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Old 01-06-2018, 08:00 PM   #1
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Aussie help needed

Seeking advice on our upcoming trip (in 2 weeks) to Australia. We land in Sydney and have a land yacht rented from Apollo. Our tentative plan is to spend a couple days provisioning and sightseeing in Sydney, visit the Blue Mountains, Snowy Mountains as we work our way toward Adelaide, up to the Barossa Valley, Ayers Rock, Alice Springs, and over toward Townsville. Maybe up to Cairns, and then back down the coast toward Sydney to catch our return flight 2 months later.

Is this an OK plan?

Will the northbound route be too hot in January, or should we be traveling counter clockwise and be in the interior the end of February/ first part of March?

What are the must-see areas not to be missed?

This will be our first time to visit Australia. With your country being as large as it is, I realize that there will be a good portion that we will not see because I really do not want to spend the entire time looking out the front windscreen of the RV.

Is this too many kilometers for 2 months?

Any and all suggestions are appreciated.

Thank you all in advance

Bill
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Old 01-07-2018, 02:59 AM   #2
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I suggest you start looking at bom.gov.au to see the regional temps. Would be hesitant to go into the hotter areas. eg. Alice springs is in the low forties at present and would not be very comfortable, and possibly extremely dangerous if you had a vehicle problem.
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Old 01-07-2018, 05:26 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by D.Duck44 View Post
I suggest you start looking at bom.gov.au to see the regional temps. Would be hesitant to go into the hotter areas. eg. Alice springs is in the low forties at present and would not be very comfortable, and possibly extremely dangerous if you had a vehicle problem.
Hey stabi, that's 40degrees C, not F, or to put it another way - "bloody hot mate"


I think you are trying for too much - to put it in perspective - starting at Washington, after a couple of days heading down to the Blue Ridge and Virginia, then down to Texas, then north to the Canadian border, then across to New York then down the coast to Washington..


You really have only 7 weeks traveling as you are taking about half the first week in Sydney and you will need a couple of days at the end.


Perhaps a better option would be a loop - Sydney, Broken Hill, Adelaide, Great Ocean Rd to Melbourne, around the coast to the Snowy, across to Canberra then Sydney. Still a big trip but doable and your bums won`t be numb from all the sitting.


Anyway, whatever you decide to do, enjoy your time down under.
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Old 01-07-2018, 06:08 AM   #4
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The distance is manageable over two months, but it is a long way. You might not like looking out of the windscreen for that long, but on the positive side you will have aircon. Once you stop you are sure gonna miss that!

The NSW section, including the Snowy mountains will be pleasant although sunburn is possible. Even the Barossa will likely be hot. Direction of travel wont really matter - it will be hot regardless. For the Queensland coast make sure you follow the news/weather in case there is a cyclone about to hit. If there is, divert inland to avoid it. They can deliver rainfall measured in feet, not inches. You cannot drive through flooded areas. You can be isolated for weeks. The season is November to April, so you cant avoid it by changing direction.

You will miss the crowds in the Centre - no locals are gonna do something like that at that time of year! Make sure you have multiple, large water containers apart from tank in vehicle. Don't be tempted to get off the beaten track, stick to the main roads. If vehicle breaks down, stay with it - DO NOT try and walk anywhere! Consider getting a satphone as you wont have cell coverage for a a fair bit of that trip. The area you are visiting is fabulous in mid-winter. You will be doing it mid-summer, quite different! Think about getting back into the vehicle after its been parked a while, and the steering wheel is too hot to grasp without gloves. But hey, maybe you like it hot!

Talk to people as you travel about what not to miss. Local advice, bearing in mind the time of year, will be the best guide. It would not be my choice of season for the trip, but there will still be stuff you can do safely enough. Its one time when you need to think twice before ignoring advice as it could be fatal. Definitely talk to the local police regarding forays into the remote areas.
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Old 01-07-2018, 06:42 AM   #5
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Gee, where to start?

First of all, what type of van have you rented from Appollo? I know this company well (I will PM you as to their idiosyncrasies).

IMHO I offer the following:

1. that is way to much distance to cover in two months,it can be done but you will be driving for so long you will end up seeing nothing.You are talking about 10,000kl all up.

2. As has been stated the weather in central Oz can be very hot at this time of year, check out the average temps of these area on the web.We are talking mid 40's (115 Fahrenheit)
Bear in mind you don't want to be driving in the late afternoon in the outback, roos, cattle etc are a real danger.I do a fair amount of touring in this area and was chatting with a mate who has just completed the Simpson desert route, took him six weeks crossing 130 sand hills.He told me of some English tourists who hit a Roo four days out of Adelaide while going north. Took two days for the tow truck to get to them. After arriving back in Adelaide they had a bill from the hire company for $14,000.00 damage. They were driving in the late afternoon.

3. Think about doing a one way drop off with the vehicle, say hire from Sydney and drop off in one of Apollo's sites (try Adelaide, Cairns, Darwin or Broome, maybe even Alice Springs) they do other cities but they seem the natural fit from your info. This way if you want to visit Ayers Rock (Uluru) you can just get an internal flight,same with Cairns.Though at this time of year you can't swim in the ocean up there. Croc's, stingers & the Irukandji are a real menace, any of them can kill you,so I would be tempted to give that a miss.

4. Beware hire company insurance add ons, they can run into thousands of dollars. An alternative is to buy a one off hire vehicle excess policy which covers pretty much everything(more than your hire co insurance cover does) & will save you about $1,500 dollars on your rental(send me a PM if you want the details)

We are doing a similar trip to you, leaving mid March, also with an Apollo 4wd van. To save time we are flying to Adelaide, then picking up the rental and heading north, with a detour through the Ayre Peninsular, up through the Flinders ranges, then on to the Birdsville track up to Birdsville itself in the Northern Territory, then back to Adelaide, via Broken Hill.We are allowing five weeks for that.

You have not much time before you pick up your van, but I would seriously urge you to rethink you proposed itinerary. As I said we have experience in traveling in the outback, so we know the time constraints.

If you have any specific questions send me a PM, I am happy to try and help out.

Cheers

Andy
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Old 01-07-2018, 05:52 PM   #6
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Stabi, I can see your planned route is a circle Sydney>Sydney, which makes sense, and it takes you to some good places. The part that worries me is getting from South Australia to Queensland via the inland, but I can see why you are doing it. We once did 10000 miles in 10 days in a car trial/rally in winter, which included the Flinders Ranges, so I think it is doable, but there is a real risk of trouble in the hot inland sections. Distances here are big, and you are touring, not competing in a rally.
You could cut out Alice Springs and make your way from SA via Hay in NSW, back east.You may cover some of the same ground going to/from Qld, but checking the routes may help, you can get to Brisbane via the Pacific Highway and via the New England Highway, use one going N and the other returning S.
It`s not just dusk when animals are on the road, in rural areas I would not drive at night for fear of roos.
What van are you getting from Apollo? We had one of their Toyota Hi-Ace smaller models in the Northern Territory, your "land yacht" version sounds bigger, ours was just ok for 2, and less demanding to drive, being less truck like.
You will have a map as well as a GPS, and you can easily access the distances between locations. I would sit down and do a check of the intended route for real travel times between places,and see whether you want to spend that much time on the road. There is plenty you can see from the van, but stops and overnights are as important, 2 nights in one place is refreshing and worthwhile, make sure the itinerary has some time built into it. And if you are out there doing it, and it gets too tight, don`t be afraid to "cut and run"(as we used say in rallies when time got too short), by shortening/modifying the planned route.
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Old 01-07-2018, 08:28 PM   #7
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Thinking further about what you are planning.
Don't know anything about your age or capabilities but if I was travelling this time of the year , I would stay within 250 miles of the coast, and keep between Brisbane and Adelaide.
Have you thought about Tasmania? Great food, scenery and history and more bearable climate-wise.
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Old 01-07-2018, 09:20 PM   #8
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Thank You all for taking the time and effort to help us. I was pretty sure that the local TF community would set me straight which you all have done.

We have a 7.9 meter Fiat Ducato reserved and while we are not spring chickens, we are both in good health and very active, spending our summers aboard in British Columbia and Alaska.

What we want to see is a cross section of your country, not just the east coast. We will reevaluate our travel plans.

Thank You
Bill
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Old 01-07-2018, 11:09 PM   #9
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If you want to go to places like Uluru or similar which will be hot and difficult to drive to, have you thought of flying out to them and maybe picking up a tour or two. Might be cheaper than driving, would save time and be more comfortable.
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Old 01-07-2018, 11:39 PM   #10
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If a rethink has you staying more south, consider 2 days on Kangaroo Island, accessed by fast cat vehicular ferry across Backstairs Passage, about 3/4 hour. Have breakfast on arrival, not on the ferry, just in case.
Visiting Tasmania requires a longer ferry crossing from Melbourne, but is also attractive. You could research both online, and you need to reserve passage.
The mainland departure point for Kangaroo Isl. is Cape Jervis, which is accessed via the McLaren Vale wine district, where they make Rosemount Little Berry Shiraz....but I like the Barossa too.
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Old 01-08-2018, 01:40 AM   #11
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Bill,

I honestly wouldn’t go to the centre of Australia in the height of summer. It’s actually somewhat dangerous, and if you did did go you would want to be very sure about the mechanical credentials of the vehicle and also have a global sat phone and also a whole pile of emergency drinking water (as others here have very sensibly suggested).

Importantly, given its your holiday, the centre of OZ won’t actually be much fun that time of year. And I am assuming you want a fun time. I wouldn’t go there then, because it would just be hot and hard...

Your suggestions of Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and maybe Brisbane are good. Between the surrounds of those major cities you will see heaps of interesting and different things and will have a lot of fun. But in the height of summer avoid central Australia (too hot) and far North Queensland (it rains basically every day).

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Old 01-10-2018, 06:33 AM   #12
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I’d agree with others regarding missing Alice Springs. I’m currently 300 km west of Alice and there’s not many tourists out here at the moment for good reason. Besides the heat, February gets a the odd downpour which washes out roads leaving people stranded. You’ll se more in 100km of Kangaroo Island than 2000 km of the road to Alice Springs.
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Old 01-10-2018, 10:21 AM   #13
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I went to the rock on new years eve 2010.
It took 2 days (mornings) to walk around it and have a good look due to the weather - a wee bit on the warm side. (see attachment)
My suggestion is to fly there from Sydney, stay overnight at the hotel - that way you see the sunset and sunrise - the colours are good. Have a little walk around, maybe take a helicopter flight around it and the olgas then get the hell back to the east coast as quick as possible !!!
P.S. you can not climb the rock in hot weather - it's not allowed as people die and besides I think now it's not culturally permitted.
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