If you’ve ever dreamed of quitting the 9-5 and travelling Australia, here’s what the Allan tribe from Newcastle did on their lap of Australia with kids.
Uluru (Northern Territory)
Uluru is simply a magical place that you can’t help but be caught up in its presence and be wowed when you first lay eyes on it. Our whole family loved this part of our trip and we couldn’t recommend a visit to all three iconic landmarks highly enough. Here are a few tips if you are planning a trip.
Top 5 Tips
1. If you’d like to see Uluru and The Olgas from the air with kids, definitely go through Ayres Rock Helicopters as they were the only company that allows kids to share a seat and therefore the price. Spend the extra money and see the Olgas if you can. I thought they were even more spectacular than Uluru from above and you get to see a side you can’t by road or foot.
2. Since the Sunrise free camp has closed, if you are after cheap accommodation, ask to stay in the overflow at Ayres Rock Camping Ground. Only $25 a night compared to $50 in the main area.
3. Start the day early, it makes for a better experience avoiding the heat
4. We found early October a great time to visit as the flies weren’t too bad or the crowds and it didn’t get freezing at night like you often hear about. We did see some people with fly nets but you can buy them everywhere if you need them.
5. Entry to the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park is $25 an adult for 3 days. A good idea is buy your ticket in the evening and go for sunset so you don’t have to join the long queue in the morning.
Great Ocean Road (Victoria)
After a quick stop in Wye River and Cape Otway we arrived at the impressive Twelve Apostles (with ten million other people) and what an incredible sight to see. Really phenomenal! The coastline is truly unique, the weathered limestone stacks and rugged cliffs make for spectacular viewing and the ocean is this amazing colour that harbours an array of marine life.
All along the coastline are weathered rock formations, breathtaking secluded bays and walking tracks to entice the tramper in you. Our first day exploring ended early after a sea fog rolled in off the water looking like a massive wave. Fortunately in from the coast was the little country town of Timboon with the inland trail taking you through green rolling countryside. Along the way we sampled the local produce from snails, cheese, chocolate, whiskey and ice-cream. The round trip journey was about 100kms, but the local delights were well worth the drive.
Over the next few days we explored the remaining sights. The gorgeous Loch Ard Gorge, London Bridge, The Arc and the Gotto to name a few. They are all amazing sights to see, especially Loch Ard and the day was even better as the weather had calmed down. Port Campbell where we stayed was a great central base to explore the area and Port Campbell Holiday Park for $50 a night is a brilliant location on the beach and in town. Further around the coast is Peterborough. The coastline smoothed off a bit and nestled along the way where these bays that were just beautiful, The Bay of Islands where the water looked so blue you just wanted to dive in.
We had amazing weather the days we were in the area and spent some relaxing time on Port Campbell Beach which was also a great safe beach to chill out with the kids. After a long hot afternoon in the sun there’s nothing like a few cold ales at the local brewery sampling some craft beer to top off the day.
Lawn Hill National Park (Queensland)
We knew from our research combined with Adels Grove that Lawn Hill was going to be a pretty special place, but Lawn Hill far exceed our expectations!
Lawn Hill National Park is 12km from Adels Grove where you can camp on the gorge for $25 a night. We wasted no time exploring, feeding catfish, swimming and we walked to the main waterfalls which has the most gorgeous swimming hole and is absolutely breathtaking to see.
The next day Rhys and the boys hiked up to the Island Stack for sunrise and we hired a canoe and spent four hours looking at the entire gorge with lots of swims in between. It truly was magical and nothing like we had experienced before.
The only bummer was the heat and this is by far the hottest we have felt as there isn’t much shade or breeze in the National Park and at 40 degrees, it got pretty damn hot. You basically chill out in the heat of the day trying to stay cool and constantly swim or have cold showers. The amenities there were the cleanest we’ve seen but only cold showers which didn’t matter. We only stayed two nights because of the heat but besides that, it has been a huge highlight for the trip so far and the photos really don’t do it justice.
Adels Grove (Queensland)
Adels Grove is located 280km from Camooweal or you can come down from Gregory Downs (both dirt roads). The road and river crossings were really good except for the last 50kms where our triple soap dispenser smashed in the shower, our cutlery draw came out and cracked, a lid jiggled off the nutmeg and went everywhere and we got our first flat tire! Still with all that it was totally worth it including getting everything dusty again.
Adels Grove is a really cool camping area situated right on the water’s edge, with no power or water available but it has a large bar and restaurant (pricey) plus normal camp facilities. We camped here for two nights just metres from a stunning swimming area with heaps of shade that was seriously needed as it was stinking hot! It was 42 degrees on the drive-in. We basically swam the entire time in the incredible green water which has a calcium level 7 times higher than normal from the natural spring. Your skin and hair felt terribly dry afterwards. The kids had a ball and didn’t get off the tree swing or stop going up and down the little rapids on a tire.
Want to read more about the Allan tribe’s lap of Australia with kids? Head over to Ten Itchy Feet to follow their journey.