Alice Springs to Broome to Perth then back to Alice

Submitted: Monday, Nov 18, 2013 at 09:04
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Hi All,
We are currently planing a trip to leave from Alice Springs NT around to Perth and back home again in the new year, As we have never been into W.A can anybody recommend, places, sites and or any details so that we don't miss stuff, will be around June / July for anywhere between 6-10 weeks?
Below I will write our basic path we have planned so far. We are traveling with 4wd and camper trailer as well as a small dog.
Alice Springs
Rabbit Flat
Halls Creek
Broome
Port Hedland
Exmounth
Monkey Mia
Kalbarri
Perth
Augusta
Albany
Esperance
Caiguna
Streaky Bay
Port Lincoln
Glendambo
Cadney Park
Alice Springs

Thanks in advanced :-)
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Reply By: Motherhen - Monday, Nov 18, 2013 at 09:49

Monday, Nov 18, 2013 at 09:49
Hi Brenden

Are you looking for more for serviced sites or free/low cost/bush camping? As Rabbit Flats closed as a fuel outlet some years ago (late 2008?), I don't know if you can camp there, however if you can camping independently, there is plenty of room out on the Tanami.

You can check My Blogs for much of your route, although I do not have as much documented on my own state from pre internet days holidays.

I am not clear if you will be travelling for only six to eight weeks during summer or leaving now and returning next year. If only six to eight weeks you will miss a lot :). As you are not including touring the Kimberley, is taking the Tanami just a means to get to the west coast? If so, you would be far better to take the Gary Junction Road from Alice Springs to Marble Bar; a better road, more scenic and has better spread of fuel outlets.

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Follow Up By: Member - Brenden H - Monday, Nov 18, 2013 at 10:19

Monday, Nov 18, 2013 at 10:19
Hi Sorry was not very clear was I, We will be leaving in June and traveling for around 6-8 weeks with a maximum of 10 if needed. We have never been west, I have no Idea about rabbit flats but fuel wont be a issue as can get aprox 1500km with fuel. This will be our first ever trip towing a camper trailer and actually using a camper trailer. I have towed many times before on dirt etc so well experienced at that, more towards the self living etc we can do now. We don't mind driving some dirt roads but as we will have a brand new car as well as a brand new camper trailer I was unsure in total how both will react on the travel etc. I am new to all this forum stuffs but I will check out those blog things and try and get more information.
thanks :-)
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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Monday, Nov 18, 2013 at 11:27

Monday, Nov 18, 2013 at 11:27
Then choose the easier Gary Junction Road over the Tanami which is hard on any vehicle and trailer and doesn't have a huge amount of variety; where you will spend your time looking for the ruts hidden in bulldust that have cause broken springs and rollovers.

Marble Bar is an interesting town and a visit to the old Comet Gold Mine a must see.

The Mount Whaleback mine tour (book and pay at Newman Visitor Centre) is a good one.
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Reply By: Member - John and Val - Monday, Nov 18, 2013 at 09:50

Monday, Nov 18, 2013 at 09:50
Hi Brenden,

You dont say what sort of things you are interested in, which could help others to guide you eg if you are into fishing, bushwalking, wildflowers, photography you may choose different places.

You seem to be sticking to the coast and have missed out on places like the Bungle Bungles and the area around Kununurra and Lake Argyle. Have you considered doing the Gibb River Road? Then there is the Pilbara with its stunning scenery especially in Karajini NP, and the massive mines.

You could be a bit early for wildflowers from Kalbarri and points south, and as you go south the weather will be cooler, with a fair chance of wind and rain as the fronts pass through. The southern coast of WA is a wonderfully scenic place but perhaps better enjoyed in warmer months, although in the winter months there are few people about so you can just about have the place all to yourself. As well as the tall tree country around Walpole the National Parks - Fitzgerald River, Cape le Grand and Cape Arid are magnificent, and there are great opportunities for whale watching too.

Taking in all that country would take up all of your time, so maybe heading home via the Great Central Road and having a look around Kalgoolie could be a better option than going the long way round across the Nullarbor. And without wishing to detract from the SA section of your trip, you may find it a bit of an anticlimax if you do it just after coming from those amazing WA places - better to do that area and perhaps the beautiful Flinders Ranges as a separate trip.

We have written blogs (as have many others) about many of the above places that might be useful.

Cheers,

Val.
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Follow Up By: Member - Brenden H - Monday, Nov 18, 2013 at 10:24

Monday, Nov 18, 2013 at 10:24
Hi,
Sorry, my wife and I are interested in many things, I.e ship wrecks, mines, and landscape views like Ayers rock, canyons salt lakes etc. Yes we were using the Tanami to get from Alice to the west Coast as didnt see much up north, and really wanted to see if we could some what see the Tanami gold mine as we past? I thank you heaps for the comments and areas, I will be researching them more and see, We are more than happy to change / divert our tracks to see more places. I said above I will have to check out these blogs on trips and have a look as I know its only short trip but this is the first time we have headed into WA and would like to get the "main" attractions seen that's for sure. We are spending some time at Shark Bay as always wanted to see that area and hopefully some shark tours :-)
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Follow Up By: Member - John and Val - Monday, Nov 18, 2013 at 10:35

Monday, Nov 18, 2013 at 10:35
Hi Brenden,
Im not sure that the Tanami mine is open to the public - others may know. But at both Newman and Tom Price you can do tours of the massive iron ore mines there, and Kalgoolie has the Super Pit (gold mine) with a great viewing platform.

You have given yourselves plenty of time to research your trip, which in many ways is half the fun, especially if it is your first big trip. There is a wealth of information on this site so you should be able to come up with a plan that suits your interests. My only suggestion would be to not overplan - by which I mean have a flexible schedule so that if you find something interesting or unexpected (which you almost certainly will) you have time to explore. Likewise if there are adverse conditions eg because of weather you can change plans accordingly.

Cheers,

Val
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Follow Up By: Member - Brenden H - Monday, Nov 18, 2013 at 12:31

Monday, Nov 18, 2013 at 12:31
Thanks Val,
From your last response I am currently chaniging the route to go to Katherine, then to Kununurra then take the Gibb river road to into Derby. then all the same way to Norseman again but diverting up to the Kalgoolie mine to have a look then same way home at this stage.
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Reply By: The Bunyip - Monday, Nov 18, 2013 at 12:27

Monday, Nov 18, 2013 at 12:27
Got the funny feeling because WA is such a big place you'll be inundated with suggestions by fellow members. I remember visiting Perth from Victoria years ago & noticed TV stations had to devote 10-15 minutes to the states weather report.

Make sure you visit the Pinnacles Desert near Cervantes, it's halfway between Geraldton & Perth. Well worth the detour.
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Reply By: Kris and Kev - Monday, Nov 18, 2013 at 13:24

Monday, Nov 18, 2013 at 13:24
That is one big trip you intend on doing in such a small amount of time. To do most places properly you cannot rush.Karijini National Park is a must and to do it properly you need at least 4 days, we spent 7 days there. On one of our trips we took 12 weeks to just do the Kimberley and then this year we took 5 months to do the rest of WA, and we still missed heaps! Unless your trip is just intended to be a quick drive around just to get the feel of the place, maybe limit your trip to a smaller area. If you have not done the Kimberley properly previously, maybe just do that area. The Kimberley is huge and it is brilliant. Have fun planning. Kevin
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Follow Up By: Member - Brenden H - Monday, Nov 18, 2013 at 13:57

Monday, Nov 18, 2013 at 13:57
Hi Kevin,
Yeah the main plan this trip is to do a "quick" drive around the WA area to get a feel for the place and get a general idea of what we like and where etc to plan future trips around that area, we have done the East coast 10+ times and originally planned to do it again this year until the wife suggested WA. Currently we have planned in direct route driving is 10,506 km mapping it out on Google Maps from start to finish, then as well as other driving it will be a good trip yes. Once we have a better feel for the place then we can plan more detailed trips as you say in the future to certain areas. As we are down grading our vehicle to a SUV from a full on well set up 4wd we wont be doing the major 4ed areas any more.
thanks again
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Follow Up By: Michaeljp - Monday, Nov 18, 2013 at 19:55

Monday, Nov 18, 2013 at 19:55
I understand what your intentions are Brenden, make this trip an exploritory trip for future trips. I used to do that years ago and found out i was knocking my self around with all the driving that i didnt really find out much. It might be better to do say the Kimberley and the Pilbra first, then the southern half another year. There is plenty of info regarding the Gibb river road and pilbra to keep you going back there for years to come. In the past 13 years ive been to the Kimberley/ Pilbra 7 times and planing another trip up there for next year again.
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Follow Up By: Sandman - Tuesday, Nov 19, 2013 at 15:46

Tuesday, Nov 19, 2013 at 15:46
Hi Brenden

Did the trip from Alice to Broome last year (we live in Alice). Very easy relaxed trip across the Tanami, you can fuel up at Timouth Well or Yuendumu before you go across....

Just let the tyres down and cruise across. Rabbit Flat is totally closed, you cant even go off the road towards it, he has it baracaded off. Make sure you see Wolfe Creek on the way, stay there overnight...its gorgeous. We left Tilmouth after breakfast and arrived in Wolfe Creek late afternoon, trust me there is bugger all to see across the Tanami.

I'd actually turn right after Fitzroy and head up to Tunnel creek, go walk the length of the underground cave, well worth it.Windjana gorge was ok, nothing to write home about. We followed the road to the start of the Gibb and then stayed in Derby overnight. Go and check out the Boab tree in Derby and the HUGE long water trough there....drive your car out onto the wharf at the boat harbour at low tide, you'll get a real sense of how high the tides get.

About 75km nth of Broome, stop for 2 nights at James Price point, up on the headland, free camping...totally stunning.

If you have a few more weeks could I suggest you go furthur north, worth going to Mataranka springs (Mataranka and Bitter), come south to (Stay a night at Daly Waters iconic pub) Dunmurra and then head west on the Buchannan, turn left onto the Buntine then onto the Duncan and you come out through the back of the OLD Halls Creek....amazing countryside, I reckon its better than the Tanami.

Gotta stop in for a beer at 3ways too....

Hmm, think I need a holiday myself :-) Think early next year we're heading across the great central down to Esperence, cant wait :-) Thats the beauty of the Alice, central to everywhere :-)

Pete
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Follow Up By: Member - Brenden H - Tuesday, Nov 19, 2013 at 17:02

Tuesday, Nov 19, 2013 at 17:02
Hi Pete,
That helps heaps, thanks, This site is amazing, well worth the members that are on it for the advice you all give.
I am currently re-planning the trip with the wife to go further north and cut in from Katherine then do the Gibb River Road.
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