Winston: Our Wicked Camper Guide on the Great Ocean Road

Wicked Camper - Our Guide on the Great Ocean Road

If you’re planning a road trip and want it to be a little different, say goodbye to your conventional car, RV or camper van and check out Wicked Camper! By renting a Wicked Camper, your road trip has already got more colourful!

As I arrived in Melbourne, Australia I felt like crying. Don’t get me wrong, I loved it, but I had just been travelling around South East Asia so the Australian prices were a hefty shock to the system and my budget.

I was with a couple of mates and we were soon starting to worry about how and where we’d sleep. Day one in Oz wasn’t going to plan! We suddenly had a flash of inspiration… In fact it was a very bold, bright funky flash as a camper van whizzed by.

Although we weren’t considering a road trip just yet, a camper made perfect sense. If it was cheaper than a hostel for the 3 of us then maybe this could work? We found an internet cafe, did the maths and soon discovered Wicked Camper. This suddenly offered us both a place to kip and an awesome, unplanned adventure. You can bet your ass a hostel wasn’t going to be anywhere near as epic as the road trip we were about to embark on.

Hostel dorm for 6 nights for 3 males (on the run up to Christmas) = AU$35 per night. Total: AU$735.00

Wicked Camper for 7 days = AU$358.00 not including (security deposit of AU$100 that you get back)

These prices are from my visit a little while back so check them out if your planning your own Wicked road-trip. 

Our Wicked Camper: Meet Winston

Let me introduce you to the main man. The King of the road. The legend and my friend, Winston ‘I’m your man’ Wicked Camper van.

Wicked Camper

… sure it was going to be a little cramped but hey, cheaper than a hostel bunk.

wicked camper - our guide to the great ocean road

Our Road Trip

Our plan was to head along the Great Ocean Road and see if we could get anywhere near Adelaide and back to Melbourne in the 6 days we had rented Winston for. We set off with a full tank of petrol, a bag of crisps and our spirit of adventure. We completely forgot about a map or anything sensible.

I’ll admit, it took a few hours to get to grips with our new friend. First off, you’d be lucky if you could get the key positioned just right in order to start the engine (anti-theft or anti-idiot… I’m yet to decide). Winston was no youngster. He’d choke and cough if you went anything over 80kph and if you hit any bumps you’d be kissing your ass goodbye… but we couldn’t have had a better time!

These campers aren’t meant to be driven off road, but if you fancy camping out down a dirt road and parking up right by the ocean with koalas in the trees above, then its well worth the risk… just.

wicked camper - our guide to the great ocean road

One of the greatest treats when driving the Great Ocean Road is simply driving it. The views from the coastal roads are staggering.

wicked camper - our guide to the great ocean road

There’s lookouts every few miles and lots of little beaches where you can stop off for a quick dip.

wicked camper - our guide to the great ocean road

A favourite of ours was using the communal bbq’s that crop up all over the place in Australia. As we were now having to cough up for petrol money we were a little low on the food and drinks fund… but then we discovered something that saved our bacon….literally!

TOP TIP – Hold onto your hats…

Supermarkets and petrol stations can’t legally sell food that reaches or passes its expiry date. There’s shelves with expired goods where you can help yourself. We picked up all sorts from bread (that was less than 24 hours past its best), bacon (that was expiring that day), coco cola, beer and even eggs. We had a right hay day.

In fact I was seriously considering writing an expired goods recipe book. Come to think of it, I better trademark that ASAP before any of you sneaky buggers steal the idea 😉

12 in 1

As we continued our journey, we took in all the sights including, most famous of all, The 12 Apostles. This is a must for anyone driving the Great Ocean Road. It’s beautiful at sunrise, all day long and at sunset too.

12 Apostles - wicked camper - our guide to the great ocean road

12 apostles - wicked camper - our guide to the great ocean road

12-apostles - wicked camper - our guide to the great ocean road

As the evenings drew in, we’d go find a spot to set up camp. We found some amazing little spots where there was nobody about, slept down dirt roads where we probably shouldn’t have been and next to caves that looked like they’d be snake infested. We came a little too close to a big ol’ kangaroo and even visited a lighthouse and a cheese factory. Oh yes, this road trip didn’t disappoint.

After day 4 we realised just how far we were from Adelaide. Getting there and then back to Melbourne in our remaining 2 days wasn’t looking possible. Australia is one big ass country after all and what looks like a hop, skip and a jump on the map will probably be a 12 hour journey.

Instead, we decided to spear off into the Grampian Mountains before heading back to Melbourne.

Grampian Mountains - wicked camper - our guide to the great ocean road

Winston turns East

Well, I never did visit Adelaide but the Grampians sure made up for it. Driving through winding roads with a mountain range all around was like a scene out of a great adventure movie.

Much like the Great Ocean Road, the Grampians aren’t limited on look out spots, camping sites, petrol stations and numerous tourist information centres.

Grampian Mountains - wicked camper - our guide to the great ocean road

One night, we fancied getting as high as possible. I don’t mean natural herbs wise but altitude. We wanted to wake up with a view to remember, right at the top of a mountain. Doing so would mean almost pushing Winston up by hand though. It took a good hour or so to rev and slowly crawl our way to the top but it was certainly worth the effort. The next day we woke up in low midst before it slowly cleared, uncovering the spectacular views we had longed for.

Grampian Mountains

After a breaky of free eggs, toast and bacon (thanks to the petrol station!) we began our decent. Luckily for Winston, this was much easier than the climb up. We eased our way down the mountain in reverse gear, slowly revving the engine as we approached sharp bends… I’m not endorsing such lunacy and unsafe driving but it sure saved a bit of precious fuel.

As we began our return to Melbourne, leaving the Grampians behind us, we drove right into a biblical plague from Ancient Egypt…

A swarm of locusts flew at us as we drove down a long stretch of tarmac. They were everywhere. On the road, covering the trees and making the sky turn black. They began getting jammed up in our windscreen wipers and soon we had to stop. Once they passed we took to cleaning up Winston.

Not a glamorous experience but it turned out where we had stopped was a Aboriginal heritage site complete with cave drawings… what a chance find.

Aboriginal art - wicked camper - our guide to the great ocean road

The Ramsay Street Dash

As we approached Melbourne we made one final stop. Well, actually it was less of a stop and more of a drive-by…

We couldn’t miss a visit to Ramsay Street. I grew up watching Neighbours, so this was about to become not only a road trip but a nostalgia trip too.

Unfortunately we arrived on a day that Ramsay Street was closed. I couldn’t believe it! There were security down the far end and cones blocking the road… But sod that. We’d travelled through a swarm of locusts to see Carl Kennedy’s gaf and I wasn’t going to let a few security guards and signs stop us.

We squeezed through the cones and ‘road closed’ signs and began our approach down Ramsay Street. As my childhood memories began to flood back, we were approached by security looking a lot scarier than they did when sat having a coffee and a doughnut in Harold Bishop’s driveway. We gave Winston a rev, did a smooth 8 point turn and shot out of Ramsay Street and off into the sunset… sort of.

Ramsay Street - wicked camper - our guide to the great ocean road

Sure, it wasn’t the visit I planned but I saw it and it was free. Get in!

Bidding Winston farewell 

Of course there’s wide range of campers, all unique in design, age and ability, but in my experience:

The more basic your ride = The more exciting the journey.

For us, this was our Top Gear dream come true and all whilst saving a few pennies on a plain old bunk in a hostel dorm. Winston had done us proud! I was going to miss this rusty little bugger. He was the first friend we made in Australia (and my 33rd form of transport on my trip 9 countries in 85 ways, but he was right up there in the number 1 spot), he looked after us and he made Australia a far greater adventure than we could have ever hoped for… and this was just week 1.

wicked camper - our guide to the great ocean road

There are so many benefits from hiring a Wicked Camper. They’ll bring out the big kid inside us all, re-ignite that sense of adventure and create memories that will last forever. My only regret is that I didn’t rent one for my whole trip.

WickedFind out more

 Have you rented a Wicked Camper, driven the Great Ocean Road or Grampian Mountians or sped your way down Ramsay Street? Share your stories. Would love to hear all about them 🙂

 

Wicked Campers - the perfect guide for the Great Ocean Road

  • squirrel Burnham

    I love the fabulous photography and quirky captions. Can’t wait to experience the next installments …great website !

    • http://www.theglobewanderers.com TheGlobeWanderers

      Thanks! 🙂 x
      (I’d be going wrong somewhere if my mum didn’t like my post)

  • Pingback: A 24 HOUR ADVENTURE IN THE WHITSUNDAYS - The Globe Wanderers()

  • http://joydellavita.com/map Lisa Hyyperlic

    What camera do you use?

    Have a nice Monday 😉

    Lisa | Joy Della Vita Travelblog

    • http://www.theglobewanderers.com TheGlobeWanderers

      Its a mix of a Canon 550D and my little handheld Kodak camera 🙂

  • Chris Nash

    Some great pics!

    Makes me a little nostalgic for home!

    Those Wicked campers seem to be the centre of quite a bit of controversy… in Australia for their often derogatory graffiti, and in NZ they were considering banning them due to all the rubbish campers were starting to leave just by the side of the road…

    Still, road tripping is an awesome experience, as long as people do things right! 🙂

    • http://www.theglobewanderers.com TheGlobeWanderers

      Hi Chris. Yeah, I think its something everyone has their own opinion on. Personally I love a bit of a controversy but can understand both sides of the argument.
      Long as everyone is respectful to their surroundings they can be great fun. Of course there are always some who ruin it for everyone else.
      Thanks for reading

  • Dannielle

    Wow this looks like a dream come true. I travelled around the east coast in 2013 but missed the Great Ocean Road because of time limits. Seriously need to go back and do it all more slowly. It’s the only reason I’ll ever learn to drive!

    • http://www.theglobewanderers.com TheGlobeWanderers

      Hey, Danielle. Ah now if there was ever a reason to learn to drive this could indeed be it! 🙂
      Hope you had an amazing trip back in 2013. Hope you get to explore the Great Ocean Road someday too.
      Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  • Karla Ramos

    You sure did have a fun road trip. I love your pictures and the way you were able to tell us about your adventure. It was a good read from the beginning to the end.

    • http://www.theglobewanderers.com TheGlobeWanderers

      Yes indeed. Thanks so much. Pleased you enjoyed the pics and my story. Really appreciate it, Karla 🙂

  • Kimberly

    You are so much cooler than me. A) because the road trip sounds awesome and I have never pulled that off and b) because tat van is freaggin awesome and so scooby doo

    • http://www.theglobewanderers.com TheGlobeWanderers

      Haha, I’m sure that isn’t true, Kimberly… but thanks. Winston was a dude! Miss him… you wouldn’t be thinking I’m cool in what I drive back home… rather less funky 🙁

  • Himanshu Barsainya

    This is so much awesome. Great shot man. Would try colorful wicked camper some day!

    • http://www.theglobewanderers.com TheGlobeWanderers

      Ah thanks, Himanshu. Hope you get to try them out and you have an awesome trip whether it may take you.

  • https://www.twomonkeystravelgroup.com Mary Charie – TwoMonkeysTravel

    What’s cooler than a camper? You made me really jealous! I’m planning to drive around East Europe with this, if ever I can find one! 😀

    • http://www.theglobewanderers.com TheGlobeWanderers

      Ah, love instilling a feeling of jealousy haha 🙂 Your Eastern Europe trip sounds amazing. Hope you manage to get a Wicked or something similar for it. Will be sure to keep an eye out of that adventure on your blog 🙂

  • sanketdhume

    Oh wow! I’m already in love with that camper. Wicked and how! I’m so jealous of you that you managed to see the 12 Apostles – it’s definitely on my to-do list.

    • http://www.theglobewanderers.com TheGlobeWanderers

      Cheers! The 12 Apostles is a very cool sight. Sure you’ll get to check it out someday.
      Thanks for your love for Winston too 🙂

  • Gemma

    These guys are super famous – their marketing strategy was well, wicked! I look forward to reading this recipe book, get it coined!

    • http://www.theglobewanderers.com TheGlobeWanderers

      I know, they’ve made something pretty special haven’t they?
      Haha, I’ll let you know when my ‘free (past its sell by date) garage food recipe book’ is published 😉

  • Gemma

    These guys are super famous – their marketing strategy was well, wicked! I look forward to reading this recipe book, get it coined!

  • http://www.onceinalifetimejourney.com/ Once in a Lifetime Journey

    This is an awesome trip and the van looks like the best way to see it. I was never a fan of camper vans / vans but this looks like it is the best way to explore

    • http://www.theglobewanderers.com TheGlobeWanderers

      Wicked was a very cool way to see the Great Ocean Road. Winston was a great guide.
      I never considered a Wicked or any other form of camper van before this trip. It changed my opinion thats for sure. Hope you get to give one a go soon 🙂
      Thanks for reading!

  • http://www.compassandfork.com elizabeth

    I enjoyed this post. We see these driving around Melbourne-they always make it you smile! How can you have a bad time in a van that looks like that! And I bet Australia was a shock to the wallet after SE Asia, one of the cheapest to one of the most expensive! You explored a good part of Victoria though- the Grampians are one of my favorites!

    • http://www.theglobewanderers.com TheGlobeWanderers

      Hi, Elizabeth. So pleased you enjoyed the post.
      They’re everywhere right. So pleased one past us when it did or I wouldn’t have had this story to share.
      Loved the Grampians. Absolutely beautiful and somewhere I really hope to return to someday. Was a real unexpected treat 🙂

  • http://www.theglobewanderers.com TheGlobeWanderers

    Ah no, sorry your experience wasn’t all that good with Wicked. Some vans are better than others. Ours was a bit of a rust bucket but I personally preferred that haha.
    Pleased you loved your trip though. Its a great road trip 🙂