I am going to Australia early next year, and our first destination is Perth.
Myself and my friend are thinking of buying a car/van and over time (we'd be in no rush) driving from Perth to Melbourne...
Has anyone ever driven this route??
Would it be worth our while?
I would love to hear all opinions / suggestions!! Thanks!
What route did you plan on driving from Perth to Melbourne? If you have time, head south from Perth and explore the coast, there are some AMAZING beaches in the area and the warmer months are the perfect time to explore them. Some recommendations are Rottnest Island, Leeuwin Naturaliste National Park, both the coastline and caves, The fire lookout trees in the Pemberton area, Two Peoples bay near Denmark, the Stirling Range National Park although it might be too hot for hiking, the Fitzgerald River National park to do some fishing and snorkelling and Cape Le Grande near Esperence. Some of these Parks have mildly corrigated dirt roads, so you might not be comfortable in a standard car.
Driving across the Nullarbor Plain is interesting the first time, but it may be very hot in summer. If you're game, you can camp near one of the lookouts over the great Australian bight, the moonrise there is awesome. Between Adelaide and Melbourne the Great Ocean Road is cool, and it's worth dropping in to Mt Gambier to look at the sink hole, the blue lake and Princess Margaret Rose Caves.
I did the trip from Sydney to Perth and back in March 2008 and the weather wasn't really that warm - not warm enough to enjoy the beaches as much as they deserved. Have a look at my trip map and pictures for the 2008 Perth trip and message me if you want more info.
I have crossed the Nullarbor 3 times and it's well worth it!!!!! You'll see the real Australia
You've three choices about where you cross the WA border, two are sealed roads and good for inexperienced travellers. The third is to use one of the remote roads this should only be done by experienced drivers, as you'll need to be self reliant for a number of days, I'll ignore this option.
Going via the north is the longer journey and will add significantly to time and cost. It well worth the experience and the option as to how you journey down to Melbourne are infinte.
This is the one I recommend it the shortest straight line crossing.
Form there its just a question of what interests you
Perth -> Kalgoorlie -> Eucla ->Port Augusta -> Mildura -> Melbourne ... fastest route
The Perth Albany Esperance Port Augusta Adelaide Mt Gambia Coast road will give you the greatest scenery and the most beaches.
What I think will provide the greatest experiences is Perth - Albany - Lake Grace - Hyden - then follow the unsealed roads across to Kalgoorlie, this route is well sign posted as a heritage trail and follows the route of the early prospectors, an opportunity to camp for one or two nights in the "Bush".
Crossing the Nullabor follow the sealed road, Norseman -> Eucla -> Ceduna. but there are many varied opportunities along the route if you have time take the detours to the coast and also consider a day trip upto one of the station on the rail line (Zanthus is my favourite). Once at Ceduna spend a few days exploring the coast before moving on.
Once on the move make the detour to Coober Pedy from there head to Port Augusta, consider spending some time exploring the Flinders ranges. From there Adelaide, Mt Gambia and the Coast road is the best. When you reach Geelong take the ferry across the bay from Queenscliffe to Sorrento.
Voila your in the south eastern suburbs of Melbourne
Have also done the Nullabor a few times. Great trip - take it easy though - take your time (if you have it), its a wonderful county - you will love it!