I would like to ask for a bit of help with the trip I am planning after the New Year 2018.
The plan is to rent a car in a group of 4 and depart from Sydney on the 1st of January 2018 for a 14 days trip heading to Uluru and back, driving through Canberra, Melbourne and Great Ocean road and then back to Sydney, potentially, if there is enough time, going on the way back through Brisbane and Gold Coast.
Has anyone done such trip and would be keen to share his/her experience and itinerary?
Our way of travelling is usually to rent a car and then just drive around places, cooking our own, sleeping either in the car, some free camps in the tents or just like that outside next to the car.
We are planning to rent a bigger 4WD car so we can drive it in the outback.
Couple of questions:
Thank you very much for you help and answers!
I would also like to note that it's school holiday through January so the accommodations, roads, etc. will be busy. People are booking already for the holiday season.
Phew! Are you in Oz now? That is quite a trip you have planned! We drove from Adelaide to Brisbane and took 5 days to take it easy along the way. We had a motor home so sleeping was not something we worried about. There were towns with hotels along the way so won’t be hard to find a place, especially if you share the drive. That being said - that is a lot of driving. 7,614km give or take depending on the route. First thing I suggest is download an map app. But get something so you can see which routes you want to take. If you’re keen on Queensland I’d go there first so you’re not backtracking. Then Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Ocean Road, Melbourne, Australian Capital Territory, Sydney. This avoids drawing a big X across the eastern half of the country and cuts out backtracking. I’m sure there will be some nomads that have done similar and can alert you to pitfalls, tips and tricks that will make it more enjoyable. But plan on either non-stop driving or short stays in the places of interest. And make sure your vehicle is unlimited kms! I’d get a larger car that handles well on some of the outback roads (they’re paved in theory only sometimes) and also large enough for belongings. It will be close quarters for a lot of the trip. Also try not to drive at night, especially if you’re not in a 4wd with a good bullbar. It’s not just the kangaroos either. You’ll hit (not literally hopefully) cattle at some points and goats around Broken HillB. Oh yeah and maybe an occasional camel. The goats will just stare you down. They’re not big on moving. Have a great trip, it will be quite the adventure!
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In theory, you can drive from Sydney to Uluru in about 30 hours but a lot depends on weather conditions. That's the most direct way, through Coober Pedy (South Australia). Take the route north from Sydney to visit Gold Coast/Brisbane and then going inland is also possible. Not sure about the road conditions that way, especially through Innamincka.
The trip from Sydney to the Gold Coast, using the coast road is about 10 hours and you pass through a lot of towns, so easy to break your journey.
Once you head inland though, towns are much less frequent so you need to plan stops (especially to get fuel/food etc.). If I were driving, I'd rent a good campervan to give me maximum flexibility/be able to sleep more comfortably.
There are lots of campsites in the Northern Territory. Again, depending on the weather you might also pitch tents but I'd be looking for a bit more of a barrier between me and the insects/wildlife and staying in a van.
In terms of time spent? You can do Uluru itself in a day but I'd also recommend a hike around Kata Tjuta (also known as the Olgas) plus a side trip to Kings Canyon (give yourself a day for both of those). You should know that buying provisions around Uluru can get quite expensive and you also need to purchase access passes to the national park.
Gold Coast/Brisbane - length of time depends on what you want to do. If you're into the beach, then a couple of days on the Gold Coast might be nice. Brisbane is just a big city and I might get howled down here but I don't think there's much in terms of iconic sights there.
Re: Melbourne - if you wanted to head down the Great Ocean Road, you could easily do that in two days. The drive from Melbourne to Port Campbell takes about four hours (without stopping) but allow a day to be able to stop at many of the lovely towns on the way down and take time out at the 12 Apostles. Driving back to Melbourne from there on the inland road takes around 3.5 hours.
If you wanted to break your journey on the way down the Great Ocean Road there are some stunning accommodation and food options but they're not inexpensive. There are also plenty of camp sites.