We're planning a trip from Brisbane to Melbourne via Ayers rock by car. We decided going by car would get the best out of Oz as having travlled through Africa and Asia by local transport it seems as if in Oz we do nothing but fly! Has anyone ever done this trip before and can you recommend any good places to stay/things to to do along the way?
Cheers in advance
There's not much to see on the road between Brisbane, Ayers Rock and Melbourne and it's a very long drive. How long are you planning on taking for the trip and when are you starting? I'd look at perhaps doing the drive from Brisbane to Cairns and then flying to Melbourne with a stopover at Ayers Rock (if such a flight exists).
If you're keen to do this drive though I'd explore the coast north of Brisbane the highlights being Fraser Island, Mackay and surrounding area and the Whitsundays. Head west from Townsville, it's pretty flat driving inland without much to do, you can pose with the dinosaur statues at Hughenden and have a look in the dinosaur museum and around Mt Isa you can look at the open cut uranium mine at Mary Kathleen and check out some of the aboriginal art in the area. From Mt Isa to Tennant Creek there's not much to explore, but the desert scenery is quite interesting. Camp in the camping area at the Devils Marbles, sunset and sunrise are fantastic and then you'll be on to Alice Springs. The Gorges are interesting to see, but if you're in a hurry it's not worth seeing all of them, have a look at the view from the lookout in town.
South of Alice Springs it's worth looking at Rainbow Valley and camping there, the road in is corrigated dirt though so the hire place might not like you taking your vehicle out there, I think it's marked 4x4 only. Coober Pedy is worth a stopover to check out the underground houses, it's quite unique. The drive to Adelaide involves more desert scenery and long distances, I didn't think there was much else on the way until you got to the great ocean road which in my opinion isn't all that great - especially in winter.
This sounds like a fantastic trip. I would love to do something like that one day.
We've driven from Ayers Rock to Darwin and the outback / desert scenery is just amazing. Just some suggestions of things to see between Alice Springs and Ayers Rock are the West McDonnell ranges (?spelling), there are a few different things to stop at through there, and King's Canyon too. Good luck with your planning!
Cheers for the replies looks likes there loads of things to do if you take the right route! we're now thinking of heading north and cutting across from Townsville or somewhere around there. As you have said there's not much happening direct between Brisbane and Alice Springs. Any other places/things to do will be much appreciated!
Travelling west from Brissy - as they said NOTHING ! If you'd like to drive from Alice, best to fly in (it's expensive though) then drive out towards Broken Hill then head down past Menindee National Park down to Mungo NP through Hay/ Albury then into Melbourne. Still outback, but civilisation. Dont forget the Snowy Mountains (NSW) or the snow fields in VIC since you there in Winter...
How much time do you have ? and what time of year are extremly important considerations. Also what do you want to experience?
What is 'nothing' to someone is just what another may want. We love the Aussie outback and heading West from Brisbane means some long days on unsealed (gravel) roads with few towns and the occasional locality. For any isloated area travel such as this, it is mandatory to prepare well and have a suitably prepared vehicle.
There are great rewards in outback travel as long as that is what you are planning for. If so, you must know what you are heading into and yes, it is a very long way from the East coast to Alice, and it is not a direct route, unless you chose to cross the Simpson Desert. This is awesome but not recommend for the novice and you MUST be very very well prepared.
One alternate option is follow the 'black top' (sealed road) North and head West from Townsville, you have plenty of attractions (mainly natural) like Carnarvon Gorge and Lawn Hill Gorge but also towns along the coast line or further inland to Longreach, Cloncurry and Mt Isa.
Once you are that far north and you hit Tennant Creek, why not visit the top end of NT? (Darwin /Kakadu)
From Brisbane, you have many options to get to Melbourne but going via Central Oz is by far the long way.
I, as others, would love to give you more specific information but as I started, you must advise time of year and the time you will be in Oz and of course, what experiences you want or expect [solitude, clear starry nights in the desert, party animal, city (Melbourne is great), native animals, scenery, beach etc.]
Enjoy your adventure in Gods own country - Oz ..
Maba, I love your suggestions. I'm really getting the domestic travel bug again!