G'day, what rig for overlanding Oz?

Hi all,

I am an Aussie who has been living in NZ for the last 7 years, and am planning on a circumnavigation of Oz once the pandameic restrictions are eased in the 2nd half of this year for about 12 months.

Currently driving an FJ cruiser with RTT in NZ, and have spent 6 months total on a few trips in NZ touring in that and it has worked well.

As I'm unable to bring the car over on a carnet (due to holding Aussie passport), and planning to return to live in NZ post the trip around Oz, I am looking for advice on what car to buy in Oz for this upcoming trip (which I will then sell prior to going back to NZ)?

Budget is about 25k for the 4wd, and will then buy a RTT. Keen for a rig that will allow me to get off road, and on to the beaches.

Thanks in advance for any recommendations.

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Reply By: qldcamper - Saturday, May 09, 2020 at 17:20

Saturday, May 09, 2020 at 17:20
25k should get you a pretty well set up duel cab thats a few years old. Hilux, navara, triton, dare i say it, amarok are all very capable vehicles if your only planning on keeping it a short time.
AnswerID: 631443

Reply By: nickb - Saturday, May 09, 2020 at 20:41

Saturday, May 09, 2020 at 20:41
Pajero would suit your needs and get you everywhere you wants. Get lower km and newer model compared to a Prado or Hilux.
AnswerID: 631448

Reply By: Rangiephil - Sunday, May 10, 2020 at 11:16

Sunday, May 10, 2020 at 11:16
Or a Bitsushitti Challenger.
They were just about the first of the new generation ute based wagons and are down quite a bit in price now.
They have a lot of storage room .
Not inspiring to drive with lots of turbo lag but do have the supershift system.
AnswerID: 631460

Follow Up By: Member - Rob S (NSW) - Monday, May 11, 2020 at 17:04

Monday, May 11, 2020 at 17:04
I think Toyota 4runners were the first of that style vehicle.
The Mitsubishi Challenger is an underrated vehicle imo.
looks pretty much early Pajero running gear,quite solid,reliable ,and around years 2000 petrol models can be had for around $5k in good nick.

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Reply By: Member - DOZER - Sunday, May 10, 2020 at 12:15

Sunday, May 10, 2020 at 12:15
Sean, your first question needs to be how remote will you be travelling? If your staying away from deserts, sticking to highway1 a petrol would be cheaper, a petrol cruiser (on gas or not) you would be looking at an early 200 series or an lx470 lexus. Diesel here is the best fuel for remote travel as its for sale everywhere... and fuel economy is better, but buying used can be fraught with danger. (expensive to fix) Diesel you cant beat a td100. All these cars are spacious and comfortable. There are a few converted campers in troupies getting around, more space, but less comfort.
In my mind, you need to be thinking of the ability to lock up your valuables when you are shopping or away bushwalking, so a larger vehicle comes into its own. At a pinch you can kip in the back if whether is bad. Good luck with your plans.
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Classifieds: landcuiser 200 vx/sahara 18x8 with grandtrek tyres

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Reply By: Member - Rob S (NSW) - Monday, May 11, 2020 at 17:36

Monday, May 11, 2020 at 17:36
Hi a little more info might help ,do you want to tow ,want use a roof top tent, camp, have a family etc?

If your only going to be here for 12 months, probably a good idea to get something that will resell easy, or something that you could afford to loose a bit on on a quick sale??

Pretty hard to go past a fzfe 4500 petrol 100 series Landcruiser from 1998/2002 you can pick them up from around $10/$15k with under 200000klm on them and most likely with a few extras.will leave you a bit for a service and maybe a good set of tyres.
it will do %99 of what you want to do in almost stock form.good comfortable touring vehicle, very reliable, just not deep water unless you do a few small mods, but that's what boats are for.
Don't want to start a Diesel petrol debate , sure it will use more fuel but not that much will cost you a few extra grand in fuel, but you will be buying a cheaper vehicle, a Diesel model will cost you up to $10k more with twice the klm, and for the short term not worth it??
Don't buy anything on Lpg, hardly worth it these days and not easy to get in remote places, plus other unseen issues, from years of running on the stuff??

Check carsales.com, Gumtree, and quite a few listed on Facebook buy sell,

Cheers Rob

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AnswerID: 631481

Reply By: Travelling - Tuesday, May 12, 2020 at 12:51

Tuesday, May 12, 2020 at 12:51
Ford Falcon or Ford Territory station wagon with limited slip diff or a box van like Hiace, Transit for comfort. You don't need a 4WD for what you want to do.
AnswerID: 631490

Reply By: Ozjourney - Tuesday, May 12, 2020 at 13:49

Tuesday, May 12, 2020 at 13:49
Delica; sleep inside, great in sand, and you’ll sell it quick at the end of the trip.
AnswerID: 631492

Reply By: Peter_n_Margaret - Tuesday, May 12, 2020 at 15:00

Tuesday, May 12, 2020 at 15:00
With a budget of $25k I would buy an ex hire pop top or high roof Troopy, if you can find one.
Live inside or outside in any weather and with some comfort.
Go pretty much anywhere and spares and service all over the country.
Easily sold later.
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AnswerID: 631494

Reply By: westauzie - Wednesday, May 13, 2020 at 01:34

Wednesday, May 13, 2020 at 01:34
Hey Sean,

I went from RTT touring to living the Troopy life and I haven't looked back!
Re-sale is good and you'd expect to get your money back fairly easily afterward.

Check the link out if interested, There's always a TOA member selling a kitted out rig.


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AnswerID: 631514

Reply By: Alan H11 - Wednesday, May 13, 2020 at 07:59

Wednesday, May 13, 2020 at 07:59
re "As I'm unable to bring the car over on a carnet (due to holding Aussie passport)"

I have to question this; I have no doubt that you've researched this, however it seems very odd - carnets are usually issued by the relevant agency in the country of registration of the vehicle, independent of your passport, in fact when I've obtained carnets, I don't think I've even been asked what passport I hold. YOU don;t have to be resident in the countr y of registration, either. There really shouldn't be any restriction in terms of visiting anywhere which is signatory to the Convention(s). As long as you're visiting Australia and not considered to be returning as a resident, I would have thought that you could take out a carnet. I would be happy to be corrected, and would like to understand what's different in your case.

re the best vehicle - this is obviously a topic on which people have strong views. I echo the comment that it depends on your plans, however we chose to travel around Australia in our Mitsubishi Montero 3.8L V6 (our equivalent of a Pajero). It was ideal in terms of handling long distances on tarmac as well as "interesting" conditions off-piste (Gibb River Road, Simpson Desert, others). Have a look athttps://discoverthedreaming.blogspot.com/ if interested in more insight.
AnswerID: 631518

Reply By: Member - Cuppa - Wednesday, May 13, 2020 at 16:35

Wednesday, May 13, 2020 at 16:35
To my way of thinking, & not all will agree, if you want to travel 'remote' a pre-common rail vehicle without 'sensors for everything', & less concern about fuel quality is a sensible choice & your budget should get you a decent one. Of course if you basically want to stick mainly to bitumen & major dirt roads with the odd foray down a dirt track or beach, pretty much any 4wd will suit, & things like extra comfort & resale value will likely be a higher priority.

However if you want a solid, take anywhere, high clearance 4wd, then the suggestion of a pop top or high top Troopy is good. I'm less willing to suggest a RTT on a troopy. I had one set up like that & the relative narrowness of the vehicle, made sleeping up top like sleeping on a boat. Rolling over in bed resulted in a fair bit of side to side movement!

Any Toyota Landcruiser based on condition.

Another alternative not yet mentioned by anyone is a 4.2 diesel Patrol. These are great off road, with a reputation of keeping on keeping on. Both these factors make the vehicle desirable still, despite not having been made since 2006. Look for standard factory models rather than those with aftermarket turbos & over -tuned etc. That's not to say that tuned Patrols are no good, some are fantastic & very suitable, but it's harder to pick the good from the bad. That said a 3" exhaust & properly & conservatively dynotuned is head & shoulders above factory standard. Far nicer to drive. Disclaimer - we have a 2006 model, & with 225K on the clock I would have zero qualms about taking it anywhere around the country .

I make the above comments on the basis of what I would consider important when buying a 4wd to tour with. Reliability, fixability, ability off road & reliability.

As you are already familiar with a RTT I'm hesitant to make the following comment, but I will & you can of course ignore it. Your experience has been "6 months total on a few trips". Certainly that gives you more insight than many who set off on a long trip, but I would caution you on the basis that travelling for a year or more is very different to travelling for a few weeks or less here & there. What is acceptable in the short term can become very tedious day after day after day over a longer period. In a nutshell I believe it makes sense to minimise your setup & pack up in every way you can. Every rope, peg, zip, bungee etc can over time become something you grow to hate. Sure every style has some degree of set up routine. But the advantages Peter referred to of a high roof or pop top vehicle you can live *inside* should not be under estimated. A side awning for shade & rain protection are also virtually essential whatever sort of vehicle you get.
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AnswerID: 631531

Reply By: Alan H11 - Thursday, May 14, 2020 at 05:04

Thursday, May 14, 2020 at 05:04
Out of interest, I thought I'd check the situation with respect to a carnet. The NZ website doesn't mention anything which would prevent an Australian passport-holder resident in NZ from taking out a carnet.

The only reference which might be relevant is

- "I am not principally resident in any of the countries I propose to visit and confirm that the particulars given by me on the Carnet application form are correct." .

So unless OP is "principally resident" in Australia (and I assume that OP is resident in NZ) there's no reason a carnet cannot be issued.

I suggest looking into the carnet again.
AnswerID: 631545

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