Best route to travel from Perth to Uluru?

Submitted: Sunday, Mar 04, 2012 at 17:25
ThreadID: 92295 Views:11295 Replies:7 FollowUps:1
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I am looking to travel from Perth to Uluru and Alice Springs then back again. What route do you's recommend? Should I travel the outback? Would I need a 4WD for unsealed roads? How long would it take? Plus and any other advice would be greatly appreciated.
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Reply By: Member - Royce- Sunday, Mar 04, 2012 at 17:34

Sunday, Mar 04, 2012 at 17:34
Not the quickest....but.... cross the Nullarbor through SA, VIC, NSW, QLD, NT, then down the west coast and wave to home.... then across the Nullarbor again and up the middle.

Do it properly :-]]
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Reply By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Sunday, Mar 04, 2012 at 17:40

Sunday, Mar 04, 2012 at 17:40
Hi Fitz

How much time do you have??

Go one way and back the other. The Great Central is a good drive, but all dirt. Just drive to the conditions and take an extra spare tyre.

Lots to see and some very interesting history out that way.

The only time you want to keep clear of the Great Central is if it is wet.


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Reply By: A Fitz - Sunday, Mar 04, 2012 at 17:55

Sunday, Mar 04, 2012 at 17:55
I have about 10 days. Would love to travel into every state but wouldn't have enough time.. :(

And what 4wd hire companies would you's recommend? any ones i've checked are expensive. Dont think I would fancy travelling them unsealed roads on one of them wee camper vans.

Where would I get maps of the Dirt roads of the WA outback?
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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Sunday, Mar 04, 2012 at 18:37

Sunday, Mar 04, 2012 at 18:37
Hi A Fitz

Most hire companies don't permit use of their vehicles on dirt roads. Those that do provide 4wd vehicles, but expect to pay a much higher price. In rural areas dirt roads are usually good, but when taking outback routes such as the Great Central Road, the condition is variable and often long stretches of damaging corrugations. You need to ensure that the hire company approves use on the particular route that you choose.

I use Roads and Tracks of Australia by Quality Publishing Australia as an 'all roads' map book. It is sold through most outlets and may even be in the book shop here; i haven't checked.


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Reply By: Member - Duncan W (WA) - Sunday, Mar 04, 2012 at 18:15

Sunday, Mar 04, 2012 at 18:15
G'day "A Fitz", if you don't intend getting down and dirty and happy with travelling on sealed roads then you don't need a 4wd at all. The first time we did the 1/2 block from Perth across the bottom and up the centre to Darwin and then back to Perth via the western coastal route we just went in our (then) 2wd station wagon. If we got to a destination that had a 4wd tour available we took that. Saw a swag of the Flinders Ranges and Kakadu that way. 2wd cars are suitable for most good gravel roads that service the tourist destinations.

WRT your question about maps showing gravel roads, most good maps show the gravel roads. Just look at the map legend and it will show how they are marked. The HEMA & the West Print maps are good and there are the atlas style map books put out by various companies including HEMA.

If you contact either or both of the South Australian or Northern Territory Tourist Commissions they will send you a swag of maps and really good info. They also have good websites.

Enjoy your trip.

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Reply By: bgreeni - Sunday, Mar 04, 2012 at 18:52

Sunday, Mar 04, 2012 at 18:52
I did the GCR in January. I had a Prado but would be comfortable doing it in a conventional vehicle. Most is good gravel, some corrugations but not to bad. Only need to watch the weather as many of the creek crossings would cause problems after rain.
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Reply By: Member - Joe n Mel n kids (FNQ - Sunday, Mar 04, 2012 at 20:51

Sunday, Mar 04, 2012 at 20:51
mate i would FLY ..... heaps cheaper and have more time up ya sleeve, it is very expensive to hire a 4wd and if you choose 2wd you add extra days to your travel and as you say time is VERY limited, it is a long way to drive both the inland and coastal way and you simply DONT have that time up ya sleeve, you can fly direct from Perth to Ayres Rock and hire a car to see the rock or do whatever you need to do eh...
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Reply By: Motherhen - Sunday, Mar 04, 2012 at 21:18

Sunday, Mar 04, 2012 at 21:18
Did you mean you said Perth to Uluru/Alice and in 10 days or does that need to get you back to Perth? Taking the bitumen via the Nullarbor, it is 3600 Perth to Alice Springs, with a 246 run to Yulara (town accommodation village for Uluru) then same back again added. Adding time for any sightseeing would take a few more days. We spent five weeks sightseeing in and around Alice Springs including Uluru (three days there).

If you can hire a vehicle that will allow it, speed between Laverton and Yulara would be dependent on the road conditions at the time, and using a rough estimation, i calculate 2,400 kilometres Perth to Alice Springs (via Yulara). You need to get Permits to transit Aboriginal lands for both the Western Australia and the Northern Territory parts of the Great Central Road, although this can be done on line when you know your dates. As an example of time, we took three days to travel just from Yulara to Laverton, with only a few hours sightseeing (at the Giles Weather Station). We did stop earlier than usual one afternoon because of a strong headwind and dust storm.

Do not drive after dark on any of these roads due to kangaroos and camels.

What time of year to you plan to travel?



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