South Australia to Darwin

Submitted: Saturday, May 08, 2021 at 09:00
ThreadID: 141706 Views:1538 Replies:9 FollowUps:18
Hi All
My Wife and I are taking a trip to Darwin for the first time, straight through the centre with my trusted 100 series and my Camper.
We’ve put aside 6 weeks. Thinking 5 to get there and 1 week back. I would love to hear from anyone, with any POI not to miss.
Thank
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Reply By: Nomadic Navara - Saturday, May 08, 2021 at 09:24

Saturday, May 08, 2021 at 09:24
There are too many things to see on the way to pick out the important ones. However, if you going up and back on the same track I would suggest you see some on the way up and some on the way back. For example, see the Rock and Kings Canyon on the way up and skip the Allice. See the Allice Springs attractions on the way back.
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Follow Up By: Member - John - Saturday, May 08, 2021 at 09:40

Saturday, May 08, 2021 at 09:40
Bloody good advice
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Follow Up By: Member - Outback Gazz - Saturday, May 08, 2021 at 09:44

Saturday, May 08, 2021 at 09:44
G'day Vince

A number of years ago I successfully completed a tourism course to help with running my outback 4wd and motorcycle tour business. One thing that was drummed into us was that something like 90% of bookings, visits and stopovers etc get cancelled or " let's not worry about it " on the return journey because nearly everyone just wants to get home !

I saw this time and time again on my trips so I would recommend seeing and doing as much as possible on the way up coz when that last week comes around you will be in " Home Mode "

Enjoy your trip

Cheers
Gazz


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Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Saturday, May 08, 2021 at 12:00

Saturday, May 08, 2021 at 12:00
.
I agree Gazz.
Invariably, when we turned the Troopy's nose for home we made a run for it.
Cheers
Allan

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Follow Up By: Member - Outback Gazz - Saturday, May 08, 2021 at 13:09

Saturday, May 08, 2021 at 13:09
G'day Allan

Yeah - I often do that myself - especially after a few weeks away from facilities !

About 20 years ago we did a six week enduro bike ride clocking up 9000 k's with as little bitumen as possible as it totally stuffs up dirt bike tyres. Ride about six hours a day, drink beer six hours a night, pack up swag in the morning and do it again and again and again, great fun with great blokes ! But towards the end most of the guys started talking about a decent shower and a decent sleep in their own bed.

So that last week consisted of more riding and less drinking to get home lol

Cheers
Gazz

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Follow Up By: Member - David M (SA) - Saturday, May 08, 2021 at 13:30

Saturday, May 08, 2021 at 13:30
Took me many years Alan when leaving Ceduna for home with a van on the back to overcome the " well what the hell, it's only another 800 to Adelaide" mind set. :)
Dave.
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Follow Up By: Member - nickb "boab" - Saturday, May 08, 2021 at 20:32

Saturday, May 08, 2021 at 20:32
Allan B : that may be the case if your heading back to the sunshine coast.. But us southerner will be hanging on to every little bit of sunshine we can find hahaha on the way home to wet & windy winter :)))
Cheers Nick b
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Saturday, May 08, 2021 at 21:27

Saturday, May 08, 2021 at 21:27
.
Yes Nick, it is almost an embarrassment to be living in Camelot. lol

But I did do my time as a Crow Eater. So I do understand your dilemma.
Cheers
Allan

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Follow Up By: Nomadic Navara - Monday, May 10, 2021 at 16:22

Monday, May 10, 2021 at 16:22
That sort of mentality depends upon how you plan your trip. On a short trip like the OP is proposing, if you reach Darwin halfway through the time period then that sort of mindset should not set in until you get back as far as Alice Springs. By that time most of his allotted time will have passed so it will be time to hightail it home.
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Monday, May 10, 2021 at 19:42

Monday, May 10, 2021 at 19:42
.
Well Peter, I don't "plan" many trips with much detail. We head off in a general direction, say Great Victoria Desert, and go where the wind takes us. "Planning" is ensuring we have enough food, water and fuel then we enjoy it as it comes.
Not everyone's idea of trekking, but it's ours.
But I do not make judgement on those who do it differently.
Cheers
Allan

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Follow Up By: Member - David M (SA) - Monday, May 10, 2021 at 20:25

Monday, May 10, 2021 at 20:25
As a matter of keen interest Alan do you turn left or right out of the driveway. I find " where the wind takes us" to work well except when I reach Norseman when both my 75 and100 have refused to turn left over the years. So much for Margaret River.
Dave.
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Follow Up By: Gramps - Monday, May 10, 2021 at 21:58

Monday, May 10, 2021 at 21:58
I turn right at Norseman because it is ALWAYS raining in Esperance.

Regards
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Monday, May 10, 2021 at 22:15

Monday, May 10, 2021 at 22:15
.
To answer factually David, I turn right. I have no alternative..... my driveway is at the end of a cul-de-sac.
But the Sunshine Coast is far from the deserts with many paths to access them so the route varies with my caprice.

In truth, time marches on, and the Troopy has been traded in for a MB Sprinter being fitted out as a motorhome. It is 4WD and will be capable of being self sufficient to some degree, but some tracks will be off limits I'm afraid, so a little more route planning may become necessary.
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Allan

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Reply By: Member - Mark (Tamworth NSW) - Saturday, May 08, 2021 at 10:13

Saturday, May 08, 2021 at 10:13
Camp at Katherine Gorge or Edith Falls, not Katherine is one bit of advice.
You should elaborate a bit more on what your interests are, cultural, landscapes, local people, bushwalking/birdwatching, aversion to Caravan Parks or won't free camp etc etc???

I really loved the West MacDonnell Ranges which you would do if you keep going past Kings Canyon. The Pound walk walk through Ormiston Gorge is well worth while, you can camp at Ormiston Gorge, only 90 minutes west of Alice (instead of Alice if you wish).
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Follow Up By: Member - Vince T - Saturday, May 08, 2021 at 11:24

Saturday, May 08, 2021 at 11:24
Thanks for that tip
we are looking to free camp where possible, but not firm and just enjoy the experience come what may, people, walking, landscapes, we are not fussy, just looking forward to the drive.
We are hoping to wing it really, and not book too many places, hoping that works.
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Follow Up By: Rod N - Saturday, May 08, 2021 at 12:12

Saturday, May 08, 2021 at 12:12
Why Katherine Gorge in preference to other parks in Katherine, seems to be pretty exy, or is there a free camp somewhere close?
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Follow Up By: Nomadic Navara - Saturday, May 08, 2021 at 14:59

Saturday, May 08, 2021 at 14:59
Agreed, I just treat the George CP as one of the parks in Katherine. When you look at things that way there are better value parks in town. It is too far to commute back into town for use as a place for a few days.

Edith Falls is an excellent place for a night or two stopover on the return trip.
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Reply By: Stephen L (Clare) SA - Saturday, May 08, 2021 at 14:29

Saturday, May 08, 2021 at 14:29
Vince

If you have never been that way before, there is do much to see, and trust me you will not see it all in just one trip.

Here are a few places that you could include before getting past the Alice.

Woomera......look at the old historic display there.

While in the area, a drive up the track to Roxby and there is some unreal bush camping there.

The town of Coober Pedy is very interesting and while there, the Breakaways, which are a must see.

Further up the track another must see is the Painted Desert.

Just over the Border, take the back roads to Curtain Springs and then out to the Rock which will blow you away, even if you can not climb it anymore.

More bitumen to Kings Canyon and the rim walk is also a must.

Either back track along the bitumen or the Mereenie Loop to the Alice.

Lots of great places to do while there.

Another not to miss a lot further up is Bitter Springs at Mataranka
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Reply By: Darian - Saturday, May 08, 2021 at 15:18

Saturday, May 08, 2021 at 15:18
Just a few Oz central points on the way ‘up’....
Uluru (walk the 9km perimeter track if time permits).
The Olgas...more impressive even than Uluru...worth the round trip
(if possible, prior to the above, visit the administration centre at Yulara. They have a detailed interpretive facility re the geological origins of the area’s features; some aspects quite astounding).
Take the Mereenie loop to the West Macs and on the way, see a 142 M year old, 5 km wide impact crater (Gosse Bluff).
In the West Macs, it would be a punishable crime to miss the Kings Canyon rim walk and Ormiston Gorge (standout attractions of that region in my view).
Have a good trip...but you’ll need to do it again one day to ‘fill in the blanks’ :-).
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Reply By: Member - Vince T - Saturday, May 08, 2021 at 16:09

Saturday, May 08, 2021 at 16:09
Thanks all great tips coming through
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Reply By: Member - nickb "boab" - Saturday, May 08, 2021 at 20:53

Saturday, May 08, 2021 at 20:53
Vince : This will be a winter escape & you don't mind the out back tracks ? I would go via the flinders & Oodnadatta rd , good track & plenty to see . don't leave your self short to have good look in the top end I.E Darwin .. a great spot , central Australia also has some of the most fantastic places ...But as far as A/springs go I cant not recommend :(((( happy travels
Cheers Nick b
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Follow Up By: Member - Bigfish - Sunday, May 09, 2021 at 06:17

Sunday, May 09, 2021 at 06:17
If going to Alice Springs ensure you hide all valuables out of sight, Dont leave car unattended after dark in the streets and be prepared to be humbugged by the local black fella population. Worked there quite often and travelled around the area frequently.
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Follow Up By: Les - PK Ranger - Monday, May 10, 2021 at 09:06

Monday, May 10, 2021 at 09:06
ASP, I'd go further and say if you want stay overnight *only do this* if you can have your vehicle totally off street, in a secure cara pk for example.
Most have decent fencing and nearby people to reduce risk of damage, though some camp areas in cara parks are at the boundary, and night time fence shenanigans can happen (bashing of the fences seems to be a local sport at one of them).

Even last visit a few years ago, early morning walks led me past several vehicles parked in random streets with windows smashed.
I believe it still happens a lot from news reports, and probably worse now.

Of course it's a matter of wrong time / wrong place for any sort of vandalism, damage, violence, etc, anywhere, just you are probably more likely to encounter any of these outside daylight hours in ASP.
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Reply By: Member - McLaren3030 - Sunday, May 09, 2021 at 08:46

Sunday, May 09, 2021 at 08:46
Hi Vince,

Don’t forget to visit the East MacDonnell Ranges as well, particularly Ruby Gap. Also, if interested, check out Gemtree on the Plenty Highway, north of Alice Springs. It is a bit of a side track, but if you are interested in fossicking for gemstones, spend a couple of days there, they will take you to the Garnet or Zircon gem fields.

Macca.
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Reply By: Michael H9 - Sunday, May 09, 2021 at 17:26

Sunday, May 09, 2021 at 17:26
Palm Valley on the way up and the Old Ghan to Chambers Pillar on the way back.
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Reply By: Member - Scrubby (VIC) - Sunday, May 09, 2021 at 20:02

Sunday, May 09, 2021 at 20:02
Coober Pedy , Ayres Rock, (Save your money and buy souvenirs in Alice , same ones but a lot cheaper ,) Kings Canyon , ( Recommend the " G`day Mate C/ Park " at Alice springs ,) Wildlife park at Alice Springs ,
Devils Marbles, The Beach Market at Darwin.
Just a few of lots , unless you want spars , games rooms , swimming pool, etc . give the C/Parks named as a Resort a miss. lol

Enjoy,
Scrubby.
I don`t know where i`m going but i`m enjoying the journey.

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Follow Up By: Les - PK Ranger - Monday, May 10, 2021 at 09:08

Monday, May 10, 2021 at 09:08
G'day Mate Cara Pk is a good un in ASP, nice fencing . . .

If staying in a camper should be ok, they don't get put in the camping area I recall.
The night time fence bashing happens sometimes in that boundary area.
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