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a very long road trip

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1. Posted by lawlaw (Budding Member 33 posts) 10y Star this if you like it!


Me and the husband plan to do a very long road trip before we move back to the Uk. We are planning on driving from Sydney - Melbourne - Adelaide - Port Augusta - Coober Pedy - Uluru - Alice - Katherine - Broome - Carnarvon - Perth.

So do we buy a cheap vehicle and buy some camping equipment or hire a campervan. Does anyone know if any of this trip would be limited withour 4x4 access?

Do you all think 2 months would cover this, or even 6 weeks. Any not to miss recommendations?

Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

2. Posted by maba (Inactive 227 posts) 10y Star this if you like it!

Hello laura,
The route you plan to take will be on sealed or bitumen road. I suggest a good, reliable, serviced car or even better a station wagon and camping gear is adequate and the cheapest way out. You will also be able to travel quicker between some places.

You will find that all the attractions on that route will be accessible. Places like Wynjana Gorge (WA) although on dirt roads are accessible with care. But, in the event that there is any place that you want to visit that is well off the accessible roads, such as the Bungle Bungles, you can take a tour out there or, fly over them.

Having said that, a camper, camper trailer or caravan is always a better option if you are after some known level of comfort. But for a few months, a vehicle & good camping gear is quite adequate. make sure the tent is sturdy, the centre pole ones are good as you can set them up quickly and can stand up in them.

The time of year you plan to do the trip may have an impact but just include fly nets (very fine mesh type) and a tarp to set up for shade or if drizzling. make sure you take extra water (not soft drinks) as you do tend to dehydrate when driving. Snacks like dried fruits, chocolate also emergency food over and above your daily supplies. Some fridge would be good to keep a few days of food fresh.

Also don't forget, you can stay in various accomodation like caravan park cabins or maybe even motel?. even better country hotels are an experience.

Enjoy your trip

3. Posted by lawlaw (Budding Member 33 posts) 10y Star this if you like it!

thanks very much for your fantastically helpful reply. Is this route serviced with many official campsites? I think I may be a tad scared of camping somewhere random in the middle of the outback?

We would hopefully be setting off in October, so I hope it wont get to hot on our route??

4. Posted by Utrecht (Moderator 5655 posts) 10y Star this if you like it!

Starting in October could give problems between Tennant Creek and Carnarvon, with rains starting in november. Occasionally, also the sealed roads do get flooded, but mostly this is only the case late December onwards.
6 weeks will be a little tight I guess, but 2 months (9 weeks) will give you some more time to stay longer at places.
Maybe you might want to consider to end in Darwin when having only 6 weeks. We did the Melbourne to Darwin part in about a month which is not too bad as a few days we just drove 1000 kilometer and stayed for at least 3 nights after that long trip. But adding the Sydney to Melbourne part will mean an extra week(and a half).

5. Posted by lawlaw (Budding Member 33 posts) 10y Star this if you like it!

thanks for your post, I am most wanting to do the west coast and the husbad really wants to see the centre. When you say rains? How much rain are we talking about? enough to put you off going to these places or just that a campervan would be better?

I need to end up in Perth as we intend to fly back to the UK from there.

6. Posted by Nicip (Full Member 112 posts) 10y Star this if you like it!


Me and a friend did something similair when in Australia.

We drove Sydney - Cairns - Tennant Creek - Alice - Uluru -Coober Pedy - Adelaide - Melbourne (via great ocean road) -Sydney.

We actually bought our own vehichle and sold it on afterwards for the same price.It made the journey very cheap. I would highly recommend buying, as long as you are sure it is a sound vehicle and not going to screw up on you. And especially make sure you look after the thing and check oil every day and things like that, if you or ure partner have basic mechanical knowledge, even better.

With renting, you got the piece of mind knowing that if anything goes wrong then you have a backup and its not gunna cost you ££££££££££££££££££££££.

As for campsites, yes there are official campsites in all of the Main towns and they are very good. There is a campsite just outside the main gates of Ayers Rock as well.

Ure gunna be driving 5/6/7 maybe even 8 hours a day in the outback to get from place to place (nothing inbetween). Make sure you set off early in the morning to give you plenty of time to get there before it gets dark. We always did this to make allowances incase anything went wrong.

Inbetween Tennant Creek and Alice Springs we did actually break down and we had to flag someone down to help us. Cars dont go by often so we were there for a couple of hours and had no water and it was VERY hot so make sure you always have some water with you incase. Luckily a very nice couple stopped for us and the guy fixed our van (it was nothing major) and they gave us their bottle of water cus i was dehydrated!

Dont miss driving the Great Ocean Road from Melbs - Adelaide
Underground homes in Coober Pedy
Ayers rock (obviously)
Alice Springs desert park (really interesting)
Hot air ballooning over the outback at sunrise (can do from Alice Springs - incredable)
visit the school of air in Alice Springs (google it,its really interesting)
Wycliffe Well hoiday park (strange UFO place - you cant miss it it had a big alien outside the place!)
Devils Marbles and the Devils Pebbles
You will probably have to stop there but dont plan to stay longer than needed in Tennant Creek - Nasty place.

If ure lucky you'll see loads of eagles while ure driving (wedge tailed ones huuuge)
kangaroos, especially squished ones in the road :(
and Huge iguanas

You will have an incredable journey im so jelous i wanna go again!

7. Posted by Nicip (Full Member 112 posts) 10y Star this if you like it!

Sorry forgot this bit..

I would say that 2 months is PLENTY of time

8. Posted by lawlaw (Budding Member 33 posts) 10y Star this if you like it!

thanks soo much for your reply, It was brilliant. Did you buy a car or a campervan? If you bought a car did you camp? Did you find that ok? Not sure whats going to be best.

9. Posted by Nicip (Full Member 112 posts) 10y Star this if you like it!

We bought a campervan
If u look at the pictures in my profile there is a pic of the van

We slept in the van itself in the back, just bought a cheap quilt and some pillows and we were away. I have to say, living in the van was the most incredable thing ever, I loved it. I would live in a van permanently if i could haha. We lived in it for 6 months and just used campsites to cook and have a shower. The facilities of the campsites are very very good y'know. An outside kitchen with pots and pans, BBQ's,everything you need.

So, based on my own experience, i would highly recommend gett a campervan.

Nothing like lying in it with the sunroof open at night and looking up at that outback sky

10. Posted by lawlaw (Budding Member 33 posts) 10y Star this if you like it!

thanks very much for all the information you have provided, your a star. 6 months in a camper that is some acheivement, I reckon I would kill my hubby after 2 months ha ha.

loved your pics too.