The perfect winter road trip
Posted by: Cal on 23/07/2013
Just because it's winter doesn't mean you have to sit inside and mope about the lack of things to do around you. The sun might not be shining quite as bright as it does in the summer months, but the country is still looking beautiful. It might even be the perfect time for you to head out on a mid-winter road trip.
A winter roadie can be great for a number of reasons. The traffic along famed road-trip highways is usually lighter, and campgrounds, motels and amenities along the route of your choice tend to be a lot quieter and often cheaper. As long as you're prepared for slightly cooler conditions then you're bound to have a cracker of a time.
Where to go
There are a number of iconic routes that must be travelled at some point. These include Victoria's Great Ocean Road, NSW's Grand Pacific Drive, the Great Alpine Road, Cape to Cape, the Savannah Way, the Tassie Coast to Coast - and more!
Choose the route that most takes your fancy and plan it out. It's a good idea to plot where you will stop along the way and even to book in at the hotels, hostels or campground you will stay at.
Of course, the ultimate free spirits will simply go where the wind takes them and 'wing' the entire drive - but a bit of preparation never hurts.
Who to hit the road with
You want to take the right kinds of buddies on your trip. You don't want to be stuck in a car for extended periods of time with someone who turns out to have a super annoying habit, or someone you just plainly dislike.
Choose your pals carefully. Significant others - as long as you've been with them for a notable amount of time - and best friends are good options as you tend to know them pretty well.
Close friends and down-to-earth, low maintenance types are often the best bet for this kind of trip. You never quite know what is going to be around the bend, so you want fun, friendly, laid-back people along for the ride - someone who can take it all in their stride.
What to take
Because it's winter, you might not want to pack the usual combination of bikinis, short shorts and crop tops. By all means be ready to dive in for a cool ocean swim, but pack the practicals too.
Comfort is also important as you'll be spending a lot of time in the car, so casual is best. Track pants, sweaters, hoodies, beanies and tees are the uniform for the Aussie winter road trip. It's also a great idea to bring blankets and sleeping bags along so passengers can snuggle up if you're driving early in the morning or at night.
Having the right soundtrack is also essential to the experience. Classics that everyone can sing along to are best, and make sure everybody has the opportunity to play their favourite tunes.
No road trip is complete without a solid stash of snacks. Make sure everybody brings a supply of their must-haves.
The final word
Safety is paramount. Check your vehicle before you go, or better yet, get a professional to do so. Make sure the vehicle's completely roadworthy - including the car tyres, too! While tyre safety might seem secondary, it's definitely just as important as the safety of the rest of your vehicle.
Always make sure you have some equipment in case of an emergency. Must-haves include a spare tyre and at least a basic first aid kit - and always make sure that someone else knows where you are headed.
With all that sorted, it's time to head out on your winter roadie and have fun!