Canberra - Darwin - Qld and home

Submitted: Tuesday, Jun 23, 2015 at 17:15
ThreadID: 119275 Views:2081 Replies:4 FollowUps:1
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After travelling almost 14,500 kms over 7.5 weeks with my brother on a fascinating photographic assignment let me summarise our travels and make some observations.

The full blog is at [B][/B]

First, it was a real privilege to be able to undertake this great adventure courtesy of Rob's contract. I trust I made a valuable contribution to the success of the project.

Second, the main focus of the trip was people - and we met and enjoyed the company of many including some characters.

Finally, it is great to be home with my wife Annie and daughter Francesca who I have to acknowledge gave me permission to embark on le grande trek.


Vehicle = 2008 Toyota Prado 120 D4D towing a Cub Supamatic Regal Off-road camper
Total distance travelled = 14,484 kms
Days on the road = 53
Nights under canvas = 36
Nights in beds = 16 of which 7 were with friends and 5 in cabins and 4 in a Sydney motel
Total fuel consumed = 1896 litres
Average fuel consumption = 13 litres per 100 kms
Total fuel costs = $2616.93 @ $1.38 per litre average
Costs of food, wine, beer etc = $4809.82
Cost of car services = $823.68
Other costs (fire wood, park entries, camper storage, tolls, taxis in Sydney, parking etc.) = $545.89

[B]BUDGET $11,000 - EXPENDED $10,797.75 SURPLUS $202.25[/B]


1. Australians on holidays seem to think it is mandatory to wear shorts and thongs even when the temperature is below 5 degrees. Some even sit around complaining how cold it is whilst dressed in their shorts and thongs!

2. Many grey nomads take their decrepit dogs on holidays and forcibly walk them even when the dogs are suffering badly from arthritis. Also many dogs seem to have quite a winter wardrobe even when nature has provided them with quite adequate coats.

3. One couple took a caged galah on their trip when of course they are surrounded by thousands in the wild. Go figure.

4. There are many very interesting people with wonderful stories to tell in regional and remote Australia and many can be found in pubs at the bar having a cold one. They led us to many stories.

4. Don't take cheap camp chairs. Ours finally failed in Longreach and where replaced (courtesy of Rob) in Roma.

5. Plan on the kms for the trip and then add 30%. I planned 15% taking us up to 11,750. We ended up at almost 14,500 - 2,750 over budget. No where near enough for the diversions and sightseeing one needs to do.

6. Plan an average fuel cost and then always top up when you find fuel less than the plan. I used $1.50 per litre in the plan but did a lot better with $1.38 on average. Use your long range tanks to by-pass high price fill ups. Go for major towns. Worst we experienced was $1.88 at Barkly Homestead but I only took on-board 50 litres to get us through to Mount Isa. Only other time was at Leigh Creek at $1.57 a litre.

7. If expecting freezing temperatures leave a full kettle on the stove so that you have water for a cup of tea in the morning. We had 3 nights in a row when the water pipe in the camper froze in Queensland.

8. When preparing a meal think about cooking more than required so you have a ready-made meal available later. Rob did this on more than one occasion and the chilli con carne and the stir fry duck was most welcome later when we were a bit too tired to cook.

9. Keep the red road dust out of the vehicle door locks. It jams them. You can use WD40 to release them but if this is in the rear car drawer system it will not help. After borrowing some we then stored it in the camper tool box and bought some silicone spray which works better.

10. Never miss the opportunity to have a good cup of coffee and cake. We planned a coffee stop each morning.

11. Take every opportunity to take the side trip off the bitumen and see what is out there - like Elsey Station cemetery. We did this to have a look at the hot springs at Mataranka, Newcastle Waters and Litchfield National Park as well as driving a back road from the NT into Queensland via Brunett Downs just so we could see one of Australia's largest cattle stations.

12. Ignore each other's foibles!

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Reply By: 2517. - Tuesday, Jun 23, 2015 at 20:30

Tuesday, Jun 23, 2015 at 20:30
Great post,how true ,it is amazing how people you ask did you go to this place ,no why not did not know about it.Mate drove to Darwin in 5days from Sydney on a 6months trip you have to wonder.
AnswerID: 556274

Reply By: ChrisVal7 - Tuesday, Jun 23, 2015 at 20:55

Tuesday, Jun 23, 2015 at 20:55
What a great trip report! I like your format...and great to hear about your observations on the trip as a whole.
AnswerID: 556275

Reply By: Member - Terry W4 - Tuesday, Jun 23, 2015 at 21:09

Tuesday, Jun 23, 2015 at 21:09
Just realised that the BLOG is htpps://

AnswerID: 556276

Follow Up By: Member - Terry W4 - Tuesday, Jun 23, 2015 at 21:21

Tuesday, Jun 23, 2015 at 21:21
No its not it's

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Reply By: Member - Odog - Wednesday, Jun 24, 2015 at 18:22

Wednesday, Jun 24, 2015 at 18:22
G'day Terry
Sue and I got about the same fuel consumption on our trip (10500km in 8 weeks 150 prado manual d4d towing the same, cub regal off road) kept a money log book... Lol, just to see where it all went when we got home, was fun going through, and adding it all up, gives you a bit better idea, and where to save on next trip.. We averaged about $1000 a week.. Can't wait to do another trip. Thanks for the info. Cheers Owen n Sue
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