Feedback on roadtrip

Submitted: Saturday, Apr 24, 2010 at 13:45
ThreadID: 77967 Views:2848 Replies:4 FollowUps:3
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Hi everyone

I'm looking for some general feedback/advice on our proposed 7-8 week trip in August/September this year. We are a family 2 adults 2 kids (8 and 6), towing a Jayco outback Swan with a soft-roader 4WD. From my research, while our itinerary will include some dirt roads it won't be full-on 4WD. Would love any advice you may have about our itinerary, places to stop, how long to stop etc. Some of the legs below will be broken by at least one overnight stop. My plan is to put in big days here and there but hope 7/8 weeks allows lots of time for longer breaks in the interesting spots. Thanks!


Canberra-Mildura-Broken Hill-Port Augusta-Coober Pedy - Yulara - Kings Canyon - Alice Springs - Devil's Marbles - Mt Isa (via Tennant creek but I've heard don't stay in town) - Longreach - Emerald - Canarvon Gorge - Gladstone - Fraser Is (maybe? not with our car, hire 4WD); Sunshine Coast - Gold Coast - Mid-North NSW - Canberra.
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Reply By: Notso - Saturday, Apr 24, 2010 at 13:53

Saturday, Apr 24, 2010 at 13:53
Make sure you have a look at Silverton outside Broken Hill and drive out a bit further to the lookout over Mundi Mundi Plains.

Tennant Creek isn't too bad, Ive stopped there several times and each time I've been there it has improved.

You can stay out of town a bit at a nice caravan park on Peko rd, can't remember the name.

It's a big drive in 7 to 8 weeks.
AnswerID: 414130

Follow Up By: Member -hamo (NSW) - Saturday, Apr 24, 2010 at 14:28

Saturday, Apr 24, 2010 at 14:28
as Notso said,on your way to Silverton Mundi Mundi Plains,are looking great may be many years before you will ever see them looking like it again,if you wanted to do the run to Cameron Corner the road has just been graded,from Tibooburra up,also the road fromBroken Hill to Tibooburra in good condition also.
FollowupID: 684363

Reply By: Member - Oldbaz. NSW. - Saturday, Apr 24, 2010 at 14:20

Saturday, Apr 24, 2010 at 14:20
I think your itinerary is quite doable in that time. I would consider using the
Oodnadatta Road, much more interesting than the Highway, & no problems for your rig if taken slowly, & this part of the country is a real outback experience.
Climb the rock if you must, but the walk around it is very good, as is the Valley of the Winds walk at the Olgas. Spend a night at Daly Waters Pub, just above the
3 Ways...a good feed & some strange entertainment too. Take a day trip east
of Alice & one to the west, including Palm Valley. Watch the very last bit before
the carpark...rock ledges can be a bit tricky...leave the van in Alice. Transport
Museum in Alice is good if you like trucks, Stockmens Hall of Fame a must see.
Email all the Tourist Info joints in the major places & ask for an info pack....
there is no end of things to see........oldbaz.
AnswerID: 414134

Reply By: Member - John and Val - Saturday, Apr 24, 2010 at 14:21

Saturday, Apr 24, 2010 at 14:21
Hi Roadtripdreaming,

What you are proposing is a fairly straightforward mostly black-top trip that will be very do-able and enjoyable. Not much 4wding at all. It has the added benefit that if you spend more time in the more remote areas you can speed up your return leg (especially as the NSW bit is closer to home so you can return there more easily). That said you could spend a year doing that route and still not see it all.

Remember that it will be warm - hot in the north, though nights at Alice can be quite cool.

Additional places that you could add - around Milbura- BH there is Lake Mungo (very special place) and the Menindee Lakes that now have plenty of water in them.

Have a look at the southern section of the Flinders Ranges. Just north of Cooper Pedy have a look at the Breakaways.

Yulara and KK are the big tourist places around Alice. The Olgas are stunning. Try the Mereenie Loop road, western and eastern Macdonnells with the many gorges that are all a bit different. Suggest you plan at least a week in that area. The Desert parks is a must while in Alice.

Maybe dont stay in Tennant Creek but do have a look around, including the old telegraph station. You could stay at the roadhouse at the 3 ways or there are bush camps on the Barkly highway about 90km east of 3 ways.

There is a wonderful campsite as you go into Camooweal on RHS beside the river. While in that part of the world a detour up to Lawn Hill is highly recommended. Good camps at Adels Grove. Check out the Riversleigh Fossil display in Mt Isa. The rest is pretty straightforward with plenty to see depending on your tastes.

If you dont already have a copy, suggest that you get hold of a copy of Camps Australia to give you more flexibility about where to stay in remote areas.

Leave plenty of time for the kids to run around (and hopefully don't depend too much on DVDs to fill in the travelling time). There are long stretches of road but there is plenty to see in a very different part of the world to here in Canberra!

Have a great trip,

J and V
"Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted."
- Albert Einstein

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AnswerID: 414135

Reply By: Motherhen - Saturday, Apr 24, 2010 at 19:59

Saturday, Apr 24, 2010 at 19:59
Wow - that's a lot to fit into 8 weeks. Be prepared to prune the latter part of the itinerary rather than rush too much. Far better to see less area thoroughly and enjoy it than be rushed and stressed and use heaps of fuel. Lots of long days on the road may be a problem with your children.

I can't imagine why there is a problem staying in Tennant Creek. We stayed at the "Outback CP" because it was not on the highway and we do not like traffic noise. It is on the road to the visitor centre and display. We found it a good CP with most sites being huge drive through sites.


Red desert dreaming

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Follow Up By: Roadtripdteaming - Sunday, Apr 25, 2010 at 17:17

Sunday, Apr 25, 2010 at 17:17
Thanks for the feedback everyone. There's some really good tips there. We will definitely be concentrating our time around Central Australia/Central Western Qld as NSW and QLD coast are regular holiday destinations. I'm thinking at least 7-10 days in Uluru, Kings Canyon, Alice and similar around Mt Isa + Longreach. Advice on how long trip to Canarvon Gorge from Emerald takes, and how long should we plan to stay there?

The kids are pretty good travellers and we don't use DVD players! We like to stop in towns for a cuppa and to check out the local playgrounds - a good way to meet locals and other travellers!

Thanks again.
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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Sunday, Apr 25, 2010 at 17:31

Sunday, Apr 25, 2010 at 17:31
Did i say we spent five week in and around Alice Springs the first visit?

Lawn Hill was a highlight, as was the visitor centre at Mt Isa, with the on site paleontologist. I think we had two nights at Adel's Grove for Lawn Hill and three nights at Mt Isa, which did include getting work on the caravan brakes one afternoon.

We stopped overnight not far south of Emerald, and drove to Carnarvon Gorge the next day. We had time to do the strenuous 1,000 steps up to the lookout at the top of the gorge that afternoon and spend the next day doing one very long and exhausting walk. Lots of people stayed a week and just went a bit further each day, looking at different side features. The site we were in was booked after two nights, otherwise we would have stayed for three nights to see more. The CP was the most expensive by far of our trip last year, and check out time was early, with nowhere to leave the caravan to do any more walks next morning.


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