Exploring NT pointers for family on a working holiday for the year

Submitted: Wednesday, Feb 19, 2014 at 23:42
ThreadID: 106330 Views:2709 Replies:2 FollowUps:4
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Hi Everyone,

We are currently on the road and looking for pointers on how to attack NT! PLus other pointers for a year on the road

Brief intro: We are a young family with a 20 month old. We have packed up the house and are off. My wife is a midwife and the bread winner! Due to the demand to for nurses/midwives at hospitals outside the citys there is plenty of work out there, and they also provide us with accommodation! We have done quite a few other contracts but this time I will be full time dad. We have done a good chunk of the eastern half of Qld, including cape york solo. Lived (~8months each) in Cairns and Biloela, worked (<2months) in Ayr, Roma, Emerald, Innisfail and currently we are in Gladstone till early March.
We will be relying on the work to guide us around, rough plan is couple of months in qld, 2-3 months NT then remainder WA. With surprises in between!
Equip: We have a 2005 100 series landcruiser 1HZ (winch, uhf, awning, 2" lift, muddies) and 6man tent, esky, gas cooker.... As the bulk of our stays will be in hospital accomm we can get by with a tent for short trips away and stays to the next stop.

Question time
First is we were planning to work through NT but the jobs arent there at the moment (off to a good start!), we may stay in qld longer - Longreach or Mt isa would get us west. So we are thinking it might be best to spend a few weeks to holiday NT then head over to WA for the rest of the year working. So, what would be some rough pointers for us and routes. We want to head to Alice then north to darwin (to avoid the wet) then we'll be at the top of WA to carry on working down to perth. We did want to go to birdsville and outthe desert but I think going solo and with a young daughter it would be to risky, Plenty highway might be better.
Is 2 weeks enough to see NT (assuming starting at the NT/Qld border)? We'd love more of course but the $$ will control that. I may even have to put the boots on and get working! What are the main sights and time roug time frames. I have plenty of searching explroz to do I know!!

Sub questions
If we do have to have longer stays in some places, is a camper trailer the way to go. The wife isnt a fan of the setup that could be involved as on the way up she spotted a pop out type caravan at a rest stop while we were on the park benchs (i was ok with that). Plus we wanted avoid towing as the cruiser is turboless, and also the 4wding aspects.
Im thinking campers are the way to go $wise plus weight and better 4wding, please throw any opinions at me! And i assume setup would be on par with a tent, but more luxurious.

Sub 2
EOTracks and spot and other GPS gizmos
I have seen HEMA now have an App for mobiles, what are some pros cons for GPS gear. As we wont be going super remote, we wont need the flashest gear but I want to have some good maps (currenly paper) that are easy to use and not to complicated (i can get that later) Also link phone to laptop to plan routes and review after etc. Also Id like to keep track of where we have been. Can EOtracks been turned off when are staying in town and switched on when we hit the dirt? Also we have a blog setup for family and friends to know what were up to (some still dont get it and think we're mad!!) and Id like a GPS link to show on a map.

Ok thats our rough story and plan. Any suggestions, advice, opinions welcome! or any things we can change or could have done better
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Reply By: Kumunara (NT) - Thursday, Feb 20, 2014 at 16:32

Thursday, Feb 20, 2014 at 16:32

They are always looking for nurses in the NT so she shouldn't have too much trouble finding work.

Two weeks in not enough to do the NT. Two months wouldn't do it. There is just so much to see and do.

You said about avoiding the wet. The wet is the best time of the year. However the build up is the worst. Also in the wet it can be difficult to get to some places.

There are a wide range of camper trailers on the market. Mine does not need pegs and my misses can erect / pack it up easily by herself. They have a promotion video where a child does it and they are not kidding. There is a lot more work with a tent. Easier to tow than a caravan. I feel claustrophobic in a caravan and do not like them - that is me. Some people however like the idea of sitting in the caravan with the air-conditioning. It is what best suits you and your family.

I also have a GPS with an off road program. It is very handy. Do not get a street GPS as they are useless as soon as you leave the Stuart highway or a major town..

Hope that helps.


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Follow Up By: Bob Shovel - Monday, Feb 24, 2014 at 13:41

Monday, Feb 24, 2014 at 13:41
Hi Kumunara

Thanks for the reply,

What type of CT do you have, that sounds like what we are after!

hopefully we'll get more time, we ideally will get work and spend a few months up there
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Follow Up By: Kumunara (NT) - Monday, Feb 24, 2014 at 14:28

Monday, Feb 24, 2014 at 14:28

Cameron Campers. URL: http://www.cameroncampers.com.au/

At the first page is a link to a video of an 8 year old child erecting the tent. It is correct. It is that easy.

Also we did a trip last year to Cape York. There were six trailers. Three failed and had to have welding /major repairs to A-frames and suspension. Mine did it easily with no problems.


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Follow Up By: Kumunara (NT) - Monday, Feb 24, 2014 at 16:30

Monday, Feb 24, 2014 at 16:30

Just had a look at the page and they have added a photo of my Rok and my camper trailer. I sent it to them to show the bulldust I had driven it through.
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Reply By: Member -Toonfish - Monday, Feb 24, 2014 at 11:52

Monday, Feb 24, 2014 at 11:52
We have been travelling for just over a year now but are currently enjoying the wet and both working in Darwin while kids are all at school (6,10 & 11) and all loving being in a school environment again.
Plenty of work here IMO however Darwin accommodation is very pricey (expect $500-$700 weekly rent for house or 450 powered site !!)
check out the labour hire agencies especially hospitality .
inpex gas projest hires many specialist too but not so easy or quick to get into.

Darwin bombing experience is a must as is the many markets and night stalls.
Obviously Litchfield national park and the great waterholes and walks within, Kakadu all over (take a week to do half decently?)
The wet has slowed travel down a bit but local things are still very doable .

good on you for getting out there !
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Follow Up By: Bob Shovel - Monday, Feb 24, 2014 at 13:47

Monday, Feb 24, 2014 at 13:47
sounds awesome, Ill start looking into darwin some more, it could be a temporary permanent move!
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