Brisbane to Uluru

Submitted: Wednesday, Mar 14, 2012 at 11:01
ThreadID: 92501 Views:3094 Replies:22 FollowUps:6
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hi all

My boyfriend and I are planning to drive to Uluru from Brisbane over Easter.

We plan to take the route through Broken Hill, Port Augusta and up to Uluru on the way there and the route through Mt Isa on the way back.

We only have 6 days, so we planned to leave Brisbane Wednesday night and drive straight through to Port Augusta, hoping to get there Thursday night, stay overnight in Port Augusta, then drive through the day Friday to hit Uluru by Friday night.

We plan to have Friday night and Saturday day in Uluru and then start the trip home either Saturday night or very early Sunday morning, to make it back to Brisbane by Tuesday.

We have a choice between driving my Barina (which has low km's and in better condition) or his Magna, which is older, worse condition and more km's but will be more comfortable, and potentially safer driving on outback highways.

Has anywone done this trip? How long did it take? Any tips?

It is more of a challenge/adventure with the purpose being to get there, see the rock, and come home - we don't have any plans of trying to take in too much along the way.

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Reply By: MrBitchi (QLD) - Wednesday, Mar 14, 2012 at 11:21

Wednesday, Mar 14, 2012 at 11:21
IMO that is sheer stupidity. I would allow 4/5 days to get from Brisbane to Ayers rock, and the same coming back. Any less is just asking for trouble, particularly over the Easter period.

Pick another destination and enjoy your break.

AnswerID: 480340

Reply By: Member - Trev A (SA) - Wednesday, Mar 14, 2012 at 11:48

Wednesday, Mar 14, 2012 at 11:48
My first question would have to be Why?
I wouldnt even attempt this in either car in your time frame. Barina versus roo, steer or camel wouldnt end well. You will be travelling through reasonably remote areas at night. Why would you risk your car and life.
If a professional truck driver even contemplated this he would be crucufied.
Is it worth the risks just to glimpse the rock? No guarantee the weather would be any good once you got there.
Nearly 7000 kms in 6 days would not be enjoyable.
Save the rock for when you have more time and can enjoy its beauty.
Please choose something closer to home and as stated above, enjoy your break.

(Trev A's missus)
AnswerID: 480341

Reply By: Ross M - Wednesday, Mar 14, 2012 at 12:05

Wednesday, Mar 14, 2012 at 12:05
I used to drive interstate coaches and did long runs. I am used to driving long distances, it is highly likely you are not.
For example: the run from Augusta to the rock is one whole day of really solid driving.Its about 1300 km and only a small portion of the trip.
What you are proposing is a trip of 6000km or more with two days stop over at the rock. This means in the remaining 4 days you have to average 1500km a day.

This is approx 18 to 19 hrs of driving on each of the 4 days. IF and it is a BIG IF, you don't go to sleep at the wheel you will be that stuffed you won't see the rock and NO you won't see anything along the way.

Can you rocket boost the Magna to get there quicker and outrun the police?
I would recommend and average sped of around 250km/h if you can manage it.
This might give you some time to sight see when you are able to stay awake.

If you decide to go and IF you survive, then have a good trip because when you get back don't bother going to work becuase you will be RS for a week after it.

PS. I hope the car is in absolutely top mechanical condition and fully serviced before you set out.
AnswerID: 480344

Reply By: Member - Oldbaz. NSW. - Wednesday, Mar 14, 2012 at 12:05

Wednesday, Mar 14, 2012 at 12:05
A bit of common sense please...I'll back the marsupials to beat the Barina..:))))
AnswerID: 480345

Reply By: Pezza QLD - Wednesday, Mar 14, 2012 at 12:11

Wednesday, Mar 14, 2012 at 12:11
I am an ex interstate truck driver, what you are planning would be possible by a couple of people sharing the driving that are both used to driving overnight and long distances.

I don't get the feeling that you two fall into this category, in which case you are going to be a very big danger to not only yourselves but to anybody else sharing the road around you, I have no sympathy or problems if the two of you wrap yourselves around a tree after one of you falls asleep but to willingly endanger the lives of an innocent family travelling in the opposite direction is abhorrent !

Do all other road users using that road at that time of year a favour and catch a plane, or attempt your "challenge/adventures" somewhere where you won't endanger the lives of others.

AnswerID: 480346

Follow Up By: Member - Jo Q (NSW) - Wednesday, Mar 14, 2012 at 14:48

Wednesday, Mar 14, 2012 at 14:48
Extremely well said Pezza!

Agree 100%!

FollowupID: 755824

Reply By: Member - Tony H (touring oz) - Wednesday, Mar 14, 2012 at 12:14

Wednesday, Mar 14, 2012 at 12:14
Hi Brooke,
It is great that you want to see this beautiful country BUT what you are contemplating in the stated time frame (as already mentioned) is way over the top. If you want to go bush.... head out towards Longreach or somewhere similar & have time to smell the flowers, see & absorb the sights along the way.
Insanity doesnt run in my family.... it gallops!

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AnswerID: 480347

Reply By: Member - Travelinglew - Wednesday, Mar 14, 2012 at 12:30

Wednesday, Mar 14, 2012 at 12:30

Absolutely a stupid idea. Don't care if you kill yourselves but you are putting other people on the road at great risk. I know why I dont drive at Easter.

AnswerID: 480348

Reply By: nickoff - Wednesday, Mar 14, 2012 at 12:35

Wednesday, Mar 14, 2012 at 12:35
I agree with all of the comments above.

Do not ignore their warnings. I have many times in the past driven Darwin to Alice Springs in one hit ( 1400Km +) and found it to be very challenging. An 18 hour day driving requires at least one day of rest afterwards. What you are planning in too much, both for yourselves and your vehicle.

Don’t take lightly to warning about Roo’s, Wandering Stock and Camels. These animals can, and will cause major damage to your vehicle, and risk your life as well.

Another point, does either of your vehicles have “Long Range Tanks” fitted? Many of the fuel stops you will be required to do, will not be open in the middle of the night in Central Australia and Outback Queensland, forcing you to wait on the stations forecourt for their 6am opening, possibly even later, as you are traveling during a public holiday period. This will add significantly to you travel time.

I would suggest you fly into the Rock and hire a car. Cost a bit more, but you will enjoy it better. Taking into account petrol, accommodation and food for the trip, you might even break out even, and with less wear and tear on you, your relationship, and your vehicle.

Cheers. Nickoff.
AnswerID: 480349

Reply By: Member - John D, Wandong (Vic) - Wednesday, Mar 14, 2012 at 12:37

Wednesday, Mar 14, 2012 at 12:37
Hi Brooke,

As already stated above, I think this is a bad idea!

Firstly you say you are planning on travelling from Brisbane to Pt Augusta via Broken Hill, that is a distance of approx 1950 kms, that equates to 19.5 hrs driving at 100 kph (not taking into account food/fuel/rest stops).

Pt Augusta to Uluru is approx 1290 kms, just on 13 hrs at 100 kph non stop.

Then you are going to travel back to Brisbane via Mt Isa = 3454 kms.

All this in six days...means a lot of night driving which is not the recommended or the safest thing to do in the outback!

I would urge you to reconsider your Easter trip and choose something closer to home.

Regards, John
AnswerID: 480350

Reply By: Bazooka - Wednesday, Mar 14, 2012 at 12:43

Wednesday, Mar 14, 2012 at 12:43
I doubt this is a serious question but in case it is:
Google Maps ("Get Directions") will give you a reality check I suspect.

Brisbane to Pt Augusta is 2000km or 24hrs solid drive without any significant breaks. With 3 experienced drivers and no weather problems that might be possible, in your case it's crazy stuff.

Pt Augusta to Uluru is 1290km or ~14 hrs drive.
Uluru to Mt Isa is 1630km or ~17 hrs.
Mt Isa to Brisbane is 1823 or ~23 hrs.

Traffic, weather!!!, fatigue, boredom, cattle, night driving make your plan extremely unsafe. With 2 overnight stops there and back it's do-able but still a risky proposition.

If you're still not convinced look at costs.
Car: petrol alone ~$1000, pre-trip service $400+
Air: $690 return single to Uluru (dep Bris Sat, fly back Sunday) $170 motel

Save up, fly and still have a couple of days of Easter to relax.
AnswerID: 480352

Reply By: Member Andys Adventures - Wednesday, Mar 14, 2012 at 12:54

Wednesday, Mar 14, 2012 at 12:54
Brichie, Please let us know if you are going to attempt this, so I make shore that I'm off the road. Have you taken into account to stop every 2 hours and rest, even the car will need a break at some point. Driving at night is a NO NO in the outback, roo's, cattle, wombats, camels, deer, and the list goes on. No matter how good your driving lights are you won't see them in time. Oh do you have driving lights?? Catch a plane stupid.
AnswerID: 480355

Follow Up By: Life Member - esarby (NSW) - Wednesday, Mar 14, 2012 at 14:09

Wednesday, Mar 14, 2012 at 14:09
Brichie. Did you plan the trip on Google Maps.

3,236 km, 1 day 13 hours

Take my and all the others advice that have posted. Stay at home as there will be a lot of others out for a Easter break and they plan to get back home safe and sound after their trip.
Do not do it for our sakes.

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Reply By: Jimmy KJ Jeep - Wednesday, Mar 14, 2012 at 13:39

Wednesday, Mar 14, 2012 at 13:39
Hi Brooke, definately agree that this is pushing the limits too far. In the end it wont be enjoyable and issues along the way may mean you guys regret going in the first place.

In regards to all the 'stupid' calls, theyre probably a bit harsh, at least you have put an idea out there for advice before you do it.

Look at flying or check out a location closer to home, will be safer, more relaxing etc. Have a good long weekend!

Cheers, Jimmy.
AnswerID: 480358

Reply By: Member - John and Lynne - Wednesday, Mar 14, 2012 at 14:27

Wednesday, Mar 14, 2012 at 14:27
We strongly agree with all previous comments! Even on paper this is a very bad idea - in reality it will be a nightmare for you and perhaps others. It seems a huge waste of money to buy that amount of petrol and wear your car and yourselves out for so little benefit. Even if you manage to get to Uluru before the end of Easter remember you may not get back in time to go to work after Easter. On that route, especially driving for long hours and at night, accidents and mechanical problems are very likely and even small problems can hold you up for a long time. Also you may have noticed the weather patterns that are emerging this year already. In that country even a moderate amount of rain will mean road closures and you could be held up for days. If you are serious, there are lots of great places to go - find somewhere closer and safer! Lynne
AnswerID: 480360

Reply By: Stevesub1 - Wednesday, Mar 14, 2012 at 14:58

Wednesday, Mar 14, 2012 at 14:58
When we are planning a trip, we plan to drive 600km to 800km per day with 2 drivers in a Cruiser with 1200km practical fuel range. We are used to driving long distances and still only do these distances, never any more.

Anything more is dangerous to you and everyone else on the road around you as others have suggested.

You should also spend at least a week at the centre as there is so much to see and do.

We flew in and did a 4WD safari for a week, still did not do everything and ended up with a trip that did not cost much more than driving taking into account fuel, vehicle maintenance, accomodation on route, junk meals on route, etc, etc. If time is limited, this is the way to go.

AnswerID: 480362

Reply By: JimDi - Wednesday, Mar 14, 2012 at 15:43

Wednesday, Mar 14, 2012 at 15:43
Hi Brooke,
I am not sure if your post is serious or not.
My wife and I (I suspect we are a lot older than you and your boyfriend) recently drove from Adelaide to Brisbane a distance of some 2000klm roughly.

Our car is a 2011 model and we probably drove between speeds of 80 to 110klm, it varies because of whats in between Adelaide and Brisbane. Towns,cars.trucks,people. Police enforcing road rules and so on.

Stopping at motels at night and taking the usual rest breaks every few hours, it took three days. we left Adelaide mid morning on the tuesday staying overnight at Hay and then Gunnedah. Arriving Brisbane thursday late.
Trust me I did not want to turn around on Saturday and drive back.

The last few sentences in your post sum it all up. It will be a challenge and you wont see anything along the way.
My worry is that you wont get there, let alone get back. The other worry is that you will do serious damage to an unsuspecting fellow traveller.

My advice is to rethink the whole thing.
AnswerID: 480366

Reply By: Geoff (Newcastle, NSW) - Wednesday, Mar 14, 2012 at 16:04

Wednesday, Mar 14, 2012 at 16:04
Have you looked at the cost of flying from Brisbane to Uluru?

We did this trip a cople of weeks ago, left Sydney on Friday morning and where back there on Tuesday night flying QANTAS.

By the time you do a dawn visit to Uluru, sunset at Kara Juta and throw in a day to Kings Canyon we arrived home absolutely knackered.

There's no way I'd attempt this by road even from a jump off point of Brisbane.

Good luck to you whjatever your decision,
Landcruiser HDJ78,
Grey hair is hereditary, you get it from children. Baldness is caused by watching the Wallabies.

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Follow Up By: Geoff (Newcastle, NSW) - Wednesday, Mar 14, 2012 at 18:14

Wednesday, Mar 14, 2012 at 18:14
We also did the "Sounds of Silence" dinner on the Friday night.

Now this is an awesome experience!


Landcruiser HDJ78,
Grey hair is hereditary, you get it from children. Baldness is caused by watching the Wallabies.

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Reply By: Member - John and Val - Wednesday, Mar 14, 2012 at 16:43

Wednesday, Mar 14, 2012 at 16:43
Hi Brooke,

You say you are HOPING to get to Port Augusta 24 hours after leaving Brisbane. I'm hoping that either you aren't really serious about this "plan" or that you will take the advice of wiser heads and either fly or go to one of the many great destinations closer to home. Why would you want to go to Uluru for such a short time anyway.

Many of the people who have offered you advice will have done the trip that you propose to do, or something very close to it and know that what you are planning is really not a good idea. For starters driving at night on outback roads greatly increases your chance of a collision with something big and hairy. You will probably come off second best.

And as others have pointed out, at Easter time many others will be sharing the roads. If you must risk YOUR lives thats up to you, but to risk the lives of others is totally unacceptable. You may be young and adventurous, but there are more responsible ways of having a challenge or adventure than what you are proposing.

Have a relaxing break,


J and V
"Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted."
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AnswerID: 480371

Reply By: Member - Old Girl - Wednesday, Mar 14, 2012 at 17:20

Wednesday, Mar 14, 2012 at 17:20
Just a quick google
3 day tour Uluru, Kings Canyon $595 ea
Flights $1116 for both return

$2306 + accommodation is better I think. Tour guides that tell you what you are looking at.
AnswerID: 480372

Follow Up By: Life Member - esarby (NSW) - Wednesday, Mar 14, 2012 at 19:03

Wednesday, Mar 14, 2012 at 19:03
Are these people real. Not a spark from Brichie on this solid advice given. I do hope that they read the posts and make a realistic decision. Let us know so we can plan our Easter long weekend.

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Follow Up By: Bazooka - Wednesday, Mar 14, 2012 at 19:51

Wednesday, Mar 14, 2012 at 19:51
There are posts from time to time which look like they're simply stirring the pot. This one from Brichie, or was it Brooke, looks like one of them.
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Follow Up By: Hairs & Fysh - Wednesday, Mar 14, 2012 at 20:20

Wednesday, Mar 14, 2012 at 20:20
You could be very well right Bazooka,
But then again some people have no idea about some things either.
If they were dead set serious, I hope that they take notice and don't take offense and they learn something.
We've all asked silly things at times, Unless we ask, we never know.
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Reply By: Hairs & Fysh - Wednesday, Mar 14, 2012 at 20:10

Wednesday, Mar 14, 2012 at 20:10
Hi Brooke,
It's a learning curve and sometimes it can be very steep.
Now, don't shy away, if you what to know something ask, because if you don't ask you'll never know.
I commend your enthusiasm and your wiliness to see this great country of ours.
Take the good advice from those that have traveled and driven the long distances.
In September - October last year we traveled 6600k's and took 30 days to to it. Looking back on it it seems like we rushed it. Some of the distance are vast and beautiful. Plan to take your time and enjoy your journey, rather than just being able to say you've done it. the trip is the most enjoyable part, soak it up.
Happy & Safe travels.

AnswerID: 480381

Reply By: mikehzz - Wednesday, Mar 14, 2012 at 21:44

Wednesday, Mar 14, 2012 at 21:44
People who know me think I am a long distance driving machine. I've done some crazy trips and been to all the places you have listed. Your trip and time frame makes me shudder and that is saying something. Take the advice above. Night driving out in the centre is Russian roulette with all the animals that pop out of nowhere. You will end up knackered, miles from nowhere and at each other's throats with thousands of kms to still travel. I'm saying this with the voice of experience :-) Cheers
AnswerID: 480388

Reply By: Life Member - esarby (NSW) - Thursday, Mar 15, 2012 at 07:43

Thursday, Mar 15, 2012 at 07:43
Hi Brooke.

The road of life twists and turns and no two directions are ever the same.

Yet our lessons come from the journey, not the destination.” ...

Be wise and survive as many have down before you.

I think all has been said.

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Reply By: whisky_mac - Thursday, Mar 15, 2012 at 09:56

Thursday, Mar 15, 2012 at 09:56
Don't do it. Most that travel at night in the remote areas have 4wd with bullbar. You will be best if you only travel during the day. Last year as we went into the Rock we passed two dead camels that had been hit that morning by a small car similar to a Barina. His passenger had cuts and abrasions from glass etc but he woke up in Alice Springs hospital. I travelled home from Perth later on that trip and was doing about 900kms a day. Had a 4wd and a camper on the back and was able to stop when I had had enough and pull of the road. I would not try to do more and it is very unwise to travel at dawn and dusk.
AnswerID: 480409

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