Need help with trip planning please

Hello all,

We drove our Toyota Landcruiser from Belgium to South Africa in 2 years time and arrived in Autralia 3 weeks ago.

We're working at the moment, planning on buying a 4x4 to hit the road again.

We would love to get some great idea's about what to see and where to go.

We're gonna buy some Lonely planet guides, but we assume that a lot of nice "off road" places aren't in there, so any suggestion would be nice!

Also, are there any better book to buy for this trip? Any good road maps,....

All tips, idea's and routes are welcome!

Eef and Dries

Feel free to have a look on our travelwebsite (also in English) or follow us on Facebook!
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Reply By: Member - Alan H (QLD) - Monday, Mar 02, 2015 at 13:59

Monday, Mar 02, 2015 at 13:59
A good read of this site should help. Hema maps cover great 4x4 roads etc. See the shop.

First there is an outside lap which includes the gulf and Gibb river road. Then there is a road (Great central road) which goes diagonally from the south west to the north east across a lot of Australia. (Lots of dirt road)

Just doing the outside lap (with side roads) and then the Great central road would put ypu through a lot of the country. Beware of "the wet" up north during Xmas time and also the extreme temps over xmas. April - Oct is a greaat time to travel these roads.


AnswerID: 546829

Follow Up By: Member - Alan H (QLD) - Monday, Mar 02, 2015 at 14:01

Monday, Mar 02, 2015 at 14:01
The outside lap is about 15-20000 kms. Dodge floods and temperatures and enjoy

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Follow Up By: Member - Alan H (QLD) - Monday, Mar 02, 2015 at 14:05

Monday, Mar 02, 2015 at 14:05
Sorry to hog your post but for info on trips you may want to look at

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Reply By: get outmore - Monday, Mar 02, 2015 at 14:38

Monday, Mar 02, 2015 at 14:38
best suggestion is when your planning on tackling a particular area or road etc about a week out ask for suggestions as to a good route or things to see along the way
that way you can get very specific information from people familure with the area.
asking a question thats too general overwhelms us on here as collectivly theres a wealth of knowledge

so perhaps start with the city your starting from and the direction your looking to go
AnswerID: 546832

Reply By: Member - John - Monday, Mar 02, 2015 at 15:00

Monday, Mar 02, 2015 at 15:00
Question, How long have you got? When that is known, the other question can be asked. Where will you be starting and finishing? The forumites will then be able to give you specific advise. Have a great trip.
John and Jan

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Follow Up By: Member - mike g2 - Wednesday, Mar 04, 2015 at 11:16

Wednesday, Mar 04, 2015 at 11:16
Hi Eef..lots of considerations: tot time allowed for trip, $ avail to spend, where you want to go ( whole books on this apply to Aust), kit and vehicle, rough it or go luxury, season ( wet/dry)limitations, bookings for popular times/ on..

recently did Perth via nullabor to riverina, Melbourne, Sydney, Newcastle and return ( in basic terms) . took 4mths and $30,000.
towed a jayco with a navara.
preplan of trip : costed fuel vs dist- using averages per state, accom allowance- did c/van stays @ $30 a nite average and food/spend allowance of $100 fni. overall spending was a lot more than plan for us!.
lots of info in explor oz on Aust trips- look at blogs, do a search. all the best.
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Reply By: Idler Chris - Vic - Monday, Mar 02, 2015 at 21:46

Monday, Mar 02, 2015 at 21:46
Unfortunately outback Australia is littered with white crosses of Europeans who did not realise what the conditions would be like. Take some time and do the reasearch and you will be fine. The number one tip IMHO is to have a satellite phone which can be purchased for about $360. If you cannot afford this then I would say you cannot afford to go. To get ideas read some of the blogs on this web site. They will tell you about places and give some idea of the conditions. If you become a member you can download tracks travelled which make navigation much easier.
What other people think of me is none of my business.
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Reply By: Derek Jones - Monday, Mar 02, 2015 at 22:22

Monday, Mar 02, 2015 at 22:22
Reading your post it sounds as if you sepnt some time in South Africa. Is this correct?

If so - if you tell us what sorts of things attracted your attention then people may be able to give some hints along similar lines to your SA experience.
AnswerID: 546860

Reply By: Gustle - Tuesday, Mar 03, 2015 at 13:14

Tuesday, Mar 03, 2015 at 13:14
Hi Eef and Dries,
Good on you for asking for some advise before you venture into the outback.
One of the things I suggest you do is to download an app called Wiki Camps. This app provides you with thousands of camp sites in Australia, from free bush camps to highway stop-overs, campgrounds and dump points etc.. It also guides you to the campsites via GPS if you have a tablet or smart phone which is really handy. If you do not have access to a smart phone, you can purchase a book called camp7 or 8 which does the same thing but is in a book format locating the campsite on Hema maps. You can get this book in most camping stores or online.
If you are still working and have some time on your hands before you travel, why not join a local 4x4 club where you will meet lots of people that in most likelihood have traveled around Australia and where you will potentially pick up a lot of good knowledge. Just google 4x4 club and the city where you are staying and you should find a few clubs.
This forum and website is also a great source of knowledge, just reading the various forum posts will give you good ideas and information.

Best of luck and safe travel.

AnswerID: 546876

Reply By: Eef_and_Dries - Tuesday, Mar 03, 2015 at 14:41

Tuesday, Mar 03, 2015 at 14:41
Hi all,

Thanks for all the advice.
We know that the post is wide, but we didn't really know where to start, we hoped that there was a book with more of the 'outback' of Australia, in stead of just all the Lonely Planets that cover most of the touristics parts.

But we already got some good tips now, thanks.
We're in Sydney at the moment, where we're working for 5 months, so we're taking the time to buy the right car and preper it for the trip.
We will also be looking into a 4x4 club, that's a good tip!

A sattelite phone, is that really necessairy?
We travelled through Africa (Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia,....) all without one.
There were always somewhere locals around :)
And the biggest trip (Lake Turkana, 8 days in the middle of nowhere) we crossed with 2 other cars.

Thanks for all your help and might see you on the road!
Eef and Dries
AnswerID: 546878

Follow Up By: Member - John and Val - Tuesday, Mar 03, 2015 at 15:12

Tuesday, Mar 03, 2015 at 15:12
Australia is a big country and in places very sparsely populated. You need to be self sufficient if you are going off the main roads, and have reliable communications. That said, there are many great areas to explore, depending on your available time. This site holds a wealth of information so take a bit of time to understand how the site works and you will get a lot from it. Eg you can click on every underlined word for more info. Some of the areas that you could start researching, by state are
NSW - coastal strip for beautiful beaches, north coast forests and rugged ranges, SNowy Mountains.
VIC -highlands, great Ocean Road, Grampians National Park
TAS - central highlands, Lake St Clair, Port Arthur
SA - Flinders Ranges, Oodnadatta Track, Birdsville Track, Innaminka and Coonie Lakes
WA - Kimberley, Pilbara, Canning Stock Route, Kalgoorlie
NT - Kakadu, Alice Springs and surrounding area
Qld - Great Barrier Reef, Cape York, Birdsville and Simpson Desert.

Thats just for starters, but if you could manage to see half of that lot you will have seen a good slice of what this country has to offer.

Good luck and enjoy your travels here. Have a look at our blogs that touch on quite a few of those places.
J and V
"Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted."
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Follow Up By: Member - mike g2 - Wednesday, Mar 04, 2015 at 11:36

Wednesday, Mar 04, 2015 at 11:36
further to earlier reply- agree with sat phone. you may indeed never need it, but as others say, countryside littered with stories of explorers in trouble-comms essential. same applies to other travel essentials such as good tool kit, spares,...etc, ."the outback" is a 2 edged sword- it is both beautiful and possibly deadly.
good example: risk of creek camping- a thunderstorm 50 miles away!
first thing you hear is a roar at 3 am.
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Follow Up By: mountainman - Wednesday, Mar 04, 2015 at 18:48

Wednesday, Mar 04, 2015 at 18:48
I think the sat phones... a bit extreme.
its not like theyre not experienced.
a simple epirb or a app to your smart phone these days can be suffice.
dont be told too much.
go do this and that.
Australia has many great spots.
some secrets.. some well known spots are slightly overated..
being too touristy or commercial.

plenty of spots around a couple hours from sydney.. where your staying.
Ive found some local 4by shops are very welcoming when you mention you want to visit some local spots.
And tell them your new to the area.
blacksmiths beach is just one hidden secret around newcastle..
camp on the beach, heaps of beach to drive on.. sand dunes and sometimes quite good fishing at times.
best times outdoors are with the basics.
good olde esky and cheap camping weekends than the must have fridge...
camper trailer and crap we all want and desire these days..
times have changed where all the gear is the must haves...
FollowupID: 834819

Reply By: Eef_and_Dries - Tuesday, Mar 24, 2015 at 16:40

Tuesday, Mar 24, 2015 at 16:40
Hi all,

Here we are again with a question :)

What kind of navigator/navigatormaps would you recommand?

We had a look into the Hema maps and the paper ones look very good, would you also recommend this for the navigator?

We used Tracks4Africa during our trip through Africa, is the Tracks4Australia any good?

Hema vs Tracks4Australia, what is your thought? :)

Eef and Dries
AnswerID: 551546

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