Things to see around Great Ocean Road (and a Q about Stuart Hwy)
Replies: 11 - Last Post: Jan 25, 2013 6:03 AM Last Post By: lapen
Jan 19, 2013 1:17 AM
Things to see around Great Ocean Road (and a Q about Stuart Hwy)Hello
In March we will be heading to Melbourne from Sydney in our Campervan and then onto Adelaide to do the Great Ocean Road. Are there any other must see sights along this route?
We were then thinking about doing the Stuart highway up to Alice Springs and then to Darwin but I am slightly hesitant as this is our first outing in the camper and I think we need a bit more experience first before we go it alone. I'm just worried about how we'll cope with the isolation and dangers of being on our own. As much as I do reaaaally want to experience it I think we might be better coming back to do the East Coast up to Cairns first and then by that time we'll be ready to do it. Has anyone done the journey before that has any tips or advice?
Many thanks I'm advance
Jan 19, 2013 3:53 AM
1By the time you get to Adelaide you should have had plenty of experience with the camper itself. Backtracking and driving up the east coast isn't going to give you any more useful experience for tackling the Stuart.
Narooma, Mallacoota and Lakes Entrance are nice stops before you get to Melbourne, and don't miss Mt Gambier and its sinkholes on the way to Adelaide.
Jan 19, 2013 4:03 AM
Jan 19, 2013 4:34 AM
3Thanks Libby i'll look those places up :)
And Gerard that's good to know. I think I've just watched too many horror films about breaking down in the middle of no mans land!
I was talking to a woman at work about it and she said she wouldn't go without taking a gun or weapon of some sorts....and she was being serious. Kinda worried me a bit. She also said that on a trip she did to SA she had to use a petrol station in a run down town that had a lot of bad people hanging around the pumps. That scared me a bit too.
So I guess my other question is apart from driving at night on the Stuart hwy and the risk of animals running into the road, are there any other dangers of the route?
Also I keep researching the weather for Melbourne, Alice Springs and Darwin for March and looks like we'll be getting a right mixture of elements!
Jan 19, 2013 5:43 AM
4The Stuart Highway is a busy enough road. Plenty of traffic going in both directions.
Regarding some of the towns, they can feel a bit frontier like at times, but I've never had any issues, or indeed heard of any. That said, I can see how places like Pimba and Glendambo could feel a bit scary, and Coober Pedy can be hairy. There's no reason to spend any time in the former two other than fueling up.
Coober Pedy makes for a good stopover (worthwhile sleeping underground for the experience and to get out of the van for a night), but I'd consider which bar to get a drink in (the Desert Resort Hotel is best), and I wouldn't go wandering at night.
Other than hitting animals at night, which is why you should definitely not drive outside of daylight hours, I can't think of any real dangers. White line fever perhaps if you're not used to long hours of driving desolate countryside. Take regular breaks to avoid, and swap drivers. Oh, and contrary to popular belief, there ARE speed limits on these roads: 110km/h in South Aus, 130 km/h in the Territory.
Jan 19, 2013 3:28 PM
Jan 19, 2013 7:28 PM
6Yeh but it's only me that's worried and only because of the one person that said one thing to scare me. My other half is well up for it so I'm sure the more I research it and know about it the more ill feel good about it. I would love to day we did it, even if it is boring at times with not much to see. What an experience! :)
Thanks for the info commissioner!
Jan 19, 2013 8:17 PM
Jan 19, 2013 8:34 PM
8Since I can't edit my post I'll add that the mattock is handy for digging holes when you need to do number 2s, and the big torch helps you see your way at night. They are popular with the police in the bush.
The Stuart Highway is not so scary. A few years ago we camped at Riba's Underground camp just outside Coober Pedy, and at a caravan park in Roxby Downs.
BTW I recommend a detour to Roxby (from Woomera - another interesting place to visit) - you can get a guided tour of the Olympic Dam mine (h-u-g-e) at the tourist centre.
Jan 22, 2013 12:46 AM
9I've driven the Stuart Hwy a couple of times as a single female and never felt in any danger. I even broke down 1 hr south of Coober Pedy right on sunset once and lived to tell the tale (not that I recommend this).
Be alert, don't drive around dawn and dusk if you can avoid it (kangaroos on the road) and enjoy the desert experience.
Jan 22, 2013 1:11 AM
10Oh and for the Great Ocean Rd don't miss Mates Rest, cool climate rainforest just past Apollo Bay (shortish loop walk) and Loch Ard Gorge near Port Campbell - great scenery.
Have a great trip
Jan 25, 2013 6:03 AM
11Bright in Vic is very pretty at that time of year. Just watch for Drop Bears.
Over Easter, keep in mind that camp sites will be VERY busy, so book ahead. Mallacoota, Lakes Entrance and Wilson's Promontory may be booked out.
Coober PedyBook now
(4 star Hotel)
From US$150.78 per night
Alice SpringsBook now
(0 star Hotel)
From US$22.32 per night
(4 star Hotel)
From US$189.02 per night