4WD Trip Planning

Submitted: Tuesday, Apr 16, 2002 at 00:00
ThreadID: 971 Views:2620 Replies:5 FollowUps:2
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My wife and I are planning a 6 month 4WD trip around Australia from July 2003. Being in London doesn't make this task too easy, and I am trying to find a decent reference book on both 4WD technique (I am new to this world) and also to assist us with planning routes and things to see.

Reading the trip notes on this site, one book is pretty much always used - Discover Australia 4WD by Ron and Viv Moon. Is this the same book as the Hema Maps Discover Australia by 4WD edited by Ron and Viv Moon?

I am also looking to take a rod and reel with me, but have only been surf fishing before down at Gippsland so need some barra advice. What is the basic difference between the 4WD and FISHING version of the Discover Australia books? Would getting both of them be over-kill?

Also, I seem to remember that when my brother did a similar trip 17 years ago (in a Toyota Crown no less!) he used the Explore Australia book. Is this still considered one of the leading books in this area? Or are there other books I should be looking for?

Thanks in advance, and I'm sure that this won't be the last time I use your collective knowledge (I haven't decided on a vehicle yet -but that's another turbo diesel Prado vs Jackaroo vs Pajero problem!).

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Reply By: FISH N TRACK OUTBACK - TAG TOURS - Wednesday, Apr 17, 2002 at 00:00

Wednesday, Apr 17, 2002 at 00:00
Hi Rohan,
As for your fishing equipment l would like to suggest a baitcaster, approx $200.00 should get you a rod and reel that you will do all you want and take plenty of lures.
This will allow you to fish most locations except the beach and you already have that rod and reel.
As for books, pick the best one that suits you as you don`t want to double up as it all weighs and room is a premium.
AnswerID: 2878

Reply By: Steve - Wednesday, Apr 17, 2002 at 00:00

Wednesday, Apr 17, 2002 at 00:00
Rohan, May I suggest you organise your trip so that you can do a 1 day basic 4wd course on arrival. There is nothing like "real" experience compared to books. Most capital cities have such course close by, and many are held in quite spectacular areas.
AnswerID: 2879

Follow Up By: Rohan - Wednesday, Apr 17, 2002 at 00:00

Wednesday, Apr 17, 2002 at 00:00
Yep, can't agree more. Am looking forward to learning all about 4WD'ing through experience rather than books. Am trying to get both a beginners and intermediate done before we get to Fraser Island and beyond.
FollowupID: 1120

Reply By: Bob & Katy - Wednesday, Apr 17, 2002 at 00:00

Wednesday, Apr 17, 2002 at 00:00

We are also planning to tour Australia, starting from Brisbane next May June.
we have just purchased the Camps Australia book, which gives all campsites, free bush camps & van parks.We also have the Hema touring book, which gives a reading like a street directory.
If you need any more info send us an email Cheers.
AnswerID: 2891

Reply By: All Terrain 4WD Adventures - Wednesday, Apr 17, 2002 at 00:00

Wednesday, Apr 17, 2002 at 00:00
Hi Rohan,

Well where to start....first of all are you from the UK or are you Australians living in the UK. I ask this for the purpose of ascertaining your knowledge of Australia.

You state that you are travelling around Oz for 6 months, I would ask if your intent is to travel on primary, secondary, gravel or rough tracks and depending on your answer depends on your choice of literature and maps.

Have you choosen a vehicle to use and are you hiring or buying? The answer will lead us to inform you on a whole other range of issues. Do you drive a 4wd in your home country at present? What parts of this great country interest you the most...outback, mountains, coastal etc or all of the above? Do you have an itenary in mind yet as we all might comment on length of time to travel, what to see, how long to stay in each place etc.

Your question raises allot of other questions and I am sure we are all only to glad to answer these.

All Terrain 4WD Adventures
AnswerID: 2904

Follow Up By: Rohan - Wednesday, Apr 17, 2002 at 00:00

Wednesday, Apr 17, 2002 at 00:00

My wife and I are Australian. Just over here for something different.

We want to base the trip around National Parks (island, mountain, rainforest and outback), World Heritage sites and bush camping, and spend as little time in capital cities as possible. Qld, NT and WA are the areas we want to cover well. Vic, NSW and SA we can get back to during annual holidays from Melbourne. So basically it will be a Fraser Island to Perth via Cape York, the Alice and Darwin. We don't have much experience with 4WD'ing apart from helping dig other peoples vehicles out, but we have done alot of camping and hiking.

We want to see some remote areas (Kimberly, Cape York, Kakadu etc) so will be driving on all sorts of roads, and will be buying our own 4WD to do the trip (probably Jackeroo or Prado TD). I haven't driven a 4WD for more than afew days before and that was only on bitumen. I do intend getting us on a driving course before departing to get assitance with technicque and just as importantly, recovery gear.

We've decided that July/August would be a good time to start because we should be able to get across the top before the rains start. We were planning on a counter-clockwise route, departing Melbourne and basically transiting up to Fraser Island. This is going to be the starting point of our trip. We want to try and get up to Iron Range NP as our most northerly point, and then head down and across to Darwin. The tricky part is then getting to both the Kimberly and Alice Springs with-out too much back tracking (probably Darwin - Stuart Hwy - Ayers Rock - Tanami - Kimberly), before heading to Broome and then down the coast before the wet season starts.

Hope that helps,
FollowupID: 1128

Reply By: Michelle - ExplorOz - Friday, Apr 19, 2002 at 00:00

Friday, Apr 19, 2002 at 00:00
Hi Rohan, it seems some of this qn is probably directed at me for a response. Of course, I would like you to spend all your money on all the books that we stock but realistically in terms of trek notes I don't think you gain much by purchasing another book. (You are welcome to print off our trek notes, or if you prefer to save time you can purchase the eBook formats). I would however suggest you stock up on some good quality maps. The Australia Touring Atlas is excellent as it contains good quality Hema maps, but you could also look at purchasing individual paper maps for relevant areas. In many respects the trek notes are designed to give you some planning info and a general overview of the area and what to expect. Then once you're in the region you will find that you pick up lots of local info by talking to people. That sort of info is priceless, but you have to ask for it. Always stike up a conversation with other travellers and with the person behind the counter in the pub, the kiosk, the servo, the store - these people are the real heart of it, and not just for the info but also their characters.Regarding fishing - yes the Discover Fishing is a great book but you could put your $ into a good barra rod and spend some $ on a fishing tour rather than buying a book. Barra are one of the most frustrating fish to catch and they really test your patience and stamina. There is very little luck with this fish and lots of skill and knowing where and when to fish. Each location seems to have its own tricks and what works in one area will not necessarily work in another. ie. Barra can be caught right across the top of Australia from FNQ through to the Kimberley and some areas lures are best and others live bait. You'll spend a fortune on different coloured lures and then in the Kimberley the locals use cast nets - and learning how to use one of these is a whole new skill in itself! Most fishing books will summarise each area and identify locations and the range of species, but nothing beats local info. Half the battle is knowing what the right baits are and what species is running at the time - drop into the local tackle shop in each area for a chat and get the local tide and a moon chart. If you still have money left to spend, buy yourself a gps unit. I hope this was of some help.
AnswerID: 2943

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