You lovelies asked me to do a post on each of our stops, but I think logically it is easier to start off explaining our route, where we rented our van and how it all went down. I actually did two roadtrips along the Australian East coast. One in December travelling from Brisbane down to Melbourne and another one in February going from Brisbane up to Cairns. We were driving about three weeks each time and tried to keep our time driving to max four to five hours per day. The first time we rented with Travellers Autobarn and the second time with Apollo or rather their budget option: Hippie Camper. We always opted for the high top, which is the larger option, comes with a full kitchen, including stove and fridge, space for a double bed and allows you to stand up in the van. Theoretically you could also have an extra person sleeping in the top with this option. It is obviously pricier than the simpler version that only has a cooling box and less space. It depends on your level of comfort, but for a foodie like me and also a person, who despises camping having a little extra space and actual kitchen was very much worth it.
I will begin by breaking down our trip day by day. The stops with a little star will get an individual post later on and I will then link them here.

Route 1:

Day 1: Picking up the van in Brisbane, driving to Lamington National Park
Day 2: Lamington National Park
Day 3: Driving to Byron Bay via Nimbim
Day 4-6: Byron Bay
Day 7: Coffs Harbour
Day 8: Nelson Bay
Day 9: Drive to Sydney
Day 10: Sydney
Day 11: Blue Mountains
Day 12: Jervis Bay
Day 13: Malakoota
Day 14: Lakes Entrance
Day 15 & 16: Wilsons Promontory National Park
Day 17 & 18: Philipp Island *
Day 19: Christmas in Melbourne
Day 20-21: Great Ocean Road *
Day 22: Bring camper back to Melbourne
Additional Road trip (about 2 days): Grampians National Park

Route 2:

Day 1: Pick up van in Brisbane, drive to Noosa Heads
Day 2 & 3: Noosa *
Day 4: Half a day in Noose, drive to Rainbow Beach
Day 5 - 7: Three day Fraser Island tour with Four Wheel Drives *
Day 7: After the tour drive to Tin Can Bay *
Day 8: Feed wild Dolphins in Tin Can Bay in the morning, then drive to Agnes Water/1770
Day 9: Drive to Carmila Beach
Day 10 & 11: Airlie Beach *
Day 12 - 14: Three Day Two Nigh Whitsunday Sailing Cruise *
Day 14: after the tour drive to Townsville
Day 15: Josephine Falls and head to Cairns *
Day 16: Cairns *
Day 17: Day tour to the Great Barrier Reef *
Day 18: Mossman Gorge *
Day 19: Crocodile Tour and Kuranda *
Day 20: Head back to Cairns
Day 21: Give back van, flight out of Cairns

Two different Rental companies - What to expect:

My boyfriend rented through Travellers Autobarn, while my friend and I opted for Apollo´s budget option Hippie Campers. Both companies had their pros and cons and overall I am happy with both options we took, however I would probably go with Travellers Autobarn if I were to rent a van in Australia again.
With Travellers Autobarn with full insurance including windows, screens and tires we paid 1630 Euros or 815 Euros each. The Hipie van for three weeks including full insurance coverage (additional windows, screens and tires) and a tank refill as well as chairs and two chairs cost us 1460 Euros or 730 Euros each.
Obviously Travellers Autobarn is a little pricier, but I personally thought that was worth it, since our camper was super new, our bed was so comfortable and there was lots of storage room for all of our stops. If you already pay this much you might as well opt for the little more luxurious option. I also really liked our Hippie Camper, but the bed was so intensely uncomfortable, it was quite worn down and the lay out of the Hippie Camper with the additional two seats in the back may be really beneficial if you travel with three or more people, but I preferred the set up of the Travellers Autobarn camper with a more permanent bed, the kitchen right in the back and the possibility to get out of the car without crawling over the other person. I also must say we got quite lucky with the Travellers Autobarn option as we got their newest model.
We had little hick ups with both vans. The first Travellers Autobarn van sadly had a malfunction with the battery in the back. Our salesperson noticed and sent us to a repair shop, who said they could not fix it, then when we got back the salesperson attempted to fix it herself, told us it was fine and send us off. Sadly the issue was not fixed and when we noticed there was nobody in the rental company anymore since it was a Saturday. We had to come back the next day and pick up another van. We got refunded for the day we lost, but I am still a little bummed about how the communication and the entire thing went down. It was really hard to reach someone and I did not feel like we were taken care of. However the owner of the shop did call us (a full three days later) and gave us a refund (after we asked for one) and the van worked absolutely perfectly the rest of the trip. They were also happy to accept my German driver´s license.
Apollo on the other hand refused to do so and also did not accept the translation my friend brought since she forgot her original driver´s license in Germany. Obviously this was also a mistake on our part, but having to pay an additional 80 Dollars to translate about four words on my license and how the lady in the Brisbane Apollo branch treated us really, really sucked. I liked their walk around of the car, the fact that they sent you pictures of all former issues and a little roadmap of what happened to the car. I also have to say giving the van back was an absolute breeze, so maybe we just had bad luck
with one of our salespersons.

Australian Camping 101

Camp grounds cost between 15 and 45 AUD per night. There are also quite a lot of camp sites, where you can stay for free. Obviously free camp sites usually do not have showers  (or if they do it´s cold ones) or electricity, but I really enjoyed the ones we did stay at. We used the app by Travellers Autobarn and Apollo, but many people also recommended Wikicamp to find free campgrounds. You also can sometimes camp in the parking lot of hostels and use their facilities, which is what we did when we did tours and left from these hostels the day before. We always tried to stay away from large Caravan parks even though you usually get a small discount there and preferred little camps closer to nature, but they are great in more touristy areas. I must say my boyfriend invested a lot of time into finding beautiful spots and they were truly amazing with direct access to beaches, kangaroos as neighbours and usually for very little money. I will try and list my favourite spots in the individual posts. Camping in national parks is usually quite cheap, but you may have to book ahead for the campgrounds since some parks require a permit. It takes time and energy to look for the true gems though and when I was driving with my friend we mainly chose the most convenient spots rather than do huge detours to save about 9 Euros. We usually called the day we headed to the campgrounds and asked if they still had spots available and if not just headed to the next one. The only time I would suggest booking further ahead is in the holiday season in December, especially between Christmas and New Years and in very touristy areas such as the Great Ocean Road.


Driving on the wrong side of the road, with the steering wheel on the other side and in a van – to be honest I was terrified at first. But realistically I found driving in Australia very easy. On the one hand this is due to the huge amount of automatic vehicles. The majority of the cars and vans are automatic and even though they kind of advertise to make you think you´ll get a manual, we got an automatic both times. It is just the type of car that is produced more often and you can also simply ask for one. I am pretty sure driving a stick is an exception.
So there is much less to worry about in terms of gears, the Australians drive much slower than Germans and everyone is really relaxed as long as you are not in Sydney or Melbourne. One rule of thumb that helped me was to always check if you are the furthest to the left you can be. Stick to the speed limit and drive carefully, Australian fees are no joke. Watch out especially at dusk and dawn for animals on the road, especially in remote locations.

Stops we missed

I think we did pretty well in seeing as much as we possibly could in the time we had. However they are always some stops you can´t make. In retrospect here are some things I would have loved to do or have more time for:

1) Spend at least two or more days in Wilsons Promontory
2) Magnetic island
3) Daintree Rainforest
4) Spend more time in Noosa
5) See baby turtles in Bundaberg
6) Hervey Bay 

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Thanks so much for your lovely comments, constructive criticism and suggestions. I will try to answer all of you!