Pls help us plan our trip

Submitted: Saturday, Jan 16, 2010 at 20:43
ThreadID: 75265 Views:3202 Replies:6 FollowUps:12
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Hi all,

Planning a trip from Aug this year until end of Jan around OZ. Caravanning, 2 adults 3 kids.

Plan is to head north from Syd to Mackay then inland up to Kakadu and down to Uluru. Back up to Katherine, Darwin, Kununurra then Broome and down the west coast. Accross the bight to Adeliade for xmas/ new year then through Vic back home at end of Jan.

Does anyone see any problems with this route or have any suggestions? Im not 100% sure of wet season and cyclone season.

Many thanks..........
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Reply By: DIO - Saturday, Jan 16, 2010 at 21:22

Saturday, Jan 16, 2010 at 21:22
I imagine that you are the best judge of your children and their capacity to endure such a journey. In regards to the wet season it can start to get underway as early as September/October and run through until end of April into May. Cyclone season tends to be a little later although cyclones have occured as late as May (TC Pierre ran until 21May2007).
Many people think that the west season is a great time to see parts of the tropical north however road closures, flooded tourist areas, closures of some attractions, wet, steamy, hot conditions daya after day can all be a bit too much for most to endure. Good luck with whatever you decide to do.
AnswerID: 399785

Follow Up By: luckymum - Sunday, Jan 17, 2010 at 12:29

Sunday, Jan 17, 2010 at 12:29
On a previous trip (Jan 2000) my husband and I were cut off from flooded roads up around Winton. In feb we were in Alice Springs and it was pretty awful. We did see Uluru after rainfall which was pretty special but yes the hot conditions were a bit much.
FollowupID: 668827

Reply By: Member - Graham H (QLD) - Saturday, Jan 16, 2010 at 21:49

Saturday, Jan 16, 2010 at 21:49
Would probably make more sense to work across to lower down the Stuart

and go to Ularu first then up to Katherine to Kakadu up the back way then

Darwin back to Katherine and head west A lot less k's

We have done similar and its taken us 10 months not counting 2 places we stayed over a month in . have done 44,000k so far and not home yet.

Temps at Kununurra have been in the 40's this month and even down here in SA have had 4days over 46 and one of 51

The humidity is a killer in the summer in the north west Like 90%.

Roads may be closed as this year.

Most people are heading south from August on due to the heat and humidity.

Even as a Queenslander who is sort of used to humid weather found Darwin draining in mid winter with mid 30's and humidity.

Wouldnt catch me there in summer.

AnswerID: 399788

Reply By: Motherhen - Saturday, Jan 16, 2010 at 23:15

Saturday, Jan 16, 2010 at 23:15
Hi Lucky

You don't say how old your children are, but at any age short days driving and lots of outside activities will be needed. I also don't know what sort of rig you will have.

As already said, it is not the time to tour the north (unless by plane). You may be disappointed if you can't get to key northern destinations due to rain, and you may get stranded for up to two weeks or so (you need to be provisioned for this possibility). Not only will it be hot when you stop, but most key features involve walking, and that would be most unwise in the summer in the north.

Even the southern half of the country will be hot soon into to time frame, but regardless, you would be better to pick areas in the somewhat cooler southern half, have more time to enjoy your touring, and spend a lot less on fuel.

When i could only holiday in or around January, we stuck to the southern coast. The bare minimum to see a taste of Tasmania took us seven weeks, with two weeks driving with a bit of looking around from WA to Melbourne on the way, and four weeks on the return journey venturing inland a little to places like the northern Flinders, but by then it was April and getting cooler. We were away three months in all.

Last year we sort of did the lap over five months June to November; west coast to Alice Springs (where we had spent some weeks looking around the previous year) by direct short cut via the Gary Junction Road, north to Darwin via Kakadu, then Litchfield, Mt Isa, but no further north as it was already too hot for us. We toured south through fossil country in inland Qld (a key point of our trip), then through the Armidale region, rural NSW and quite quickly home through SA and the Nullarbor, much of which we had seen before. We didn't spend long in any place and i consider we toured quite quickly. Rather than thinking we did the big lap, I think of it as we saw a little bit of each state. We have still got so much to see and could spent months touring in any state.

Far better to enjoy a smaller area and see it thoroughly, than to plan a big journey and be disappointed, or have it turn out to be an ordeal. I don't know if you have been to Tasmania, but you could easily spend three months there alone in a much nicer summer climate.


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Follow Up By: luckymum - Sunday, Jan 17, 2010 at 12:25

Sunday, Jan 17, 2010 at 12:25
Hi Motherhen,

Kids are 3,6 and 8. We will travel in a Jackaroo towing a Windsor rapid or similar, possibly a Jayco swan but I would prefer something a bit bigger than a swan.

We would like to travel from Syd to kakadu as quickly as possible, probably being there in Sept. Then head over to the west coast and spend as much time there as possible as we have not been to that state, probably all of Oct and Nov.

By Dec/Jan we plan to be down in S.A and Vic so Im sure it would be better down there than up top.

Thanks heaps for your reply.
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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Sunday, Jan 17, 2010 at 12:46

Sunday, Jan 17, 2010 at 12:46
Hi Lucky

It will be do-able in the time frame, and i am pleased you are going to spend time on wonderful WA, but it will also be hot, particularly anywhere north of Geraldton.

Kakadu was on our agenda last year, and there weather was nice in early August, although in Darwin some locals were saying it was getting hot and humid earlier than usual. We tend to do walks early and late in the day, and rest up in the shade in between due to the heat. Be ware of crocodile safety. At Cahills Crossing parents are regularly seen trying to get their children eaten.

I hope your children are happy travellers. I had four and even a shopping trip was torture. Holidays were really out of the equation until they were big enough to leave behind.



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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Sunday, Jan 17, 2010 at 17:19

Sunday, Jan 17, 2010 at 17:19
Just thinking about January temperatures in SA in particular. They can be well in excess of 40º even on the Eyre Peninsular. A week or so ago Esperance had a 47º maximum and it was much hotter on unofficial reading only a bit inland.


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Follow Up By: luckymum - Sunday, Jan 17, 2010 at 18:04

Sunday, Jan 17, 2010 at 18:04
Yes I saw those temps on the news.

If we go south from Sydney in August is just going to be cold and miserable going down through Vic and S.A. I think we would rather be hot than cold and miserable. Also if we need to be back for school start in Jan that puts us up in N.T and through QLD in the 'true wet season'. I have been in QLD, up around Winton, in Jan and we got stuck for a bit from road closures.

I thought going north from Sydney would be a better option but would appreciate your thoughts.
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Reply By: Member - Troy and Kate - Sunday, Jan 17, 2010 at 01:53

Sunday, Jan 17, 2010 at 01:53
Hi There luckymum,
We are currently on the road with 3 kids in west oz, we crossed the border in Oct 09 and are currently in Esperance heading up to Kalgoolie in a day or two Jan 10. There is a lot to see over here that you and the kids will enjoy (not sure how old the kids are). There are alot of km's in between things, and once you get to your destination its well worth the hundreds of km's of nothing.
I am not sure how much time you allowed in West Oz for your trip?
We traveled up north and down the west coast in the build up, it was hot and humid all day every day, the only relief we got was knowing that there was a swiming pool or gorge( if no crocs insite) and a cold beer at the end of the days travels.
if you have any other questions drop us a line and we will try and answer or help you out.

Troy and Kate.
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Follow Up By: luckymum - Sunday, Jan 17, 2010 at 12:36

Sunday, Jan 17, 2010 at 12:36
Thanks for your reply.

We plan to be in Kakadu by Sept then spend Oct/Nov in W.A starting from the top and working our way down the coast. Dec and Jan will be spent in S.A and VIC. I can just imagine the humid conditions!

Our kids will be 3,6 and 8. How old are yours and what kind of set up do you have? Are you doing the whole of OZ or just the west coast?

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Follow Up By: offaroundOz - Tuesday, Jan 19, 2010 at 12:29

Tuesday, Jan 19, 2010 at 12:29
My family and I intend to set off around Australia in April and we were going to head from Sydney to Sth Australia, across to WA and then up. Would anyone advise us differently according to weather and conditions ????
FollowupID: 669305

Follow Up By: Member - Troy and Kate - Wednesday, Jan 20, 2010 at 00:57

Wednesday, Jan 20, 2010 at 00:57
Hi luckymum,

We have been on the road since April 09, we left Melb, headed to Tassie for a month, then started on our trip to Darwin. We have seen some great stuff along the way. We have 3 boys 13,11 and 7. We have been doing Distant Education with the boys since we left Melbourne, and i can proudly say that Kate and i did a good job as teachers (well the reports said we did).
We also have a website so all our family and friends can keep up to date with what we are doing and where we are, (its a lot cheaper than ringing everyone ). If you want to have a look at the website it is
We have a Nissan Patrol GU 4.2 and a Jayco expanda triple bunk, we are planning on travelling for about 12 months

I hope this helps and feel free to drop a line.

Troy and Kate
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Follow Up By: Michelle & Bruce & 3 kids - Tuesday, Jan 26, 2010 at 23:37

Tuesday, Jan 26, 2010 at 23:37
Hi offaroundOz,
We are also heading off in April following a similar route to you. We only have 14 weeks (1 school term + holidays) and will go from Sydney to Adelaide across to Albany & Perth, up to Broome, across to Kununurra, up to Darwin and then down through the centre. We will be 2A+3C in a motohome. I would be interested in where you plan to go and what you plan to see. Any tips? It might be beneficial to compare notes. Please email me on
FollowupID: 670506

Reply By: Member - Graham H (QLD) - Sunday, Jan 17, 2010 at 13:15

Sunday, Jan 17, 2010 at 13:15
If you have been to Ularu why go back

Nearly 1000km to see what you have already seen is neither economically sensible or time wise either.

If you want to see WA go up to Kakadu then Darwin, Katherine and spend more time in the west.

You can go back to the centre maybe on another shorter trip.

There is a lot better things to see than the Rock

We thought the Olgas much more interesting

Wouldnt waste fuel going back to Kings Canyon either.

So much to see in WA and will take more than the time you have to see a lot of it.

We worked on the theory of go the furtherest and see that

We can take shorter trips later to see the closer stuff


AnswerID: 399851

Follow Up By: luckymum - Tuesday, Jan 19, 2010 at 14:27

Tuesday, Jan 19, 2010 at 14:27
Very husband isnt that keen to go back to the rock. I think our kids would love it so I would really like to go back. Plus it will be almost 10 years since my husband proposed on top of it so it has sentimental reasons for me. That sure was a day Ill never forget!!

I guess we will have to see how much time we have and you are right we can always go back.

We are going to fly through QLD and Vic as we can see those places anytime. We will have only one night at each stop.

Is 2 months really not enough time to see W.A if we mainly stick to the coast?
FollowupID: 669320

Follow Up By: Member - Graham H (QLD) - Tuesday, Jan 19, 2010 at 14:55

Tuesday, Jan 19, 2010 at 14:55
Well I would say no as there is a lot to see and a long way between places.

We did some days of up to 550k virtually non stop but wouldnt try that with kids.

Depends on what you want to see but we went to most place did the trips cos at our age we may not get to do it again.

Perhaps have fond memories of the rock and be happy Its never the same the second time.

To go down from Kakadu to see it would be very time and money consuming.
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Reply By: djross-oz - Sunday, Jan 17, 2010 at 22:38

Sunday, Jan 17, 2010 at 22:38
We are planning a trip from Qld leaving in July 2010 until January 2011. We have 2 children 10 and 8. Our plan at this stage is to head to Cairns then across the Savannah way to Karumba and on to Lawn Hill and then to the NT via Boorooloola. We will do Devils Marbles and then head to Darwin as we did Alice and Uluru 2 1/2yrs ago. We hope to head to WA about mid August and at this stage have 3 mths to do WA before heading to SA/VIC. We hope we are doing the right thing.
We thought it safer to be about mid-way down the WA coast before the wet begins to hit. We also want to do more of a "round Australia" trip if we have the time.
Good luck with your planning and trip.
AnswerID: 399945

Follow Up By: Member - Tony S (WA) - Monday, Jan 18, 2010 at 03:21

Monday, Jan 18, 2010 at 03:21
If you can juggle it start arount Pt Hedland around early July and August/ September for the Mid West. IF we have had good rains the wild flowers will be spectacular.

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