I have included here a few suggestions for trips travelling by car or motorhome in various areas of Australia. I have not estimated travelling times, as the time you may spend in a place would depend on your own particular interests and on the weather. If you are travelling by bus or train, some of the sights may still be reachable by local tours.
There are so many interesting things to see and do that I will not try to list all the possibilities here, but I have included links in the text where possible, to allow you to pull more detailed information from the web. Open the links with the right mouse button with the option, "open in a new window".
When planning a holiday in Australia, one should really take the prevailing weather conditions into consideration. For instance during the N. W. Monsoon season, from January to March, both Cairns and Darwin have around 350 mm of rain per month. See "Weather Cairns". This can literally dampen your holiday spirits. The rest of the year, particularly in the Australian Winter, both places enjoy beautiful weather. In the same months, Jan - March, Tasmania has beautiful weather with temperatures ranging from 10 -20 degrees Celsius, ideal for walking. The same area is often snowed in in Winter. The area around Perth is extremely beautiful late in the Australian Winter, as most of the native wildflowers are then in bloom. It pays to adjust your program to suit the climate. For current weather conditions, now or while travelling, look at www.bom.gov.au
The "Australian Geographic" map of Australia and their various State Maps, have climatic charts for each area, which are very helpful when planning a holiday. These maps also have information about attractions, both geographical and historic, noted on them with map co-ordinates. They are available from Australian Geographic stores throughout Australia or direct from www.australiangeographic.com.au It is advisable to obtain these early in the planning stages to help decide on your travel plan.
Another consideration which many European people can not visualise, is the immense size of Australia compared to European countries. If you look at the size comparison map you will see that a trip from Perth to Adelaide is similar to a trip from Lisbon to Rome, but the Nullarbor Plain roads do not have as many curves as the European counterparts.
When driving in outback Australia you should try not to be under way at dusk. This is when the most bush animals (particularly kangaroos) are feeding, and the short grass on the side of the road is attractive to them. Many animals are killed at dusk and at dawn so if you can arrange to be eating or doing something else at that time, it is safer for the animals and for you.
If you are just a little adventurous, a campervan or motorhome is an ideal way to see Australia. If you find a particular place very interesting, it is no problem to stay a little longer. If the weather turns bad you may wish to move on to a more favourable climate. If you have booked hotels or motels, this is not possible. When choosing a camper or motorhome, look carefully at the prices. Some firms offer complete packages with full insurance cover, all necessary personal equipment and often include an extra driver. Other firms have a basic price and you choose and pay for all the extras. You will find a list of firms hiring vans and motorhomes in the links section.
Information required for planning a holiday is readily available on line. I have catagorised this in the links section. It is sorted into general information, tourist sites for the various states, national parks, travel and transport possibilities etc. etc.
If you find that any of the information given here is no longer valid, or if you have tips to add to the information, please e-mail me your suggestions and I will be happy to make the alterations or additions.
If any one would like to write a description of a trip that is not listed, or add info to an existing route, I would also be happy to put your experiences here for others.
Kind regards, Kerry Cassidy