Then we realized that life is too short, my partner is 55 and we buried a good friend who was barely 60. We decided that if we were going to do some serious travel, travel without a return date that is, we should probably do it sooner rather than later.
For New Zealanders Australia has some advantages – the east coast is about 3 hours and A$250 flight away, and we are entitled to work in Australia. So we stored our possessions rented out our house and bought one way tickets to Brisbane. Once there we bought a 1985 Landcruiser and about A$1000 worth of camping gear. Our main priorities was to see Tasmania, the far north of Australia, and the centre. I wanted to go back to Broken Hill for the first time in over 20 years, the place where I had had my first job as a geologist. Sydney, Melbourne and the NSW coast we had visited several times and we didn’t plan on spending much time there.
The Original Plan
6 months doing a figure 8 loop of Brisbane, Melbourne, Tasmania, Adelaide, Broken Hill, Birdsville, Oodnadatta Track, Uluru, Alice Springs, Cairns, Cape York, Darwin, Broome, Perth, Kalgoolie, Nullabor Plain, Melbourne or Brisbane
What Actually Happened
March: Brisbane (2 weeks to buy truck and sort out ownership papers and another 4 days to sort out all the camping gear we needed) down the coast to Sydney and into the Blue Mountains
April: Detoured inland to see Bathurst (motor racing street course, awesome dinosaur and mineral museum) and Parkes (radio telescope). South back to the coast across to Victoria and down to Melbourne. Ferry across to northern Tasmania, down the east coast to Hobart and further south.
May: From southern Tasmania back up the west coast back across to Melbourne. Up north to Broken Hill crossing out of Victoria at Mildura. A week in Broken Hill including a 4WD course and then further north to Camerons Corner (NSW, SA, Qlds meeting point) where we got rained in for a few days.
June: North to Birdsville, Birdsville Track, Oodinatta Track, Uluru, Kings Canyon, Alice Springs, east to Longreach via the Plenty Highway.
July: North along the Queensland coast all the way to Cape York and back to Cairns
August; From Cairns to Mararanka, along the Savannah Way, north to Darwin and then back south to Katherine and west to Derby via the Gibb River Road in the Kimberley.
September: South down the Western Australian coast via Broome and Karajini National Park to Perth.