10 week trip - which one would you do???

Submitted: Sunday, Mar 30, 2008 at 22:23
ThreadID: 56096 Views:2701 Replies:7 FollowUps:4
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Both of these links will open a Google Maps map:

Trip A
Trip B

We are leaving Melbourne on 20th April for a 10 week trip around Australia. For various reasons we can't extend this period, so we're trying to cram a lot in while still being able to relax along the way.

The first map is our current itinerary (well as close as you can draw on Google Maps) - basically Melbourne - Alice - Kimberleys - Litchfield - Tennant Creek - Hervey Bay - Melbourne. It's been in the planning for some months now, but one of our primary reasons for including Qld in the itinerary (visiting relatives) has just evaporated as they're moving overseas, so I've been playing a bit on Google Maps.

The second trip is NT/WA only - but seeing a LOT more of WA. It's only a mudmap, but takes in some key things we'd like to see if we head south of Broome - like Exmouth, Ningaloo, Karijini, Monkey Mia... after that we're just looking for a scenic way home (although dropping in on friends in Perth would be nice). Given that we're mostly going to be bush camping or campgrounds, our plans at this late stage are flexible.

The "must do's" on this trip are Uluru and surrounds, Broome, Gibb River Rd, and Litchfield NP. We are towing a Kimberley Kamper, and am somewhat range limited with a V6 Pajero - 90L tank and up to 100L in jerry cans. Towing I reckon about 900km between drinks would be pushing it.

If you had to pick one of these trips - would you do A or B? Both trips come in around the 14000km mark (B might hit 15000km).

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Reply By: Motherhen - Sunday, Mar 30, 2008 at 22:50

Sunday, Mar 30, 2008 at 22:50
Scubaroo, while we haven't travelled around all of WA (heading north this winter) or seen any of NT, my suggestion is with only 10 weeks that you tackle a shorter distance and see a chosen area more thoroughly. It will cost a lot in fuel on either of your itineraries, and you will be driving past so many places worth seeing. Save up for next time - spend more time looking and touring in a relaxing way, with less time just driving and burning up the fuel $$$s. You will enjoy your trip more than racing around so you can say you have 'been around Australia'.

Motherhen
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Follow Up By: Scubaroo - Sunday, Mar 30, 2008 at 23:41

Sunday, Mar 30, 2008 at 23:41
Unfortunately because of "life plans" this might be one of only two "big" trips we can do in the next 5 years (and the next one will probably have one or two very young kids in tow if things work out!) - then a permanent relocation overseas is likely. So we're stuck having to trying to see a lot in a little time.

Ben
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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Monday, Mar 31, 2008 at 00:11

Monday, Mar 31, 2008 at 00:11
Hi Ben

I still strongly advise the same. You can spend 10 weeks driving, burning lots of $$s, stressing about time frames, or if you get a flat tyre or breakdown that takes unexpected time you may find yourself driving long days just to get through, hence seeing and experiencing very little. Alternatively you can spend 10 weeks seeing lots in a chosen area; more relaxing, more enjoyable and cheaper. You will still spend 10 wonderful weeks seeing the sights in this great land regardless of how far you go to do it.

Sounds like you have a lifetime ahead for touring where ever you may be - all travel is great. Enjoy it; you won't see it all in a lifetime; what counts is enjoying what you do see.

Mh
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Reply By: warfer69 - Sunday, Mar 30, 2008 at 22:51

Sunday, Mar 30, 2008 at 22:51
TRIPPO B You Lucky Bugger !
AnswerID: 295722

Reply By: wendys - Sunday, Mar 30, 2008 at 23:11

Sunday, Mar 30, 2008 at 23:11
Given the scale of the country & how much there is to see, 10 weeks is not very long. You will need to decide whether you want to do a quick survey of all the places you will want to come back to "later", or slow down and see some bits in depth. Before we retired, had 17 weeks long service leave and thought we'd "do" WA in that time! Ha!! Since then, have spent about 22 months there, over 4 separate trips,mostly north of perth, and still have unfinished business over there. Do you have to go to Darwin this time, or could you swing west from Dunmarra or Katherine? Focus on the Kimberley, before it gets more developed! South of Broome visit Barn Hill & 80 Mile Beach, before heading away from the coast into Karijini, etc. Marble Bar is well worth the detour, too. So is Mt Augustus and Kennedy Range Nat Park. Suggest you forget the whole southern part: from Geraldton, head east through Mt Magnet, Sandstone, Leonora, then either onto Kalgoorlie and the bitumen Nullabor route, or up the Great Central Rd to Ayers Rock and home from there.If you get really wrapped up in parts north, you can come down the inland highway - Newman etc - and cut through the Neds Creek track to Wiluna and so pick up either of the above routes. Save all the Qld stuff for a later trip.
AnswerID: 295724

Reply By: Stevie 90 - Monday, Mar 31, 2008 at 01:03

Monday, Mar 31, 2008 at 01:03
Hey Scubaroo,

We (wife and two kids 8 & 7) are in the same boat. Just in the middle of planning our 10 wk trip to Darwin and Back taking off June 28th, the only difference is we are in Perth already. In some ways I agree with "motherhen" 10 wk's is not a long time to see enough but with the current lifestyles that we are living these day's I think it's about the longest time your going to get until retirement !!!. And the old saying keeps coming up "if you don't do it now, you'll never do it".

It maybe a coincidence but we are also taking the NP Pajero V6 and towing a Jayco Swan camper van and like "motherhen" said, we'll burn the fuel but hey !!!!!!!

I also agree, skip the southern part of WA and get up north to Coral Bay, Exmouth, Karijini, etc etc as quick as you can.

Your trip B is almost identical to ours and we plan to spend the majority of our time in the Kimberly and NT.

For what it's worth plan B looks good to me.

Anyway good luck, if you want to I can let you know my itinerary It's nearly finished, drop me a line !

Stevie 90
AnswerID: 295733

Follow Up By: pheonix - Monday, Mar 31, 2008 at 08:57

Monday, Mar 31, 2008 at 08:57
Hi Scubaroo,

Trip B! My wife and 2 kids ( 10 & 7) leave Melb on June 30 for trip B. We return to Melb on Oct 5th. So all in all 100 days away. Yes its not enough time away but you can't have everything and the life experience my 2 girls will get will be priceless. They are excited about it and its something they will remember for a long time. When I get older and they don't want to travel with us anymore then I can go back and see what I missed.

A trip of a life time with the kids is what its all about.

Graeme
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Reply By: Member - Rodney B (NT) - Monday, Mar 31, 2008 at 09:05

Monday, Mar 31, 2008 at 09:05
Scubaroo

Don't be misled, if you want to see the lot you can do it.

We did a circumnavigate Darwin, Kimberly's, Broome, Monkey Mia, Geralton, Perth, Margaret River, Albany, Adelaide, Melbourne, (bypassed Sydney) Ballina, Gold Coast, Mission Beach, Cairns, Port Douglas, Mt Isa, Tennant Creek and return to Darwin in Six Weeks and loved every minute of it.

Sure we didn't have a lot of time at each place but we have since returned to the areas we liked the most on several occassions. We did spend four days at Monkey Mia and similar at P/Douglas and you can decide the extra time needed as you go.

Remember you are only 4 days from Melbourne even from Darwin so if you run out of time you can make a dash back.

Have a great time.

Rod and Lorna
AnswerID: 295749

Follow Up By: ss--ss - Tuesday, Apr 01, 2008 at 19:21

Tuesday, Apr 01, 2008 at 19:21
Listen too RodneyB ,I agree with this 100%
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FollowupID: 562058

Reply By: ss--ss - Tuesday, Apr 01, 2008 at 19:19

Tuesday, Apr 01, 2008 at 19:19
10 weeks is plenty of time to get away & travel. People can do this trip in 3 weeks if there keen.
What ever time you have will be a great experience & kids will love it.
AnswerID: 295994

Reply By: Scubaroo - Wednesday, Apr 02, 2008 at 11:07

Wednesday, Apr 02, 2008 at 11:07
Thanks for the feedback everyone :)

We've planned an itinerary based on Trip B - the NT/WA trip. We cut back on some stuff in Central Australia, and allowed more time in fewer areas - which is good because it gives us a bit more flexibility to stay for longer or shorter times in places. Highlights will be Litchfield, Purnululu, 11 days on the Gibb River Rd, 10 days in Cape Leveque/Broome/Eighty Mile Beach area, Karijini, a week in Exmouth/Ningaloo/Coral Bay, before heading down to Monkey Mia and working our way home via Kalgoorlie. We've left a 10 day gap between Monkey Mia and Kalgoorlie as a buffer - if this shortens or lengthens we'll plan that part of the trip accordingly.

Cripes - only 18 days to go!
AnswerID: 296109

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