Central Australia road trip!

Discussion in 'Holidays & Travel' started by Aratama_Bashi, Jun 23, 2013.

  1. Aratama_Bashi

    Aratama_Bashi Iron Photographer

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    Hi all... just after a bit of advice/input from those more experienced. Tonight, the other half and I concluded we really wanted to do a road trip (if practical), MEL > Uluru > MEL. I am actually pretty excited because I hadn't ever thought she would be up for it, but I'm totally ready to go - lived on this continent way too long to not be able to say I've seen the beautiful inland.

    So I wanted to do two or three days in Coober Pedy, and then on to Alice / Uluru. Would much prefer to drive (if we fly, I miss out on Coober Pedy). However there is no way known I'd be able to take my car through the red centre, so I need to investigate that part. My old man has a CRV (ground clearance is better than no ground clearance), which I think would be better, even if we are sticking to paved road most of the time. However I am toying with the idea of hiring a 4WD or something like that. I've got practical experience off-roading (not that I am planning a Malcolm Douglas-esque adventure) and it would be nice to have the right car to get off the road if the moment calls for it (usually for a photo op). Anybody got experience hiring 4WD before? I'm hesitant to go Britz because that's the one everyone knows, so there's usually something wrong with em :Pirate: Also, what would be a time of the year to *avoid* doing this trip? Either because of wet season, marauding bull ants, etc etc etc....

    But honestly, any advice would be appreciated :)
     
  2. pugsley100

    pugsley100 Member

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    Well you don't really need a four wheel drive to visit the red centre as most tourist attractions can be reached by paved road.
    Four wheel drives are expensive to hire and the majors don't let you use them on some of the off-road routes anyway. They also charge extra location fees for the Alice area.
    You could consider driving to Alice Springs and hire a 4WD there from a local company branch for a few days and take some of the off road tracks around the Alice area. Hertz and Thrifty are across the road from each other.
    http://www.centralcarrentals.com.au/Pricing.html
    There is also the option of taking a guided tour out of Alice Springs.
    http://www.wayoutback.com/destinations/red-centre/
    September should be a good time to visit although even then it can get hot some years.
    Check the web site for road closures around Central Australia.
    http://www.ntlis.nt.gov.au/roadreport/region.jsp?name=central_australia
    Links aren't personal recommendations just examples of what's available around this major tourist destination
    I've only driven there from Adelaide in a sedan a couple of times. The main drag of the Stuart Highway is a bit boring.
    But once you get to a destination in Central Australia there is usually a hike involved.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2013
  3. [KEi]SoVeReIgN

    [KEi]SoVeReIgN Member

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    I've done it - 7000kms return trip from Sydney in a VW transporter LWB - Had a pop top roof but nothing else so we split between motels/mattress in the back.

    I thought driving would be boring/tiring but my girlfriend and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Fuck flying - That would be boring. You never really need to get off the tarmac unless you want to. (And admittedly, it would be nice to have the option)

    Not much to do in Coober Pedy - Interesting town but interesting for a day, not 3. Make sure you check out Kings canyon, plan a day or two there. Most people we spoke to said not to bother with Alice so we didn't.

    All up probably one of the best experiences of my life. Would highly recommend it :thumbup:
     
  4. blankpaper

    blankpaper Member

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    Coincidentally I saw someone's photos of King's Canyon the other day - looks amazing.
     
  5. Uncle Fester

    Uncle Fester Member

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    +1 King's Canyon, if you can only make one place, make it this one.

    Uluru sunset only works when there are clouds, ie no clouds all you get is a red rock; admittedly it's a very big red rock!

    Kata Tjuta is the sacred place.

    The old telegraph station is interesting, that's where Alices' spring is.

    One more thing, the car hire companies won't insure you after sunset, watch out for kangas!

    I went in August, high 20s during the day. 3 degrees at night.

    Cheers, I'm sure you'll love it, I did. (Can you tell?) :D
     
  6. TrennaHowar

    TrennaHowar Member

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    Do it mate, it is alot easier than you think. Hell all you would really need is a service on ya car, a swag and money in ya wallet. The outback is pretty easy to get around these days, obviously if you stick to the tar.

    U can hire 4wd and I have done that before, not that $$, just go with the smaller mobs and like others have said check that you can actualyl take it offroad.

    We have an amazingly beautiful country that I think everyone should see. West is pretty rad too :)
     
  7. Thudd

    Thudd Member

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    And do the walk around the top of the canyon - don't let the initial scramble up the [steep] slope put you off.
     
  8. timsarg

    timsarg Member

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    that makes absolutely no sense .

    i see heaps of budget and avis rentals . Does that make them shit as well ?
     
  9. Mifferz

    Mifferz Member

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    Damn this sounds epic. Bought a Landcruiser this year to do some mean off-roading but alas haven't done any. Nor the experience.

    You need a car, while I need the balls to do it hehe. How's the planning going OP?
     
  10. Buddha

    Buddha Member

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  11. JamesR

    JamesR Member

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    i did this trip a few months ago ( April ), it was incredible, and i highly recommend it.
    i started off with the Great Ocean Road, across to Adelaide, up to Coober Pedy, Uluru, Devils Marbles then Kings Canyon, back to Coober Pedy, across to Mildura and then back through Melbourne.
    all up i traveled just over 6000kms in about 8 or so days.
    it was a whirlwind trip, and i wish i had more time, but i will be back, and i will do it properly next time.

    don't stay in Coober Pedy too long, there really isn't much there, other than the Breakaways.
    do you like flies? i hope so.
    i drove up in a Subaru Liberty wagon, the only issue i had was fuel, i only run it on Premium 98, and when i could get it, it was expensive as hell!
    reality is any car will get you there and pretty much anywhere you want to go.



    i don't mean to spam, but here's some of my photos i took along the way.
    http://jamesruff.net/2013/05/07/492/
    http://jamesruff.net/2013/05/16/roadtrip-continued/
    http://jamesruff.net/2013/05/21/roadtrip-continued-part-2/
     
  12. lithos

    lithos Member

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    Epic fucking thumbs up, mate.
     
  13. OP
    OP
    Aratama_Bashi

    Aratama_Bashi Iron Photographer

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    thanks for all the input guys, much appreciated :) just making me want to hit the road even more!!
     
  14. daavid85

    daavid85 Member

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  15. cepq3a

    cepq3a Member

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    Check out Gosses Bluff / Mereenie Loop, it is awesome.
     
  16. Grvm

    Grvm (Banned or Deleted)

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    If you get a 4wd rather then taking the Stuart go up through NSW via Cameron's corner, much more interesting then sitting on Tarmac all day.
     

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