Modern Australians are descended from desert-loving immigrants who traveled halfway around the world at great peril to make a foothold and build a life on this harsh, island continent. Australians yearn for the Bedouin life of their ancestors, and so they are a nation of road warriors, who show their love of country by criss-crossing it any way possible: from camels to bicycles to Holden wagons to fully-rigged, thoroughly modern camper vans, motorhomes and caravans.
Because of this, the Australian coast is ringed with “caravan parks” which range from dry, vacant lots, to luxury pieces of land overlooking some of the world’s greatest surf spots. And because Australia is set up to accommodate campers, touring Australia in 2WD and 4WD camper vans is the best way to experience all that Australia has to offer.
Mainland America is roughly 2700 miles from west to east, 1600 miles north to south and has ocean on three sides. The island continent of Australia is roughly 2600 miles from west to east, 2000 miles north to south and because it's an island continent, it has ocean on all sides. Australia’s 16,006 miles of coastlines rates sixth in nations with the longest coastline, and the United States is just after it, in seventh place with 12,380 miles of coastline.
Funny thing about this game of comparative country is there are more people living in the state of California between San Francisco and Mexico than there are in the entire 2,941,299 square miles of Australia. And while 90% of Australia’s population lives along the coast, they are mostly clustered in a handful of large urban centers, so the population of Australia doesn’t even come close to making a dent on all that coastline.
Some coastlines are surf-friendly, some aren't. The Oregon coast, for example, is not very surf friendly but because Australia is also a desert continent, it's coastline is almost relentlessly surf-friendly, from the hidden-away surf spots of the Great Barrrier Reef up in Queensland, all the way around to the cold-water reefs in the Australian Bight and up along the west coast.
What it all adds up to is Australia is the Surfer's Continent covering 29° of latitude, 40° of latitude and blessed with more kinds of climate zones and surf spots than any other surfing nation on earth.
With the exception of some of the busier urban surf centers - like Queensland's Surfer's Paradise and Sydney in New South Wales and Perth in Western Australia - exploring Down Under is like going back in time: like California in the early 1960s - except supersized.
The vast majority of the Australian coastline is undeveloped but accessible from lazy two-lane highways winding their way through small coastal towns, national parks and miles of uncrowded beaches. And unlike a lot of tropical destinations, this country is right point heaven: Noosa, Burleigh, Kirra, Snapper Rocks, Byron Bay, Lennox Heads, Crescent Heads, Angourie, Winki Pop, Bells Beach...the list goes on and on.
And that doesn't even include Australia's fabled West Coast, the most consistent surf zone on earth.
Australia is the home of the Road Warrior series of movies, and the Aussies are as in love with the empty roads and the wide open spaces of their country as Americans used to be. Getting on the road is the best way to experience as much of the Australian coast as you possibly can.
Waterways has teamed up with Maui Rentals and Britz to offer 2wd and 4wd vehicles to accommodate from two to six surfers. There is a lot to see in Australia and it’s nice to know that as much as you see in a week or fortnight or a month, there will always always be more.