Planning a Canning trip

Good morning,

I,m in the process of planning a trip along the Canning Stock route in 2015 or 2016.
My question regards to my wife and daughter flying to Alice Springs to meet me (then to Halls creek via theTanami) then flying home from Wiluna or Meekathra via Perth after the trip.

I can get a combination of annual leave and long service to cover me, but the English rose only gets school holidays off, (Anita works in a preschool) which in the travelling season is only 2 weeks. So Anita and the Little Princess will need to take leave without pay.

I have roughly worked out that from just south of Sydney to Alice will take me 4 days travelling.
And from Wiluna probably home 6 days.
(I am happy to be corrected on these travel times.)

That will means at least 32 days away with only 10 days paid holiday for the girls.

I have worked out rough costs of flying the girls to Alice Springs $300 x 2 = $600
Wiluna or Meekathra to Perth and home $750 x 2 = $1500
Total of approx. $2100 or $1050 each. (ballpark figures, I cant get flight costs for the years I hope to travel)

So I guess my question comes down to - has anyone done anything like this before and did it work out in regards to having to be to be at airports by a specific time etc. ?

Please feel free to comment on any aspect of this idea.

Thanks in advance,
William

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Reply By: cookie1 - Thursday, May 15, 2014 at 11:03

Thursday, May 15, 2014 at 11:03
Did the Canning South to North in 2012

We travelled to Wiluna - Adelaide in 3 days but we had 3 drivers rotating.

The Canning took us (2 vehicles) 10 days visiting every Well starting at 8am and pulling up at 3pm every day, but we weren't hanging about either and were expecting the track to get a lot harder - tyre pressures are vital as is engaging 4wd.

Got a fuel drop at Well 23 and topped up at Kunawarritja

Alice to Bililuna is comfortable 2 day (miss Halls Creek), Bililuna has fuel so fill right up there.

HTH

cheers
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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Thursday, May 15, 2014 at 18:17

Thursday, May 15, 2014 at 18:17
Much the same for us Cookie, Up Canning in 10 days then Halls creek Katherine to Alice in 3 days picking up someone at start in Perth , and another leaving trip in Alice as only had 2 weeks, seemed to work ok, would have been a day less except for the 2000km detour via Katherine because Tanimi was closed due to rain.
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Follow Up By: Member - William B (The Shire) - Friday, May 16, 2014 at 08:26

Friday, May 16, 2014 at 08:26
Thanks for the tip in missing Halls Creek cookie1.

I was thinking along the same lines as you about the start and finish times once on the track.

William
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Reply By: The Landy - Thursday, May 15, 2014 at 11:21

Thursday, May 15, 2014 at 11:21
Hi William

I’m not exactly sure of the question you are looking to have answered. I guess the cost associated with the exercise will be whatever it is, both in terms of flights and leave without pay.

In terms of meeting flights…

We are travelling the western deserts region in July this year, Anne Beadell and Sandy Blight Junction tracks, and the crown prince has about three week of school holidays, so we will all leave Sydney together, and my partner and son will fly back from Alice Springs, leaving me another week to drive home.

When planning, it simply comes down to ensuring you allow enough travel time to meet the inbound and outbound flights, as well as the time in between to do the trip.

In terms of travel time along the CSR, the trek notes on ExplorOz should give you a good idea around anticipated travel time. The main thing to account for is having some flexibility to cover weather, and unforeseen circumstances. Ensure you allow realistic travel times as the last thing you want to do is rush a trip like this simply to meet an airline timetable…

Good luck with the planning…
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Follow Up By: Member - William B (The Shire) - Friday, May 16, 2014 at 09:00

Friday, May 16, 2014 at 09:00
Hi The Landy,

I suppose I was tossing ideas up in the air and hoping (as is usually the case) that the wealth of knowledge held by EO forumites would give me some ideas or thoughts to help my planning.

This trip has been many years in the planning stage and is still 1 or more years in the future.

Because of the distance just to get to the actual start of the Canning I am trying to work out the best way to utilise the time, so we are spending more time enjoying the actual Canning.

At the moment I am allowing 2 days Alice to Halls Creek/Bililuna with a days rest and 20 days for the Canning.

William
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Reply By: Member - Scott M (NSW) - Thursday, May 15, 2014 at 11:34

Thursday, May 15, 2014 at 11:34
We traveled the Canning in a group last July and had a similar issue to you except one member (Mum) joined us at Wiluna (passed on the AB Hwy due to a family gathering) and a couple of our UK based companions had to fly out from Kunnunurra via Darwin back to the UK.

Flights from Kunnanurra are a regular commercial service, not sure about Halls Creek, suspect there is a service, but Kunnanurra is only half a day down the road anyway.

Flights to Wiluna, Laverton, Leonora etc. can be booked form Perth via Skippers Aviation

www.skippers.com.au/FlightsWiluna.asp

they're quite a substantial carrier in WA, primarily servicing mining so there's multiple daily flights through the WA mining belt. Prices were 'reasonable', only advice is don't leave your booking too late as they do fill with FIFO's - you'll need to make sure you get into Wiluna or wherever with time to spare as you might not get a reschedule on short notice.

Otherwise one other advice, not much (none) accommodation in Wliuna .... pub has some rooms, but it's a bit 'cruddy'.... no meals as of last year and no cafe's etc in Wiluna either....
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Reply By: Member - Scott M (NSW) - Thursday, May 15, 2014 at 11:37

Thursday, May 15, 2014 at 11:37
We traveled the Canning in a group last July and had a similar issue to you except one member (Mum) joined us at Wiluna (passed on the AB Hwy due to a family gathering) and a couple of our UK based companions had to fly out from Kunnunurra via Darwin back to the UK.

Flights from Kunnanurra are a regular commercial service, not sure about Halls Creek, suspect there is a service, but Kunnanurra is only half a day down the road anyway.

Flights to Wiluna, Laverton, Leonora etc. can be booked form Perth via Skippers Aviation

www.skippers.com.au/FlightsWiluna.asp

they're quite a substantial carrier in WA, primarily servicing mining so there's multiple daily flights through the WA mining belt. Prices were 'reasonable', only advice is don't leave your booking too late as they do fill with FIFO's - you'll need to make sure you get into Wiluna or wherever with time to spare as you might not get a reschedule on short notice.

Otherwise one other advice, not much (none) accommodation in Wliuna .... pub has some rooms, but it's a bit 'cruddy'.... no meals as of last year and no cafe's etc in Wiluna either....

Short answer - I'd give yourself at minimum 14-15 days on the track and allow another 2-3 contingency
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Follow Up By: Member - William B (The Shire) - Friday, May 16, 2014 at 08:42

Friday, May 16, 2014 at 08:42
Hi Scott M,
Thanks for the info. about the flights, you have confirmed by thoughts about flight availability especially with the FIFO workers.

It sounds that by gaining some extra time flying the girls to Alice Springs that will give me some flexibility at the end of the trip.

Would Meekatharra be a be a better proposition for flights and accommodation?

William
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Follow Up By: Member - Scott M (NSW) - Friday, May 16, 2014 at 16:05

Friday, May 16, 2014 at 16:05
Skippers fly into Meekatharra, not having been there I can't speak for the accommodation ....
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Reply By: gbc - Thursday, May 15, 2014 at 13:52

Thursday, May 15, 2014 at 13:52
We are a bit of a time poor family so I have run with plans like yours in the past with good effect. For the cape the wife and kids flew into cairns, and for central oz they flew into alice. This enabled me to high tail the transit stages without having to care about the needs of three others, two of which were babies/toddlers at the time. Not only did it buy me a few days, it saved me a fair amount of sanity and more so that of the family who, it is reasonable to say, don't cope with that sort of thing as well as I do. If you are meeting them off the plane, plan a short hop into town on flight day to save freaking out too much. Better yet, plan a motel stay for the night they arrive so they can get to the motel independently and stay there without adding pressure on you to force yourself to make it if tired or are behind schedule for whatever reason. It is after all a holiday. You'll appreciate a shower, meal and a bed after a Sydney - alice run, I promise.
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Follow Up By: Member - William B (The Shire) - Friday, May 16, 2014 at 08:32

Friday, May 16, 2014 at 08:32
Thanks gbc,
Good advise about booking a motel room for the day they arrive.
It would make things easier.
William
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Reply By: MactrolPod - Thursday, May 15, 2014 at 19:52

Thursday, May 15, 2014 at 19:52
Co-ordinating flight arrivals with your arrival can possibly be a bit of a challenge. You have probably thought about contingencies if one group beats the other and accommodating which ever one.
How ever you do it, it will end up with you all together and enjoying your holiday.
The CSR is an amazing drive and thoroughly enjoyable. Have fun mate.
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Follow Up By: Member - William B (The Shire) - Friday, May 16, 2014 at 09:05

Friday, May 16, 2014 at 09:05
Hi MactrolPod,
I don't think that meeting the girls at Alice Springs will be a problem because if they get there before me they can book accommodation and wait.
I think it will be more the other end with a possible lack of flexability that will be more the issue.
William
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