4 months of travelling

Submitted: Saturday, Feb 06, 2010 at 14:52
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Hi I reside in Sydney, in June I have 4 months off work to travel around the top half of Australia. I will be leaving Sydney the first week of June to travel up to the cape. From there I plan to travel over to Darwin, Broom and then onto Exmouth then Perth. I then plan to travel across the middle of Australia onto Alice Spring then through the back of NSW to home.
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At this stage I have no particular plan other then the above locations. If people could provide other areas which are between these main location to vist I would greatly appricated it.
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I will be farily self-sufficient , I have a 1998 Toyota Hi lux dual cab with a 2inch lift, long range fuel tank, water tank, diff lock, ect.
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Thanks your help is appricated.
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Reply By: Barnesy - Saturday, Feb 06, 2010 at 18:52

Saturday, Feb 06, 2010 at 18:52
Can’t help you with cape york or top end but the Kimberley is a musn’t miss. We spent 3 months to get from derby to kununurra and still didn’t get to everything we wanted to! Obviously the gibb river road and lots of detours and up to the Mitchell plateau. Get a book on discovering the Kimberley for all you need to know. Kununurra’s fruit growing region has magnificently tasty, fresh fruit and veg this time of year and is worth it just for that.

Don’t let Wyndham’s appearances deceive you, it is one of the friendliest places in the Kimberley. On the way there you can stop off at the grotto for a little swim and go to parry lagoons at sunset to see lots of migrating birdlife. If you haven’t seen any big crocs yet the the mouth of the ord river shouldn’t disappoint, the 5 rivers lookout is worth it.

Make purnululu NP part of the itinerary, take good hiking boots to avoid the tour groups (they don’t go further than 20 minutes from the carparks).

North of broome on the way to cape Leveque are lots of small family run camping grounds, good mudcrabs. Beagle bay has a church altar made out of pearl shells.

Port smith south of broome is a worthwhile stopover as is 80 mile beach.

In the Pilbara Karijini NP is a must see, take your camera and bathers. Newman has the largest open cut mine in the world and runs tours. Milstream NP is a nice detour from Karijini. Dampier peninsula for petroglyphs and good boat fishing or charter boats.

I’m sure other will know more about the other places you are going to.
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Follow Up By: Barnesy - Saturday, Feb 06, 2010 at 23:53

Saturday, Feb 06, 2010 at 23:53
Forgot to add, have a look at the trek section on this site.
Also if you are in an area when an outback race meet is on then take some time to go along. We worked up north of WA for 2 years and went to the Marble Bar cup, Wyndham races and the Pt Hedland cup. All were good fun, two-up after the event was good fun.
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Reply By: Member - John and Val - Saturday, Feb 06, 2010 at 20:38

Saturday, Feb 06, 2010 at 20:38
Hi Dave,

There is a mass of info on this site that should help you to fill in the gaps. Have a look at the Treks section (in the blue bar above your post) and also do a search of the blogs as there will be a lot of info there. Our blogs (see the link down the bottom of this post) for the past couple of years cover some of area around Alice Springs, the Kimberley, Pilbara and the west and southern coastal areas of WA in some detail.

Cant help re the Cape but do drop in to Lawn Hill (north of Mt Isa) on your way west, its magnificent. We found the area around Exmouth to be rather disappointing - crowded and very windy. Take a wet suit if you want to go snorkelling as the water is pretty cold. The wildflower areas further south were spectacular though.

A copy of Camps 5 is an invaluable travelling companion.

Have a wonderful trip.
J and V
"Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted."
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Follow Up By: dave-345 - Saturday, Feb 06, 2010 at 21:46

Saturday, Feb 06, 2010 at 21:46
Thanks for the info, I will be sure to vist some of those places. I thought fours months would be more than enough time to see all the places I would like too, but it looks like even if i had a year off, i would not be able to see all the places i would like to.
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Reply By: Motherhen - Saturday, Feb 06, 2010 at 22:52

Saturday, Feb 06, 2010 at 22:52
Hi Dave

You could take a year! We spent four months 2008 just seeing around the Kimberley (not around Broome or the Dampier Peninsular) and around Alice Springs, the MacDonnells, Kings Canyon and Uluru. Anything north of Alice had to wait another year.

It also depends on how much you have already seen on the areas you plan to travel through. It also depends on the type of places you like to see.

Last year we spent five months, heading direct Alice Springs from the West (via Gary Junction) to pick up where we left the previous year and head north. To Darwin, including the Davenport Ranges, Mataranka (Bitter Springs), Katherine Gorge and Edith Falls, Kakadu, Litchfield NPs Douglas Hot Springs.

Then to Borroloola, Barkley, and into Qld. It was getting a bit late in the season to tackle the Cape or anywhere further north, so after Lawn Hill, Mt Isa, the fossil country of Boulia, Winton, and Hughenden. Porcupine Gorge, Longreach, Ilfracombe, Isisford, Blackall, Barcaldine, through Emerald to Carnarvon Gorge, Injune and Mt Moffat. Through Roma and Miles, Dalby to Jondaryan Woolshed. Rural towns of Pittsworth, Nobby and Clifton. Through Warwick and Stanthorpe to the Girraween NP.

We visited further granite country of Bald Rock, Boonoo Boonoo and Basket Swamp parks from Tenterfield in NSW. Through Glen Innes to Armidale and to some of the waterfalls and gorges of the Oxley Wild Rivers NP. Down the steep Thunderbolts Way (brake-fry-hill), to Barrington Tops North section, through Gloucester, Maitland to the Hunter Valley region. Further inland again through the Valley Way to Bylong, Dunns Swamp, and Glen Davis. Through Mudgee to Wellington Caves. To Dubbo and the Western Plains Zoo. Parkes radio-telescope, West Wyalong, then along the Murrumbidgee and Murray. From Mildura we took a fairly direct route through SA and home via the Nullarbor.

Our travels are planned to a basic direction, then turn around at a point half way thorugh the time frame. I would find your itinerary easier in a smaller bite. From Darwin, tour down the Stuart Highway to Alice Springs and surrounds, leaving WA for another long trip. Your time frame won't do it justice.

Motherhen

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Follow Up By: dave-345 - Sunday, Feb 07, 2010 at 01:27

Sunday, Feb 07, 2010 at 01:27
wow that sounds like you did a massive trip. My itinerary at this point is what you see. At this stage it is still up in the air, but the main points are the Cape including the dain-tree. Then onto darwin, broom and to halls creek. from there I hope to travel the Canning stock route. Once that has been done I hope to travel to Perth for a day or two. Then from perth head towards uluro. then onto home
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Follow Up By: Barnesy - Sunday, Feb 07, 2010 at 13:33

Sunday, Feb 07, 2010 at 13:33
Dave, that is a massive itinerary, people take a long time just to do the Canning! That is a trip in itself.

We took 3 months to get from Derby to Kununurra taking our time and enjoying it. You don't need to go that slow but on my experience taking time to smell the roses is more enjoyable.
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Reply By: John and Lynne - Sunday, Feb 07, 2010 at 09:18

Sunday, Feb 07, 2010 at 09:18
You are covering a lot of country in 4 months! We know it is fun to plan a long trip while you are at home looking at maps and finding out about all the great places. When you feel you are under time pressure it is too easy to think you can do it all in the time available. From our experience this can lead to a lot of disappointment.
Youir itinerary will mean that you will spend most of your time driving. Staring at country through a windscreen (and bloodshot eyes?) is not the best way to go.
Consider going less distance this year and seeing and enjoying more as Motherhen has also suggested. We have also found detailed itineraries to be deadly. Start off with a few good ideas then follow your nose - leave time to make discoveries as you go. We have often found the best places were ones a bit off the track that we had never heard off before we set out!
There will be future trips - leave some places for another year! Good luck Lynne
John & Lynne

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Reply By: Member - Chris D (Newcastle) - Sunday, Feb 07, 2010 at 10:32

Sunday, Feb 07, 2010 at 10:32
Dave,

You have received some good advice above, I agree that it is better to shorten your travel plans for this trip and save some of the long distances for next time. We have travelled a similar route as you are considering and took a full year.

One suggestion I have is to consider cutting out the Perth leg, thereby allowing you to return from Kimberleys to Alice via Tanami Road.

A good time table would allow a month for each of the major areas you are travelling, 1. Cape York, 2. Northern Territory (including Darwin, Kakadu, Alice etc), and 3. Kimberleys. Your other month of the trip will be taken up travelling between the mayor areas, putting your feet up beside the ocean or a lake and yarning with fellow travellers.

Take it slow is my advice. Make all of the four months great. Try to stay as many places you can for two or even three nights.

Cheers
Chris
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Follow Up By: dave-345 - Sunday, Feb 07, 2010 at 16:07

Sunday, Feb 07, 2010 at 16:07
Thanks to everyone for your advice. I think I will leave WA for next year and take the advice of Chris and keep my travels to the Cape, NT. Once agian thanks for everyone's advice.
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