Adelaide to Darwin trip with kids

Submitted: Sunday, Sep 06, 2015 at 08:32
ThreadID: 130196 Views:1938 Replies:7 FollowUps:3
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Hi, I have been searching for the info but thought it would be quicker just to ask.

My wife and I run our family business and have 3 beautiful daughters (4,8 &10) that would love to take on a bit of an adventure. Before its not 'cool' to hang out with mum and dad anymore. :)

One suggestion was to hire a 6 berth motorhome and travel from Adelaide to Darwin, obviously taking in all the sites, especially Uluru.

Having our own business hamstrings us a bit with time, maybe a max of 2 weeks.

Id really like some feedback on your thoughts and suggestions with locations to visit, camp sites and time of year to go.

thanks in advance. Cheers, Justin.
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Reply By: MUZBRY- Life member(Vic) - Sunday, Sep 06, 2015 at 09:03

Sunday, Sep 06, 2015 at 09:03
Our last trip with all the kids , they were 14 16 18 had a ball . We went to Perth and back from Melbourne for with the wrinklies . The kids still travel on the odd occasion with me but in their own cars .
Do the trip, stay at all the spots you find , people here will give you a good list , and Kings canyon . Enjoy them , they will be around for years.
Great place to be Mt Blue Rag 27/12/2012

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Reply By: Member - Mark (Tamworth NSW) - Sunday, Sep 06, 2015 at 10:19

Sunday, Sep 06, 2015 at 10:19
Great idea, we did something similar with our three kids and the mother in law for a fortnight in the South Island of New Zealand in the late Sept/Oct school holidays. Kids still got to see snow and have a go at skiing.
I think all the way to Darwin & back though is a bit ambitious, perhaps central Australia coupled with the Flinders Ranges?
You spend 3 nights at Uluru, 2 at Kings Canyon, a couple at Alice Springs, there's 7 nights gone and it probably will take you 4 long days to drive there and back stopping at Woomera and the odd other place.

Just search on central Australia you will get a number of threads asking the same question (including one form me several years ago). I've done a bit of week long bushwalking, camping out west of Alice, I've found any time from late April to early October fine (needless to say risk mid 30s days by early Oct and risk -3 overnight temperatures in mid winter). We found the NZ motor homes had gas heaters, they kept you very warm even surrounded by snow. Not sure about the ones here.

Tourism NT have a number of good downloadable brochures as well.

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Reply By: Member Andys Adventures - Sunday, Sep 06, 2015 at 10:31

Sunday, Sep 06, 2015 at 10:31
Hi Justin,
I think Darwin would be to far for 2 weeks.
This might give you some idea of the time you will need.
Day1: Adelaide to Coober Pedy.
Day 2: Coober Pedy to Uluru
Day 3: Uluru and Kata Tjuta
Day 4: Uluru to Kings canyon
Day 5: walk Kings canyon
Day 6: Kings canyon to Alice Springs
Day 7: Alice Springs (Base camp) and day trip to the West Macdonnell rangers
Day 8: Alice Springs to East Macdonnell rangers (Joker gorge) etc
Day 9: Alice Springs relax day and down time
Day 10: Alice Springs to Coober Pedy
Day 11: Coober Pedy mine tours
Day 12: Coober Pedy to Woomera
Day 13: Woomera to Port Augusta
Day 14: Home
This is still rushed but will give you some idea of how far you can go and see some thing.
I would make the top end for another trip.
Travell time would be early May
Enjoy your trip which ever way you go
Cheers Andy

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Follow Up By: Member - Duncan W (WA) - Sunday, Sep 06, 2015 at 11:50

Sunday, Sep 06, 2015 at 11:50
Agree with Andy. There is stacks to see in and around Coober Pedy which are 2wd friendly eg the Breakaways, the Painted Desert you can do both of these as a day trip out of CP. Within the town there are plenty of kids friendly stuff to do and I wouldn't go past the Old Timer's Mine for one. Alice Springs & the East & West Mac's offer a stack of options. And the rocks are just awesome.

BTW the Woomera caravan Park do pizzas that are to die for and aren't expensive.

We campervanned in NZ for 2 weeks and loved it.



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Reply By: Zippo - Sunday, Sep 06, 2015 at 11:04

Sunday, Sep 06, 2015 at 11:04
I'm with the other responders - 2 weeks is far too short to reach Darwin AND see anything except passing scenery, and that will bore the kids witless in no time.

If that's your (time) budget then Uluru/Alice is about it. Depending on your $$ budget, consider maybe flying to Darwin (on a separate trip), picking up a motorhome and starting an adventure from there.
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Reply By: debacle - Sunday, Sep 06, 2015 at 12:34

Sunday, Sep 06, 2015 at 12:34
Hi everyone,
I left out a very important piece of information.

This would be a one way trip.

Fly from Sydney to start destination, return to Sydney from finish destination, eg Sydney to Alice, Darwin to Sydney.

Cheers, Justin Bree and our excited girls.
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Reply By: Motherhen - Sunday, Sep 06, 2015 at 15:25

Sunday, Sep 06, 2015 at 15:25
I agree with those who say Darwin is too far in your time frame Justin, particularly travelling with children.

We spent five weeks in and around Alice Springs, and did not see it all. This included in town attractions such as The Desert Park which I recommend for children, particularly the Birds of Prey talk where the birds fly free, the National Road Transport Hall of Fame and the Old Ghan Heritage Railways and Musuem, the Old Telegraph Station complex, and of interest to your children, the School of the Air (one we missed seeing). Around Central Australia the East and West Macdonnells, Aboriginal rock engraving sites, Chambers Pillar, Palm Valley, Kings Canyon, Uluru and Kata Tjuta. In the East Macdonnells, Arltunga historic gold mining area, where gold was first discovered and which led to the opening off a town to service the mines, which became Alice Springs. On the walks, there are sample mines children can climb down into to see what it was like for the early pick and shovel miners.

My Blogs from 2008 include these tours. We had to return to following year to spend several weeks touring sights between Alice Springs and Darwin which are covered in My Blogs 2009.


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Reply By: tonysmc - Sunday, Sep 06, 2015 at 19:13

Sunday, Sep 06, 2015 at 19:13
With the short time frame, why not look at the one way campervan rentals. You could fly to Darwin and drive back down for a hire rate of $1 a day. As it is coming towards the build-up, the tourist numbers have dropped and the companies want to get their vehicles back to the southern states, however it is expensive so they hire them at very cheap rates for one way heading south. They have some very good deals.

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Follow Up By: Member - PhilD_NT - Sunday, Sep 06, 2015 at 19:47

Sunday, Sep 06, 2015 at 19:47
Big stock of Wicked campers up here at the moment for the same reason.
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Follow Up By: Ron N - Monday, Sep 07, 2015 at 19:46

Monday, Sep 07, 2015 at 19:46
Forget about the $1 a day re-location deals - they advertise them, but it is virtually impossible to score one.
You need to be on a "call list" (i.e. - wait list) and the time frame set for the campervan relocation is tight and sometimes not extendable.
9 times out 10, the companys time frame doesn't match your holiday time frame.

You get the bare minimum time allowable to cover the distance (i.e. - they will want you to cover at least 800kms a day on average).

The van comes clean and ready to use - but you have to return the van in precisely the same condition, ready to use. If it's dirty, you get the bill for cleaning it. You get no time allowance for cleaning it.

You are obliged to put up a substantial deposit as vehicle/damage insurance when you get a relocation (many hundreds of dollars).

I have tried to get a relocation to suit my flexible schedule for several years, and I have never scored one yet. The companies obviously have prefered drivers/hirers for relocations.

Also - be very aware, that there is a fee for one-way hire, if you just hire a campervan, straight out.
That fee, additional to hire costs, is around $350.
On TOP of that - there is ANOTHER $850 "remote location" fee for dropping off campervans or hire vehicles in many major towns/cities in the Deep North.

This is described as being to cover the substantially-increased costs of repair, maintenance and recovery if needed, in these so-called "high-cost" areas.
I consider this fee a complete rort, but you have no say in it.

Cheers, Ron.
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