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21 Best Things to do in and around Brisbane

21 Things to do in Brisbane

Brisbane is our home town. It’s where we have lived all our lives. We know it, we love it and it is home.

There is so much to love about “Brissy”. Our weather is superb, people are friendly and it’s a big city without being too huge.

Brisbane typifies our States motto “Beautiful one day, Perfect the next”!!

 

We have great, warm weather almost all year round. Winter in Brisbane is sensational, blue sunny skies, calm weather and mild temperatures.

 

Here’s a list of 21 Things to Do in and around Brisbane

 

21 Best Things to do in and around Brisbane - CityCat

Brisbane River CityCat

1. Take a ride on the Brisbane River on a City Cat

These are fast ferry’s that take you some of Brisbane’s best places on the River. Go to Portside and see Cruise Ships, New Farm the home of the Powerhouse Brisbane, which is home to different arts and creatives, plus New Farm Park. Stop in at Riverside for great restaurants and bars on the river and take a walk around the City.

The Citycats are a great cheap way to get around Brisbane. There are stops all the way along the Brisbane river foreshores. A 2 hour ticket is a maximum $5.60 or even cheaper with a Go Card.

It’s a fabulous day out on Brisbane’s CityCats.

 

21 Best Things to do in and around Brisbane - Brisbane Riverfire

Brisbane Riverfire

2. Brisbane Riverfire

In September each year the Brisbane River comes alive as 500,000 people or more attend Riverfire. The skies light up as the Australian Defence Force fly Fighter Jets and Blackhawk Helicopters before the Fireworks are launched from the River, from Bridges and atop City high-rises.

 

This is a spectacular not to be missed. Get there early and enjoy the atmosphere.

 

St Helena Island - 21 Best Things to do in and around Brisbane

St Helena Island

3. Tour St Helena Island

Learn how St Helena Island is steeped in our History. In 1867 it was chosen as our first Penal settlement due to its location 4kms offshore in Brisbane’s Moreton Bay.

 

The island is now Heritage listed and fantastic tours are operated by Cat O’ Nine Tails Cruises, the only way you can tour the island. Learn all about the rugged life of those that called St Helena Island home in those formative years.

 

http://www.sthelenaisland.com.au/

 

4. Eat Street Northshore

The Eat Street Markets are located at Hamilton and are a culinary delight for everyone regardless of your preferred tastes. Enjoy the enormous array of amazing dishes, live bands, great bars and enjoy a few hours of amazing fun by the Brisbane River.

 

Open every Friday and Saturday from 4pm to 10pm and Sunday from midday to 8pm.

 

https://www.eatstreetmarkets.com/

 

5. Eagle Street Pier

The Eagle Street Pier at Brisbane’s Riverside provides amazing views, sensational restaurants and incredible bars directly looking over the Brisbane River and Brisbane’s iconic Story Bridge. Walk along the riverfront discovering the many different shops and see the Kookaburra Queen paddlewheelers which have been doing cruises of the Brisbane River since 1986.

On Sundays, visit the Riverside Markets for lots of locally made crafts, food, drinks and street performers.

 

http://www.eaglestreetpier.com.au/

http://www.riversidemarkets.com.au/

Book your Buffet Lunch Kookaburra Queens River Cruise here>

Book your Kookaburra Queens City Lights Dinner Cruise here>

        

6. Island time – Stradbroke Island & Moreton Island

Whilst Queensland’s Fraser Island is the most famous island within the state, Moreton Island and “Straddie” are just a short Ferry or Barge trip from Brisbane and are just as majestic. Go Camping on the islands and feel like you’re in paradise.

Spend time at Tangalooma Resort, snorkel the wrecks, check out Cape Moreton, ride the Sand Dunes and drive the magnificent beaches. Both Islands are truly amazing.

 

Stradbroke Island –

Book a North Stradbroke Island 4WD Day Tour here>

 

Moreton Island –

Book a Moreton Island 2 Day Tour here>

Book a Tangalooma Day Trip with Activities here>

 

21 Best Things to do in and around Brisbane

Eleven Rooftop Bar

 

7. Visit the Eleven Rooftop Bar in Brisbane

This amazing restaurant at 757 Anne St Fortitude Valley features spectacular views over the Brisbane Inner City as well as a great bar and fabulous food.

The Eleven Rooftop Bar features in our list of the Best 17 places to Eat and Drink in Brisbane and Gold Coast.

 

Make sure you book, it does get very busy.

 

http://elevenrooftopbar.com.au/

 

21 Best Things to do in and around Brisbane - Brisbane Sign Southbank

Brisbane Sign

8. Go to Southbank on the Brisbane River

Here you can walk around the gardens, take a ride on the big Brisbane Wheel, visit GOMA (the Gallery of Modern Art) for free, swim in the Lagoon at Streets Beach, eat out at the many restaurants and pubs or go at night and visit the markets from Friday to Sunday.

 

Buy your Wheel of Brisbane Tickets here>

 

21 Best Things to do in and around Brisbane - Wilsons Outlook

Wilsons Outlook

9. Wilsons Outlook Reserve New Farm

This park at New Farm has the most incredible views. Arrive just before dusk, take your camera and watch as the Brisbane City, iconic Story Bridge and the Brisbane River transform into an incredible array of colours and beauty as the lights take effect.

 

21 Best Things to do in and around Brisbane - Bee Gees Way at Redcliffe

Bee Gees Way Redcliffe

10. Redcliffe

Redcliffe is just north of the city and it feels like an island as it is mostly surrounded by water. Access from the south is by the 3.2km bridges spanning from Brighton to Clontarf.

 

At Redcliffe foreshore there is a great Lagoon perfect for swimming on a warm Brisbane day. Redcliffe is also considered home to International megastars, the Bee Gees. Visit the incredible Bee Gees Way to see the city’s fantastic tribute to the family that became worldwide superstars.

 

11. Mount Cootha

Mount Cootha in Brisbane’s western suburbs is where the local TV stations reside but it is also a very popular vantage point for locals who run, ride and cycle their way to the top where there are stunning views across Brisbane from the lookout.

The restaurants are very popular and the place of many wedding proposals and ceremonies over the years.

 

12. Roma Street Parklands

The Roma Street Parklands is on the Brisbane City’s doorstep yet offers 16 hectares of Horticultural beauty with its themed gardens and lush greenery. Events are held regularly at the amphitheatre with plays performed by the Queensland Theatre Company and others.

You don’t have to have a green thumb to enjoy a stroll through this parkland.

 

 

Suncorp Stadium

Suncorp Stadium (Lang Park)

13. Brisbane Sporting Stadiums

Suncorp Stadium and The Gabba are Brisbane’s primary sporting stadiums where we cheer on our teams to regular success. Queenslanders are passionate about their sport and turn out to support their teams whenever they are in town.

Previously named Lang Park the name was changed to Suncorp Stadium in 1994. It now holds crowds of 52,500.

Go the Broncos and the Queensland Bulls!

 

Boggo Road

Boggo Road Gaol

14. Take a Tour of Brisbane’s old Boggo Road Gaol

The Brisbane Boggo Road Gaol once housed Queensland’s most feared prisoners until it was closed in July 1992. Today you can take tours and hear about the days in the lives of those that found their way inside. At night they also provide ghost tours but we stayed with a daytime visit.

https://boggoroadgaol.com/

 

Houseboat Gold Coast Broadwater

Houseboat Gold Coast Broadwater

15. Houseboating on the Gold Coast Broadwater

It’s a lot of great fun and we have been houseboating several times before we left on our road trip around Oz. We always used Coomera Houseboats, the staff are fantastic and the boats were perfect for our trips.

 

https://www.coomerahouseboats.com.au/

 

16. Climb Brisbane’s Story Bridge

The Story Bridge Climb takes you over Brisbane’s iconic Story Bridge. Walk up the top for an amazing experience, standing high above the traffic overlooking the Brisbane River and the City.

Book your Brisbane Story Bridge Adventure Climb here>

 

Redcliffe Jetty Markets

Redcliffe Jetty Markets

17. Weekends are great for Markets in Brisbane

Every Saturday from 6am to midday the Carseldine Markets on the corner of Beams and Dorville Roads at Carseldine provide superb fresh products and craft ideas. You can enjoy a fantastic array of foods and juices or coffee in a great atmosphere with easy parking and it’s Free to enter.

 

On Sunday you can visit the Cleveland Markets near the Bay where you will find many craft stalls, lots of entertainment, great food and fresh produce.
The Cleveland markets have operated for over 30 years and you can see them on Bloomfield Street Cleveland where they are open from 7am to 1pm every Sunday.

 

The Redcliffe Jetty Markets are located in the main street overlooking Moreton Bay and features many stall holders with a great range of home made products. There’s a great variety of food and drinks and on a sunny day the position is perfect.

 

http://carseldinemarkets.com.au/

https://www.clevelandmarkets.com.au/

https://redcliffejettymarkets.com/

 

21 Best Things to do in and around Brisbane - King Island

King Island

18. Take a 1km walk out to King Island

At low tide at the bayside suburb of Wellington Point in Brisbane’s East you can walk across to King island. Time it right and you can enjoy a stunning sunset as you walk across the sandy straight to the island.

 

21 Bests Things to do in and around Brisbane - Camping

Moreton Island camping

19. Go Camping

Within 1-2 hours from Brisbane are so many fantastic camping experiences. Noosa North Shore Campground is fantastic or take the Barge across to Moreton Island or Stradbroke Island.

 

You can go to Somerset Dam west of Brisbane or a short drive to the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast Hinterlands all provide amazing places to park the caravan or pitch a tent. Here you can enjoy the Wildlife, go swimming and fishing and escape city life for awhile.

 

https://www.noosaholidayparks.com.au/noosa-north-shore

 

Beenleigh Rum Distillery

Beenleigh Rum Distillery

20. Visit the Gold Coast

Head south just an hour from Brisbane and visit the world renowned Gold Coast with its superb beaches and fantastic waterways. What we love about the Goldie is there’s always something happening. Visit the theme parks, hang out at Cavill Mall, dine in the wonderful restaurants at Broadbeach, surf at Snapper Rocks or Burleigh Heads and enjoy some good fishing.

Movieworld, Sea World and Wet’n’Wild –

Purchase a 3 Day Pass here>

Dreamworld & WhiteWater World –

Purchase a 1 Day Pass here>

 

Don’t miss Springbrook National Park in the Hinterland and while there visit Purling Brook Falls, Best of all Lookout and Natural Bridge. At night you will see Glow worms and Fire flies.

 

On the way to the Gold Coast stop into the famous Yatala Pie Shop and do a tour of the Beenleigh Distillery and enjoy some samples of their products.

 

https://parks.des.qld.gov.au/parks/springbrook/

https://www.beenleighrum.com.au/distillery

http://www.yatalapies.com.au/

 

21 Best Things to do in and around Brisbane - Noosa National Park

Noosa National Park

21. Visit the Sunshine Coast

Conversely, head north an hour and take in all that is the Sunshine Coast. Much more laid back, the beaches are equally fantastic. Visit Coolum Beach and Noosa National Park, Buderim Falls, SEA LIFE at Mooloolaba for the marine life and go to the amazing Australia Zoo owned by the family of Steve Irwin.

Climb Mt Coolum or head inland and visit wonderful towns like Kenilworth, Maleny, Montville and Mapleton plus be sure to visit the Ginger Factory at Yandina.

The Sunshine Coast is fantastic with so much to see and do.

 

SEA LIFE Sunshine CoastPurchase your General Admission Tickets here>

Australia Zoo – Purchase your General Admission Tickets here>

Ginger Factory – Purchase your Ride Double Deal Tickets here>

 

 

There are so many great places to eat out around Brisbane and Gold Coast. Read about our best 17 places to Eat and Drink

 

If you are looking for somewhere to stay in Brisbane with your Caravan or Motorhome the Lawnton Showgrounds provides the perfect place to stay. Located on Brisbane’s Northside it has power and water for just $25 per night. It is an easy walk to Lawnton Rail Station and 5 minutes drive either direction to plenty of shopping options.

 

Check out How to get to Brisbane and Southbank if you are in your Motorhome or Caravan

You may also enjoy watching https://indefiniteleave.com.au/australia-road-trip-ep-1-springbrook-national-park/

 

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Photography and Socials

Our camera equipment we use for all our photos and videos are:

Canon 800d – https://amzn.to/2vGuQUt – the latest DSLR Canon 24mp camera, buy here to save.
Canon 50mm lens – https://amzn.to/2Llh4BD. This is the lens I use the least, ideal for still, close up shots.
Canon 24-105mm lens – https://amzn.to/2vAtF9b. This is my all round, every day use, zoom lens. Amazing quality, great price.
Canon 70-300mm lens – https://amzn.to/2vAuxKZ. I use this one a lot for long range shots.
Sigma 10-20mm lens – https://amzn.to/2JcLDqn. My wide angle lens for all my inside photos & video plus lots more, love this lens.

The new Go Pro 7 – https://amzn.to/2vyuP4X –  is an awesome piece of equipment. I use this for all underwater, action video and some general use. Buy here brand new and great value.

Mavic Pro Platinum Drone – https://amzn.to/2URtUXG. This is an absolute ripper of a drone. The Fly More Combo will provide you with everything you will need. I use this for all my aerial footage and this price is well below other retail stores. _________________________________________________________________

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Adventurers Diary

Tent Camping on Fraser and Moreton Island

What was it like camping in a tent for the best part of 4 of our last 5 weeks?

 

We loved it!!

 

Of course, the magnificent locations of Fraser Island and Moreton Island sure helped. But we really did love it.

Mostly we liked the simplicity.

 

Camping on Fraser Island

 

Camping in a Tent – Back to Basics

It brought us back to the basics of life and a greater feeling of closeness with nature.

 

We liked being so close to everything. Waking up and looking out the front opening of the tent straight out at the ocean. Watching as the sun took it’s first glimpse above the horizon as a new dawn began each day from our pillow was incredible.

 

Taking one step outside the tent and feeling the sand under our feet. The coolness of the sand and the unequivocal Australianism of sand between your toes first thing every day is amazing.

 

I loved being bare foot all day every day.

 

Putting up the tent for the first time on Fraser Island

 

Daily Routine

Our daily shower was an early morning swim in the ocean. We would wake around 5am, admire the sunrise, enjoy a wonderful breakfast before putting on some board shorts and Adele in her bikinis and enjoy the most liberating and amazing swim to start the day.

It is crazy just how amazing it would make you feel. Man I felt alive!!

 

Tent Camping and waking up to a magnificent sunrise on Fraser Island

 

In the afternoons we would rinse off under our solar shower and it was amazing how hot the water was after a day baking in the sun.

The tent held up really well to the rainy night we had on Fraser and a very windy night on Moreton.

We were in bed most nights at 7.30 and awake at Sunrise and we loved that.

Our new double burner stove was perfect and allowed us to cook a big variety of meals. Adele made the most amazing Pizza’s on the burner, they were super delicious!

 

Sleeping in the tent was so much cooler. Outside with the ocean breezes and an air bed that actually becomes cold through the night. We had to create a thick liner between the bed and us to keep ourselves warm during the night from the coolness of the air bed.

Being in a tent forces you outside. There’s not a lot to do inside the tent so you sleep in there and not much else. The rest of the day you are outside, experiencing adventure, interacting with nature and enjoying the beauty of the great Australian outdoors.

 

Stunning sunset on Moreton Island
Tent Camping on Fraser Island

 

Our Camping Equipment:

We borrowed a mate’s Coleman Riverview 8 Tent. We wanted to keep the size to a minimum to save on space and weight and it was perfect for us for these camping trips.

There was plenty of room inside and the simplicity of it was awesome for packing and unpacking, especially as we setup 3 times as we moved around on Fraser Island.

My mate also lent us his PRIMUS 60L dual zone fridge/freezer plus his 200amp AGM battery to run it. This was a lifesaver and was so perfect for us. It drew little power and worked ridiculously well.

We had our Waeco 35L fridge which we ran from our 120amp Lithium battery. We ended up turning this one off after a few days and didn’t even take it to Moreton Island.

 

Tent Camping and waking up to the magnificent sunrises on Fraser Island

 

The portable toilet was a Kings model you can buy from the 4wd Supacentre. We paid just $79, heaps less than other ones we looked at. It was excellent and worked perfectly.

Our portable 2 burner cooktop is a Campmaster we bought on special from Big W for just $35. We really loved it and didn’t bother taking our Weber Baby Q with us and now don’t think we will need it. The Portable burner did everything we wanted and it’s so much more compact and easy to use.

 

Adele fishing on Moreton Island

 

For lighting we had our Ryobi 18v area light plus my awesome aircraft grade aluminum 1000 lumen torch. If needed we also had lighting from the canopy of the 4wd.

Our Solar shower was less than $10 from 4wd Supacentre and it also worked perfectly. Afternoon showers were fabulous and after the day in the sun the water was genuinely hot.

I did put a hole into our first one when on Fraser, it was my fault as I put it up on a branch with a broken branch behind it that punctured a hole, but at $9.95 it was no issue to replace it again.

 

Dingo checking out our campsite on Fraser Island

 

Camping Royalty

The Royal Chair that Queen Adele would sit and wave to passing 4wd’s was so good but sadly it too succumbed to a Dingo attack on Fraser Island and it had to go to Royal heaven. We got it on special at Big W for just $15 but it was the last one and now we can’t get another.

It was so comfy and we had to fill the base with water which gave it weight and kept it stable, unless of course you sit in it on top of a dune and it does backflips and rolls over and breaks your rib. Poor Adele, was so bloody funny though lol

 

Adele sitting in the Royal Chair waving to passing 4wds

 

It had been about 25 years since we last went camping in a tent and back then it was with an old tucker box with Dry Ice and we had to dig holes to go to the toilet. For cooking we had to lug around a gas bottle and stove and also a gas light. Camping is way easier today with the more modern and sophisticated tools at our disposal.

 

If you haven’t been camping in a tent recently, consider the opportunity to go back to basics and embrace life in it’s most simple form.

 

My Tip for Tent Camping: Check weather forecast first, it’s a lot less fun if it is raining and or there are gusting winds.

 

Safe Travels

Kev & Adele
Indefinite Leave

 

Also check out our videos Moreton Island Everything you Need to Know

and Exploring Fraser Island Beaches, Tracks, Creeks and Rocks by 4wd

 

You may also enjoy reading our 21 Best Things to do in and around Brisbane

and What it REALLY costs to Road Trip Australia

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Where to Find Us

Follow us, Subscribe, Like, Share, and Comment on our website and social media here:-

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Website: https://indefiniteleave.com.au/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/indefiniteleave

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com.au/indefiniteleave/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/indefiniteleav3

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Adventurers Diary

Our Best Travel Tips

It’s 1398 days on a road trip of a lifetime for us at Indefinite Leave and we have loved every single moment, the good, the bad, the ugly and everything that comes with it, so we have had plenty of time to identify our our best travel tips for you.

4 years ago we came to a point where we knew we wanted more. Work was killing us, we had become lost in city life, our morals had become corrupted. Our lives felt mundane, every day was like Groundhog day and the stress and pressure of work, a mortgage, more bills, housework and everything else we all deal with was taking a toll. Our desire to travel and explore was off the Richter scale.

We needed more, we wanted to see magnificent sunsets, be amazed by an outback night sky, interact with animals in the wild and experience places we had never been.

 

Our Best Travel Tips - Moreton Island

 

The Changes in our 4 years

A lot has changed since we left, we started out as 4 and now we are 2. Our eldest son Matt was with us for the first 2 years and when he finished up just before Christmas 2017 he was a new man. He found happiness, he found joy, he had so many great new friends, he had new skills and he was more confident. We miss having Matt with us but his time had come to create his own new life.

We also started with our beautiful Golden Retriever named MACKS. Wow, she had a ball traveling the country with us for her last 16 months. Devastatingly we had to let her go in June 2017 as arthritis had crippled her.

Kev was a complete frog when we left and really felt the cold. Now the cold doesn’t bother him so much and he swims in much cooler waters than ever before. His fishing hasn’t improved though haha

Adele is really enjoying life without work. Much less stress, far more sleep. Not so many nights laying in bed with her mind racing thinking about what needs to be done tomorrow at work. This lifestyle really suits us both.

 

Climbing Mt Kosciuszko - Sitting on Top of Australia

Our Best Travel Tips For You

For the last 1398 days this has been our experience, so here’s our best travel tips for you:

– Embrace everything about life on the road. There will be bad days and very bad days. But they will be outweighed and outnumbered by the good days.

– Say Hello to everyone you meet. A simple question like how long are you staying or where are you from can open the door to amazing new friendships. Strangers are friends you haven’t met yet.

– Australian Wildlife and Marinelife is amazing.

– Say yes. Don’t overthink things, bad weather, rough track, a bit unsure, just do it!!

– Found a nice secluded spot to yourselves? Crank some great music up a bit, spread out, have a glass or 3, dance and live the moment.

 

Lake Birrabeen on Fraser Island

 

– It’s all about Freedom. Open space with nowhere to be.

– There’s nothing better than a great fire beside a river or on the beach, a few beers/rums and wine, new mates and a view to die for.

– See Australia, don’t just exist out there. Climb that Gorge, walk that trail, take that scenic flight, visit those caves, do the Gaol tour, go on the fishing charter, see that island. Because it’s about experiences.

– The human mind and body can do a lot more than you think it can.

– Live life on your own terms. Make your own daily choices and live irresponsibly.

– You can make more money at home but you may only have one chance to really explore Australia. Do it while you can.

– Don’t rush, see everything you possibly can. Uluru, Karijini, Kakadu, The Cape are all a long way. You will probably never get there again so take your time and enjoy the moments for as long as you can.

– It’s an adventure, not a holiday.

– No stress allowed!! So be sure to leave it at home.

– Fall in love with your partner all over again.

 

Best Travel Tips - Fall in love with your partner all over again

– It’s all about the journey.

– Get a Samsung phone. Their cameras are amazing.

– Get lost. Literally, go get lost and enjoy the experience.

– Step out of your comfort zone and do what scares you.

– Leave behind life as you know it and build a newer, better, more adventurous you.

– Don’t turn on TV, it’s just junk and because it can be depressing.

– Telstra or Boost, because that’s your only options.

 

Best Travel Tips - A 4wd does get you places others can't

 

Wikicamps is your Bible but the best places are found by chatting to other people.

– A 4wd does get you places others can’t. So will being self contained.

– Free camp. You will meet more people, friendlier people, have more space and privacy and love the experience more.

– You will see more and it will cost a lot less without your pet.

– When you’ve decided the absolute minimum ‘must take’ essentials for your trip, then reduce it again.

– Back up your photos often because it’s beyond tragic if you lose all of those memories.

 

What are your best travel tips? Share them in the comments below 🙂

 

Safe travels

Kev & Adele
Indefinite Leave

If you enjoyed this blog, you may also enjoy reading:

What it REALLY costs to travel Australia

Our 22 Best Free Camps in Australia

Our 29 Best Campgrounds in Australia

Motorhomes vs Caravans

Magnificent Honeymoon Bay NSW

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Website: https://indefiniteleave.com.au/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/indefiniteleave

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com.au/indefiniteleave/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/indefiniteleav3

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Adventurers Diary

Motorhomes vs Caravans – the facts

Motorhomes vs Caravans! This is a discussion we hear so often, so what’s better, Caravans or Motorhomes?

This question is messaged to us a lot. We read about it online all the time and it’s a constant in discussions around the campfire and at Happy Hour all across the country. I even went and watched my mates in my old cricket team play yesterday and one of them brought up the subject.

 

Motorhomes V Caravans - the facts

 

Which is fine except it rarely involves the Facts!!

In most cases those who own Caravans argue why they are better while Motorhome owners inherently argue why theirs is better.

Neither Motorhomes or Caravans are perfect

The truth is, neither is better than the other.

Each one has benefits the other one doesn’t have.

Now of course there’s numerous other options too including Fifth Wheelers, Campervans (whizz bangers), Camper Trailers, Slide Ons, Tents, Swags and more. But most people travel in Caravans or Motorhomes and these are the two that are almost always discussed in comparisons so I’ll stick with just talking about them today.

It’s at this point I’ll stick up my hand and say I’ve never owned a Caravan. I’ve towed trailers and boats and all sorts of things but never a Caravan. Personally I’d be happy if I never did but the reality is it’s probably inevitable that one day we will.

Our choice of weapon for our almost 4 years so far around Australia is a Motorhome. We met, traveled with and spent so much time with others who tow Caravans. We saw their processes, watched them as we followed up the highways and of course discussed their caravans in length over many dampers and a Rum or three around a fire at night. I think I’ve got something of a grasp on towing a Caravan however admittedly not the experience.

 

Free Camping in our Motorhome

Our decision not to tow

We decided from the beginning not to tow. We thought if we needed a vehicle we would use a Taxi or hire a car. On a couple of occasions, we did use Taxi’s but never ended up hiring a vehicle. We’ve heard others say the same thing, we’ll just hire a car, but that didn’t happen for us and it really isn’t a solution either.

We chose not to tow because we thought the size of our 8m Motorhome was already big enough to deal with and we didn’t want the extra cost of maintaining another vehicle.

But let’s be honest, most travelers traverse the country by Caravan which has to suggest for most people it is the preferred method.

 

Motorhomes v Caravans - the facts

 

If we were starting over again and I knew then what I know now, I’d have still chosen a Motorhome but I would have taken a trailer and a decent 4wd. But we were complete rookies and we are very happy with the decisions we made, they were the right choices for us at that time.

Read all about our decision for buying our Motorhome here

The Motorhomes vs Caravans Debate

Let’s look at the argument, Caravans vs Motorhomes.

The 2 favourite lines by Caravan owners are:

With a Caravan you can unhook and use your car!!

This is true and it is the greatest benefit of Caravans vs Motorhomes. It can be counter claimed by Motorhome owners that they too can tow a vehicle. This is a fair argument however it does have limitations. Towed vehicles are almost always a Suzuki which are the most suitable to be flat towed. Some travelers will tow a trailer but weight limits usually see this method also limit the Motorhome to towing a smaller car such as the Suzuki or similar.

 

Motorhomes and Caravans on display at the Brisbane Caravan and Camping Show

 

The benefit here of the Caravan is the tow vehicle is normally a larger 4wd. With this option you can take a Swag, small tent or similar and leave the Caravan behind for days to go off track and see more places. Realistically it simply opens more doors to see more places.

 

There’s also beach camping such as 80 Mile Beach and Warroora Station in WA, some amazing places along the beaches at the bottom of WA, Gibb River Rd, Carmila Beach in Qld, Cape York, Tomato Island and Roper Bar, Gunlom Falls in the NT and no doubt the list goes on and on of great places a 4wd and Caravan can go that a Motorhome can’t or shouldn’t.

This is without doubt the greatest benefit of a Caravan over a Motorhome.

Check out our video of how we almost got bogged in the motorhome!

 

Sunset reflecting on our motorhome at 1770

Motorhomes vs Caravans – the facts

So lets look at the Facts:

Common statement: In a Motorhome you have to pack up everything to go to the shops to buy Bread or Milk!!

Despite what too many people proclaim, you never have to “pack everything up” to go down the shop to get milk and bread. NEVER HAPPENS!!

Never, Ever, Ever!!

When you arrive in town in a Motorhome if you need groceries you go get them. If not, you are either towing a vehicle or, if like us you only have the Motorhome, then you are going out most days anyway.

We don’t set up like you do in a Caravan. We don’t put out an annexe, actually we often didn’t even put out the awning. No awning mats, no ropes, no permanent structure. It takes little more than 5 mins to put a few bits of cutlery away, bring in the slide-out, take down our curtain, unplug the power if on a powered site and be driving away.

 

Aerial view of freecamping with our motorhome at McGaurans Beach

 

It’s simple and easy and not once did we ever have to do that because we needed to go around to the shop for milk. Lets debunk that myth now forever.

 

Shops are often walking distance anyway but again, it was never an issue and I don’t remember ever needing to walk to the shops to buy something we needed.

 

Motorhome Benefits

Motorhomes don’t roll over.

Ok sure, it’s possible, but it’s so rare it’s reasonable to say it never happens. Stories of Caravans rolling over however seem to be a daily occurrence. It’s so common there’s enormous debate about whether Caravan owners should have a special license and we are now seeing weigh stations popping up around the country to police it.

This was a major factor for us deciding to choose a Motorhome.

 

Motorhome V Caravans - the facts

 

In a Motorhome we can stay places you can’t in a Caravan

We stealth camp!!

There I’ve said it. We keep it a secret because we know there’s always going to be those that want to tell everyone else how they should live their life and how there’s rules against it blah blah. The very politicians who make our rules break rules themselves every day of the week. Much much bigger rules that have far greater impact than us pulling up somewhere for the night.

Anyway, I digress 🙂

We can park places you couldn’t get away with in a Caravan. Hotel carparks, Shopping Centre carparks, Sportsgrounds, general parks and boat ramps. We’ve stayed in them all and more and whilst some Caravan owners might too, it’s much easier to do in a Motorhome and get away with it.

(I just know I’m going to regret disclosing this… )

 

It’s cheaper in a Motorhome

With our Kitchen with us everywhere we went, we never ate out. Our food, drinks and cooking equipment were always on hand saving us heaps.

We also liked never needing to find public toilets let alone having to use one. Our bathroom was always with us.

If we pulled up somewhere and thought let’s go for a swim or get out the fishing rods, our gear was always there.

We also never found ourselves annoyed because we left the camera behind.

Our Motorhome has 6 tyres, 2 less than many 4wd and caravan setups.

1 vehicle to maintain unless you choose to tow.

No hitching and unhitching. As you get older for many it becomes a chore.

Motorhomes rarely get stolen. Caravans are a definite target for lowlife thieves.

 

Willow RV Caravan on display at the Caravan & Camping Show

 

Caravan Benefits

You can go more places. As discussed previously, the 4wd opens up so many more places a Motorhome just doesn’t often allow you.

More space. The 4wd gives you the whole tray and with a rooftop rack you can get a lot more up there too. We looked at Caravans recently at the Brisbane Camping Show and they don’t seem to have the external storage we do with our Motorhome though.

Having your base. It’s great that you can park the Caravan and know you have that base to come back to in the afternoon that’s all set up and you can just walk in and relax. It only takes us 10 minutes in the Motorhome but sometimes after a long day it would be great to just turn off the ignition and reach for the esky for a cold beverage.

The 4wd is perfect for carrying firewood. We didn’t have anywhere external for that and the one time we decided to get some firewood and we put it inside the Motorhome, we ended up with white ants inside. Never again!!

Lots of people do have external setups in their Motorhome for firewood but it’s so much simpler and easier with a 4wd.

Securing your Campsite

Knowing your Campsite is secure when you leave for the day. In our almost 4 years we never once came back to find someone had taken our spot. We always left our table and chairs out and all was fine when we returned. We did often comment, I wonder if our stuff is still there or wonder if someone has taken our spot. It never happened but it was something that would briefly be on your mind as we drove back. Not such an issue with a Caravan, you just hope the Van is still there I guess lol

 

The fuel economy from my experiences reading and talking to both Caravan and Motorhome owners is they are pretty similar. As mentioned though, we weren’t towing a vehicle. Smaller Motorhomes than ours and those without the overhead cabin that we have would achieve better fuel economy and probably be more fuel efficient than most 4wd and Caravan setups.

 

We now do own a 4wd, having bought a Triton recently. So far we have used the 4wd for trips to Fraser Island and Moreton Island so no major trips where we have had to decide how we incorporate both vehicles but that time will come very soon.

 

There it is, my thoughts on the real differences between a Caravans vs Motorhomes. Sure, there are other factors but I think these are the major differences.

What are your thoughts regarding Motorhomes vs Caravans?

 

If you’re considering which way to go for your Big Lap of Oz, hopefully we’ve given you some valid points to consider. Most importantly, it doesn’t matter how you do it, just do it and enjoy the adventure 🙂

 

Safe travels

Kev & Adele
Indefinite Leave

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