Where to start on planing a WA, NT trip.

Submitted: Sunday, Oct 06, 2013 at 08:31
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Hi All,

We are starting to plan an extensive 3 month journey around northern WA and NT. We have a Land Rover Freelander 2 and a Jayco Outback so we won't be going anywhere where we can't tow the Outback. We have never been north and are trying to work out the best places to go. We will be going in June-July.

Could someone also advise on what are the essentials to take? What is the best small generator etc.

many thanks

Johnnytasman
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Reply By: Member - John and Val - Sunday, Oct 06, 2013 at 09:45

Sunday, Oct 06, 2013 at 09:45
Hi Johnny,

Your question is a bit broad to answer in any detail. But I suggest you start by getting a big paper map of WA and mark on that places that sound interesting as you do your research. Read a few blogs about what other folk have seen and done up there. Here is a start with our trip to the Kimberley. Once you start researching the info you need will start pouring in. Use the red search button in the top RH corner of this page and you will find loads more info on this site. Maybe start by searching on "Kimberley" and "Pilbara".

There are also some good articles (under the articles button in the blue bar across the top of the page) and some of these will give you ideas about what gear you need. If you have a look at some of the member profiles (have a look near the members photo for the link) you may find lists of what members cram into their vehicles (we have a fairly full list there).

Hope that helps. Planning a trip is half the fun, especially if you are heading into unknown territory. The trick is to do enough planning, but not too much.

Cheers,

Val.
J and V
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Follow Up By: graham B9 - Sunday, Oct 06, 2013 at 10:08

Sunday, Oct 06, 2013 at 10:08
Just to add to Val. On the map mark with 4 different colours pins places. Red for must see, green for should see, blue for could see. The 4th colours for start point. Get a piece of black cotton and then join up the different places. This will then give you the distance and help formulate the time and costs. Involved. You might then want to change some of the colours. Continue this while the research process of going on.

Get a plan for weather, fire, medical, mechanical breakdown and natural disaster.

Make a list of spare parts to carry and learn some basic mechanical repairs.

Make a plan for electricity and water. These are the 2 biggest problems. Getting water that is and water usage.

best generator is a Honda EU2. This is why it is the most expensive.

Find out when the caravan show is on in WA
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Follow Up By: AlanTH - Sunday, Oct 06, 2013 at 10:38

Sunday, Oct 06, 2013 at 10:38
Four wheel drive show is on in November in South Perth if you're in WA but with a name like Johhnytasman you could be over the ditch....
Plenty of vans, campers etc there and heaps of info available from all sorts of retailers after your dollars.
AlanH.
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Follow Up By: Johnnytasman - Sunday, Oct 06, 2013 at 14:29

Sunday, Oct 06, 2013 at 14:29
thanks Val. Had a quick look at your Kimberley trip. Do you think I could do that in a Freelander 2 and a Jayco outback?
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Follow Up By: Member - John and Val - Sunday, Oct 06, 2013 at 15:26

Sunday, Oct 06, 2013 at 15:26
Hi Johnny,
Im not familiar with either your vehicle or trailer, but I would think that all the places we went on that trip would be doable provided you drive to the conditions - basically drop BOTH your tyre pressures and your speed to avoid shaking things to pieces over the inevitable corrugations.

Which points to some other essential items to carry - a good tyre pressure guage, 12V compressor and a tyre repair kit - as well as things like spare nuts and bolts, repair tape, and tools.

Cheers,

Val
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Reply By: Herbal - Sunday, Oct 06, 2013 at 11:13

Sunday, Oct 06, 2013 at 11:13
Yes, as others have said...Good question but really open.

Places to go and see? Up to you. What I might want to see, might not be what you want to see. Have a look at the NT and WA tourist web sites.

June - July is the dry season...That means dry and hot ! A big bottle of sunscreen is a must. If you have the room an extra spare wheel and tyre to what you normally carry (for both car and van). If you don't already have one, a solar panel with regulator, so if you need to wait for help you can keep your battery charged to run your cooler/fridge without worring about running out of fuel. Always refill your water at each town.

A fully stocked first aide kit. Check dates on everything in the kit and replace anything out of date. Include tropical strength insect repellent and a snake bite kit. Make sure you know what everything in the kit is for and how to use...You do not want to get bitten and then sit there reading the instructions ! I know it sounds like doom and gloom...but it is not...It is only doom and gloom if you don't have what you need with you.

A small supply of food that does not need cooking or water...Like cans. 2 or 3 days worth is good...and don't forget the can opener :)

As for a genny... It depends on what is best for you. If you want it as your main power then as mentioned maybe the Honda, which many regard as the best. If its for back-up emergency maybe something small and light...

Take a look at this blokes site - http://www.wheelchairdriver.com/ It might sound strange to turn to a wheelchair site but it is not really. He has a whole section about small gennys that are so compact and light they can be carried on the chair. Then he can go further and recharge the chairs batteries as needed. He also has many other tips about wheelchairs and stuff, that can be used for planning your caravan road trip. Think about it...He only has his hands so things must be easy, light and compact and of course, you have to be able to do it sitting down !
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Follow Up By: Herbal - Sunday, Oct 06, 2013 at 11:17

Sunday, Oct 06, 2013 at 11:17
Sorry...I almost forgot...Some winter clothing...When the sun goes down so to does the temp...It can go from 40c to minus 4c or 5c in only a few hours. (that is inland of course...coastal doesn't get that much change).
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Reply By: Member - Duncan W (WA) - Sunday, Oct 06, 2013 at 11:55

Sunday, Oct 06, 2013 at 11:55
Presume starting in Perth 3 options really:
a) Inland route north via the Grt Northern Highway taking in all the iconic Pilbara places of interest such as Mt Magnet, Meekathara, Cue Karijini, Tom Price and then cutting across to the coast and Karratha, 80 Mile Beach, Broome, Derby, El Q, Kunnunurra, then cross the boarder into NT or

b) up the coast and do all the seaside resort areas including Cervante, Jurien, Kalbarri, Quobba, Shark Bay & Monkey Mia, Exmouth, Coral Bay, Port Headland etc

c) inland route via Kalgoorlie, Leonora, Laverton, Grt Central Rd, Kata Jutta, Ularu, King's Canyon, Stuart Hwy North, Katherine, Kakadu, Litchfield, Darwin & then back south via either option a or b.

We've done the trip twice and the first time in a 2wd station wagon.

As those before me have said get a map and if you can overlay it with some clear plastic like overhead projector film and then mark out a preferred route. Any name that shows the remoteness of interest do an internet search. Also YouTube is very good as well.

Whatever you pack try and have it so that it has multiple uses. Clothes are a bit of a hassle as you'll need to pack for hot and cold weather. Do you need a generator? (small car space and extra fuel issues is there room in the CT?)

Have fun.

dUNC
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Reply By: Member - John and Val - Sunday, Oct 06, 2013 at 13:16

Sunday, Oct 06, 2013 at 13:16
Excellent site covering the Kimberley is this one. .

Cheers

John
J and V
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Reply By: Johnnytasman - Sunday, Oct 06, 2013 at 13:33

Sunday, Oct 06, 2013 at 13:33
Many thanks for all the advice!
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Reply By: Member-Heather MG NSW - Sunday, Oct 06, 2013 at 15:08

Sunday, Oct 06, 2013 at 15:08
Hi Johnny,

We have not long returned from a trip to WA and NT, tow vehicle was a Pajero and we have a Jayco StarCraft 20 ft caravan.
I wrote blogs (with photos) about where we visited and our experiences, on a weekly basis, so you might like to have a look at those too.
We did quite a bit of dirt road in WA, especially from the Upper Gascoyne Region and North of there and managed to get places where we saw few other vans, with minimal problems.
We took a Honda 2 generator which was able to run our Ibis Air Command air conditioner in the hotter places around the Kimberley and in NT.
regards,
Heather
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Reply By: Motherhen - Sunday, Oct 06, 2013 at 19:43

Sunday, Oct 06, 2013 at 19:43
Hi Johnny

Where are you coming from? I have detailed blogs here from 2008 and 2009 (yes it took two seasons to see what we did in the Kimberley and the Northern Territory). You are welcome to contact me privately if you would like any clarification or further details about these.

You say a Jayco Outback. Is this a wind down camper trailer style or a full caravan? I have seen the trailers on the Gibb River Road, but it would be risky taking a Jayco caravan, although this all depends on the conditions of the day.

The best small generator is a Honda 1 kva inverter. When touring the Kimberley, most had Hondas; either the 1 or 2 kva according to need. The 1 kva will not power a caravan air conditioner if this is one of your needs.

Motherhen

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