Driving from Adelaide to Brisbane - any reccommendations

Submitted: Tuesday, May 05, 2009 at 11:08
ThreadID: 68531 Views:18905 Replies:7 FollowUps:11
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Hi there
We are planning on taking our 4WD, camper trailer, and two rugrats (4 and 2) on a road trip between Adelaide and Brisbane and back. We are thinking of doing Dubbo zoo on the way over plus Parkes (have to see 'The Dish'). On the way back we might go down the coast a little and turn in before we hit Newcastle to head back in. Just wondering if anyone has any recommendations of what way to go, any other interesting spots to see and caravan parks, camping spots to stay. By the way taking about a week to get up there and a week to get back (give or take a few days - preferably give ie slightly less)
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Reply By: just goin - Tuesday, May 05, 2009 at 13:06

Tuesday, May 05, 2009 at 13:06
Hi Tara,
Dubbo zoo wasnt all that great when we went there last April - our opinion though. Many of the exhibits were closed for maintenance and they are now asking people to pay for the privelge of hand feeding the giraffes and other certain animals. You only get a good look at those animals at this point otherwise they dont venture very close at all to where the visitors are allowed.

Having 2 rug rats of our own (5 & 2), we would recommend going to Sydney's Taronga Zoo over Dubbo or better still Australia Zoo in Brisbane. We are heading that way in June and going to be staying at BIG4 Treasure Island Holiday Park with our kids and camper trailer in Biggera Waters near the Gold Coast. Great park for kids we have been told. Doing two theme parks and then heading for Brisbane to go to Aust Zoo.

We are from Newcastle NSW, so if you are calling in here bring your winter clothes too as it is freezing here at the moment. Stockton has a beachside caravan park on the beach and there are some great parks at Nelson Bay, including Halifax Caravan Park and Soldiers Point to say two of many. Depends how close you want to get to the Bay itself if that interests you. Otherwise there is a great Caravan Park out at Swansea NSW which is classified as Lake Macquarie and it is on the water as well and has loads of spacious sites etc etc.

Have a great trip. And dont forget the the Aquarium at Darling Harbour is only a ferry ride from Sydneys Taronga Zoo if you decided to go there and that makes for a good couple of fun days out with loads for the kids to see and get excited about.

AnswerID: 363326

Follow Up By: Tars - Tuesday, May 05, 2009 at 13:35

Tuesday, May 05, 2009 at 13:35
Hey JG.
Thanks for the feedback re Dubbo Zoo. I have been there years and years ago while on a work field trip but that was pre-kids. And snap - we are looking at staying at Big 4 Treasure Island as well. Would love to have some feedback on the park when you come back. And Australia Zoo and the Theme parks are definately on the list.
Thanks for all the other info.
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Follow Up By: Max - Sydney - Tuesday, May 05, 2009 at 18:27

Tuesday, May 05, 2009 at 18:27
As another opinion, our daughter, son in law and three kids went to Dubbo Zoo just after Easter and had a ball.

They had bikes for all but Mum, who rented one. They said there were lots to see and really enjoyed it.

I would keep out of Sydney if at all possible - its a destination on its own and your plan to stay inland makes sense.

On the way up, try the Warrumbungles - a great National Park and next door a world class Optical Telescope observatory to go to after seeing the Radio Telescope at Parkes.

The Girraween National Park and / or Bald Rock National Park (close to each other but straddling the border) are fun for kids. Big granite outcrops to scramble on and run off energy.

On the way back, if you turn inland at Hexam and enjoy Denman, Mudgee, Hill End, Wellington Caves and even the Goobang National Park all of which are great places to take kids.

Happy travels and don't push the kids to stay in the car for hours!


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Follow Up By: Max - Sydney - Tuesday, May 05, 2009 at 18:29

Tuesday, May 05, 2009 at 18:29
Second to last sentence is wrong - you go through Denman but it is not a destination.

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Follow Up By: happytravelers - Tuesday, May 05, 2009 at 19:53

Tuesday, May 05, 2009 at 19:53
Regarding treasure island holiday park on the Gold Coast, we stayed there a couple of years ago and yes it's a great place for kids with the big lagoon pool etc. The only problem with camping there is the park is 90% cabins and they were putting camper trailers either right up the back next to a muddy creek or on a small strip of grass next to the pool fence where everybody was walking through your camp to get to the pool. They may have changed things around since we were there but it appeared to us that their main business was cabins and campers were an after thought. Just something to keep in mind when you book.
Have a great trip Jon
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Follow Up By: Malleerv - Wednesday, May 06, 2009 at 08:04

Wednesday, May 06, 2009 at 08:04
Stayed in the Treasure Island Holiday park on the Gold Coast in January this year and we were a bit disappointed. The campsite we had was quite small and low so when it rained it filled up with water and the drain was blocked and smelt on our site too. The amenities were not as clean and well kept as other parks we had stayed in on our trip. There are larger sites out the back but not sure if they are powered.

It is in a good location to shops and theme parks. The pools are good and playground too but very spread out.

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Follow Up By: Member - Royce- Wednesday, May 06, 2009 at 19:12

Wednesday, May 06, 2009 at 19:12
We stopped at Dubbo Zoo about 13 years ago... so disappointed. Compared to traditional zoos... just animals in paddocks. I guess my kids had seen too much elsewhere to be impressed.

But then they grew up with kangaroos in the paddock and paddled with crocs in NT before they went there...
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Reply By: gottabjoaken - Tuesday, May 05, 2009 at 13:15

Tuesday, May 05, 2009 at 13:15
Tara said "We are planning on taking our 4WD, camper trailer, and two rugrats (4 and 2) on a road trip between Adelaide and Brisbane and back.... any recommendations?"

One does immediately spring to mind...

D O N ' T
Bugga - ol' farts disease strikes..

Was that don't take the 4WD, or don't take the camper trailer, or don't take the rugrats, or don't do a road trip, or don't go to Brisbane...

I forget.

Oh! Now I remember...

Despite all the above... Don't forget to have a great time.

AnswerID: 363328

Follow Up By: Tars - Tuesday, May 05, 2009 at 13:36

Tuesday, May 05, 2009 at 13:36
Yes I know - we are nuts! Thank goodness for portable DVD players.
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Follow Up By: gottabjoaken - Tuesday, May 05, 2009 at 14:29

Tuesday, May 05, 2009 at 14:29
No, not "nuts", Tara.

It is a great opportunity to show the kids that what interests you can interest them too.

We did it, and I believe the fact that both our kids now have a serious travel bug and have back-packed around the world, is proof that it is all worth while.

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Follow Up By: Tars - Tuesday, May 05, 2009 at 14:41

Tuesday, May 05, 2009 at 14:41
Thats good to hear Ken. I love travel and we plan to do alot of it hopefully.
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Reply By: Bob of KAOS - Tuesday, May 05, 2009 at 17:34

Tuesday, May 05, 2009 at 17:34

You're set up for a bit of adventure, how about Peterborough Broken Hill Tibooburra Innaminka Cunnamulla Brisbane

or Adelaide Alice Plenty Hwy Boulia Winton Longreach Emerald Brisbane?

I'd avoid Sydney like Swine Flu. It'll take you a week merely to get from one side to the other.

AnswerID: 363373

Reply By: kend88 - Tuesday, May 05, 2009 at 18:44

Tuesday, May 05, 2009 at 18:44
With your timeframe probably quickest to go through Broken Hill to Dubbo then up the Newell. Just watch out for the goats and roos etc. between BH and Dubbo. To see the Dish probably go down thru Dubbo on the way back to Parkes then turn off to Hay further down.
My two favourite cp's on the Gold Coast are Tallebudgera Creek, (perhaps not quite as convenient to the theme parks), and the Broadwater CP right on the Spit at Southport.
Tallebudgera cp has the river beside it, huge lake behind it and 200 metre walk along the riverbank to the surf beach. 20 minute walk across the mountain to Burleigh Heads.

Both are Top Tourist parks from memory, could be Family Parks.

Ken D
AnswerID: 363385

Reply By: Amy G - Tuesday, May 05, 2009 at 20:01

Tuesday, May 05, 2009 at 20:01
I went to Dubbo zoo last year and would recommend it. It is a full day trip and nicely set up there, you can drive/walk (as we did) or you can also hire bikes, which I think it a top idea when the weather is sunny. The dish is a good idea for the kids too but I must admit I just had a look while driving along the highway...

Good things to do along the way...
- Girraween National Park, Stanthorpe area
- Dubbo Zoo
- Mineral museum at Coonabarabran, good if you are a science nerd like me... lots of fossils and things for the kids to look at too

Then if you decide to take a scenic route:
- Blue Mountains National Park (head through Bathurst, Mt Tomah Botanic Gardens is gorgeous in the Blue Mountains, and the Blue Mountains are such a lovely drive for only a couple of hundred km extra), then head through the Hunter Valley and up the Pacific Highway from Ballinaish...
- Goulburn Valley area, Shepparton etc in Victoria, not much of a detour either, and you can stop through Horsham/Grampians area along the way which is also good for a day or two

I haven't stayed in a whole lot of Caravan parks along the way as I usually do the drive for work, however I can highly recommend the park at Cowra, just lovely!

The tourism people make brochures for the Newell and New England Highways which are good when you are wondering what to see in the towns along the way :)
AnswerID: 363399

Follow Up By: rumpig - Tuesday, May 05, 2009 at 20:26

Tuesday, May 05, 2009 at 20:26
just got back from Girraween ourselves last weekend, is definately a great place to visit, but i wonder if they may struggle with a 2 and 4 yr old kids on the walks (especially "the pyramid"). we also did Bald Rock whilst down that way and our 6 yr old walked both but was at her limit i reckon, the whinging started as we were nearing the end of both walks.
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Follow Up By: oldfart1953 - Tuesday, May 05, 2009 at 22:49

Tuesday, May 05, 2009 at 22:49
Ditto for Dubbo Zoo....its great
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Reply By: Nomadic Navara - Wednesday, May 06, 2009 at 00:02

Wednesday, May 06, 2009 at 00:02
A good way to plan your trip is to go to the NRMA Travel Planner. For the forward trip put in Adelaide (from address) - Brisbane (to address) and Parkes (via address.) For the return put in Brisbane - Adelaide - Taree - then click on "Add more via addresses " and insert Merriwa. These will give you some good starts for your trips. If you wish to look at alternatives then play around and substitute other towns for those I have suggested.

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Reply By: Malleerv - Wednesday, May 06, 2009 at 08:39

Wednesday, May 06, 2009 at 08:39
We did a similar trip in January this year with 5 kids (8,6,3,2 and 1) and the grandparents in tow for help. We went a bit higher than Brisbane choosing to stay at Airlie Breach and experience the Whitsundays and we got there in 5 days from SA taking the most direct route.
We traveled back down to the Gold coast over a number of days visiting towns and attractions and stayed at Treasure Island Holiday park to do the theme parks and shopping.
Then we traveled down the coast as far as Ballina then heading inland for the trip home. All done in 24 days with a caravan and a camper trailer. It was busy and sometimes boring for the kids but it was the best Family holiday we have had so far.

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