ROAD trips in Australia. It’s the new black for tourism Down Under where caravanning, campervanning, cabin stays and camping is booming. In fact, the industry has always conquered any economic challenges. It’s an affordable, fun and down-to-earth way to experience this great country.
DriveNow’s CEO Russell Matters is only all too aware of it, claiming the rise in people either grabbing a rental car and heading for a caravan park cabin or the increase in campervan rentals in Australia is surging. “Definitely on the rise,” he said. “It’s an affordable way to have a holiday and I guess the big advantage for people who don’t own a campervan is that they can hire one from DriveNow at a great price and hand it back when they’re finished. It opens up a world of possibilities and we’re noticing some people doing it every year now for that one Australian road trip experience somewhere different. I’ve talked with a few customers who have rented cars after flying interstate and they have headed straight for a cabin in one of the Family Parks venues or Big4 parks.”
“It’s about escapism, getting back to basics and family values,” says Stuart Lamont, CEO of the Caravan Industry Association of Australia. “We’re time poor and this type of holiday experience gives us the opportunity to discover more of our beautiful country and get our hands dirty,” Lamont continued, when I interviewed him for an article in News Limited’s Escape magazine.
So while there’s a will to do a road trip, there are plenty of ways to plan one. That may be through a book, a website, an app or a TV show. Here are 5 resources to help plan your next dream road trip anywhere in – or all around – Australia.
1. NEW BOOK – DRIVING HOLIDAYS AROUND AUSTRALIA BY LEE ATKINSON
Perfect size, spiral bound and 328 pages of goodness thanks to Explore Australia’s latest release which has well travelled writer Lee Atkinson offering up all her pearls of wisdom when it comes to finding a road trip to suit. It has recommendations for eats, stays, sidetracks, maps, driver ratings and so much more. It’s only $39.95 and you can find out details at her website www.leeatkinson.com.au
2. WEBSITE – FAMILY PARKS
The Family Parks crew are building a terrific army of caravan parks on its list all over the country so find out more at www.familyparks.com.au – in fact, they have more than 120 unique destinations throughout Australia and New Zealand. Find out how you can join up as a member for next to nothing to receive great discounts on park stays and with associated partners. Big4.com.au and toptouristparks.com.au are other chains well worth looking into.
3. APP – AUSTRALIAN ROAD TRIPS
Click into the iTunes app store or go the Android option for this beauty that just coasts $4.49. There are loads of itineraries and destinations, including family friendly options to more hardcore 4WD trips. Yep, it’s another Lee Atkinson special. She knows her stuff!
4. MAGAZINE – ESCAPE
Why not plug the country’s biggest travel magazine I contribute to? Okay then. Circulated to 5million+ readers every Sunday in News Ltd publications, there’s always a great road trip story to peruse whether it be Spida Everitt, from The Great Australian Doorstep fame, or my Park Life page that appears once a month suggesting five great caravan parks around the nation to park your campervan or pitch a tent. Found in major metropolitan newspapers around Australia including the Sunday Herald Sun (VIC), Sunday Mail (QLD), Sunday Telegraph (NSW), Sunday Tasmanian (TAS), Sunday Times (WA), The Sunday Mail (SA).
5. TV SHOW – WHAT’S UP DOWNUNDER
There are plenty of road trip TV shows doing the rounds, but this one is excellent and it’s well worth popping into the official website for a humungus amount of resources for road trippers, product specials, videos, and recommended places to stay. Visit www.whatsupdownunder.com.au.