Why We Are Reversing Our Australian Road Trip

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It’s hard to believe we’ve been on the road now traveling around Australia for 6 months!

If you were to look at a map of our travels so far you’d probably think we haven’t gone far, but we have experienced a lot in this time period.

We started out with our 6 weeks in southern NSW, then had an amazing month in Tasmania, and incredibly we’ve spent over 3 months in Victoria. 

Exploring Cradle Mountain in Tasmania
Exploring Cradle Mountain in Tasmania

Who knew we’d spend that long in Vic. It’s been a revelation. So much to see for a small state. Plus, we have a lot of friends based in Melbourne to catch up with and had some business matters to attend to.

Besides that, we are all about traveling slowly and the fact that we are homeschooling Kalyra and running our travel blog we can only move so fast.

Up until now, we had planned to continue from Victoria to South Australia then into Western Australia and around, but we’ve had a change of heart.

Ever get those feelings that something’s not quite right?

You’re not sure what’s going on, but things seem to be slowing down and shuffling around. You thought you had the destination figured out, yet the haze soon seeped in and the pieces didn’t seem to fit anymore.

That has been our journey for the past three months.

I’m a spirit junkie – a big believer in the miracles of the Universe. Our destination is the greater purpose and each day we either move towards our special role in the greater plan or further away.

Most of the time I’m stuck on which way is forward or back, but the more I let go, hand myself over to serve, and trust things will work out, the more the miracles and the right path appears.

We planned to be in Victoria for one month, we’ve been here for over three. There was a stickiness at my feet calling me to stay. I thought it was because I needed to rest – and in large part, it was.

And I was learning a lot of lessons. My angel cards kept telling me I had more learning to do, but not to worry, because a new direction was coming soon. I didn’t know what they were talking about, but I did start to worry.

I’m very good at envisioning my future.

I can see clearly what’s going to happen next and I feel my way to the next place. But, when it came time to envision and prepare for South Australia and Western Australia, I could not feel a thing.

There was a black hole instead of adventures and new discoveries.

Did this mean the road trip was stalling or over? What was going to happen to us?

I tried not to panic and just trust we were sorting it out.

I was kinda tired of the road trip in the way we were doing it. So I chose to sit with the uncertainty until the Universe showed me the right way.

I decided to pause, learn, and be guided on a daily basis instead of pushing for the long-term plan.

We were led to purchasing our camper trailer as the best way to continue our trip.

Things miraculously moved around for us so we got the exact one we wanted at a good price. We were planning to pick it up and head to South Australia.

But, I just wasn’t feeling South Australia. It’s not that I don’t want to visit there, I really do. But, our timing was off.

Because we had delayed our time in Victoria so long, we were heading to South Australia during winter.

I’m tired of the cold.

This summer has not been the summer dresses and balmy evenings I’d envisioned. The weather down in Tasmania and the far south east corner of Oz is not our finest.

Yes Tasmania has amazing beaches, and you must see them, but it’s too cold for swimming. And whilst Melbourne and Victoria is incredible, the state is famous for its unpredictable weather.

And cooler weather means we always seem to eat more – we’ve been stuffing our faces with coffee and cake (one of the dangerous joys of Victoria & Tassie).

Binnalong Bay, Tasmania, Australia
Binalong Bay in Tasmania

So if we continued on our current path it meant we’d be south for the winter and north for the summer – the worst time to be up in the northern part of Australia as it’s hot, humid, rainy, impassable roads, cyclones, and in certain areas you can’t swim because it’s stinger season (jelly fish whose stings can cause serious illness).

What’s the point in spending time and money in beautiful places if you can’t enjoy the full impact of them?

So we threw the suggestion to the wind.

What if we just reversed our trip?

Let’s just head straight up to Queensland and the Northern Territory now, via parts of NSW we haven’t seen before or done thoroughly.

We haven’t moved too far yet that we can’t do a big old u-turn.

That way we can have winter in the Top End and then hit Western Australia and South Australia for summer later this year – the perfect time for weather, explorations, festivals and fun.

I started to get excited.

I started to see a clear future again. My inner knowing stepped forth and said, this is the way.

You know you’re on the right path when something that usually takes months to organise happens in a few days.

We all went through the day with a spring in our step that had been missing for awhile. We’ve become a bit jaded and are tired of wearing layers of clothes and inconsistent weather and need a change of environment!

We’re longing to wear nothing but summer dresses, sarongs, board-shorts, singlets and thongs (flip flops).

Whitehaven Beach, Queensland, Australia
bring on colour and sunshine

We want to jump in the ocean, run along the beach, experience island life, watch sunsets, and swim at waterfalls.

Hayman Island Resort, Queensland, Australia
Bring on Island Life!

Winter up north is supposed to be amazing – perfect weather, less people, cheaper prices!

Bring. It. On.

As I write this we’re currently spending our last few days in Vic in the town of Echuca on the border of Victoria and NSW.

We have several posts coming on Melbourne and Victoria so subscribe to our blog if you haven’t already and you won’t miss them. From then on, our live social media updates and future blog posts will be coming to you from heading north!

Our rough plans (we like to travel with a lot of flexibility) our outlined below:

  • April: NSW
  • Winter – Top End of Oz
  • Summer – WA & SA

We’re super excited about this road trip reversal.

It’s going to be the best fit for us and it means we can share the rest of this country for you in its BEST light.

Do you live up north or visiting there?

What are some of your favourite places? What are some of your “MUST DO’s?”

74 thoughts on “Why We Are Reversing Our Australian Road Trip”

  1. I was sad {I’m a SA dweller, and was looking forward to hosting you in our state} But I’m so thrilled that you have made this decision. You must visit us on the Fleurieu Peninsula when you do make it to SA. I love that we are all in charge of our lives, and can make decisions and change plans accordingly for what suits us best.

    1. Yes. I love having such flexibility. We will definitely be visiting SA. I’m excited to experience it in the summer time now when it is in its best life. It’s hard because I want to experience every state in the summer, but Australia is just too big!

  2. Definitely the right decision. WA in winter is wet, cold and squally and although the beach scenes can be dramatic, they are not turquoise blue. It’s lovely to curl up by a log fire with a glass of red wine, but with kids and a camper trailer you’re definitely better off hitting this side in summertime when there’s much more to experience and do. And yes, the festivals – all manner of markets and don’t forget the Bridgetown Blues in November (love it!). Have fun in NSW and the Top End.

    1. I would have just complained the whole time about the weather and I so don’t want that to be my experience of WA. Thanks for the festival tip. will be checking up on that one

  3. Yes! I divide my time between Townsville & the Tablelands in North Queensland and your new route makes so much more sense. I love my region 365 days of the year but for visitors I definitely think our winter is the time to come.

  4. Sounds like the sensible thing to do! How wonderful to have no end date in sight, so you can change plans on a whim like this without having to miss out.

    Up North is beautiful and most pleasant in winter, and should be much easier to get around on the roads too as they won’t be all muddy and flooded. And it’s a big plus to be able to go swimming without the deadly jellyfish in places such as Broome.

    As for recommendations, I absolutely love exploriing the rainforest, hills and sugarcane areas around Cairns.

    1. Was also going to mention Crystal Cascades, also near Cairns. Little waterholes in a river through rainforest, with cascading waterfalls. I loved that place when I was around Kalyra’s age!

  5. I know exactly what you mean! I’m traveling around the Canaries now & stayed too long on one island because I met such lovely people, and it was so pretty, and I stayed five months, way too long, and it turned to winter, and I hated it,because all those pretty forest and flowers come at a price – rain in winter! I changed my plans and came to an island futher east, which means warmer in winter in this neck of the woods! I am so relieved that I am not the only one who craves sunshine!!! Wherever you go next, enjoying reading about your journey!

    1. I can’t stand the cold so I’m always on a quest for eternal sunshine. I complain far too much when its cold so I don’t want that to be my experience for the next 6 months when Can easily change it and create a new one. Your decisions sounds equally as good. I do love having the freedom to stay longer at those places that capture our hearts.

  6. Sounds like a good plan! I live by the beach to the north of Brisbane so feel free to hit me up if you want any tips 🙂 My area would probably be a good place to chill & catch up on work.

  7. Oh no! You’ll miss the whale sharks in Exmouth/Coral Bay. I guess looking at it the other way, that could be a good excuse to visit WA again though 🙂

    Completely understand heading north for the winter. Great idea!!

    We are planning to do the Gibb River Road over 3wks from mid June. I’ll keep you posted when we plan an itinerary, but we might miss you. I’d recommend getting down to the Pilbara by at least late August as it starts heating up again in Sept and Oct. You also don’t want to miss staircase to the moon at either Broome or here in the Pilbara 🙂

    Glad to hear that you are feeling much lighter about your new direction. x

    1. We always need an excuse to return to WA! I think we’ll probably get some of that heat in the top end, but that’s okay. We lived in Broome for awhile in March- April before and coped okay. I’m actually a strange person that loves that humid tropical weather, although I do remember it being particularly sticky in Broome. I think we spent the entire day in the pool for a few weeks.

  8. Great idea! North Qld is definitely better in winter. Being a lifelong resident of Qld, I’m full of great ideas for you. Please don’t skip over central Queensland, like most people do – Yeppoon, Agnes Water/1770, Bundaberg/Bargara, Hervey Bay, Cooloola all have so much to see and do. Inland, there is Cania Gorge, Canarvon Gorge, Longreach (Hall of Fame), Winton (Waltzing Matilda Centre), Emerald (Gemfields), Barcaldine (Workers Hall of Fame and Tree of Knowledge) and so much more.
    The downside of being here in winter is you will miss the turtle season and whale watching season, but there is still lots more to do.
    Just a word of warning though – “perfect weather, less people, cheaper prices” – weather is definitely great (and fairly dependable). However, DO NOT expect less people. Half (or more) of Australia’s caravan/campervan/motorhome community come to Qld in winter, so our highways are full of them. In Carins, it’s busy in winter because it’s the dry season and the only time you can attempt the trek to the tip of Cape York.
    I look forward to hearing more of your plans!

    1. Thanks for the awesome tips Lucinda. We will do our best to work these regions into our trip. Shame about missing the turtle season, the whale watching I’m not too bothered about as we see lots of them in NSW. But, we always need a reason to come back to Queensland!

  9. The fact you’ve ended up spending more time in Victoria than planned seems to me to be an obvious turn around to ensure you’re north of the Tropic of Capricorn for the winter months… as originally intended!
    And that’s the fun of a road trip, you can turn ever which way you choose 🙂

    1. I love having the flexibility to do that. It’s pointless spending all that time and money just to have a miserable time and not see a place in its best light.

  10. Lots of beautiful places in the Gold Coast hinterland , the Thunder Egg Park, the sky walk, glow worms. Moreton and Stradbroke Island, there is Bribie Island on the way through to the Sunshine Coast up into their Hinterland, Maleny, Montville. Queensland’s own Ettamogah Pub and Aussie World beside it. Eumundi Markets, Noosa Heads Teewah Beach, Rainbow Island to Double Island Point, Fraser, so many I’ve missed and so many to mention 🙂

  11. Hey Guys! As a former Townsville girl, now Vancouver-expat, I 100% agree with everyone else – the Northern part of Australia is absolutely beautiful in winter. My recommendations are definitely spending some time on the Sunshine Coast (Eumundi and Coolum Beach two favourites), Airlie Beach, Magnetic Island (where my parent’s live and total paradise) and Port Douglas is great. The kids will never be bored! Best of luck x

    1. We’ll probably skip over the Sunshine Coast because we lived in Moolooaba for 18 months. But, super keen to stay on Magnetic Island for awhile. Just want to bum it there.

  12. Just make sure to bypass Victoria next time, otherwise you will be reversing forever 🙂

    In my opinion, this is a very wise decision, when you are in no hurry, then there absolutely no reason to adjust yourself to poorer conditions. Do you plan to visit NT, Uluru and the central desert?

    BTW, who wrote this post? It completely sounds like Caz, is it really Craig who wrote it?

    1. I’m so glad you know my voice! Yep- Craig’s not really into angel oracle cards. Not sure what happened here but the writer profile got switched around! Thanks for picking it up. all changed now.
      I’m ready to leave Victoria now! WE will be going to central Australia, probably down from Darwin.

  13. You know, it’s often a good idea to do trips in reverse. … for many different reasons.

    A few years ago we did the Angkor Wat trail around the temples in reverse of the norm, and we found that many times we had whole temples to ourselves because the coach tours had moved on!

    YAAY for being warm 🙂

    1. Yes. Although I think a lot of people might be reversing so in the reversal we’re probably going the same way as everyone else.

  14. We are currently doing a six month trip around Australia as well. We started at the end of January from Queensland and headed south to avoid the hot humid summer. We are currently in South Australia on the Eyre Peninsula and the weather has been a bit of a mixed bag – lot’s of cold gusty winds and temps in low 20’s. But this as been a welcome change for us Qld’ers. We are heading off over to the West and hope to be in northern WA during the Winter months. I can understand you reasoning however, if you haven’t seen much of Qld and NT and want the warm temps.

  15. I can recommend a day or 2 at Magnetic Island, it’s located by Tonwsville. It’s charming, the beaches are lovely and it’s home of koalas. I had a blast there when I travelled in Australia a few years ago!

  16. We arrived into Australia in June, and after buying our truck in Sydney,then getting snowed on in the blue mountains on our first night out, we decided to head north as fast as we could. We blasted up through the middle and spent three incredible months in the top end before winding our way down south to ultimately hit Tassie for summer. You guys are so making the right decision!

  17. Caz and Craig, it sounds like you have made a great decision. I agree with the weather issue as well.

    if you are heading to outback NSW and Queensland I suggest you have a look at a couple of articles I have written. I have included the links below. You may find some good options you hadn’t considered yet!

    We did a big roadtrip to outback NSW a couple of years ago which is detailed in the article below. if you are heading anywhere near Cobar, Broken Hill, White Cliffs or Mildura then have a look – although you may also have some options to visit these areas on your return to Sydney from ‘the loop’.
    http://pretraveller.com/2012/11/04/road-trip-outback-australia-white-cliffs-broken-hill-mildura-mungo-longform/

    If you are planning to head north through NSW via the Newell Highway and to also visit outback QLD you should check out my article on 10 Hedonistic Australian Artesian Hot Springs You Haven’t Tried Yet
    http://pretraveller.com/2013/06/09/australian-artesian-hot-springs/
    There are some very hot options to visit o help you warm up a bit – often for free or very cheaply and most in close proximity to camping areas!

      1. Caz, I consider our visit to Mungo NP as one of the highlights of our trip. I was absolutely blown away by the sheer age of the relics which progressively emerge through the sand. If you do visit Mungo NP ensure you take the ranger guided tour which is led by some of the local tribe members.

        If you are in that area also definitely visit the Perry Sandhills near Wentworth, and take a proper snow toboggan to use for sliding down the hills. You will all have a blast! And have to shake all of the sand out of your clothes – but it is worth it.

  18. Yes I agree it makes sense to be up north during the winter, but careful what you wish for. The summer here in the west can be harsh and trying to sleep in the camper might take it’s toll. We have so many gorgeous areas in the north that it might just be winter again by the time you make it to here (I’m in Perth). Good luck with all your travels. Your lifestyle is the best grounding for your girl’s future and I’m sure when they are older they will be so grateful.

    1. We sure could end up staying longer. We’ve been gone 6 months and have only done so little already. The best is sure to come!

  19. Sounds like a great idea to head north. If you get a chance to detour on your way, go to Mildurra and from there, spend a couple of nights camping in Lake Mungo national park. Fantastic wildlife that I’m sure the girls would love.

  20. That’s a good change!! We are also the sun seekers type of people. We got a bit disappointed with the weather in Australia, we went there for a summer and it was a lot of rain 🙁 from our trip in the east coast we loved Fraser Island and also the Paranella Park in the tablelands.

    1. Yeah, we’re realizing Aussie weather can be pretty unpredictable. I don’t think an accurate picture is painted of it. IT’s such a large country that the weather will be quite diverse so you have to plan for where you go to time it right

  21. Good call. I think someone else has already said it but WA ain’t much fun in the winter – you can see by the search for MH plane pictures that the weather throws all manner of weather ‘rubbish’ at the coastline and more for the next 3.5 months.
    Slightly jealous too. You will make the most of the Jayco this way too I think.
    Good luck and enjoy. And of course one more thing is obvious – you will have connectivity. Headed west and up – not necessarily.

    1. Didn’t think about that. Great point. Connectivity is obviously very important for us. And by the time we reach WA we should have more systems in place where we can disconnect and things still run for us.

  22. Courtney Ireland

    Love it – follow the sun.
    You arrive in Echuca when I leave for Melbourne! Would have loved to meet you! If you are still there on Monday let me know and I’ll come find you!

    1. Oh we will probably have gone! Such a bummer to just miss you. But, if we are still here we’d LOVE to catch up! (Just excuse my current lack of fitness 😉 )

  23. Sounds like a brilliant plan guys; I can definitely vouch for the Autumn/Winter up north being a lot better than spending it in Victoria. I did my Sydney to Cape Trib road trip in a campervan in May – June 2012 and the weather was perfect, give or take a couple of rainy days.

    Can’t wait to see your journey unfold Caz 🙂

  24. Hi Caz, I am glad you figured it out and that you are making exciting plans! I can’t wait to read about your adventures around these completely unknown and interesting for me parts of Australia. Good luck!

  25. Sounds like you have a great plans in-stored. What a spectacular place to visit let the picture speaks for itself. Hope you have fun touring around in Australia.

    Hey have you been in Fraser Island in Hervey Bay in QLD Australia? Visit this article talks about Mysterious Island Of Fraser – Tales and Legends http://bit.ly/1i3dIbn

  26. We recently changed our whole travel plan too, for similar reasons – we were doing Australia clockwise and got as far as Adelaide. We realised we had spent a bit too long in Tas (3 months – where did that go?!) and that we would have to rush across the bottom to make it north in time to make the most of the dry season. So we’re going to go up the middle and down WA! We’re hanging around in SA for another month first, to make it to Words to Go in Adelaide. But then we’re heading up the middle as fast as we can to enjoy winter in the top end and around Northern WA. Can’t wait! Maybe we’ll bump into you some day x

  27. Caz, I’m so glad you decided to do this! I’m with you on the cold weather, I am NOT a fan of winter. Going to Queensland and northern Australia now and saving Western Australia for the summer sounds perfect. I was worried when I started reading that you wouldn’t be going out west at all, glad to hear that’s not the case. If you get a chance to see Millaa Millaa Falls somewhere near Cairns, it’s gorgeous. Enjoy the next leg of your road trip!

  28. I can completely relate to the desire to feel the warmth of a beautiful summer – here in the UK a lot of coffee and cake are eaten due to the weather! 🙂
    Our family spent time travelling in the Northern Territory when we were in Australia for 3 months and it was amazing. Looking forward to the posts.

  29. There are so many places I could tell you about to visit, but I would be writing all day. My husband and I spent three months in Darwin pre-kids and I can’t wait to take our boys back there one day soon. It is a place like no other. The lifestyle is completely laid back and everything is focused on the outdoors. In Darwin city you can’t miss fish feeding at Doctors Gully, the Deckchair Cinema, Mindil Markets at sunset, Parap and Rapid Creek markets, Cullen Bay, Crocosaurus Cove (right in the middle of the city!), sunset drinks at the ski club, and sailing sunset cruises. I have probably missed so much but these are the things that stand out in my mind. Close to Darwin are Berry Springs and Litchfield NP which are beautiful and have safe swimming spots. I didn’t make it to Kakadu as we were there for the build-up and wet season but despite that we had something to do every moment we weren’t working. The top end really is the last frontier of Australia and I cannot wait to go back 🙂

  30. Good plan! Head for the heat has always been my motto… well, I was brought up in Scotland, desperate times seek desperate measures. I had the most fab time exploring Kakadu with my second son when he was 11, fantastic trip that was. Paul and I LOVED the Gibb River Road, and the Bungle Bungles many years before that… I was expecting son number 1 and he just turned 17… sigh…..

  31. You know you’ll save lots of money on fuel this way too? Apparently the winds blow with the car anti clockwise and against the other way… we are currently in Karumba, the gulf of carpentaria- if you’re after sunshine and the tropics, it’s here, with a few crocs thrown in. We’re also in a jayco( have commented on your posts before) and will be in Darwin/ West Coast from June. Would love a chance to meet you guys. We’ve just been through Lomgreach, Winton etc with some fairly magical (and not so magical- mostly fly related) moments. Anyway, it’s all Adventure! Thanks for making us feel like we’re not the only ones doing it under the age of 50!

  32. The view of Binalong Bay in Tasmania is stunning. I always plan to visit places when it is off season. I have realized that one could manage the whole trip at almost half the price.

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