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Your Australia trip planning – How to get started

The best way to start your Australia trip planning is to start. Write a list, make a couple of decisions, get organised, then go! As you tick off each step below, you'll get closer to the trip being a reality. You may even start to imagine being on your trip. And that’s when it gets really exciting...

Off-road in Francois Peron NP

Start a list

Start your Australia trip planning by writing a list of things you need to do to get away. Include things you need to buy (or sell, or rent!). Keep adding things as you think of them, and ticking them off when you do them. You’ll be surprised how many jobs you can do straight away. 

How long will you go for?

Work out how long you can take to do your trip, or at least your best guess. Once you’ve decided this, you’ll find it helps a lot with the rest of your Australia trip planning.

You might find the trip length sort of evolves based on your life commitments. For us, we didn’t want to leave until after our son James’ 3rd birthday. We also wanted to be home in time for Priya (our daughter) to complete some of her first ‘prep’ school year. Essentially this gave us a start date and an end date, with 15 months in-between. That sounded about right to us, and worked out right too.

When will you leave?

If you’re flexible with when you can go, use the Australian weather and seasons to help you best plan when to leave. We live in Brisbane, so we decided to leave in early autumn to head north. This also suited our general timeframe for when we had the urge to go, since it meant we didn’t have to wait six months for suitable weather!

If you don’t have much flexibility with your leaving date, plan your itinerary around the seasons.

The most important thing…once you have worked out when you will leave, stick to it. With all the things to do, it’s easy to let the date slide. Don’t fall into the trap of losing weeks at the start of your trip, only to regret it on the other end. Just go!

Where will you go?

Australia is a really big country. You probably won’t be able to see it all on one trip, unless you’ve got a few years. So, work out a loose itinerary as part of your Australia trip planning. It will give you freedom to relax, without feeling pressure to rush to the next place. Think in months and weeks, not day-by-day. If you are too exact, you’ll lose the wonderful freedom your trip gave you to start with!

River crossing in the Northern TerritoryOff road vs on-road? The differences can be muddy at times.

Off-road vs. on-road?

I think it's impossible to see Australia entirely on bitumen. What you really need to decide is how much gravel you can take.

This decision affects what vehicle and camper you choose, your route, even where you stay. Whichever way is right for you, it is better to work it out now. Then, you can choose your own adventures.

How much can you spend?

I could write a whole website on this topic! So many people we met didn’t have a clear budget for their trip. They didn’t know whether they could splurge on a helicopter trip at Mitchell Falls, or eat baked beans for the next three weeks. So, work out how much you have to spend, and set yourself a realistic budget.

A final word…

I hope I’ve got you started on your Australia trip planning. If you get these basics right, you’ll find the details look after themselves. Good planning will allow you to relax and enjoy the adventure, so you can have the best possible trip around Australia.

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