Subject: Western Australia
Posted: 1 Mar 2017 12:33 am
Hi there. Have just read all your tales form your travels in WA. Loved them. Well done. I was just wondering if you had an opinion on the following. My wife and I (in our 50's rather than 90's) were planning on driving from Perth to Darwin with multiple stops along the way. Taking about 3 weeks. Neither of us are 'handy' with vehicles. I mean, we could change a tyre (probably find the chassis for the jack but thats about it!) but when you were mentioning having food for a week and dusty roads I am now wondering if it might be out of our league. I thought the main highway would be reasonably easy. We're just after a holiday not some life-threatening adventure! What do you think? Anyway, love your work. Steve.
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Subject: Perth to Darwin
Posted: 1 Mar 2017 1:21 pm
You can definitely drive from Perth to Darwin safely and without needing to go on any dirt roads, but it depends on what you want to visit. The highway is bitumen all the way so you can easily take in all the settlements and more accessible national parks without getting your tyres dirty, but some of the more rugged parts, such as Karijini or Cape Range, are only accessible by dirt road (though bear in mind I was there in 1996, which is a ridiculous 21 years ago now, so things will be different now).
If you stick to the highway proper, then you won't need to pack a week's worth of food, though it's always a good idea to stick a jerry can of water in the boot, in case you break down in hot sun (even on the main roads, you might have a bit of a wait before someone comes along, and the pickup truck will probably take a while to get to you even on the highway, so it's good to have a decent water supply). If you do plan to go onto the quieter dirt tracks, then it's a good idea to be more self-sufficient, as in some places it can be ages before anyone else drives past, but you can easily avoid that kind of dirt track if you want - it all depends on what you want to see.
Also, the time of year is important, as in the wet season even the bitumen is impassable at times; the dry season is much better for driving, obviously.
So no, driving from Perth to Darwin isn't out of your league at all - just do a bit of research into the road surfaces (as my information will be out of date). Lots of people do this trip in caravans and campervans, so you can make it just as adventurous as you like. It's a wonderful journey however you choose to do it!
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