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Help planning Australia road trip, please...

Migrating to Oz in November, and currently planning a road trip for our first few months in this big, wonderful country. We are struggling to plan the logistics of it all. Help please...
10 years ago, April 26th 2010 No: 1 Msg: #109646  
My wife and I are migrating to Australia in November. We've never been there before, but we're up for a change (for the better), big style...

Anyway, long story short - we are currently planning a road trip for our first few months in Oz, so that we can take in all of the big cities (and more) before we decide where to settle on a more permanent basis.

We were thinking about hiring a camper van for a couple of months, however, we are now contemplating buying one and extending the duration of the road trip. We are flying out early November and want to travel the east coast (including Adelaide and Melbourne), preferably south to north, and Perth. We will travel up the west coast at a later date.

The only "condition" that we have, is that we will be in Sydney for New Years Eve. Initially, our plan was to travel from Cairns to Adelaide, and onto Perth, but we will be unable to do this if we want to be in Sydney for NYE. I had thought about flying to Adelaide in November, travelling through Melbourne and onto Sydney for NYE, before heading up to Cairns. If we do this, we will have to fly from Cairns to Perth and will be unable to take the camper to Perth...


This is hurting my head...

Has anybody got any suggestions, on alternative routes / plans / etc?

Thank you, dd
Reply to this

10 years ago, April 26th 2010 No: 2 Msg: #109657  
B Posts: 11.5K
Hi dedampkring,

Welcome to TravelBlog.

Have a read of kangaroojack's blog entries. They recently finished taking a camper trailer around Australia for over a year 😊 Reply to this

10 years ago, April 27th 2010 No: 3 Msg: #109680  

10 years ago, May 7th 2010 No: 4 Msg: #110367  
You'll find that once you start drivng around Oz you will want to stop everywhere and it seems to take AGES to get anywhere. Not only is everything so far away, but if you head only for capital cities you miss all the cool and quirky things about small Aussie towns. I suggest taking it slowly and enjoying it instead of rushing to see more of it. It took me 2 weeks to get from Alice Springs to Sydney once where I went through both Adelaide and Melbourne.

If you have more time keep driving around and back down the West coast. The Northern Territory is great adnd Kakadu NP is not to be missed. There are decent roads to get you anwhere, unless the wet season up North has flooded them. I think that Cairns is better in winter because the deadly box jellyfish and irraganji (spelling?) have migrated firther up north and you don't have to be worried with the very stylish, lycra, full body suits and your neck still being exposed to the stings. Maybe you could travel through central Australia to Perth, through Alice Springs, maybe the Nullabor??? Of course it depends on how much time you have after new years. Just grab an NRMA road map and plot your route.

I hope your head stops hurting soon, enjoy your trip. Reply to this

10 years ago, May 7th 2010 No: 5 Msg: #110379  
Thanks Corinne.

We have decided that we really will take our time with this trip and will try and get work if / when our cash runs out. Good point about the small towns - not to be missed, I'm sure!

Can I get an NRMA map here in the UK, or will I have to wait until we get to Oz?

Thanks again. Reply to this

10 years ago, May 7th 2010 No: 6 Msg: #110381  
B Posts: 151
Dear Mr Nice,

It does sound like you're in a bit of a pickle. 😊

Your best alternative route is to start from Perth and make your way to Adelaide via the scenic coastal route through Bunbury (if you fancy frolicking with wild dolphins) and beautiful beaches of Albany and Esperance. I heard Esperance is not to miss ! Also, from Esperance to Adelaide, you might want to stopover at the Great Australian Bight !

I always use this -> route planner everytime I plot our family road trip.

On your way from Adelaide to Melbourne, I recommend to go through the Great Ocean Road and Otway National Park. It's really picturesque out there.

If you follow this route and set an itinerary, you should be in Sydney Opera House just in time for the New Year's Eve party. 😉

Take your time travelling around South East Queensland 'til end of March before heading to Cairns. It's summer and cyclone season in the Far North of Queenland, Northern Territory and North of WA. The heat and cyclone are intense and expect the roads to get flooded. Plus, there's just so many things to see in South East Queensland. Summer is the best time to enjoy its beautiful pristine beaches. Just make sure to go heavy on SUNSCREEN ! Else, the National Parks and Rainforest are great retreat if you think you had enough SUN, SURF and SAND.

Have a safe and happy trip !


P.S When in Perth, spend few days in Rottnest Island. You'll love it !
Reply to this

10 years ago, May 10th 2010 No: 7 Msg: #110586  
Have you seen I sent you a private message? Reply to this

10 years ago, May 12th 2010 No: 8 Msg: #110714  
Good idea, Johanna, about starting in Perth. Will have to give that some thought...

Thanks for the PM, Willem. I'll drop you a line.

😊 Reply to this

10 years ago, May 13th 2010 No: 9 Msg: #110748  
The possibilities are endless, so to avoid confusion I'd keep it simple.
I actually think your original idea is pretty good.
What nobody so far has mentioned is the weather.
As a resident of Cairns (originally from Scotland) I'd say early November there is best to fit in with your schedule. While it'll be pretty hot, the rains won't have started yet (they tend to pump up in December and continue right through till late April). It's best to avoid being anywhere in northern Australia (East or West) in this period as roads blocked through flooding are not at all unusual.
But if you leave Cairns early to mid-November and head south the weather should be on your side, and I'd say 6 weeks to do the east coast would be about right to land you in Sydney for New Years Eve.
You've then got several months of good summer weather to explore NSW and Victoria (best time of year for Tasmania too) and toddle over through Adelaide to Perth.
That would take around 6 months at a leisurely pace. if you were in a hurry you could just about could do it in
3 or 4 (but you'd be mad as you'd miss loads). If you then had more time up your sleeve you'd be there at the best time of year to head north from Perth and up into tyhe wonders of Western Australia and the northern territory.
Oz is fantastically set up for campervan travel and you'll have a blast.
My favourites are Far North Queensland, South West Australia and Tassie, but you'll find your own pretty much anywhere you go. Best city: Sydney (best in the world, actually!)
Enjoy! Reply to this

10 years ago, May 13th 2010 No: 10 Msg: #110777  
Thanks Andy and Debbie =) Reply to this

10 years ago, June 1st 2010 No: 11 Msg: #112208  
Hey there, feel free to read my ebook Girt By Dirt, and let me know if you have any questions - there's an email link on the home page. I have yet to post photos to the site but have had a lot of requests. It tells the tale of me and my mate travelling around the country for five months in a 4WD.


Phil Reply to this

10 years ago, June 1st 2010 No: 12 Msg: #112213  

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