Planning our RV trip to Tasmania

We are planing our next RV trip to and around Tasmania. (Actually by the time you read this we will be well on our way). We have been asked many times just how do we go about planing our trips, including making available my packing lists etc. I will post my packing lists soon but for now I will just give a general overview here.

First of all, we tend to do a lot of free camping now that we have been introduced to it on a trip to Western Australia back in 2010. What suits us does not necessarily suit everyone, but I sure do recommend you try it at least twice. We certainly love it and it suits our personalities etc. There is a wealth of knowledge and experience out there. Most people are willing to share with you what works best for them. Also the internet is chock-a-block with personal blogs by travellers who share their candid moments, their trials and of course all the many great things regarding their travel adventures. I am just starting to list the RV blogs I like to read when time and data download allows. You will find the blogs I read the most on the right column of this page.

Different people have different expectations, personalities, agendas, family circumstances etc. I certainly wouldn't want you to be turned away from the idea of free camping or even RV travel, just because you've have read somewhere about how difficult someone else found it and that it was not for them. It is true, it is not for everyone but I do suggest that you "give it a go". You will most likely be enriched by the experience.

Free camping by the Murray River

Why do we free camp?

We like to free camp for several reasons:
  1. Sure we save on accommodation costs, but there is more to it than that. 
  2. We love the lack of specific planing required. We can just rock up when we like, which fabulous if we decided to alter anything along the way. Maybe we liked the latest spot because of the views, our attitude or maybe we have befriended someone and we'd just like to spend a little more time with them. 
  3. We also like the more open spacing that is available at a free camp rather than being boxed in to a specific location. If we don't like the noise of our neighbours dog, their taste in music or maybe their gennie, then we can freely move to a more distant spot or leave altogether. 
  4. The friendliness & comradeship is usually fantastic. We find the people who also camp at these sort of locations are of a similar mind set and are much easier to get along with.  Wonderful happy hours usually ensue and even sharing a camp fire is not uncommon.
  5. Some others like it because they can get away from everyone and tend to camp right away from anyone else. Personally, we like a little company to chat to.
It is not something that would appeal to everyone. 
However we just love it.

Plenty of space for free camping at Gregory Downs

You can't always free camp

Don't forgo a town or area just because it doesn't offer free camping or even low budget camping - that is just cutting off your nose in spite of yourself. There is so much to see, you'd hate to miss a gem for a few dollars. So I suggest, you save when you can and spend when you have to. You can camp further afield and travel in or you can spend a few dollars and save time and petrol. You could skip a location altogether but it might be worth those few dollars!

Don't get caught up with the few negatives and instead concentrate on all the awesome aspects of spending time “on the road” and enjoying our great country and ALL it has to offer!

Camping at  Farm Stay property paying a few dollars for the convenience of being close to town.

So how do we actually pick a camp spot?

We use the Camps Australia book and we chat to like minded people. We have a general idea that we want to get from here to there. Our Camps Australia Wide 6 book is getting a tad outdated and I hear they are about to bring out the number 8. Still it is not too far out dated and will probably be updated with the next edition. We have been encouraged to get WikiCamps on our phone or tablet and the soon to be released GeoWiki is another great option which is for CMCA Members only geographical Wikipedia containing points of interest for RV travellers.

Our trip parameters

Time frame

Obviously we have to make some generalized plans and some concrete ones. Maybe it is just the way we are but we try not to set anything down in concrete unless we absolutely have to. We did have to book a passage on the Spirit of Tasmania to go over and the return trip and since we wanted to spend as much time as possible on the road from the time the motorhome was road worthy to when we must return which is a week before a family commitment in April. So all up we had hoped for 5 or even 6 months but the bus just  wasn't ready yet.

In the end we will have 4 months in Tasmania with an additional 2 weeks to get to Melbourne to catch the boat and about 1 week to get home after disembarking, before we have a family commitment that is set in concrete.

The boat trip had been booked months ago so that meant that our travels through Victoria had to be curtailed significantly. We did want to stop by some family and friends on the way south, so that meant a coffee/lunch break in northern Canberra and then a  4 or 5 day stay in Deniliquin, near the Victorian border. (I used to live in Canberra and so a sightseeing around this lovely city is not something that is necessary for us on this trip.)

Deniliquin's famous Ute


We had decided to do a trip around the island of Tasmania for all of summer. With about 40 per cent of Tasmania designated national parks  and the convict history also adding to the world heritage designation, there was always going to be plenty to see and do on this wonderful island state of Australia. As hinted at earlier, we had hoped to spend some time seeing Victoria prior to getting on the boat, but it was not to be. 

Just before we arrived in Devonport we found out that a very good friend and his wife were working and helping out in Penguin and so we begged a few days off to visit them before we were to commit to some volunteer work (with MMM) that we like to do from time to time. We met a lovely couple on the boat and they recommended that we stay at Cooee Point in Bernie  and that was close enough to visit with our friends in beautiful Penguin

The beautiful flowers at Penguin even line the roadsides

After this we had not commitment other than we wanted to see as much of Tasmania as we could as one never knows when we'd have the opportunity to visit this wonderful island again.

Expect the unexpected.

I am so glad we don't have our plans set in concrete. As noted in earlier posts, we couldn't get away when we wanted. Then we had the wonderful news that dear friends who generally live in South Australia were going to be spending some time helping one of their friends, so we aimed to spend a few days visiting them. When we finally rocked up for our MMM job in Perth, their plans hadn't gone as they had hoped and they didn't need our services for another 3 or so weeks. so we decided we'd head off and sight see around Launceston for 3 weeks. Another wonderful surprise soon after we arrived was that one of our daughters got engaged and so we decided to fly home for one week to celebrate with her and her fiance!


So have a plan but be flexible. Don't push yourself too far, you want your trip to be memorable for all the right reasons! So be prepared for whatever the road trip can throw at you, whether it be the weather, health issues or whatever. And we haven't touched on mechanical possibilities though these are much reduced if you have made sure to have your vehicles serviced prior to setting out on any trip, but that is to be covered in another blog post in the future.

Remember, you are travelling for leisure,
so take all the care you can beforehand and then STOP worrying.
Hit the road and enjoy everything that a time on the road has to offer you.


Thank you so much for popping by, I appreciate your comments!