Darwin area or northern Queensland
Replies: 3 - Last Post: Jun 30, 2013 2:07 AM Last Post By: skovklinten
Jun 26, 2013 12:52 AM
Darwin area or northern QueenslandWe are a well travel family of four (two boys 9 and 13 years) who are considering a trip to Australia in the summer of 2014. We want to hire a campervan and drive around in approx. 3 - 4 weeks weeks. We love nature, free camping, snorkeling, beach, mountains, jungle, etc. Preferably a little out of the beaten track. From what I've read Western Australia would fit our wishes best, but it's just too expensive to travel to NW Australia (flight-prices). Due to season we would like to keep us in the north. So now we look at the Darwin area or northern queensland. We do not want to drive between the two destinations, but would like to keep us 'in one spot' (Darwin area or northern Queensland) and have good time. Is there anyone who can provide views and recommendations on what to choose?
Jun 26, 2013 9:31 PM
I see you are from Denmark. I presume when you say summer 2014 you mean northern hemisphere summer.
North Queensland and northern territory offer different experiences.
We did a 2 week camper van and kayaking trip with our kids ( who were slightly older than yours) about 5-6 years ago.
We spent a bout 5 days in Darwin ( probably too long- it is quite a small city), then visited Berry Springs ( recommended) Lichfield National Park ( recommended) and then Katherine, where we did a 3 day kayak trip on the Katherine River, downstream from the gorge( highly recommended ( see www.geckocanoeing.com.au). That is definitely off the beaten track. We then spent about 3 days in Kakadu.
The other area of main interest is around Alice Springs and Uluru in the Red Centre, which offers spectacular desert landscape, bush walking and aboriginal cultural experiences. A unique environment. ( highly recommended and needs about 2 weeks to do it justice)
In the Northern Territory you are a bit limited where you can go on the bitumen in a hire vehicle and you are likely to find yourself with a lot of other tourists. The Northern Territory is not suitable for snorkelling ( think crocodiles and poor visibility).
North Queensland probably offers more options and may be more suited to what you want to do.It also has more variety of landscape, with tropical rainforest and mountains around Cairns and savanna, dry forest elsewhere as well as agricultural land ( dairying, cattle, sugar etc). Bear in mind that for snorkelling you have to get away from the mainland. You can camp on some offshore islands but it takes a bit of organisation.
If snorkelling is one of your goals you might want to consider a boat trip in the Whitsunday Islands. You can also do one, three and seven day sea kayaking trips out of Mission Beach, just south of Cairns and of course there are lots of one to three day boat trips out of Cairns to the Barrier Reef for snorkelling. I don't know about free camping- others may be able to advise about this in these areas. Australia is very well served with camping grounds and caravan parks which generally have pretty good facilities. Hope this helps with preliminary planning.
Jun 28, 2013 7:04 AM
Jun 30, 2013 2:07 AM
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