Starting to Plan for a 1/2 lap

Macca_75

Well-Known Member
Aug 3, 2016
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SE Suburbs, Vic.
#1
More precisely, we will be heading out of Melbourne west and following the coast line (more or less) all the way to Darwin, then heading south through to Uluru and somehow finding our way home from there.

At this stage we are thinking something along the lines of a 6 month trip with the 3 kids on board.

Most of our research will be done by trawling through various Facebook groups and we want to keep the itinery fairly loose. Mayve just some milestone sites and dates and everything between will depend how we feel in the morning.

Q. Can this route be done only on the black stuff or are there some long stretches of roads that will be unsealed? Purpose of the question - do i need to prep the underside of the van, consider rock protection, etc?

We will likely take a tent and some air beds in case we decide to head off track for a few days here and there (and store the van at a park or similar for the time).
 

Crusty181

Well-Known Member
Feb 7, 2010
4,666
10,368
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Mentone, VIC
#2
Exciting time ahead for you guys Macca. The highway route is blacktop all the way. There is of course a gazilion places to get off the blacktop, and that varies from dirt display home style carpark level to bone shaking goat tracks. Should you choose to, you'll find plenty of opportunities to get into some lovely places off the blacktop without needing to touch your van before you leave, nor risk damage doing it. I didn't do too much re under body mods on our 20.63.1OB, and I dragged it down every crap goat track I could find, and had no issues re damage so dont get too hung up on thinking you need to rebuild your van to do some of the ore accessible dirt roads or tracks. There re some truly beautiful spots at the end of easy dirt roads and tracks
 
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Drover

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Nov 7, 2013
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Cooloola Coast, QLD
www.expandasdownunder.com
#3
Even staying on the tar you can get some unwanted things flying around underneath, I would just make sure all lines and cable runs are safely tucked up and not hanging around swinging in the breeze as in common.....I put most of my water lines in plumbing insulation mostly to stop them icing up, rock protection was an added bonus, I would advise to check that brake wire from axle to brake drum is tucked away as they usually are flapping around waiting for the road kill or tyre bit to catch it.
Try not to straddle or run over road kill unless you can't avoid it, the body can do untold damage underneath and dried bones on the side of the road love tyres.
 
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Hubble80

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Nov 22, 2012
521
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63
Moranbah, QLD
#12
Nice work @Macca_75. I have Long Service Leave at the end of the year for 4.5 months, taking 3 kids out of school and one out of kindy and hitting the road. Can't wait! We are looking to head south to NSW and Vic then west to SA and possibly WA. Would love to get to Perth, but not sure if we will have enough time. Would love to hear how you are planning, as I would love to throw Uluru into the plans if we can.
 

Macca_75

Well-Known Member
Aug 3, 2016
440
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SE Suburbs, Vic.
#13
Nice work @Macca_75. I have Long Service Leave at the end of the year for 4.5 months, taking 3 kids out of school and one out of kindy and hitting the road. Can't wait! We are looking to head south to NSW and Vic then west to SA and possibly WA. Would love to get to Perth, but not sure if we will have enough time. Would love to hear how you are planning, as I would love to throw Uluru into the plans if we can.
I'm guessing you will be on your trip before we start the serious planning. We have picked a few *must do's* but the basic plan is to get to the Vic/SA border in 1 day (heading west from Melbourne). Anything between where I live and SA can be done in a much shorter trip. Then we will head along the coast line, sticking to the blacktop as much as possible. I think we sill setup shop for a few days each time (unless there is absolutely nothing to do and see) and I am going to try avoid being on the road any more than 3 hours per day to make it much more enjoyable for all. Setup is so quick and easy.

Schooling will be the hardest for us as we will be pulling 1 from year 9, 1 from year 7 (at a new school) and we also have a grade 5. Not sure how we will school them yet - rest assured it will be done somehow - another reason for keeping driving to a minimum.

Do you have a copy of WikiCamps? It's great. We are just adding "destinations" to a trip - it is automatically suggesting a best route.

Here is a copy of a sample trip we did to the Flinders last year

http://wctrip.co/au/214811/1014553365 (Note: The photo's in the link are not ours but what is in the app). You can also use the app across platforms (Android/Windows/Ipad/iPhone) however you will need to purchase it once for each platform.

As you can see - they were long driving days.
 
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bigcol

Well-Known Member
Nov 22, 2012
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Swan Valley Perth
#14
Schooling will be the hardest for us as we will be pulling 1 from year 9, 1 from year 7 (at a new school) and we also have a grade 5. Not sure how we will school them yet - rest assured it will be done somehow - another reason for keeping driving to a minimum.

again I say, read @Smergen 's trip report.................
patience of a Saint, mixed with the knowledge and insight of King Solomon
 
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Smergen

Well-Known Member
Jun 8, 2014
2,255
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Bacchus Marsh
#15
the problem is, EVERYWHERE has something that "you just cannot miss"

good luck with your planning, @Crusty181 trip would possibly be a good starting point as well as @Smergen trip
both are awesome reviews of some of the greatest places
Thanks for the link @bigcol.

I'm guessing you will be on your trip before we start the serious planning. We have picked a few *must do's* but the basic plan is to get to the Vic/SA border in 1 day (heading west from Melbourne). Anything between where I live and SA can be done in a much shorter trip. Then we will head along the coast line, sticking to the blacktop as much as possible. I think we sill setup shop for a few days each time (unless there is absolutely nothing to do and see) and I am going to try avoid being on the road any more than 3 hours per day to make it much more enjoyable for all. Setup is so quick and easy.

Schooling will be the hardest for us as we will be pulling 1 from year 9, 1 from year 7 (at a new school) and we also have a grade 5. Not sure how we will school them yet - rest assured it will be done somehow - another reason for keeping driving to a minimum.
Firstly @Macca_75, congrats on taking the plunge and being brave enough to do such a trip. To commit the time and resources is the hardest part, actually working out what to do on the trip is the easy part!!

By the sounds of it, I reckon you've got it spot on. Planning is overated. I made a post on the blog about not planning before the trip, not knowing how successful it would be.

http://ohtheplacesweveseen.blogspot.com.au/2017/01/the-plan-to-not-plan.html

I can confirm that it was amazingly successful. Not knowing where or when you are going to get somewhere is part of the excitement.

On the other points:
1) Sticking to the tarmac - more than fine. Loads to see and do. If there are some things off in the dirt, then just leave the van behind and go.
2) Mods and prep - We did nothing more than make sure wires were up out of the way, and put a stone stomper on. Nothing else. We had no issues whatsover from an undervan perspective, and we did I think around 400km worth of gravel and sand.
3) Schooling - plenty of well established programs (Distance Ed, School of the Air, etc.) so look into them all. The tough part will be sticking to them whilst you are off adventuring. Your kids are old than mine so (hopefully) "get" the importance of school. Don't fear it though, plenty of families on the road all of different ages and year levels. Don't be afraid to use the trip itself to help with schooling. Log books, expenditure tracking, planning, documenting, all can count as school work. We likened it to going on excursion everyday!
4) Driving - I was surprised how easy the driving was. A few big days here or there, but you get into a routine, even our younger ones. I wouldn't fear it and embrace how to make it part of the trip, not just a thing you HAVE to do.

again I say, read @Smergen 's trip report.................
patience of a Saint, mixed with the knowledge and insight of King Solomon
Ha ha... you do what you can to get around this great country...
 

Macca_75

Well-Known Member
Aug 3, 2016
440
420
63
43
SE Suburbs, Vic.
#16
Thanks for the link @bigcol.



Firstly @Macca_75, congrats on taking the plunge and being brave enough to do such a trip. To commit the time and resources is the hardest part, actually working out what to do on the trip is the easy part!!

By the sounds of it, I reckon you've got it spot on. Planning is overated. I made a post on the blog about not planning before the trip, not knowing how successful it would be.

http://ohtheplacesweveseen.blogspot.com.au/2017/01/the-plan-to-not-plan.html

I can confirm that it was amazingly successful. Not knowing where or when you are going to get somewhere is part of the excitement.

On the other points:
1) Sticking to the tarmac - more than fine. Loads to see and do. If there are some things off in the dirt, then just leave the van behind and go.
2) Mods and prep - We did nothing more than make sure wires were up out of the way, and put a stone stomper on. Nothing else. We had no issues whatsover from an undervan perspective, and we did I think around 400km worth of gravel and sand.
3) Schooling - plenty of well established programs (Distance Ed, School of the Air, etc.) so look into them all. The tough part will be sticking to them whilst you are off adventuring. Your kids are old than mine so (hopefully) "get" the importance of school. Don't fear it though, plenty of families on the road all of different ages and year levels. Don't be afraid to use the trip itself to help with schooling. Log books, expenditure tracking, planning, documenting, all can count as school work. We likened it to going on excursion everyday!
4) Driving - I was surprised how easy the driving was. A few big days here or there, but you get into a routine, even our younger ones. I wouldn't fear it and embrace how to make it part of the trip, not just a thing you HAVE to do.



Ha ha... you do what you can to get around this great country...
Righto - so much blog to read....

Doubt I'll be that dedicated :) Maybe a new Facebook profile as we go along. 1 thing I do want to commit to is ordering "Photo books" as we go along for pickup in the next big town. To many photo's are taken as memories, only to never been seen again. I want to come home with a collection of coffee table books full of memories.

We do plan to use the trip as part of education. For example the one that needs the most help with Maths will help do our budget and decide where we can afford to go. Writing skills will help document our trip - actually maybe there is the blogger :p and the youngest - well he will be lucky if he doesn't get left behind somewhere.... but on a more serious note we may get him to take the photo's for the newly assigned blogger :) A nice little 30 mins so sum up the end of every (or start of the next) days learning.
 

1DayIll

Well-Known Member
Apr 26, 2016
560
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53
South Morang, Victoria
#17
Righto - so much blog to read....

Doubt I'll be that dedicated :) Maybe a new Facebook profile as we go along. 1 thing I do want to commit to is ordering "Photo books" as we go along for pickup in the next big town. To many photo's are taken as memories, only to never been seen again. I want to come home with a collection of coffee table books full of memories.

We do plan to use the trip as part of education. For example the one that needs the most help with Maths will help do our budget and decide where we can afford to go. Writing skills will help document our trip - actually maybe there is the blogger :p and the youngest - well he will be lucky if he doesn't get left behind somewhere.... but on a more serious note we may get him to take the photo's for the newly assigned blogger :) A nice little 30 mins so sum up the end of every (or start of the next) days learning.
The photo books is a great idea and we did the same but at the end of our trip and we still take them out occasionally and have a look at them. They are a great memory!

My advice, do not get too hung up on the schooling! You will be surprised as to how much they pick up along the way and learning needs to be fun for them. There is plenty of opportunity for them to read while on the road and let everyone know what is coming up on the next day. The experience they get will be far more beneficial than anything else. We traveled when my kids were 7 and 12 and both learnt a lot and developed skills we did not even think about.

Most of all HAVE FUN! 8-)
 

Smergen

Well-Known Member
Jun 8, 2014
2,255
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Bacchus Marsh
#18
Righto - so much blog to read....

Doubt I'll be that dedicated :) Maybe a new Facebook profile as we go along. 1 thing I do want to commit to is ordering "Photo books" as we go along for pickup in the next big town. To many photo's are taken as memories, only to never been seen again. I want to come home with a collection of coffee table books full of memories.

We do plan to use the trip as part of education. For example the one that needs the most help with Maths will help do our budget and decide where we can afford to go. Writing skills will help document our trip - actually maybe there is the blogger :p and the youngest - well he will be lucky if he doesn't get left behind somewhere.... but on a more serious note we may get him to take the photo's for the newly assigned blogger :) A nice little 30 mins so sum up the end of every (or start of the next) days learning.
Still trying to get around to choosing the photos for the books and walls out of the 10,500 we took... We had a Facebook group that was really good and easy to update, more so than the blog. But the blog is great to look back on as it's a little more detailed, which reminds me I better get the next post up and running...
 

bigcol

Well-Known Member
Nov 22, 2012
6,813
10,159
113
Swan Valley Perth
#19
we do the photo books as well...........
but SWMBO does them once we get home, and can edit and do her thing to the photo's

they are a great idea, because people take heaps of piccies while on holidays, but unless you drag out the Laptop or phone to view them, no-one ever looks at them

once small suggestion though

wait until you get home to do them, or
get them sent to your home address

the will be a lot of weight to try and budget room for

just a thought
 
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bigcol

Well-Known Member
Nov 22, 2012
6,813
10,159
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Swan Valley Perth
#20
We do plan to use the trip as part of education. For example the one that needs the most help with Maths will help do our budget and decide where we can afford to go. Writing skills will help document our trip - actually maybe there is the blogger :p and the youngest - well he will be lucky if he doesn't get left behind somewhere.... but on a more serious note we may get him to take the photo's for the newly assigned blogger :) A nice little 30 mins so sum up the end of every (or start of the next) days learning.
that is a great idea for them

they will all be involved and feel like they have an important part of the trip they have to look after

also, as @1DayIll said, get them reading up on the next stop, or the one after, so they can help with an "itinerary" of things to see and do
 
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