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Planning a trip for a family of four

Amsterdam, The...
5 posts
1 review
Planning a trip for a family of four

Hi everyone,

Me and my family are planning a trip to Australia for next year (1st june - 14th july) and I have a few things I would like your expert opinions on. We are two adults and will be travelling with our kids (3 and 1 year old).

We love camping so are looking into renting a motorhome or camper van. How is the camping scene in Australia? Will it be possible to find decent campgrounds and how much does it cost? Or are they all booked up? We traveled in the western part of the USA and during the summer everything was fully booked which made it hard to find a spot.

Next to that our itinerary. I'm thinking of flying into Brisbane and making our way up to Cairns. Because of the small children spending a lot of time in a city isn't really an option and nice weather is preferred. What's your take on the trip? Any better suggestions?

Thanks for the ideas.

Jorit

12 replies to this topic
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
2,712 posts
145 reviews
1. Re: Planning a trip for a family of four

Hi, just to clarify, you are planning a 6 weeks trip? June/July is our winter but northern half of Australia will be warm and dry. You are not planning to do all 6 weeks between Brisbane and Cairns, are you?

How long do you plan to be on the road?

As long as you are not traveling during school holidays, accommodation shouldn't be a big problem. The one long weekend during that period is queen's birthday around 11th of June. Queensland school holidays will start 29 June until mid July, that could be problematic.

Amsterdam, The...
5 posts
1 review
2. Re: Planning a trip for a family of four

Thanks for the reply.

It's still up for debate what we will be doing. I was thinking 6 weeks up North but that isn't a good idea?

Fremantle, Australia
Level Contributor
4,543 posts
68 reviews
3. Re: Planning a trip for a family of four

If you wanted you could look at other parts of the country than just the east coast. For example, you could do a campervan trip up the west coast to Coral Bay/ Exmouth. It’s a long drive though so you would need lots of breaks.

Or Northern Territory.

Then east coast.

Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
12,121 posts
34 reviews
4. Re: Planning a trip for a family of four

Australia is big so flying around is a real option - you have 6 weeks here but a lot depends on your interests ?????

July is our winter so nice in the north eg Darwin/Kakadu and Uluru/Alice Springs, Cairns/Port Douglas, Broome and Ningaloo.

Brisbane-Noosa-Fraser Island-1770-Airlie Beach-Cairns is a 2,000km drive and you really need 2+ weeks for the drive/stops/sights.

www.vroomvroomvroom.com.au for car and campervan hire. Chidren need to be in proper seat restraints so make sure you consider this when hiring.

Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
2,712 posts
145 reviews
5. Re: Planning a trip for a family of four

6 weeks would be great to travel that distance. Give you plenty of time to stop and smell the eucalyptus. ;) You can stop at a nice beach for a week instead of a couple of days. However, you have come a long way and paid a lot of money so it would be nice to see a bit more than one section of the east coast. Might consider the west coast but Darwin and Kakadu is a serious contender if you prefer nature to cities.

A bit more feedback might help us to narrow the selection more.

Brisbane, Australia
Destination Expert
for Brisbane, Queensland
Level Contributor
11,883 posts
54 reviews
6. Re: Planning a trip for a family of four

If you were to take two or three weeks to drive from Brisbane to Cairns in a camper van, then this is doable. It will be quite cool at night until you get to about Mackay (last night in Brisbane was 10c and Sunday is going to be 3c).

As you go further north, the camp grounds can be quite booked up, as it is school holidays for last week of June/first week of July, and it is also peak season for our Grey Nomads to head north. Particularly in Cairns, you may have to book ahead, but I would actually recommend you spend the last few nights in Port Douglas staying in a serviced apartment with a rental car.

A few days in Sydney is well worth it at any time of year - it is a beautiful city, easy to get around on public transport and there is a lot for a family to do. If you are there in early June, you could see Vivid festival too.

Certainly sticking with the northern half of the country for most of the six weeks will give you the warmth, so perhaps two-three weeks exploring Darwin, Kakadu, Uluru, Alice Springs and the rest in Queensland (but please visit Sydney for a few days too).

Cheers.

Amsterdam, The...
5 posts
1 review
7. Re: Planning a trip for a family of four

Wow, thanks for all the great replies.

Because of the small children we do prefer nature to cities. Though the occasional city day trip is of course a very good option. What I don't want to do is spend a lot of our time down under in a car. Of course the occasional long haul is fine, but I always prefer to not be in a car.

I've looked into Darwin and Kakadu and it looks great. But driving from Cairns to Darwin is around 3200 km. That would mean you have to drive a lot so a one way trip isn't the best option I think. so maybe start in Darwin and make a round trip? Or do the same in Cairns?

Ballarat, Australia
Level Contributor
4,220 posts
92 reviews
8. Re: Planning a trip for a family of four

Fly between Darwin and Cairns. That's a lot of kilometres of nothing.

You will need to hire child car seats with the van - they are compulsory here.

Brisbane, Australia
Destination Expert
for Brisbane, Queensland
Level Contributor
11,883 posts
54 reviews
9. Re: Planning a trip for a family of four

Yes, doing loops from each major destination is a sensible option. You could do Brisbane to Cairns, the fly to Darwin or Uluru.

Also, don't discount Sydney as a "city" as you know European cities - it just is not like tgat thanks to the enormous harbour (not river) and the fact it is right on one of the most beautiful coastlines in the world (my opinion but I stand by it). Sydney CBD (the bit with lots of tall buildings and not much for kids) can be traversed on foot in under an hour. So much of every city in Aus offers kid friendly attractions all over the place - Sydney and Brisbane in particular. There are fabulous parks, free museums and art galleries, water play parks in the CBD, ferry rides etc all making a "city visit" not feel like you are trapped in high rise concrete boxes, but rather in a place where the city has only carved out a small niche in the natural splendour of the landscape.

Cheers

Amsterdam, The...
5 posts
1 review
10. Re: Planning a trip for a family of four

Thanks again. Will definitely consider Sydney now :)

I think we'll go with brisbane to Cairns and then fly to Darwin.

Btw, I checked campsites and they all have large availabilty even during holidays. Now I'm not complaning but just found it surprising.

Thanks for all the help

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