Who can resist the great open road of Australia? Right! Nobody! Like Steph who has already been driving around this massive country for over 6 months now. As an experienced backpacker she has some great tips for those of you looking to head out on an awesome Australia road trip adventure of you own. Check out her list of the 10 Road Trip Must Haves that she highly recommends taking with you!

No. 1 of Road Trip Must Haves – Some Mates!


Half the fun of a good road trip is the people who you’re with, so make sure you round up some good people or a good person to enjoy this Aussie adventure with.
There are several key factors to consider when choosing a travel buddy, but having roughly the same plans for your trip, and roughly the same budget, is a good start. Then all you have to do is get on with making some fab memories that will hopefully have you reminiscing for years to come.

No. 2 of Road Trip Must Haves – A Telstra SIM Card

A photo by Ben White. unsplash.com/photos/bS_O0N5oFbM

Telstra have the best signal range in Australia and if they’re not your phone service provider, you are going to struggle to get reception anywhere out of the major towns.
Trust me I know – my boyfriend has a Vodafone SIM! Permanently having only one measly bar causes him endless frustration on our long road trips. Telstra might be a bit more expensive, but you will get your money’s worth!

No. 3 of Road Trip Must Haves – A GPS


You’ve seen Wolf Creek right? Then you know all about the dangers of road tripping Australia!
Seriously though, people do die in this country’s vast wilderness and if you’re not familiar with the flat red landscape of much of its interior, the whole place can quickly and easily become very disorientating. Even, if you’re sticking to the coast or the cities, then let’s be honest getting lost can just be damn right annoying.
As such, I definitely recommend investing in some GPS technology and letting these modern devices do the hard work so you can just concentrate on the views.

No. 4 of Road Trip Must Haves – Wikicamps


This is, without a doubt, the best app money can buy when it comes to road tripping Australia.
Costing only $7.90 AUD, you can download Wikicamps onto your phone and use it to discover thousands of free, budget or luxury campsites along your road trip route. Wikicamps also gives you info on picnic stops and rest areas, as well as providing you with useful reviews from other travellers.

No. 5 of Road Trip Must Haves – Water Containers


Do not underestimate the amount of water you’ll need to carry onboard during your road trip! Even if you’re not going remote, all that driving can be thirsty work and don’t forget you’ll need water for the vehicle too. Large water containers (10l, 15l, 20l etc) can easily be bought from camping stores or hardware stores, so definitely make a small investment.
If you are going out bush, then it’s best to be extra prepared and take water you can also wash yourselves and any clothes / dishes with. I recommend at least 5litres per person per day in this instance, more if you’re travelling in summer or through desert areas.

No. 6 of Road Trip Must Haves – Esky

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Keeping food cold and good to eat for longer periods of time is crucial when you are on an Aussie road trip. If cash isn’t an issue, or you’re doing a really long trip, then I certainly recommend investing in a fridge, but otherwise an esky should be fine.
Always buy a block of ice to keep at the bottom of the esky and then a bag of ice cubes to pour on top and around the food. This should keep your stuff good for a few days.
Ice is easily available at most service stations / roadhouses etc, so unless you’re going crazy remote you should be fine with this option. After all, nobody wants to end up hungry and without even a sausage to throw on the barbie!

No. 7 of Road Trip Must Haves – A Tent


Taking a tent with you, so that you can camp out under the stars, is a key part of the Aussie road trip experience. Not only will it save you money, but it will also allow you to experience some of the country’s great national parks, many of which have camp accommodation facilities only.
If you’re taking a campervan or you can sleep in the back of your car, a tent isn’t so important, but nevertheless, it’s a great idea if you want to go hiking or simply sleep outside and soak up the balmy night temperatures.

No. 8 of Road Trip Must Haves – Excellent Playlists


No road trip around Australia is complete without an awesome soundtrack, so make sure you get this organised before you head off. First, get the stereo and speaker system in your vehicle sorted, buying any additional cables or parts you might need. Think, USB or AUX cables for smartphones and tablets or USB sticks you can load music onto.
Then, start getting your sound track together. Consider buying Spotify Premium, as this allows you to download playlists you can listen to without Wi-Fi reception. Otherwise, use your itunes library to get some fab albums together.

No. 9 of Road Trip Must Haves – A Stubby Holder


Crucial for keeping your beer cold at the end of a long day driving, your life will be miserable if you don’t take a few stubby holders on your Australian road trip!
Cheap, light, easy to carry, these gems really are worth their weight in gold when it comes to getting the best out of your frosty one in the strong Aussie sun.

No. 10 of Road Trip Must Haves – A Head Torch


Do not, I repeat, do not even consider going on an Australian road trip without getting a head torch before you leave home!
Do you know how dark it can get out there and do you know how many potential creepy crawlies you may encounter on your way to the toilet in the night? Enough said. Plus, it’s really helpful when trying to cook and/or eat and/or set up a tent in the dark. Believe me, I know.

So those are my 10 must have items for your Australia road trip. Take this as your essentials checklist and make sure you’re well-prepared before you hit the road!

Updated on the 01/12/2019. Initially published on the 20/09/2018.

5/5 - (2 votes)


  1. Permits: It is possible to drive into national parks without paying for a permit, but don’t be a crumb. Money collected from permits is used to provide clean, working amenities for campers, so pay your dues to the information centre on the way in.


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