Sydney to Alice Springs

Submitted: Saturday, Jun 13, 2009 at 21:44
ThreadID: 69787 Views:4433 Replies:7 FollowUps:2
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Hi all. My husband and I are planning a trip to Ayers Rock / Alice Springs early 2010. We have never done anything like this before and I'm hoping some wise and wonderful people can give us some tips.

We are travelling with three young kids and the plan at this stage is to take about two weeks to drive to Alice Springs in a motorhome and then fly back to Sydney.

Day 1 - drive Sydney to Nyngan
Day 2 - drive Nyngan to Broken Hill
Day 3 -
Day 4 - drive Broken Hill to Port Augusta
Day 5 - drive Port Augusta to Coober Pedy
Day 6 -
Day 7 - drive Coober Pedy to Ayers Rock
Day 8 -
Day 9 -
Day 10 - drive Ayers Rock to Kings Canyon
Day 11 - drive Kings Canyon to Alice Springs
Day 12 -
Day 13 - fly Alice Springs to Sydney

Specifically my questions so far are:
1. I think this is a pretty common route and stops, does anyone have any other suggestions?
2. Is there anything in particular you would suggest we see or do at these places or others along the way?
3. Is 2 full days at Ayers Rock enough?
4. Would anyone suggest we skip Kings Canyon in favour of another day at either Alice Spring or Ayers Rock?

Thanks in advance,

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Reply By: kend88 - Saturday, Jun 13, 2009 at 23:06

Saturday, Jun 13, 2009 at 23:06
Worth stopping at Woomera, (between Pt Augusta and Coober Pedy) to see the rocket museum and town. A couple of hours would probably do. From memory Coober Pedy to Ayres Rock is a long trip for one day (it was towing a van).
Two days is probably enough for Uluru and the Olgas if you are limited in time. Toss up between the extra day at Alice Springs or King's canyon. The kids may be too young to handle the Kings canyon rim walk. You can probably do the West Macdonnel ranges in a day if you get away from Alice Springs early morning. Old telegraph Station tour is good, plus Flying Doctor and School of the Air and Old Jail tours.
It is a great trip. Don't forget your fly nets to put over your hats at Ayres Rock. Very unpleasant without them, and quite expensive to buy them there.
Make sure you get yourselves and the kids a bit fit, plenty of walking, before you go, as you need to do a fair bit of walking to get the best out of Uluru and the Olgas, King,s Canyon and West Mcd ranges.
You will have a great time
Ken D
AnswerID: 369866

Follow Up By: kend88 - Saturday, Jun 13, 2009 at 23:09

Saturday, Jun 13, 2009 at 23:09
Just realised you said early 2010. May not need the fly nets then, but it will be extremely hot. Better time would be April at earliest, preferably May or June.
FollowupID: 637276

Reply By: Dunco (NSW) - Saturday, Jun 13, 2009 at 23:14

Saturday, Jun 13, 2009 at 23:14
Depends on what you want to do at ULURU. I stayed there 2 nights and saw plenty, including the OLGAS

WOOMERA...about an hour will be ok for that...

and your total plan looks pretty good. Just remember that all plans never run to order so plan for the extra time you want to do at a place that you visit and like

There is also plenty to see at Broken Hill such as the Bush aret, Silverton (A MUST) and when at Silverton you have to drive the extra few k's to view one of the best sunsets over the Mundi Mundi !!!

Cobber Pedy is also a place you have to explore for a day or so as it is .....different....

Enjoy your trip

AnswerID: 369867

Reply By: MEMBER - Darian (SA) - Sunday, Jun 14, 2009 at 09:12

Sunday, Jun 14, 2009 at 09:12
The route mentioned seems best if you are going to stay on sealed roads.
Early in the year ? - it can be hell out there ! I've sweated it out at 42C at Yulara in April - anything can happen, any season, any year of course, but before May, the chances for heat waves or a deluge from the northwest are still there - but then, that's all part of the outback holiday gamble :-o). Agreed re the short look at Woomera would be enough..... there is a museum on rockets etc. there.
Coober Pedy is so different, it's worth a day to check out the various tourist offerings. Yulara ? One day could be the rock - walk round the 9km base and /or the climb - suggest the Olgas are a must - fabulous - could easy do a day out there on a couple of walks with a picnic lunch etc. ....higher than the rock, and more impressive up close (to me :-o). Kings Canyon was a total winner to us. There is a short walk up the valley, but the rim walk 'is the thing' ..... in the morning on a beaut day with bright sunshine and a blue sky, you might be 'blown away' by that walk (2 -3 hours) - the "colours of the outback" are huge there.
IMV, two weeks seems to be enough for the one-way drive, with 'quality time' at Yulara and Kings, plus a taste of the Alice and the MacDonnells.
AnswerID: 369886

Reply By: Dave B ( BHQ NSW) - Sunday, Jun 14, 2009 at 09:54

Sunday, Jun 14, 2009 at 09:54
I would suggest when you get to Broken Hill, take the kids to the GeoCentre, not far from the Visitors Centre. It is a real education, and they will love it.

Also, I think the RFDS at Broken Hill is the better base to visit because you go into the hanger and see the aircraft at the airport as well as the visitors centre.

I also agree with an hour or so at Woomera, and if the kids are OK with a long walk, then go to Kings Canyon, otherwise do the Western McDonnells trip to the gorges.

When in Alice Springs,you must take the kids to the Desert Park too.

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AnswerID: 369893

Reply By: Member - Rob S (NSW) - Sunday, Jun 14, 2009 at 18:43

Sunday, Jun 14, 2009 at 18:43
Hi some one asked a similar question last week check threadThreadID: 69630


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and that's when I thought I was wrong!

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AnswerID: 369957

Reply By: Adventureplanner - Sunday, Jun 14, 2009 at 22:24

Sunday, Jun 14, 2009 at 22:24
Thanks heaps for all your replies. Will definitely take all your suggestions on board.

I know the Coober Pedy - Ayers Rock drive is a lot for one day, but didn't know if there was anywhere really that we could stop along the way. Any suggestions?
AnswerID: 370010

Follow Up By: kend88 - Monday, Jun 15, 2009 at 15:47

Monday, Jun 15, 2009 at 15:47
Actually when I mentioned it being a long hike I was thinking of Woomera to Uluru. Coober Pedy to Uluru is quite acheivable, but I think there is a CP at the Erldunda Roadhouse, about 150km from Uluru if you wanted to break the trip.

FollowupID: 637457

Reply By: Member - Flynnie (NSW) - Monday, Jun 15, 2009 at 21:10

Monday, Jun 15, 2009 at 21:10
As others have said early in year is a bad time for this trip especially with young kids. Likely you will encounter temperatures of 47-50 degrees. It is incredibly hot in January and February. Did a similar trip that time of year 12 years ago to many of the same places. The Todd River flowed as it rained as well. I had been inland before and knew roughly what I was getting into but I would never do it with children that time of year.

The trip would quickly become an endurance test and would not be all that enjoyable. Avoiding heat stroke and dehydration would become the main focus of the trip. My advice would be to reschedule to the cooler months or travel somewhere else. Water consumption alone for five people would be over 25 litres per day - just drinking water. In extreme heat 8 litres per person per day would be a better estimate. You have to force yourself to drink because by the time you feel thirst you are likely already badly dehydrated. Metal surfaces become so hot that they burn. Sand and the road are too hot to stand on in bare feet. Work boots are pretty well compulsory. Probably going on a bit much but I remember having to share my water with people who were very ill prepared.

Earliest I would suggest for that trip is April and latest end of September.

AnswerID: 370192

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