Pre-trip - Much planning has already taken place prior to us even undertaking this adventure. Buying a motorhome or any item requiring registration in Australia is an absolute minefield of mind-numbing bureaucracy and paperwork. Compared with the USA and Canada, where I have bought and sold 2 RV's and a car, Australia rates terribly. Even compared with New Zealand, Australia is a nightmare.
I have been to OZ twice since the end of January 2009, once to actually check out a 2nd hand motorhome, which I did not buy due to it being quite shabby and not worth the asking price. As a result of this and contrary to everything I have always said about buying motorhomes and the like, I ordered a motorhome to be built for me. I always said I would never have a boat or motorhome built for me - I far prefer buying a well known brand off-the-floor. One of the main reasons is ease of saleability when the trip is finished - also, you see and inspect what you are getting before laying out any hard-earned dosh.
Anyway, after rejecting the 2nd hand one, I drove directly to Paradise Motorhomes, situated in Arundel on the Gold Coast of Queensland, Australia. There, after long discussions with Colin MacLean (MD) and Mark Rothwell (GM) - and after a detailed tour of their factory premises together with a very detailed explanation of their manufacturing process I decided to order a Paradise Liberty model.
The second time I went across to check the progress of the build (week 6 of 10) and Mark assured me the planned delivery date of 8th April would be met. The other reason for my second trip was to organise a Telstra NextG mobile phone and USB mobile internet service. How else would I keep this website current?
Once again, the application for a mobile phone service was a plethora of silly rules, conditions and paperwork. I had been warned about the poor service Telstra provides but as they have the best mobile range even in the more remote areas, they seemed to be the only viable option. I had also considered the Nomad Satellite Internet solution but whilst it's monthly plan is really good value and the portable dish is not too badly priced I decided against the portable dish aerial option. My views were that in remote areas or in RV parks it would be perfectly acceptably to set-up the dish outside the vehicle, but I felt in town it was totally impractical, imagine the curiosity of passerby's walking past a 95cm satellite dish set-up on the pavement (kerb). Nomad does have a self-seeking roof mounted aerial but the price is 8 times that of the "normal" dish - around AUD$25,000! Just not justifiable for my needs, but if we intended travelling in the real Ozzie outback and deserts, then I would have gone for the manual dish option.
At long last, on Thursday 9th April, we collected or new home, details of our big Aussie trip adventure can be found by selecting any of the month links above or for a large detailed map of our route, select either the Aussie map or one of the state maps above.
Select Month for details of each month's
Australian Motorhome Trip