Local information requested

Looking for some tips or advice on camping or where to camp? Post you questions or comments here. General Camping information.

Local information requested

Postby dce2366 » Tue Apr 18, 2006 9:46 am

Greetings,
I am planning on a long term visit to AU in '08. I will be retiring in '07 and would like to spend as long as possible there touring and meeting locals. I plan on bringing my daughter (25) and granddaughter (6) and will be camping almost exclusively. I do not/will not have unlimited funds, just retirement pay. So, the questions:
1) best ideas about what to bring from the US other than travel gear.
2) best ideas about purchasing a reliable used vehicle suitable for 3+ with adequate carrying capacity for our gear.
3) trailer? caravan? I would prefer an economical vehicle if possible.
4) suggestions about disposal of gear/vehicle at end of tour.

I would like to spend some time in each state in 2 or more places each, if possible.

You are probably thinking that I forgot to ask many questions and I agree, that's why I'm starting now, the trip is more than 18 months off.

I hope to make friends with many folks and see your beautiful country as well as possible.
Thanks to all for your ideas and feedback,
Dennis
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Postby Kramer » Tue Apr 18, 2006 11:51 am

A 4WD would be a good chioce for you. Large enough for your family and able to hold all your gear no worries, or a smaller 4WD or car and a camper trailer hired from most camper trailer makers. Camper trailers are really good for comfort over a tent and a heap easier to set up.

Coming from the US it might be worthwhile just bringing your clothes and personal items as the Aussie dollar will probably be weak (as always) against the US dollar and you can probably be able to buy your camping gear cheaper here than you can there, just post up on what gear you want and we can get prices pretty easy off the net for you to compare.

Disposing of your gear can be easy just post it for sale on here or any 4WD or camping forum, if its at the right price it will go pretty quickly, just remember its only worth what someone will pay for it, not always what its actually worth.
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Postby Scolers » Tue Apr 18, 2006 11:57 am

Those questions depends on many things Dennis.

So far as travel gear is concerned it all depends on where/when you intend to come. Are you going to stick to the coast? Or do you intend to go inland? Any electrical gear you bring would be enxt to useless as everything is 240volt so that's another consideration for you.

Is there anyhting specific you want to see? Ayres Rock? Great Barrier Reef? An outback dunny? That will affect your planning and what you need to bring.

Do you intend doing any 4wd'ing? That affects the type of vehice you buy.

Trailer caravan ... again ... where do you want to go and what sort of vehicle do you want to purchase?

You can probably get rid of the car/ trailer/ caravan etc. but you may have to be patient if you want a good price OR be prepared to let it go for a bit less than what you pain for it.

It would also help if you give us an idea on the length of time you intend to spend here in Aussie. Although we are a bit smaller than the US there are some palces you can travel for a few days without seeing anyone so you would need to stock up on water, fuel, food etc. before venrturing into these places.

Sorry for asking you the questions but it would be unfair on you if I made suggestions without knowing your budget and length of time you intend spending here BEFORE you come on over.

That way we can help you avoid some nasty surprises ... and that's before you emet our critters ... ;)

Cheers ...

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Postby Scolers » Tue Apr 18, 2006 11:58 am

Kramer wrote:Coming from the US it might be worthwhile just bringing your clothes and personal items as the Aussie dollar will probably be weak (as always) against the US dollar and you can probably be able to buy your camping gear cheaper here than you can there, just post up on what gear you want and we can get prices pretty easy off the net for you to compare.
.


Aussie dollar is best it's ever been ... ;)

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more details

Postby dce2366 » Wed Apr 19, 2006 12:14 pm

My current plan is to stay a year or as long as my visa will allow.

We will probably arrive in AU with a cash stake of about $10000 USD. That will have to purchase a vehicle and camping gear. I should have about $1200 USD per month for expenses. I'm not interested in partying or expensive purchases, just having a relaxed journey meandering around. I have a DVD, "Australia the Beautiful" that highlights many of the National Parks and natural features and this has inspired me to try this adventure. I expect to put about 25000 miles on that vehicle in that year and I'd like to see as much as I can.

I appreciate the suggestion of the 4WD but I suspect that the initial cost plus the gas and up keep plus insurance will be too much for my budget. Maybe even a Toyota Corolla with trailer will too... How do I cover insurance? How expensive is gas?

Will I be required to always use campsites where I have to pay? or can safe free camping places be found?

We will probably arrive in January; is it a good plan to start towards the south while it's hot in the north? Will it be too wet/rainy in the north during August/September to be tent camping? or just miserable or perfect??

Thanks a lot for your advice,
Dennis
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Postby Scolers » Wed Apr 19, 2006 1:09 pm

Do you want to go to Darwin? If you do then you'll be doing a 'full circle' OR you could just travel the eastern states and then drive across to Perth. It's a beautiful trip if you like solitude.

You're budget seems about right but I wouldn't go for the corolla. Still stick with a four cylinder but maybe something jsut a bit bigger say a Camry or equivalent. (Stay away from Korean cars). That means a trailer with your gear inside OR a camper trailer (the Camry will hande a camper trailer without any probs).

Also, I am assuming you will be flying into the Eastern states from the US? ie. Melbourne, Sydney, or Brisbane. Arriving in Meblourne you can drive up the Easttern coast and then across to Darwin (it's a hot sticky trip and there's not much inbetween). OR you could arrive in Brisbane and drive south to Melbourne. That may probably be a beter idea given your Januray arrival. It can still be quite hot but if you are on the coast it will make it a little bearable. You can then take 3-6 months getting down to Adelaide which means the trip across to Perth is nice and cool across what is called the Nullarbour (sp?).

As for free camping ... I might leave that to Ozzy ... he's more up to date with that for the Eastern COast than I am.

Have you consdiered staying in Caravan Parks? It would work out to be about $180/week (max) for the three of you. That also gives you showers and a bit of security.

So far as insurance is concerned it might eb better for you to check that from a travel agency in the US ... I'm not sure how you will go trying to cover your car etc when you are not a permanent citizen.

FYI

The way I ahve written this is by excluding Darwin ... it's in the tropics but tehre are ways to work your journey to include it ... ie. Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Alice Springs (Ayres Rock), Darwin, Broome, Canarvon, Perth. That covers just about everything.

The way I have it is Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth.

So you'll have to decide which route you want to take.

Don;t forget this is VERY simplififed and until you know exactly what you want on your itinery we can't offer specific advise just yet. But the two routes I have suggested will cover most of Aus.

Good Luck!

:)

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Postby Kramer » Wed Apr 19, 2006 3:44 pm

There are plenty of places to stay for free or close to it $4 a night per person, eg National parks and state forests etc, buit you have to be fairly self sufficient (sp?), you have to generally take your own water and have only toilets, no showers.

Try: https://www.epa.qld.gov.au/parks/iaparks/gds/ or http://www.epa.qld.gov.au/parks_and_forests/

These sites have a wealth of information. A lot of caravan parks can be really cheap if you take an unpowered site, this way you get all amenties.

A Toyota, Holden or Ford would be good purchases, as Scolers said stick to something a little bigger, you will be able to tow larger loads and be more comfortable to travel in.

When looking for insurance make sure it will cover your gear in the trailer as well. There can be some lowlifes on the roads and in parks that think they can help themselves to your gear. This happened to my Aunty while her camper was at a caravan park in Hervey Bay and she claimed it on insurance and got her stuff replaced.
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Postby Scolers » Wed Apr 19, 2006 4:28 pm

A lot of caravan parks can be really cheap if you take an unpowered site, this way you get all amenties.


Just to pick up on this point ... I can't vouch for the Eastern STates but here in West Aus a powered site is usually only $2-$4.more per night ... a non powered site is likely to cost you between $17 - $22 night and a powered site $22 - $27 (depending on where you go) ... if you are running appliances (fridge, computer etc.) it's well worth the extra cash ... then again I do like my comforts while camping but am loathe to get a TV when we go camping.

8)

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Postby Scolers » Wed Apr 19, 2006 5:48 pm

FYI Dennis ... this camper trailer has just been put up for sale ... it would go a treat for a trip aorund Aussie.

viewtopic.php?t=342

Givs you an idea on what your money will gt you ... that's Aussie dollars so about $US4125.

Cheers ...

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Postby Kramer » Thu Apr 20, 2006 10:15 am

I like that trailer, but my missus won't let me spend too much more money at the moment :cry:

How come the caravan parks are so expensive over there? I can't remember how much the last one on the coast cost me but out west and up further north I was only paying between $3 to $5 a night :D But they were only sort of like camp sites behind a pub or servo.
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good ideas

Postby dce2366 » Thu Apr 20, 2006 11:33 am

Greetings,
Starting in Brisbane and going clockwise around the continent could work well. I would like to see Darwin and Alice and Coober Pedy.

That's a good looking camper trailer; what do you think it weighs? You think we could pull it with a Camry?

I plan on being very self-sufficient so getting a campsite without electricity would probably work most of the time. Do folks use propane stoves & lanterns there? If not, what do you use? If yes, is propane hard to find?

What do you think about starting in Brisbane and ending in Darwin?

While reading other posts i noticed petrol and gas referenced, i thought petrol and gas both meant "gasoline"...?

Excuse the dumb questions.

thanks again for your help and suggestions,
Dennis
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Postby Scolers » Thu Apr 20, 2006 12:17 pm

If you go clockwise from Brisbane how will you end up in Perth if you want to go to Alice and Coober Pedy? What you cna do is head north when you hit Adelaide, carry on to Darwin via Alice and CP (you have to anyway) and then head west from Darwin to come down the West Coast (it's an amazing trip!). Just a thought.

We have a car called a Magna (made by Mitsubishi) which is about the same size and they sell them pretty cheaply and they come with a 3.5ltr V6. That would tow the camper. If you got the Camry in a V6 that would also tow the camper but v6 Cmrys are a bit more expensive.

You'll probably ned to start and end on the East coast as a flight to the US from Perth will go via the East Coast ... make sense? Also, you'll need to be in a decent sized city to sell your gear and Darwin would be lucky to have 150 000 ppl. Perth has 1.2million, Sydney 5 million. Melbounre 3.5million (I think).

Petrol is gas. We call petrol, petrol, or fuel. But we call gas ... well ... gas! :) Finding gas for gas bottles is easy ... all Hardware stores have it and so do most caravan parks although they are more expensive. EG. I fill my gas bottle up at the hardware for $10 ... it can be $20 at a cravan park but at least you know you can get it.

I like that trailer, but my missus won't let me spend too much more money at the moment


Kramer ... if I was living in QLD I'd get it ... that' a good unit for the price. Tell her she'll always be comfortable in that camper trailer.

:D

Cheers ...

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Postby Kramer » Thu Apr 20, 2006 12:33 pm

My missus is still cranky at me for spending 3 grand on the cruiser, when I should be finishing restoring her car! But I have the go ahead after I have finished her car that I can buy a set of airlockers :twisted: So now her car should nearly be finished this weekend! :lol:
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Postby Scolers » Thu Apr 20, 2006 1:42 pm

:lol:

Still ... that's a nice camper ... go on ... you know you want it ... :twisted:

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travel route

Postby dce2366 » Sat Apr 22, 2006 8:09 am

Will I run into travel/camping problems traveling east from Darwin in June or July or August? That's tropical, right?

I like the idea of the Magna and the camper trailer, so does my daughter.

It is also a good idea to end the trip in Sydney being a good place to sell the car and gear.

What do you think would be the most interesting places to spend a week or two? Not necessarily touristy places.

Cheers!
Dennis
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