The Great Aussie Road Trip AKA The Big Lap
The best surf trip in the world ? Maybe.
It's got the lot - beauty , adventure , variety and the sort of waves that the majority of the world can only dream about.
So what's stopping you ? Get yourself a vehicle and start driving . It can be that uncomplicated. No need for passports or visas . No up front expense such as an airfare . Just get in your car , drive till you run out of money , do a little work to top up the bank balance then it's back on the road.
Here's what you'll want to take with you when you choose to take that journey of a lifetime :
A Plan - The plan may only extend as far as filling up with fuel and turning the key and that is often the best way to go. But if you want to maximise your wave quality and enjoyment of each area then I'd recommmend an anti clockwise route. Timing as follows :
August /September - North West WA
October / November - South West WA
December - Great Southern WA
January / February - SA
March - Tasmania
April / may - East coast
June/ July - Top end
Transport - Of course you'll need a vehicle . But many people fall into the trap of overestimating the type of vehicle they'll need. If a car will get you to the next town then it will do. It doesn't have to be a 4wd with diff locks and max trax. It doesn't have to be shiny or fast or the envy of your mates. As long as it goes OK then it'll suffice. I've seen too many people succumb to inertia and stay at home after wasting time, money and energy waiting / saving for the ultimate touring vehicle. You'll see the same sights from a $1500 Corolla as you will a Volkswagon Transporter worth $70,000.
Curiosity -Sounds obvious , right ? After all, if you're on your way then you're set. Not quite . Too many people get white line fever when they hit the road and turn every day into a challenge to make nominal targets on the map by a certain time or date.
You're on holidays and you might only be there once. Kick Back , chill and enjoy the journey ...all of it, not just your hand picked happy places. Turn off the side roads. You never know what you'll find. Just because a road is marked as the Old Telegraph Station , doesn't mean that there won't be pumping waves nearby !
Shelter - Accomodation in Australia is fucking expensive. And it's an expense you don't need to expose yourself to .A car that you can sleep in is a bonus , but a small dome tent or a swag will more than suffice. Take side roads just before dark and set up a little free camp , light a fire and enjoy the remoteness. In the morning you'll be surrounded by nature and you'll feel energised . And the money you save on accomodation can always buy a goon bag to help send you on your way to a good nights sleep.
Worth indulging in a nice place every now and again as some accomodation is exclusive to an area or too nice to pass up. Though after free camping for a while you will feel violated paying for a place to sleep no matter how flash.
Music - Its a big country with a lot of extended road hours between places. You will need lots of good music with a lot of variety to suit the changing landscape.
Marijuana - See above. Not essential , but highly recommended . Can change the colour of your day when you're staring at 10 hours of dead straight road.
Fishing rod - Free food , great fun and an excuse to explore the coast.
Universal tap handle - Australia's local councils and our national parks have decided in their infinite wisdom to deny travellers water by removing the handles to all public taps. BYO tap handle to sake that thirst and stick it to the man.
Sense of humour- Things will go wrong. That is a guarantee. React well. Don't be the guy at the remote servo fighting with his missus because the parts required to repair their car will take 3 days to arrive. Don't whine about the heat / flies / onshore winds. Go with the flow and have a laugh. Break out the mull and the goon bag if that's what it takes to get back into the pursuit of happiness.
A Smile - Lets face it . Not everyone you meet is going to be a long lost best mate. Humour people their eccentricities. Often the best experiences are gifted by locals willing to show you their home towns hidden gems. A smile and a friendly attitude is your passport to good times.
Water and fuel - Australia is large and oftentimes you'll be a long way from help. Take twice as much fuel and four times as much water as you think you'll need.
A headlamp - Best piece of camping equipment of the last couple of decades.
Basic medical and tool kits - Sometimes there's no option but to fix things yourself. It may be yourself that needs fixing. Be prepared.
Varied quiver of boards - Of course one board will do. But for best results you'll want a groveller , a shorty and a proper gun. These should cover most situations.
Someone to share the memories with - Solo travel is awesome and will probably lead to the most unexpected detours. But it's always nice to have someone to paddle out with at an empty , secret reef that's at the top end of your abilities and shared adventures are memories set in gold.
And that's it. That's all you need.
Now go !!
Great read, B.
And please take shovel..a fold away one will do ...do your Poo as far into the scrub as possible and bury it at least 200mm deep..bag the paper and bin it when you can.
Unless you're French, in which case defecate wherever you feel fit and get snooty when told not to.
Udo, take a lighter and you can burn the paper ;)
Great stuff Blowin! Great to run into you halfway up the East Coast (though short), bound to happen with all the travelling I do :p haha.
This is what's out there if you look.
Don't rate vicco?
I love it all , Lostdoggy.i also count it as part of the East coast .
But Vic ain't my favourite.
Doesn't really dominate any category - It's not the warmest or the hollowest or the prettiest or the emptiest or the easiest or the most perfect .
I've had amazing waves and great times there. I know some beautiful people that I like to catch up with , but I'd put it last out of all the states as a place to visit.
Having said that , You'd be a fool to not go there and maybe you will get the best waves you've ever surfed. *
Nice post Blowin, fingers crossed the negative posters won't turn it into a thread of bitching and crappy videos on nothing.
Only done the East Coast trip but done it twice both times for about 3 to 6 months all the way past Cairns, really miss living out of a van, good memories did it on the dole too.
I got a new $750 Camry. If it gets me to Iluka I'll be stoked.
Ah, put it in an email INDOlent, ya whinging fluffer.
"I got a new $750 Camry. If it gets me to Iluka I'll be stoked."
I'll be surprised.
If you wake up face down in the sand at Iluka then you're way ahead of the vast majority of the world.
Wouldn't even bother with the east coast of Oz. overcrowded and fucking expensive.Start in Tassie finish in N.T.
Good advice but I would include Vic. The Great Southern Bight will provide a real adventure whilst the East coast an easier ride but more crowd.
Money is long forgotten after you surfed that spot alone.
the big dirty of surf trips
Done the lap, tassie & east coast and travelling light is essential. Wouldn't recommend sleeping on the ground at all - its cold, uncomfortable, sometimes wet and then there are the ants, spiders, lizards and snakes. Agree big expensive cars aren't needed but a van with everything packed inside (no roof racks, no floral hippy curtains) is vital especially if you're into stealth camping. There was another forum topic on this sometime ago.
Yeah i agree no sleeping outside a van is the go and keep it low key like GuySmiley said, you don't want it too look like a camper van full of ferals, doesn't need to be great or expensive but vans are perfect for sleeping in and doesn't look too obvious you are camping and if needed can move on quickly. (keep all your shit including boards inside)
Use to avoid sleeping in beach carparks though, unless out of the way rangers and cops love to check them for people sleeping in vans or cars, no problems to hang all day though between surfs and a great spot to met locals.
And if you have to sleep in residential areas, find a block of units or flats to park out in front of rather than a house, just turn up after dark and then leave at first light 99% of the time will then have no hassles, just don't go shitting and pissing there or brushing tour teeth in the gutter, do all that at the beach carpark and toilets.
One morning at exmouth lighthouse ;
We regularly slept in this carpark during the months , there was a few of us friends that would disperse to the little carparks around the beaches at night to sleep in cars .
mothzart , sam & gab , bob , tanya were around there at the time sleeping in cars, all of us were friends, a German surfer John also .
This night tanya and i went to the carpark next to the carpark where the murder occured and crashed to sleep ,only 300 metres away.
Early in the morning drove off to beat the Ranger ,we pulled into the main carpark where bob was checking the waves , he told us of the body on the beach found at dawn .
We walked around looking but there was only tracks / marks on the beach and a car in the carpark "broken" apparently i think the dead man had been taken away ( if i remember correctly)
Our friend German john gave the "couple" a lift to town the night before after midnight , their car was broken apparently and he drove them 30km to town which would have been inconvenient for john ,as he wanted to sleep there .
They had just murdered a man in our regular carpark at lighthouse beach then talked their way into a lift to town .
Poor johns was shattered for a few days because he had been talked into helping the couple who were making their escape from the scene .
They hid in exmouth in a hotel room,
and got arrested within a week ,i think.
We all learned that locking the doors while asleep was a good idea after that .
Cant be positive but remember something about the perpetrators and them being meth ice users .
They had hitchhiked a ride from Geraldton with the victim , so they had traveled together for a day or two presumably.
"A 30-year-old Victorian man has been sentenced to strict security life imprisonment for what's been described as an extraordinarily callous and cold-hearted murder at Exmouth in Western Australia's north.
Toby Leigh Fraser used a metal bar to bludgeon 44-year-old John Blood on a beach near Exmouth in October last year.
He then strangled him with a piece of rope while singing a heavy metal song about death and also pretended to call an ambulance as Mr Blood lay dying.
Fraser and his then girlfriend, 22-year-old Kelly Brown, had met Mr Blood a few days earlier at a backpackers hostel in Geraldton and travelled to Exmouth with him after he offered them a lift.
Supreme Court Judge Peter Blaxell said there was no obvious motive for the murder, other than Fraser had an irrational dislike for Mr Blood.
Justice Blaxell said psychological reports had found Fraser was a high risk of committing further violent offences and imposed a sentence of strict security life, with a 27 year minimum.
Prosecutor Simon Stone said Mr Blood suffered a horrific death.
"He was an entirely innocent bystander who was simply trying to do people a good turn but met up with some particularly cruel individuals in Fraser and Brown," he said."
Fuck me clam that's a doozie
"It’s understood their two attackers also took the men’s bank cards and mobile phones before stealing their car, which was found burnt out near the Leanyer Recreation Park about 30 minutes after the ATM robbery.
The ordeal began about 10pm on Tuesday at a property on Casuarina Drive, where the three were assaulted and forced into their own car by the attackers.
Property owner Manolis Darkadakis said he had befriended the young backpackers and allowed them to stay at his place after they had been fined for illegal camping by council rangers."
"According to state prosecutors, the van was intercepted by a gang driving a car that flashed police-like lights.
Mr Coleman was shot in the face when he tried to resist. The robbers then killed Mr Lucas, drove their vehicle to another location and set it on fire."
Killing Ground..a new flick out.
"And please take shovel..a fold away one will do ...do your Poo as far into the scrub as possible and bury it at least 200mm deep..bag the paper and bin it when you can". Udo .
What the hell Udo , Dont bury the poo paper !
Put it in your pocket until you see a bin hey ?
Why not bury ?
Trees love it, i can prove it
Shit in the sea, kooks
First time I went across Australia was in a $750 Camry. True story.
Why should you care ? I can’t really answer that , save that it was fun squared and that the copper that finally got us for no bonnet , a boot held down with an occy strap and a radiator partially filled from a goon bladder was graceful enough to let us drive the 800 odd kms north back to our place of residence because we promised we’d be careful on the journey back to the cape.
Kalb Town coppers ....I salute your lackadaisical realism !
Touch wood, my $750 Camry is running like phar lap.
$750 must be the magic number. '72 kombi bought for $350 and spent $400 on it for rwc got me from the Goldie all the way to my Grandpa in Yallingup back in 1990. Parked it there for four months and did the NW season, got back and it miraculously started first crack. All the way home without missing a beat except for tyres and a belt. Parked up at home and slept for about two days. Went outside and the car never started again. Still to this day the best road trip I've ever done and the only car I've ever loved. RIP beautiful mustard yellow with white roof girl.
A long time ago when i was 22, I hitch hiked from Newcastle to Perth, vague plan to continue to South Africa or up the coast . As it transpired I ended up working as a roustabout n a shearing team in Esperence and then on a mustering camp on a cattle station in western QLD, but thats another story.'
Total time for trip was about 3 days .Assorted lifts from Newcastle to Port Pirie,
Got to roadhouse at Port Pirrie and was offered a lift to Perth which, in my the tired state I accepted without any due diligence on my travelling companions who consisted of a guy just out of jail, a 14 year old girl running away from home and 2 other guys . The conveyance was an imitation GT Falcon with a boot load of rifles which were exchanged for fuel as we rolled across the Nullabore. I grew up in the bush - used to dirt roads / roos etc so shared the driving with the ex con. Got some cred for that but gotta tell you keeping the lid on the vibe in that car was trying. Stops along the was to play discharge firearms games ,chicken etc.
Finally got to Perth, so off to the porn shop to jettison anything left worth selling and then to the flashest pub they could find and we all had collectively enough for one round of beer. What next? They went one way and I the other.
spell Check- pawn shop!
This is an epic thread. It descended from van travel advice into Wolf Creek stories within about 20 posts.
The stuff that scares me was less traveling and more the series of murders in WA in the 90's, RIP to the girls. The Gero one was horrific. I say a prayer for her every time I check the surf at that gazebo lookout they've built.
RIP to the poor fellow in Exmouth who gave kindly and received nothing like that in return.
There was a comedy series on Foxtel called Upright that deals with the cross country, east to west Australian road trip, starring and created by Tim Minchin. One of the funnier TV shows I’ve watched in recent history.
Thanks for the heads up. I’ll check it out .
Get the fever.