Back in June we shared six of our top tips to make the most of your short-range road trips. Little tips to help optimise whatever time off you do have, and to get the most out of a quick getaway.

Here’s a further half dozen thoughts that might help provide the kick in the pants to get out there and make the most of this weekend. It might only be two days off, but getting out there for a night under the stars and a day on the tracks beats staying at home on the couch!



The Coffs Harbour hinterland is where 4WDing dreams come true. Pic: hema

Through the busy school holidays, you can bet that on any given weekend when the sun’s out all of the popular coastal campsites within cooee of a capital city or major population centre are going to be chokkas.

If you prefer a more tranquil camping experience, why not try a different approach?

Consider heading inland and posting up for a night or two in a less populated bushland setting. If you can locate a spot in a hilly national park with a bit of elevation, nighttime temperatures can be much cooler and more comfortable than by the coast. If there’s a river or waterhole nearby for an afternoon dip then you’ve hit the bonanza!



Mix up your destinations and add some spice to your touring life.

We’ve all got our own little selection of favourite spots to escape to, and when trying to factor in a short break, it’s easy to stick with the tried and true option.

Why not challenge yourself to expand your bank of offroad hotspots by visiting somewhere new at least once every other month? Commit to this and within a year you’ll have ticked off at least half a dozen new destinations, and might have even discovered your new favourite offroad retreat.



You’ll most definitely be thanking yourself for having a quality first aid kit on hand if you run into one of these creepy critters around camp.

The last thing most of us want to think about when packing for a weekend getaway is something going awry and somebody getting injured. But accidents do happen, and if you’re packing a quality first aid kit, you’ll be much better placed to mitigate them.

Survival Emergency Solutions offer a selection of high quality, really good value first aid kits that you can stow in the back of the fourby for emergencies.

Check ‘em out at



Sun goes down, bugs come out. Plan ahead and pack some quality DEET-based repellent and stop mozzies in their tracks.

A lot of the real bell-ringer campsites look out over a pretty creek, river or waterhole. Unfortunately, more often than not where there’s water, there’s mozzies. Few things ruin a camping trip quicker than being eaten alive by swarms of the nasty bloodsuckers.

Plan ahead and pack prevention. Citronella candles and coils may help a little, but it’s hard to go past the effectiveness of a good spray of Bushman’s to keep the little blighters at bay.

Sure, DEET will probably be shown to cause you to grow an extra head at some stage, but it’s got to beat being main course for the hordes of sandflies, mozzies and ticks sharing your campsite.



Packing lightly and efficiently will help you maximise your time off.

Look, we’re not advocating leaving your sleeping bag or recovery kit at home, but it’s definitely the case that most of us tend to over pack for short trips rather than the opposite.

When you’re only hitting the road for a day or two, it’s probably not necessary to pack every spare part you own and every recovery contraption known to man. Who wants to waste half a day packing and unpacking when you could spend an extra arvo sitting around camp, or arrive early enough to score the prime site?

You’ve probably got most of your essential gear bolted to your rig as it is, so tick off a basic checklist, load up your camping gear and off you go.



Endless open tracks viewed through the windscreen offer their own kind of rush. Save the caffeine buzz for when you really need it. Pic: Dan Proud.

Guzzling energy drinks and cups of coffee from the servo might be synonymous with roadtrips from some of us… but there’s truly a better way.

While a single coffee might be a necessary heart starter when hitting the highway pre-dawn, the truth is that drinking caffeine throughout the day causes energy levels to fluctuate so dramatically that we’d be better off without it for the most part.

While a small amount of caffeine can help to lower symptoms of fatigue for a couple of hours, the best approach is to stay hydrated and avoid caffeine until towards the end of your drive when you really need that extra little boost to stay focused.

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