We have a plan for our big trip which starts in July 2018 and will go on for as long as we can make it last. However, the plan is fairly loose and it gets looser the further out it goes. We want to allow ourselves the opportunity to find new places and stay a while if we like them. It starts with 9-10 months visiting some of the bits of Australia we’ve been too busy working to see. This will be a combination of camping, motels, AirBnBs and housesitting. We’ll also splurge on luxury every now and again. After Australia it’s likely that Japan will be the next stop, and then we’ll travel west across the globe (or as far as we get). We’ve bought a jeep for the Aussie leg, which we’ll sell before we head overseas. We plan to give some detail in a future post on our preparation and packing.
The early parts of the Australia leg are fairly locked in. Starting from our home in Bargara near Bundaberg on July 29th 2018, Airlie Beach will be the first stop where we will have a few days camping and taking in the Whitsundays. We’ll then drive via Townsville to Cairns. At Cairns we’re joining an 18 day tagalong tour up to the tip of Cape York, the northernmost point of Australia, and hopefully over to see some of the Torres Strait Islands. The tour is run by Tagalong Tours of Australia. As our 4WD experience is fairly limited it will be good to be guided by experts in a group of other drivers.
After driving back from the Cape we’re going to relax for a few days in Palm Cove then cheat a little and fly to Darwin. From here we’ll explore parts of the Kakadu National Park and Arnhem Land. Then we’ll fly down to Alice Springs and pick up a hire car to drive the Mereenie loop to Kings Canyon and round to Uluru. This is where we’ll have one of our bits of luxury as we’ve treated ourselves for our fiftieth birthdays to a three night stay at the Longitude 131 Glamping resort overlooking Uluru.
After flying back to Cairns and picking up the jeep, we’ll head out to Karumba at the bottom of Cape York, and spend several days driving down through the centre of Queensland. One of the things we’re keen to do is visit the outback towns we’ve heard about but never visited such as Mount Isa, Winton, Longreach and Charleville. Heading into NSW our plan is to continue through country towns like Bourke until we come out at the coast at Gosford at the end of September where we have our first house sit booked in. We have another housesit arranged for just north of Newcastle and we’ll spend a bit of time exploring parts of NSW we’ve not yet seen, such as the Hunter Valley. We’ve been to Sydney quite a few times so doubt we’ll go back there on this trip.
Then it’s on to the nation’s capital, Canberra, which Jane hasn’t visited yet and Andy has only been to for work. We’re keen to see some of the museums and galleries there. It will then be time to make our way to Victoria where we plan to spend a couple of months, hopefully housesitting, and exploring parts of the state we’ve not yet visited. Our daughter is studying at University there and this will be around the end of her academic year. We’ll get to spend a bit of time with her over the Christmas break.
Into 2019, when Uni starts back, our plans are a bit more fluid but we intend to include South Australia, Western Australia and possibly Tasmania in them before we head overseas. Follow our updates to see how the plan rolls out in reality.