Mike and I visited Australia for a month last Christmas, here are our 5 top tips for travelling down under!
1) Get the WikiCamps app.
Available on iOS, Android and Windows devices, WikiCamps is your perfect companion when navigating the Aussie roads and looking for a decent spot to set up camp. We found that there were many more campsites on WikiCamps that we couldn’t find on google maps. It is a cost option, but at $7.99 USD (£6 approx.) it won’t break the bank. We found our best camping spots using this app whilst on the road and definitely recommend the small investment. You can filter the results for the facilities you require, get an idea of prices and most importantly read other travellers reviews, which we found invaluable. The best campsite we found using this app was Hat Head National Park – Hungry Gate Campsite, which was a total hidden gem. Check it out if you find yourselves near South West Rocks (between Sydney and Byron Bay) and don’t mind a basic night with only a compost toilet. Make sure you check out the beach adjacent to campsite leads onto, you may even see some dolphins! For more about this app click here.
2) Get a three mobile sim card
If you are travelling from the UK and you’d like to use your mobile data on the road to search for nearby campsites or to update your blog, you must get yourself a 3 mobile sim before you go. They have very competitive UK rates and many feel-at-home countries including Australia, New Zealand and Indonesia meaning you can use your phone like you do in the UK with no extra charges. Click here to find out more.
3) Tea tree shower gel
We heard about this from a family friend before we left and think it was one of the best pieces of advice we were given. Simply switch your regular shower gel for one that contains tea-tree oil. The antibacterial and anti-fungal properties of the natural tea tree oil deter's insects and mosquitoes making you less desirable to land on and bite. We recommend Original Source Lavender and Tea Tree shower gel for its natural properties and reasonable price (around £1/250ml) find out more here.
4) Ear plugs and eye mask for a great night’s sleep
Personally, I think these two items are invaluable on any trip but they are absolutely essential for a good night’s sleep when camping in Australia. If you have ever head Kookaburra or a Cockatoo at 5am then you know what I am talking about. They sure know how to make a racket! Pack those earplugs and you won’t hear a thing. I recommend the soft silicone plugs over the foam ones as they block out more noise and are more likely to stay in position throughout the night. You can buy them from most pharmacies for less than £4 for 3 pairs. I recommend these ones.
A generic eye mask is also a good idea when camping, the darker the colour of the eye mask the more light gets blocked out generally. And more often than not the sun rises well before I do. If you think they look a bit naff and unsexy why not get a fun animal mask like these. They are also great for plane journeys. Here’s me catching forty winks in mine.
5) Halifax Clarity Credit Card
It is crucial when travelling to make the most of your money. Don’t fall into the trap of paying unnecessary charges on overseas transactions. Mike and I both have a Halifax Clarity Credit Card and swear by it. The Halifax Clarity Credit card allows us to use our cards anywhere in the world fee free, get cash out fee free, and all with no annual fee. You can see why we swear by it. Just make sure you pay off the outstanding balance every month, and you’ll be making that money travel just as much as you do. It’s important to remember that it is still a Credit Card, not a Debit Card, so if you do take out cash, interest will start being charged immediately, as long as you pay it off fairly promptly, you won’t have any unexpected payments. To find out more about the Halifax Clarity Card, click here.