how would you best go about campervan rental Australia?
Australians do their Cape York trip in their own four wheel drives.
But if you are from
overseas and want
to do Cape York, your options are
to buy or
rent a four wheel drive vehicle.
Even if you are an Aussie,
have no reason to own a four wheel drive, for a Cape York trip you may
want to rent one.
But how would you go about it, and how would you choose the company?
Four Wheel Drive?
be assured that a two
wheel drive is not an option on a
proper Cape York trip.
with a two wheel drive rental
car or campervan if you only plan to go up to Laura or (the inland
road to) Cooktown.
Any further north the
if you do see some locals doing these roads in their two wheel drives,
damage the vehicle.
That means the rental
not allow you to
take their two wheel drive vans to these roads, and if you
do, it can cost you dearly if something happens - because by breaking
the contract you would have no valid insurance.
4WD Vehicle vs a Campervan?
four wheel drives
come as just vehicles, as well as campervans.
What international travellers often don't think about, is that you can
rent both kinds, and that renting
just a 4WD vehicle is much cheaper than renting a van,
renting a van is obviously handier since you have a bed and a kitchen
in the back, all gear included, and no need to set up a tent.
Let's start with the
large Australian companies and see what they have.
Kea and Around Australia Motorhomes
mostly larger vans, however none has four wheel drives (Maui and Kea
used to, and
they are now selling them).
have small vans, as well as
larger. The first two have also four
wheel drives. Jucy and Spaceship have
funky vans but they are not four wheel drives. Camperman
and Travellers Autobarn
also are the
same small size, and not 4WDs.
Hippy and Wicked are brightly
painted, often in graffiti style, a bit older vans and cheaper, popular
backpackers. They never used to have 4WDs, but Wicked has started, so
far only in Broome and Alice Springs (as of early 2014).
Four Wheel Drives
Since Maui and Kea no longer
have four wheel drives, right now (early 2014) you are left with Britz and
can change so read
Apollo has both larger
and small ones.
Britz has small vans
(which are the best ones for a Cape
The question still remains, and you have to ask them - where do they
allow you to go?
It is one very important
Cape York, because it may just mean that you book a great
you think, and end up not being able to do the best tracks.
How to Choose
So how would you choose the
Obviously by comparing things, and by
far the best place is the internet.
That's where you can read
and take your time to think, instead of listening to a
sounding company worker who is trying to sell.
There are obviously the company websites, but things change and while I
do my best to update things they may sometimes just change quicker than
I manage - at the time
looking there may well be more choices than Britz and Apollo.
To find out about them all quickly, the
best thing to do is to use one of the many independent websites where you
prices and vans between different companies.
There are around 10 of
them in Australia, and I have checked them all.
After comparing prices, how responsive they were to my enquiries, and
what the whole presentation looked and sounded, the
best one was Drive
with them here (four wheel drives are
towards the end
of the page where you land):
Get this 50 pages guide totally for FREE. It
contains information that helps you getting started with planning of your trip.
You get to make early-stages desicions such as when to go, how long time you
should take, how to get
there and get
to stay (general info), what
will it cost..
and a short insight to what is there to see and do in Cape York.
This complete 300 pages
travel guide is all you need before and during your trip. Besides the
background chapters on the peninsula's history and wildlife; and the comprehensive detail about all the places (down to prices, opening hours and full contact detail), it has invaluable information on at least 10 four wheel drive tracks, at least 30 guaranteed FREE camping spots on the Cape (and at least 150 on your way to the Cape), at least 40 best swimming holes, all mapped; as well as practical things - from fuel, roads, wireless internet and mobile phone reception, how to deal with the national parks booking rules; and Aboriginal land entrance and camping permits and alcohol restrictions - to vehicle preparation and accessories and necessary recovery gear by my partner Mark who is the recovery guy on northern Cape York and the Old Telegraph Track). Not to mention locals' tips on how to spot that croc and palm cockatoo ;-)
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