This trip in the campervan we stayed one night each in San Remo, Waratah Bay, Lakes Entrance, Omeo, Merimbula, Narooma, Batemans Bay, Jervis Bay, Gundagai and Bright.
Last time in our previous car, three years ago, two nights Lakes Entrance, one night Eden, one night Merimbula, two nights Cooma, two nights Queenbeyan (Canberra to see Floriade and Parliament House). We mostly used motels. Lakes Entrance we stayed with our friend. At Merimbula we took a cabin in a caravan park.
It is far cheaper to use your own car and pay for modest accommodation, rather than hire a campervan and pay park fees. While I thought the campervan was quite economical on fuel, it was still an added cost, less than $200 and given the hills it climbed at high and low speed, quite amazingly economical really.
As a visitor to Australia, where you don't own your own car, the equation would be different and a campervan would be quite good value. It is pretty well $50 per night for a caravan park powered site.
R and I endlessly discussed a better layout design for our campervan but really, we did not come up with anything radical. Choosing a van with a bed over the cab is my recommendation and if you are staying in caravan parks, don't bother with an onboard shower/toilet. Many times we heard from caravan park check in staff , 'we've put you near the amenities block'. I feel old, but the deed was appreciated. The extra bed over the cabin can be used as daytime storage for things like suitcases.
I drove extremely cautiously and did not leave a trail of destruction behind me. I was paranoid about doing any damage to the van, given the $7,500 bond. Nevertheless, some of the roads we travelled on were quite extreme and R did get fed up with mountainous steep and winding roads, even just along the coast of NSW. I have learnt that Victoria's eastern and some of the western coastal roads are quite flat and the equivalent in NSW are not. That was not something we factored in or imagined.
To move from one end of the living area of the van to other if the other person was standing up involved phrases such as 'can you move your fat arse' or 'can you move your fat gut'. Please, we manage to get in each other's way at home in a large three bedroom apartment, never mind in a campervan.
We covered about 3,000 kilometres, 1,800 miles. The longest period of driving was about four hours but normally a good bit less. We took lots of breaks and often diversions if something appealed to us to see. There was supplementary driving on top of that, like around a town to see sights etc.
As it was our first time in caravan parks with our own accommodation, I was nervous about looking foolish because I was ignorant about something, but that never really happened and we quickly got the hang of how things work. Staff were always pleasant in the parks, at times very helpful.
All in all, it was a good experience, marred mainly by the weather, particularly the wind. I don't think we would do it again though. The stress levels can be quite high at times, but then so can they be when travelling by any mode on holidays. There is always so much to consider and plan.
Just a dodgy photo now to end, Batemens Bay lift bridge over River Clyde, taken with my phone.