Anyone up for an discussion?

Travel Forums Australia / New Zealand & The Pacific Anyone up for an discussion?

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1. Posted by hennaonthetrek (Respected Member 248 posts) 3w 1 Star this if you like it!

Lets start this with an disclosure, I am bored and I am home alone with google...So even if this is not going to happen in a near future I am planning an trip for an lifetime and want to talk about it

Visiting Australia have been dream of mine since I was an little girl and when I suggested to my boyfriend that we would take an Ghan-train across the continent he said that why wouldn't we rent a car instead. So that let to this...

Is this itinerary too ambitious for one month?

Darwin- Katherine (320 km)
Katherine-Warumungu (655 km)
Warumungu- Alice Springs (535 km)
Alice Springs-Uluru (475 km)
Uluru-Ghan (270 km)
Ghan-Coober Pedy (490 km)
Coober Pedy-Pimba (365km)
Pimba-Port Prie (265 km)
Port Prie-Renmark (315 km)
Renmark-Hay (430 km)
Hay-Wagga Wagga (270 km)
Wagga Wagga-Bathurst (315 km)
Bathurst-Sydney (200 km)

My plan is to spend an 1-3 night along the way and explore. As cheap as possible but I know that it is not going to be as cheap as I would like

Obviously I don't know the driving conditions, how much is the distance between towns (long for sure but how long) and what one should be aware of while driving in land down under what is there to see (The Red Center, obviously but what else....), so, if you are up for it, I would be more than happy discuss about it with you

2. Posted by Utrecht (Moderator 5720 posts) 3w Star this if you like it!

I think that is not too ambitious and being on the road is part of the fun as well.

Spend about one month partly on that route years ago, from Melbourne to Darwin and the flew to the tropical North of Queensland.

The Outback is fantastic and in my opinion more the typical Australia than the route alone the eastcoast.

I am not sure how much time I spend in most places but mostly just 1 or 2 nights, sometimes 3 in the langer places as a base to explore the region. My travelmap here on TP is still there though, was back in 2007 if you want to check it.

Enjoy the fun!

3. Posted by hennaonthetrek (Respected Member 248 posts) 3w 1 Star this if you like it!

I checked your map and it made me quite green

I know what you mean by the coast, even if it is different everywhere (every country), somehow the tourist gravitate to the coast and it made it similar, do you know what I mean? :) You get bit more authentic trip if you step in to the inland :)

First there were couple more stops in my itinerary but when I tried to find accommodation (via airbnd and booking.com, no point to look everywhere now) there weren't any, so I had to stretch it a little...:)

Uluru-Kata tjuta and Nitmiluk National Parks got a few more days than other places :)

It is a little bit difficult to estimate with google maps how long one route would take, so when the kilometres neared 500 it made me a little bit worry..Somewhere that would take 6-7 hours, somewhere days.....

But in my knowledge it is mostly good-ish road that 4x4w could drive in suitable speed (80-100km/h)? Time of the year would be an one factor for sure :)

Any tips for an newbie roadtripper?

4. Posted by AndyF (Moderator 1994 posts) 3w 1 Star this if you like it!

Quoting hennaonthetrek

I am bored and I am home alone with google...

Yes that usually ends up with me booking flights to New Zealand! :)

Early on in our lockdown I did in fact plan an NZ trip for this Christmas, but as things have progressed I've modified my expectations - I don't think they'll be open for business by then.

Hope your Australia trips happens sooner rather than later. :)

5. Posted by Utrecht (Moderator 5720 posts) 3w 1 Star this if you like it!

Quoting hennaonthetrek

I know what you mean by the coast, even if it is different everywhere (every country), somehow the tourist gravitate to the coast and it made it similar, do you know what I mean? :) You get bit more authentic trip if you step in to the inland :)

It is a little bit difficult to estimate with google maps how long one route would take, so when the kilometres neared 500 it made me a little bit worry..Somewhere that would take 6-7 hours, somewhere days.....

But in my knowledge it is mostly good-ish road that 4x4w could drive in suitable speed (80-100km/h)? Time of the year would be an one factor for sure :)

Any tips for an newbie roadtripper?

Exactly, the coast or a city is nice for a change but travelling in Australia and only sticking to those parts is really a shame.

Roads are generally very good on those stretches and you van easily manage 80-100km/h on average including some brief stops. Also no need for a 4wd unless you go on some desert tracks. Had regular saloon cars (including a nice Ford Falcon) and was fine.

6. Posted by hennaonthetrek (Respected Member 248 posts) 3w 1 Star this if you like it!

Quoting AndyF

Quoting hennaonthetrek

I am bored and I am home alone with google...

Yes that usually ends up with me booking flights to New Zealand! :)

Early on in our lockdown I did in fact plan an NZ trip for this Christmas, but as things have progressed I've modified my expectations - I don't think they'll be open for business by then.

Hope your Australia trips happens sooner rather than later. :)

Yes, dangerous combination! :)

NZ seems to have pretty strict take in to this pandemia, might be even one of the last countries to open again after this has blown over..
I hope you get to make your trip not in so distant future! We just have to keep our fingers crossed! :)

7. Posted by hennaonthetrek (Respected Member 248 posts) 3w Star this if you like it!

Quoting Utrecht

Exactly, the coast or a city is nice for a change but travelling in Australia and only sticking to those parts is really a shame.

Yes! Original plan (before thinking about Ghan train and roadtrips..) was to visit Darwin with quick sidestep to Katherine and then by plane to Sydney, but then we would miss almost everything!
So I started to stretch our budjet and timetable, obviously have to safe bit longer before actually going but I am sure it will be worth it!

Quoting Utrecht

Also no need for a 4wd unless you go on some desert tracks. Had regular saloon cars (including a nice Ford Falcon) and was fine.

I somehow thought that in Red Center you couldn't miss some desert tracks and would need an 4x4. Small sedan would definitely be cheaper to rent!

Was the Falcon convertible?

8. Posted by Utrecht (Moderator 5720 posts) 3w 1 Star this if you like it!

Quoting hennaonthetrek

Quoting Utrecht

Exactly, the coast or a city is nice for a change but travelling in Australia and only sticking to those parts is really a shame.

Yes! Original plan (before thinking about Ghan train and roadtrips..) was to visit Darwin with quick sidestep to Katherine and then by plane to Sydney, but then we would miss almost everything!
So I started to stretch our budjet and timetable, obviously have to safe bit longer before actually going but I am sure it will be worth it!

Quoting Utrecht

Also no need for a 4wd unless you go on some desert tracks. Had regular saloon cars (including a nice Ford Falcon) and was fine.

I somehow thought that in Red Center you couldn't miss some desert tracks and would need an 4x4. Small sedan would definitely be cheaper to rent!

Was the Falcon convertible?

That would have been perfect but I believe not even convertibles exist of the Falcon..;)

If you stay on the main road and also go to Uluru etc all is sealed. No problem. And even some main unsealed ones are nicely maintained.

9. Posted by hennaonthetrek (Respected Member 248 posts) 3w Star this if you like it!

Quoting Utrecht

That would have been perfect but I believe not even convertibles exist of the Falcon..;)

Oh, my google search was wrong then! I am mostly hopeless about cars, my dream car is -69 Impala, but that is just becouse it looks gorgeous!

Quoting Utrecht

If you stay on the main road and also go to Uluru etc all is sealed. No problem. And even some main unsealed ones are nicely maintained.

Very good to know! Will safe us couple hundred in rent I hope!! :) Then if I just miraculously stop eating I would safe hundreds and hundreds (why everything you need. have to be so expensive?), lol.

10. Posted by Teoni (Travel Guru 926 posts) 3w Star this if you like it!

Unless you have a significant amount of experience off roading I think it is best to avoid desert tracks. You need a significant amount of supplies, preperation and usually locals have specially modified vechicles. It also helps to have some basic mechanic skills. We have lost a few tourists to the desert tracks. If you really want to go on desert tracks best to go with a tour, there is an option to join a convoy tour if driving yourself is important, at least you will have an experienced guide if you get into trouble.

Otherwise generally speaking roads are not too bad, some of the smaller country roads are not always well maintained so watch out for potholes, driving on the unsealed gravel roads don't drive too fast as the gravel makes your car lose friction, therefore easier to lose control. Avoid driving in the evenings as that is when the kangaroos tend to start jumping across the road and hitting one of those can be really dangerous. On the long drives pace yourself and have a nap if need be, fatigue has taken the lives of many drivers on those empty outback roads so don't underestimate it. Have you considered camping along the way? It would give you more stopping options.