Driving from WA to QLD

MJC88

Les Stroud
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2017 is going to be full of changes for me, we're in the process of selling our house with the intention of packing up and moving to Queensland (Sunshine Coast region) in the coming months.

My wife and I, two kids (3yo and 10 month old) and our two dogs will be driving over in our dual cab ute and getting our other car + furniture etc freighted over. I’m really looking forward to the drive as I haven’t done it before and look forward to seeing some new scenery and towns along the way.

I’m in the planning phase at the moment and looking for any advice for those that may have done the same or similar trip in the past?

Best places to stop along the Nullarbor (roadhouses, scenic photos etc)?
Tips for driving long distances with young kids?
Tips for traveling with dogs?
Suggested routes from SA to Sunshine Coast QLD?
Any other general advice or suggestions?

A very preliminary route is shown below, hopefully we'll have up to two weeks to do the journey if we decide to stop a few nights extra here or there.


Appreciate your input!
 

MongooseDownUnder

Richard Proenneke
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I love driving across the Nullarbor especially camping along that stretch. You can actually camp pretty much anywhere, I usually stop before or after towns the stars are amazing. Might be worth a stop off in Canberra if you have time, the war museum there is fantastic.


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Aussie123

Never Alone In The Bush
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That's a fantastic trip. As MongooseDU says, you can camp practically anywhere along the Nullarbor;
but with young kids and dogs you may not want to camp too close to the cliff line.

A couple of favourite Nullarbor spots for us have been:
- Cocklebiddy Cave (between Balladonia and Eucla)
- Eucla Old Telegraph Station - including a play and walk in the sand dunes and along the beach
- The Dog fence - follow it down the the cliff
- Eyre Bird Observatory - don't worry if you don't like birds, this is a top spot with an unbelievable history! (I think you need 4wd to get there)
- Head of Bight
- there are various official stops and camp grounds which are all fine to stop at, depending what facilities you want. Eucla is well set up if you want to clean up properly.
- with time, there is a lot to see and do around that area

Travel with Kids:
- Never be in a rush. Stop when you need to stop.

- If the kids are asleep, just keep driving ...

- Audio Books !
Go to the library and borrow a selection of audio books to take. This kept our kids entertained for ages and well written stories will be enjoyed by all in the vehicle, even kids books.
Anything by Andy Griffiths would be excellent, but ask at the library to see what they can suggest

- Lego - 3yo may be a bit young, but we took a 4yo with a lunch box of lego which kept him entertained and gave something for fiddly fingers.
Perhaps there is something else like that you could take which your 3yo likes doing ?

- Bring a picnic blanket for kids to sprawl on.


Route:
- You could consider heading North from Port Augusta, up the Stuart Hwy and cut across to QLD at 3 Ways (north of Alice) ?
Some nice areas to travel through on that route, but probably depends on the overall distance time time ?
You could decide when you get to Port Augusta - have a couple of routes depending on time available.

- Avoid driving at dusk, dawn and night.
Having said that, if you do head "directly" to East Coast you can pick up the main Hwy, so driving at dawn / dusk / night is less risky .... !
There are also lots of towns etc along the coast route compared to an inland route
 

Askew

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Sounds like it will be a great trip. I can only offer some advice for travelling with kids
-Pack plenty of water and snacks.
-Have some activities organised, 3yo might be a bit young for car bingo, but a couple of colouring/sticker/activity books can go a long way.
-Consider buying a cheap portable DVD player.
-Before heading off in the morning give the kids a bit of play time, running around is great, burns off a bit of energy and they'll sit happily for a bit longer.
-Plan in a rest day or two, doesn't need to be for anything in particular, just not a day spent in the car.
-Take breaks as needed. An unplanned stop beats an hour of screaming.
-Chemists sell travel sickness bags. They are worth every cent.

If you spend a day in Dubbo a visit to the zoo is worth it.
 

Thrud

Richard Proenneke
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All the best for your move. We will have to have a handover at Eucla and swap you for an Eastern States BCOZ member.:_risata:
 

MJC88

Les Stroud
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Cheers guys, just the type of info I was after - thank you! We'll be doing a mixture of roadside camping and paid accomodation as there seems to be plenty of pet friendly places along the way.

WA will always be home for me but now is the time to take a risk and jump into the deep end whilst the kids are young. Look forward to meeting up with some SE QLD members once we've settled in :) lately I've had the itch to buy a canoe so hopefully in the future I can do an upper Noosa river trip report...
 
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