If you are planning a campervan holiday in the Top End of the Northern Territory and exploring more remote locations, here are some tips from our experience on the road. Much of this applies to travel any way in remote Australia. If you have ideas and tips you’d like to share, please send them into firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Walk round and thoroughly check your Campervan rental before you leave the branch. Take photos of any existing external scratches or damage. Check inside that everything is working. Your campervan supplier will be helpful and will work with you on this but photos are the easiest and clearest way to document and record
- If your Campervan comes with a TV you may need to use the auto-tune feature when you move between locations to pick up digital signals. In the Top End these appeared to change between Darwin, Jabiru, Katherine and Batchelor
- If your campervan has a toilet cartridge you will find sewage dump points close to most caravan parks
- Whilst you’ll find Supermarkets in most locations stock up with food before leaving Darwin – cheaper and easier
- Purchase multi-packs of water bottles and keep the Campervan’s fridge well stocked with them for daily excursions
- Tap water at campgrounds may be unsuitable for drinking water – best to use your own
- Fuel in the Top End is expensive – that is a fact. Top up whenever you can and expect to pay up to $0.40 more per litre in remote locations. Cheapest location we found was the BP in Katherine, cheaper than even Darwin
- You’ll get mobile phone reception near most locations but on highways such as the central stretch of the Kakadu Highway between Jabiru and Pine Creek this will drop out
- Avoid driving at night or sunrise and sunset when animals are at their most active and more likely to stray on the road
- Never take your Campervan off sealed roads other than short distances (sub 5kms) to designated campervan parks. To do so will void all your insurance cover and make you liable for the cost of any damage. This rules out Jim Jim Falls and twin Falls.
- Road Trains – for those new to Outback roads, Road Trains are trucks with multiple trailers up to 53 metres (174 feet) long and are a common site on Northern Territory highways
- Observe the warning signs about not lingering around water holes or fishing – crocodiles may be present and you don’t want to become lunch