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Family trip

Taunton, United...
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Family trip

Me, my wife and 4 year old daughter are looking to spend 3 months travelling through Australia. Looking at a mixture of internal flights and driving to mix it up a little.

At the moment the plan is to fly from Perth to Darwin. Then we are looking to drive to Uluru and back before flying to Cairns. From here am thinking of driving to Brisbane, flying to Sydney and then driving to Melbourne before flying out.

Any thoughts welcomed. Is it worth hiring a camper for the driving parts or would we be better driving in a car and staying in cheaper hotels?

Thanks in advance

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12 replies to this topic
melbourne
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1. Re: Family trip

At what time of year?

Sydney, Australia
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2. Re: Family trip

When are planning on doing the trip as there are definite low seasons in the north (wet weather, hot, humid) ?

With Australia being so big you would rarely drive back over the same route unless a real loop - eg you say Darwin - Uluru - Darwin (the Uluru - Darwin leg is a 2,000km drive). Look at google maps.

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3. Re: Family trip

That’s a nice chunk of time to see a bit of Australia. As others have said, the timing of your trip is important in working out the best direction for your Itinerary.

Even with 3 months, there would need to be a compelling reason for back-tracking on your road trips.

https:/…mind-boggling-australian-maps

Generally, we would recommend a car & cheaper motels, onsite cabins in caravan parks & Airbnb’s- but a campervan may make sense for parts of your trip. Let’s see when you’re coming & where you will be driving ... and see what you think then. One thing to keep in mind is that the one-Way drop off fee might be prohibitive - and doing a loop might not be the best use of your time.

Edited: 08 June 2018, 06:12
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4. Re: Family trip

Agree the timing is critical.

I would drive Perth to Darwin to Uluru one way and then fly Uluru to Cairns if the season is right. Yes its a long way, but amazing. 4wd camper. You dont need to stay in cabins either as there are some amazing camping options- all totally safe and will be heaps cheaper over an extended stay.

The rest can be internal shorter flights which are cheaper.

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Brisbane, Australia
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5. Re: Family trip

Time of year is the important thing here. A camper can work, depending on when you are doing this, and which particular legs, but sometimes it is not practical.

Definitely do not double back to Darwin - there are direct flights from Uluru to Cairns.

Which legs to fly and which to drive will be dictated by the time of year.

Cheers.

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Gungahlin, Australia
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6. Re: Family trip

As everyone has said, time of year is an important factor.

.

>>Is it worth hiring a camper for the driving parts or would we be better driving in a car and staying in cheaper hotels?<<

Or onsite cabins at caravan parks is another option, and it means you don't have to go to bed at the same time as the 4yo. If you really want the campervan experience, which seems popular with overseas tourists, choose a route where it works well and pay for a reliable vehicle from a reputable company.

.

I agree with Bokhara's >>Even with 3 months, there would need to be a compelling reason for back-tracking on your road trips.<<

.

You listed a few cities you are interested in, but not the capital? It's not a high priority for the typical 2 week visit but it seems like an omission for 3 months?

.

Edit: NZ in November? Is that an either/or, or an add-on, guessing the latter? In which case would Australia be before or after?

Edited: 08 June 2018, 08:56
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Taunton, United...
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7. Re: Family trip

Hi all,

Thanks for comments so far. Flying in to Australia early September and out again end of November.

Canberra is on the hit list, thinking of incoperating it in drive from Sydney to Melbourne via Blue mountains.

Only reason for doubling back from Uluru was to save on expensive flights to be honest but I take on board what you say.

If we were to go campervan are there any particular companies people recommend? Or would it be more straightforward to get a car and stay in cabins on campsites? As we are possibly going to be driving a few separate bits was thinking I could mix it up. In particular the car option when driving to Uluru because of the heat.

Well spotted Mac, yes going to head to NZ after Australia visit for a couple of weeks.

Thanks again to all who have contributed so far

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8. Re: Family trip

It would be more straightforward to rent a car than a camper van.

We’re a big country, but with a relatively small population ( thankfully). Amongst other things, that means the number & variety of companies renting camper vans is quite small. Locals who like camper vans/ motor homes/ caravans tend to have their own.

That means the rental market is mostly aimed at tourists, who are usually not repeat customers. The tourist market seems to roughly divided into the backpacker van market and two or three more upmarket ( in price, not always in quality ) companies. Make sure you thoroughly research the publicly posted reviews as well as those on your proposed rental company’s website.

That said, there are certainly good companies. Just do your due diligence and leave PLENTY of time for pre-delivery checks. And be prepared to walk away if you are presented with an unacceptable vehicle. Do not pay for it until you are happy with it.

Another factor in the car v’s campervan decision is the cost of fuel. They are a lot heavier users than cars.

I’m not trying to dissuade you - just make sure you realise campervanning here is nothing like doing it in much smaller, much more highly populated countries.

Edited: 08 June 2018, 13:54
Brisbane, Australia
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9. Re: Family trip

OK, a camper could work if you were working your way down the Queensland Coast. So long as you avoid the Queensland and NSW School holidays 21 Sept - 8 Oct for Qld, 29 Sept-15 Oct for NSW, then you will be fine to get your accom on the go. It would also work if you decided to drive from Brisbane to Sydney over five nights, but do ditch it as soon as you get to Sydney. But, as Bokhara says, a car and cabins work just as well and both options have pros - camper has many more possible cons.

Which legs you drive v which you fly will ultimately come down to what interests you the most. Even with three months, you will have to plan the journey out and have flight legs/car/campers booked for particular periods of time, but at least you can say "we are giving ourselves two weeks to get from Cairns to Brisbane - we'll play it by ear along the way." Don't allow less than two weeks for this - it is a huge drive with a lot to see along the way.

Cheers.

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Taunton, United...
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10. Re: Family trip

Ok great. Thanks for this. Considering what people are saying above I think I am leaning towards a car hire and staying in cabin style accommodation at campsites. Pros for this seem to be cheaper fuel costs, better sleeping conditions and easier travelling around.

Just one final thing, what would I expect to pay for cabin style accommodation on a camp site?

Thanks

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