One of the biggest things when travelling anywhere is planning where you are going to go and what route you are going to take to get there. Australia is such a huge country and so many areas that we travel into are considered remote, so it is essential that you have reliable and up-to-date maps and guide books.
There are so many maps, books, smart phone apps and GPS systems available now that it can be really hard to choose the right ones for you. It is also very dependant on what type of travel you are going to be doing. If you are going to be getting of the ‘black top’ and doing any sort of four-wheel driving in out of the way locations then you might want to consider a GPS system that has a topographical map component. If you are doing a ‘Tourist Trail’ local maps and guides are essential.
Here is a list of what we currently use on a regular basis:-
1. CAMPS AUSTRALIA WIDE
Camps Australia Wide is, in my opinion, one of the best books on the market. It is now up to edition 9 and improving with each revised edition. It has a comprehensive list of free and low cost campsites as well as detailed HEMA maps, GPS C0-ordinates, dump points and so much more. You can now also get an App for you iPad, iPhone or Tablet. Everything that is included in the book and app has been vetted by the book authors so you know that the information is accurate unlike some other apps that contain unverified information submitted by the general public.
2. HEMA NAVIGATOR (GPS)
We currently own a HEMA Navigator HN5i and it is seriously one of the best things we have ever bought. In the one easy to use unit you get Street Navigation, 4WD Navigation and TOPO Navigation. The TOPO Nav is awesome if you go off-road a lot as you can retrace your path if you need to find a way back out of where you are. It also comes pre-loaded with the Camps Australia Wide camp locations. Handy if you want to plan precisely where you are going to stop and how long it will take you to get there. The HEMA Navigator is now up versions 7 and we can’t wait to upgrade! We have had our HN5i for 4 years now and it has never sent us the wrong way.
3. PAPER MAPS
As good as the above two tools are, I do still like a paper map. HEMA Maps are excellent as they produce highly detailed maps of regional areas. We have all heard a few horror stories about GPS systems sending people down the wrong road, so in the unlikely event of this happening (and it shouldn’t if you keep your unit updated) a paper map can come in handy. I also like to call into Tourist Information Centres in places we visit and pick up local tourist maps and guides. These can often provide you with more local knowledge than what the bigger maps may provide.
Generally, I use paper maps when I am planning a trip and use the HEMA Navigator when we are on the road. Storing maps when travelling can be a problem so I love this vinyl case that I picked up for a few dollars to keep our maps in.
4. WIKI CAMPS
We are recent converts to the Wiki Camps app and we love it. Available for download to your phone or tablet it has so many campsites and tourist attractions listed on it. You are able to create your travel routes, save favourite spots and upload your own reviews and pictures. And for a mere $7.99 it’s great value.
DISCLAIMER: This post contains some Affiliate links for which we may from time to time receive a small commission.