Help Itinerary Gold Coast to Darwin

Submitted: Thursday, Mar 17, 2016 at 14:11
ThreadID: 131854 Views:1403 Replies:5 FollowUps:7
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Hi everyone, I am wanting to plan a trip to Darwin from the Gold Coast and after some advice please. How long would you ideally allow towing a caravan with 2 kids to be able to enjoy the trip and not drive everyday and not longer than 4 hrs a day? We can either go June/july or Dec/Jan.....I know its the wet season in Dec but does that mean more waterfalls etc and visiting waterholes for swim and more wildlife or is it just better to go in June/July with everyone else ha ha.....Thanks in advance any advice muchly appreciated. Cheers
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Reply By: Notso - Thursday, Mar 17, 2016 at 14:46

Thursday, Mar 17, 2016 at 14:46
June July is the best time. Too Hot and possibly wet Dec Jan. Which way do you plan to go, Short, Interesting, Easy?
AnswerID: 597446

Follow Up By: Jemima1000 - Thursday, Mar 17, 2016 at 14:55

Thursday, Mar 17, 2016 at 14:55
Thanks Notso.......ummm all 3...short interesting and Easy......lol...thats a good question....best for kids i suppose????
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FollowupID: 866501

Reply By: Member Andys Adventures - Thursday, Mar 17, 2016 at 15:23

Thursday, Mar 17, 2016 at 15:23
All NP's will be closed in the end December including Kakadu, Litchfield and Limmen NP......December is the build up for the wet and is hot 44 deg on average in the day and mid 30's at night.....You won't see any swimming holes..... Although I do spend the wet up here in the NT and love it....It is only for a few if you can handle the heat......Most camp grounds in the outback will be closed as well.....
Would therefore suggest going in June/ July.....
It would take you 2 weeks to get there driving 4 hours a day and not every day staying at places like Lawn Hill, Lorella Springs, Katherine George or Edith Falls...etcLitchfield is great for kids with plenty to see and do and a lot of swimming .....
Cheers Andy
AnswerID: 597449

Follow Up By: Jemima1000 - Thursday, Mar 17, 2016 at 15:30

Thursday, Mar 17, 2016 at 15:30
Thanks Andy...It looks like June/July it is! So that is 2 weeks up and 2 weeks back would make a comfortable trip? cheers
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Follow Up By: Member Andys Adventures - Thursday, Mar 17, 2016 at 16:00

Thursday, Mar 17, 2016 at 16:00
Yes that would be 2 weeks up and 2 weeks back but that's rushed.....



To give some idea how far each day you will travel, I drive all day around 8 hours and cover 800km if you only doing 4 hours towing you will get around 350km per day.......And its around 3500km...So 10 days driving with 4 days off..... There are a lot of places to go and a lot to do, so you will have to chose the ones that are going to keep the kids happy... You could do it in 6 days and work your way back at a slower pace... That way you will be able to plan how long in an area before moving on......Kakadu and Litchfield are a must and the Adelaide river jumping croc's... I think Edith Falls are better than Katherine Gorge.....Douglas hot springs are also worth looking at (hot & cold springs come together)



Hope you have a good trip




Cheers Andy
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FollowupID: 866506

Follow Up By: Jemima1000 - Friday, Mar 18, 2016 at 07:01

Friday, Mar 18, 2016 at 07:01
Thanks Andy excellent tips!....had started with no idea no putting all tips together makes us more excited to get on the road!!! cheers
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Reply By: Top End Az - Thursday, Mar 17, 2016 at 15:40

Thursday, Mar 17, 2016 at 15:40
As mentioned, the Top End is great during the wet, but the main reason why June/July is the best time is due to the weather and accessability to the attractions. The vast majority of swimming holes will be closed in Dec as are many of the attractions, and the Darwin temperatures are 27-36 with high humidity, and hotter than that once you go inland.
Another thing to consider is a lot of the highways flood at short notice during Dec/Jan with the NT being cut off a few months ago on all 3 main highways at the same time.
We recently drove from Brisbane to Darwin, not towing and sitting on 110(ish) in Qld and 130 in the NT and took us about 4 days of driving doing 8-10 hour days behind the wheel. So I'd be allowing 4 weeks if you have the time. There are long stretches of "nothing" going across the Barkley Hwy and through western Qld so you may wish to throw in a few days of doing more than 4 hours of driving for these sections.
Hope this helps
AnswerID: 597450

Follow Up By: Jonty - Thursday, Mar 17, 2016 at 17:34

Thursday, Mar 17, 2016 at 17:34
Hi,
How about the Dinosaur Trail on your way up or back. Winton,Hughenden Richmond and on to Lawn Hill. Big and Small kids will love the Dinosaurs and Marine fossils Check out the Webb sights.Book well in advance as its is the Tourist season.
Cheers.
Jonty
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Follow Up By: Jemima1000 - Friday, Mar 18, 2016 at 06:59

Friday, Mar 18, 2016 at 06:59
Thanks heaps...all this information is awesome when you haven't been there! Websites give you info on what is where but its filling in the gaps which is great!!! cheers
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FollowupID: 866525

Reply By: Robyn R4 - Thursday, Mar 17, 2016 at 20:03

Thursday, Mar 17, 2016 at 20:03
Last time I travelled with small kids was when I was one of them, so I'm no expert, but as an "almost Gold Coaster" who's travelled west a few times...
If your time is short, consider starting with a couple of bigger days as you get past the closer things. You can do them another time. Then you can ease up a bit to the preferred 4 hour days.
How you bribe small kids to be human through a few big days is the problem, though. I have the luxury of travelling with a small dog who sleeps well as soon as the car starts and just asks for a ball to be thrown every 3-4 hours...
Yes, the dinosaur trail is awesome, but from our corner of the country, it's only a couple of days away. Hubby and I did the dinosaur trail as a 2 week stint in itself (and we're not grey nomads with the luxury of a slow itinerary). Your kids would love it -don't miss Lark Quarry as well. Oh, and the bilbies in Charleville. And they have bush poets and entertainment of sorts at many inland caravan parks in peak season (ie winter)...our favourite was in Longreach where a bloke demonstrated his dogs' prowess by herding up some ducks! There's a beaut boat ride on the Thompson River in Longreach and a stagecoach ride...
The outback has some big stretches (yes, around Barkley was a bit monotonous) so the 4 hour run will often get you nowhere.
I'd say "push it as far as you can if you have to" and skip most of the nearer stuff then you'll be able to slow up and enjoy.
As for wildlife in winter...off the top of my head, on our last trip we saw wild pigs, roos, wild goats, whistling kites (buy a bbq chicken and throw the bones in the air for the whistling kites to carry away-parks in Katherine were great for whistling kites and we were first introduced to this "picnic clean-up strategy" in Kakadu-the kids will love that!!), goannas, emus...

:)
AnswerID: 597460

Follow Up By: Jemima1000 - Friday, Mar 18, 2016 at 07:06

Friday, Mar 18, 2016 at 07:06
Thanks for taking the time Robyn and everyone....such good tips to help a newby.....Australia sure is our oyster! very exciting to be able to explore...thanks again
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FollowupID: 866527

Reply By: Jemima1000 - Friday, Mar 18, 2016 at 07:09

Friday, Mar 18, 2016 at 07:09
Thanks everyone .....love all the ideas and are excited to get on the road!!! cheers jemima
AnswerID: 597470

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