Trip Around Oz.....

Submitted: Friday, Mar 19, 2010 at 21:33
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We are in the process of planning our trip around Australia starting in January of 2011..... Are planning on spending a minimum of 12 months to do this and not sure if we will even come home to settle back in our home town of Langwarrin.

We have 2 young teenage girls and a 7 year old little man.

What I am looking for are experienced people to help me to plan this properly and especially what route to take from the outset, leaving from Melbourne in late January or early February.

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Reply By: Motherhen - Friday, Mar 19, 2010 at 21:48

Friday, Mar 19, 2010 at 21:48
Hi Lee-Archers

Apart from go north in the winter and south in summer, and take your time to allow your youngsters, particularly your young son, plenty of time each day to run around, if we all told you the best places to go, you'd be on the road for at least ten years!

I recommend first up go straight to Tasmania; you could easily spend three months there and you'd have mostly lovely weather. Then you could head north wards. Come down through the centre when it gets to hot, and zig zag your way around for as long as it takes.

The best plan (apart from the Tassie ferry) is no plan - just a general direction and be responsive to what you all like, and pick up tips from locals and other travellers about the wonderful places that aren't in the tourist brochures.

Motherhen

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Follow Up By: Lee-Archer Family - Friday, Mar 19, 2010 at 22:38

Friday, Mar 19, 2010 at 22:38
Hi there.

Thank you so much for your suggestions. Had actually considered doing tasmania first due to the colder temperatures that occur down south.

Any advice is very welcome as we are in-experienced and new to it all but very excited and keen to recognise our dream.

We also appreciate the knowledge of experienced travellers.

Regards Tan and Rod.

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Reply By: happycattle2000 - Friday, Mar 19, 2010 at 22:25

Friday, Mar 19, 2010 at 22:25
Hi Lee-Archer's

We are currently (2 Adults 3 Kids) well on the way on a similar trip. The above advice is definitely very sound and makes a lot of sense.

the only things I would consider are, perhaps to leave Tassie untill later. We just got back from Tassie and it was great. However if we had or time again I think we would leave it until we get itchy feet again and head there for a few months then. Just a thought

The other thing i would add are, take a caravan rather than a camper, we set off with a camper with the rational that we might not be able to get to the really remote places with a caravan. Well we may not, but in reality there are plenty of places that you can get to with a van that are worth seeing and it is sooooo much easier to fond a place to stop the night when you dont have to pitch a tent. We have just set off on leg 2 with our new 24 foot van with shower and toilet and it is absolutely fantastic.

i would also ensure you have a set up that allows you to free / bush camp for a few nights. A good solar set up with an inverter and a few batteries is best but a generator is also good for this, but bear in mind generators are not able to be used everywhere.

I agree that the best plan is to have no plan, however ensure you do your homework on what you can do to keep the kids enthusuastic about the trip. They will miss their friends, they will get bored in the car and they will drive you nuts at times, but ultimately they will thank you for the awesome experience you are giving them. Try to ensure they are engaged in the planning process so they have some ownership of the trip, this will help them to remember it a a great time and will help yo keep sane. An in car DVD player is highly recomended.

Finally I would recommend talking to heaps of people along the way this is the best way to find the best information.

enjoy your trip we might even bump into you out there somewhere.

cheers Dave
AnswerID: 409541

Follow Up By: Lee-Archer Family - Friday, Mar 19, 2010 at 22:54

Friday, Mar 19, 2010 at 22:54
Hi !!!!

Was very excited to read your post. We have chosen (we think) the caravan we want, which is 24ft and has a shower and toilet as you mentioned. We have also considered the solar set up which we are keen to have as we are all up for the free / bush camping.

We were considering the 'no real plan' concept, but have been advised to have some kind of plan, so it was also very nice to hear from someone with the opposite idea ....

In regards to the kids, have my eyes WIDE OPEN and absolutely know the trip will be hard at times. Obviously you have children... how do you educate them in regards to their schooling?

Regards, Tan and Rod...
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Follow Up By: happycattle2000 - Saturday, Mar 20, 2010 at 17:54

Saturday, Mar 20, 2010 at 17:54
We are from QLD and I think the requirements are different in every state but we do Home Schooling. It is quite flexible, with no stringent deadlines. Our kids are younger than yours so it might be a little different for teenagers, but they are definiitely getting a great education just doing the trip. We are making sure we meet the requirements of the institution that is the education system but we can see them going ahead in leaps and bounds even without it.

Hope this helps.

cheers dave
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FollowupID: 679553

Reply By: Member - Tony (ACT) - Saturday, Mar 20, 2010 at 06:42

Saturday, Mar 20, 2010 at 06:42
The wife and I travelled around the block for just over 12 months, no kids but met heaps of people with 2 - 3 kids on board.

We travelled clockwise, leaving in Feb, and leaving Tassie till last. Had Xmas at Cradle Mountain Lodge (nice). Travelled a total of 34,000k and loved every miniute of it.

Great not to plan too much, but some places had to be booked, like Coburg, but we had 8 months to get there.

By the way had to go back to FNQ for 4 months two years later to finish the trip off properly.
AnswerID: 409566

Reply By: BundyLuva76 - Saturday, Mar 20, 2010 at 13:57

Saturday, Mar 20, 2010 at 13:57
We are a family consisting of 2 adults and 2 boys aged 10 and 8 and we are currently travelling around this awesome country of ours having left from Victoria too.
Our original plan was to be away for 12 months and we have already been away for 18 months and are only half way through the trip. Although it was a daunting thought at first to pack up everything and head off into the unknown we have enjoyed every minute of it and have no regrets at all.
We enrol our boys through the Distance Education Centre in Melbourne and have found it to be great - you just need the dedication to take he time and sit down and get the work done.
When we left we had a very basic route in mind and pretty much just made the rest up as we went along. We also learnt not to take other peoples opinions as gospel about places to visit etc. What some people may not like, your family may enjoy.
Our boys have travelled well and not once have we heard "Are we there yet??"
I wish you well in your plans and would be happy to chat to you more if you have any questions..
AnswerID: 409616

Reply By: Member - Matt & Caz H (QLD) - Saturday, Mar 20, 2010 at 16:37

Saturday, Mar 20, 2010 at 16:37
Hi

We left Brisbane November 2008, sold up ect ect, we have 3 kids (15,9 & 8) we had no plans and started the wrong way round (we were in Longreach December 08!!!). We have really enjoyed the journey and have no regrets. You will meet plenty of families on road our kids have made heaps of friends that they still keep in contact with.

Have a look at our website/blog http://www.travelingoz.webs.com

We started out with Home schooling however this year we are doing Distance Ed thru Brisbane - I have to admit that this year we have found the education process a LOT harder.

We really only travelled between 200 -300 klm's per day so the kids didn't go nuts.

Enjoy

Cheers
Caz
AnswerID: 409634

Reply By: Member - Min (NSW) - Sunday, Mar 21, 2010 at 22:34

Sunday, Mar 21, 2010 at 22:34
You are about to undertake a wonderful adventure. Apart from all the practical and safety decisions you must make the most important thing every member of your family can do between now and when you set off is learn as much as you can about your country by any means you can but especially by reading books and studying maps. Read about the explorers, Aboriginal customs and art, agriculture, mineral resources, geology (how Australia was formed), flora and fauna. Gain an understanding and appreciation of the way people live in different parts of the country so that when you meet them you can ask intelligent questions and gain greater understanding.

Having knowledge does not take away any of the wonder of surprise, it gives you the confidence and clues to seek out experiences that you may otherwise miss.

As you travel make the effort to meet the locals. Don't just talk to people you meet in caravan parks because sometimes all they are interested in is discussing what they have in their vans and what they'd like to buy next! Having said that fellow travellers can also be a mine of information and a comfort when things are not going quite to plan.

We have seen a huge amount of this country over many years, but have only scratched the surface.

I wish you all a wonderful, mind blowing, eye popping, thought provoking journey of discovery that will last a lifetime.

Min
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AnswerID: 409850

Reply By: TwevSmiff - Monday, Mar 22, 2010 at 21:04

Monday, Mar 22, 2010 at 21:04
We spent a year 'going around' with a caravan and kept a website:
Smithsdownunder
There are details of the camp sites and loads of photos.
We visited Tassie on another trip (We are from the UK) and rented a campervan which was OK (the campervan) but the caravan gave us much more freedom.
Last year (2009) we drove from Melbourne to Perth via the centre but this time with a tent which gave us the freedom to get to places we couldn't with the van.
AnswerID: 409961

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