Australia is undoubtedly a beautiful country with vastly different scenery, seasons, and destinations to suit any kind of adventure. It’s the kind of country where you can set off in a hired camper van and travel for hours on end while passing through a variety of picturesque landscapes.
You will want to have your camera out at every moment just to be sure that you don’t miss that perfect shot!
A popular time to visit Australia is during the winter time, because of its near-perfect weather. Although it can be a little chilly, some of Australia’s favourite holiday destination are simply at their best during this time. From June to August, the southern parts of Australia transform into a winter wonderland. Visit the ski slopes at Perisher, Thredbo or Mount Buller and try out skiing, snowboarding, or tobogganing. Or wander through the incredible national parks scattered around the country in a much more comfortable climate – typically they can be too hot to explore during summer time. Beach lovers will be happy to know that the beaches are still beautiful and inviting, all year round. Trust us on that one!
Of course, winter in Australia means something else: driving on the road in slightly more difficult conditions. As road tripping enthusiasts, we want to help to make sure that your trip throughout Australia in a rental van is a memorable, enjoyable and safe one. So we’ve pulled together some tips that we think will be helpful to both the seasoned Australian drivers and the first-time tourists, as well.
Safety Tips for the Winter
Winter-proof your vehicle
The last thing that you want to do is to take out a van that isn’t prepared for winter on the road. For example, imagine setting out without having your tires fitted with chains and you hit a very snowy road. Your road trip may find its end pretty soon, especially if you are in an area where it is required by law.
Other things you should make sure to do is check that all your lights work perfectly, as driving in winter may often mean driving in conditions with poor visibility. Ensure that you have enough antifreeze fluid, and that your heater is working perfectly. You wouldn’t want to set out in a camper van with no heat in the dead of the winter, would you?
Keep it slow in icy, foggy, or snowy conditions
Some people consider themselves fabulous drivers and they very well could be, but when it comes to winter, it’s best not to try any racing on the highways or go too fast when its icy, foggy, or snowy. Also, you can be sure that the police will have you pulled over in no time.
Make sure your windows stay de-misted
We’ve all been there – you’re driving along with your friends in the backseats, you’ve got the heater up and you’re all feeling toasty and warm…and then the windows fog up. This is annoying during any type of weather, but in winter this can be highly dangerous as visibility is already quite low. Whether you’ve got some sort of life-hack or you’ve invested in de-misting products, always make sure you have a solution to solve this problem. You should never set off to drive with misty windows!
Use your low-beam lights when the winter weather is wet
In foggy or dark days with limited visibility, always turn on your lights. You most likely are aware of this, but it’s important to do to avoid accidents, especially on highways! Plus, you don’t want to have the police pull you over, do you?
Stay on main roads and avoid dirt or unsealed roads
You’re on the road, you want to explore. We would want to do the same, but it’s important to consider that you may not know the area and going off-road during tougher conditions could be a big mistake. Whether it’s a snowy day or a very foggy one, you may not be able to see potholes and other unexpected obstacles that could cause an accident. Staying on main roads also means that if you get in a pickle, you can get help much quicker and easier.
Make sure to bring ice scrapers, extra fuel, and a first aid kit with you
It is always important to set out on a road trip with extras that you may not need, just in case the situation arises where you need them. Ice-scrapers are must-have for icy weather, along with extra fuel and a first-aid kit. Whether you get lost due to low visibility and run out of fuel, or you find yourself in an accident where you need immediate help or medical attention, these two things can help you avoid worse scenarios.
So there you have it, our key tips for driving in the winter weather! Australia is a beautiful country in the winter and you will be sure to have a lot of fun. As long as you go prepared in your rental camper van, you shouldn’t have any issues at all. From ski slopes to winter festivals, Australia is as welcoming and inviting in the winter as it is all year round.
Plan ahead, prepare well, and enjoy road tripping in Australia.