Review: Australis Caravans High Country 15ft 6in

With its internal length of 15ft 6in, the Australis Caravans High Country Xtreme might sound a little on the small side. But your opinion will change once you step inside…


Australis Caravans opened shop a few years ago in Craigieburn, Vic, with the intention to offer a full range of caravans, from couple’s tourers, family vans and a dedicated offroader called the High Country, which we featured within these pages about six months ago.

However, Australis has since developed an up-specced version of the High Country, known as the Xtreme. While the High Country is already well kitted out, the Xtreme version has a few extra features and touches that you wouldn’t get otherwise.

But for me, the thing that appeals the mostAustralis is its size. While the High Country is available in larger formats, the idea for now is to keep it fairly compact. I’ve spent some time with a 17ft 6in version, and even a 14ft 6in version (both internal length).

But this layout and my size is perhaps my favourite. Being 15ft 6in internally, it splits the difference nicely, while retaining its compact size. As I’ve said before, when it comes to offroad caravans, I prefer a single axle and a smaller physical size.


As you’d expect, given the size of the van, it has an east-west bed in the nose. After all, this is the best option when it comes to maximising space in small layouts. It’s an effective layout, too, without feeling overly cramped.

AustralisAside from the forward bed, there’s an L-shaped dinette just aft of the forward door, and a surprisingly generous kitchen along the offside, facing the dinette. There’s more bench space here than you might expect. There’s even a hinged section of bench sitting above the four-burner cooktop and griller. Our review High Country Xtreme didn’t have an oven – there was a large pot drawer here instead – but you could easily option an oven in if you wanted.

There’s a neat array of lockers above the bench, too, one of which houses a BMPRO BatteryPlus35 battery management system and OdysseyLink, which will send crucial data to your phone concerning the battery state of charge and even the water tank levels – it’s a great feature. An adjacent locker houses a MiniBoost DC-DC charger – another good piece of equipment which will effectively boost the voltage from the tow vehicle’s alternator to provide more charge into the van’s dual 230Ah lithium batteries.

Of course, the High Country Xtreme has solar input, too, in the form of three 200W panels on the roof, so on the 12V power front, this van does well. There’s even a 2600W Enerdrive inverter, allowing you to run most 240V appliances off the batteries.

AustralisPerhaps the neatest trick performed by this van’s layout is the full-width rear bathroom. No, it’s not the largest bathroom in the world, but it certainly doesn’t feel cramped… and it even includes a washing machine. Australis Caravans has maximised space in the vanity area by providing a wall-mounted washing machine, rather than an under-bench unit, which works well for this space.

Are there any compromises in the layout? Well, that’s a tough question – it needs to be considered in the context of the van’s size. So no, I didn’t feel like the layout presented serious compromises. There is only the one wardrobe, which is a function of the east-west bed, but there are drawers beneath the bed and a healthy array of overhead lockers too. I loved the extra window on the nearside in the bedroom too. It really floods the bedroom with natural light.

AustralisOther features inside this van include a 188 compressor fridge-freezer, a diesel heater (the fuel tank is encased in checkerplate and mounted to the rear bumper, behind the spare wheels), an array of reading lights with built-in USB charging points, a 25L microwave, a single 12V Sirocco II fan in the bedroom, and let’s not forget the Dometic reverse-cycle air-conditioner. It’s a well-presented interior that really does pack in a lot of desirable equipment.


The Australis High Country Xtreme is built atop a 4in SupaGal chassis with a 4in raiser, so the van does sit quite high on its Level 4 TuffRide air-bag suspension, which is rated to 3000kg.

AustralisForward of the axle, Australis has given the van two 95L water tanks protected by gal sheeting, along with a fast-fill connection, while there’s a 95L grey water tank to the rear.

There’s an extended A-frame, too, making room for a substantial checkerplate storage box that houses two slide-out trays and some top storage as well. Two 9kg gas cylinders are protected by a mesh stoneguard.

AustralisBut the four LED light bars, one one each side, front and rear, were my favourite external features. Ordinarily, you might get a light bar at the front and back, but rarely on both sides as well. Very handy for setting up at night time. I also loved the fact that the High Country Xtreme has an electric awning – much easier than the alternative – and the slide-out kitchen is a very welcome addition too.

AustralisThis kitchen includes a small barbecue and a kitchen with hot and cold water. It’s just a matter of connecting the water and gas lines to the relevant outlets. While it does take up most of the nearside tunnel storage, never fear: the offside section opens into an L shape, beneath the bed, so your external storage options are pretty good. While this area is also home to the inverter and air-compressor for the suspension, there’s loads of space leftover.

AustralisThe High Country Xtreme also gets rock sliders and X-plate protection – an upgrade over the usual checkerplate – and let’s not overlook the rear-view camera and ARL 12V dust suppression system.

This van weighed in at 2326kg Tare, and yes for a small single-axle caravan, that weight is getting up there, but it’s important to remember the amount of equipment on board. Besides, with its ATM of 3000kg, not only does the High Country Xtreme offer a decent payload capacity, it is squarely within the realm of mid-size 4WDs, meaning you won’t have to splash out on a big old Y62 Patrol. 


AustralisAustralis Caravans launched its High Country range last year and seems intent on developing it into something pretty special, and it’s on the right track. This van really does offer a lot of value, both in terms of equipment and the lifestyle it should offer. Further, it is quickly becoming one of Australis’ most popular vans, and having now spent time with three vans in this range, that does not surprise me.


FIT AND FINISH – 3.5 out of 5 stars

LAYOUT – 4.5 out of 5 stars

INNOVATION – 3 out of 5 stars


  • Generous equipment list
  • Great layout in a compact van
  • Excellent bench space
  • Easy towing characteristics
  • I liked that the plumbing entry/exit points in the kitchen were concealed by cabinetry and would prefer the same for the bathroom
  • I’d add a 12V point or two to the leg area of the dinette


Overall length: 7.4m

External body length: 4.8m

External width: 2.3m (excluding awning)

Travel height: 3.1m

Internal height: 1.98m

Tare: 2326kg

GTM: 2736kg

ATM: 3000kg

Unladen ball weight: 204kg

Frame: Aluminium with one-piece fibreglass sandwich panel roof and ‘honeycomb’ floor

Cladding: Composite aluminium and X-plate

Coupling: DO35

Chassis: 4in SupaGal with 4in raiser and extended drawbar

Suspension: Level 4 TuffRide airbag

Brakes: 12in electric

Wheels: 16in alloy with Mudzilla tyres

Fresh water: 2x95L

Grey water: 1x95L

Awning: Electric

Battery: 2x230Ah lithium with BMPRO BatteryPlus35 BMS, MiniBoost DC-DC charger, OdysseyLink, and 2600W inverter

Solar: 3x200W

Air-conditioner: Dometic reverse-cycle

Gas: 2x9kg

Bike rack: No

Sway control: Yes

Cooking: Four-burner cooktop with griller; external barbecue

Refrigeration: 188L compressor

Microwave: 25L NCE

Shower: Separate fibreglass cubicle

Toilet: Cassette

Washing machine: Wall-mounted front-loader

Lighting: LED

Hot water: Girard instant

Entertainment: Furion sound system; flatscreen TV

‘Xtreme’ pack