We are a mid 30s couple just starting to plan a RTW trip including Oz & NZ. Would appreciate advice on the best & cheapest way to travel. The places we definately want to cover are Sydney & Blue Mountains, Melbourne & Great Ocean Road & Uluru. We expect to be in Oz at least 2 months.
What are the bus and train networks like in Oz? Is the only way to see the Great Ocean Road to drive it yourself? We want to avoid group tours that only give you a short time to see things. What is the cost of car/camper hire? Is it possible/worth it to buy and then sell a car/camper?
Buying a car for two months might be worth it, cost-wise, but personally I'd consider it too much hassle. Renting for two months would be getting awefully expensive though.
Instead, I'd just change transport depending on the distance and location. Sydney to the Blue Mountains has an hourly train (pretty cheap too). Sydney to Melbourne is a decent ~10 hour (iirc) trainride (with surprisingly good food being served; almost, 50% discount if booked more than two weeks in advance), or might be worth flying. Rent a car for a few days in Melbourne to do the Great Ocean Road (so you can linger around for sunset, or even be crazy and wake up early for sunrise - things that wouldn't really be possible with organized tours) - and then you can swing up to the Grampians as well, and I wouldn't do Uluru any other way than by flying in (with Qantas, which flies from Sydney daily and from Melbourne on every other day I think, but their website will tell you for sure).
If you go up the East Coast, either hop from destination to destination by plane, or if the distances are shorter (<5 hours drive), do it by bus or train. If you want to explore a region, rent a car locally for a few days.
I've driven up to Uluru and it wasn't as bad as you make it. The landscape you travel through is just amazing.
I guess if you'd bother hiring a car through there then I'd really suggest going the full distance to Darwin.
An alternative is to catch the Gahn from Adelaide to Alice Springs and then getting a coach out to Uluru.
Thanks. It does seem that buying/selling a car would be too much hassle and we should should hire for a few days if needed. I have just been reading about the Great Ocean Walk, has anybody done this? We are not experienced hikers, I was wondering about the distances between camps and the type of terrain.