Sydney to Perth Trip

Submitted: Tuesday, Jan 18, 2011 at 08:21
ThreadID: 83717 Views:7380 Replies:11 FollowUps:4
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Hey Guys!

I am planning on driving from Sydney to Perth in a couple of weeks, i have never done this trip before but i am embarking on it, i have been reading information on the trip, and it seems to be quite confusing, looking for some feedback from people that have done it.

I am planning on doing the trip over 4 days

1) what is the best way to get there? via wagga wagga or through west of nsw?
2) is it best to book the accomodation before i get to each location, or just decide at each town to go there?
3) are there enough service stations, from what i read i should just fill up at every service station?
4) i have been reading that in sa and wa borders, they will check the car for fruits etc, is there things i am not permitted to have? ( fruits/food)
5) also i have read that i should not drive in the evening because of kangeroos etc, so i am guessing 0700-1800 should be ok? would be keen for advice

At this stage this is my questions and would be keen to get answers and any more advice on the trip!

Thanks for everyones help!
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Reply By: bjgard - Tuesday, Jan 18, 2011 at 10:55

Tuesday, Jan 18, 2011 at 10:55
1. There are choices until you hit Port Augusta then there are none.

2. some of the "towns" there are no choices. some of the "towns" across the nullabor are just fuel stations

3. There are plenty of Fuel along the way unless you are driving a vehicle that requires high octanne fuel then you may have to down grade to normal unleaded. Yalata in SA is closed and almost abandonded. So that is the only "dot" on the map that has no services at all.Check the distance to the next fuel stop to make sure you have enough to get there before driving past

4. No fruit, vegetables or honey are to be taken into WA. Road block at Border Village. No fruit, Veg can come from WA to SA road block a few K west of Ceduna. All fruit and veg will be taken from you both directions. If you try to hide fruit or veg and it is found then be prepared to pay a heavty fine.

5. Do not drive at night especially between Ceduna and Norseman. Kangaroos can be a problem. Emus can be a problen during the day.

It is a great trip but at the speed you are going to travel at you will see bugger all.

Barry G
AnswerID: 442180

Reply By: Dave B ( BHQ NSW) - Tuesday, Jan 18, 2011 at 11:26

Tuesday, Jan 18, 2011 at 11:26
Don't carry anything in fruit boxes either Robert.
Apple and banana boxes etc. will also be confiscated at the check point goint to WA.

'Wouldn't be dead for quids'

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AnswerID: 442186

Reply By: eighty matey - Tuesday, Jan 18, 2011 at 11:28

Tuesday, Jan 18, 2011 at 11:28
Hi Robert,

it's a great experience, driving to Perth from Sydney, if you're not in a hurry. The distance is about 4000kms, so aiming to do that in four days is a fair commitment. That would be averaging 1000kms a day for four days, 100 km per hour for 10 hours each day but many people have done it.

1) Go through Dubbo and Broken Hill. Then head to Peterborough and Port Augusta (Road B56). After that, follow the signs to Perth.

2) I wouldn't book accomodation. I'm not sure if you want hotel or caravan, bed for one or six, but generally speaking you can always get a bed, especially this time of year.

3) Before you leave you should know how far you can go with a full tank. Use that as a guide and fill up before you estimate need too. I try to fill up in bigger towns and cities because the fuel quality is usually better because it is used more often. Fill in Sydney, then Dubbo, Broken Hill for example but this depends on what size tank you have and what your fuel economy is like.

4)You will go through a Fruit Fly Exclusion Zone near the South Australia/NSW border. Check for more info. I was pulled up at a Fruit Fly Inspection set up near Narrandera one Sunday morning and got a $200 fine for a tomato that found it way to the bottom of my car fridge. If you get inspected by a lady named Bev near Narrandera, duck!!

5) Driving at dusk and dawn is not recommended but sometimes you have to. I drive a Landcruiser with bull bar and driving lights and I have done many thousands of kilometres at night with no real trouble but I truly believe there has been a lot of luck involved. I have fitted a pair of small whistles to the front of my vehicle and they are specifically designed to alert animals of something coming, hopefully encouraging them to get going. They can be bought at most spare parts shops. If I was driving a sedan with, or without, frontal protection I don't think I would drive at sunset or dawn.

6) Buy a good map or an even better option is a spiral bound road atlas. I use the UBD Complete Motoring Atlas of Australia for main highway travelling.

7) A car fridge is a great way to have cold drinks, fruit and food. If you can't do that pack an esky. It will save you money but it's also great to have cool food and drink when you want it.

8) Pack a few spares for the car like windscreen washer fliud, radiator hose/s (or repair tape from spare parts shop), fan belts, coolant. Have your vehicle serviced before you go and ask the mechanic to change the belts and hoses if needed. Depending on your vehicle you might need a service before you get back to Sydney. Check how far your vehicle can travel between services. Get your tyres checked at a tyre shop and make sure the spare is good and inflated. Each morning check you water and oil levels,and have a look over the vehicle to make sure it's all good.

9) It's a big drive and this time of year it can be really hot. If you're not used to it this can be an issue. Take hats, water sunscreen. Travelling west for days the driver will get a sunburnt right arm and travelling home the passenger will get a sunburnt left arm, so use plenty of sunscreen because everyone will be exposed to the sun.

10) Don't rely on your phone to work. Telstra Next G is your best change of getting some coverage but other than that you may get some coverage only in major cities. A hand held UHF CB radio, and spare batteries, is a good back up so you can possibly communicate with someone if the need arises.

11) A small first aid kit with band aids, antiseptic cream, betadine, asprin is handy, tweezers.

That should get you started. Good luck and have fun.

AnswerID: 442187

Reply By: Neil & Pauline - Tuesday, Jan 18, 2011 at 12:15

Tuesday, Jan 18, 2011 at 12:15
One of the most logical things that some people forget is water.
You need to count on no water being available from Ceduna to Norsman, other than expensive bottled water (unless they have run out).
4 to 5 litres per day per person I would suggest as minimum. It will be hot.

AnswerID: 442194

Follow Up By: - mazcan - Tuesday, Jan 18, 2011 at 13:30

Tuesday, Jan 18, 2011 at 13:30
hi n&p
well done with your imfo most important item on the list for both human and vehicles survival in particular in remote sections of the trip/areas
4/5ltrs comes in handy if the vehicles overheats and will only suffice for one refill of the radiator so carry this in addition to drinking water
FollowupID: 714271

Reply By: Nazdaq - Tuesday, Jan 18, 2011 at 12:37

Tuesday, Jan 18, 2011 at 12:37
Thanks for the information from everyone :) any more advice would be great, i am not sure about the 1000km per day , maybe wishful thinking :)
AnswerID: 442195

Follow Up By: - mazcan - Tuesday, Jan 18, 2011 at 13:38

Tuesday, Jan 18, 2011 at 13:38
hi nasdaq
well it was you that quoted the trip was to be done over 4 days e g ;1000km's per day hence all the advice
you asked and we submitted lol
have a safe journey
and the best advice i can give is drive to your own ability and have frequent tea/coffee breaks as it has some very boring sections and fatique can set in without warning
FollowupID: 714272

Reply By: Motherhen - Tuesday, Jan 18, 2011 at 12:46

Tuesday, Jan 18, 2011 at 12:46
Hi Robert, it is a great drive across the Nullarbor on the Eyre Highway. I hope you can take your time and enjoy it.

As said for WA, no fruit or vegetable products, although you can thoroughly peel potatoes and onions so no soil remains and have these inspected, but you are at the mercy of the inspector. Vegetables can be par-cooked and frozen/refrigerated, so really salad greens are about all you can't process this way. We have a 'cook-up' the night before the border. No cardboard boxes that have carried food products. No honey of any type. Nothing carrying soil or seeds.


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AnswerID: 442197

Follow Up By: disco driver - Tuesday, Jan 18, 2011 at 20:30

Tuesday, Jan 18, 2011 at 20:30
A gentle hint for you Robert,as a follow up from MH.

Whatever you do, don't upset the inspectors on the WA border,they can make life very difficult for you if you try and be too smart.

In a previous life I was one of them for a while.

It took an East-West Coach 8 hours to get through one trip, the driver told the passengers en route that any fruit in the underfloor area would be safe.
Unfortunately for him, one of the passengers was an inspector coming back from holidays in Adelaide.
The coach was totally searched, all the passengers luggage was unpacked and the fruit confiscated. The passengers were noy happy

The end of the story was the driver lost his job and copped quite a large fine as well .

FollowupID: 714322

Reply By: Motherhen - Tuesday, Jan 18, 2011 at 18:51

Tuesday, Jan 18, 2011 at 18:51
Re taking four days: When we purchased our caravan, we went from the SW of WA to Bundaberg in four days and returned home in six with the caravan as we had deadlines to get there by and to be back home again by. To do this and avoid travelling at night, we stopped as soon as it got dark where ever we were and got up around 4 am so left at very first light. We took turns in driving and catnapping, and i made lunch on my lap without needing to stop. Each night was just a blur of visions we'd seen in the day rushing past, and we worked out which state we'd been in by the day of the week.


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AnswerID: 442242

Reply By: Member - Graham H (QLD) - Tuesday, Jan 18, 2011 at 20:48

Tuesday, Jan 18, 2011 at 20:48
We took 3 days from Norseman to Ceduna and doing all the driving myself That was enough

Is a bit different towing a big van but 1000k a day is not my idea of fun and a

waste of fuel as you wont have time to see anything.

Would be easier and probably cheaper to fly and hire a car in Perth.

AnswerID: 442256

Reply By: Nazdaq - Tuesday, Jan 18, 2011 at 21:09

Tuesday, Jan 18, 2011 at 21:09
thanks guys for everything , and yes maybe i am rushing the trip, i need to think more about the time and ofcourse its easiser to fly there but for me its an experience . by the way, my car only takes high octane fuel, does anyone seem to think there will be a problem with fuel, or that should not be a problem? thanks for feedback and please keep them coming it is very helpful :)
AnswerID: 442264

Follow Up By: mikehzz - Wednesday, Jan 19, 2011 at 00:48

Wednesday, Jan 19, 2011 at 00:48
You can buy little bottles of fuel additive that you can use if the high octane is not available. I usually go via Broken Hill and come home via Wagga. The Wagga way is shorter with a motorway the last 400 odd kms into Sydney. The Broken Hill way is more interesting. Four days is ok for the trip especially if you are younger. The older you get the slower you go because you have more time up your sleeve. Make sure you take a look at the Bight from the lookouts on the Nullabor. Mike
FollowupID: 714367

Reply By: nutwood - Tuesday, Jan 18, 2011 at 21:22

Tuesday, Jan 18, 2011 at 21:22
Depends on your motivation for the trip. We've occasionally done it as a three dayer but that's simply a case of " we are here, we need to be there". Drive till two in the morning, roll out swag, sleep, get up, drive.
If you're doing it for the experience, four days is not enough. Never found accommodation to be a problem, generally glad to see you.
Unless your fuel consumption is abnormal, there's no real problem with fuel. Some big gaps but all well within the capacity of any modern vehicle.
Easiest option is not to carry fruit etc. Eat it well before borders.
Roo's are a tricky one. I once did a three day trip in a sedan with no roo bar and survived but I wouldn't recommend it as a relaxing journey! If you don't have good lights and solid frontal protection I'd be stopping before dusk. Not sure about evening as I've hit roos at 1am in the morning. Fish bite at dawn and dusk but roos seem to keep longer hours!
AnswerID: 442268

Reply By: Nazdaq - Tuesday, Jan 18, 2011 at 21:29

Tuesday, Jan 18, 2011 at 21:29
yeah point taken , i am doing the trip in a coupe, so no roo bar :) will have to only drive in the day, and see how it works, i agree with the fruit, easier just not to take any and be safe than sorry :)
AnswerID: 442270

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