You want to book a trip somewhere in Australia.
That’s great! So does everyone. And because we can’t all be type-A personalities and have the foresight to book eight months in advance, that means that Airbnb listings quickly get picked off and you’re left with diddly squat. But there’s an abundance of booking resources that’ll help you get gone, so you’re unorganised arse doesn’t have to trawl through the dregs of Airbnb to do it. Here’s some favourites you might know, and some newbies you might not.
Hipcamp was founded in the US, but it’s made its way to Australia and is the kind of booking site that works nicely for everyone involved. It’s pretty simple and works like a dream somewhere like Australia where there’s bush as far as the eye can see as soon as you hit the city limits. Hipcamp’s got over 50K campsites, glamping, RV spots, and cabins all across Australia, which means that landowners can make easy money allowing you to make use of their private land, and you don’t have to pull up stumps two metres away from a family of snot-nosed scooter kids at the local Big4 park (that’s probably booked out anyway). Options range from literal patches of grass on someone’s farm, to riverside cabins, to yurts, so go and make the most of our natural resources and book with Hipcamp.
Love Landys but your inner-city parking situation doesn’t allow you to be the rugged countryman/woman you’ve always wanted to be? You probably need Bear Rentals then. They’ve got a whole fleet of 4WD Campervans that come with absolutely everything you could possibly need: bedding, pillows, towels, cooking and kitchen equipment, fridge, stove, chairs, table and GPS nav. They’re all custom-built and if you’re planning to go real off-road, they’re equipped with the latest battery tech so you can stay in remote places for longer and not have to rely on powered campsites.
Riparide is like Airbnb with a twist. The booking interface is just as user friendly, but they’re focused on offering stays in regional areas (currently they are only taking bookings in NSW and VIC) that get you amongst nature. Another great feature about Riparide is when you’re browsing through different stays, most listings have ‘stories’ attached, which tell you exactly what kind of activities and experiences you can do in the area—which saves you time, and helps you to pick somewhere that’s suited to the kinds of stuff you like to get up to.
Enjoy Campers are new on the market, so get in before everyone else does. They’ve got a range of slick camper vans available for hire in QLD and NSW, and like Bear Rentals, they come fully equipped with everything you need: fridge and freezer, solar panels, camping table and chairs, stove, and even a coffee machine. If you know you’re not going to make good on your resolution to get a van and make it liveable, that’s ok—save yourself a few hundred trips to Bunnings and just hire one of these instead.
Green Getaways does pretty much what it says on the label, and helps link you to the most eco-friendly accommodation options around Australia. They’ve made sure that every listing on their site isn’t just greenwashing their business and actually qualify as a genuine eco-friendly property that’s engaged in sustainable practices. One of the best things about this site is it’s not exclusive to one particular type of stay or budget; they’ve got farm stays, backpacker stays, treehouses, tiny house, cottages, luxe stays, camping, you name it.
You’ve definitely seen these tiny cabins on your Instagram feed before, but that doesn’t make them any less desirable. Solar-powered, environmentally sustainable cabins in hidden locations across Sydney and Melbourne, surrounded by endless stretches of Aussie bushland and zero wif-fi. Sounds pretty nice if you ask me.