The Ultimate Guide to Enjoying Internet When Travelling Australia

The Ultimate Guide to Enjoying Internet When Travelling Australia

The Ultimate Guide to Internet When Travelling Australia


Travelling across Australia is an incredible experience, but these days, having internet when travelling Australia is often a must, especially for those working remotely. In the past, setting off in the caravan was a chance to escape technology, but now it’s common to see people managing their office or computer-based jobs while on the road.


In this blog, I’ll give you a comprehensive rundown of the internet options available. After nearly five years of full-time travel, I’ve encountered plenty of challenges and spent a fair bit trying to find the perfect solution. My aim is to share what I’ve learned to help you avoid the same hassles and stay connected.



Internet When Travelling Australia – Personal Hotspot | Using Your Mobile Phone


For many travellers, the most common way to connect to the internet on the road is through a personal hotspot on their mobile phone. This method allows you to use your mobile phone data plan to access the internet, and it’s generally quite reliable in areas with good mobile reception.


If you’re planning to stick to regions with solid mobile coverage, a personal hotspot is a practical and cost-effective solution. Since it uses your existing mobile data plan, you won’t incur additional internet costs. However, be mindful of your data usage to avoid unexpected charges.


The downside is that this method relies entirely on having a 4G signal, which means it won’t work in areas without mobile service. I used this system for the first year of my travels.


However, as I started working remotely, I found myself needing more reliable internet, especially in remote areas like Cape York. Planning is crucial because remote parts of Australia can be more isolated than you might expect.


Mobile Phone Personal Hotspot - Caravan Internet

The Real Australian Dream Caravanning at Cape York

Internet When Travelling Australia – CEL-FI GO | MOBILE SIGNAL REPEATER



The Cel-Fi GO is designed to amplify the signal from a local mobile phone tower and re-transmit that signal inside your house, car, caravan, or RV. Essentially, it acts as a mobile signal booster. If your mobile phone shows one bar of reception, the Cel-Fi GO might boost it to 3-4 bars.


I first encountered the Cel-Fi GO at a rural field days show in Tambo, Western Queensland. A salesperson convinced me of its benefits, so I decided to invest $1200 in the Cel-Fi GO mobile repeater. Unfortunately, it turned out to be the biggest waste of money I’ve ever spent.


While the device did increase the number of reception bars, it didn’t improve the internet speed. I was promised that it would boost my reception from one bar to 4 or 5 bars and provide internet speeds comparable to those in a capital city when using a mobile hotspot. In reality, the improvement was minimal, and the internet speed remained slow.


The kit, which costs around $1200 and has no ongoing costs, includes the Cel-Fi GO repeater unit and a large external antenna. The only time I would even consider a Cel-Fi unit would be for a permanently fixed installation, such as a remote farm property with poor mobile reception.


Despite my disappointment with the Cel-Fi GO, I did enjoy my visit to Tambo. If you ever find yourself in the area, I highly recommend checking out the world-famous Chicken Races! These races occur seven nights a week from April 1st to October 31st at 5 PM at The Royal Carrangarra Hotel. It’s a fun event where healthy chickens are raced and auctioned off to raise money for charity.


CEL-FI GO | MOBILE SIGNAL REPEATER - Caravan Internet when travelling


Internet When Travelling Australia – Wi-Fi Dongle or Modem


A Wi-Fi dongle is an affordable solution to provide mobile internet to one or more devices. With a dongle, you create your own private, secure Wi-Fi network. These devices come in various forms, from small USB sticks to larger, palm-sized units.


We used a Telstra Nighthawk and found it very reliable, provided there was sufficient reception. The internet speed was noticeably better than hot-spotting off my phone. Wi-Fi dongles require a SIM card to operate, and you can either purchase a dedicated mobile data plan or temporarily use your regular phone SIM card in the device.


The cost of these plans can range from $20 to $120 a month. Telstra is the preferred network for coverage across Australia. We had a plan that offered 400GB per month for $85, which was excellent value for our needs, though Telstra also offers more affordable plans for lighter internet users.


3. Wi-Fi Dongle or Modem - Caravan Internet


Internet When Travelling Australia – Starlink | The Ultimate Solution


My life, and the lives of many other nomads, transformed when Elon Musk introduced his low-earth-orbit satellite internet service, Starlink. This innovation has been pivotal in allowing us to stay on the road and solve virtually all connectivity-related work issues.

Starlink ensures connectivity no matter where you are in Australia, provided you have an unobstructed view of the sky.

When Starlink was first released, I quickly became an early adopter. I can’t count the number of times fellow travellers approached me, eager to use my Starlink connection.


There are two Starlink options: Residential and Roam.


Starlink Roam is tailored for portable use at any destination. Its easy setup and portability make it an excellent choice for campers and caravanners frequently changing locations.


Starlink Roam operates on a pay-as-you-go basis. You can pause and resume your service at any time, with billing in one-month increments, allowing you to tailor your service to your travel needs.

In emergencies, having a reliable internet connection can be life-saving.

Starlink Roam ensures you can reach local authorities, medical professionals, or rescue services. Whether you need to make a call, send a message, or even make a video call, Starlink Roam provides the dependable connection you need.

The internet speeds are generally excellent, consistently achieving speeds above 120mbps. However, in highly congested areas like the cities, speeds may vary.

The cost of Starlink Roam includes a one-time hardware fee of $599 and a monthly subscription of $174. Despite the price, the service is well worth it if you rely on an internet connection. I’ve even arranged a special offer for our readers, giving you your first month of Starlink free.

Get your first month free here:

You can watch the original review I provided on Starlink in it’s initial release here:


Starlink Roam - Caravan Internet


The right option for me may not be the right one for you!

Well, there you have it – my feedback is based on the solutions I’ve tried. As you can see from my review, Starlink is a clear winner for me. However, if I wasn’t earning an income from my travels, I’m not sure I could justify the cost, as it would be considered expensive if all you plan to do is check Facebook or upload photos to Instagram.


To make Starlink more affordable, I scaled back my mobile phone plan to a prepaid option costing just $25 a month, down from $70. Since Starlink provided all the data I needed, this adjustment saved me $50 a month, which I thought was a fair price for unlimited high-speed internet.


Ultimately, the memories you make aren’t dependent on having an internet connection. They’re made by getting out there, seeing new places, and experiencing new adventures. I hope you’ve enjoyed this blog, and perhaps I’ll see you out on the road.