Advice on Timing of big trip - 2nd or 3rd term.

Submitted: Sunday, May 08, 2011 at 16:57
ThreadID: 86140 Views:2332 Replies:8 FollowUps:0
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Hey folks, before I begin let me just say how much help it is reading all these blogs, treks and friendly banter between this community.

My wife and I are picking up the 4 kids out of school next year and heading off from Melbourne for the Western "half loop"of this great land of ours. Probably clockwise through to Perth, Kimberly, Darwin and back down through the centre. We have 15 -16 weeks with long service and annual leave. Would love to do the whole circle but would just be rushing way too much.

I'm just really struggling to work out whether to go 2nd or Third term. I'd love to see some thoughts from you all who have been there and done that.

Advantages of 2nd Term (April - June/July): A weeks worth of public holidays sprinkled through which means an extra week on the road, more importantly less croded (??). Main drawback or risk though would be that there will be more water around and thus perhaps areas not accessible (Would plan onm being up in Kimberly region in Mid May.) Whale sharks best in April which is a highlight on my kids "to do"" list.

Advantages of 3rd Term (July - Sep/Oct): More accessible especially up in the GRR region of kimberly, weather perhaps more friendly and less risk of a late wet season. But CROWDS are my big fear. I do not want to have to feel pressured moving from place to place in search of the elusive serenity and space.

I may be worrying over nothing. Any thoughts ??

Kids: 13, 11, 9 and 4.
Rig: 17ft bunk version of the expanda.
Wife: Gorgeous mother of the year.
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Reply By: Ozhumvee - Sunday, May 08, 2011 at 17:58

Sunday, May 08, 2011 at 17:58
We did what you are doing several times when the kids were small, always took April on and went the opposite direction heading north first and then back down
AnswerID: 453636

Reply By: SIF4X4 - Sunday, May 08, 2011 at 18:05

Sunday, May 08, 2011 at 18:05

The best time to start travelling is in April especially if you are doing a clockwise loop from Perth. The northern wet season normally comes to an end in late April and so by the time you get there the creeks and rivers would have dropped a bit and the campgrounds would have dried off.

Make no mistake.....these days the Grey Nomads are travelling 12 months of the year in their 1000's and if you want to miss them then you need to visit out of the way places instead of up the main drag. We were up in the northwest a couple of years ago and counted over a thousand caravans and RV's in the space of 600km between Broome and Halls Creek

Enjoy your adventure

AnswerID: 453637

Reply By: Livin On The Road - Sunday, May 08, 2011 at 18:19

Sunday, May 08, 2011 at 18:19
Enjoy it. There is no right or wrong time. There is only the time that is possible. So, work out which suits you best, there are advantages and disadvantages to any timing.

We could have delayed out trip by four years to let the baby reach five. But ultimately, it is when you can do it is the best time. Everything we stressed about before leaving has turned out to be a non-issue. The kids are happier, we are happier, our family is closer.

This lifestyle might not suit everyone, but the nomadic lifestyle suits us and our kids so well.

We cover a lot of family on the road issues and experiences on Our Blog
AnswerID: 453641

Reply By: Member - Duncan W (WA) - Sunday, May 08, 2011 at 19:03

Sunday, May 08, 2011 at 19:03
Done what you want to do twice but from Perth. Once anti clockwise and other time clockwise. Both done between late April and July. Weather in the north was excellent, bloodyyyyyyyy freezinggggggggg in the centre. Thank heavens for park homes with nice warm heaters in Alice Springs.


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Reply By: Motherhen - Sunday, May 08, 2011 at 19:14

Sunday, May 08, 2011 at 19:14
Go second term Chris. September October is too late to see the Kimberley at its best and getting too hot.


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Reply By: ian - Sunday, May 08, 2011 at 22:34

Sunday, May 08, 2011 at 22:34
I think that you have to set your plans around Kimberly. May is too early, and some years June and early July are too early also. October gets hot and dry
5/6 people on a whale shark watching boat will not be cheap.
AnswerID: 453683

Reply By: Frances - Monday, May 09, 2011 at 18:42

Monday, May 09, 2011 at 18:42
We took our 5 kids and left at the start of June and got home mid September. We are Victorian, took an Expanda, went up the centre to Darwin and then down the west coast and back across the Nullabor. Weather was great everywhere although we were in Perth and below in late winter. Bonus was seeing the whales and their calves at the head of the Bight in early September.
AnswerID: 453747

Reply By: Member - Chris M (VIC) - Monday, May 09, 2011 at 18:50

Monday, May 09, 2011 at 18:50
Thanks everyone - We've spent so much time thinking of the Kimberly that we might aim to get up there late May and just ride our luck. Half the fun of this thing is to have as few plans as possible.

If we find certain things innaccessible then we can plan around them. No point being greedy, and also need to leave a lot to see on next trip.

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