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Why a van is one of the best ways to see the south coast of NSW

I lately traveled across the South Coast and Sapphire Coast of New South Wales in a 2013 Toyota Coaster. It made me understand that there isn’t a higher solution to see this a part of Australia.


When everybody asks “is that your van?” you realize you have executed one thing proper. Sadly for me, the truck I took my final journey in was not mine. Nonetheless: I am used to driving in a Subaru Forester with a nasty catalytic converter and the sloppiest SUV field development I’ve ever seen, so I used to be grateful for the times of truck life afforded me (I rode as a visitor from Camplify).

Something may very well be higher than my Subie. However I additionally assumed {that a} fancy Airbnb or luxurious resort was one of the best ways to journey, if you happen to can afford it. However on the danger of sounding like an previous RV nut, I now understand that the sensation of freedom you get in a pickup truck is unparalleled. Now, I already knew this, due to the automotive. However mix that with the luxurious (relative to a 2006 Subie) you get in an enormous previous truck, and Actually I recognize it.

Appreciation evident… Picture Credit score: James Sales space/DMARGE

That is to not say it was with out its challenges. This in thoughts: listed here are my observations from the primary time I traveled the south coast of NSW (and the Sapphire Coast) by van, and why I believe it is one of the best ways to do it. As for why you need to go within the first place, there’s the stripes in Bendalong, the unimaginable phosphorescence of the sand in and round Jervis Bay, and the enduring white sands of Hyams Seaside, only for starters.

Picture Credit score: Reflections Vacation Parks

There’s additionally wonderful seafood, nice waves, cool nationwide parks and trails, waterfalls, fishing, and way more. However sufficient of that: this is why one of the best ways to see all of it is, for my part, a van.

Touring by van is comparatively low cost

In comparison with staying in a resort or an Airbnb, staying in a van is reasonable. Not solely (in case you have a well-equipped van) do you’ve the flexibility to prepare dinner all of your meals, however you additionally do not must pay for lodging (except you are staying at a campsite or caravan park, by which case it’s important to pay just a little, however not an excessive amount of, in comparison with a resort). That is extra money within the financial institution for driving (learn: seeing extra locations), consuming out (if you happen to’re a little bit of a foodie), and ingesting espresso (some stuff you simply do not skimp on, proper?).

{The electrical} system could take a while to determine

Should you’re not used to life in a van (both since you refuse to dwell in a slum automobile and all the time keep in motels or since you’re used to a extra primitive automotive with no lighting, like me), {the electrical} arrange of a van can take a little bit of getting used to. In contrast to a resort, you need to in all probability attempt to keep away from utilizing a couple of power-hungry gadget at a time, and you ought to be advantageous.

Touring in a van provides one of the best breakfast views.

Cooking up a storm… Picture Credit score: James Sales space/DMARGE

And lunch and dinner, for that matter… Irrespective of how nice the eating places are on supply in a specific vacation spot, you may normally discover a higher viewing spot (after which eat there) together with your van. Oh, and it’s also possible to beat the crowds, typically by parking the evening earlier than someplace you realize will probably be an incredible place to be the following morning.

The south coast is virtually made for a van

It isn’t like South Australia or Cape York the place you want a 4×4, and it is not a metropolis like Sydney or Melbourne the place you may want a automotive. The south coast is stuffed with unimaginable seashores, coves, automotive parks, nationwide parks and campsites, the overwhelming majority accessible by van.

By staying in a van, you get extra ‘particular’ moments than in a resort

Sundown on the Congo seaside. Picture credit score: @tasfiel

You get greater than 1 p.c. what do I wish to say with that? Take this instance. Once we had been in Bermagui, we noticed seals twice. The primary time was proper on arrival, half an hour earlier than sundown, and the second time was within the morning earlier than we left. If we had stayed in a resort or Airbnb, which might have required us to drive to the blue swimming pools of Bermagui (the place the seals frolicked), we in all probability would solely have bothered to go to them as soon as.

Nonetheless, by staying in a van close to the swimming pools (at Reflections Vacation Parks Bermagui), we had been simply capable of get via twice. If you keep in a van, you additionally are likely to take these additional 5 minutes to get pleasure from one thing like a sundown or dawn, since you don’t have anything else to do and nowhere to be (one thing we discovered at Congo Seaside, within the final day of our journey).

By staying in a van, you aren’t tied to a specific itinerary.

Watch us swimming with seals in Bermagui within the video above

Another excuse why a van is, for my part, top-of-the-line methods to see the south coast of NSW is that it provides you most freedom of motion. Though you may normally have a imprecise thought earlier than setting out on the overall route you plan to comply with, if a sure place would not meet your expectations, if you happen to’re in a van (as an alternative of a resort) you may keep for much less time. (or longer) time frame, relying on how you are feeling.

You do not rely upon seaside showers.

Warming up. Picture Credit score: James Sales space/DMARGE

Showering in scenic spots is not one thing you’ve the choice of doing in a daily automotive, and a novelty I discovered onerous to beat.

It is way more comfy than sleeping in your automotive.

golden hour Picture Credit score: James Sales space/DMARGE

As I discovered final 12 months on a visit to the snow, sleeping in your automotive (particularly with a 6’4″ good friend) may be extremely uncomfortable. Sleeping within the van, nonetheless, was one other (luxurious) ballgame, with this specific Toyota Coaster, rented from Campify, outfitted with a queen-size mattress and blackout blinds. Happiness.

Reverse parallel parking is a nightmare

Particularly if you happen to do not personal the truck and subsequently aren’t used to the way it strikes, parking a truck may be fairly tough, particularly in city areas (fortunately, whenever you’re driving in a truck, chances are high you are working away the town, so this may not be an excessive amount of of an issue). I needed to park my Toyota Coaster, which is the dimensions of a small bus, on the town about 5 minutes after it was dropped off at my workplace. I ended up inflicting a line of automobiles ready for me, and the girl behind kindly got here out to assist me again, since she might see that she was struggling.

Itinerary Suggestions

Past the plain must-see spots like Jervis Bay, Narooma, and Hyams Seaside, we predict Kilalea State Park, Clover Hill Path, Bermagui Blue Swimming pools, and Gerringong Falls additionally deserve a point out. And that is simply the tip of the iceberg (we solely spent two days within the van exploring, and I’ve solely been a number of instances earlier than).


DMARGE traveled as a visitor of Bare Malt and Camplify.

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