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Driving arong Oz - advise ??

Travel Forums Australia / New Zealand & The Pacific Driving arong Oz - advise ??

1. Posted by Scarlett89 (Budding Member, 6 posts) 30 Jan '12 08:28

My boyfriend and I are looking into driving around Oz before heading to NZ with a whv. We're planning on starting in Perth. Anyone any driving tips or know any great places to see. Any advise would be helpful.

Thanks in advance :)

2. Posted by Scarlett89 (Budding Member, 6 posts) 30 Jan '12 09:04
  • around

Sorry, don't know how to edit the subject x

3. Posted by royroy150780 (Budding Member, 18 posts) 30 Jan '12 18:38

Hey Scarlett,

Sounds like it will be a fun trip. I live on the mornington peninsula which is an hour south east of Melbourne. My advise is to start on the east coast and maybe do that first as Perth is such a long way away and driving from Perth to Melbourne is about a 3 day trip through the desert. Perth is an awesome city and probably the best weather in Oz but so far away from everything. When are you guys travelling? Of course i think Melbourne is the best and there are many great things to do but it all depends on what you guys are into?

The weather gets warmer the further north you go when on the west coast and north qld is awesome i was married in Port Douglas in 2010 and am going back this year, its the best place i have ever been.

Give me some ideas of what you guys are into and i will be able to offer some more specific things that may interest you.

4. Posted by Scarlett89 (Budding Member, 6 posts) 31 Jan '12 04:47

Hey,
thanks for replying. We were heading to Perth first because I've been there before and have friends we can stay with until we sort a camper, equipment etc. We were thinks of coming over around June and heading north first, i wanted to go swimming with whale sharks in Exmouth last time i was over but it was the wrong time of year :(
the plan was Perth - Darwin - Ayres Rock - Cairns - Brisbane - Sydney - Melbourne -Adelaide - back to Perth before going to NZ. We can spend between 3 and 5month travelling, we're in no rush.
We both fancy learning to dive. Anything with animals n wildlife i love, zoos, aquarium, parks :)
Although we're gettin a camper if there are any good hostel you can recommend, places to eat and drink would be great. Don't think we really know what we want to see yet, there's so much when you look online!!

Xx

5. Posted by royroy150780 (Budding Member, 18 posts) 31 Jan '12 16:19

Hi Scarlett,

Sounds like you guys will have heaps of fun. The beaches right up that west coast in WA are awesome. Cable Beach is fantastic. Have not been to Darwin but just to state the obvious dont swim in the ocean or creeks there ( crocs).. Yeah go to port douglas which is an hour north of Cairns. There are heaps of places to park around Australia and generally you want get any grief for parking in parks etc. You can go diving from port douglas on may tours and thats where we have done it and its great. THe barrier reef is amazing!! Up there is also the daintree rain forest which is a must. When in Cairns you should stay at a place called gilligans which is a back packers attached to a pub. Very nice. You dont really want to go any further north than the daintree as the roads are not sealed.

The east coast is also great and places worth seeing are toowoomba, the australia zoo in a place called beerwah north of Brisbane. The gold coast is very touristy so you might enjoy it. Byron Bay is a great place to stop, then coffs harbour as you head into NSW. Newcastle which is an hour north of SYdney is a really nice small city with heaps to do. Sydney i am a bit biased being from Melbourne but its so busy and confusing, but you must go to Bondi beach, manly beach, blue mountains, darling harbour, sydney harbour bridge, Taronga zoo is meant to be good and there are heaps of good hostels in the city centre. Head south to wollongong which is a nice place. THe snow mountains are really nice too which are a bit inland.

Then coming to victoria again i would stick to the coast as you have the beaches and heaps of parks to stop your camper and anywhere out of the major cities you can find cheap motels to stay, just make sure you check the room before paying. :)

Lakes entrance is a nice little fishing town with heaps of lakes and also the beach. There is also the 90 mile beach which would be nice to camp along. When in Melbourne the good hostels are in st.kilda which is about 10 minutes from the city and right on the beach. You should go to the aquarium, healsville century which is an hour east of melbourne but has heaps of wildlife, the melbourne zoo which is fantastic. There are heaps of things to see and do and if you drive south towards the peninsula there are great beaches and that will also get you to Phillip Island ( you can drive to it) which is where the penguins come each night and you can see them close up. In St.kilda there are heaps of cool cafes and places to eat and Melbourne has the best restaraunts for both cheap and expensive meals so you cant really go wrong. Fitzroy street in st,kilda is awesome.

Your right there is so much to do and i am planning a big trip to the USA and getting heaps of advise and thats why i am ttrying to help you guys out as best i can

Anyways just let us know if i can help you with anything else. :)

6. Posted by timtravels (Respected Member, 350 posts) 31 Jan '12 16:55

Sounds like an awesome adventure, your route sounds good although you'll need to back track going Darwin - Ayers Rock - Cairns because there's no direct route from Ayers Rock to Cairns. The west Coast of Australia has some great beaches, don't forget to stop in at Karijini NP to explore the gorges as well. Broome is a nice town, but at that time of year it will be fairly busy, between Broome and Darwin it's worth:
- Detouring to Tunnel Creek and camping Windjana Gorge, this is a dirt road and a bit corrugated but should be ok for a van
- Visiting the Bungle Bungles but access is restricted to 4x4 only, you might need to take a tour
- Stopping at Keep River NP to camp and watch the sunset at Kelly's Knob
- Camping in Mataranka and visiting Bitter Springs to swim
- Visiting Litchfield NP - Awesome waterfalls and swimming
- Going to Kakadu and doing a Yellow Waters sunset cruise, great wildlife, crocs and birds
- In Darwin visit Mindel Beach markets, interesting local vibe

Between Darwin and Ayers Rock there is a lot of driving and open space, some highlights are:
- Camping at Devil's Marbles, walking on the round rocks, sunset and sunrise
- The gorges around Alice Springs
- Kings Canyon rim walk
- The Olgas
- Ayers Rock itself

There's not a lot between Ayer's Rock and Cairns, you'll backtrack a fair way but you might like to visit:
- The dinosaur exhibit at Hughenden, quaint and interesting
- Undara Lava Tubes, big underground caverns made by lava with camping on site
- The Atherton tablelands, interesting waterfalls and rivers. Don't forget to stop in at the Granites.
- The Daintree Rainforest and Cape Tribulation
- Learning to dive on the Great Barrier Reef, there are heaps of reef tours from Cairns/Port Douglas

From Cairns to Sydney there are some great places to stay on the coast although it's more populated than the west coast:
- The Whitsundays, sailing snorkelling and camping if you choose
- Fraser Island 4x4 tours and swimming in the amazing lakes
- Australia Zoo
- Nelson Bay, nice relaxed area
- The Blue Mountains

You can choose to travel inland from Sydney and go through Canberra and the Snowy Mountains as there might be snow when you go through or you could travel along the coast, both routes are quite nice and the snowy mountains are pretty with snow or without.

From Melbourne to Perth you'll cross the Nullarbor plain which hasn't got many attractions and will be a fair amount of driving some highlights are:
- The Great Ocean Rd from Melbourne, might be cold if you're travelling in winter or early spring
- The Grampians for hiking
- The beaches on the Eyre Peninsular and the area around Streaky Bay
- Esperance and Surrounding beaches
- The huge trees in Pemberton

I've got pics of a fair bit of the route you expect to take in my gallery, feel free to check them out :)

7. Posted by Scarlett89 (Budding Member, 6 posts) 1 Feb '12 10:24

Thanks!! You've both been really helpful and have added loads to my list of things to see :D

Do either of you (or anyone else) think gettin a sat nav would be a good idea or would a good road map be ok? Do you know of the best make sat nav/map to use. I was hoping to plan most of the roads to take, campsites, hostel to stay at but don't want to take a wrong turn and not have a clue how to get back.

Thanks again for all your help!! xx

8. Posted by royroy150780 (Budding Member, 18 posts) 1 Feb '12 13:24

Hi Scarlett,

Anytime. I travel alot around Australia with work and use a garmin which is pretty reliable. I mean at some stage they always stuff up a little but its much easier than a roadmap and you are able to search for places to stay, eat etc....When ru guys heading ova?

Let us know if you need anything else.

9. Posted by timtravels (Respected Member, 350 posts) 1 Feb '12 14:22

I usually travel with an atlas and a sat nav, nothing beats being able to plan ahead using an atlas and turning pages instead of trying to zoom and scroll on a tiny screen. If you're going to be camping in a van some atlas' like the Hema road and 4wd atlas or Camps Australia Wide show rest stops and camping areas so you can plan where to spend the night. The sat nav is more useful for accurate directions in cities and to quickly get distances and travel times between towns, I use Tom Tom as a sat nav.

10. Posted by Scarlett89 (Budding Member, 6 posts) 2 Feb '12 11:01

Thanks, think it will be easier getting a sat nav once I'm in oz, can only fine UK n Europe here :( the hema road and 4wd atlas looks like a good one.
Will let you know if i think of anything else :) x