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Questions on South Australia

Ljubljana, Slovenia
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Questions on South Australia

Hi everybody,

I'm traveling to Australia in October and I'm now figuring out my itinerary. So I have various questions about tips what's worth seeing and for how long.

I decided to take an allnighter bus from Sydney to Melbourne and than rent a car from Melbourne to Adelaide. Is it better to calculate 2 or 3 days for the trip? I would like to drive the Great Ocean Road, see the Apostoles, than maybe drive to Grampians NP... is it worth the trip, would anybody recommend it? How about Kangaroo Island, I have this fixed idea I want to see it, but is it really that nice and how much time do I have to calculate for the trip? I'm not in a hurry, but I wouldn't want to waste time.

Then I'd also rent a car from Adelaide on. I wanted to drive straight to Uluru, but now I'm reading Flinders Ranges NP is worth the trip, so I would take the Oodnadatta track and join the highway in Coober Pedy. What are the road conditions? I wouldn't want to rent a 4WD. Is the road passable with a normal car?

I'm grateful for any tips!

Adelaide, Australia
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1. Re: Questions on South Australia

Greetings

1. The Great Ocean Road and Grampians- these are worthwhile including in your proposed trip

2. Kangaroo Island- I suggest this is worth visiting- for further details, look at www.southaustralia.com, www.sealink.com.au, and the TA Kangaroo Island forum

3. The Flinders Ranges is worth visiting

4. The Oodnadatta Track is an unsealed road- I suggest you ask the car rental company whether they will permit you to drive their car on the Track- while it is navigable in a car in dry weather, a 4WD vehicle is better suited to the road conditions, which can be harsh

I suggest you visit the TA sections for the areas you propose visiting for more specific information; also, look at this website: www.southaustralia.com

Bon voyage:)

Sydney Australia
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2. Re: Questions on South Australia

You don't say how long you have for your trip overall. We need at least a rough guess how long you're thinking you'll be here. You've got a quite ambitious list of things you'd like to do and to include them all will take some time due to the distances involved between them, not to mention the other great things you'd be passing along the way.

IMHO if you're going all the way to see the GOR, it's better to allow a bit more time and see it properly, have time to take some walks etc. So I would say a minimum of 3 days between Melbourne and Adelaide and if you want to take the "scenic route" sticking close to the coast and have some time to chill out each day and explore tourist sites as you go, then consider allowing a bit longer. However it all depends on what your priorities are and how long you've got.

We had 4 days exploring KI, flying down from Adelaide on the first day and departing early on the 5th day. I wouldn't recommend less time than that. I think you'd enjoy the wildlife there very much. We stayed at Hanson Bay cabins and enjoyed watching the wallabies in the evening and the possums too, and Seal Bay is as good as they say, the whole place is magnificent. If you enjoy wildlife then I would certainly encourage you to include KI.

Adelaide, Australia
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3. Re: Questions on South Australia

Greetings

Snodge makes a fair point- I suggest you give consideration to the amount of time available for your proposed trip, then how best to allocate the time available to the places you would like to visit. From there, you can start to develop a realistic itinerary- in that regard, if you post your proposed itinerary in this forum, I am sure you will receive some helpful suggestions!

AT

Ljubljana, Slovenia
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4. Re: Questions on South Australia

I have a total time of 6 weeks. First 3 days in Sydney, overnight bus to Melbourne, 2 days there, 3 days in Adelaide (visiting family, I know you probably don't need 3 days to explore the city). After that I'll hire a campervan and drive to Alice, Darwin and Perth in the end and just adapt the itinerary as I go. I'm trying to figure out how many days I would need between Melbourne and Adelaide because I'd need to rent the campervan ahead and make sleeping arrangements etc. I'm really interested in aboriginal culture, therefore I think Grampians would be nice to include, and the wildlife, but didn't know KI is so big! You don't really get a realistic impression by just looking at a map I guess. I don't need to chillout, I'll be happy to zip around mavelling at all the beauty, even though I know it takes some time to absorb the wildlife. Therefore maybe it's more realistic if I skip the KI, since there will be plenty of wildilife opportunities later on? Thanks to all of you for your time!

Sydney
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5. Re: Questions on South Australia

I think you have insufficient time to do all you planned.

If you think KI is big, it''s nothing compared to the rest of the country. The distances you're planning are huge. It's probably doable, but not sensible, a lot of driving and not much seeing.

Sydney Australia
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6. Re: Questions on South Australia

I can't comment on wildlife in WA because I haven't made it over there yet, it's so huge and a lot to see, so I've researched it quite a lot but it's still on my list. (I'm still working my way down my bucket list..).

As to the rest of the country, there's not many places with wildlife viewing opportunities (not in a zoo of some sort) that are as good as KI.

If you're interested in Aboriginal Culture have you heard of this place

http://www.igawarta.com/exper.html

Sydney Australia
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7. Re: Questions on South Australia

Hi,

I've been stepping out a rough itinerary given what you want to do. Margo is absolutely correct, you don't have enough time to do everything you've listed ie Alice Darwin and Perth. Not by road anyway.

It seems that you've got a big priority on the outback road trip side of the coin and I'm wondering if you realise what the terrain through which you'll be driving is like. You lose a lot of time driving through expanses of nothing much. Now that may be part of the attraction if you love the open road, but for example it's 1500 km between Alice Springs and Darwin. That's something in the order of 15 hrs or more driving without allowing time for rest breaks. Do you have someone who will be sharing the driving? If not you'll need to allow extra time to pace yourself, and remember you need to avoid driving here from dusk and overnight due to the risk of being taken out by creatures on the roads.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but there'd be a lot of people who would not regard the main highway North to Darwin from Adelaide as particularly beautiful. Yes, there's iconic rugged beauties along the way but the famous beauty spots or cultural treasures take a little while to get to off the main highway... it's all part of the adventure, but it takes a lot of time. So, you need to prioritise what you want to see.

So, just as a ball park sort of thing for your 42 days (is it October to Mid november or Sept and into October or what?)

Days 1-3 Sydney

Days 2-4 Melbourne

Days 5 - 9 Great Ocean Road including the Grampians for wildlife and wildflowers (wildflowers can be a bit weather dependent in their timing)

Days 10 - 13 Kangaroo Island

Days 14 - 16 Adelaide family

Day 17 Adelaide to Port Augusta

Day 18 Port Augusta to Coober Pedy

Day 19 Coober Pedy

Day 20 Coober Pedy to Uluru - that's a long way

Days 22 - 24 Uluru (no, you strictly speaking don't need quite that long, but it's what I'd recommend, especially after your long driving to get there, and if the weather is heating up you need to relax during the hottest part of the day. Uluru and Kata Tjuta are best taken slowly and with lots of Indigenous culture content IMHO)

Days 25-26 Watarrka NP

Day 27 - Watarrka to Alice

Days 28 - 30 Alice and the McDonnell Ranges (West and/or East)

Days 31 Alice to Tennant Creek (Stop at the Devils Marbles)

Day 32 Tennant Creek to Katherine

Day 33 Nitmiluk NP

Day 34 Hot Springs - maybe Mataranka area or Bitter Springs?

Days 35 - 37 Kakadu

Days 38 - 40 Darwin and Litchfield.

OK so that leaves you with two days up your sleeve and over a six week period, even speaking as someone whose own travel style is to go like the clappers the whole time ( that means busy busy minimum desire to slow down) I would encourage you to slow the trip down with those days. 6 weeks is a long time to be exploring you need to pace yourself a bit.

You'll also notice that the Flinders Ranges doesn't figure in this plan at all, which would be a shame. I'm assuming your family will probably take you to some of the local beauty spots, such as the Barossa or the Adelaide Hills etc during your three days there.

Also, I would further say, that KI seems like a lot of time to have to devote to it, but IMHO it is worth it. You wont' get wildlife viewing like it anywhere else on the above outlined route. We LOVED it... can you tell?? haha

Also if you arrive in October, you're into November and the Top End will be, depending on your personal point of view, either drive you crazy humid and hot during the build up or spectacularly electrical storm laden depending on your timing. Locals will be able to give you better advice. I'm quite determined my next Darwin visit will be during build up or in the wet. I want to go jet boating at Nitmuluk when it is a torrent of water :-) and I want to see those storms :-) IMHO if you're visiting the tropics it may as well feel "tropical" ;-).

Ljubljana, Slovenia
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8. Re: Questions on South Australia

Thanks for all the advice! I know the distances are vast and I'm aware there will be plenty of driving. I know people who managed the same trip in half the time, they drove practically all the time and this is not a nice way to experience the country I agree... nevertheless, I' ve been dreaming about driving through the red deserts for a long time now, it's a long way to Australia from where I am from, and I don't expect I'll have the opportunity to visit it again quite soon, also to take more than 6 weeks of holidays is not an option, sadly. So I'll try to take in as much as I can and speed in the end if necessary.

So thanks for taking the time, Snodge! The IgaWarta experience sounds amazing. Against your recommendation I realize I'll have to speed up a bit and since my main focus is the Outback as you figured out:) I decided I'll have to skip KI. Such a shame! I know you're not supposed to drive at night and I'll have company on the way to take away some of the burden of driving. And yeah, I think the highway to Alice Springs and further to Darwin will be quite boring and challenging because of the distance, but you have to get there:) I'll be in Darwin in the beginning of November and I hope the weather will still be crazy hot and humid and it won't start pouring yet. Many thanks to all!

Sydney Australia
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9. Re: Questions on South Australia

Have a great trip. :-) It's your trip and its important it is what you want it to be. The important thing is to be making informed decisions :-)

Sydney, Australia
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10. Re: Questions on South Australia

Just soemthingyou will need to be careful of…

speed limits….

yes some areas a re unrestricted but you would be very foolhardy and it will be very costly for you if you do speed in Victoria (they have zero tolerance 100=100) and there is a high police presence. If your plan is to ignore and not worry because you have a hire vehicle rest assured the admin costs from the company are enough of a deterrent as they charge processing fees etc and will direct debit your cc.

Speeding up at the end (i.e. driving further than planned) in a day may not be possible.. some road closures start in November in the north, wet or not as they don't want people stuck on the "wrong" side