Family holiday review: Australia in a camper van

Take to the open road Down Under with your family and enjoy stunning scenery and lots of sunshine

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“With two very lively children, Nancy, 7, and Henry, 5, and my wife Jane, 40, and I not being the types to sit still on a beach for long ourselves, the idea of touring in a camper van really appealed. Especially somewhere famed for the open road like Australia.

“Travelling such a distance by plane (nearly 24 hours) with young children was quite challenging. Online check in and pre-booked seats as well as in-flight entertainment (and very friendly Quantas cabin crew) made the journey go as smoothly as possible. Once we arrived in Cairns, picking up the motor home was easier than expected. The vehicle was surprisingly easy to drive, and the roads were generally quiet, so we were able to take our time and enjoy the amazing coastal scenery. It was an instant hit with the kids, too. So much roomier than a car and you don’t have to pack everything up when you want to move on. Cooking and sleeping all in one big driveable holiday home was pure escapism. And it felt really free not being tied in to hotel meal times and schedules.

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“On a campervan holiday you park the van at a campsite when you’re not visiting the beach or a town or city. Most have a pool, electricity and water hook up, showers, loos, communal barbecue facilities and a basic shop. If you’re prepared to spend a bit more, about £40 a night, you’ll find laundry facilities, internet access, and reception with local tourist information.

Australian road trip

“We also used the communal barbecue areas a lot. You can prepare and cook food and do washing up there. It’s a great way to meet people and get local information.

“Day trips out were made so much easier because you don’t have to pack a bag of what you need – it’s all in the van! The beaches in Queensland are safe and quiet, although it’s advisable to try to avoid being in the direct sun between noon and 2pm.

“For anyone who wants a night away from the van, there are plenty of resorts to check in to. We spent two nights at the Silky Oaks Lodge resort in the heart of the Daintree Rainforest, and enjoyed bike hire, walks and canoeing. The rooms were comfortable and staff were very accommodating.”

Holiday highlight

“The resort of Dunk Island was huge fun. With water sports, a kids club, horse riding, and six different places to eat, Dunk offers in a host of activities in a family-friendly atmosphere.”

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