Big trip from Brisbane-Adelaide-Alice-Rocky to Brissy

by Matthew - Submitted July 2011

Hi, we are doing a family trip over Christmas to Adelaide. We want wanted to takes some sights in along the way, I have done a rough idea on the map of where we want to go.
We will be leaving here around the mid December to be in Adelaide for Christmas. We are looking at going to Innamincka, Cameron Corner then to Broken Hill before we head to Adelaide.

We will leave there just after new years to Marree to head up the Birdsville Track to Birdsville then to Alice Springs and on to Rocky.

We know it will be hot and that's ok. We have a budget of $15,000 for the trip after buying all the gear we need will that be enough? And we are keen to know about some nice places to visit along the way as we have never been out there before and don't know if we will do it again so we want to make the most of it.

We have a GU patrol 3L diesel getting ARB to kit it out with everything front and rear lockers, OME suspension kit 2 inch lift, winch, compressor, long range tanks 210 liters, recovery pack eg ropes max tracks exhaust jack tyre repair kit n all, 6 Mickey ATZ 4-rib tyres and a 6th rim and the new Hema and fridge so we are prepared for getting stuck and tyres blowing, also getting a few hoses belts and general tools too.

Would 60L water be enough for 2 adults and 3 kids and how much food should we take to last between towns? We are taking the tent so any ideas where to camp would be great. Are you allowed to pitch a tent just off the road if needed as we don't want to drive at night and any ideas on things we should be prepared for would be great too.

We do have a fair bit of 4x4 experience but mostly beach and mountains so can't imagine it would be too hard out there.

Reply by Rita

Hi Matthew,

What I don't see from your map is which way you want to go from Birdsville to Alice? That line on your map doesn't follow an official map me thinks, there is just desert.

If you thought to go west along one of the Simpson Desert tracks, you should know that the Simpson Desert NP and the tracks are closed during summer. At least this was the fact in the past years, and I guess they will continue with the policy for safety reasons. It is just too hot in summer.

So perhaps the better route to go west is along the Oodnadatta Track.

Your budget is still $15,000 after you bought all the stuff? That's more than enough, can't think of a place where you can spent that much money, especially when you are camping.

I admit I don't understand all the technical stuff you mentioned, but it seems that you are well prepared to do some repairs.

I would keep the 60l water as emergency ration in the remote areas, and buy water for your daily use. The water supply in the Outback is often only for washing/dishes etc. Many places have to rely on rain water from the tanks, and they don't share it with travellers. Bore water is often to salty in the Great Artesian Basin, and not suitable to drink.

If you have experience with driving on beaches you'll be fine.

Did I forget anything? Just ask away:)


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Comments for Big trip from Brisbane-Adelaide-Alice-Rocky to Brissy

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Aug 03, 2011
Big Trip
by: Matthew

We were looking at taking the birdsville but Oodnadatta Track looks good too and will really look into the way Dave went. Our kids really want to go to Uluru so that is a must. We just got an Icom IC-440 cb raido apparently thats the best and the real big antenas designed for the long range signal for the deserts and long flat areas so we should be right there and we wernt going to worry about a sat phone. We are leaving Brisbane around the 15 december and planning on being back around end of February hopefully that will be enough time otherwise the kids may miss a but of school.

Aug 02, 2011
Oodnadatta Track
by: Rita

Hi Matthew,

Tracks like the Birdsville & Oodnadatta Track are open unless they are wet. Only the Simpson Desert Conservation Park and Regional Reserve are closed from December to March.

You didn't say how much time you have to do the big trip? I could spend weeks and months in the area between Adelaide and Alice, and always discover new places and back roads.

The shortest way from Alice Springs back to the coast is via the Plenty and Donahue Hws (both unsealed), and then via Winton and Longreach to Rockhampton.

BTW, do you plan to go to Uluru as well, once you are out there?

I would recommend (if you don't have already) to take some sort of communication device, UHF radio and /or sat phone. As a general rule, ask for road conditions for the next step of your trip, talk with the locals and fellow travellers. Have a couple of spare days in the itinerary, just in case you have to wait somewhere until a closed road dries out and opens again.

As for camping, although most of the country is private pastoral land, you will find many nice places just close to the roads. Do never camp in a creek bed (because of flash flood) and close to water holes and watering ponds where cattle might drink.

Find more info about the Qld section of your trip.


Aug 01, 2011
Big Trip
by: Matthew

Havn't planned a route from birdsville to Alice as yet but will look into the Oodnadatta Track and havn't got one done from Alice to Rocky either as i have been quite busy but any ideas would be awesome. I can plan a route to take but i will more than likely miss some interesting places to visit. You said the tracks will be closed in summer hmmm was hoping to take alot of them and really get out in the middle of nowhere. I have the $15,000 set aside for fuel and if anything goes wrong and to do some activites if any out there like in Alice and to purchase suvoneers along the way. With the car and all the technical stuff well im getting a couple 4x4 shops and mechanics to fully work it over as much as possible thats still legal to get me out of anything i might get stuck in and they are also doing a few engine mods to improve it and make it more realible so car wise its all good just have to plan it better as its not just a drive to the coast.

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