Three couples are planning to tour Australia (and possibly New Zealand), January– March 2009. We want to fly then rent small RVs. Each couple will drive their own vehicle. How, what, where should we start pricing and arrange our tour?
-Bonnie, Wilcox, Ariz.
Let's start with RV-rental places so that you can easily compare prices, RVs, and service levels.
One rental company to check out is Apollo Campers, at www.apollocamper.com. As long as you're planning on renting a camper for more than 21 days, you can get some pretty good deals, including an Apollo HiTop (which can house two adults plus one child, if necessary) for right around $40 per day. The vehicle includes a large-sized double bed and an additional overhead bed. It is fitted with a fridge, gas stove, and sink. They also offer rentals in New Zealand.
Another option is Bartrak Motorhome Hire Australia, which is online at http://www.bartrak.com.au/. One of the best features of this site is the Special Deals section, which offers ridiculously low rates if you're willing to relocate vehicles for the company, which might mean driving from Alice Springs to Sydney. How low is ridiculous? Try $1 per day. A handful of these options will even throw in some free gas, which should keep costs extremely low.
Generally speaking, these companies can also help you arrange your driving routes and offer plenty of additional advice for getting around Australia.