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Perth to Darwin

Italy
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65 posts
186 reviews
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Perth to Darwin

Hallo, we would like to know if it’s possible to drive with a hired normal car (not 4X4) from Perth through North-West Coastal Hwy to Port Hedland and then through Great Northern Hwy to Darwin (not through Gibb River Road) in July-August. Any suggestion and link to useful website would be highly appreciated. Thank you very much!

Hants, UK
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1. Re: Perth to Darwin

Can't see any reason why not if it's all normal roads.

How long are you thinking of taking? where do you plan to stop?

Perth, Australia
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606 posts
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2. Re: Perth to Darwin

Yes it is possible without a 4X4 and a good time of the year to do so weather wise.

Darwin, Australia
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for Darwin, Kakadu National Park
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3. Re: Perth to Darwin

Sealed roads all the way and plenty of cars do it. for links try Google on West Australia tourism, lots of information out there . start with http://www.westernaustralia.com/au/Pages/Welcome_to_Western_Australia.aspx?CID=dgm:sem:au1112:Western+Australia+-+Inter+Broad:Tourism+WA&gclid=CJP72_Tyq7ACFUKDpAodEy_4Wg

Nannup, Australia
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4. Re: Perth to Darwin

You would need to talk to the car hire company about one-way drop off fees - probably expensive. At that time of year (peak season) you would also need to make advance accommodation bookings - 'winging it' would be very risky.

Uden, The...
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for Road Trips
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5. Re: Perth to Darwin

We did that between Darwin and Perth. Take your time please, many great spots and take the advice Numbat gave you. Make your reservations esp for the Karratha/Port Hedland and area. Many workers there and accomodation is not abundant.

Italy
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65 posts
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6. Re: Perth to Darwin

Thank you very much to everybody! I wrote “Perth to Darwin” just to simplify the question, but what we’d like to do is rent a car in Perth, go north to Katherine, south through Stuart Hwy, west through Nullarbor Plain and back to Perth (so no need to pay the one-way drop off fees for the car). We already went to Australia many years ago and did a round-trip from Sidney to Darwin passing through Stuart Hwy and back to Sidney using the East coast. We liked very much driving through the central part of Australia and we’d like to do it one more time. We haven’t booked our flights (from Italy!) yet, but we are thinking about staying in Australia 1 month: we know that it isn’t a lot of time, but that’s what we can do! About reservations: we read that school-holidays end 20th/23rd July, so we think that after that period it would be less risky finding accommodation day by day: are we wrong?

Uden, The...
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for Road Trips
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7. Re: Perth to Darwin

That's a mightly long trip. I've made a collection of Tripreports that covers Nullarbor Plain and the drives from Flinders Ranges to Norseman including Eyre Peninsula. You won't have time for all of this I'm afraid in one month

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Are you also planning to visit Uluru, Kata Tjuta and King's Canyon? Andh ave you already visited Coober Pedy?

From Norseman you can drive via Kalgoorlie and Southern Cross to Perth. A stop in York also is recommended. You also can drive via Esperance and the coast. In Esperance you'll find fantastic beaches and National Parks but it's won't be warm along the south coast. From Esperance back to Perth you also can take the inland route via Hyden (Wave Rock).

Tet

Darwin, Australia
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for Darwin, Kakadu National Park
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8. Re: Perth to Darwin

That is a lot to do in one month and most rental companies have a mileage limitation. Driving within the speed limits and during daylight hours only with minimal stops for fuel and food and no sight seeing you could do Katherine Port Augusta in 4 days, but after coming all this way you will want to see something of the country side. Allow a week extra for sight seeing. Probably the same from Port Augusta to Perth but you would see only a few places.

While the school holidays will be finished by the end of July, most of the travellers will be retirees or people taking long leave and escaping the southern winters so there will still be a lot of travellers on the roads and some places such as Broome will be still heavily booked out. Same for down the Stuart Highway.

Trouble is there are no other road options for the route you want to travel. While there are a couple of tracks from the western side across they arev only suitable for 4WDs and permits are required for some of them, plus you need to travel with another vehicle for safety.

Italy
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9. Re: Perth to Darwin

Thank you very much to everybody!! We made a lot of researches about accommodations in that period and we realized that it is really very busy and expensive!! So we thought about renting a campervan instead of a car and found the better price on http://www.aussiecampervans.com. Any other advice? Would it be easier to find a place to stop without booking in advance? We are also thinking not to do the round trip through the center but only going north and south of Perth: is it a good idea? If we rent it in Perth and drop it in Darwin it would be 1000AUD more expensive!!!

rural West Aussie
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for Perth
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10. Re: Perth to Darwin

July-August is winter in the south part of WA, which means rains and temps around 0C- 17C. In a campervan you could be quite chilly and uncomfortable. You should, however not have too much trouble finding places to stay even though school holidays are 7 July-23 July.

I would suggest hiring a car and staying in chalets in caravan parks or self-catering cottages, both of which give you more room to move and warmth, especially cottages which often have fireplaces. You can also find good accommodation bargains on www.wotif.com.au

Campervans are not always cost-effective as they are more expensive, you can't just stop anywhere for the night (you have to stay in caravan parks for a fee), they are more expensive to fuel and slower and more awkward to drive and difficult to find parking for.