Exploring Oz

Getting around Australia, from the usual plane flights and rental cars to epic train journeys, backpacker buses, and doing is the Aussie way: in a camper.

Let's get one thing clear from the outset: Australia is a continent. Not just a country; a continent. It is huge. It is vast. It is the sixth largest country in the world. In fact, it is larger than the lower 48 contiguous U.S. states (leaving out Alaska and Hawaii).

In other words, you're not going to be able to tool around in a rental car for two weeks and see it all. (I say this because a surprising number of visitors are somehow under the impression that they can do so.)

Heck, you'd be hard-pressed simply to drive, without stopping for the sights, in a week the 3,029 km (1,882 miles) of the famed Stuart Highway through the Outback from Adelaide on the south coast to Darwin on the north.

That's why you have to pick carefully the method of travel that's going to best fit the type (and scope) of Australian vacation you have in mind.

For example, for a classic sort of wide-ranging trip, I'd advise using a combination of plane rides for the longer distances, and a rental car where it counts.

Perhaps get a Walkabout Pass from Qantas to fly (cheaply!) between, say Sydney and Carins (for the Great Barrier Reef) and to Alice Springs (for Uluru and the Outback) and to Adelaide, and then pick up the rental car to tour the nearby South Australia vineyards and then drive the spectacular Great Ocean Road to Melbourne.

Here are all the details on the main ways to get around this vast country-continent:

Tours Under $995 G Adventures

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This article was by Reid Bramblett and last updated in August 2013.
All information was accurate at the time.

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Copyright © 1998–2013 by Reid Bramblett. Author: Reid Bramblett.