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Alice spring to Darwin or Darwin to Alice spring?

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Sydney
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Alice spring to Darwin or Darwin to Alice spring?

My partner and I are planing to rent a 4WD/camper for 10 days over Easter and drive Darwin to Alice springs or the opposite way. Can anyone recommend which direction to go? What are the "must see" along the way and how much time do we need at each place? We are a very active adventurous.

Thank you,

Darwin, Australia
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for Darwin, Kakadu National Park
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1. Re: Alice spring to Darwin or Darwin to Alice spring?

Makes really no difference which way you go and while Darwin will have more places where you can rent a camper van the drop off costs may differ depending where you finish so one consideration would be to contact the hire companies and see which deal suits you the best.

Alice Springs
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2. Re: Alice spring to Darwin or Darwin to Alice spring?

Cant resist and this will no doubt be deleted - my preference is to do Darwin to Alice as its all down hill!!

But more seriously, if you are only going on sealed roads, you won't need a 4WDand most rental companies don't allow you to go on unsealed roads anyway.

Darwin, Australia
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for Darwin
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3. Re: Alice spring to Darwin or Darwin to Alice spring?

Have you checked out the one way drop off fees for the hire vehicle - these fees have resulted in more than one traveller changing their plans?

The direction really makes no difference from a touring point of view. Although maybe check to see what your flight options are as this may have some influence.

backialicesprings - I hope it doesn't get deleted :)

Sydney, Australia
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for Sydney, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Business Travel, New South Wales
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4. Re: Alice spring to Darwin or Darwin to Alice spring?

Hi,

Are you planning to visit Uluru too ?? It would be a shame to miss it seeing you are in the region.

For additional info - on Uluru

tripadvisor.com.au/GoListDetail-i17672-Uluru…

For Alice Springs

tripadvisor.com/Travel-g255063-c85960/Alice-…

tripadvisor.com/Attractions-g255063-Activiti…

IMO; if your budget allows you would be better to fly between destinations & hire a car when you arrive to explore. www.qantas.com.au

ie.. Darwin - Kakadu & Litchfield NP

Alice Springs - Kings Canyon & Uluru.

Sydney, Australia
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23 reviews
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5. Re: Alice spring to Darwin or Darwin to Alice spring?

I recently did a 10-day trip of similar itinerary, Darwin to Uluru (no sense finishing in Alice Springs if you've gotten that far!). We chose that direction based on flight availability and one-way car rental fees, which was only $100 in that direction at the time, but more in the other direction. This was for a regular sedan rental; there was no need for a 4WD. We did go on one short unsealed road (to the The Devil's Pebbles north of Tennant Creek) but except for that everything was fully sealed.

If you do stay in motels instead of the campervan, one recommendation I have is to avoid the El Dorado Motor Inn in Tennant Creek - what a dive. Not sure why I got misled on that one as it's at the bottom of TripAdvisor! Tennant Creek is not likely going to be the highlight of your trip but it's an unavoidable stopover.

One favourite part of my trip was Katherine Gorge and I'm glad we stayed there for two days. We used the cabins in the campground which were an excellent value option as they came with breakfast and dinner, which was otherwise expensive there.

Enjoy the trip.

Sydney
3 posts
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6. Re: Alice spring to Darwin or Darwin to Alice spring?

Thank you everyone for great response.

The idea was to rent a 4WD that we can sleep in and also take on less suitable roads along the way. But after reading different comment in the form, I'm unsure if most 4WD roads be closed in late April due to water levels after the wet season. In that case a 2WD would be the option, even though my partner really wants to drive a 4WD :)

We are visiting Uluru at the end of the trip and maybe even staying there for a couple of night in a hotel after dropping the car off in Alice springs. Would it be possible to drop the car in the Uluru area or is Alice springs the closest drop off point around there?

Thank you!

Darwin, Australia
Destination Expert
for Darwin
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7. Re: Alice spring to Darwin or Darwin to Alice spring?

With your timeframes it is unlikely you will be going off road so a 2WD would be fine (sorry to disappoint your partner). You can get 2WD campers if that is the way you want to go.

There are hire companies at a Uluru (sorry not sure which ones) but you will need to contact them directly to see if you can drop off there, and what the fees would be.

Edited: 20 January 2014, 10:46
Sydney, Australia
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231 posts
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8. Re: Alice spring to Darwin or Darwin to Alice spring?

We picked up a campervan from Alice springs (unable to hire campervans from Uluru ), travelled to Uluru, back to Alice then continued "up" to Darwin. This direction suited our flights. Starting in the south will mean arriving in the north a little later in the season but whether this has any impact on the weather and road conditions I am unsure.

Darwin, Australia
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for Darwin
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9. Re: Alice spring to Darwin or Darwin to Alice spring?

Re 4wd- places like Jim Jim in kakadu definitely need 4wd- but very unlikely it will be open, if road is closed there will be no tours in as well. Some other roads are good to have 4wd if there is a little water on the road and you have clearance.

pLaces like litchfield only have a few tracks that need 4wd and it's unlikely that these will be open as well .

Can I ask why your partner wants the 4wd option.?

Sydney
3 posts
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10. Re: Alice spring to Darwin or Darwin to Alice spring?

I guess he likes the idea of a more technical drive. I'm more interested in getting places that is less touristy and maybe more remote. But I think you guys are right, most 4WD roads are probably closed anyway.

Any recommendations where to hire a camper van in Darwin?

Thanks everyone for helping!

I'm very exited about this trip.