OZ trip - timing for Northern Aust (HELP)

Submitted: Friday, Jan 20, 2006 at 14:44
ThreadID: 29919 Views:1562 Replies:8 FollowUps:2
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Hi all,

The wife and I are planning a trip around OZ this year. We intend to head off late March and head up the East Coast. We are starting from Victoria and hope to go for 12 Months give or take.

Questions I have -

Firstly, what are the best months for travelling up north. I am lead to believe that as long as we do areas such as Cape York, Darwin and Kimberley areas before November we should be ok - with regards to the wet Season that is. Am I right????

Very rough plans, but I expect that we will be doing the Cape during July/August and then the Kimberley's area around September/October ---- will this be ok - or - will it be too late?? Would we be alright if up in the Darwin area around the end of October early November?

Also, how much time would you suggest we need to do Cape York?
And, how much time to do the Kimberley area?

Obviously we don't intend to rush it - but at the same time I want to be able to get over to the Darwin area with plenty of time to look around.

Out set up is a 105 series Cruiser with a Kimberley Kamper in tow.

Love to hear your thoughts
SMITHY
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Reply By: Willem - Friday, Jan 20, 2006 at 14:50

Friday, Jan 20, 2006 at 14:50
Smithy

Sounds like a good plan though September/October in the Kimberley might be a tad hot and getting into the build up to the next wet season. October/November is 'orrible in Darwin. Stifling heat, high humidity and very little rain.

As time is your own for 12 months you will have to be the judge as to what time you spend at a given place.

Cheers
AnswerID: 149849

Reply By: Member - Tony G (ACT) - Friday, Jan 20, 2006 at 15:30

Friday, Jan 20, 2006 at 15:30
I found 12 months was not enough time to do the north of Australia in one season, so had to go back to QLD for 4 months the next year.

I reckon a month at the very least to cover Cape York, 6 weeks would be better. And the same goes for the Kimberly.

And I'm spending another 4 months in QLD this year to cover what we missed last time, or fill in the gaps more like it.
AnswerID: 149861

Follow Up By: JW - Friday, Jan 20, 2006 at 16:34

Friday, Jan 20, 2006 at 16:34
So Tony, when are you covering the rest of QLD?
Jon W
QLD
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FollowupID: 403179

Follow Up By: Member - Tony G (ACT) - Monday, Jan 23, 2006 at 06:40

Monday, Jan 23, 2006 at 06:40
Leaving the last week in May, cross the border around the 9th of June.

First stop is Hervey Bay, or should I say Harvey Bay.
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FollowupID: 403673

Reply By: Notso - Friday, Jan 20, 2006 at 15:39

Friday, Jan 20, 2006 at 15:39
Most people, including ourselves on the 12 month round Aus trip, plan to be south of Carnarvon WA by end Sept. So that sort of leaves a window up the top from say end April to End Sept.

Some will say that is very conservative but there are late and early "Wet" seasons. If it is running later than usual you won't get up to Cape York anyhow. Unless you plan to do a tour.

The main problem with WA up is that up North after the end of Sept it is extrordinarily hot. We looked after a Cattle Station near Fitzroy Crossing from November through to April and the temps get up around 48 to 50 degrees.

If I did it again I'd head up the East Coast and get up around Innisfail early april, then wait and see how the Wet is going. As soon as they get the graders onto the Cape road,head off up there early.

That leaves plenty of time to get across to Kakadu, Litchfield while there is still some water around.

Anyhow if you don't mind rain and thunder and frightening you could stay around for the "Wet" and have some real "Fun"

AnswerID: 149862

Reply By: Member - Beatit (QLD) - Friday, Jan 20, 2006 at 15:46

Friday, Jan 20, 2006 at 15:46
G'day Smitty,

General rule of thumb is April to October for dry season travelling in the tropics. Sometimes April can be a little early if there is late rain. My suggestion would be to get to the Cape say May and take it from there. I've been there a couple of times and going again, to be honest you won't have enough time but as Willem suggested just take it as it comes. We also spent several months in the Kimberley and there again we'll be going back as we didn't see it all. We wound up our Kimberley trip in Broome late Sept which was about right - we missed most of the crowd.

There is plenty to see in both places and in between - take your time and have a good look. The key is that June/July is the peak period and it will get busy.

Should have no problems with the rig.

Kind regards
AnswerID: 149864

Reply By: JW - Friday, Jan 20, 2006 at 16:39

Friday, Jan 20, 2006 at 16:39
Smithy,
A few years ago we did Karumba, Normanton, Lawn Hill & the dinosaur trail etc in mid-September because we thought the weather would be "coolish". Wrong!!!!!!!!!!
Daytime temps often 40+ C.
For what its worth.
Jon W
AnswerID: 149873

Reply By: Tessysdad - Friday, Jan 20, 2006 at 17:18

Friday, Jan 20, 2006 at 17:18
Hi Smitty,
we are looking at a sort of around Aus trip and thought we might arange things so as to have two bights up north. We are in the West and intend travelling up the west coast, into the Kimberley, across to the Top End of NT. We hope to achieve this much between April and say August /September. All thibngs being equal we intend to head south through the centre and northern SA to the SA coast. Then to head east along the coast, Melb for Christmass with relies, across to Tas for however long it takes to have a good look, then up the east coast to FNQ, take in the cape, then head across the Gulf country to the top end and Kimberley, returning home via Pilbara and East Gascoyne. This rough plan we hopes will keep us up north-ish from April to Sept and down south-ish for the summer heat.
Happy casmping,
Mike and Jan.

AnswerID: 149879

Reply By: Smitty - Monday, Jan 23, 2006 at 09:35

Monday, Jan 23, 2006 at 09:35
G'day all - Thanks for your thoughts and advice!! I'll certainly be taking everything on board.

I realise that you would need 18months plus to see all the main sites in their ultimate climate, but since we only have 12 months we'll just have to either shorten certains visits, skip stuff or just put up with hot weather.

Looking forward to it all the same!!

Cheers all
AnswerID: 150258

Reply By: Anne from Drysdale River Station - Saturday, Jan 28, 2006 at 12:20

Saturday, Jan 28, 2006 at 12:20
Hi Smitty,

It's not just the hot weather. Sept on you may see all dry waterfalls and by Oct some of the places may be starting to close down as not sufficent trade to remain open and things to do like the choppers may have been removed from some of the places like Mitchell Falls.
We close part of what we offer at the start of Oct, the scenic flight plane departs back to town about mid Sept. We stay open for camping and fuel.
The remaining water all depends on the size and lenght of this wet season which no one can tell you in advance at all.
Yes it will be hot in Oct especially, the only advantage at all is you won't have to fight for a camp spot.
cheers,Anne
Drysdale River Station

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