Our Australian Tour – How we did it


    Hauptseite / Main page / Pagina principala



    As can be seen on the map below we made one big circle clockwise starting from Melbourne along the coast – up the Flinders – into the Red Center – Great Dividing Range – Blue Mountains – Malee Country south of the Murray and back to Melbourne


    Timing and Seasons

    We started our tour in the first half of February, so when we reached the northern part of the Flinders and went on into the Outback at the beginning of March we were early in the season – meaning it was really hot. Too hot for good walking. Dalhousie in the second week of March was good above 45ΊC. But on the other hand it was really empty and we came relative short time after heavy rains – the roads had just opened so we had rather a Green than a Red Centre.

We fled for the Easter Holiday to Innamincka which was good empty, but we came also short after rain so the flies were pretty bad.

We had big luck on our trips in the Gammon Range which had a „cold” spell for two weeks so we could walk in 25ΊC instead of 35ΊC.

On the other hand when we came to the Great Dividing Range and the Blue Mountains we were too late – it got cold and rainy or maybe to early as the Blue Mountains should be best in Winter.

So we learned that for such a long trip a very good look at the seasons is necessary – on the other hand it is always fuller during high or best seasons and low seasons have for me there own charm.



    We rented a Toyota Landcruiser HJ60 – 23 years old and maybe 400.000km on its back – from www.carconnection.com.au

They picked us up from Melbourne Airport and brought us to there base at Castlemaine, 80km north of Melbourne. (We heard from other customers that they even pay you the bus-ticket to their shop if you should arrive by air in Sydney)

Carconnection is specialized in long term rental – a fixed price for rental up to six month. Even we used the car only three month they were by far the most economic option. OK – the car was pretty old – but reliable. We had three technical problems which were no big deal thanks to the support and warranty of the rental company.

I guess the thing is that West-Europeans like us are not used with the ideea that cars can run for so long under the right conditions.

We choose a big 4x4 even it cost us double than lets say a Ford Falcon – and we were happy. More space meaning more comfort as we lived and camped for three month in and out of this car. And after 1000km on a road where you could go also with a two wheel drive you come to the point where you need the 4x4 and I would go mad at this point if I would not have it – I mean we wanted to go off the beaten track.


    Rented Camping Equipment

    We rented the camping equipment also from Carconnection as we left our own stuff in Europe. The gear and the price was OK and we could never bring big pots, gas bottles and a table from home. Very good for us was that the tent can stand alone without rain cover (inner tent only) which is good enough for these temperatures. With our High-Mountain-Tent from Europe we would have sweated.

What really sucked was the mattresses – 10mm foam – we had to invest in 50mm Self inflating Mattresses which set us back 100A$ a piece but which we can use for other tours. And the very tough but uncomfortable camping chairs where a pain in the a**.


    Hiking Equipment

    We walk always in real mountain boots and as the terrain in Australia can be difficult and help for a injured ankle far away I would not dear to walk in something else.

The big backpacks we needed mostly for carrying two days supply of water. For this a water bag from MSR is useful.

Especially during our track in the wildness of the Gammon Range we relied on a eTrex GPS from Garmin. It is a great tool in combination with a good compass (SUUNTO World Zone) and UTM-Grid topographic Maps of Australia.



    We went to Australia hoping for long overnight treks like we are used from Europe.

But we learned fast that this is not what you need to do in Australia. For example the Grampians: All good spots can be reached in day walks so why haul your camping gear around? You logistics concerning drinking water and time of day when you can walk decide what you can actually do. And if you want to go off for more than one day as we did in the Gammon Range or we planned for the Blue Mountains you have to be really good prepared ... so good that it is hard to do if you are „just” on a holiday and don’t live in the area.

Like for our two over-night tours in the Gammon Range we spent all in all two weeks in the National Park to get used to the terrain, know the National Park Rangers and do our planning.


    Most Important

    Do it! Australia is a great place – but take your time. Don’t follow only the travellguide you get at home but go to the Nation Park Headquaters and listen to the Rangers. You will find amazing places.





    Hauptseite / Main page / Pagina principala