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Road Trip in July/August

Lucerne, Switzerland
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Road Trip in July/August

Hi there,

we're planning a Road Trip (maybe as round trip or one-way) in Australia.

I've been road-tripping in the USA quite some times and we always enjoyed it. But about Australia I do not really have any idea. We have about five weeks in July and August. Where should I start? Should I drive around the coast in the south, west or east? Or does anyobody have a good idea about a fun round trip?

Also I'm planning on pre-booking Hotels in major towns. But what about smaller towns. Is it easy to get rooms as walk-ins? In the US it was always easy to do that and easy to find a room. But maybe Australia has less choices in smaller / rural towns. What's best to do?

Thanks for any help! I know these are big, general questions, but I need to start planning somehow.

Perth, Australia
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1. Re: Road Trip in July/August

Did you know there is a TA Road Trip forum, Bandit-One? There are some Aussie RT experts there.

5 weeks won't get you right around Aus unless you intend to just sit in the car and drive. July/Aug is winter - lovely in the North, predominantly wet & cold South. Many retirees head North during those months and there are also school holidays during July in all states so accommodation in some locations will be scarce to come by.

What do you want to see here? Are you in to nature or cities or surfing or fishing etc Some clues as to your interests will help with the suggestions as to where to go.

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2. Re: Road Trip in July/August

Hi Bandit:

Normally, I would recommend that visitors fly between destinations as Austrlaian is so large. However, I can see the appeal of doing a road trip for the sake of doing it rather than to get from point A to point B.

At that time of the year, I would start in Sydney and head north up the Eastern Coast. South of Sydney will be cold in the middle of winter.

Unlike driving in Eurpoe (or even in the US) be prepared for many kilometers between towns - there is a lot of empty 'space' in Australia. The Eastern Seaboard is the most heavily populated and so makes for a good road trip.

This link will give you the dates for school holidays in Australia next year


Apart from major tourist centers like the Gold Coast] ,Cairns etc, this shouldn't pose too much of a problem for you, but it may be advisible to pre many travel in campervans. Are you planning on camping or renting a car and staying in hotels/otels along the way?

It's 2700 km from Sydney to Cairns. How much of this trip you want to tackle depends on how far to want to drive each day.

If you don't mind the cold weather and want to get in a bit of skiing, you could also start in Melbourne, travel north through the Snowy Mountains and then head to the coast, up through through Sydney as far as Brisbane.

As Perthite said, so much depends on what sort of things you enjoy doing - other than driving. And what sort of thinbgs you like to see on your drives - mountains, coastlines, cities, wide open spaces???

I would suggest that you have a look at Google maps, work out the distances you want to cover and then read the FAQs on the right, especially the ones about driving.

Sydney Australia
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3. Re: Road Trip in July/August

Hi Bandit-one,

Australia is an awesome place for a road trip. July -August is the perfect time to do one. :o)

I think ultimately you're going to need to do a bit of research and decide the sort of thing you want to see. Are you after the big ticket icons or are you wanting to get out into our empty spaces..like crossing the Nullabor or driving up to Uluru or perhaps even Broken Hill or Bourke? Ticking off the icons in the time you've got really needs some flights to maximise your time exploring in the various regions... but it would also be no hardship to simply take off on an interesting and remote route into the outback.

The accommodation question is going to depend on where you're planning on going and when, but most regional places you should be able to wing it. Try to avoid school holidays if you can. The good thing about not having too settled a plan is that you can tailor your plans according to conditions at the last minute. :o)

I would also encourage you to hop over to the road trips forum. Tet14 is one of the experts there and he's got heaps of Aussie road trip experience and comes at it from an international visitor's perspective, so no doubt you will find his input very valuable.

Lucerne, Switzerland
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4. Re: Road Trip in July/August

Thanks to all of you for your help!

Brisbane, Australia
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5. Re: Road Trip in July/August


I have got 2 trip lists.

One is a 6>7 days circle to and back to Brisbane, Queensland. I suggest add an extra day or two to relax more. I was the only driver and clocked up to 500km on some days.

This route takes you down inland over our Great Dividing Range, through some of our small country towns. While we did not see everything on the list, I have added what there is to see and a bit about the area. We also stayed at The Western Planes Zoo overnight, which I enjoyed. Then headed into the Hunter Valley (wine country), then up the east coast and back to Brisbane.

The Hunter Valley is not that far from Sydney and a lot of Sydneysiders go there for weekend breaks. So possible to end the trip there...so you could do the coast reverse from Brisbane also.


I must add that going down inland in winter it can be bitterly cold. I was in Stanthorpe a couple of years back in winter and it got down to -8deg which is really cold for Queensland and ocassionally it snows there. These areas are above sea level.

The other trip list is of a drive up to our Sunshine Coast which can be anywhere from an hour or so from Brisbane airport to two hours to Noosa at the top. This trip would be better extended to perhaps a few days.

I took the inland route and circled back down the coast back onto the highway back into Brisbane. Montville is a pleasant place to stay a night as there are some open fires in winter and B & B's. Can get cold up there.


A lot of folk from New Zealand and our southern states have holiday homes/units at the Sunshine Coast and come here in our winter months.

To look up my reviews of some of the places mentioned ..go to my contributions and I now have two pages.

If time...you could drop the car at Brisbane Airport and fly north to the Great Barrier Reef. It will be much warmer up there. Places of interest to look up are Whitsunday, Airlie Beach, ( can get a flight to this area from Brisbane and pick up a hire car). This area has boat cruises out to some of the reef and resort islands.

Drive north see some beachside areas and Townsville, which has Magnetic Island not far away and then there is Hinchinbrook Passage just north. Popular fishing and boating area also. Arrive into Cairns. Boats out to reef for snorkelling and diving etc.

Drive up to the Atherton Tableland inland. Another resort town north of Cairns is Port Douglas.

May be able to fly out of Cairns home.

My other favourite places in AUS are south which includes Tasmania and Victoria and it's Great Ocean Road, but these areas will be colder.

Even in our outback around Uluru and the Kimberley's of WA are very cold at night being near our desert areas and flat country.

Enjoy downunder

6. Re: Road Trip in July/August

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