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Old 07-05-2005, 01:00 PM   #1
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Has anyone ever done this sort of thing? Im not finding much by googling, but then again, Im not trying very hard. One of my mates who goes to uni in queensland suggested it and I must admit I am rather intrigued by the whole idea and thought I'd lay it at the Tpunks well-traveled feet. Best to drive straight across, or up through northern territory darwin, alice springs (and uluru), cross the desert to perth and then do a circle through adelaide, melbourne and sydney then back up. Or then there's roadtripping out to perth and then taking the train or flying back. Thats kind of a wussie cop out though I think. Any idea how long this would take? Would three to four weeks suffice? I realize, of course, that this is a massive undertaking not to be contemplated lightly. To camp or to try our luck in motels, hostels, etc? This will most probably transpire in the aussie summer, but no worries I am way used to the heat and rather like it. Any input at all is greatly appreciated.
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Old 07-05-2005, 02:16 PM   #2
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Sounds like a helluva trip! I've been trying to figure out a route through Australia for my upcoming trip there, but I keep getting jammed on the fact that I have to be in QLD the weekend of November 18th for a wedding. One thing I've found is that traveling around Australia isn't necessarily cheap, so I might get in for part of the journey with a group that's going to rent or buy a car to do the whole east coast.

That said, ye olde Lonely Planet has listed among its itineraries a cross-continent journey that goes from Cairns to Perth, with a suggested time of 1-2 months, with a minimum travel time of 2.5 weeks.

It also talks about the ups and downs of buying a car there (about A$1500 should get you going). Ideally, if you have 4 people, this is supposed to be the most economical way. Although for convenience's sake, I'd probably go the rail route to go from east to west. You can buy a rail pass that covers the Great Southern Railway (across the bottom of the continent from Sydney to Perth) that also includes usage of the Ghan line (Adelaide to Alice Springs) so you can throw in Uluru/Ayers Rock as well.

I'm also considering hopping on with the Oz Experience bus network pass, although it's unfortunately nicknamed the Big Green Fuck Truck and seems to have a bad rep among actual independent travelers... not that I'm against fucking or traveling by coach, but I can see how it'd be like a big Contiki tour instead of a "real" travel experience. But who knows, maybe I could use it just for convenient, reasonably priced transport.

So far, planning for a month or so in Australia's been - this is a first for me here - a daunting experience. I have friends in all the major cities, so places to stay aren't a problem, but familiarizing myself with such a huge country and figuring out all the transport options has been a bit of a headache - so much so that I haven't yet jumped in on the dirt cheap tickets I found on Air New Zealand, as I'd prefer to come up with a plan of attack before haphazardly picking my entry/departure cities. *sigh*

Ooh, another thing to keep in mind for roadtripping in Australia - gas prices. You're currently looking at around US$4/gallon for gas, and the cars that you get at reasonable prices are NOT the latest gas-sipping hybrids
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Old 07-05-2005, 06:40 PM   #3
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yo!

Well I went right around australia. We actually drove from Cairns to Alice Springs. We drove down to Townsville and then took the highway across that goes thru Mt. Isa and then at the town of Threeways we crossed over to Alice Springs. I did that in the month of Sept. It was so fareaaaaakin hot! And let me tell you. The flies are horrible. You have never never NEVER seen flies until you see the ozzie kind. They are the most annoying bugs in existence. I would highly suggest buying a fly net. As for where to stay? Well we took five nights to get to Alice Springs, but we went slower and at our own leisure. We stayed at caravan parks and slept in the back of our car, we also had a tent, which the third member of our party slept in. Every town (no matter the size) has at least one caravan park!

Our car actually broke down 90km's outside of Alice Springs. And we didn't bother getting it fixed so we dumped it. We took an adventure tour up to Darwin. And then I took a hop on/off bus called Easyrider from Darwin into Perth. I would suggest not missing this remote corner of Australia. Broome is amazing. Cable Beach is too die for and seeing an Indian Ocean sunset after being in the outback for so long is very special.

Yes the Oz expereince does have a certain rep around Australia. Personally I wouldn't take it. Everyone that I encountered that were on it seemed very young. Though it's kinda geared towards the 19 year gap year set. Easyrider, which I did on the west coast was awesome. I had tons of fun. There are some ppl who call it sleazyrider but it generally has an older crowd and the buses are waaaaaaay smaller and it's more personalized. Loads of backpackers hired "wicked" (that's the name of the company)campervans. The rates are pretty good, though I never did it myself.

And then I took the Indian Pacific train from Perth to Adelaide. Holy shit. what an experience. Three days, two nights on a train. I will never do it again. But I got a cool experience to say the least.

If you want to know anything just let me know!
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Old 07-06-2005, 01:15 AM   #4
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Great info, Dio - thanks! I'm going to have to look into this Sleazy Rider. As much as I love my younger traveling brethren, I prefer my time with the gap year kids in smaller doses. Good god, I must be getting old!
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Old 07-06-2005, 03:28 AM   #5
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Visit me!

I'm short on time to give this a detailed response, but I will properly reply soon.

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Old 07-08-2005, 05:20 AM   #6
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I think you should do it! Although in 3 or 4 weeks you may feel like your driving a lot of the time. Hiring a car and sharing the expenses with other travellers would be wise as public transport in the outback can be a while between rides. If you do hire a car it will be good to able to carry camping gear, possibly saving yourself some money.

I travelled around Oz with my parents for 3 months (in a caravan, or what you guys call a trailer). We went up the west coast, across the top end (Darwin and Kakadu) through 3 ways and Mt Isa onto the east coast and up to Cairns. The Great Barrier Reef and rainforests in QLD are spectacular. We then basically cut through VIC, NSW and across the Nullabor rather quickly (parents had done this part before)

Dio is right on the money with Cable Beach - it has a big name for itself and it's deserved. The sunsets are second to none.

Anything else, just shoot.

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Old 04-21-2008, 05:14 AM   #7
 
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Sorry to bring up an ancient thread, was just doing some research though....

I was looking at renting a car(with unlimited miles) and going from Sydney to Perth. A Toyota Yaris is $32(USD) a day, so for three days with a young persons charge will be a bit over $100 total. With the fuel economy it gets,
30-35 miles per gallon. I think I figured it out to be around $150(not sure if this is AUD or USD) for petrol.

Regardless, the flight alone is $150-200. So it seems like I decent deal here to drive, especially if I could find a travel partner. While being fully insured and such with the rental company in case of breakdown or what have you.

Any opinions, or success storys? Granted this is all wishful thinking at the moment, the Australia trip is well off. But this is definitely a possibility.
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Old 04-21-2008, 05:16 AM   #8
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SGRHewitt View Post
Sorry to bring up an ancient thread, was just doing some research though....

I was looking at renting a car(with unlimited miles) and going from Sydney to Perth. A Toyota Yaris is $32(USD) a day, so for three days with a young persons charge will be a bit over $100 total. With the fuel economy it gets,
30-35 miles per gallon. I think I figured it out to be around $150(not sure if this is AUD or USD) for petrol.

Regardless, the flight alone is $150-200. So it seems like I decent deal here to drive, especially if I could find a travel partner. While being fully insured and such with the rental company in case of breakdown or what have you.

Any opinions, or success storys? Granted this is all wishful thinking at the moment, the Australia trip is well off. But this is definitely a possibility.
And my calculations could be completely wrong. I used this utility http://www.roadmapaustralia.com.au/. You click on the map of your trip and it will calculate the miles for you.
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Old 04-21-2008, 07:39 AM   #9
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my brother moved to perth last year and did that trip - it is a long way and there is pretty much nothing in between, unless you stop in Adelaide, and even then... well you can see the sights of Adelaide in about half an hour. the scenery is amazing, but it doesn't exactly change regularly. It would definitely be an experience though. personally I would fly, but I've seen the outback before. what else are you planning to do on your australia trip? If you are going to see Ayers Rock and Alice Springs anyway, I wouldn't bother with the effort of driving to Perth. the flights can be unreasonably expensive but with the time you save, you could do some shorter roadtrips around Western Australia - then when you get over the novelty of driving around the desert after a few hours, you can at least just turn around and head back to perth
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Old 04-21-2008, 09:33 AM   #10
 
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Currently plans are a work/travel program for a year. Going to live in Perth for at least 6 months(maximum amount of time I can hold down a job at one location). Then maybe stay, move up north, or check out NSW.

Doesn't really matter at this point, I am open to anything, and would consider everything haha. I keep coming up with more and more ideas, the hard part will be sticking to something.
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Old 04-21-2008, 10:22 AM   #11
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im druink right now, but why not greyhound it from east coast-or fly letsd be honest, thesres notalot betswween here and WA) our not missingh much by busing it, or training it to perth and starting from there? i dunno. i suck at at travel within ithwe country in in im. lol
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Old 04-21-2008, 04:54 PM   #12
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train is a good point - i think it might be hideously expensive, but the Indian pacific is a three-day train ride from Sydney to Perth and it is awesome. I did it when I was really little.
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Old 04-21-2008, 05:53 PM   #13
 
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A train would be cool to I suppose. I did look at that as a possibility as well. I figure first and foremost my goal should be getting to Perth ASAP and finding a job. Depending on my starting $$$ of course.

I personally am a huge fan of driving, I love being on my own schedule, and being out on the open road. And I must say I am interested in seeing Ayers Rock however this is not a must. I realize driving from Sydney to Perth it would be completely out of the way.

Regardless, just looking at options I suppose. Who knows maybe someone will be planning a road trip to Perth from Sydney right around my arrival time haha. I do want to say I drove on the "wrong" side of the road before I leave .
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