City Girl Needs Help

Submitted: Wednesday, Apr 23, 2008 at 10:44
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Hi everyone,
Im wanting to get away from the city and people for a few weeks in August and dont have a lot of money, (uni student).

Is there any cheap 4wd hire companies?

Ive seen those "wicked" vans but dont think they will last getting to Cameron Corner or Birdsville, maybe if I stayed around Sydney they would be ok!

I need help with how to get to Cameron corner and Birdsville - which is the most scenic - i know this will cause a debate - Ive seen you at it before on fridges!
Ill be coming from Sydney if that helps.

What sort of things will I need to take??? ( apart from another passenger - really not wanting this unless its absolutely neccessary....needing time- out if you know what I mean....). and these fridges arent like house fridges are they? and recovery gear? and maybe the car might come with a uhf so i wont have to wirry about that. How are the shops out there? Will I be able to buy food along the way?

I know about oil and radiators and dip sticks and Ive seen people change tyres before. My trusty NRMA man would do that for me! But I guess he wont be there for me...boo hoo....

Do I really have a hope in the world at doing this? Be honest!

Ive done a little bit of reading on this but would rather have your opinion on this situation.

Thanks in advance to anyone who replies nicely,

Ivory Chick
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Reply By: Member -Signman - Wednesday, Apr 23, 2008 at 10:54

Wednesday, Apr 23, 2008 at 10:54
Let's see how many hits this one gets !!

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Follow Up By: Member - barry F (NSW) - Wednesday, Apr 23, 2008 at 15:53

Wednesday, Apr 23, 2008 at 15:53
502 so far & rising rapidly!!

Camerons Corner, Warrumbungles, maybe Bourke or even Darwin, she's a versatile little vegemite!!
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Follow Up By: Bonz (Vic) - Thursday, Apr 24, 2008 at 22:55

Thursday, Apr 24, 2008 at 22:55
1182 and rising
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Reply By: Member - DAZA (QLD) - Wednesday, Apr 23, 2008 at 10:56

Wednesday, Apr 23, 2008 at 10:56
Hi Ivory Chick.

Going by your self, with out any experience, is a disaster waiting to
happen. (Could somebody be fishing?)

Cheers
Daza
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Follow Up By: Ivory~Chick - Wednesday, Apr 23, 2008 at 11:17

Wednesday, Apr 23, 2008 at 11:17
Could I be fishing? Nope! Just needing info!
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Reply By: swampy460 - Wednesday, Apr 23, 2008 at 11:00

Wednesday, Apr 23, 2008 at 11:00
Oh awright I'll go with you, :-)

Swampy
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Follow Up By: Member - DAZA (QLD) - Wednesday, Apr 23, 2008 at 11:19

Wednesday, Apr 23, 2008 at 11:19
Hey Swampy

She will be in enough trouble, leave her alone.
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Reply By: Member - John G- Wednesday, Apr 23, 2008 at 11:23

Wednesday, Apr 23, 2008 at 11:23
Bloody hell IC, there's some questions and issues in there!!

What's the priority? Getting time alone (or do you mean getting away from people you know?)? doing something different? or getting out west?

Being a conservative old bugger, and taking your advice to "be honest", I reckon you could achieve some of your goals without going to areas where you may need a 4WD.

"Cheap" and "4WD" is not a good combination, and while perhaps 7/10 times a wicked van may make the destinations you mention; the 3/10 times that it doesn't will have the potential to blow your budget and put you in debt.

The basics? A reliable and well-prepared vehicle and one that you are familiar with, good communications, food and water, a good map and the ability to read it, at the very minimum - basic vehicle skills such as those you mention, sensible daily driving goals, and commonsense. And if you hire a 4WD, then you ought to consider a basic 4WD driver course - not cheap. If you do break down, there are always folks who will help, but if you are unprepared, then you might get a serious lecture or two while appreciating the camaraderie of outback driving.

My next comment will sound gratuitous but so be it - if your head is not in the right place i.e. you just want to get away from it all, then being on your own out west may not be right for you.

Why not try the Warrumbungles and say, the Macquarie Marshes? Good camping in the National Park, good walks, great scenery, there's apparently water and lots of birds in the Marshes, not as far from Sydney so less driving and more time for wandering or contemplation, and a Wicked van will cope. You could even wander up to Lightning Ridge and bump into other folks who have opted to get away from it all.

After all that there will be those you say 'go for it'.

May the wind be always at your back

Cheers
John
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Follow Up By: Ivory~Chick - Wednesday, Apr 23, 2008 at 12:34

Wednesday, Apr 23, 2008 at 12:34
So by the looks Im biting off a little more than I can handle yeah??!!

Maybe I will look at Warrumbungles, might even end up at Bourke. Thanks John.
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Follow Up By: Member - John G- Wednesday, Apr 23, 2008 at 17:05

Wednesday, Apr 23, 2008 at 17:05
IC, I see (sorry for the pun) in a later post that you are concerned about wasting some folk's time. You've been wise enough to ask for advice, and those who've given it have had the time.

There's lots for a switched on uni student to take account of in Bourke, whether you are into hard sciences, social sciences, teaching, or fine arts. It's not a good place to 'drop out' though because there's plenty there to think about.

As I think others have said directly and quite reasonably, don't put yourself into a situation where lack of preparation on your part means that you have to rely on othres to get you out of strife.

Cheers
John
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Reply By: Member - Mike DID - Wednesday, Apr 23, 2008 at 11:27

Wednesday, Apr 23, 2008 at 11:27
There's no need to go to Cameron Corner - we're lucky that there are still places a few hundred km from Sydney where you can get away from it all at much less cost and risk.
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Reply By: Member - Matt (Perth-WA) - Wednesday, Apr 23, 2008 at 11:41

Wednesday, Apr 23, 2008 at 11:41
You have two very sensible replies and now its upto you if you head their educated warnings. What you are proposing without your own vehicle or and unlimited budget to hire and equip someone elses is basically dangerous.

How about you grab a backpack, tent and some food and water and hop a ferry from Cronulla to Bundeena and go bush walking and camping for a few days. You dont even need to walk far to be on your own and still in phone range and close to limited amenities!

All the Best

Matt.
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Follow Up By: Ivory~Chick - Wednesday, Apr 23, 2008 at 12:01

Wednesday, Apr 23, 2008 at 12:01
if i wante to stay in sydney i would....done this before...not interested...but thanks anyway..
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Reply By: KSV. - Wednesday, Apr 23, 2008 at 11:52

Wednesday, Apr 23, 2008 at 11:52
To me looks like troll.

Serg
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Follow Up By: Ivory~Chick - Wednesday, Apr 23, 2008 at 12:31

Wednesday, Apr 23, 2008 at 12:31
??
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Follow Up By: Bonz (Vic) - Thursday, Apr 24, 2008 at 22:58

Thursday, Apr 24, 2008 at 22:58
he means that this may be a fictitious post designed to seek answers of varying nature - thats a troll, like trawling for fish.
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Follow Up By: Ivory~Chick - Friday, Apr 25, 2008 at 09:03

Friday, Apr 25, 2008 at 09:03
Do people really do that? What for?
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Follow Up By: Bonz (Vic) - Friday, Apr 25, 2008 at 09:05

Friday, Apr 25, 2008 at 09:05
Its a pervasive pasttime for some troublemakers
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Reply By: Vince NSW - Wednesday, Apr 23, 2008 at 12:22

Wednesday, Apr 23, 2008 at 12:22
No Need to go all the way to the Corner Country. If you stop at White Cliffs, you will only have 11 Km of dirt road but you will be WAY the otherside of Nowhere. You would be able to see a few people on No one if you wanted, but still have the safety of a small general store within the area.
Vince
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Reply By: Member - Footloose - Wednesday, Apr 23, 2008 at 12:23

Wednesday, Apr 23, 2008 at 12:23
OK I'll go with the idea that your post is an honest attempt to elicit some info.

Good advice has already been given. 4wds need to be driven carefully if you want to get home. All previous comments should be taken on board. It won't be cheap, and unless you are prepared for the outback, it could become very expensive indeed. If you need mechanical work done out there, carry a large credit card. Not only isn't your friendly NRMA guy out there, but neither is your corner mechanic.

Food and supplies are available at most centres, but once again they cost much more than in the city. And if you think fuel is expensive in Sydney...take a big deep breath before checking fuel prices on this site.
What about contacting some backpackers and sharing the cost?
Yes that restricts you but if operating on a limited budget and you REALLy want to go...

Both spots are worth seeing, and are do able in a limited holiday. I'd go to Birdsville first and check out Innaminka on the way home, or the other way around. B'ville is full of character and characters and is also very historical, as is Innaminka.
Don't fall into the trap of allocating too little time to the journey.

For a first timer it's easy to travel too fast and get into strife.
It's a big, lonely country out there, with huge distances between towns. You'll need plenty of water at the least. Days can be hot, nights can be freezing.
Just to get there and back in one piece will be an adventure in itself.
But the rewards can be worth it.
Let us all know how you get on, and if you go, have a ball.
Cheers
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Follow Up By: Ivory~Chick - Wednesday, Apr 23, 2008 at 13:11

Wednesday, Apr 23, 2008 at 13:11
Thanks Footloose,

Im a member of YHA so might need to do some looking. By the looks of it, me going alone is a bad idea. Might have a look at contiki tours out in Darwin. Maybe I just get out of Sydney for a start and then see what happens!

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Reply By: Kev & Darkie - Wednesday, Apr 23, 2008 at 12:36

Wednesday, Apr 23, 2008 at 12:36
Contact a Tag Along tour company as they sometimes offer the passenger seat of the tour guide, might save the trouble of going unprepared.

Cheers Kev
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Follow Up By: Ivory~Chick - Wednesday, Apr 23, 2008 at 12:46

Wednesday, Apr 23, 2008 at 12:46
Im a uni student Kev! I havent won lotto!!
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Follow Up By: Member - DAZA (QLD) - Wednesday, Apr 23, 2008 at 12:56

Wednesday, Apr 23, 2008 at 12:56
If you come to grief out there, you will be wishing you had won lotto.
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Follow Up By: Member - Matt (Perth-WA) - Wednesday, Apr 23, 2008 at 13:10

Wednesday, Apr 23, 2008 at 13:10
If you cant afford the spare seat in a tag-along-tour (maybe even offer to work for the trip) then how the hell do you propose to equipe a hire vehicle and then pay for food, fuel, accomodation and supplies.....thats only if everything goes well and you dont have ANY unforseen additional costs??

I gave you credit at first but now your replies seem to suggest you are not prepared in the slightest for the trip you propose! You will end up in debt or else relying on the goodwill and support of good people who probably cant afford to help you but still will!



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Follow Up By: Ivory~Chick - Wednesday, Apr 23, 2008 at 15:51

Wednesday, Apr 23, 2008 at 15:51
I havent even looked at one Matt but would guess they cost heaps!

It is just a thought and really good one till the planning has to be done and I obviously have not got the knowledge you all possess.

ive wasted time, sorry
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Follow Up By: Kev & Darkie - Wednesday, Apr 23, 2008 at 16:49

Wednesday, Apr 23, 2008 at 16:49
IC,

I presume that August is Uni Holidays??

Why not try to get away during the Winter break in July??

There is an ExplorOz Gathering in Innamincka in early July and no doubt there is some people from Sydney that you could tag along with to get out there.

Just another idea to think about.

Cheers Kev
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Follow Up By: Ivory~Chick - Wednesday, Apr 23, 2008 at 16:58

Wednesday, Apr 23, 2008 at 16:58
Only holidays as I will have assessments in early and will not need to go, but July is pushing it a little too much...i should be aiming for September when there is a 2 week break but Im not waiting that long...its hard enough not going tonight.

Plus by the sound of it, Im not ready to deal with such a trip, Im obviously ill-prepared and not knowledgable enough to do such a trip on my own. I cannt go a week without a trip to the health centre anyway, so who am I kidding? (i know, myself, dont answer that one!)

by the sounds of it your from QLD, anywhere nice up there - Ive never been there! remember I want to be away from cities and big towns
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Follow Up By: Kev & Darkie - Wednesday, Apr 23, 2008 at 17:02

Wednesday, Apr 23, 2008 at 17:02
There is only 1 state to be in and thats QLD :)

If July is pushing it then delay all plans until January and go to the Country Music festival in Tamworth.

Cheers Kev
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Follow Up By: Ivory~Chick - Thursday, Apr 24, 2008 at 00:15

Thursday, Apr 24, 2008 at 00:15
Not a country music fan, sorry! Im from Sydney - the city of clubs!
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Follow Up By: Kiwi & "Mahindra" - Thursday, Apr 24, 2008 at 00:58

Thursday, Apr 24, 2008 at 00:58
Ivory chick,

Best not go by yourself. Life is nothing like city life out there. If its any consolation, no one knows what its like till they get out there.....

Maybe go not so far - Warrumbungles was a good idea.

Coonie is a great place to visit, so are other places like Cowra (my old second home), Armidale (my new second home thanks to uni res schools), Tamworth is really nice - especially if you go half hour out. Even Gunnadah.....remember when at Tamworth all roads lead to Gunnadah so it must be great - has a great bns! they are all towns small enough to be "nowhere" but big enough to go to your "health centre".


Save the big trip for when you finish uni!

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Reply By: deserter - Wednesday, Apr 23, 2008 at 13:47

Wednesday, Apr 23, 2008 at 13:47
Can I ask - assuming you get a 4x4 that has a bed in the back - do you think you will stay in established Caravan Parks or are you thinking of camping in the bush. If its the former - then go for it - but do the far outback towns that are connected by bitumen. Lotsa wide open spaces with the NRMA still only a phone call away - if you get reception.

If its the latter - you would probably want someone with a bit more experience along. Simple things like lighting a safe fire or just knowing the logistics of doing a trip.
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Follow Up By: Ivory~Chick - Wednesday, Apr 23, 2008 at 17:16

Wednesday, Apr 23, 2008 at 17:16
I own a little 2 person tent and a swag, Ive been camping before so know how to light fires. I would stay in caravan parks most of the time but if I stopped somewhere and couldnt Id find somwhere about 500m or more off the road. Worse case I sleep in the car on the seat.

but I do understand what you are talking about.
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Reply By: Michael ( Moss Vale NSW) - Wednesday, Apr 23, 2008 at 13:51

Wednesday, Apr 23, 2008 at 13:51
OOHH dear!!! LOL!!
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Reply By: 3.0turbob - Wednesday, Apr 23, 2008 at 16:11

Wednesday, Apr 23, 2008 at 16:11
Have a look at the menu at the top of the page. Click on topics and there is a drop down menu that you can select from. Check out Itineraries & planning for some good tips.

Rob
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Reply By: marcus - Wednesday, Apr 23, 2008 at 18:52

Wednesday, Apr 23, 2008 at 18:52
Ivory chick,
Many young adventurous people on a limited budget plan the date and destination of their travels then find a ride usually for a share of the fuel.You can browse through the rides at www.needaride.co.au and will find it an interesting concept.Many are young students and backpackers getting around on a low budget.
Cheers Mark
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Reply By: madfisher - Wednesday, Apr 23, 2008 at 22:19

Wednesday, Apr 23, 2008 at 22:19
Ic I work for a major hire co. While we have heaps of 4wds if you read the fine print you are not supposed to drive them on dirt roads let alone 4wd tracks. I know most people ignore this but if something go wrong the hirer is in deep do do.
There are some hirers that speclise in hiring 4wds for outback travel but you would need a budget of at lest $200.00 a day.
If you want a taste of the outback try camping on a private property on the Darling river.
I would not consider a trip of this magitude by myself and I have been arround for a while. lol
Good luck with what ever you decide Pete
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Follow Up By: Ivory~Chick - Thursday, Apr 24, 2008 at 00:18

Thursday, Apr 24, 2008 at 00:18
Thanks Pete,
Whats the point inoffering 4wd if you cannt take them where they are designed to go? I read that post a few weeks ago about the hired 4wd that ended up in the creek and they were billed $6k on their credit card.
Thanks for your input.
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Follow Up By: madfisher - Thursday, Apr 24, 2008 at 14:04

Thursday, Apr 24, 2008 at 14:04
I. C. it is because of odiots like that , that the clause is in there.They are 4wds not boats.
Cheers Pete
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Reply By: howesy - Thursday, Apr 24, 2008 at 10:36

Thursday, Apr 24, 2008 at 10:36
If you say you have no idea just to give you an idea if you went to camerons corner then through innaminka to birdsville and return you are looking at a return trip of roughly 3800km and again roughly using between 12 to 15 L/100km and depending if diesel or petrol you are looking roughly at $750 to $1000 for fuel only maybe more. Going this way if you go cordillo way its rough on tyres and may cost you $400 there. (I was lucky and went through there and right around without tyre incident) Food is expensive and so is accommodation so It depends on how much you want to rough it I suppose. buying a 4wd and selling it is one option but then it may not be reliable and the repairs are your responsibility and to hire one you would have to hire it with unlimited km which would be expensive but cheaper than paying the excess km. Do your sums you may be able to get a package cheaper who knows, either way good luck Its a good experience and I hope you can do it.
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Follow Up By: howesy - Thursday, Apr 24, 2008 at 10:40

Thursday, Apr 24, 2008 at 10:40
By the way at the right time of year (in the dry) this trip can be done in an old school simple repairholden or ford ute with light truck tryes easily conquers this trip.
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Reply By: Fiona & Paul - Thursday, Apr 24, 2008 at 10:56

Thursday, Apr 24, 2008 at 10:56
Well Ivory Chick you have received excellent advice from lots of people here, and, it is obvious they are all concerned for you after realising your serious intent.

Fiona and I are grounded for a while and I'll be at home this winter, so wherever you decide to go, please keep us informed of what you are up to. You seem like a very responsible person deep down, despite your light hearted original message. We (I am sure everyone who has read this post feels similar) hope you can 'chill out' and get things working OK.

Let us know so we can keep track of you and tell us what you are doing at Uni, somehow I think you will be on this forum for much longer than any of us.

Fi and Paul
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Follow Up By: Ivory~Chick - Thursday, Apr 24, 2008 at 15:20

Thursday, Apr 24, 2008 at 15:20
Oh I dont know about being here longer than you guys will be. Im a bit of a nerd and not affraid to admit it, so Im usually doing some sort of study or work to get my degree. ( Bachelor biotechnology and BA international studies - dont ask where that will lead me, just to a job of some sort that pays heaps I hope! ).

Thanks for your reply Fi or Paul ( which ever one you may be). Things will work out.

Ive taken quite a lot onboard from everyones replies and will intend to be not so courragious when I do go.

Im starting to think that me in a wicked van wont be so bad after all.

Thanks everyone.

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Reply By: Member - John and Val W (ACT) - Thursday, Apr 24, 2008 at 15:05

Thursday, Apr 24, 2008 at 15:05
Ivory Chick,

Something that has not been mentioned yet is the weather in August. Anywhere inland including Birdsville and C. Corner and the Warrumbungles will be pretty cold especially at night. If you really have to go in August you will be in the company of many of us grey nomads who travel (further) north at that time. The Queensland coast is pretty busy then but some of the Queensland coastal National Parks might be a place to go where you wont freeze. For that matter there are still some good places in NSW national parks, but I think most of them now have pretty steep camping fees. On the other hand you can camp for free in many NSW state forests, and there are many 2wd accessible forest roads. Eg exploring the along the Oxley highway and side roads takes you to some good spots.
Cheers,
Val.
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Follow Up By: Ivory~Chick - Thursday, Apr 24, 2008 at 15:24

Thursday, Apr 24, 2008 at 15:24
How cold is cold??
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Follow Up By: Member - John and Val W (ACT) - Thursday, Apr 24, 2008 at 19:52

Thursday, Apr 24, 2008 at 19:52
The Bureau of Met site gives minimum average temperatures of about +5 deg for Tibooburra and Moonba (roughy comparable with your suggested destinations) BUT, you should expect some minus 5 deg (or lower) nights too. The desert climate is so dry that temperatures can go way down.
Cheers
John

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Reply By: Glenn (VIC) - Thursday, Apr 24, 2008 at 15:17

Thursday, Apr 24, 2008 at 15:17
Hi Ivory Chick,

Good on you! Fantastic that you are willing to travel into the outback tthrough some magnificent country. Doing it on your own? Why the hell not, that is how the majority of people on this site would have started out exploring. I know I did.

There is a lot of information for you to gather, but that is all part of the fun of organising a trip. This site is also a great site to gather information from, using the forum and also the information found on the site.

As far as a vehicle goes, why not have a look around for a suziki? They are a great little 4wd with heaps of potential and can certainly cover the areas you want to cover. These can be found fairly cheaply abd surely your mechanic or the NRMA can do a vehicle inspection prior to handing over your money.

Ways to get to Birdsville and Camerons Corner? Many different and varied ways. It all depends on the type of roads you want to travel, and the condition that they are in. If roads are closed due to weather, it is good to have a Plan B and Plan C.

Once you have your vehicle, a few spares, swag, food lots of water, maps and a hired UHF radio or sat phone, a little bit of knowledge and lots of enthusiasm, off you go. It is not difficult and very rewarding so don't feel down beat or worried by some responses to your post, it doesnt matter if you are male or female, being an explorer with a desire to travel can be done by anyone, whether solo or with others.

If you need more info, you can email me using glennamarshallatiprimusdotcomdotau.

Cheers and good luck!
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Follow Up By: Ivory~Chick - Thursday, Apr 24, 2008 at 15:23

Thursday, Apr 24, 2008 at 15:23
Im not quite sure I could do it from what everyone is talking about but thankyou for the vote of confidence Glenn. I will keep this option open in my mind, never thought of a suzuki doing that sort of trip, but why wouldnt it??!!

Im a bit of a planner and get a little anxious when things dont go as they were meant to so I will have everything up to plan z to use I think.

Thanks again.
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Follow Up By: Bonz (Vic) - Thursday, Apr 24, 2008 at 23:07

Thursday, Apr 24, 2008 at 23:07
Laura, Glenn is right a Suzi would do it comfortably but as you have found out there are many things you'll need to plan for. That said, a trusty sat phone borrow3ed from a friend and an ounce of goodwill and anything can happen.
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Reply By: Member - Richard K (NSW) - Thursday, Apr 24, 2008 at 18:45

Thursday, Apr 24, 2008 at 18:45
I went to Willandra and Kinchega National Parks on my own in a very dilapidated VN Commodore about 12 years ago.... I still look at the photos of the trip and feel very glad I did it. I hardly saw a soul, the roads were rough enough to make it a real adventure and the scenery was jaw-dropping. Lots of history too..
I had a tent, sleeping bag, esky, small 1 burner stove and billy, a 20l jerry of water and a few other things I'm sure, but it was a great trip for little outlay. But yes, it would be very cold in August - a few below zero?

Rich
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Follow Up By: Member - Richard K (NSW) - Thursday, Apr 24, 2008 at 19:19

Thursday, Apr 24, 2008 at 19:19
Having said all that, I wouldn't do the trip again, even today, without a bit more savvy than I had back then. I'd be carrying first aid kit, tools, workshop manuals etc, plus I would want to be 100% confident on changing tyres, knowing that my vehicle was reliable etc. As someone has said in a previous reply, its amazing where you can get to in the dry in just a standard 2wd as long as you have the tyre issue sorted.

Basically, it should be possible to do a reasonable outback-ish (NSW) trip on the cheap, but reliability is paramount. On my trip, my car did break down on a very minor road near Ivanhoe (intermittent electrical fault) and the half an hour or so it took to get going again was a very nervous time..

Rich
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