firmly in one side of the court, for a heap of different reasons. Want to know if we regret it? Find out here.

Living out of our Reconn R2

The ultimate guide to using a caravan or camper trailer

There’s a lot to learn about using a Caravan or Camper Trailer, and to make things easy and simple we’ve compiled the ultimate guide that looks at everything from towing mirrors to weights, where to get water on the road from, emptying grey water, using a portable toilet and heaps more.

Using a caravan

How to take your boat when travelling Australia

We’ve got some of the best coastline in the world, and having a boat allows access to places many would only dream of. If you are keen on taking your boat with you, here’s your options.

Boat trailer on the 4WD

The ultimate guide to free camping

As technology has improved, there’s been a huge shift of people camping away from caravan parks. Today, it can be done in absolute luxury if you so desire, and in this post we cover everything you need to know and have to make camping off grid possible, and enjoyable.

Free camping in the Pilbara

Do you really need a caravan to do a lap of Australia?

One of the most popular ways to travel Australia is in a Caravan. Do you really need one though? In this post we look at the alternatives, and how a lot of different people travel. The answer is simple; you don’t need one, but that’s not to say they aren’t a good option for you.

Fifth wheeler

What’s the ideal fuel range for travelling Australia?

Australia is a big place. Whilst you’ll get away with a factory fuel tank and some jerry cans, its nice to have an ideal fuel range to allow you to skip expensive, small fuel stations and ensure you don’t run out. What’s the ideal fuel range? That depends on what you do, but this post dives into it all in detail.

Jerry cans

The hidden side of long term travel

There’s no doubt that the big lap of Australia is shown off on social media as being perfect every day, with amazing experiences all the time and little going wrong. The reality couldn’t be further from the truth, and in this post we look at the hidden side of long term travel that most people don’t like to talk about.

Free Camping at Chiefs Creek

Travelling Australia; weight and size vs accessibility

If you want to take off on a lap of Australia, you’ll have to pick the type of travel setup you head off in, and there’s a compromise either way. You won’t get the luxuries of a van in a light weight and compact setup. How does weight and size affect what you can do, and the places you can go? Find out in this post.

Iveco Daily 4WD

Can you live full time in a Hybrid Camper?

Hybrid Campers have exploded in popularity over the last few years, and for good reason. They do a pretty good job of a caravan at a lighter and smaller weight (mostly). Can you live in one full time though? In this post we take a look at the pro’s and con’s, and what you should be aware of.

Reconn R2 at Coppins

How to run 240V appliances when camping

If you want to run 240V appliances when you are off grid, there’s a heap of different ways to do so. In this post, we look at your options, and what you need to have in order to do it. You don’t need much to run a basic set of appliances, but if you want to run heavy power consuming appliances things get more difficult and expensive.

2000W inverter

Snakes in Australia

If you’re extremely worried about seeing or getting bitten by a snake in Australia, you shouldn’t be. Having grown up here, doing a snake relocation course and handling plenty of dangerous snakes I want to share my perspective, and explain why you should be cautious but not paranoid.

Snakes in Australia

Check the wind when travelling Australia

If you’re going to travel Australia, you better get familiar with checking the wind forecast, particularly if you are heading to the coast. If you don’t, you can be in for a very uncomfortable stay. Trust us; we’ve been there.

Weather at Red Cliff Beach

Expect bad weather when travelling Australia

Australia has some amazing weather, and it has some shocking weather. No matter how well you time it, you will run into bad weather on your lap of Australia, and you need to be prepared for it.

Rain at Lake Proserpine

Our Big Lap of Australia is on hold

After nearly a year on the road, its come to an abrupt halt with our Isuzu Dmax needing to go in for some fairly substantial panel replacements due to extensive cracking in the inner guards. This is everything we’d hoped to avoid, but its worked out better than we could have hoped for.

Cracked inner guard on the Dmax

Servicing your vehicle on a lap of Australia

Using unfamiliar mechanics when you travel around Australia isn’t a comfortable feeling for many, but there’s a number of ways you can look after your vehicle. We’ve gone down a particular path that we are quite happy with so far, but time will tell!

Inner guards on the Dmax

Challenges of life on the road

Life on the road travelling Australia has its challenges, that’s for sure. Want to know what makes life difficult and frustrating for us? You’ll find out here.

Shopping at Tom Price

Lap of Australia benefits

There’s a heap of benefits that come from travelling this big brown land called Australia. We wouldn’t change it for the world, and some of these you won’t even realise until you head off.

Alau Beach Sunset

Travelling Australia full time vs holidays

There’s a big difference between living on the road full time (or for an extended period), and travelling parts of Australia when you are on holidays, and if you travel long term like you’re on holidays you’ll probably regret it.

Dinner at the pub near Waterloo

Wide loads and Road Trains

We’ve got some monster road trains and wide loads in Australia, and meeting one coming the other way for the first time can be quite perturbing. In this post, we look at what you need to do to stay safe, look after others on the road and be a courteous driver.

A big Road train on the bridge

Travelling Australia; what do we miss?

Inevitably, when you pack everything up and move into a tiny metal box with your family, there’s going to be things you miss. Here’s what we miss on our travels:

Catching up with family

How long does it take to settle into a Lap of Australia?

If you take off on a Lap of Australia and expect everything to fall into place, and a perfect rhythm straight away you’re dreaming. Here’s how long it could take to really settle in.

Tokens being handed out

You’re so lucky to travel Australia

We get comments all the time saying how lucky we are to travel Australia, and its annoying. It’s not luck, and here’s why.

Dmax and camper in the Crooked River

What did we take on our lap that we didn’t need?

I guarantee that you’ll pack items for your lap of Australia that you will never, or hardly ever use. Here’s what we’ve lugged around for no real benefit.

Portable fire pit

Should you take kids bikes around Australia?

Kids bikes can be a heap of entertainment, or a whole lot of extra weight and space. Should you take them? Here’s our experiences.

Our kids loved riding around here

How often do we shop for food?

Shopping for food is a part of the lap of Australia, and whilst we avoid going to shops any more often than we need to, its still inevitable. Here’s how often we go, and why.

Shopping for Cape York

Caravan hate on the road

Caravan owners get a lot of hate on the road, and whilst some of it is unjustified, a lot of it is caused by poor driving habits. Here’s what you need to know.

Jeep Gladiator Towing

Kalgoorlie School of the Air; our thoughts after 12 months

After schooling two of our kids through KSOTA for more than 12 months, here’s our thoughts on what they’re like.

Learning material for Kalgoorlie School of the Air

How to deal with busy places when travelling Australia

Australia has some hugely popular and busy places, and if you don’t get it right it can hurt your travel plans pretty bad. Here’s how to deal with busy places and times.

Tropic Breeze is quite picturesque

You’re in my camp site, mate

If you arrived at a camp site to find someone in your spot, what would you do? We’ve had this happen a few times now, and how we dealt with it.

Our camp site at Mann River Campground

Diminishing returns for camping and 4WD setups

You can spend an absolute fortune on camping and 4WD setups, and a lot of people are doing just that. Does the extra cost really pay off though? Here’s our thoughts.

Expensive 4WD truck

We’re heading home; our lap of Australia is coming to an end

After a year and a half on the road, we’ve decided to head home. Here’s when, and why.

Mid walk with our family

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