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Please help with campervan trip...

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posts: 38
reviews: 1
Please help with campervan trip...


I'm planning a trip for my better half and I in April next year. We'll be going from Peth to Kalbarri and maybe going as far as Carnarvon.

Due to limited time the plan at the moment is to rent a campervan for 4 or 5 nights and stop off at a few places on the way.

Can anyone tell me the names of a good rental company? Likewise if anyone has had a bad experience with a partcular company I'd apprecaite the warning!

I have one small problem with the trip at the moment.... my Mother-in-law! Because she is conviced that it such a dangerous trip to do (with all the creatures and mad men on the loose!) my partner is having doubts.

I'd really apprecaite some first hand knowledge or some advice on the trip we are going to undertake. Just anything really that will help me convince him it is a good thing to do!!!

Thanks for your help!

rural West Aussie
Destination Expert
for Perth
posts: 15,836
reviews: 52
1. Re: Please help with campervan trip...

As long as you don't drive like an idiot you'll be fine. We drove to Broome five years ago when our daughter was still a learner driver, and she drove for hours at a time without incident. Avoid driving at at dawn or dusk if you can as this is prime time for kangaroos and other wildlife to be on the move, and minimise night time driving for the same reasons. Keep to the speed limit (max 110kph) or less, keep your eyes peeled for critters who may have strayed onto the road (few and far between). If the land around the road is cleared farmland (which is most of it) you won't see much other than sheep.

I've lived in the country for over 20 years, drive regularly 100km or more late at night, and have yet to hit anything, though I will admit to a couple of near misses :-). My husband works shifts that involve night driving for hours at a time from Northam to Southern Cross and Northam to Dongara and he hasn't hit anything either.

Mad men you find everywhere in the world, even Great Britain.

Bottom line: take care and you'll be fine.

Down Under
posts: 610
reviews: 6
2. Re: Please help with campervan trip...

LMAO at the mother-in -law. whatever you do, don't watch the movie Wolf Creek before you go!!

Have a great time, where not a bad bunch in the west.

Auckland, New...
posts: 143
reviews: 11
3. Re: Please help with campervan trip...

Hi there, we have just done a campervan trip in July and travelled the South West corner for 8 nights. We picked up a campervan from Campertravel( www.campertravel.com.au) whose depot is at Redcliffe, Perth, and just down the road from the international airport. We stayed the night at Sanno Marracoonda motel who picked us up from the airport then ran us down to the Camper hire place the next morning which is on the same road (471 Great Eastern Highway) as the motel. We booked over the Internet and they were excellent. When we picked up the camper- a Backpacker Wanderer 2 berth with shower and toilet, they discovered the window had a leak so upgraded us to a Maui which was exactly the same lay-out. We loved the van and it had heaps of room for the two of us and the toilet and shower were excellent. The depot is open Mon-Sun 8:00am-4pm. You can hire extra equipment when you collect the van but it is very well equipped and they gave us extra blankets in case it was cold. It had a safe in the van too. We absolutely loved our trip and ahd no problems whatsoever. In fact the locals bent over backwards to be helpful and friendly. We drove over 2300km and saw no mad men! We did see a lot of kangaroos which you do have to be careful of when driving early evening and more particularly early morning. However we enjoyed getting into our camp for the evening by about 4pm. We stayed in a variety of places, some free camps and always felt safe as long as you are sensible. Their camping grounds are great and we also stayed in National parks. Also there are some overnight roadside stops too. Get a good set of maps because they don't supply them with the campervan and go into the Information centres on arrival at stops.

There are heaps of other travellers on the road and it is fun meeting up with others along the way. Tell your mother-in -law not to worry the Aussies are great! Do go, you will love it.

Hope this info helps.



Perth, Australia
posts: 1,987
reviews: 29
4. Re: Please help with campervan trip...


I live in Perth and travel throughout the northwest on a regular basis. First The roads aren't to bad, ref other reviews dont drive at night, dawn or dusk. I lived and drove in the UK and WA is huge! ie its over 800kms fromPerth to Carnarvon. Unless you have a particular reason for going to those places I would avoid them and head straight to Coral Bay or Monkey Mia, a truly peaeful place. Carnarvon is not a "tourist" destination in my opinion. Stay at the monkey mia resort - it has dolphins etc come up to the beach ever morning. Coral Bay has great diving, snorkelling and beaches - the reef up there is better and more accesable than the Barrier Reef. (Thats a fact backed up by UNESCO).

Regards all the stories about crazy peaple, animals etc..... what can i say. I drive the roads every 6 weeks and have been doing so for 5years. I have also camped out in the open - no tents- in the national parks. Just use common sense and dont go off the beaten track because your most likely to get bogged in sand.

With the limited time you have i would seriously think about flying to monkey mia and hiring a car and staying at the resort. Checkout www.skywest.com.au for flights and packages.

I know all the advice you can get at this site is confusing at times, but remeber a place is about the experience. Its not like England!! We are good at cricket!!!!!!!!!!! (sorry), couldnt resist.)


posts: 38
reviews: 1
5. Re: Please help with campervan trip...

thanks everyone for the help and advice!!

posts: 1,755
6. Re: Please help with campervan trip...

johnnyloveslaura, the previous advice (plural) is all good.Perth to Kalbarri is good, but C'von is about 902 or so kms from Perth and not much to see on the way. Coral Bay is even further.

Have you considered seeing the South West...Bunbury,Bussleton, Margaret River, Dunsborough, Augusta and maybe on to Albany. There is SO much to see and do and not so far between towns.

Tell your M in L that she has no need to worry, even though some of us have ancestors who the English sent over here for petty misdemeanors,so if we are "mad men" , we have inherited it from the Brits. Seriously, tho you will find us generally a happy lot who will make you welcome...we seem to have the same kind of sense of humour.Come and enjoy, bring M in L with you . lennyb

posts: 38
reviews: 1
7. Re: Please help with campervan trip...

Hi Lennyb

I had originally thought about going to Margaret River, Albany etc, but I was a bit worried about the weather (ha! Typical Brit I know!).

As we will be doing out little trip early to mid April I thought we may get better weather going North from Perth rather than South (April is the start of autumn right??).

I am a beach girl at heart and am dying to go to a deserted beach and swim in the sea in warm weather, something us Brits can only dream of doing at home in the freezing North Sea!!! I was really drawn to the long, lonely and deserted drive North along the coast. I am a bit of a romantic and I love the idea of driving on the open road for miles just me and Him without seeing another living soul! Trust me if you know of where I live you would realise why - houses, people cars.... argh!!!!!

As for the mother-in-law, she is coming with us to Perth, we will be visiting our newly emigrated family when we come over. If she mentions mad-men again I shall relay your comments (LOL!)!!

I will also endeavour to keep EVERYONE away from the movie "wolf creek", well maybe until after we get back!!

Thanks again


Uden, The...
Destination Expert
for Road Trips
posts: 51,307
reviews: 42
8. Re: Please help with campervan trip...

Also don't see the movie: The Hills Have Eyes-lol-

Afa traffic concerns, imo outback starts after Geraldton and even more past the exit to Shark Bay. In only 4-5 days I would drive to Kalbarri and stay here for a couple of days. Great surroundings, lovely beaches and even limited snorkeling. Best beaches you can find in Coral Bay, one of our top 10 destinations in the world. You could fly from Perth to Exmouth and rent a car here. Cape Range NP near Exmouth also is amazing and Ningaloo Reef is out of this world but it means 2 full days of driving from Perth one way with a campervan. We also have been to Shark Bay (awesome) and Carnarvon. Beach life is undeveloped here but is has great potential. Carnarvon city council is not very active imho.


posts: 1,755
9. Re: Please help with campervan trip...

Laura, the weather in April is usually pretty good, we like to have had some rain but don't usually get much/any.

Get yourself a good map of W.A showing some detail and plot out your journey north. The main highway to G'ton does not pass too close to the Indian Ocean, but you can detour towards the coast and go up the West Coast H'way ( only a suburban road ) to Quin's Rock and on to Yanchep and Two Rocks ( very northern suburbs of Perth )

I've never been on this route but the map shows it as pretty close to the coast. You can then go inland a bit, on a minor road , and continue north to Lancelin., a seaside town. From there I think you'd have to head inland again and get onto the Brand H'way...You can follow that to Geraldton and see a bit of ocean as you near G'ton ,or go back to the coast at Cervantes and then head north on the Indian Ocean Drive to Jurien Bay,Green Head ,Leeman and Dongara. Then on to G'ton.See if your local Library has a book " Roads and Tracts of W.A."and fotocopy a few pages.

I suspect the route suggested would take at least a full day as I'm sure there would be a lot of stopping and looking ( and perhaps a dipping into the ocean of a toe or two or more ).

From G'ton to Kalbarri can be done on the inland Nth West Coastal H'way, ( really not too near the coast ) or once you get to Northampton you can head back out towards the ocean to Port Gregory and up the coast to Kalbarri.

That's two days already ...so a full day (day 3 ) in and around Kalbarri and day four and five heading back to perth, maybe by the real inland route, ( farming country ) through Mullewa, Three Springs, Moora, New Norcia, N.N being a heritage listed town, originally settled by the Spanish Monks, Benidictine's I think, and now run by them...they produce olive oil, make the best bread, bit. and have a fascinating collection of masterpieces / art. Google it and see if you get something.

Anyway Have I whetted your appetite a bit.? In what area have your rellies settled?


10. Re: Please help with campervan trip...

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