We made it! We crossed Australia by car and here is the post about our road trip from Sydney to Perth driving our Nissan Patrol.
This year we have relocated from Sydney to Perth. We also were curious to know what is in the middle of Australia.
This kind of trip is not the easiest holiday destination; it is a challenging and wild adventure.
We decided driving the car through Australia instead of shipping it and flying over with the rest of our belongings and our three cats with us. Here is the adventure of 4800 km
Here is the adventure of 4800 km driving across Australia and what you can see in the middle of the continent.
Travel Route From Sydney to Perth.
Driving through Australia is not something fun and entertaining and might be boring and exhausting. Make sure to have a vast and diverse playlist, plenty of water and healthy snacks. Plan your trip and stops in advance.
We drove in total for 4800 km.
We aimed to arrive in 6-7 days and stay on the road for about 7-8 hours a day. Some days took us 10 hours and some only 6.
It depends on where you choose to stop, but sometimes there is no choice and only one place to stop within hundreds of kilometres.
We travelled in Winter, and we think Winter is a better time to cross Australia. It is not that hot, you need less water, and you feel less tired. In addition, there are no sneaks around during the winter, in comparison to the summertime when you never know when you may meet something dangerous and venomous.
Sydney - Cobar.
695 kilometres, but about 10 hours due to traffic conditions.
The first day took us much more than we have expected. We slowed down a lot passing the Blue Mountains, delayed a lot by traffic lights and speed limits in the mountains, climbing up after the hulking trucks with no chance to overtake.
We were exhausted, and I did not even take any photos for the first days to document our stopovers, but the nicest accommodation of our entire trip.
Large renovated comfortable cabin with a little kitchenette, large modern bathroom. We cooked some pasta with the sauce which Valentino cooked at home and slept like babies.
Cobar - Peterborough - 750 km.
Overnight at Peterborough Caravan Park Cabin.
This way took us about 10 hours again because we had to stop to fix our roof rack tarpaulin that was broken by the stormy wind.
We realised that it is better to slow down and pull over a little bit while crossing a big track. High speed and the wind flows are harsh for anything attached to a car.
Lunch break stop in Wilcania.
We stopped in Wilcannia for a sandwich and to re-do our roof rack. There are a couple of public toilets, BP petrol station, and a provincial cafe.
Overall Wilcannia is not a fun place to see. It is a half-abandoned place with stray dogs on the streets and people that do not look very friendly.
It was a population boom in the 19th century and grew from 264 people in 1871 to 3,000 in the 1880s. They built 13 hotels and other things. Then it dropped to 604 people since the river dried and cut all the navigation through this place.
Peterborough - Ceduna
Lunch Break Stop at Kimba
Kimba is the point on the map called 'Halfway Across Australia.' Many people stop at Kimba, and there are a couple of cafes and shops you can visit. It is a good idea to stop here.
We arrived in Ceduna on a sunset, and we got amazed by this beautiful place.
Ceduna is a little gem in the middle of Australia. After the desert areas that we have seen, Ceduna appeared as a wonderful Paradise Oasis with a beautiful coast, Oyster Bars and tidy streets, long scenic jetty, and a decent buffet at the restaurant's pub.
If you have a bit of extra time or wish to have a break - plan to stay in Ceduna for at least one day. We have extended our one night room, and fortunately, there was no problem to do it. After an exhausting 3- days drive we needed to relax and enjoy ourselves. I am going to continue counting the days without considering one extra day in Ceduna.
I am going to continue counting the days skipping the extra one we spent in Ceduna.
- Eat oysters
- Watch the sunset from a Jetty
- Have a dinner at Ceduna Foreshore hotel bistro
- Drive to Penong & Port Sinclar Jetty
Accommodations in Ceduna.
We stopped at the A1 Cabins Caravan Park, as far as they have pet-friendly cabins. The place was a little outdated, and I would not stay here if we did not have pets. However, my partner enjoyed the stay, because the place seemed unique, with its' old-school design.
Ceduna - Cocklebiddy
771 km, if you travel from East Coast towards west, you will gain some daylights due to the timezone difference.
Lunch stop - Nullarbor
Facilities look better than at any other stop on the way; there are public showers if you need one, clean and large bathrooms.
Nullabor is a cool place to stop because there are a few things to see to entertain yourself. Nullarbor means 'no trees' and it is an absolute desert, but there is a little fun outdoor museum.
There was no much choice at Cocklebiddy, and we had to sleep at the roadhouse here. They say the restaurant is good here, but we arrived just when the kitchen closed. Pet deposit is $50, and they also charge a deposit for the tv remote controls, probably too many people take it with them..? The rooms are very anti-luxury and less decent in all the way. Say hello to the buggies next door from the shop and beware of killer sneaks on summertime. Friendly stuff advised the sneaks were sleeping in Winter...
Cocklebiddy - Kalgoorlie
Balladonia - lunch stop.
They serve surprisingly decent coffee at the cafe and have a cool museum to visit. The legend says that there were the pieces of a spaceship wreck around Balladonia that is why many people came here to look for them. NASA promised a reward to those who could find some spaceship spare parts. That is why many people used to come here to hunt for some space prize.
While passing the coast, make sure to have a look for lookout signs to have a quick stop and get some fresh air.
We checked into our spacious Airbnb house in Kalgoorlie and went to see the biggest in Australia Gold Mine - The Super Pit.
Super Pit is a fantastic place, and I've never seen anything like this in my life. If you are still thinking if going there or not - this place is a must see. This endless pit in the ground will open your mind, and you will feel very small. It 's hard to believe what people can do to this planet and how deep they can dig.
Other things, you should consider before going to the middle of Australia:
Road Conditions on the way from Sydney to Perth.
The road is sealed all the way, however, in some smaller part you can find holes or worn out roads. Here is why it is essential to travel with relatively new and very safe tires. When you travel for thousands of kilometres, your tires are getting worn out even more. Guess what do you see on the roadside all the time? Right, plenty of tires and of course, kangaroo bodies that got hit by vehicles.
Beware of Wild Life. Do not Travel in the Dark.
Why beware of wildlife? There is plenty of animals everywhere in Australia, and they do not heart anyone?
Well, in the middle of Australia the situation is completely different from what you used to see.
Do not travel at night or twilight. Anyone, you will meet on the way will tell you this. Plan your day trip, wake up as early as possible and allow for the arrival to your stopover about 2-3 hours in case of an emergency or bad weather conditions.
The road is full of goats, kangaroos, sheep and sometimes emus. In our experience, goats tend to run away from the car if you beep, but you never know what to expect from a kangaroo.
For example, one day it was extremely windy, and our roof rack tarpaulin partly detached and was almost flying away. I was securely tightened up with lots of ropes, locks, and pins. However, the long way under the stormy wind won, and we had to stop and re-pack everything. That took us a couple of hours and eventually, we had to drive under the stars. It is entirely dark after the sunset, and there is no lightning at all in the middle of the desert.
We guessed there would be lots of kangaroos and fortunately, we travelled with a bull bar, and it is highly recommended to have one. Bull bar saves lives. Seriously. In your casual life, you may not see many massive Kangaroos that are super unpredictable, and you never know if it runs out from the bush and jumps under the car. Sometimes if they see the car, they might just get 'frozen' in the middle of the road or jump away, or, jump under the wheels. That is why you always have to watch the road, the roadsides, and the surroundings very carefully and be ready to slow down if you see any movement.
Get Your Car Ready to drive for 4,500 km.
Travel with a bull bar.
Ensure your car is in perfect condition and make all the necessary mechanic check-ups. If you have any issues with your vehicle during the trip, there are hundreds of kilometres in the middle of nowhere with no service station around, not even a petrol stations. If something happens with your car during the trip, it will be not easy to find anyone who can fix it.
So take your car tools with you and some heavy duty tape, ropes, tarpaulin you never know when you may need these!
Do not pack anything into the boxes used for any fruits or veggies.
If you have heard about the quarantine checkpoint in South Australia, you probably know about restrictions for any fruits, gardening tools and some other things that may contain pests.
If you wish to move something in the boxes - ensure these are not fruits/veggies boxes. If you have any of these boxes, they will be confiscated and replaced with other cardboard boxes. You will need to unpack and re-pack everything at the quarantine box, and it is the last thing you want to do after the long day driving.
My Play List for Your Long Roadtrip.
Here is my playlist on Spotify, which you can download if you have premium access. It is still growing, so get some more music of your choice. Feel free to subscribe and download this playlist as your connection will be always interrupted while travelling.
Phone and Internet.
In some part, there is no reception, and in some roadhouses, there is no WiFi. But in 80% you will be connected if you are not with Vodafone. I never had reception, while Valentino was always online with his Telstra. It was super disappointing, and I would never recommend travelling with Vodafone anywhere in Australia. And this is not the first trip when I have no coverage with Vodafone.
Telstra is not bad, so I would recommend going with Telstra.