So you want to see Uluru, (also known as Ayers rock) but it’s in the middle of Australia and really difficult/ expensive to get to. Where do you start? Well, this summer I went to Australia for two months with my sister. Together with a group of friends we went on a three week road trip through the middle of Oz to see Uluru and other amazing sites.
Firstly, figure out your budget. This is so important as you need to make sure you have enough money to get you through your trip. Where you’re starting from may greatly influence your budget. Mid April until late June it’s normally the cheapest time to fly to Australia as it is late autumn/early winter. If you’re looking to be in Australia for their summer time expect flights to be expensive.
Once you know where you’re starting from and how much your budget is, design a road trip route. We started from Darwin and went through the middle of Australia until we hit Adelaide. From there we went on to Kangaroo Island and then Melbourne (you can easily do your road trip in reverse order.)
Once you plan a route find other people to go with. There were five of us when I went in total. My sister and I advertised our proposed road trip through various Facebook groups and we found three lovely European girls to accompany us. This helped split the cost of renting the car, petrol, camping and food shopping (depending on whether you share food or each have your own) as well as making new friends and creating a more sociable, memorable experience.
Once you know how many people you’re going with find a car company that has the perfect car for you’re trip. Ours came with camping equipment including two tents and a gas cooker. You may have to look at quite a few car companies as prices vary. Now that you’ve got your budget, route, car and travel companions you’re ready to go!
…Not quite. You need to do some research in order to decide what you want to do and see along the way. If you think it’s just Uluru surrounded by dessert you’re mistaken (well semi right … there is a lot of dessert!) The middle of Australia has so much more to offer, so make sure you decide what else you want to see on your road trip. It really helps to create a rough schedule that outlines what you’re going to see, where you’re going to stay and how much it will cost.
If you’re not sure where to start here’s the one my sister and I made for our road trip.
|DATE (JULY 2015)||DESTINATION||DRIVING TIME||ACCOMODATION||EXTRA|
|6th||Darwin & Litchfield National Park||1.5 hrs||Camp at waterfalls ($6)||MEET UP!|
|7th||Kakadu National Park||3 hrs||Camp ($10)/Lodge($40)||$25 entrance fee|
|8th||Kakadu National Park||Camp($10)/Lodge($40)|
|9th||Katherine/ Nitmiluk National Park||3.5 hrs||Camp($10)/Hostel|
|10th||Daly Waters||4 hrs||Camp($7)/hostel ($32)||Stop ½ way at Mataranka -> Elsey National Park & see Bitter Springs Thermal Pools|
|11th||Devil’s Marbles||6.5 hrs||Camp on site($3) OR at Wycliffe Well Holiday Park($10) [25 mins south]||Stop at Tennant Creek [after 5 hrs]|
|12th||Alice Springs||5 hrs||Hostel ($25)|
|13th||King’s Canyon||5.5 hrs||Campground(free)/Hostel ($40)|
|14th||Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park||4 hrs||Campground($10)/
|$25 entrance fee|
|16th||(Painted Desert before) Coober Pedy||2.5 hrs
|Campground Painted Desert ($5) OR Hostel Coober Pedy ($30)||Stop at Painted Desert [after 2.5 hrs]
Recommend going EARLY and see sunrise!
|17th||Flinders Ranges||7.5 hrs||Campground($7)|
|19th||Full day Adelaide OR Kangaroo Island|
|21st||Stop halfway to Melbourne|
We were able to see all of our chosen destinations and see beautiful Uluru. Which was well worth all the planning and saving up for. If you’ve done all this you should have everything you need to have a great road trip. There’s just one last thing to do – enjoy!