Are you a spontaneous adventurer? Or do you like to plan things down to a tee? Whatever your method, Explorer Brooke Nolan reveals the nine steps to the perfect weekend away.


1. Get Your Crew Together

A proper adventure needs a solid crew of dirt-bag adventurers. Drop your crew a text and get ready to go. Except hold up, what’s this? Welcome to challenge Number One. Known as ‘Getting A Date That Works’. It’s all good though, because all adventures start with a Doodle Poll, at least 5,000 date changes, and a Whattsapp chat longer than a Friday afternoon in the office. 

mike gaia Thorsborne Trail // Hinchinbrook Island (QLD) queensland multi day hiking people person hero

Photo by Mike Gaia

2. Get Packing

Give your War and Peace length Whatsapp group chat another workout by planning what you’re taking. From food to tents and stoves to the all important boxed-wine, you gotta get it covered. Of course, everyone will read everything. And will definitely not forget anything. If they do, you’ll be pleased to know that a night in the wild with no stove (or wine) is how truly hardy adventurers are born. 

3. Think About Food Glorious Food

An adventure without good food is like a gin without tonic. It’s imperative that you plan ahead for your campfire masterpiece and do the food shop the night before (at least). That way you have ample time to set up a confusing Splitwise account to share the costs between your unsuspecting crew. 

Food is Fuel // A Guide To Healthy Eating In The Wild, Amelia Gillies, ingredients, food, packing, kit, carrots, cucumber, rice, wine, dehydrated food.

Photo by Amelia Gillies

*Please note that a true adventure most definitely does not include stopping en-route at a random where-the-hell-are-we-supermarket, unless you want to spend double your budget, get distracted by boxed wine, and end up three hours late because you were assessing the perfect firewood quantity and ‘ice to esky’ ratio.

4. Start The Car

Self-explanatory. Unless you’re on a train. If so, you might find this step tricky.

5. Make Sure You Know The Route

If you’re sat in the passenger’s seat you are officially in charge of directions. Don’t question it, that’s just the way it is. And you better be ready too, because nothing can send a driver aquiver more than a passenger who hasn’t loaded up Google Maps before losing signal. My advice? If you’re not sure, make it up and say it with confidence. 

Jacquie Tapsall, hit the road jac, navigation course, wilderness escape, mt barney, south east, queensland, reading maps

Photo by Jacquie Tapsall

6. Stop For Snacks

Road trippin’ is hungry work. After a healthy two hours driving (stop, revive survive people!) pull into a rest area to munch on your pre-prepared egg and salad sandwiches. That way you can avoid screeching into a servo to load up on high-sugar, brand lollies and shit coffee. Although no judgement here if that’s your M.O of course. 

7. Sort Yourself A Schedule

An adventure is no time for relaxing. You need a schedule, people. Make sure it includes a wake up call in time for sunrise and then back-to-back activities including hiking, biking, paddleboarding. Whatever floats your boat. Oh, and be sure to sync your clocks to make sure there are no stragglers. 

8. Make Sure Nothing Goes Wrong

Don’t tell anyone (you’ll stress them out) but a true adventure requires at least one disaster. A flat car battery or flat tyre works a treat. Other suggestions include turning up to fully-booked campsites, torrential rain that turns your gazebo inside out and drenches everything you own, or realising that you forgot water and you’re now miles from anywhere. I may or may not be speaking from experience. 

Welcome to Mt Jagungal (We Got Mist and Rain) // Kosciuszko NP (NSW), Sam Christie, mist, yellow, rain jacket, hillside

Photo by Sam Christie

9. Do Better Next Time

In all seriousness, striking the balance between being prepared and being spontaneous can be difficult. Spontaneity leads to some incredible adventures, but you also gotta stay safe people.

Here’s my insider tips for striking the right balance: 

  • Directions. Australia is a big place and it’s easy to get lost once you veer off the main roads. Have your directions saved offline and make sure you get Google Directions set up before you lose signal
  • Food and drink. Having a selection of ready-to-go campfood in the pantry at home makes adventuring so much easier. Another thing I do is make sure my 20 litre jerry can is always full after every trip. That way I’ll never be caught short without water
  • Have a ‘to go bag’. If you’re a regular adventurer have your overnight hiking bag or car camping kit ready to go at all times. It makes being spontaneous so much easier
  • Choose a date and plan it nearer the time. I love being spontaneous, but I also love going away with friends. And that often requires a good bit of planning ahead of time to align diaries. We often lock in the next weekend while we’re away, and then plan the deets nearer the time
  • Keep your car in shape. Oil, water, gas, servicing etc. You know. All the basic stuff that helps your car moving. I suck at this. Don’t be like me. 


What are your tips for planning an adventure? Let us know in the comments.