It’s the dream of many Australians, but often it takes some guts to say: “Now is the time.” Time, that is, to drop out of the rat race for a while, take three to six months off and drive around Australia. Cut yourself free.
And freedom is the most important word here. Freedom to jump in your vehicle (be it a family sedan, 4WD, campervan, caravan, Ute or the famed but slightly overrated Kombie), head where you want to head, stop where you want to stop, spend extra days at places you like, skip right by places that disappoint, and generally do what you want to do every day.
“If you can find the time, it’s almost un-Australian not to have the Big Lap on your list of things to do in your lifetime.”
– George Negus
While this list of 100 Things will help you plan the trip in detail, many wait to join the Grey Nomads and drive around Australia after they’ve retired. But employers are becoming much more aware of employee burnout, and are far more likely to entertain your “I want six months off without pay” request. Don’t wait another minute; call your boss today. And don’t forget to add AT to your postcard list. We want to hear all about it.
Did you know?
There’s a new caravan built in Australia every 14 minutes. According to 60 Minutes, there are more than 325,000 caravans, motor homes and camper trailers currently registered. And, at any one time, more than 80,000 of them are on the Big Lap– driving around Australia.
Aussies 55 and over make up the majority of these travellers, and they’re busy spending their children’s inheritances to the tune of $10 billion per annum. Many prefer the phrase Sun Downers to Grey Nomads.
How to get there
The big decision is which way to go around Australia. One of Australian Traveller’s contributors claims that if you go anti-clockwise, the route is 900 kilometers shorter.
Best time to go
Timing your Big Lap is an important consideration. Avoid the wet season in the Kimberly (November to February), and avoid the really cold weather in Tasmania during the winter.
A site designed specifically to help people who are planning to travel around Australia.
Australia’s largest caravanning directory site. The forums and destinations sections of this site are a goldmine of information – and you don’t have to be grey or a nomad to log in!
Tropical North Queensland drive site (which takes in 15 of the 100 things to do before you die!).
Search under campervans or caravans and you’ll be inundated with ideas for websites, hiring, buying, fitting out, etc.
** This is our original 100 Things to Do Before You Die. First published in 1996. There is an updated 100 Things To Do In Australia Before you die, published in 2011.