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Free camping is allowed in Australia; however, it is heavily regulated. Free camping is only allowed at designated sites around the country, and parking overnight is prohibited. If you are caught free camping in a restricted area, you will often receive a hefty fine.
Fortunately, there are plenty of great free or low-cost sites available. The national Parks are popular choices. You can learn which sites are available for each area by checking the national parks website for each state.
You can also park up overnight at certain rest areas. Keep an eye out, as these are usually sign-posted.
A stay at a caravan park will usually cost $20–$60 (AUD), depending on the state and level of facilities available.
Yes, it’s standard for most campervan rental companies to allow an additional driver. This driver and any others must be named on the rental agreement, and there may be a nominal fee.
Additional drivers must also hold an appropriate driver’s licence and must meet driver age requirements.
When renting a vehicle, it is standard to be charged a bond (security deposit), also known as ‘excess’, which is the amount the renter is liable to cover in the event of an accident or damage to the vehicle.
The bond amount fluctuates based on the insurance package selected at the time of rental and is charged and debited on the renters’ credit or debit card.
Terms and conditions vary by rental company; however, most companies do not charge a fee if the cancellation is made three months prior to pickup (including Maui, Britz, Apollo, Cheapa Campa, StarRV, Hippie and Mighty). The closer the date to picking up the vehicle, the higher the cancellation fee will generally be.
Deposit amounts may not be refundable.
With the COVID-19 outbreak affecting many travellers’ plans in 2020, many suppliers have updated their cancellation policies.
To cancel a booking, contact our friendly support team via the Support Page.
All drivers must have a current and full driver’s licence to hire a vehicle. Foreign licences are acceptable if they are in English or accompanied by an accredited English translation. Otherwise, an International Driving Permit (IDP) is required.
Note: policies vary from supplier to supplier. Always check the T&Cs for your rental.
A smaller campervan rental company based in Newcastle, Advance Campervan Rentals offers 3-berth to 6-berth campervans. While some newer vehicles are available, many of the vehicles are older and come at a cheaper rate.
One of the larger motorhome rental suppliers, Apollo has been operating since 1985 and is well known among the RV rental community. Apollo vehicles are available in multiple locations around the world. An Apollo motorhome is generally less than 3 years old. The company has a wide variety of vehicles, from smaller vans to larger luxury motorhomes.
An Australian campervan hire company specialising in budget vehicles, all of its vehicles are 2-berths and are generally older. Awesome Campers is popular with the backpacker community and those looking for a low-cost getaway.
Bargain Rentals has a wide variety of vehicles available, from 4WDs to larger motorhomes. Bargain Rentals is one of the few motorhome hire companies that has pet-friendly camper options available.
Britz is one of the larger campervan brands, with multiple depots in different countries and a wide selection of vehicles. Britz maintains a fleet of newer vehicles, with campervans generally being less than 3 years old. Britz is part of the THL group, which also includes Maui, Mighty Campers and other international motorhome hire brands.
A family-owned campervan rental company catering for groups of 2–4, Calypso’s fleet generally consists of older vehicles. Calypso is popular with those looking for a budget holiday and has depots along the East Coast and in Adelaide.
Camperman is a motorhome hire company with multiple locations in Queensland as well as depots in Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide. It offers a range of fairly priced vehicles and allows drivers under 21 to rent.
Captain Billy’s is based in Cairns and offers 4WD campers which sleep 2–3 persons. Vehicles include pop-tops and roof-top tent campers.
Cheapa Campa is part of the Apollo group and rents vehicles that are considered too old to be part of the main Apollo brand. Cheapa remains a very popular choice and is available practically everywhere Apollo is. It offers slightly older, quality campers at a lower price.
Cruisin’ is a campervan hire brand especially well known in Tasmania but currently operates around Australia. It has a wide variety of vehicles available, including 6-berth luxury models. Most of its fleet is relatively new, and a Cruisin’ motorhome often comes with a few extras included. Cruisin’ also operates a lower-cost brand called Go Cheap.
A budget campervan brand with vehicles for 2–5 people, Driveabout is popular with backpackers and those looking for a cheaper alternative. Driveabout offers free airport transfer in many of the top locations. Many of these vehicles are older and come with the basic essentials.
Go Cheap is a motorhome hire brand partnered with Cruisin’ Motorhomes and rents older models considered too old for the main Cruisin’ brand. Because of the vehicles’ older age, Go Cheap can rent these vehicles at a lower price.
Hippie is a budget camper brand that is part of the Apollo Group. It caters to the young traveller and allows drivers under 21. A Hippie camper is a small vehicle with beds for 2–4 people.
A popular campervan rental brand operating in New Zealand, Australia and USA, Jucy offers smaller campervans (2-berth and 4-berth) and will rent to drivers over 18. While not extremely cheap, Jucy still offers reasonably attractive prices for the budget traveller.
An independent Australian campervan hire brand headquartered in Sydney, Kangaroo also has vehicles available in several other cities, including Brisbane, Melbourne and Perth. The company is Australian owned and operated, with depots in a variety of locations. A Kangaroo camper is generally older, though various models are available (2-berth to 6-berth).
Leisure Rent is a new campervan hire company. It operates in Tasmania and offers a fleet of new vehicles (2017–2019) with two models available, a 4-berth campervan and a 4-berth motorhome.
A budget campervan hire company with 2 vehicle options available, Lucky Rentals has vehicles to suit groups of 2 or 3. Lucky Rentals’ fleet is comprised of older Jucy vehicles.
Maui is another well-known NZ motorhome hire brand that is part of the THL group (Britz, Mighty and other international brands). Maui specialises in larger luxury motorhomes, with all its vehicles being less than 2 years old. A Maui campervan is often a good choice for larger groups and those looking for a comfortable road trip holiday.
Mighty is another campervan hire brand that is part of the THL motorhome rental group (Britz, Maui and other international brands). Mighty Rentals has vehicles for groups from 2 to 6. Mighty's camper fleet is made up of ex Britz and Maui vehicles that are considered too old to fit the main brands. It offers quality older vehicles at a cheaper price.
This is a well-known budget campervan rental brand offering a sleepervan camper. Spaceships are popular with backpackers and smaller groups (2–4) looking to travel on a budget. Spaceships also rent to drivers under 21.
Another brand that is part of the Apollo Group, Star RV targets the luxury market with larger motorhomes. Star RV guarantees its vehicles will be no older than 12 months. All of its vehicles come equipped with a shower and toilet as well as many other luxuries. A Star RV motorhome is ideal for the traveller looking for a comfortable holiday.
This is a budget rental brand with both sleepervans and 4WD campers available. Tasmania Campers generally supply older vehicles and come at a cheaper rate. The brand is part of a campervan rental network that includes Captain Billy’s.
A budget RV rental brand aimed at backpackers, Travellers Autobarn has campervans in multiple international locations. The company offers a wide variety of vehicles, from station wagons to 5-berth family models.
The Blue Mountains are located west of Sydney in NSW, Australia. The mountains, which are part of a national park, are located in an area offering many outdoor activities.
There are numerous hiking trails in the area, with some offering the opportunity to see the famous Three Sisters, an unusual rock formation that is considered a popular tourist attraction.
When you’re in Cairns, it’s hard to miss the 1,429 miles long World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef.
No shortage of tour operators can deliver a day outing by boat, with opportunities to enjoy warm, calm water snorkelling and scuba diving, surrounded by the reef system’s – renowned vibrantly coloured marine life.
There are also glass-bottomed boats and submarine experiences, and options to suit everyone, including pontoons, stationed within the Outer Reef and various islands of the reef.
Many visitors begin their time in Tasmania in the state capital of Hobart. Hobart City is well worth spending a few days in is often the best place to pick up your vehicle for the journey ahead.
Hobart is Australia's sits in the foothills of Mt Wellington at the entrance to the Derwent River. The port city cheerfully blends natural beauty, history, lively culture and food scene into a well-rounded visitor experience.
Among its attractions is Salamanca Place, a series of renovated 1830's Georgian warehouses that are now theatres, cafes, shops, and eateries. On Saturdays, Salamanca Market, one of Australia's favourite farmers' markets is held here.
Hobart allows many opportunities to leisurely spend the day, tasting locally crafted beer or visiting museums, such as the acclaimed MONA (Museum of Old and New Art).
Continuing anti-clockwise brings you to the Garden City of Launceston and the surrounding agricultural Midlands. Tasmania’s ‘second city’ contains many excellent examples of well preserved Colonial and Victorian architecture as well as easily accessible Cataract Gorge where the South Esk River runs to the sea. The Midlands was Tasmania’s original food basket back in the 1800s and today in the Tamar Valley you can see evidence of orchards, wine grape cultivation, and lavender crops.
Striking westward, Tasmania’s North West is home to a multitude of cute coastal towns, including Devonport where one can take a ferry to the mainland (note: you’ll probably leave your vehicle on the island and pick up another one on the other side). Another popular town of this region is Stanley, home to ‘The Nut’, an imposing flat-topped volcanic intrusion.
Uluru, also known as Ayers Rock, is a massive sandstone mass in the Northern Territory of Australia. The rock is nearly 350m tall and is considered sacred to the local indigenous people.
The rock is located within Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, which also contains hiking trails and other opportunities for outdoor activities.
Plenty of 1-day and multi-day cruises are available to explore the spectacular white beaches of the Whitsundays. One of Australia’s most loved and most photographed beaches is Whitehaven beach.
See our blog post A Snapshot of Tropical Queensland for more inspirational photos.